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My Current Camera Crush


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Well this is all theoretical of course but after dedicating myself to shooting film in recent years, I’ve been thinking I’d like to have a digital camera.

Requirements are as follows

 

Top quality camera & lens

Lenses available in prime

Simple controls

Robust build quality

Weather sealed

 

While this seems to point directly to Leica (Q2, hello!), I think I’ve come across an alternative: the Fuji X Pro 1.

 

I have yet to actually get my hands on one to really check it out up close & personal, but rumors point to simplistic controls and ease of accessibility of functions?

 

So talk me into or out of this. And NO I don’t really want or need the latest & greatest (IOW no X Pro 3)

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I’m with you RR, the XPro series have an almost Leica feel. The direct optical finder is what first attracted my attention. I got one of the first X-100 cameras when they came out and it soon became my daily carry. Before that it had been an M4 or a Barnack. If the XPro had been available would probably have gotten it instead. So far I’ve stayed with X-100 cameras after the original, got an S and presently a V. They’ve gotten progressively more complex and have had to dumb things down to make them useable. Still have all my Leica gear plus a lot of others so probably won’t be in a hurry to get an XPro any time soon.

 

I wouldn’t rule out an XPro 2 if one came at a good price, but feel they messed up the finder on the 3. The wider finder feature was dropped making it not so good for wide angle lenses.

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I just bought a used XP1 and a few lenses for a price I couldn't refuse. Operationally it's nearly identical to my XE1. Very sloooow, a little better with the 23mm. It was in mint condition but within a very shirt time the rear screen is covered in a mottled pattern, doesn't effect usability, but ugly. The faux rangefinder is useless to me. I used the camera this morning with a 27mm. You may need a diopter, I had one (1.0) from an old Nikon that is close to what I need. That's why we save that old stuff.
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I am not a fan of my 1st gen Fujis. They are OK for touristy happy snapping in broadest daylight, but as soon as it gets a little dim, their AF becomes vexing. Adapting lenses seems to require either lots of light or patience, static subjects and a tripod too, due to EVF lag. OTOH I am really impressed by the SOOC JPEGs.

Unable to comment on "robust top quality", I haven't abused them enough.

Simple controls? Maybe? But better sit down and do the basic drill for some specific muscle memory and a rough idea of the menu's offerings.

Fuji is a quite appealing system. But since you asked for advice:

  • Don't(!) take 1st gen bodies serious.

2nd & 3rd gen had a lot of room for AF performance improvements. IDK if stuff is "there" yet, but if you are going to spend on glass, try to get a somewhat capable body for it.

Dunno why one should become an X-pro fan. Is going digital to nail a subject, that stumbles into our OVF, hopefully at the zone focused distance, really THAT appealing? I like Rangefinders more than that. I also believe that high res EVFs must be nice to have. I 'd rather have IBIS than such a hybrid finder.

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I am not a fan of my 1st gen Fujis. They are OK for touristy happy snapping in broadest daylight, but as soon as it gets a little dim, their AF becomes vexing. Adapting lenses seems to require either lots of light or patience, static subjects and a tripod too, due to EVF lag. OTOH I am really impressed by the SOOC JPEGs.

Unable to comment on "robust top quality", I haven't abused them enough.

Simple controls? Maybe? But better sit down and do the basic drill for some specific muscle memory and a rough idea of the menu's offerings.

Fuji is a quite appealing system. But since you asked for advice:

  • Don't(!) take 1st gen bodies serious.

2nd & 3rd gen had a lot of room for AF performance improvements. IDK if stuff is "there" yet, but if you are going to spend on glass, try to get a somewhat capable body for it.

Dunno why one should become an X-pro fan. Is going digital to nail a subject, that stumbles into our OVF, hopefully at the zone focused distance, really THAT appealing? I like Rangefinders more than that. I also believe that high res EVFs must be nice to have. I 'd rather have IBIS than such a hybrid finder.

 

I guess I am an old dog or dinosaur being 78, but I like the X-Pro1 and XE-1 with a few Fuji lenses and adapters for Minolta MD, Robot , Leica SM (Canon) and others. I bought the X-Pro1 in not working condition for $50 and liked its feel, so had in repaired (new shutter and one other board) then got an XE-1 with "problems", this I banged hard and it has worked ever since. The 16MP images are magical. To each his own as they say.

