Chris Wormald – A Photographer's travel blog.

Fuji X-Pro2 (one year on)

All images and text copyright of Chris Wormald and are not to be used without a fee being paid and written permission granted.

 

A few 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 and technology has moved on and my question has been answered. Full frame is very good, but the kit is heavy and for me (at 69) a lighter outfit is desirable.

Uk, London, Burlington Arcade, hats&reflection1

Apparel from another age, in 21st century London.

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, yes it 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 and the X-T20. 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.

Now (April 2017) there is another major firmware update (version 3) I will let you know if I find any issues.

France, Normandy, Putanges, River Orne, 2016autumn-reflections1

October meditation by the Orne.        23mm f1.4  firmware version 2.00

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, leaf, granite1

Old leaf on Granite,   April 2017,  35mm f2,  firmware version 3

 

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, poppyhead1b&w

Poppy Seed Head,  May 2017,     50mm ACROS

 

France, Normandy, StAubert, lilly,b&w3

Sweet line – lily.   June 2017     ACROS, 50mm MCEX tube.

 

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.)

France, Normandy, Pont d'Ouilly, River Orne, 2016autumn-reflecti

October meditation by the Orne.    60mm firmware version 2.00

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, tulip4

Open tulip,    50mm, firmware version 3.00

My current full outfit is the X-PRO 2 body, the XT20 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 have decided to sell the 55-200 zoom.

Here is a link to my X-T20 page –

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/fuji-x-t20/

As part of my rationalisation, the two bodies and the four lenses and small accessories, (not the zoom) fit in a new Domke F803 bag that easily fits in a pannier on my bike and is not too heavy on its shoulder strap.

France, Normandy, Breel, Gorges de al Rouvre, autumn reflection2

November meditation by the River Rouvre.

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.

France, Normandy, StAubert, FrostedLeaves2,X-Pro2

Frosted Fennel, January 6th, St. Aubert   – 60mm

France, Normandy, Ice, reflection1

Icy reflection in the water butts – January   60mm

Uk, Cornwall, Mylor Harbour, boats&church, morning1

Misty February morning reflections, Mylor Harbour, Cornwall.

Uk, Cornwall, Mylor Harbour, oyster punts, misty morning2

Oyster Punts at Mylor Harbour

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.

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, tulip,

Tulip  March 2017     50mm

France, Normandy, Putanges, RedGateShadow1

Red Gate Shadow, March, Putanges, Normandy

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, tulip petals, close1

Tulip petals, close       50mm + MCEX-16 tube

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!

France, Normandy, Angers, MaisondeChapelain

Maison de Chapelain, Angers, France.

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.

Uk, London,Thames, monochrome,redfilter1

River Thames with evening clouds.  ACROS + Red

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!

France, Normandy, Lassay-les-chateaux-lakeview2b&w

Lassay les Chateaux    ACROS +Red  toned in Lightroom

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.

France, Normandy, Gorges de la Rouvre, smooth river

Smoothly flows the Rouvre, Gorges de la Rouvre, Normandy.

France, Normandy, StAubert, Dahlia1b&w

Japanese Dahlia  Sept 2016  60mm

France, Normandy, Angers, La Pointe, River Loire1

Summer tranquillity on La Loire after the confluence with Le Maine, near Angers, France.

France, Normandy, St Aubert, Lupin, close1

Study in Pink,  St Aubert.     60mm

 

France, Brittany, Pont Aven, boat stern, high tide1

A hansom transom, Pont Aven, Brittany.   June 2017

The above from a new page shot exclusively on the X Pro 2.

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/france-brittany-2017/

natform-elderflowers-immature1b&w

Immature Elder flowers, June 2016.   35mm F2

natform-orange poppy1

Orange Poppy, St. Aubert  June 2016    60mm

France, Normandy, Pontd'Ouilly, RiverOrne, stormy1b&w

Sudden April Showers, River Orne, near Pont d’Ouilly.   ACROS+red

 

France, Normandy, Orne Valley, ancient mill2017

Ancient mill, Orne Valley, Normandy.   November 2017.      23mm

 

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.

UK, Devon, Dartington Hall from Gardens, spring1

Dartington Hall from the gardens in Spring.

France, Normandy, Putanges, ruined barn1b&w

Ruined barn, near Putanges, Normandy.   split-toned in Lightroom6

France, Normandy, Lassay-les-chateaux-lakeview1

Lassay les Chateaux, Normandy

 

Uk, Devon, Topsham, River Clyst&BridgeInn,2017

The River Clyst and Bridge Inn, Topsham, Devon

 

France, Normandy, Honfleur, Quai St. Catherine, summer1

Quai St. Catherine, Honfleur, Normandy, France

France, Normandy, Cerisi Belle Etoile, Rose2

Cerisy Belle Etoile, Normandy – beautiful rose  60mm

France, Normandy, Cerisi Belle Etoile, Rose3

Cerisy Belle Etoile  – use the EVF with the 60mm

France, Brittany, St. Jacut de la Mer, dawn2

Sunrise, St. Jacut de la Mer, Brittany.

France, Brittany, Dinan, colourful shop1

Colourful Dinan. Rue du Petit Fort. 

Below is a link to a new page shot using the X-Pro2 –

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/mayenne-laval-and-the-river/

France, Normandy, Mayenne, chateau&river2

The Chateau from the bridge, Mayenne, Normandy

UK, Warwick, FolkFestival2016, MollyDancers1

Molly Dancers (Gog Magog), Warwick Folk Festival 2016

Another new page shot using the X-Pro2

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/warwick-and-the-folk-festival-2016/

UK, Warwick, FolkFestival2016, Mummers1

Mummers, Warwick Folk Festival 2016

France, Normandy, Le Mans, MedievalCity3

Plantagenet City, Le Mans, Normandy.

Here is a link to another new page shot on the X-Pro2

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/plantagenet-city/

And another about Angers and the rivers –

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/3425-2/

France, Normandy, La Suze sur Sarthe,  River&sky3

River and Sky, La Suze sur Sarthe, Normandy.

France, Brittany, Dournenez, harbour1

Douarnenez, Brittany,

France, Brittany, Douarnenez, harbour, LUN 11, trading ketch5

Unloading zero carbon rum, Douarnenez.

Look at a new page shot with the X-Pro2

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/douarnenez-brittany/

The Fuji X-Pro2 is my work-horse and a delight to use.

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