Many wedding photographers are looking to make the jump from the trusted, but heavy, DSLR to the sleeker and lighter mirrorless camera. We love the quality and control that our Nikon D750 and D700 cameras allow us but we also each have a Fuji mirrorless camera that we use occasionally at weddings and as our main personal cameras.

One of the best features of mirrorless cameras like the Fuji xe2 (and one reason why we are considering a switch to the Fuji xpro2) is that they work wonderfully with old lenses. Using an adapter (which are inexpensive) you can pair your mirrorless camera with high quality lenses from a bygone era. One of our favorites is the Helios 44-2, a 58mm Russian made lens that dates as far back as 1958. This lens is famous for the swirly effect it produces in pictures. But it also is different from modern lenses in the way it handles sun flares.

Modern lenses go to a lot of effort to minimize lens flare. There are multiple special coatings that are applied to the glass so that you can aim your camera at the sun and take a picture with just a little speck of light in the frame. However, sometimes it can be more interesting if you don’t control that light – if you just let the sun do its thing.

Below are two pictures shot within seconds of each other – The first one shot with the Nikon D700 with the Nikkor 85mm f1.8G lens and the second shot with the Fuji xe2 with the Helios 44-2 58mm (87mm equivalent on cropped sensor).

Nikon D700

Helios Fuji XE2

You can clearly see that overall the crazy sun flare is dramatic. It would probably be annoying if all of the shots came out like that. But every once in a while you want something different with a little bit of magic. We’re from the Pacific Northwest; we have to play with the sun as much as we can when we get it.

See more of the wedding portraits from this beautiful Napa Valley Wedding here.