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Friday, 12 December 2014


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Your last sentence turned this article into a piece of art (artful writing?). I guess in the same vein, external last touches to the appearance of a camera (graphite silver) would turn a tool into a piece of art too!

"The X-T1 is not the fastest camera in the world to operate". Kinda like a smartphone, lol.

It looks to me like a 21st century Kodak 35.

These days I'd say any viewfinder that doesn't offer a histogram is history.

Is it a Pentax LX?

It's nice to see signs of you enjoying the X-T1. I've had mine for a few months now, and it just keeps getting more enjoyable to use it. Haven't touched the 5DmkII in months.
Try the 27mm 2.8, it's a sleeper in the lens line and makes for a very small kit with that sweet 40mm point of view. Fuji glass is outstanding - The 14, 23, 27, and 35 are all excellent, as are the zooms, I use a Rokkor 58mm in manual mode with peaking for a sweet portrait combo.
To me, the X-T1 just feels right.

You can do both, y'know; that is, care what your camera looks like AND regard it as a tool. But, I dare to say, anyone who buys a camera solely or mainly on its looks is not really a photographer.

No argument, btw, about the Fuji X-T1 GS; that's a fine-looking piece of kit.

Why isn't the X-T1 the fastest camera to use? Is there something wrong with it?

Yawza!, an Olympus OM-2n featuring on TOP! I have two precious pieces of advice for the owner of the camera pictured here: 1) Remove the hotshoe. It's easy: just unlock the screw at the back of Shoe 4. The OM looks way better without it - providing, of course, you don't use a flash - and it will be much easier to look through the viewfinder. 2) Get rid of the eyecup. it only makes it harder to visualize the whole area of the viewfinder. By doing so you'll make a beautiful camera look even better.
It is not frivolous to like beautiful cameras. At least not for me. Those who say cameras are just tools and aesthetics are unimportant are wrong. The camera can be a companion, and as so you'll be looking at it plenty of times. It's more pleasurable to look at a beautiful object than at an ugly one: it will add to pride in ownership. Function and aesthetics are not necessarily incompatible: Hasselblad may have forgotten how to make lovely cameras, but the 500 C/M is still a beautiful tool to look at. And so are the Rolleiflex - your brain might explode at the sight of a 3.5 F with lens hood - and practically every large format camera ever made.
The Fuji X-T1 is indeed a thing of beauty, though it appears to dwarf the Olympus and Pentax cameras in the pictures above. I'm glad manufacturers are retrieving the style of SLR film cameras: having grown in the 70's, their look became my aesthetic reference. My OM-2n, in its silver livery, looks like a jewel. The fact that there are cameras like the X-T1 and the controversial Nikon Df out there somehow makes digital more palatable.
After all, if a camera can be made to look good, why make it ugly?

I'd really love to have the Graphite Silver X-T1, too. I've been pining for it ever since it came out. I really love the "retro" silver look because my Olympus OM-1s were silver, and they bring back wonderful memories.

But I have a perfectly good black X-T1, and getting the GS version would be an indulgence, at best.

The real problem is, I would also really would love to get the new Fuji X100T, AND the killer new Fuji XF 50-140/2.8 lens!

I'm on the horns of a dilemma, and I hate that when that happens!

Fuji is making products these days that are like crack to X- photographers. Urghhh...

PS Love the pic of the OM2. The first thing I did when I got my X-T1 was to take a picture of it next to my OM-1. BTW, if you want a really interesting visual comparison, look up a Fujica AX-1 or ST901.

Oh, one other thing about the Graphite Silver Fuji X-T1. Back when it came out, around Photokina, I saw either a series of photographs or a video showing the manufacturing sequences for the Graphite Silver coating. It is a surprisingly complex and sophisticated process, and involves the deposition of metallic paint particles in a process called Thin Film Multilayer coating. From the considerable amount of work involved in applying the GS coating to the camera, it's easy to see why this model is $300 more expensive. In fact, I would be surprised if Fuji is actually making any profit on selling cameras with this coating; one could easily surmise that the additional manufacturing cost of this process alone could be $300.

I find looks are important but the feel of the camera is more important, how it sits in the hand, its weight, and the balance with its lenses. I had a friend years ago in the days of film, who had an Olympus system which she never used, saying she didn't like holding it; her husband agreed as well. They loved my old Nikon F801. For me, it's what Kertesz said, the camera is a musical instrument; you have to like the looks and the feel of it. I'm presently using both Fuji and Olympus digital and like them both....

Amazing how contemporary the styling on the OM looks- even today! And kudos To Fujifilm for making its modern day beauty of an equivalent (and system to match). Would love to get my hands on one: w/20, 28 and 40mm(e). Gorgeous!

Pity Nikon's only response to date has been the hideously overgrown, overblown Df.

No doubt the X-T1 is a handsome camera, in black or chrome. And I love that it includes "FILM" in the name badge. That almost gives owners the right to say "I shot some footage of..." or "I filmed..." when shooting video with the camera!

Not a big fan of the OM bodies style wise... But the 50mm 1:1.2 is just wow. Probably the best looking lens ever made IMO.

As for bodies, I could fondle a FM2 or an F3 for hours. They just feel and look so nice in hand.

I still have a Pentax P50 (1st SLR I bought) with the 50mm 1.4 and a P1Tr motor drive. Look weird, 80's, like a well sorted 1st Gen Civic. And I love it.

