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Wednesday, 31 July 2019


I'm a fuji man too, but for my liking there are only two Fuji types worth attention: X100 series and X-Pro series.
As you called it: newthink.

Blessings to generous people. And you are a Lucky man. I had similar experience with a friend who passed me excellent equipment. It came to my mind the camera that Bresson gave to Luc Delahaye when he was stolen during a war, he sold that camera and buyed a Contax G2 system that he used to do Winterreise book. I miss the lack of re editions. Another gift I remember was the Olympus that Phillips John Griffits gave to Jason Eskenazi who made the book Wonderland. I hope publish a couple of books too. I would like to know more stories about given equipment. Do you know more?

Much like you, Mike , I've never cared too much about brand loyalty. Through the years I have shot film with a Canon, Polaroid, and Olympus, and even an old Kodak Brownie. Digitally, I've used Minolta, Nikon, Canon,
Pentax, Olympus (micro 4/3rds) and now a Panasonic G9. I cannot even come close to recalling all of the different lenses. They have all been good cameras, the only drawback was the person behind the camera. I have always been skeptical about "true believers" be it religion, politics, cars, cameras or peanut butter. If often seems that such zealots, are not just dangerous, but attempting to convince themselves as much as others. Enjoy your Fuji.

"In 2003. For $11 a share."

Must have been 2001. That's the last time Amazon traded that low, I believe.

It's really silly how pleased I am to hear this - why does it matter to me what you shoot? But - having switched to the X-H1 after dropping a D750 in favor of the X-T2, it's really a unique camera. Hope the camera, and especially all of that wonderful glass, gets a good deal of use. The 56 on and 90 really benefit from the stabilization and better grip of the X-H1, both lenses I made the mistake of renting and now desire, even if I lack any justification for buying them.

Because I'm stupid, or more charitably, just because I like cameras as objects, I've owned everything. But in the last year-plus as I've become less interested in cameras and more interested in photos I keep gravitating back to Fuji X equipment. I keep this and that around - stuff that has no commercial value anymore, but sold all my high end panasonic/olympus. My core system is Fuji X with an H1 and a T3 currently anchoring.
When I just want to go take photos I want either of these cameras and the wonderful lenses in my hands. The elusive "just right" factor for my hands and the way I use cameras is just so good. So good that even though I've never liked zooms, I do like Fuji zooms and I'm eagerly looking forward to the 16-80 4.0 coming out in a few weeks.

Just hope you enjoy that just right feel as much as I am.

Ooh,ooh, a 56 and 90mm Fuji lens? you lucky dog! I have a 56 and love it It's part of a three lens kit for my X-Pro1 a 35mm 1.4 and a 23mm accompany it in the bag . While I seldom do portraits on purpose, I use it like a short tele, albeit a fast one.

The 90 seems like something I would like, but I have the excellent 50-140 zoom and an XT-1 and I would probably never use it! well maybe I would :) Anyway that was very kind of Jay. I think he picked the right home for it.

Cheers from New Hampshire

Wow, Mike, what a magnanimous gesture by Jay! If the 16-80mm lens was available last November, I might have bought the X-H1. I went with the Sony a6500 and Sony-Zeiss 16-70mm instead. Wishing you happy shooting and good light with your new gifts!

Off- topic, though there is a connection, I see you have 746 Patreons which I think is the highest number you have had and maybe you’ll reach your first goal of 750 soon.

Mike, why good on you! And on Jay for being so generous! Have fun shooting!


Congratulations! I like what you wrote so thoughtfully about this camera back when you tested it. Looking forward to see what you make of the 56mm, in particular. I'm still using (and enjoying) the GX-8 but the X-H1 would be on my list if I were looking again.

I don't know if I am a complete cheapskate, but I hate the thought of giving away camera gear to anyone - even my children. There's no way I would (or could) do the same thing as Jay Burleson. That said, my mirrorless cameras belong to the now-defunct Nikon 1 system, so I am not sure that you would even want one of those.

Have fun with your new acquisitions. You can compare notes on that camera and various lenses with Kirk Tuck, who owns much (or all) of the same gear.

That is really Cool!! Love it. I also love your use of the word impecunious.
Love reading The Online Photographer. Thanks Mike


Good things sometimes come to good people. You have had a rough time recently with your eyes. Now the wheel has turned and revealed that you have a very generous and kind friend full of good will toward you. Although this act of generosity is off the charts, I think that Jay is not alone among your readers, although the scale of the generosity, but not the good will, of most of us will be smaller. Enjoy all of it. It's well deserved.


So, I am expecting a through review of the camera and all lenses, with pictures, perhaps by the end of next week. ;-)

What a great story, and kudos to Jay for making it happen.
I am really happy for you, this was a camera that caught your fancy from the very beginning. Alas, you thought it wasn't to be.......and yet, here it is in the east possible way.
Few of us really need lots of lenses, but you know what, when you have them it is a lot of fun. You can look at the world a little differently, or just enjoy seeing in different ways.
You've 'Got new Eyes' in more than one way.
I'm very happy for you, a great story.

I’ll be following this with keen interest, as I recently got the same camera. I haven’t even unboxed it yet.

Wow, so nice. I've kind of completely fallen for the X-H1 over the past couple weeks, even with just one lens, the 23 f2. A Pentax adaptor is on the way for some of my old lenses. Should be fun. Took me a bit to figure out how to make the command dials work like a dslr in manual (youtube has the answer) but once that was done, camera bliss.

Hooray for Jay Burleson!! What a great thing for him to do.

I'm pleased about this not just because of the generosity and usefulness of the gift, but because there's going to be someone whose views I respect and enjoy reading, writing more about Fuji. The other such person (no names, but initials are TH) seems to ignore the brand and sensor size I've settled on, and nowadays only really writes about so-called full-frame, making his writings of limited interest and relevance to me, unlike when I was a Nikon dSLR shooter.

This may make me sound like a fanboi, but not so. I'm more open-minded that that. I just like an independent, well thought-out, well-written, entertaining set of views that are of sufficient relevance to me sufficiently often. Interspersed with plenty of non-gear posts.

And I confess that I sometimes get pangs of regret that I passed over an X-H1 when I bought an X-T3 during last year's Black Friday. Those pangs may now get more frequent. With X-H1 prices coming down it's still an option I guess.

Well Mike, for an OC/OL/OY guy, you reveal yourself to be very promiscuous.

I'm so happy for you. Congrats. That's a great kit. It's going to be interesting to see how you use it.

Congratulations, and thanks for sharing the good news. What I'll be interested to see -- and I don't intend to throw the slightest bit of shade when I say this -- is how much of a difference having a full range of focal lengths makes in your day-to-day shooting. Can you provide updates, insights and observations from time-to-time? Actual photos would be appreciated but, at least as I'm concerned, are not essential.

Oh, wonderful! Congratulations! :)

I would love to see you do some reviews and comparisons of all these lenses. Not the brick wall, MTF chart kind of reviews, but something discussing the look and feel of the images the lenses create. And how do all these lenses, as a body of work, point to what Fuji’s lens designers think is important in an image and an image making tool.

I suppose I want some good commentary on the lens-maker’s craft, and I feel that you’re the guy to do it. :)

For example, Fuji’s two portrait lenses, which you mentioned, feel to me very different from each other, and yet I have no language to accurately describe the difference I see. Twenty years of studying photography on the internet, and I’ve yet to come across any good resources on this topic. I’m hoping that can change.


I am curious for how long will we keep so many lenses:)

That 90 lens is fantastic.

Wow, what a fantastic gift and what a generous friend. I'll be very interested to hear of your experiences.

You have impeccable sense of timing Mike. I am about to pull the trigger on a second-hand Panasonic GX8 and came here to re-read what you said about it. I love Fuji system in theory. In practice I have never shot with it.

Enjoy! And please do write about it.

I find it interesting that "full kit" has so many different meanings.
I own three cameras. Each of them has its own purpose for me. I only use one lens for each of them and these three cameras form my "kit". Three cameras, three lenses kit.

Good that you've come to your senses :p 😆

Seriously is there a better choice than Fuji nowadays?

Do you plan on sharing some pictures you'll be taking with it?

Very interested to hear your future thoughts on the 56 vs. 90.

"*You can probably think of more pejorative terms for it, but quiet in the back!"

I'm thinking of an adaptation of a song by Frank Zappa...from Joe's Garage....

So put your head down & don't even look at another camera. You now have a superb tool. Merge with it.

One camera, many lenses, one year (+ more). Make Fred Picker proud.

And enjoy one of the best shutter releases ever made.


Now that's a sweet way to build up a system...! You'll love the X-H1, and you can't pry my 56mm or 90mm out of my paws. I wrote yesterday about using the 100-400mm for theater shooting. check if interested.

The Fuji system is nearly perfect. I don't know why it's not "perfect" but I assume there's always room for improvement.

Anyway, welcome back into the cult.

Mike, reading your story---and what a helluva good way to pay it forward, Jay! Gotta respect that, for sure---I actually immediately thought of you as a photo hitch hiker. You got somewhere to go, but you're not so dogmatic about the precise route or in what vehicle for how long.

You might not be smart but you sure are a lucky boy !

The Fuji X-H1 has the nicest sounding/feeling shutter I've had in a long, long time. The only camera that felt similarly good was a Leica M film camera I had years ago.

Hey, Mike, I'll be interested in your thoughts on the X-H1. I just bought a pair of them, with the grips and lots of extra batteries, for $1200 each (using the sale price and the EDU discount.) They replace my three year old X-T2 bodies as my primary work cameras.

With the grip, these are basically the same size as my Canon 1D Mark IV bodies -- i.e., the giant cameras I stopped using six years ago because they were so big and heavy. But the Fujis are lighter, and the f/2.8 zooms are smaller and lighter, so it's still a win for Fujifilm in this case.

It did take me a couple of assignments to get used to the shutter. The button has a long travel but the shutter fires almost immediately, like a hair trigger. At first I was missing moments, but I did get the hang of it fairly quickly. The harder part is keeping the AF locked in for the second shot -- this is easy on an X-T2, just press halfway to acquire focus, hold it while recomposing, then shoot a photo and let i9t go back to the half-press position to hold focus for another shot. The X-H1 requires some careful attention to exactly where the half-press position is.

And I have to say I *love* the grip, both horizontal and vertical. And I am getting used to the lack of a physical exposure comp dial. Now that I can see the battery levels when the camera is off, that seems to be a fair trade for the EC dial.

Hope you have fun with the camera and all the new lenses :)

Mike -

FWIW, I have been really happy with Fuji, particularly as I age. My current traveling kit, a Fuji XPro-2 and various lenses, is 1/3 of the weight of my Nikon kit and still manages to make marvelous photographs. (If your memory is long enough, you may recall my use of an 8x10 and the making of platinum prints.) So enjoy your Fuji cameras and your bevy of lenses. Jim

Hi Mike,
The XH-1 is my Methadone. I'm a recovering Polaroidaholic, I was able to feed the monkey on my back after big P's demise by shooting up on Fujiroid instant 100-B. Then when my Roid pusher Samy couldn't deliver anymore I had a smuggler bring it in from the Asian black market. Then the well dried up, I had to go cold turkey. Samy said just rent this Fuji, the first one's free... The gateway drug to Fuji. Now I Digi-Roid for all my analog HABS/HAER photography. I started with the X-M1, then XE-1, then I got the XT-2 but I couldn't read the tiny white numbers on the screen easily, The XH-1 has that great big window with the "meter reading" staring up at my reading glasses. I have it speed matched to my processing time for Iilford HP-5, I take a f16 aperture priority auto bracket of 3 exposures with the jpeg preview set to monochrome, and look at the articulated screen for a histogram and preview of what it will look like as a black and white print in my darkroom, transfer those meter readings to the copal shutter and bingo. I guess that's Fuji-Digi-Roid, and I'm more addicted than ever.
If you have the latest version of Lightroom, the little known, new "Enhance Details" feature does wonders to improve the definition and "worminess" of fine X-Trans details by running the original RAW file through an algorithm. You'll be shocked, I apply it to all my keepers, it takes a while to run, but worth it.

Congratulations Mike. I will be interested in reading about your experience using so many lens. You may be set in your habits and only use the ones you have grown to prefer.
Enjoy and be thankful for the moments of good fortune that come along.

Here’s what I think Mike. Considering the following post about exercise, how about walking at least one day during the weekend, and take your newly acquired Fuji kit! In my mind, it’s important that you have a day to enjoy and exersise your mind too. I would add, two things, does your eye doctor have any reservations about you holding a camera to your eye, and should you be lifting anything of consequence after your surgery? Though I expect enough time has passed.
Also, I have to say, I am looking forward to seeing more pictures of your neighborhood , and the people that live nearby.
It could be a project! It has occurred to me that you have enough on your plate, and need a ‘project’ like a hole in your head!
But it would be fun, I think.

Don't let the new toy distract you from writing about the G9! :)

You have mentioned the "full set of lenses" quite a few times recently, in various contexts, and I think you have been yearning for such a set and you will benefit from it. Having such a set will open up new directions to your photography.

One camera one lens is good. One camera and two or three lenses is good. But having a wider range of lenses at your immediate disposal affords new creative challenges and joys. To everything // There is a season // And a time to every purpose // Under heaven. For you, personally, now is the time for a full set of lenses! Listen to the multitude of creative calls that come to you from your lens cabinet!

Our fellow TOP reader Jay Burleson has done the right thing.

Great story! In terms of brands, I'm pretty happy where I am now in terms of equipment and there are plenty of good choices out there. The only thing that worries me is the uneven distribution of the market, one that is shrinking and how that might lead to less innovation and more market concentration in the future. I'm hoping that several brands will remain viable for complete systems.

As for having a complete system, I dare you to use 400 mm as your only focal length for a month! (wouldn't work for me)

Ah now you and Kirk Tuck can share in your Fuji love. Give him a call for any setup questions you might have.

Did you get the regular 56 or the APD version? I had the regular version first and truly hated its bokeh wide open at close distances. The APD is in a very different league.

I'm glad for you, Mike--and my hat's off to Jay.

Welcome back.

If that doesn't cure your GAS for a while, nothing will!

Your occasional correspondent, Mr. Kirk Tuck from Texas, really likes the X-H1 body. He knows his equipment. You are a lucky guy to be gifted this fabulous equipment.

I'm curious to see how you like the X-H1 and 100 - 400mm combo. Does the double stabilization make a difference?

Fiata -- Fuji Is Always The Answer

In an earlier comment above, I bemoaned the total lack of recent comment by Thom Hogan on Fuji. This was not a fanboi complaint - I'm not complaining about critical comment. I want to know what he really thinks. I assume it's only a coincidence that six days later he releases a deluge of Fuji comments. I can't believe that that I have any influence on Thom. Anyway, it seems that you've got some welcome commentary competition again, Mike. I hope it's not just a flash in the pan.

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