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I am not sure I would say Fuji qualifies as especially robust or simple, but they are as close to Leica as you can get without handing over the big bills.

I have bought a used X100f for many of the same reasons you line up, and I did spend some time dumbing it down to the level I wanted - and now I never touch the menus unless I need to format the card.

I like it a lot, but it shares the same build quality as most digital cameras - not nearly as impressive as Leica.

I also experienced the camera acting up, to the point were it was unusable, and I was afraid the repair cost would be higher than the value of the camera.

However, even though I wasn't the original owner, didn't have the original receipt and the camera was more than 4 years old, Fuji EU repaired it for free! - As in totally free, they didn't even charge for the express return currier delivery - quite impressive.

The main logic board had to be replaced so not a trivial or inexpensive matter had they charged me.

I have handled both the Pro 1 and Pro 2. While Pro 1 is useable, it does seem to show its age in comparison to the Pro 2 and what we have come to expect from a digital cameras in general.

I would personally go for the Pro 2 for the improved ISO performance and more snappy AF.

 

Edited by NHSN
Niels
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Richotrader

On 10/2/2022 at 9:20 AM, Ricochetrider said:

Well this is all theoretical of course but after dedicating myself to shooting film in recent years, I’ve been thinking I’d like to have a digital camera.

Requirements are as follows

 

Top quality camera & lens

Lenses available in prime

Simple controls

Robust build quality

Weather sealed

 

While this seems to point directly to Leica (Q2, hello!), I think I’ve come across an alternative: the Fuji X Pro 1.

 

I have yet to actually get my hands on one to really check it out up close & personal, but rumors point to simplistic controls and ease of accessibility of functions?

 

So talk me into or out of this. And NO I don’t really want or need the latest & greatest (IOW no X Pro 3)

I would recommend the X-Pro 2over the one. Better IQ, weather sealed with weather sealed lenses.  Much faster autofocus than X-Pro1.  Great, fast and relatively affordable primes.  I've been using it since 2016 (X-Pro 2).  Also inexpensive adaptors works very well with your Leica lenses.

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7 hours ago, httpwww.photo.netbarry said:




Richotrader

I would recommend the X-Pro 2over the one. Better IQ, weather sealed with weather sealed lenses.  Much faster autofocus than X-Pro1.  Great, fast and relatively affordable primes.  I've been using it since 2016 (X-Pro 2).  Also inexpensive adaptors works very well with your Leica lenses.

Thanks Barry, copy you man. The 2 has weather sealing as well -which I shoot outdoors most often so that’s a plus for sure 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello everyone.

Just wanted to follow up and say I just purchased a Fuji X Pro 2, with 2 lenses- an XF 35mm f/2 & a n XF 16mm f/2,8 WR for less that the cost of the camera body from new. 
 

The camera has some extras like soft release button & some sort of thumb grip? And comes with the box, original charger + aftermarket charger, 2 batteries. The lenses don’t have their boxes but do have front & rear caps plus sun shade/hoods. 
 

woo hoo. 

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16 hours ago, Ricochetrider said:

Hello everyone.

Just wanted to follow up and say I just purchased a Fuji X Pro 2, with 2 lenses- an XF 35mm f/2 & a n XF 16mm f/2,8 WR for less that the cost of the camera body from new. 
 

The camera has some extras like soft release button & some sort of thumb grip? And comes with the box, original charger + aftermarket charger, 2 batteries. The lenses don’t have their boxes but do have front & rear caps plus sun shade/hoods. 
 

woo hoo. 

Hey!! Sounds great. Can't wait to hear what you think about it 🙂

Niels
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16 minutes ago, NHSN said:

Hey!! Sounds great. Can't wait to hear what you think about it 🙂

Honestly I’m a little nervous about having to deal with the complexity of a modern camera… hopefully It’ll be reasonably easy to shoot manually, which is my real goal for this outfit. 

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It took me a month (or maybe 2) to be happy with my X100f setup, and I haven’t touched it since.

Fuji put some thoughts into the film simulations - you could check them out for a start.

Mine is set up as a “monochrome” camera with a tweaked Acros profile.

Edited by NHSN
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Niels
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On 10/25/2022 at 2:45 PM, Ricochetrider said:

Hello everyone.

