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09.07.2020 Paco Navarro

PEAK: Paco Navarro x XF50mmF1.0 R WR

Paco Navarro

Paco Navarro began his professional career as an assistant to the photographer Alejandro Cabrera. His talent quickly began to develop, and one year later he won the Planeta Award for photography, enabling him to branch out on his own. With extensive professional experience, including jobs for fashion magazines (Vogue, Elle, GQ, Marie Claire, etc.), portraits of important celebrities in the world of cinema, fashion, music, literature and art, advertising campaigns (El Corte Inglés, Rolex, Puig, etc.) and catalogs for various fashion labels (Jesús del Pozo, Roberto Verino, etc.). He has been a FUJIFILM X-Photographer since 2011.

My name is Paco Navarro.

I have been working as a fashion photographer, doing portraits and advertising for almost 40 years. I won the Planeta Photography Award (Premio Planeta de Fotografía) after a couple years working as an assistant. In 1984 I began to work as a free-lance for fashion magazines, advertising agencies, record companies, fashion designers, department stores and others. I have professionally taken photographs of celebrities such as actors, actresses and models up to the date.

I have been a member of Fujifilm X-Photographers group since 2011. At that time, director of Fujifilm Spain contacted and invited me to collaborate with a photographer’s work team in the development of a new line of cameras and lenses. The job consisted in testing X Series cameras and lenses with the aim of giving an opinion in order to improve the photography equipment.

I would like to thank Fujifilm and the entire Fujifilm Spain corporation for their support, affection and professionalism; as well as trusting me to test the new FUJINON XF50mmF1.0

The first thing that calls one’s attention to this lens is its brightness. It is in fact the brightest lens I have ever used.

With an aperture of F1.0 the depth of field is minimal; while playing with the depth of field, the photographer decides which parts of the photograph are focused. This way we give more importance to what the photographer decides which is the main subject of the picture.

Another one of the qualities which stand out in FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 is its bokeh. The bokeh is the manner in which the image goes through from the focused areas to the most unfocused spots and it is spectacular in this lens; it is incredibly smooth.

From the very beginning I realized that this lens has the perfect focal distance for my portrait photographs. This 50mm works approximately like a full-frame 70mm, like a short telephoto lens.

The distance at which one stands while taking a portrait is highly important. I like to be close enough to the model to feel connected with the person but without invading their personal space. There’s nothing more intimidating than having someone put their camera right in your face. In order to try this new lens, we did three different sessions.

The first day we took a fashion session at night, in Gran Vía Street in Madrid. We used ambient lightning and only used a flash when it was necessary to lighten the model’s face.

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On the second day we took portraits in my study with natural light, moving around the house while following the light of windows and balconies at different hours of the day, in search of different expressions and moods of the model.

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Lastly, we took a beauty session in the study. We used natural light and the makeup table lights and after we did portraits in the study with flashes.

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The three sessions we did with FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 were very similar to what I do in my daily work, fashion and portraits. I looked for complex lighting situations as the ones I find in my daily routine and in all of these contexts, the lens showed extraordinary results.

At all times I used ISO 200 to ensure the best possible quality.

Working with this lens, I was able to take full-body pictures outdoors while blurring all the surroundings as if I was working with a telephoto lens with a greater focal distance but being much closer to the model.

While taking portraits I can focus on the model’s face and allow everything else to gently become blurry, in addition, this lens provides an amazing sharpness in the study.

FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 is a very versatile lens that adapts perfectly to fashion sessions and portraits and it especially stands out with low lighting conditions.

This new lens feels extremely balanced when mounted on the camera; it makes a perfect pack when handling both sturdy and light.

Being a senior photographer with many years of experience and however, not a specialist in this kind of lens testing, I do think that this lens is the best among others with similar characteristics I have ever tried.

I strongly recommend giving it a try if you have the opportunity. It is a lens to enjoy while taking the highest quality photographs.