My Canon 5D is of course much better. But it's just does not make me smile as much.

Note that the two smaller film cameras used as comparisons with an admittedly compact digital X-T1 both have a "full-frame" image area.

The Sony A7 II series has shown us that modern highly integrated chips make a comparably-small full-frame digital camera feasible, even including 5-axis IBIS.

It's time for the major dSLR vendors to stop justifying "big, black, and bulky" as necessary for serious photography.

Reminiscing - anyone remember the Beattie Intenscreen? I had one for my OM2-SP back in the late 80s and it really did brighten things up.

But my OM2-SP had erratic exposures caused by an intermittent exposure comp dial. Which you often only discovered when the film was processed weeks later - grrr. I sent it back to the Australian distributors, forgetting that the Beattie screen was in the camera.

I got back a brand new body, which was very good of Olympus, but no Beattie screen. The faulty body had been sent back to Japan! I wrote to Olympus in Japan (no email in those days) and yes, they did find my screen and returned it. Bravo Olympus.

I've still got that camera and it's even got a partially used Fuji 100 film in it, and I'll bet it'll be fine if I can get it processed.

For years I craved an OM-4T in the champagne colour, one of the handsomest camera ever in my opinion. I nearly bought one in Singapore in the 80s, but the shop wouldn't take my credit card. I said I'd come back with cash, but I never did. It was around $1,100, in those days a LOT of money.

I looked for a second hand one at a reasonable price for a long time, but most showed signs of hard use and were always priced quite high. By the time I was able to afford one, digital was here and so I never did own one.

That lovely OM system! I had 18, 21, 28, 50 and 135 Zuikos and a 50-200mm APO Sigma, but lost the lot in a burglary. I bought another used OM2-SP and 28 and 50mm lenses, but stopped there. However, I still have the T20 flash and T10 ring light with Power Control 1. I also have the flash cords and the distributor.

I always wanted the Macro Twin Flashes but you had to have the special ring for the filter ring. It was impossible to find here but I eventually found one in Kuala Lumpur in 2000. Sadly, that's where I stopped. I still have it all, but the quality I get now from the OM-D E-M1 beats it into submission.

Ah Mike, you have been bitten by the Fuji bug.

It is indeed a very pretty camera, but not in a self-conscious way. It's like a newly made traditional tweed jacket. Comfortable and practical and can be worn anywhere. You put it on every day without thinking, when you meet friends, or go for a long walk, or visit a gallery. It looks fine in the city, country or the local pub.

By comparison, my D800 is like an outdoor adventure jacket. It has map pockets and hydration pouches. It can withstand severe wind-chill and horizontal rain. But it's way too hot on a summers day, too bulky for informal occasions and inappropriate for formal ones. In other words, you only wear it when you really need to but sometimes hope you don't have to.

Many other cameras are just trying too hard to be trendy. Like designer clothing, their resemblance to classic design is merely pastiche. They look outdated in a week, never come in the right sizes for normal people, have lots of useless buttons and zippers, but never enough pockets.

I think Fuji designers stumbled on to a rich seam, niche though it may be, but at least they pulled it off.

Olympus tried, but I think the PENs were more successful than the EMs. Even so, the minute you dive into a menu you realise there is an iPad underneath. The traditional look extends no deeper than the outer shell and it sure has a lot of buttons and zippers.

And the less said about the Nikon Df the better. To my mind, the only well styled DSLR on the market is the Pentax K3 (along with the K5 and K7 forebears). The rest are as stylish as a bar of soap and still haven't moved on from the T90.

The Olympus OM large reflex finder came at a cost- hard to see the whole screen by eyeglass wearers. To counter that, Nikon with the F3 came out with the "high-eyepoint" finder. Meaning the projected image was smaller and COULD be seen by eyeglass wearers. Larger or smaller image projection, your choice.

With regard to size, the OM caused a revolution in the early 70s for its compactness, which was quickly followed by Nikon, with the FM family coming very close to the OM size, and then the Pentax ME/Mx family, actually coming in smaller than the OM.

I did have an OM system in the day, but I got rid of it. Nice camera, but I found the tiny lenses fragile, and reluctant to undergo abuse while staying in one piece.

The most amazing thing of all regarding the OM's and the ME and the like, in relation to the newer Fuji X-T1: they were what today we call full-frame.

Which makes the Fuji by contrast seem absolutely porky with its diminished format. Get a manufacturer to market a true full 135 format digital camera with the dimensions... and even lens sizes... approaching what Olympus was able to do 43 years ago, please.

The next time you need a photo of a black OM-2 with a 28 attached, let me know. I have a well-brassed OM-2 (pre-N) and a real Zuiko 28/2.8. No hate against Tokina lenses, I rather liked them. But all the same ...

I once dug out my Contax Aria from it's closet to put it side by side with the X-T1. It's uncanny how similar they are: dimensions, viewfinder hump, grip size, type and placement of knobs. I bet Contax has been one of Fuji's inspirations while designing this camera.

To me they also share another resemblance: the Aria is my favorite film camera ever, as in could-have-lived-happily-ever-after if not for digital, and the Fuji is by far the digital camera I like best out of the 6 ILCs I've had, to the point I'm totally satisfied with the camera. There is something about the size and the control ethos, that really does it for me.

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