Just wanted to follow up and say I just purchased a Fuji X Pro 2, with 2 lenses- an XF 35mm f/2 & a n XF 16mm f/2,8 WR for less that the cost of the camera body from new. 
 

The camera has some extras like soft release button & some sort of thumb grip? And comes with the box, original charger + aftermarket charger, 2 batteries. The lenses don’t have their boxes but do have front & rear caps plus sun shade/hoods. 
 

woo hoo. 

Look forward to your impressions. I think you'll love it.

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Well the camera is IN. I had it out today and while I managed to get it into Manual mode, I had some issues all of which I'm sure can be sorted in the menus. Issues were,

1: a weird color cast and super annoting vignetting. Pretty sure the color was a film-sim thing, and I managed to find "filters" in a direct menu, where I successfully disabled the vignetting- although couldnt seem to disable all filters completely!

2: I had what I THOUGHT were frame lines appearing in the viewfinder, but they clearly didnt always match what the camera was seeing. I had chosen "Normal + RAW" in an apect ratio of 3:2, and tho some of the shots seemed to pretty cloely match the "frame lines", others were off or way off.  (see "Okechi Hair Salon"

3: got home and put the SD card in my  (Mac) desktop to discover the camera had shot at least 3 of each photo I shot. This even tho I had (thought) I set the camera to "single photo" somewhere in the menu.  

 

Admittedly these arent too big a deal, so once I study on teh menus and settings for a while, I feel certain I can get it all sorted. I'm really not into "filters" (incl film simulations). I just want 100% natural  color in my photos. I would never choose to shoot vignetted photos, that kind of thing one may always choose to add later if desired.

 

Anyway, here are some shots from today, most of which I took in our nearby captiol city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. The first 2 are from inside our house, pretty sure the camera was set to aperture or shutter priority- and everything was pretty much as I would like it. Once I set it to Manual tho, all heck broke loose! LOL I did get it somewhat figured out but a deeper dive into the camera is in order! 

Please feel free to comment and/or critique. Any insider tips into the menus of the X Pro 2 would be greatly appreciated. As with all digital cameras these days, there are WAY too many switches, buttons, and levers. 

 

  

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11 hours ago, Ricochetrider said:

I just want 100% natural  color in my photos.

That does not exist, that is purely subjective and that is why the film simulations may come as a helping hand. For example, did you think Velvia, Provia or whatever looked natural? You don't have to add fake grain or other film like properties if you don't want to.
It is just a color profile you may find familiar and pleasing.
You can't take photos with a digital camera without some sort of settings that would constitute a color profile.

It also sounds to me that you need to do a factory reset of the settings. Vignetting doesn't come by itself, so it is probably inherited from the previous owner - and who knows what else you are inheriting.

While you are at it, check if you have the latest firmware.

Going manual with a digital camera is actually difficult - you may need to disable auto noise reduction, automatic improvement of dynamic range etc. It is not just ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed.
You can do it, but IMO it is a becomes a much smoother shooting experience if you leave a couple of things on A. I normally only keep the aperture in manual, and then use the +/- compensation to adjust exposure - that works for me.

Edited by NHSN
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Niels
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FWIW, I think the photos look pretty good, even if they are not quire what you were expecting. Agree about the factory reset. As a film camera shooter I was always using M, with digital I am 90% of the time on A. I think this is just the way it works best, using exposure compensation as required.

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Robin Smith
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Thanks Robin,

Just those few pix got tinted weirldy and once I figured that out, things got good (again). Shooting manual wasnt hard with this camera, I didnt think, but those first two shots in my house are with either shutter or aperture priority, as it was set from the PO, and wow, nothing wrong with that! . 

I've done a reset, but it'll be some days until I can get out with the camera again. Meanwhile I began going thru the manual, something I've never once done before!

ha ha ha.   But I'll use Apeture priority, to give that a try, I think I have to enable that +/- dial function tho? It didnt seem to be working the other day. 

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Congrats on yer new Fuji Rico! I plan to be buried with my X100F, the loveliest camera ever made I think. Exposure compensation only works when the current setting requires the meter, as in Aperture Priority. AP is my always setting, and the E/C dial is a great invention. 

