Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials with the Fuji X-T1

My first serious test of the Fuji X-T1’s focussing capabilities was a visit to the International Horse Trials at Blenheim Palace last weekend. This was my first ever visit to the event at Blenheim and what a fantastic day out it was too. I really didn’t know what to expect but this thing is huge and the setting in the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire is perfect.
One of the reasons I wanted to visit the Horse Trials was to try out my new Fuji X-T1 and in particular its ability to focus on moving subjects – something the X-Pro1 and X-E1 struggle to cope with. I know people have been talking about how much the focussing has improved over the X-Pro1 but I still had my doubts. I really didn’t expect it to cope with galloping horses but I was blown away by the results I was seeing. With the Continuous High motor-drive set and Continuous Focus selected the camera was coping really well with the tracking.
Eventing photography is new territory for me but you can see some of the results below including event winner Francis Whittington clearing the final fence in the Show Jumping arena to take the title. You can also see the smile on his face as he realises he’s gone clear.
Back to the camera and I have to say that it has surpassed my expectations by a good margin. In the main the reason for the few out of focus images I got  was down to user error. The focus area was set in the central position but on some of the frames the horses were outside of this area when I started shooting and the focus was on the scene behind rather than the horse but you can’t blame the camera for that.
The lens I used for all these shots was the Fuji 55-200mm.
Water Jump

Water Jump

William Fox-Pitt

William Fox-Pitt

Francis Whittington goes clear to win at Blenheim

Francis Whittington goes clear to win at Blenheim

Francis Whittington

Francis Whittington

Vittoria Panizzon's

Vittoria Panizzon

Show Jumping

Show Jumping

Over the final fence

Over the final fence

The Hunt

The Hunt

Side Saddle

Side Saddle

Cross Country

Cross Country

Cross Country

Cross Country

Cross Country

Cross Country

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