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Tuesday, 28 August 2018


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Yep, except (like you) I wanted/needed IBIS, so I bought a Sony last year--and so, now, I'll almost certainly never purchase a Fuji. Because my Zeiss Loxia and adapted Leica-M mount lenses seem to handle well on the Sony A7R III, I'm OK passing on the sensor array that Fuji suggested would equal full-frame resolution and the apparently excellent balance of the Fuji system.

Yes, yes and... yes. Those still pining for a digital version of a FM3A (what I was using before this) missed the boat, this is as close as it gets. Compact, not miniscule, and all the dials and retro feel good controls to make one feel at home. Looks great, feels great, delivers the goods at a price ya can't beat.

No, it ain't perfect; yes, you definitely can get faster, fancier, sharper for the $$$. But this too is my comfort zone- and those Papermate Profiles are pretty damn good too!

Just my thinking. Fuji is good enough and it has a huge viewfinder, which is almost as important.

I notice in the Fuji lens review you talked about the X-Pro2. Has that lost ground in your eyes to the X-T2?

In a camera, beyond a certain basic level, I'm interested in ease of use more that ultimate image quality, a camera that's sized right, feels reasonably intuitive and helps me out with the technical side of taking a photograph. Which allows more of my attention to be given to finding something worth photographing and then making a composition that works, the hardest part of photography I think.

If the subject and composition work most viewers won't care about image quality. When someone goes up to your photograph to examine and comment on its sharpness that tells me the image itself hasn't really captured their attention.

We have a large Galen Rowell print of the eastern Sierra at sunrise in our living room. Taken a long time ago on 35mm film. Pretty low "image quality" but a beautiful photograph that captures the eastern Sierra that I've chosen to live in better than any other I've seen. It will endure despite its low "image quality." Many sharper photographs won't.

My OMD E-M5ii does fine for me. Still way better than I am.

I am with you, but I think "good" enough does depend on the type of images you are seeking. For general shooting, seeking compositions with strong shapes that impress at first sight (and of course for macros!!) I am completely happy with my Oly EM1 II. But I am also fascinated by "Wimmelbilder" where the frame is filled with subtle varations of small detail, or where strong shapes are internally structured with interesting detail. I just love to explore these on A2 prints at close distance. And for these, I feel that I have reached the holy grail only when I acquired the Sony ARII and a few primes.
But as you said: YMMv

You should go to Photo Plus in October. You'll be able to get your hands on pretty much everything.

I agree the Fuji Xs for me, are an excellent embodiment of form, function and industrial design. Fuji not only gets the balance of attributes that Mike so accurately described right, they are also constantly improving even the little things, like the pattern and texture of knurling on lens aperture rings and control knobs, the thickness or height of controls, even the relationship of paired controls: for example, the control rings under the ISO and SS dials on the X-H1 are ergonomically better-designed and thereby, more functional, than they are on the X-T2.

I like that Fuji really seems to think all these things through with respect to providing a seamless and integrated user experience that is in service to the process of photography rather than in conflict with it.

Just a comment about the X-H1, one I've mentioned here a couple of times, but bears repeating: an X-H1 is NOT an X-T series camera. It doesn't have as much of the retro analog "charm" of the X-Pro/X-T series and it doesn't have the much-loved comp dial that is the preference of many Fuji X-cam owners (which I fully acknowledge, even though the sub-monitor is actually more useful, practically speaking).

To paraphrase an old auto commercial: "This is not your father's X-T2". This is something that many X-T owners continue to struggle to get their head around.

An X-H1 is actually an "APS-C version of a GFX50S" line of bodies with a clear mission: to provide IBIS, primarily for video applications, and a very strong, stiff and robust body for securely and safely mounting and using big-assed heavy lenses like these:

IMHO, if you don't to use lenses like these or need a camera that can take a smack against the K-wall and not get cracked through the frame, you most likely do not need an X-H series camera, any more than a Canon 5D user needs a Canon 1D.

Just sayin'....


Mike, I think you nailed it for me. I thought I would be an early adopter of the Z system. However after reading about the system and looking at pictures of the camera itself, I think I like my Fuji Xt2 even better. When I put those small primes on the front of the camera it is so much fun to shoot. Recently purchased the super zoom, 18-135 for the camera and it is a real surprise. It is sharp, light and hits all the buttons. Further it is a perfect travel lens. Plus the camera has two slots for simple and cheap SD cards. The cards are so inexpensive that I can save one of the two of them from my travels giving me even greater redundancy. As to balance, ergonomics and all that the camera is terrific. I will still keep my large FF Nikon for some work, but as I travel the world, I will be shooting a Fuji. All the best Eric

To add to the joy of Fuji, there's a new Fujicron coming. A 24mm equivalent, the 16mm f2.8.
I can hardly wait, it should be a Goldilocks experience on my X-E3 for urban, industrial and street use.

