What Is a Leaf Shutter? A Look at a Special Camera Type

What is a leaf shutter? If you started in photography under a decade ago, we’re pretty sure you may not know the answer to this question. Even if you started in digital a decade ago, you might not know what a leaf shutter is. But these types of shutters are mostly absent from cameras these days. However, for the last decade, photographers clamored for them. Leaf shutters have advantages for photographers, but as time has gone on those advantages mostly disappeared. 

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Xpert Advice: Overpowering the Sun Using a Leaf Shutter

Xpert Advice Overpowering the Sun with a Leaf Shutter (1 of 1)ISO 8001-15 sec at f - 4.0

One way to naturally add extra punch to an image is to increase the contrast. When you do this, you make the viewer concentrate more on specific areas of the scene–and what better way to do this than to overpower the sun or natural light around you. So how do you do that with your Fujifilm camera? You’ll need to remember some basic parameters first.

To overpower the sun, you’ll need a flash of some sort like a Fujifilm EF-42 (or maybe two of them.) Then keep in mind your exposure parameters:

Shutter speeds: control the ambient lighting, in this case that’s the sun and the natural light around you.

Aperture: Controls depth of field and how much of the flash’s output affects your scene.

ISO: Controls the overall sensitivity of the scene.

When this flash is mounted to a camera like the Fujifilm X100T or the X30, it becomes so much simpler to overpower the sun because of the leaf shutter inside. This means that the shutter unit is in the lens as opposed to the camera body and allows you to shoot at faster shutter speeds with a flash firing than a DSLR or other mirrorless cameras can normally.

By using this setup, you can easily make the natural light appear darker by underexposing it while evenly illuminating your subject by adding output from a flash. This is even simpler to do because the two different types of lighting are linked to different camera settings.

Use this for portraits during the Golden Hour, at weddings, when trying to make a product that you’re about to sell on eBay more appealing, and for many more types of photos like macro shooting. Here’s more on overpowering the sun and more results.

Xpert Advice is a monthly collaboration between the Phoblographer and Fujifilm designed to teach you photography tips and tricks in a bite-sized package.

Using the Fujifilm X30 with High Speed Sync Flash

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer X30 with High Speed Sync (1 of 1)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.5

Point and shoot cameras with a large sensor have a very big advantage over interchangeable lens cameras: they usually have a leaf shutter. Many years ago, medium format photographers would reach for cameras with leaf shutters because of their high sync speed with flashes. And many large sensor point and shoots have a lens permanently fixed to them. These lenses have leaf shutters–which means that the shutter is in the lens unit itself. So if the point and shoot has a hot shoe, then it can work with flashes off camera.

That’s exactly what we decided to do with the new Fujifilm X30. With its 12MP 1/2 inch sensor, an f2 to f2.8 zoom range and the ability to go down to ISO 100, we were very curious to see what a point and shoot like this one could deliver.



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