Back in love... My Fuji X-Pro story

Fuji X-Pro 2 Camera

 
After using Nikon gear for over 30 years, I started, back in 2013, what will become a love story, with a Fuji X20 and a Fuji X-Pro1. These cameras, starting from the body shape, the rangefinder style, the construction build and of course the amazing colours produced by the Fuji X-Tran sensor were truly awesome. When using those cameras I could honestly say it reignited my passion for photography allowing me to enjoy it even more, and on a larger scale than I did before. But, it wasn’t as easy to use the Fuji cameras because, despite the passion and fun, it doesn’t mean the gear was fitting well with the professional side of the activity… and unfortunately, at the time, it wasn’t at all. No matter how much fun, how awesome was the X-Pro1, it has many quirky little things and I had no other choice to go with another system camera for some time.
 
This other system camera was the Sony A7 series and the results were also excellent; great optics, great sensors and great final imagery results but… I never really enjoyed the use of the camera itself. For some reason, it never really fitted well in my hands nor in my mind. I was missing the X-Pro1 a lot and was a bit disappointed that Fujifilm was taking so long before coming up with an evolution of their camera. It would be four years before the birth of the X-Pro2 but, everything which was needed and missing on the first version has been reviewed, corrected, and even upgraded… I could hardly believe it. It seems the Fuji guys were taking note of every complaint and suggestion from photographers and built a brand new camera while tickling all the points, one by one. I have never seen anything like this in my life and I have been doing photography for over 30 years. Hat Off to the Fuji guys, this is a remarkable proof of your motivation and dedication to your customers; something that must be taken into consideration when investing a lot of money into photographic gear. Let me say that I was always keeping an eye on how Fuji was evolving with their X series and, for me, especially with the X-Pro1. When the new X-Pro2 was announced and hit the streets, I didn't want to race out to buy, just in case there was another draw back, so I followed the news and waited for feedback, checking online, read all reports and reviews. After reading some pretty great reviews I started to believe, then finally decided it was time to give it another try. I could not resist further temptation and few days ago relented to the new Fuji X-Pro2, the Fujinon XF 16-55 f/2.8 and the Fujinon XF 50-140 f/2.8 as well as the Fuji flash EF-X500
 
My first comments will be very short as the body is exactly as it was in the previous version, perfect to me. The biggest change being the redesign of the layout of the back buttons and the addition of a small joystick which are giving excellent results and a much better user experience, so very well done for that. The joy of holding this camera on my hands is back again. I actually only did a hundred or so shots with the new camera and all of those are test shots to memorises and re-set the settings I was used to before. What I saw on the test images is really promising, the new sensor and new processor are also very well up to the task. The AF seems to come straight from another World, from another Galaxy as it is just so snappy now. Slow AF was one of the biggest complaint on the first version of the X-Pro camera. I’m now happily done with the initial tests. 
 
I will be doing my first photoshoot session this week with the new camera and can’t wait to see the final results but I already know I will have a lot of fun at work while holding this camera once again… It seems almost too good to be true, isn’t it? Well, for the most negative of you, I'll say this. Not everything is perfect yet… Battery life of this new version is still as crappy as it was before. With more added functionalities and now the available high-speed mode on the menu, which of course you feel the need to use, this is not going to help to resolve the problem of the poor battery life. Anyway, things have evolved a good way with Fujifilm so luckily it also does with external suppliers and I’ve just found on Amazon an external and portable battery which you can connect to your camera using a coupler at the size of the original battery and the good news is that two models are available. The first one is the equivalent capacity of six original batteries and the second version is up to the equivalent capacity of twelve original batteries. To do my landscape work, I really don’t need this and it is not bothering me to have to change the battery but, while doing modelling shooting it is another story and this little accessory is just really amazing and is killing the only negative point I can see about the Fuji X-Pro2.
 
Love, passion and work are finally reunited… It was well worth the wait finally. Now, let’s get back to work… with a smile on my face and a lovely and enjoyable professional grade camera on my hand. Speak to you later, I'm off to enjoy my new camera!
 
 
Fuji X-Pro2 Test image
 
Fuji X-Pro2 Test image
 

And few more images from my first days of testing the gear and also my settings...

 

Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 50-140 f/2.8 test

 

Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 50-140 f/2.8 test

 

Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 50-140 f/2.8 test

 

Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 50-140 f/2.8 test

 

Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 50-140 f/2.8 test

 

Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 50-140 f/2.8 test

 

Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 50-140 f/2.8 test

 

 

See more images on my portfolio...

 

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Testing the Jupiter-37A 3.5/135mm M42 Screw Mount on a LEICA SL (Typ 601)

 

Another very interesting lens I’m using on the Leica SL is the Jupiter-37A, a manual tele of 135mm which can be useful for portrait photography of course but also for a lot of other situations...

Jupiter-37A

This lens, from the 80’s, is also a ‘New Old Stock’ find on eBay and will cost you around £65-80 in new condition.

 
The design of this lens is based on the Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/3.5 and is on the high resolution side, producing lovely warm images with an interesting mix of sharpness and softness. It has no less than 12 aperture blades which is helping to obtain a wonderful bokeh. With a length of 90mm and a weight of 410 gr, this is on the comfortable and portable size. As a M42 screw mount lens, you’ll need an adapter to use it with your modern DSLR or Mirrorless camera but those are commonly available from £10 to £30 on eBay, depending of your camera brand.
 
This is a manual only lens existing in two versions, a Multicoated (MC) one and a regular version without multi-coating. I own the regular one which is more subject to flare and contrast decrease. To attenuate this defect, I always use a hood and do not shoot straight into the light.
 

The 3 following images were taken at 4:30 PM in Scotland and in winter time so it means no more than an hour before the end of daylight. Very pleased with this lens results, I marked it as a keeper and added it to my growing collection of working vintage Russian lens

 

Jupiter-37A on Leica SL

 

Jupiter-37A on Leica SL

 

Jupiter-37A on Leica SL

 

See more images on my portfolio...

 

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