23 March. Home.
To recap; a few days in Singapore – our favourite city in the world – followed by a quick trip up to George Town (Penang), to remind ourselves how much we enjoy being there, too.
In part 1, the X-Pro2 was brand new and the post was taken up with black and white images, made using the very impressive Acros simulation. If Fuji achieve nothing else with this piece of software mastery, they’ll inevitably attract the attentions of Nikon, Canon and Sony users, wanting similar, easy-on-the-eye tones and rich blacks.
A big thumbs up on that one.
To colour then. A significant strength for Fuji, with the X-Trans sensor – no I don’t claim to understand how it works – especially the softer tones. Soft colour isn’t so easy in a city, where brash is a byword.
So, instead of trekking the city looking for specific photo opportunities, I decided to shoot what I saw, with both X-Pros (and my trusty X100T) and add some images from George Town. Now I’m home, I’ll go look for the more subtle colours in the late summer sunrises, sunsets and landscapes.
I’m going to keep the narrative to a minimum; doubtless hundreds of blogs are posting similar opinions of the -2, so I’ll stick to what we used to call caption stories in the good old ink on paper publishing days. ‘kay with you?
Two small points I do need to cover, however.
The -2’s set-up dumping issue might have happened to me. On one early morning foray into the city, I did notice that I was shooting only JPGs and not RAW+JPG. The irritating focus chirping had also re-started – I turn all sounds off as a matter of course. Two minutes and I’d sorted the problem and had cause to wonder whether my larger than usual hands had lagged my enthusiasm and failed to develop the necessary muscle memory, hitting a button or two without me noticing. No matter, it wasn’t serious and in Fuji’s usual kaizen style response, a firmware update to prevent recurrences, is promised within days.
The second might be a non-event. But just in case you might be venturing into southeast Asia, be aware that the -2 works very hard, especially in Acros mode, where the sensor and X-Trans processor do all the digital doodads to make fabulous black and whites. The daily ambient temperatures were close to 40C most days and I wasn’t surprised to discover that the body of the camera around the command dial grew perceptibly warm. In it’s defence, the -2 never missed a beat and battery life wasn’t impacted, but you might still want to bear the situation in mind.
In closing, the -2 easily lives up to the pre-launch hype. As a convinced -1 user, the transition has been almost painless, it’s too soon to say much about it, but the increased resolution not yet apparent as the printing cycle will only now start. Lens choices are easy; the 35mm f1.4 is a no brainer for street work. The 90mm f2 likewise, but it is heavy and quite obvious, especially with the photo-nerd style (read massive) lens hood in use.
My recently purchased 16mm f1.4 got used once (briefly) and is probably best left at home if you’re planning anything other than extreme street shooting.
Of course, the fantastic X100T also fills in gaps, so I will almost certainly opt for that and leave the 16mm lens out of my kit when I pack for the DearSusan workshop in Paris in a few days time.