The Essential Budget Portrait Kit: Fujifilm X Photographer

The latest Fujifilm cameras are getting a lot of attention and hype these days. Are you one of the many photographers picking up an X-Series body for the first time and looking to create some killer portraits? We you are going to need a portrait kit, so let’s get this figured out for you.

We will specifically not be promoting one camera or another (you pick your camera), but we will discuss the rest of the kit below. Oh, and since this is a budget kit, we are trying to keep the entire package, lens included, under $1,000.

Let’s do this!

The Main Components

Fujinon XF 35mm F2

The XF 35mm F/2 R WR is our choice for a budget portrait lens on the Fujifilm X-Series, not only is this lens one of the better values in the system, but it’s also relatively fast at F2 and weather sealed. As an alternative, albeit slightly more expensive, the 23mm F2 and 50mm f2 are also in this price range and could work as portrait lenses depending on your style (environmental vs tight).

XF 35mm F2 R WR: [amazon_textlink asin=’B016S28I4S’ text=’Get It On Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c66e7609-3059-11e7-9bfa-35499aa37657′] (Cost: [amazon_textlink asin=’B016S28I4S’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d51cb3fb-3059-11e7-a2eb-57525f095df8′])

Yongnuo YN560-TX


One downside to the Fujifilm system (still!) is a lack of advanced lighting solutions (branded and third party) when compared to other systems. That said, it doesn’t mean you can’t use lights and get great results. Our pick for a lighting trigger is the YN-560TX. (The Canon mount version works just fine on the Fujifilm bodies. I know – I use it myself.) This allows you wireless control of speedlights which is incredibly helpful if you are using off camera lighting.

Yongnuo YN-560TX: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00KM1QZRY’ text=’Get It On Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’04a29352-305b-11e7-94ec-87942515f7b3′] (Cost: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00KM1QZRY’  template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’325444b5-305b-11e7-abc7-dd0f6e9c8980′] )

Yongnuo YN560 IV Wireless Speedlight (x2)

To go along with our YN-560TX we have two YN560 IV wireless speedlights, which you can control wirelessly with the YN560-TX. These two speedlights will help you expand your shooting capabilities beyond relying on the sun and can help you craft a unique/signature look to your location lighting.

Yongnuo YN560 IV: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PGTOX26′ text=’Get It On Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’afb94a9f-305c-11e7-a320-49b65aa0a309′] (Cost: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PGTOX26′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c028e7f7-305c-11e7-acdc-d11dae6d6ba6′] )

Combining off camera lighting with a slow shutter speed can result in some fun results in crowded areas.

The Accessories

Impact Light Stands (x2)

Since we are introducing lights into this kit, we need some stands to put them on. These Impact light stands are solid and still relatively affordable. There are definitely cheaper alternatives out there, but any cheaper than these and you start to run into big reliability issues with heavy use.

Impact Light Stands: [amazon_textlink asin=’B004U5F3R6′ text=’Get It on Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b08643b4-3052-11e7-ba6c-f3668277966e’](Cost:[amazon_textlink asin=’B004U5F3R6′  template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’bbe8ff6b-3052-11e7-8b6b-858b991b434c’])

Impact Folding 28″ Beauty Dish

We also need at least one modifier for our key light, so we decided to go with an easily portable option like this 28″ folding beauty dish from Impact. This will give you some beautiful light on your subject while remaining compact and easy to transport around.

Impact Folding 28″ Beauty Dish: [amazon_textlink asin=’B014EGV2XO’ text=’Get It on Amazon’ Beauty Dish’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e31f9aa0-3052-11e7-bf22-8d777eac5480′] (Cost: [amazon_textlink asin=’B014EGV2XO’ Beauty Dish’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0756feb5-3053-11e7-b839-970236a86911′])

JOBY GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead

Tripods are pretty options these days in the portrait world, unless you are doing something static that needs repeatable or a consistent camera position. That said, you never know when you might need a place to put your camera down in a pinch, and that is what makes these Joby Gorilla Pods so perfect. Use them on the hood of your car, a table, an unused light stand: pretty much anywhere.

JOBY GorillaPod Focus w/ Ballhead: [amazon_textlink asin=’B06XWHYVB9′ text=’Get It on Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’5bd65061-3053-11e7-ad1d-6d8bd17537da’] (Cost: [amazon_textlink asin=’B06XWHYVB9′  template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’67bd2f98-3053-11e7-a730-3baf81d05adc’])

Portrait PRO Tip: Having your subject doing something while you shoot them can be a great way to avoid static boring poses.

Total Damage: $851.05

(at time of writing)

So there you have it, a killer budget Fujifilm X portrait kit all ready to go, and well under our $1,000 cutoff. If you are looking to get your portrait kit in the Fujifilm system started this is a great place to begin.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.