Fujinon 16-55mm f2.8 – Fuji Bath Time…

Today I was drawing a few sketches in my sketchbook for the first underwater portrait I want to try, and decided there is no time like the present……. so I guess I need a volunteer fast!

As I just said, this will be the first time I have used the camera underwater and I don’t want to jump in at the deep end on this. 

See what I did there? Deep end? Haha, get it? No?
OK, lets move on…

So basically; Model in the bath tub, as deep as the bath will fill… as it’s the first one, I’m thinking keep it safe for both of us, and warm, and easy to manage…

So here are the ideas:


Well the images are ambitious for the bath, so I have put the bigger concepts on hold for a deeper pool if stuff works out. So for this shoot I will be happy to pull off a good portrait without drowning a model or killing my Fuji X-T1!

For this test I want to use a red head model to get that ‘little mermaid’ look to the shots. (OK, OK! I like Ariel but who doesn’t!)

Getting the camera in the EWA Marine bag is easy. I’ve checked all the gaps and had a quick dunk – NO LEAKS! It all looks good to go!


I don’t have a lot of room to work with in the bath, so I’m going to use the Fuji X-T1 and the Fujinon 16-55mm f2.8 , the lens focuses quite close to the subject. I think around ISO 800 or lower and 250th second f4 would be a good start, and we can work from there…

I’m using a litestick (much like the icelight) attached to a Benbo trekking tripod, this has a tripod arm which will allow me to get the light over the bath and onto the model. I have put some clip-on barn doors onto the litestick, as I want to control the light, keeping the tap end of the bath dark and out of the shot (nobody likes the tap end), and therefore concentrating all the light on the face.


I have set the camera to use facial recognition, and eye detection as I can not physically fit my head and the models head in the same bath. I’m hoping the Fuji will allow me to ‘freestyle’ the camera a bit, and it will control the focus.. Normally I would like a lot more control but it is a test and very cramped in the bath.

First a few submersion test shots…

a spooky one while I’m testing the waterproof bag…
and first test of the Fuji actually under the water…

The Fuji is fantastic, in the first few frames the camera tells me with a little message ‘face detected’ and there it is a fantastic underwater portrait straight away! A few tweaks of the light and here is a few of the images we shot.

smile for the camera!
JRXT5621 3
the winning shot!

Loving this serene, floaty mermaid look… The Fuji optics and sensor seem to work as awesome underwater as they do on land, and the new Firmware 4 focus modes have really helped in this too!

I’m definitely looking forward to a pool shoot now! 🙂

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