It has been a little over ten months since I became the happy owner of a Fuji X100S. This charming rangefinder-style compact mirrorless remains among the most universally lauded cameras of its generation. Since its release, there has been no shortage of first impression reviews, spec analyses, and pixel-peeping comparisons against cameras within and beyond its class. Instead of adding my voice to that choir, this review falls into the category of experiential reviews, which aren’t quite as numerous. To be clear, photography is not my main source of income, nor even a meaningful one. Photography is my hobby, and I would rather keep it that way than try to force money out of it at the expense of enjoyment. A camera is a difficult thing to review, and only now do I finally feel like I’ve spent enough time using this one to be able to offer my perspective. I won’t waste time telling you what the Fuji X100S looks like—you can see that for yourself at first glance. Instead, I want to talk about my X100S in particular………
Last month I added the superb Fujinon XF56mm f1.2R lens to my camera bag, which is the seventh Fujinon lens I have bought for my X-Series kit. It is also the third lens that covers the short telephoto range, the others being the XF55-200mm f3.5/4.8 zoom and the XF60mm f2.4R macro. This had me wondering if I could sell off one of the lenses or did each lens offer something that meant I could justify hanging on to all three? Well for starters we can ignore the 55-200mm zoom as this lens offers the long telephoto reach I need for my landscapes and wildlife. It is an excellent all round zoom lens that has a place in my camera bag. So that leaves the two prime lenses…….
I couldn’t recommend the 10-24mm more highly to Fujifilm users who appreciate a versatile wide-angle lens for landscapes, architecture and other genres. While certainly bigger and slower than the XF 14mm f/2.8, it is far more versatile and allows for further creativity. The image quality is also nothing short of impressive. The 10-24mm is perfect for many genres, and could easily become a lens that you keep mounted on your camera for various situations, while with the 14mm, I would inevitably feel the need to switch to a longer focal length on certain occasions…….
Needed a machine to always walk with me in my day to day outside the agency, in addition to the iPhone. I’ve tried hundreds of “small” machines and gave me no professional feeling or image quality worthy of investing money. Recently a friend of mine passed me for the new Fuji X-T1 hand and it was love at first sight! The capabilities of small machine are impressive and the image quality it produces is very very good. I will not describe here the characteristics of it because it can see on specialty websites. I leave here some pictures I took these few days since I have….
Four years ago, Fujifilm announced the X100 at Photokina, Germany. Little did they know, that this announcement would change the way photographers looked at Fujifilm for the foreseeable future. The X100 with its high quality fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) prime lens, was quickly becoming the “must have” for a lot of pro and serious amateur photographers. But it wasn’t all wine and roses from the start! The Rangefinder-like camera delivered great image quality, but its unpredictable autofocus quickly became well documented in the photography world. A bit more than a year later, Fujifilm launched the X100S; a major upgrade to the existing X100 in which they gave it a complete new sensor (16.3 X-Trans CMOS II) and a vastly improved autofocus functionality. The X100S quickly became the dream camera for a lot of Street photographers. But could the X100S even be improved?……
One of the perks of being a workshop leader, is that through meeting new participants each year, I get to see an array of assorted camera equipment, from the budget to the seriously expensive. And once in a while, somebody turns up with a camera that I think has a very beautiful look to its images. During my Scottish workshops, I do a daily critique of participants images, so I get to see first hand the differences in colours and tones between different models. For a while, the digital camera that I thought had the most beautiful tones and colours was the Nikon D3X. I won’t pretend to know much about the tech side of any digital camera. I rarely go to websites to look at equipment specs for digital systems as I’m pretty much focussed on my art with the medium I’ve been using for the past twenty odd years (I’m a film-shooter). But it is interesting to see how digital cameras are improving and advancing each year while running my workshops……..
Last weekend at the Fuji International Speedway, where I was working on the Japanese round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, I had the opportunity to see the new Fujinon XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR lens ahead of its release in the UK this November. My thanks to the guys from Fujifilm Japan, who brought one along to the race. Because it was race day I was unable to go out and shoot with the lens, hopefully I will be able to remedy this later this year, but here are my first impressions of this new fast telephoto lens. During my 18 years shooting with Nikon, my favourite lens was the Nikkor 80-200mm f2.8 AF-D that I bought new in 1996. I kept this lens for the entire time I used Nikon both as an enthusiast and professional photographer and I sold it, reluctantly, in May of this year. It is probably the one lens that I miss the most, so when Fujifilm announced a constant f2.8 mid range zoom (76mm-213mm equivalent) I was eager to get my hands on a copy to see what it is like……
There is something that new users need to know about the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 lens – as the X series are not full-frame cameras then the lens is really equivalent to a 21mm lens when it comes to the field of view and should be considered with this in mind. This is not like the Voigtländer 15mm lens in terms of its field of view so it is important you manage your expectations. It remains however an ultra-wide angle lens by any standards and gives a pretty extreme angle of view at 89º. The lens I am using as a benchmark for this review is the Zeiss Biogon T* 2.8/21 for the Contax G2 as that was my stock 21mm lens for years and is outstanding quality. One of the first photographs I took with the Fuji 14mm lens is the one of Tower Bridge (above) which was taken with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera. Click on the images to enlarge (but please remember the sample images are copyright and shouldn’t be used without my permission) ……
Telephoto zoom lenses are very popular because of their versatility and space saving compared to having several prime lenses to cover the same range. I’ve owned some of them in different mounts, so when i switched to Fuji i wanted to cover the maximum range with the minimum lenses. So i bought the 18-55mm and not long after i bought the XF 55-200mm because of it’s attributes (aperture ring, built quality and OIS) and IQ. Sure the XC 50-230mm is smaller and lighter but i wanted the better IQ and built of the XF 55-200mm. I will be talking on how this lens performs in the field as a Nature photography telephoto lens, covering landscape, close-ups and some wildlife. Telephoto zoom lenses in that range are very useful in my photography, a big part of what i photograph is covered by the XF 55-200mm…….
I wanted deeply explore new X100T and compare it to the older models. But plans are one thing and force majeure is another. There were two issues in this case. Instead of promised ten days of testing I had less than four days for it, then I had to return the camera and it traveled to Poland to be introduced at a press conference. And when I came back home from Fujifilm, I found that I lost one SD card with many photos and videos. I know that the test piece no. 119 may differ from the final product, so I don’t do any judgments and my findings relate only to the piece. I am going to focus primarily on comparison with X100S, because this is what most people are interested in these days. I added the old X100 to comparison mainly because this veteran started the whole successful series of X and for some photographers is still the king. So we’ll see …