All images and text copyright of Chris Wormald and are not to be used without a fee being paid and written permission granted.
One and a half years ago, I asked myself this question. If I sold my full frame Canon 5d2 and my L series lenses, would that mean am no longer a “serious” photographer? Time has moved on and my question has been answered.
During the last four years of my ownership, I used the Canon less and less and my series of Fuji cameras more and more. The Canon outfit seemed to get heavier every year and I was inclined to leave it at home. The Canon outfit was heavy but the decision to sell it was difficult.
My ongoing Fuji infatuation started with the X100 in 2011, then the XE1, the XE2, XT10 and most recently, the X-PRO2. The X-PRO2 solved my dilemma around exiting full frame. Now I do not regret selling the Canon for an instant.
There are pages on this blog full of the thoughts and images from my earlier Fuji cameras, so please have a look at the page list on the right hand side if you are interested.
Oct 6th 2016 – On time to the day, the new firmware version (version 2) has been released for the X-PRO2, with improvements to the auto-focus etc. The new XT2 body, replaces the XT1. and has the same sensor as the X-Pro2.
Don’t forget to download and install the new firmware for the lenses after you have done the upgrade for the body.
(Not all the lenses have new firmware (to do with the new parallax correction algorithm for the optical finder). My lenses affected were the 14mm, 23mm f1.4 and the 60mm macro. The 35mm f2 and the 55-200mm zoom seemed not to need a firmware upgrade.)
My full outfit case now contains the X-PRO 2 body, the XT10 body, the 14mm f2.8, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f2, 50mm f2 and a 55-200mm zoom, which has had very little use so far. I am not a long lens photographer. I bought the 55-200mm because I had a long zoom for the Canon and thought that 60mm should not be the longest lens in my bag. (I have since loaned the XE2 body, the 18-55mm midrange zoom, and the 60mm macro to my son – the 18-55mm lens is very good indeed and for quite some time, was my only Fuji optic).
I take a small Crumpler bag that holds the X-PRO2 body and three lenses when on my bike or walking locally.
The X-PRO body is very robust and well made, but does take a bit of getting used to. The optical finder (OVF) is lovely for the shorter focal lengths – the 14mm and the 23mm especially, which correspond to 21mm and 35mm in full frame 35mm camera terms. Press the leaver on the front of the body and hold for a second and the optical finder magnifies to give a full frame view, press it again and a bright-line frame appears giving the view for the focal length that is on the camera. I have already stated that I love the 23mm f1.4, on the XT10 page. Had the 23mm f2 lens been available when I bought the 23mm f1.4, I would have chosen the f2 because the f1.4 intrudes more into the optical finder.
The shots below are the first using the 50mm f2 lens, I am hopeful for some nice images using this lens including some very close shots, using the extension tube. The 50mm does not intrude into the optical finder, unlike the 60mm macro with its large lens hood.
I have found it helpful to look at the last image taken regularly when using the OVF to make sure that the mode is set to what you want, for example the ACROS b&w setting. The OVF does not change to b&w as the EVF does. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are shooting Velvia when Mr Fuji knows he is shooting b&w!
For monochrome lovers, the X-PRO2 seems akin to a digital version of a Leica M6 with a Summicron (loaded with FP4) with a yellow or red filter on the lens changeable by just touching a button. The monochrome possibilities are wonderful using the ACROS film simulation (almost the first thing I used when having had the camera for a few hours, I took some images at Dartington that have an almost infra red tonality). You can still tone or split-tone in Lightroom or PS CS+ afterwards.
Perhaps in a firmware update Fuji can program in an orange filter as well as the red, yellow and green. Maybe other photographers as old as I am, found an orange filter very useful; stronger than a yellow and not as extreme as a red. I remember that FP4 developed in Acufine, rendered lovely skies with the orange filter (and the correct exposure)!
The body can instantly pretend to be loaded with Velvia, Provia Astia, or a choice of other films (as preset emulations) changeable at the touch of the left hand portion of the selector button group on the rear of the camera. That would have been very difficult to do with a real M6!
I shall not use the long zoom on the X-PRO as it pairs up with the XT10 so well. The image viewed in the optical finder would be very small on the X-PRO. I believe in playing to a camera’s strengths. Having said that another touch of the lever on the front of the X-PRO, switches to the EVF which is very sharp. Even the 60mm lens frame is small in the optical finder, but the image in EVF is crisp and fast, so it is obvious which finder to use.
Auto and manual focus on the X-PRO2 is different too. Set the camera to auto-focus and the selection of points or groups of points of focus is easy. Where the points are in the frame is positioned by a tiny joy-stick on the rear of the camera controlled by your thumb making for much faster selection than any of the Fuji cameras I have owned. Manual focus is helped by a small magnified square at the bottom right of the frame. This can be customised – digital split image or peak highlight. Very nice!
So here are some recent shots taken on the X-Pro2 – with the earlier firmware and some with the latest.
The X-PRO2 is going to change my workflow, I am shooting the largest JPEGs and using them straight out of the camera – my vow to only shoot RAW files and process them in Lightroom and CS4 seems to have gone out of the window. All the images on this page are out of the camera. It’s bizarre how things change. However I still shoot RAW on the XT10.
Warning — buy a spare battery – or two.
Below is a link to a new page shot using the X-Pro2 –
Another new page shot using the X-Pro2
Here is a link to another new page shot on the X-Pro2
And another about Angers and the rivers –
Look at a new page shot with the X-Pro2
The Fuji X-Pro2 is my work-horse and a delight to use.