Fujifilm Gear August 2013

Leaving The DSLR Camp For Fujifilm Cameras – My Journey to the X100 & X-E1

Coming from the DSLR camp I used APSC-sized and full frame sized sensor DSLRs for years. Some day I bought my first CSC with a fixed lens the Leica X1, because I want something compact, light-weighted, with an APSC-sized sensor for every day use and I don’t want to compromise in terms of image quality. However it was a short love: the not so good high ISO performance, the not so fast lens and the slow auto-focus were not good enough for my own style of photography. Hence I look for other options with an APSC-sized sensor.
Here we go: I decided to buy the Fujifilm X100 and I sold the Leica X1.
As soon as I got my X100 in my hands I took her to her first travel abroad: Hong Kong. She was my ‘backup camera’ for my Canon 5D. You know what kind of weather conditions you can expect in Hong Kong: hot and high humidity. I always had both cameras with me but mostly I like the convenience of the X100. Some days I left the 5D at my realtives’ place and went out to the street canyons of Hong Kong only equipped with the X100. It was liberating and I began to do more street photography in addition to my architecture and cityscape photography. I used to take photos of architecture, cityscapes and landscapes but somehow the X100 changes everything and I found a new drive to do photography. It isn’t hauling an extensive heavy gear anymore. Just a simple vintage looking camera with a fixed 23mm lens (equivalent to 35mm on a 35mm format). Other photographers praises the X100 when they saw me with it and non-photographers didn’t notice me when I was taking photos. Even though the X100 wasn’t totally perfect, it was pefect for my own style of photography. The photos from that camera were amazing!

Cologne Cathedral - Nightfall

Cologne Cathedral – Nightfall. Shot with the X100 long exposure

Now fast-forwarded in time: Fujifilm announced their Fujifilm X-E1 camera. Before that there was the Fujifilm X-Pro1 but all the flaws I read weren’t convincing for a purchase…but I was ecstatic by the X-E1. I sold the X100 and bought the X-E1. I am still missing the optical viewfinder and my favourite focal length 23mm but the option to swap lenses was too good and there will be a 23mm lens in the future.
I bought the X-E1 with the 18-55mm lens in a bundle but I rarely use the kit lens. Besides I purchased the M-Mount adapter and most of the time I attached my Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.4 manual focus lens from my Voigtlander Bessa R3A to my X-E1. It was quite cumbersome to focus manually without focus peaking. It took me some time to pin-point the focus where I want it. Another annoying thing is that the auto-focus point selector button is located on the left side of the camera. When I take photos I always use the EVF so my face always covers the AF-point selector button. That means I have to put down the camera to press the button and set the AF-Point afterwards. This costs time and for the most time the moment you’d like to capture was long passed.
However after the release of the newest firmware upgrade all those issues are now in the past. Focus peaking has been introduced and the AF-point selector function can be set on one of the cursor buttons on the right side. Now you can set the AF-point while you are operating the camera through the EVF.
Before those great features were introduced I was annoyed by the the time consuming manual focussing with the Voigtlander lens and I decided to give the Funjinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R a shot. I was impressed by its build- and image quality it can produce. The sharpness of the lens is superb. The only negative note it gets is the noise of the focus motor. I hope the revision of the lens will get rid of this.

Fujifilm Gear August 2013

Fujifilm Gear August 2013 – Fujifilm X-E1, Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R, Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R, Fujifilm Pivi MP-300 Photo Printer.

So I use the X-E1 mainly for portrait photos and food photography. There were no opportunities to use it for my travel photography and I also missed a wide angle lens below 18mm (equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm format) focal length.
During my time with the DSLR 5D I used to use the 17-40mm f/4 L USM lens or the all-purpose lens 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens for photos of architecture, cityscapes and landscapes. I mostly use the focal length in the wide angle range 24mm and downwards – I am a wide angle photographer. :)
Last year on my 14 days backpacking trip to Italy I only took my 5D with the 24-105mm lens, a tripod and a nodal adapter with me – pretty basic gear. Still it was painful to haul it with me in that summer heat over 30°C. That was the turning point for me to leave the DSLR camp and go the CSC path especially after the great experience with the X100 in Hong Kong (almost a year before the Italy holiday).

The Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R was announced. According to the official lens roadmap I have to wait a long time until the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS is released and a holiday trip to London was planned. Therefore I decided to buy the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R. A friend of mine ordered the lens for me and I collected it upon arrival at his place.

So the first travel photography with the X-E1 begins. I forced myself to use only the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R on the entire holiday in London. In fact there were only three occasions I swapped the lens to the Fujinon XF 35mmm f/1.4 R because of portraits photos, some objects were too far away and a faster lens was in need.

In my opinion after one week of using the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R it is another excellent lens and to date the best one amongst my lenses. 14mm (equivalent to 21mm on a 35mm format) is a good focal length and the field of view for me as a wide angle photographer is more than enough. The only issue I can find on that lens is the not so rigid aperture ring. When I don’t use the camera it’s hanging around my body. When I use the camera I often noticed that the aperture changed. The aperture ring is too loose.

All the following photos are a selection from my London holiday a few weeks ago. They were shot before the the firmware upgrade version 2.0 was introduced and applied. More photos will be released in upcoming posts.

For more photos please click on the following links. I posted two blog articles with photos shot with the X-E1 & the Fujinon 14mm f/2.8 R.

Interesting blog articles:
Leaving The DSLR Camp For Fujifilm Cameras – My Journey to the X100 & X-E1

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R Nightfall/Twilight Series in London

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R at Borough Market in London

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Street Photos In London pt.1

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Street Photos In London pt.2

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Street Photos In London pt.3

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Street Photos In London pt.4

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Architecture In London pt.1

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Architecture In London pt.2

Palace of Westminster & Westminster Bridge Nightfall 2013

Palace of Westminster & Westminster Bridge Nightfall 2013

Tower Bridge Nightfall 2013

Tower Bridge Nightfall 2013

London Eye Nightfall 2013

London Eye Nightfall 2013

Millennium Bridge (Close) Nightfall 2013

Millennium Bridge (Close) Nightfall 2013

The Shard Nightfall (Halo) 2013

The Shard Nightfall (Halo) 2013

Borough Market Cheese Stall

Borough Market Cheese Stall

Borough Market Fish

Borough Market Fish

Borough Market Tomatoes

Borough Market Tomatoes

Borough Market Mushrooms

Borough Market Mushrooms

Borough Market Arabian Snacks

Borough Market Arabian Snacks

Borough Market Arabian Snacks

Borough Market Arabian Snacks

Borough Market Melons

Borough Market Melons

Borough Market Vegetables

Borough Market Vegetables

Borough Market Olive Oil

Borough Market Olive Oil

Borough Market Wild Salmon

Borough Market Wild Salmon

Borough Market Chillis

Borough Market Chillis

Interesting blog articles:
Leaving The DSLR Camp For Fujifilm Cameras – My Journey to the X100 & X-E1

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R Nightfall/Twilight Series in London

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R at Borough Market in London

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Street Photos In London pt.1

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Street Photos In London pt.2

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Street Photos In London pt.3

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Street Photos In London pt.4

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Architecture In London pt.1

X-E1 & Fujinon XF 14MM f/2.8 R Architecture In London pt.2