Is it Possible to do Flight Photography with the XT-2 and the Fujinon 100-400? Yes. Is it Easy??? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Is it Possible to do Flight Photography with the XT-2 and the Fujinon 100-400? Yes. Is it Easy???


I am somewhere in Japan. I will be home late on 28 FEB but should have pretty good internet access every day.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

The Streak: 463

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 463 days in a row with a new educational blog post. As always–and folks have been doing a really great for a long time now–please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

This image was created at La Jolla, CA with the hand held the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens (at 400mm effective 600mm) and the Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera body) outfitted with the Fujifilm VPB-XT2 Vertical Power Booster Grip. ISO 400. Pattern metering +1/3 stop as originally framed: 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB.

Shutter Button Continuous Autofocus. Additional AF information is unavailable.

Brown Pelican in flight

Is it Possible to do Flight Photography with the XT-2 and the Fujinon 100-400?

Is it possible to do flight photography with the Fujifilm XT-2 and the Fujinon 100-400? In a word, yes.

Is it Easy?

Well now things get a bit more complicated. For most of the time that I was using the Fuji gear my attempts at flight (and action) photography were frustrating at best. With the 1.5X crop factor and the lens zooming in the opposite direction from the way the Canon 100-400 II zooms, simply getting the bird in the frame was difficult as was zooming in or out once you acquired focus. Add in the problem of seeing the previous image along with the shooting data when you raised the lens and you might wind up needing psychiatric care …

Several folks including a Fuji tech rep have suggested that the camera might be malfunctioning. That said, today’s image is a very fine one. And right before I returned the loaner gear to B&H, I actually started to do a bit better. One tip that might help you is to always start by zooming out to the long end. One tip that might help with that is to actually look at the lens before zooming to the long end. That sounds dumb but it really helped me as the opposite zooming directions seriously mess with my brain. As you have just zoomed to 400mm it is easier to know which direction zooms out … For me at least.

Great Egrets in breeding plumage are a beautiful sight …

Gatorland Mini-IPT: 1 1/2 days: AM and PM shooting sessions on Saturday, March 4 and a morning session on Sunday, March 5: $749. Limit 6/Openings 4.

Join me in Kissimmee, FL in early March, prime time to to photograph Great Egrets in breeding plumage. We should get to make lots of head portraits with most any lens and to photograph them building nests, displaying, copulating, and flying. Eggs for sure. Tiny chicks likely. And most likely breeding Wood Storks as well. Learn to see, find, and make the shot in cluttered settings. Learn exposure and how to handle the WHITEs. Learn fill flash and flash as main light. Includes a working lunch on me on Saturday with image review and Photoshop. We may see and photograph some early Snowy Egrets and Tricolored Herons. And of course, we will see and photograph the captive American Alligators. All of the birds are free and wild.

To pay in full via credit card, call Jim or Jen in the office weekdays at 863-692-0906. You will be responsible for the cost of your Gatorland Photographer’s pass. Early entry both mornings and late stay on Saturday.

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

4 comments to Is it Possible to do Flight Photography with the XT-2 and the Fujinon 100-400? Yes. Is it Easy???

  • avatar David Peake

    Artie, After all these years with the exceptional canon gear I take my hat off to you for having a go with something else. The fujis are built for photographers, however, birds in flight remain as a challenge for the auto focus system.They are a good company to deal with. They listen to their customers so heres hoping they will continue to develop the capabilities of their awesome range of cameras.
    Have fun in Japan.

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    What a beautiful shot. Love the framing! Love the detail, especially the wide open eyes! The detail in the wings, wing-tips….Beautiful!

  • avatar Penelope

    I thought that you trying out the Fuji was a prelude to jumping systems for the sake of lightness, the march of time, etc.
    I use Nikon gear for my wildlife and bird photography but also own a Fuji for more casual walkabout stuff. The Fuji is a very fine camera with superb image quality but is not (yet?) suited to fast wildlife or BIF photography IMHO. One day when the autofocus and one or two other quirks have been sorted out it may become a Canon/Nikon killer in that arena, but then again Canon and Nikon may wake up and smell the coffee in time.