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Film Forever
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Congrats Rick!  Did you set the menu yourself, or shoot it with most of the settings it came with.  Ive come across some hitting something and getting this filters and not knowing how to get out. I figured it out finally.  But s a new toy, you might, if you haven't already, want to go into the set up menu> user settings >Reset and clear the shooting settings.  Then spend about a half hour or soloing through and setting up the camera as you want.  All the pics you've shown look pretty nice.  Those filters give people that "instagram" look 🙂

 

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Hi Barry

I've since done a full reset on the camera, but those first pix (above) were either shot with the OP's settings or me messing around on the fly, first day out. Meantime, I checked firmware on the camera body & lens (XF 35mm f/2 WR in this case) and both are up to date. Had some trouble with the auto focus, missing a couple shots- but as of yesterday I sem to have it sorted- although I need to go "in" to check my settings in the "menus" but yesterday I ,oved the external focus switch to "S" (single point focus?) which seemed to make all the difference. 

I've taken the camera out with me every day so far and have amassed a Zenfolio album with 110 "first" shots. Shooting around in my "world", I've thrown quite a lot at the camera with some success, I think?  If you feel like wading through them, please do. You'll see one of the missed focus shots I've kept - for posterity, I suppose...?

X Pro 2 First Shots

Anyway, so far I like the 35mm focal length but am feeling its limitations, I guess you might say. I also got a 16mm lens, so tho I'm not typically keen on wider angle lenses, my old Olympus EM1 has a 12-40 on it so I've convinced myself to shoot the 16mm to see what it brings to the table. If 35mm basically = 53mm with the crop factor or whatever, the 16 would = what- 25 ish mm? Also, I plan to buy an X to M42 adapter to use my East German Carl Zeiss lenses on the camera. I had thought I might BUY a Jupiter or something, but the CZ "zebra" lenses are pretty awesome in their own right with tons of vintage "character", so why spend the $$$. I like the primes, inexplicably I've convinced myself that the X Pro 2 is a "'replacement"  for (or equivalent of) my film cameras- as such I sorta feel as though the primes are de rigueur? I know, just my warped "world view" at play here, don'r ask, I can't explain it!

 

Here's a fast sample of some of what I've shot. I might get to liking this camera! Of course I'm second-guessing my purchase and wonder if I shoulda "spent up" and sprung for a Q2! Might go rent one and shoot it some just for the heck of it. Honestly, fter getting very comfortable with the simplicity of vintage film cameras, this is a bit much- but not horribly so; the X Pro 2 does have its complications- almost all of which I believe I can safely ignore!

Meanwhile, when it's good it's REALLY good, as seen below (IMO) - AND the bonus is I havent spent 4-5 THOUSAND on it.

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Edited by Ricochetrider
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On 11/4/2022 at 9:04 AM, ericphelps said:

Congrats on yer new Fuji Rico! I plan to be buried with my X100F, the loveliest camera ever made I think. Exposure compensation only works when the current setting requires the meter, as in Aperture Priority. AP is my always setting, and the E/C dial is a great invention. 

Thanks Eric. I've shot quite a lot with the dial set to "A" which I assume is Aperture priority? I've also messed about trying to shoot just manually I think with some success? More experimentaion to come, I'm certain! Meanwhile, you may see some more pix above, and if you feel like going deeper, you can click on my linked Zenfolio album in my reasponse to Barry- of all the stuff I've shot this past 7 days or so since owning this fine camera- I've basically taken it pretty much everywhere so far. 

 

Cheers!

Tom

Edited by Ricochetrider
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Speaking as a Fuji committed fanboy (X100s, X-T20 and X-T30ii) you need to research how to set up and what the controls do. A is for Auto, there are plenty of YouTube vids to point you in the right direction. The pics look good so you are on the right tracks. It's not a crime to use auto settings during the learning stage.  

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6 minutes ago, Gerald Cafferty said:

Speaking as a Fuji committed fanboy (X100s, X-T20 and X-T30ii) you need to research how to set up and what the controls do. A is for Auto, there are plenty of YouTube vids to point you in the right direction. The pics look good so you are on the right tracks. It's not a crime to use auto settings during the learning stage.  

 Aha! Thanks Gerald, I’ll look further into it- I’ve literally just taken the camera everywhere for the last few days- traveling for work etc. plenty of time to shoot, but a lot less time to pore over the manual. 
 

But near as I can tell setting ISO and moving the top dial to any shutter speed (away from “A”, gets one into manual mode? 
 

OK guess I’ll spend the rest of today reading! lol

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