Fuji La: Or in the words of Ron Burgundy “That escalated quickly.”

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Update: After this Fuji bender and another one in 2019 I left Fuji because reasons. Would not change a thing written below. True then as it is now. My priorities shifted however. An excellent system.

More from the New Camera To Me file.

Hello friends. We are gathered here today to catalog my latest system churn adventures. Not that long ago I was all happy with my gear set up and had never owned a Fuji. As detailed here and here that changed when I fell for an old beauty of a rangefinder fixed lens Fujica medium format film camera that led me to search for a digital spiritual descendant.

At 8 shots a roll I figured the digital camera might drain my account in one shot as opposed to bleeding it dry one roll at a time. What happened? Why am I writing this? Glad you asked. Without realizing it a few things happened:

  • Loved the out of camera JPEGs so much that I found I started using Lightroom as a photo importing tool more than as an editor. Days would go by without touching up an image when it used to be a daily chore. Was not planned. It just kind of happened.
  • Was amazed at the image quality and sharpness. Shots were simply sharp. No post sharpening necessary.
  • While not blazing fast when it did hit focus was so solid that I was no longer taking multiple safety shots, fearing disappointment due to lost moments when downloading files, as a result of more hit and miss focusing.
  • I was enjoying shooting more. While my current system was technically excellent I had more fun with Fuji.
  • Again unplanned, but I realized that, with the exception of a shoot where I needed wanted 2 bodies to shoot with complimentary lenses, my other system had not left the house since I obtained the new system. That new camera honeymoon that typically only lasted a couple of days did not wear off.

The result? What started as one new body intended to replace my lower rung DSLR with a portable alternative for daily use turned in to the only camera system I wanted to use. What to do? I found myself trolling KEH.com and the used departments for Adorama.com and BHPhtotoVideo.com looking for good deals on additional gear.

Fuji released great new cameras (X-T2 of particular interest to me) as of recent, so should I jump in for the new, latest and greatest? Nope. A great option for those whose budgets match their ambitions, but when a new version of an already good camera comes out my first question, like with the A7 a while back, is “What do you want for the old one, the X-T1?” What few features I wanted to add to the X-Pro1 the X-T1 had (namely phase detect and functioning constant AF for constant shooting). Well for new quite a bit since it is still for sale. So then my next question is, “How much for a used one?” Turns out not a lot. Now I had long followed Fuji and had a great respect for their X cameras, but now seemed the time to score a couple of earlier models. Why am I not concerned with buying older Fuji’s? Well:

  • Fuji is fantastic about not just releasing firmware fixes, but adding great performance improvements (like greatly improved focus speed on the X-Pro1 and X-T1) and even brand new features (like focus peaking on the X-Pro1 and e-shutter up to 1/32,000s on the X-T1).
  • I own and still purchase decades old film camera so a few years does not concern me at all. Plus cameras are usually built like tanks and photography people tend to take great care of their gear.

Result? I bought mid-range zooms that perform well above their specs and price point. While Fuji has great constant aperture zooms I chose not to go that route due to cost and size, and weight. I want all essentials to fit in a reasonably sized camera bag again.

Flash? Need a flash. Fuji has a few options, but on the advice of Alex from Southeastern Camera I purchased a mighty mini Nissin i40 flash that pairs well with the light weight and small size of the cameras.

Welp. I could say more and may add some detail later, but for now I just want to say that you should do yourself a favor and give Fuji a spin if you have not already. Great new gear and great older gear also. Not waxing poetic about magic and pixie dust, but the fact that these cameras make photography a joy and produce wonderful results effortlessly is undeniable. For now I will let the photos speak for themselves. Ongoing gallery from  both the X-T1 and X-Pro1 will be here and below are some sample shots, most of which are out of camera JPEGS or have simply been cropped.

Happy shooting.


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