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Wednesday, 28 June 2017


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"I won't elaborate about how I think the X-Pro2 is the true Leica of today and the Leica M is a Veblen-Good replicam"

With all due respect: Nope.

I've tried SO HARD to love the Fujis: X-Pro2 or XT-2. The electronic focus and, as you immediately had to translate with each lens: The focal-length conversion-calculations-because-this-is-a-small-chip-and-therefore-not-a-35mm-camera.

I've been on a job in London for the past few days. I brought my M6 and M240. When I am sitting in the transport van ready to steal a shot out the window, I turn the focus to 20', look at my manual dials for my "sunny-16" conversion, and know that when I raise the camera to my eye and immediately hit the shutter, the exposure is exactly what I intend. That doesn't happen with electronic-controlled focus rings and computers that hold lenses.

I've got all the Fuji 23mm lenses: the f/1.4, the new "Fujicron" f/2 WR and the 23mm on my X100F (it's been the same exact lens on entire X100-series).

I did some testing, Lloyd Chambers style, of the 23mm f/2, my 18-55 set at 23mm, and the X100's 23 mm lens and found that the new 23 f/2 WR is contrastier than the 18-55 set at 23mm or the X100-series lens. The transition from light to shadow is steeper, and provides a contrastier, more cinematic look. The 18-55 is less contrasty, and the 23mm on the X100-series has the "softest" contrast curve. That is, the contrast curve going from light to shadow is more shallow. It was a pretty interesting study. I love the new series of Fujicrons, and the new little 23mm f/2 is a sweetheart; it provides a more contrasty, somewhat saturated and cinematic look than Fuji's other 23mm lenses, more like Velvia than Provia, for example. But I would say for editing headroom/latitude, the 23mm f/2 lens on the X100s provides the most control over the tonal range. I haven't done this test comparision yet with the 23mm f/1.4, but I really should. I do know that, optically, it is the sharpest of all three.

Right on about the Xpro-2 and Fujicrons that I recently added to the menagerie. Fun is the operative word. I now, once again love walking around with one around my neck and another lens in my pocket or smallish bag. Still have the DSLR stuff for specialty use, but may not much longer.
But then I often can't decide about such things. An example of this is going to a Wynn Bullock exhibit last week and then immediately to a Danny Lyon exhibit within the hour at another gallery. I loved them both. At this age I ought to have decided what kind of photographer I want to be. Like a lot of other things, still trying to figure it all out.

I love seeing a reference to Veblen.

"But really, the X-Pro2 with a snout-nosed Fujicron is a an awesome, brilliant device with which to have fun with photography."

... Except that it lacks a tilty screen. Other than that I agree!

(In theory, never having shot with an X-pro)

Agreed, Fuji has become the 'Leica of old' (of which I own an early IIIc). Zack Arias wrote a brilliant blog piece about this several years ago, which prompted me to pick up the Fuji X100S as my carry-around (shedding the weight/bulk of my Canon DSLRs/lenses). Fuji's terrific IQ and mechanical beauty led me to the X100T, then to their XPro2 & 5 fastest primes, and now to the X-T2, just received this week. Regarding these three new 'R WR' snub-noses, it's interesting that though faster-focusing and weather resistant, they're not beating the earlier 23mm 1.4 & 35mm 1.4 for sharpness across the image field, and even fall a tad short. That's just how good the earlier glass is, it seems.

You should try an M10; easily the most refined M since the film days. Gorgeous VF with .73 magnification, bigger opening and improved eye relief for eyeglass users, simplified controls (and no video) in a smaller (think M7), weather sealed, package that produces terrific files. You might come away with a different feeling, except for price, of course.

And after 35 years, I still prefer Summicrons, although the 50 Summilux is sweet.

Based on several recent posts, I think I can see where this story is going. Perhaps you should start a category called, "The Future Foretold." Several posts down you opined that you were now in one of the most scenic parts of the country and needed a zoom lens to capture the view from where you are at the moment.. You also wanted stabilization, but you weren't happy with your copy of the Fuji 18-55mm.,

Get the X-Pro 2, and a good copy of the 18-55. It is another great lens from Fuji. You know that's what you want to do! As a City Boy and Fujiphile who moved to Portland OR, with scenery in every direction, I can attest that you will become a happy Country Boy.

After "Wicked Idea" and "Snout-Nosed Fujicrons" I hope the way is subtly paved for some delayed knight-errant to gracefully enter the TOP citadel and regale us unruly proletarians with tales from the GFX Never Land...

I have all three of these and could not be happier with them. I was a bit hesitant on the 50mm but have actually found it's quite useful. So much so, that I sold my 56 F1.2. Highly recommended.

If these lenses had image stabilization, I'd be an X-Pro 2 owner.

Mike, I have been following your posts on the 35 mm lens or equilvant version of 23 mm on the Fuji platform. I love the 35/23 focal length but also love the 50/35 focal length. I have the Fuji 35 which lives on my XT2 and the X100f which has the 35/23 on it. Over the years my best shots where done with one of those two focal lengths. As I get older I sure appreciate the small lighter versions that Fuji produces. At one point I owned the Nikon 1.4 35 mm lens which I used on several FF Nikons. It produced some terrific IQ but was way too heavy to be considered a walk around lens. I still own my big iron but seem to use my Fuji gear more and more. Keep it up Fuji and keep up the good writing and topics. They seem so relevant to me now for some reason. All the best Eric

F:2.0 was good enough 99% of the time when shooting film, (even Kodachrome). Now that digital speeds are up to thousands of ISO with good results, I see no need for lenses even that fast.

C'mon, Mike, elaborate! You know you want to.

These Fujicrons are what's making me teeter at the edge of the X-Pro2 abyss. They feel almost like like real Crons, they autofocus when you need that (and real fast), and... WR! let's not forget.
With 7 years on the clock of my M9, and a total cost of 2 bodies plus the full Fujicron series which would still be way less than a single M10 body, a rational being would not hesitate to jump ship.
The day Fuji comes up with a 18mm (28mm equiv.) F-Cron to complete the series, I'll be good to go I guess.
Actually, I'm not sure I'll need the 23, or rather I may well "replace it" with the then-current X100 iteration...

I'm extremely tempted by the Fujicron 50/2. I've not considered the 35/2 as the 35/1.4 is my favorite x-mount lens. I don't know why but in terms of color, contrast and richness, it reminds me of my favorite 35mm - Minolta 35/1.4 G. It is sharp enough without being clinically so.

I'm hoping the 50/2 will be a short version of the magnificent 90/2.


Pssst, Ricardo. I know what you mean about the "bite" of one lens versus another. But I suspect that you'd be making wonderfully mysterious street images with an Instamatic. It ain't the lens, man.

Thanks for the feature Mike!
And thanks for the nice comment Ken, I'm really glad you like it.

@Ricardo Silva Cordeira,

Nice photographs, too. I'll be following you on flickr, if that's your main platform?


So is the XF 23mm ƒ/1.4 R a "Fujilux"?

I dumped all my Canon gear and eventually landed on the x100 series. I have an F now, and a bunch of film cameras. This article and others like it are giving me wicked GAS.

These lenses really do appeal to me very much. I expect I will buy them all along with what I hope will be the upcoming Fujifilm X-E3 (although I will probably also purchase the kit zoom lens with the camera as it is a very good value).

The one thing I might want to also have, though, is a 105mm telephoto equivalent, which would mean they would need to produce a 70mm f/2 as well. Not sure if the size required would need to be too large, moving such a lens out of the Fujichron realm.

It is worth noting that the viewfinder obstruction of certain lenses on the X Pro 2 is compensated for by the bottom right video view if set.

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