A year with Fuji X-series...

January 22, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
My first camera was a Canon AF 35F rangefinder. I got it from my parents as a present some 30 years ago (damn, I’m getting old). A nice camera for taking snapshots of friends and preserving holiday memories. It ended up in the Adriatic sea after a drunken bar brawl when it slipped of my shoulder as I fed the fish in the harbor with my stomach content.
But the shutter bug got me and when I needed a semi-professional SLR for my first year in art school, I got a Minolta X700. The first photo I ever sold was shot with that camera during a concert. I kept upgrading to better (Minolta) camera’s and lenses.
I liked the ergonomics of the Minolta camera’s and the Dynax 7 is still one of the best camera’s I ever had. My first digital camera was a Dynax7D.
My Fujifilm X-E1 and X-PRO1 (grips by ishoot, tripod: Benro, backpack: National Geographic)(grips by ishoot, tripod: Benro, backpack: National Geographic) When Minolta closed down it’s camera department and sold all patents to Sony I had a big collection of Minolta lenses. So I switched to a Sony A700 on which all my old lenses worked perfect. The last six years I shot mostly with a Sony A900, 24.6-megapixel full frame camera. Big beautifull files with lots of detail and great color rendition. Combined with a Carl Zeiss 16-35mm f2.8 it was my 24/7 choice for photography. Until a year ago…  
Shooting hours and hours with the heavy A900-Zeis combination took its toll on my wrist and hand. The camera plus lens weighs a hefty 2.8 kg!
 
I needed something lighter for reportage and street photography. Plus the A900 has a really loud shutter, you cannot take a picture unnoticed. A couple days before a trip to New York, I found a great deal on a Fujifilm X100. The reviews I read were all full of hallelujah's and praise. Some even called it a poor man’s Leica. The fixed 35mm lens was something to get used to, since I mostly shoot with (extreme) wide angle lenses. But from day one on the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan, I was in love. In got my love for photography back and I fell in love with Fuji for producing such a great, almost silent camera.
The image quality was amazing, the strait out of camera jpg’s were sharp with beautiful colors. And in black and white, the images really shined. Back home I started experimenting with a Hoya R72 infrared filter on the camera and the results were unbelievable. 
If this little camera was so amazing, what would a X-E1 be like? I needed to have one ;-)
 
I ordered one at a local camera store that made me a good deal. When I found a second hand 18mm and Samyang fisheye lens online, it was a no-brainer. 
The X-E1 performs great in low light situations with almost no noise up to 3200 ISO. It’s jpg’s and RAW 16 megapixels files are superb!
The trusty A900 stayed home more often and it didn’t see a concert in a year. During an assignment in the Blues Delta of the Mississippi, I shot mostly with the Fuji’s. The Sony only got out of my camera bag when I needed an ultra wide of the bigger megapixels files. My wrist thanked me for it. Last month I found a second hand X-PRO1 for a price I couldn’t resist. It is a big bigger and heavier than my X-E1, but it handles better. And it is still a feather weight compared to my old A900 (2.8 kg vs 0.7 kg!).
Do I miss something when I’m out with my Fuji’s? Yes! A good, fast ultra wide angle lens would be great. And sometimes I miss the DOF of the full frame A900. But the quality of the Fuji lenses is as good as my big, heavy and very expensive Zeiss. The Fuji lenses are not cheap, but I don’t have to rob a bank to expand my collection. 
Can’t wait for the new 10-24mm... 

Fujifilm X100 & X-PRO1 with my favorite guitar, a Fender Telecaster.

 
 
 
 

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