I’ve had a Macintosh on my desk since the mid-90s and promise not to bore you with the details of why and how here. Suffice to say that’s it has been and remains a willing assistant and cyber friend. Over the intervening years, lots of acquaintances have also moved to Macs and to a greater or lesser extent, feel much the same way.
It’s happened with cameras too. Despite having been a Nikon user for decades and having also dipped my toes in Leica’s lifegiving waters, my move to Fuji in 2015 was as much a friend-making experience as it was an exploration of a new and different technology.
My first purchase was an X-Pro1, which was joined almost immediately by the pocketable X100T. Within days, both went on a month long trip to India and between them, produced some exquisite photographs for me.
I’d initially planned to use the X-Pro1 with my 35mm Summicron and 50mm Summilux, together with the 25mm Zeiss Biogon that had got me started with DearSusan.* Fuji’s M to X mount adaptor works really well, but I still had an itch to try out some of Fuji’s own glass and suddenly, there was a 35mm f1.4 in my bag.
It’s a fantastic piece of kit and I use it a lot. It doesn’t quite have the 35 ‘Cron’s almost film-like rendering, but does have autofocus. Which do I choose when it’s time to hit the streets? Often both.
A 16mm f1.4 and the 90mm f2 soon followed.
Then the 23mm f1.4.
An X-Pro2? Of course.
I still wasn’t done and as the 56 f1.2 arrived, the X100T left for a buddy down the road, to be replaced by the X100F.
For a while, yes.
X-H1? Nah. I’ve got two X-Pros, what would I do with another X camera?
I fought that decision off for a year, but found out what I could achieve late last year when the X-H1 arrived along with the SBH (16-55 f2.8 zoom). And a 100-400 zoom for shooting game in our national parks.
Looking at this list, I ought to feel a little embarrassed, but don’t. Every item has a distinct personality and which one I choose to accompany me any- and everywhere is (surprisingly) often an emotional rather than need-based choice.
The X-Pro1 is quiet, competent and often surprises with its ability to deliver fantastic images, despite its same-day focussing and limited digital processing capabilities.
The X-Pro2 moved the marker, being just as capable as the -1, but much more and all round competent. Modern and faster.
The X-H1 – much denigrated by the pundits at first – is a technological wunderkind and does the difficult jobs. It can drive my flash system and its IBIS is fantastic in low light and difficult conditions. It used to wear the 16-55 zoom, but was a real (SB) handful and now, often heavier than I want to be hauling around. Increasingly, there’s a prime of some kind mounted, auto or manual focus, it’s equally at home with either.
Post processing Fuji files is subject to the usual de-mosaicing issues – now largely solved – and I find Lightroom well up to the task of massaging the look and feel I want. I’m currently having another go-round with Luminar and like what I’m seeing there, too.
In recent times, several other photographers I know have also joined the X-Pro ranks; our own Steve Mallett, DS progenitor Caroline and most visibly, occasional contributor, Kirk Tuck – here and here too.
There must be something in it.
* My purchase of a Sony NEX-7 soon led me to buy an M mount adaptor to use with the Leica lenses (50 ‘lux and 35 ‘cron) I already owned. The need for a wider field of view led me to a review of the Zeiss 25mm Biogon on DearSusan and the rest is history.
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