My affair with Fuji began several years ago. I was a die hard Nikon shooter that had progressed all the way up to a D700 with a slew of lenses, a massive battery grip, wired trigger, several SB-900s, and pretty much anything else I thought I needed. Let me get something out of the way before I go too far. I have GAS. That’s Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Most of us hobbyist photographers share this problem. Which brings me to my next disclosure. I’m just that… a hobbyist. By day, I service professional motion picture lenses – something my Father and I have been doing successfully for the past decade. It’s loads of fun and I truly enjoy my job. I get my hands on some of the worlds finest optics which makes photography a natural hobby for me. I dabbled as a freelance photographer in my early twenties working for a number of magazines – traveling a bit on assignments. Just enough to fund my GAS and continue to buy more junk.
You can usually tell if someone has GAS if they own more than two camera bags. At one point I think I had about four camera bags for my, dare I say, impressive Nikon setup. I began to cut back on my budding profession and keep the photos to strictly a hobby, mostly while traveling. I think the breaking point was going to Disneyland with my wife with a full D700 kit (battery grip, 14-24mm, 24-70mm, etc.). Somewhere between “It’s a Small World” and “Toon Town” I think it hit me that this setup was simply unnecessary and frankly silly. Shortly thereafter I began carrying around an Olympus E-PL1 which was the entry level Olympus PEN Micro 4/3 camera. I had laying around my bench that I used for testing lenses. Since the Micro 4/3 mount was so shallow, it allowed me to mount just about any lens I needed to it. I really do think that Olympus was among the pioneers of the mirrors revolution. Anyway… I really enjoyed the camera for it’s compact, lightweight nature and eventually sold off all my Nikon gear to fund a new era of Micro 4/3 lenses including the very nice Panasonic/Leica lenses that were available.
This new Olympus setup evolved over the next six months or so including a few camera upgrades climaxing with a OMD-EM5. In fact, I still own both the original E-PL1 as well as the OMD-EM5. A few of the lenses are long gone as a result of a break-in at my office… But that’s a story for another time. Happily shooting with the OMD-EM5, part of me still felt that something just wasn’t there (again with the GAS). I wanted something for compact, more discreet. For example, while I strongly preferred the superior image quality and faster aperture of the Leica 25mm f/1.4, I stuck mainly to the Leica 20mm f/1.7 strictly for it’s smaller, lighter design. There were a handful of options I began looking into including some of the Leica offerings which were primarily rebadged Panasonic equipment as well as a few other options. The primary reason that I didn’t make the switch from Olympus was lenses. At the time, no other mirrors system offered optics that excited me.
Enter: the Fuji X100. When the X100 was announced, every bit of it interested me. From it’s larger (larger than Micro4/3) sensor, to it’s purpose built lens and compact size, to it’s proper build quality. I took the plunge and pre-ordered the X100 months before it’s release. Fast forward a few months and I had the X100 in-hand and began carrying it everywhere I went. Every part of me wanted to love the camera. But it simply wasn’t meant to be. As any original X100 owner will tell you, the auto focus was garbage. The manual focus was even worse. There were still aspects of the camera that I loved. The image quality was excellent! I loved the color reproduction, the sharpness (when it decided to focus), and of course the form factor.
I ended up selling off the X100 to buy an X-Pro1 shorty thereafter and that’s where my infatuation with the Fuji X system really took off. I began trying out the Fuji lenses, mostly primes, and fell in love all over again. I do enjoy zooms from time to time, but I’m something of a speed freak – drawn to the fast, beautiful primes that Fuji began rolling out steadily, beginning with the 35mm f/1.4. I eventually upgraded my X100 to the X100s and offloaded the X-Pro1 for the X-T1 which is, at the time of writing this, my current Fuji X camera collection. I’ll go into more detail about which lenses I have and why in future posts.
The point of this blog will be to share my experiences with the Fuji X system for others to enjoy at the expense of my GAS. Along the way I’ll scatter some links to buy items that will support this blog and continue for all to enjoy. I’m all about sharing info so if at any point you have questions or want to see a review of a specific piece of gear, feel free to drop an email.