Three months and a milestone birthday ago, I wrote Going a bit more Fuji; stopping the Leica itch (a quickie) about buying an X-Pro1 and being seriously excited at the prospect.
As it turns out, I was right to be. Although I was more than three years behind the rest of the photographic world in discovering the X-Pro, my tardiness did me no harm. And, already being familiar with the X100T, setting up the X-Pro proved to be pretty straightforward.
On that day in Agra*, I put aside my much loved Sony NEX-7, took up this Leica-alike and let it work it’s magic.
Magic it is, too. The body is re-assuringly solid, the viewfinder switchable between optical and digital, the shooting modes easily selectable and sensible, the film simulation(s) useful and a definite reason I’d recommend it to anyone else thinking of moving in this direction.
The images are fab, colours everything you’d expect, especially when using the baked-in Velvia, or Classic Chrome modes. In post, they are significantly more workable than the Sony’s, despite the sensor being an older model with 8MP less resolution. On screen under magnification, the Sony’s always seem to look grainy after any kind of editing.
The Fuji also obliges most legacy lenses very well. I’ve not really had either the time or opportunity to test too much, but both the Leica 50mm ‘lux seems to perform at its usual stellar level as does my Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 – the Sony couldn’t accommodate the 15mm lens without radical colour shifts and bad vignetting.
As advised by other users, I found my Zeiss 25mm Biogon to be as smeary as predicted into the corners, but I will persevere and find an aperture where that retreats and it once again delivers its much loved 3D style of imaging across the entire frame.
The Fuji 35mm f1.4 is all that you’d expect of a lens costing significantly more. It’s light, the aperture ring is usefully notched and it’s super sharp from f1.4. After f4 I’d call it a razor.
Very few. The ludicrous rubber lens hood cap is one. It falls off if there’s an “R” in the month, if you look at it the wrong way and invariably obliges with a little tumble even when its at rest, on the camera on my desk. It’s useless.
Yup. Focus acquisition is slow and cost me a number of shots. I knew this when I bought the camera so it’s nothing new. Still, it’s irritating and I’ve had to change my technique slightly to allow for it. Hopefully, the soon-to-be-released X-Pro2 will fix this.
X-Pro2? That impressed?
Absolutely. For me this has just about everything an M might offer at around a quarter of the price. It adds dual viewfinder modes, auto focus and does away with the need to send my camera from Cape Town to the mothership in Germany every time it needs a bit of factory fondling.
* Rather than run the gauntlet-of-the-light-fingered with a delivery to Cape Town, I’d had the X-Pro delivered to my son-in-law in London – he very kindly packed it in his luggage and brought it to India for me.
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