Fujifilm X-Pro1

When Fujifilm released the X100 in 2010, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. The hybrid viewfinder, the retro look, terrific 23mm lens. It seemed perfect. Especially as a camera to take everywhere. Unfortunately the wake-up time of the camera is dreadful, but otherwise it is a terrific little extra camera. However… the fixed 23mm lens is a bit too limiting as I also like wide-angle photos and a bit of tele. So my DSLR’s were far from obsolete.

I use my Canon EOS 5D mkII and EOS 1D mkIII mainly for photography, but as I mentioned the Fujifilm X100 is a bit too limiting with the fixed lens. So on vacation to Rome in 2011 I also took the EOS 5D with a range of lenses. Too heavy, but I like taking photos and hate to not have that one lens on me.

A year later I visited New York. Took the X100, but also the EOS 5D. And with a festival in Central Park I even dragged the EF 70-200 F2.8 with me. Everywhere! together with a 16-35 and a 24-70. And a 15mm for panorama’s. So I also dragged a tripod with me.

Short citytrip to Cracow? Canon with lenses again. With the whole family to Gran Canaria? Canon again. This year I too the whole set with me to Paris. The Fujifilm is in there constantly too, but has a few quirks. Slow startup/wake up being the worst.

However after I returned from Paris, I decided I had had enough. The Canon set is perfect for concerts, but dreadfully heavy for travel and hiding your face behind a huge camera just feels weird. The Fujifilm felt great, it just needed to react quicker and have a few more lens-options.

And I seriously wanted something other then a DSLR. I started to lose enthusiasm in photography with the DSLR system. Too much routine and adding a new box to my Canon lenses wouldn’t do me any good. More and more brands are starting to sell mirrorless cameras, however for my taste Canon and Nikon -both really late in the game- screwed up completely. Unattractive looking cameras, leaning too heavily on their DLSR experience. Samsung is not even going to be considered. I love a good looking camera. It makes me want to pick it up and use it. That meant either an Olympus OM-D5 or the Fujifilm X-Pro1. My desire for a good (optical) viewfinder and blogs by photographers such as Zack Arias tipped the scale in favor of the the X-Pro1.

A bit of clever eBay shopping got me the 18-55mm zoom lens though and so not much later, through another good eBay deal, I had the actual Fujifilm X-Pro-1.

I bought a Voigtlander 50mm manual focus lens to go with it and a little later I got the 35mm f/1.4 Fujifilm lens. All in all it is indeed quite an investment, but the set is perfect to get me started.

Although I do not intend to use the camera for concert photography a lot, it is a terrific kit as long as the bands aren’t too wild and quiet operation makes it perfect for those very quiet, intimate gigs.

But the main reason I wanted this camera is for vacations and street photography. It’s a light system and going to England for a week and a week Italy a few days later made this a perfect test. The Canon only came with me to Italy for 360 degree panorama photos, for the nearly everything was shot with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and the X100 and I love it. I very rarely need 200mm zoom, the 18-55mm lens is a great lens, but the 35mm is where the set shines. A truly fantastic lens, quick, fast AF and great results. Love it.

So for vacations the X-Pro1 easily is the main camera now. It’s not too noticeable, can be use with that gorgeous hybrid viewfinder or using the rear screen, the set of lenses works very nicely and I can carry the whole set all day long without feeling the weight. I love the images that come out of it, the black&white photos take only a little work and most importantly: shooting with the camera is a joy and makes me want to try lots and lots of different kinds of photography. I’m feeling a desire to get creative again and that’s the main thing: love what you do!

So keep your eyes peeled for more photos. The website has been refreshed and begs or new content :)