This weekend I attended an indoor action photography workshop featuring martial arts, acrobats and aerial artists. The workshop was attended by about 20 other photographers, shooting with Canon, Nikon and even a few Sony systems. I was the only photographer with a Fuji and the only one using just prime lenses.
Going into this workshop, I knew I had a few challenges to overcome. First, I had never been to this location, so I didn't know anything about the lighting or layout. The second big challenge was my available glass. I wanted to stick with my Fuji system, and that would mean I would basically have a choice between my 23mm and 35mm lenses. Not ideal when you are photographing people who are 20 feet above your head.
I also brought a Godex speedlight with a huge umbrella. Other photographers brought full size strobes and big softboxes. In the end, with the mixture of natural light and the unusual locations of the models, I decided against trying to use the flash. It's hard to position a bulky umbrella when someone is spinning above your head and I am constantly moving around the subject.
Overall, I was really impressed with how the Fuji X-T2 performed. For the first time, I had a chance to try some of the focus tracking modes in the camera, but in the end, I really prefer just using a single focus point. I found the focus tracking just kept missing the face and head. Maybe with more practice, I can find a focus mode that works best for moving subject, that I can be happy with. Either way, I found the camera focused really fast in this mixed natural light environment.
I did most of my shooting between continuous high and low burst rates. It is pretty amazing how fast the shutter is, making it super easy to freeze a subject and pick the exposure I liked the most.
Overall I am pretty happy with the images I captured, but for future events with unpredictable movements of the subjects, I would prefer a zoom lens like the 18-55mm (or 16-55mm) offered by Fuji. The prime lenses are great for street work and portraits, but maybe not so much for action work. I probably would have been happy with a 56mm f1.2 lens to help capture details and blow out the background.
A video of the workshop highlights can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUWJuwGIrOY