Musings on my personal "ideal"

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Lightmancer, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Over the years I have been fortunate to have owned and used some blisteringly good cameras and lenses. My "journey" (if I can call it that, because it has not exactly been linear...) has progressed from an Olympus XA2 (my first "serious" camera) to Pentax, from there to Contax, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Ricoh and of course Fuji. I have seldom met a camera I didn't get on with (I can name a few - Rollei QZ, Epson R-D1, Leica M8) and have had some corkers (standouts were the Pentax LX, Contax RX, Nikon FM3a and Leica M7 and R7).

    Some truisms - and constants - have developed over the years, and remain characteristically relevant to this day:
    • I like to travel light
    • 50mm (or equivalent thereof) is by far my favourite focal length
    • my cameras are generally better than my photography
    • Until the advent of built-in spirit levels, my ability to hold a horizon level was rubbish
    • I love a good rangefinder, preferring it to all other forms of viewing (1992 was the epiphany year for me. I haven't looked back - or through much else - since)

    When Fuji introduced the X series I was initially skeptical; I had limited experience with the APS-C format but a brief dalliance with a Nikon D700 convinced me that my days of carrying a two-ton heavy machine gun were behind me and the X-E1 seemed like the best choice at the time.

    Today, nearly 2 years on, I am inches from my ideal, Fuji-X based setup. Essentially, I have ended up with two "sub-systems" - a twin-lens (18-55 and 55-200) set with the X-T1 for sport, macro, action and tele work, and a travel, street, low-light set built around the X-E1 (shortly to be replaced with the X-Pro1) with 23, 27, 35 and 56mm lenses. I am not a big ultra-wideangle merchant, but the 14mm is also there for that purpose.

    All lenses are of course usable with any X camera body - and that is, for me, the greatest advantage of the system overall. For the first time without fiddly adaptors or Visoflexes I can have the best of both form-factor worlds at my fingertips and choose according to my intended subject matter which to use. It strikes me that this is why Fuji have really got it right - they have delivered a high quality, increasingly comprehensive system that meets a number of needs at a number of price points. They have not compromised on build quality (without going crazy) and have utilised their film heritage coupled with digital innovation to give high quality end results. Finally, they have backed up their system with a regular firmware upgrade programme and a prompt and courteous service setup.

    Honestly, what's not to like?

    Where all this is heading is that I am about to step off the upgrade treadmill; I have finally found something that really suits me and unless or until Fuji brings out something that really floats my boat - a 1.4x teleconverter, for instance - my wallet will remain in my pocket, as a very satisfied customer.
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