Opening the box of a new Fujinon lens is an adventure. Every lens has a different set of bells and whistles and, unless you are already familiar with the range you are likely to in for a surprise. From the minimal 27mm pancake to the more complicated 14mm and 23mm lenses with their push-pull switchover from manual to auto focus, these optics demand an open mind. Sometimes, I imagine that the boffins at Fujinon work in hermetically sealed bubbles. Apart from the trademark shiny black-metal surface, their lenses are individualist and, dare I say, often a little eccentric. Leica M lenses, in direct contrast, all have the same basic layout. Everything is in its place, just where the gods intended. Focus ring? Aperture? They are precisely where you left them last time you picked up any M lens……..
Not too long ago, Fujifilm was a company known for mediocre point-and-shoots and some reworked Nikon DSLRs. The camera company we know under the same name today is hardly recognizable by comparison, all thanks to a little camera called the X100. This single product spawned a brand new fleet of Fuji products, changing the direction of the company seemingly overnight. Two years ago, it would have been unthinkable for Fujifilm to jump into the mirrorless camera business. Today? Fujifilm’s X-mount lens system is 15 lenses deep, with a variety of bodies. It might be an oversimplification, but we think it’s completely thanks to the X100. The humble camera that started it all (again) for Fujifilm was based on a simple enough premise. By mixing a DSLR-sized sensor, a unique optical/electronic viewfinder, and a fixed-focal, 23mm f/2 lens, it already had a lot going for it on specs alone. By wrapping the X100 in a drop-dead gorgeous classic rangefinder look, Fujifilm pushed the concept over the top. Even though you could confuse the brand-new X100T (MSRP $1,299.95) for either the original X100 or last year’s X100S, it’s actually the deepest revision the product has seen since 2011…….
A couple of years after the introduction of a new M camera you can be pretty certain it will be joined by a P (for Professional) version that adds some cosmetic changes and, usually, a tougher rear screen in return for a few hundred pounds enhancement to the already sizeable tag. In my opinion the silver M-P looks best. Note the return of the frameline lever (to the right of the lens) which helps add to the M3 nostalgia. So it is with the M Type 240 which was launched in September 2012 and reached dealers’ shelves in the Spring of last year. Eighteen months on and the new M-P has arrived. Compared with previous P versions, this new camera, which comes in either silver or black, offers a longer list of improvements and tweaks for a premium of only £550*. This is is considered a modest increment at Leica. Cosmetically, the M-P is set apart by the missing Leica logo and M designation on the front of the camera. The image of restraint is enhanced by traditional engraving on the camera top plate, reminiscent of the original M3 from 1954. The iconic cursive Leica name is accompanied by the simple wording “Leica Camera Wetzlar Germany”. That’s it. With eagle eyes you can check this is an M-P is by the model designation on one shoulder of the hotshoe mount. The camera serial number is on the other side, as on the M…..
I’ve had my Fuji X-Pro1 for just about a year now so thought it would be a good time to review the past 12 months of living with it and jot down the highs and lows of life with the Fuji X-Pro1. Having made a decision to swap over from an all prime DSLR full frame kit, the X-Pro1 was a shoe in as a change. I did consider the XE1 initially, but as soon as I cradled the X-Pro1 in my arms I was sold. I was in search of something smaller, lighter, just as capable for image quality and the Fuji X-Pro1 fitted all of those criteria. Added to that was the customer service that Fuji was fast building a reputation for, continuing to take good care of its past client base through firmware updates for its camera bodies and lenses, long after they’d been superseded. Using the X-Pro1 you don’t just buy into a camera system, you kind of buy into a whole eco-system, care included……
First ImpressionsThe Fujifilm XF 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 lens’ generous wide focal length range makes it a very attractive option for photographers. Whether you’re street shooing or covering events, this lens could do it all. Combined with the X-T1 you could have a great all-in-one kit that’s also designed to withstand the elements. There’s a lot of promise from this lens and so far it has not impressed us in any regard. So far it just seems to be a lens with good build, good ergonomics, and good image quality. While I’m feeling pretty ho-hum on the lens right now, I’ll have to put this lens through the rigors of a full review before I can give my final verdict on this jack-of-all-trades kit……..
Its no secret that I’m in love with the X-T1. My back is in favor of the small size which means my whole bag with cameras, lenses and accessories is also a lot smaller and lighter. The smaller size of the X-T1 allows me to blend in more without intimidating my subjects plus the quality of the files, both JPEG and RAW are amazing. So far I haven’t felt the need to go back to a DSLR nor do i feel that I am missing something. On the contrary, i don’t understand why anyone would want to use a large and heavy DSLR when you can be using the X-T1! – (Sports and wildlife photographers excluded) …
I finally have the new Fujifilm X-100T in my hands. It feels familiar, and it should. It’s basically the same as the X-100S with subtle exterior upgrades. So subtle that many reviewers didn’t mention some of them. However, for an X-100 shooter, it’s the subtle upgrades that will help you shoot faster and with more confidence. This isn’t the X-200, so don’t expect any extreme upgrades. Yes, an articulating screen would have been nice, but focusing on upgrading the hybrid optical-electronic viewfinder was a good idea. Concentrate on what makes you different, and not what everyone else is doing. Almost every manufacturer is abandoning the optical viewfinder (except higher end DSLR’s and Leica M rangefinders). Fuji is investing in this older technology, but improving upon it. This is good news. My first impression so far is that this is a must-have camera for those who love to shoot through optical viewfinders and also those who love Fuji X-series cameras. Let’s take a quick look…
The X100s is a bit like Brian Clough at the football club Leeds Utd. A brilliant exponent of its art but just not the right fit, for me at least. After less time than Brian Clough actually spent at Leeds Utd, it’s now on its way to a new owner, who will no doubt cherish it and produce fabulous images with it – something I just couldn’t quite get to grips with. Having had a yearning for almost as long as the X100 has been available, I finally succumbed in late September and bought one to compliment my XP1 as a day in day out camera. Something I could carry around with me daily, something that I could use just as was needed, and of course, looking at it as a possible replacement for my XP1. Potentially, maybe, possibly. My initial impressions were as I expected. It’s a beautiful bit of kit, built wonderfully, with everything a photographer needs to get the image. It is after all the camera that many top, top photographers have made their fame and fortune with……..
Over the last year, shooting, mainly as I have been with Fujifilm X Series I have had a fundamental shift in my approach to lens choice. Prior to this period like most people, I favored zoom lenses. I enjoyed the versatility and convenience that a zoom lens has to offer. I also own a variety of prime lenses, in Nikon, Panasonic, and Fujifilm mounts. Like many photographers however, I generally reserved my prime lenses for specific circumstances, for instance, when I would need to shoot indoor shots in low light. Here the wider apertures offered by single focal length lenses become extremely useful, especially if no flash was to be used. I think the Fuji X100/X100s was the catalyst for the transformation to shooting primes day–to-day. Because of their size, these cameras have been very compelling companions for travel and hiking with one caveat: the attached 35 mm lens . Before the X 100 series, I would typically hike with a body and a zoom lens with a field of view of let’s say 24-80 mm. I would zoom to frame a subject, sometimes forgetting to consider the effect of the new focal length on the depth of field and perspective needed for the image…….
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………