« The symbol for this summer | Main | Photo of the week - May 7, 2013 »

Love for the Fuji X system

Ever since getting my Fuji X-Pro1 last July (along with the x100 the previous fall), I've hardly touched my Nikon D90. Although I did use it extensively in Amsterdam, Germany and Austria, and Italy last June, since the arrival of the X-Pro1 my Nikon gear has been largely dormant. Why I've bonded with the X-Pro1: 

  • Size and weight. This is the obvious benefit. The X-Pro1 body is smaller and lighter, as are the lenses. It's awesome for travel.
  • Discreteness. Similar to the size and weight advantage, but having more to do with others' responses (or lack thereof) to me shooting with the X-Pro1. This is even a bigger deal for me than the actual size of the camera. In particular, I've taken it to a few concerts recently and have shot from my seat with excellent results (see here, here, and here). My guess is that an usher would have stopped me if it was my D90 because it looks "too professional." 
  • Manual controls. Selecting shutter speed with a dial? Check. Setting the aperture by turning a ring on the lens? Check. A dial for exposure compensation? Check. I love the old-school controls.
  • Adapted lenses. I dig that I can use my Nikon lenses with it. In particular, I figured that my 10.5mm fisheye would be really useful; the 135mm f/2 is surprisingly good too. I like manual focusing; if Fuji implements focus peaking or some other way of confirming focus, the X-system will be awesome.
  • The optical viewfinder. I love the OVF, especially with the 35mm lens, because you can see outside of the framelines to get a better sense of the scene. As much as I love the OVF, the electronic viewfinder is growing on me, having used it a lot recently with the 60mm lens and adapted Nikon 135mm.

Things the Nikon still does better:

  1. Long telephoto lenses. I have the Nikon 70-300mm lens; I don't use it much, but it's nice to have that flexibility when the situation calls for it. The forthcoming Fuji 55-200mm should cover this, so disadvantage #1 will been moot soon. And a ~135mm fast prime would have me opening my wallet in a heartbeat.
  2. A super-wide zoom. My favorite lens on my Nikon system (especially for travel) is the Tokina 11-16mm. With the Fuji platform, the only lens in that range is the lauded 14mm 2.8. It's apparently a spectacular lens, but is it wide enough? I do shoot the Tokina at 11mm quite a bit; but also at 16mm (about 75% of my shots with that lens are at one end or the other). There's also a 12mm lens coming from Zeiss soon; maybe that will suit me? Both the 12mm and 14mm lenses are pricy too. If it's optically excellent, the 10-24mm that's coming at the end of the year probably is the best fit for me (even though it's likely to be expensive too. But that means waiting! Basically, overcoming disadvantage #2 just requires a bit of patience or committing to either the Zeiss 12mm or Fuji 14mm. Update: Decided to go with the Fuji 14mm, and will think about the 10-24mm zoom when it comes out...
  3. Macro. Yes, the Fuji 60mm does allow close focusing, but it's not as long as other macro lenses (like my Nikon 105mm). And it's EVF only. Then again, see the argument about size and weight above. The Nikon 105mm micro is not a small lens. And if I want to manually focus, I can use the Nikon 105mm lens with the Fuji with an adapter.
  4. Speed. Quibbles #1 and #2 above are all well on their way towards being addressed with the growth in the number of lenses available. The one place (at least for me) where Fuji lags behind SLR systems if in shooting fast-action sports. I don't do a lot of this, but as a cycling fan, I like to shoot bike races when I can (see here and here).

What's next: 

  • Zooms: I have the 55-200mm lens on preorder (update: now arrived); my fingers are crossed that it will arrive before we leave for vacation, although right now I have it shipping to my parents' house so I can get it while I'm there. And I really want the upcoming 10-24mm offering, but that's not due until the end of 2013 and sits behind a couple of other lenses in Fuji's "roadmap." As much as the 18-55 "kit" lens is appealing, I'll probably hold off on that one. Update: This last sentence turned out to be untrue.
  • I'm trying hard to resist the 14mm lens, even though it get rave reviews. Ditto with the promising Zeiss 12mm, although if the distortion is limited with this one, it would be tempting. Update: Resistance is futile. The 14mm is on its way...
  • The 56mm 1.2 is interesting. I've been using the 60mm macro for shooting a concerts, but the two extra stops of the yet-to-be-released 56mm lens is attractive. Update: It is great!
  • There are 23mm and 27mm lenses on the Fuji roadmap but at this point I'm less interested in those (at least while I have the x100). Update (12/7/13): Found a great deal on the 27mm pancake lens, so that's on the way...
  • I'm thankful that Apple is now supporting RAW files from the X-Pro1!

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>