As they say YMMV! I found both the XT-1 and 2 very uncomfortable to hold not so bad with the grip but then it was too heavy for me . I use my cameras bushwalking and there is no way I could switch to Fuji and all those fiddly exposed controls just meant that it was a hazard putting it in and taking it out of a bag. Meanwhile my a6500 went in and out of my jacket pocket without issue plus I could hold it in my hand for hours without real discomfort. It does make me wonder about human variation. I got five people to hold an XT-20 in a shop and only one found it comfortable. Asked them whether it was more or less comfortable than a Sony a6000 only one person voted for the Fuji. As you say YMMV!

I do wish that the X-T series could fit IBIS inside, but that's my only real quibble - I love my X-T2 more than anything other than my Canon A2(my first 'real' camera I bought myself)and my M6. My D750 was 'better' is so many ways, but it's not here any more. I wasn't taken by the X-H1, lucky me, I saved quite a bit.

It is weird, though. For the first time in a very long stretch, there's nothing new I need, photographically. Well, there's always camera bags and tripods...

Fuji has essentially out-Limited the Pentax prime list - even down to the .. unusual? focal lengths.

The ideal balance is a question of camera body size and lenses size. It is a big problem. Mirrorless FF cameras allow for small bodies, but AF lenses are huge in comparison, resulting is unbalanced systems. This affects Sony, Nikon or Leica SL.

The best ratio between sensor size and global system (camera/lenses) size is, in my opinion, the Leica M system. Lenses are manual focus, and superexpensive... but also super small. The body is small, very small.

Systems based on AF with smaller sensors have better chances for a balanced system. Fuji is very good, but camera bodies are too large and complicated for my taste. Micro 4/3 offer mani options, and the Pen F is my favorite. Leica has two wonderful cameras: the TL and the CL, and lenses are extraordinary and small (in relative terms).

All in all, I think full frame autofocus (FF AF) mirrorless systems do not work, are unbalanced, with small bodies and huge lenses (except for the Leica M).

The sweet spot is in APS-C or micro 4/3 systems.

The same goes for medium format: it does not make any sense to go for mirrorless systems. Bodies can be smaller, but lenses are huge. The Fuji corrected this problem with a large body. But then, what is the advantage of going for mirrorless? (is a question for Hasselblad).

Allow me to provide a dissenting viewpoint. I'm an enthusiast, and I shoot both film and digital. I own an FM3a, among other analog and digital cameras. I spent about a year with an X-T1, and surprised myself by failing to fall in love with it.

I had read many rhapsodic pieces on the net about the ergonomics, the tactile shooting experience, the *fun* of using a Fuji. And the camera itself sure looks great. But we failed to gel as creative partners. I found that the analog, retro controls did not translate well to my expectations and preferences in a modern, digital camera, although I love them on my FM3a. I never came to trust and enjoy the camera, somehow, and even realized that it failed to spark joy as an object. I never experienced the visceral satisfaction that Mike alludes to above. So, I sold it to a friend of mine who also shoots primarily film, and he seems totally satisfied with it.

I am now shooting with a D800, and early signs point to a long and happy relationship. It's massively overkill for what I do, but I find it satisfying to hold and to use. And I also find it satisfying as an object. There is a partnership forming.

I still respect Fuji and the X-system, and may someday dip a toe back into those waters with a newer body, or maybe an X-pro for a different experience. But this business of choosing a camera, especially as an amateur, is a strange thing. My mileage *did* vary, rather wildly. And if you follow Mikes advice about trying a Fuji, but find yourself nonplussed, know that there is at least one more like you out there.

This made me remember the extent of human variation. I have tried the XT-1, 2 and 20 and I have to admit that they are amongst the most uncomfortable cameras I have ever held. I could not imagine taking one bushwalking and holding it for hours. A friend who has both the XT-1 & 2 got me to try one with the grip and I will admit it was then more comfortable except that it weighed about a kilo—far too much for me to take bushwalking. I tried an experiment at a local shop and out of 5 people only one found the XT more comfortable than the Sony a6500. So yes, YMMV>

"The same goes for medium format: it does not make any sense to go for mirrorless systems. Bodies can be smaller, but lenses are huge. The Fuji corrected this problem with a large body. But then, what is the advantage of going for mirrorless? (is a question for Hasselblad)."

The advantages over medium format DSLRs are increased autofocus accuracy due to the viewfinder information and AF readings coming straight from the sensor and having autofocus points covering the sensor instead of one in the center. Ever higher resolution files leave little margin of error in focusing, and with mirrorless cameras no lens autofocus calibration is needed.

The GFX 50S is no larger than a 135 format DSLR and while the lenses are large, they are not out of proportion when compared against a 645 film SLR, which the 50MP digital 44x33mm sensor outresolves.

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