Forgive me, but I’m going to geek out about camera gear for a minute.
A few years ago, when I was getting more serious about my photography (and was making a few beans at my job) there was a lot of chatter on the web about a new camera from Fuji called the X100. People were going bonkers for this retro-styled, rangefinder-looking, small(ish) camera with old-school controls and incredible image quality. And while some were turned off by the camera’s quirks (slow focus, no zoom, no changing lenses) others seemed to be enamored. Intrigued, I decided to pick one up and see what all the fuss was about.
It was love at first use.
Turns out I really enjoy the challenge of shooting with a fixed focal length, am more than happy with the 35mm equivalent lens and find myself not too bothered by the slow focus (although every now and then I curse it). Most important to me, the camera is delightfully small and light and that makes keeping it with me easy, which is much more than I can say for my big clunky DSLR.
In fact, last year I brought both the X100 and my DSLR with me on a trip to Paris. The DSLR never made it out of my suitcase – I used the X100 and was delighted with the results. I’m pretty sure I’ll be using this camera until it stops working, then I’ll try to have it fixed and hopefully get several more years of use out of it.
This past spring, when Fuji announced the X-Pro 1 – their interchangeable lens version of the X100 – I was super excited. Once I had it in hand I wasn’t so sure. Sure, it takes amazing photos, perhaps even better than the X100, but it’s significantly bigger and clunkier. I also found that the ability to change lenses became a distraction. On our trip to Belgium I found myself switching lenses over and over and over. If I’d had the X100 with me I wouldn’t have worried about “which lens was best for the scene” and would have simply focused on taking the best photo with the only lens available.
The X-Pro 1 hasn’t gotten much use lately at all. When we go on an adventure, I just find the X100 more convenient to bring with me because of it’s size (it fits PERFECTLY in the hip bag I use while biking). That said, I’ve made a (Jewish) New Year’s resolution to start carrying my camera with me everywhere again, and I’ve decided to use the X-Pro 1 as that “take-everywhere camera,” at least for now. I’m only going to have one lens for it at any given moment, forcing me to make the best compositions that I can with that one lens. Here are a few shots from the last couple of days I’ve had it with me. I think you’ll agree, it takes some purty pictures.