If you’ve seen my posts before on my Fuji journey, you will know how pleased I am with the X-E2. Since then so much has happened, in fact since I last posted I’ve bought the X-Pro1 and sold it and bought the X-T1! Let me explain.
What’s been happening.
Fuji X-Pro1: The deal is/was, that for £899 I could buy the body with an 18mm lens and claim a 27mm, 35mm or 60mm macro lens free! The 18mm lens best price retails for £399, I chose the 60mm macro which best price retails at £438, so that’s £837 worth of lenses, the camera body cost me £62. The X-Pro1 best body only price was £805 at the time! I sold the X-Pro1 for £475 to help fund the X-T1. So, basically I made a profit of £413 on the X-Pro 1 deal and that was put against the X-T1. I’ve worked the calculation backwards and forwards and get the same figure every time, not sure I believe it now!
On March 4th, I visited the UK Photographic Show at the NEC in Birmingham and went straight to the Fuji stand to get my hands on the X-T1. To say I was impressed was an understatement! It was fitted with the grip so felt more like a light but perfectly formed dSLR. It was the new EVF viewfinder that was the big hit with 100% coverage. A quick phone call to “management”, got the all clear and rushed to the Calumet stand where they were selling the body, 18-55mm lens, Fuji 58mm protection filter, the grip and a spare battery! A saving of £325 if all bought separately. On top of this it entitles me to a £250 discount on the up coming XF 18-135mm lens, should I want one. Calumet had sold out every day for the first 3 days, this was the last day and a new stock of 6 camera kits was disappearing fast. I bought the last but one.
Ever since then, apart from 2 weeks without the X-T1, I’ve been out as often as I can.
Fuji XT-1 with the XF 18-55mm f2.8-f4 R LM OIS lens.
On my return and the next day I was straight off to Snowdonia, where else! My intention was to take both RAW and jpeg files, the latter set in the Film Simulation Mode to Monochrome or Astia. Next are a few of my results.
Image 1. Location – Capel Curig.
The first image is a RAF to jpeg conversion.
Fuji X-T1 – 18-55mm f2.8-4. email@example.com – ISO200 – EV= -1.0
Camera jpeg with Film Simulation Setting of Monochrome.
The above images were only the 59th image taken. I soon became to understand the reviews which said how intuitive the camera is. Like all the Fuji X CSC range, the lenses have an aperture ring, so on Manual camera settings what one sees in the EVF, is what is captured. Also, an option to see a small histogram in the EVF is available. Now, that’s what I call progress.
Image 3. – Nant Ffrancon
Fuji X-T1 – 18-55mm f2.8-4. 1/60@f11 – ISO200 – EV= -1.0
A slower speed just to “slow” the water slightly. Hand held jpeg shot in Film Simulation “Astia” mode.
A Note about film simulation modes – Colour.
Like most X range CSC’s the user has the choice of assigning a Film Simulation setting. The choices are:
Provia: A film I regularly use in my film cameras. There is a similarity to Velvia film with less saturation.
Velvia: I find this too saturated and as a current and past user of Fuji Velvia 35 and 120mm film,there is a too much saturation for me. Other’s love it.
Astia: My preferred jpeg setting for colour imagery. This is the least saturated and it is very similar to the out of camera RAW files. Interesting as Astia is Fuji’s film for outdoor portraits.
Pro Neg Hi: Also recommended for outdoors photography, offering slightly more contrast.
Pro Neg Lo: As above with a soft toned palette. Enhances skin tones.
As I don’t like over saturation, Velvia’s out. Provia can, like Velvia in certain conditions e.g. a bright sunny day, give slight over saturation In my view. As I’m not interested in portraiture I leave Pro Neg Hi and Lo it doesn’t get used. To prove my point about Velvia mode, consider the image below taken with the X-E2 (same as X-T1).
More next about the jpeg B&W film simulation modes next.
B&W jpeg simulation
There are 4 filter options in Monochrome Film Simulation modes + Sepia. Older film users will know all about this!
Monochrome + Yellow filter: Tones down the brightness of the sky and slightly increases contrast.
Monochrome + Red Filter: Once again tones down the brightness in the sky and increases the contrast further than with a yellow filter.
Monochrome + Green Filter: Softens skin tones in B&W portraits.
Sepia: Gives the sepia effect.
Below are some Monochrome examples.
Image 5. Monochrome: Standard B&W.
Fuji X-T1 – 18-55mm f2.8-4. 1/125@f11 – ISO200 – EV= 0
Image 6. Monochrome + Yellow filter:
Fuji X-T1 – 18-55mm f2.8-4. 1/60@f11 – ISO400 – EV= 0
Image 7. Monochrome + Red Filter:
Fuji X-T1 – 18-55mm f2.8-4. firstname.lastname@example.org- ISO200 – EV= 0
Hopefully, the viewer will see the changes in contrast and sky definitions in each image.
So, why do I love my Fuji X-T1.
Initially I could not see a day without my D800, now it’s gone. I couldn’t ever contemplate not having my 24-70mm f2.8, but it’s gone too. I’ve kept my D7100, 28-300mm, 16-35mm, 50mm f1.8, 105mm macro, 70-300mm VR, 70-200mm f2.8 and 300mm f4. The Fuji, good as it is, will not satisfy my needs for wildlife, so Nikon stays very much in my life. The Fuji X 55-200mm OIS lens is very, very capable, but only really for static wildlife. It’s not one of the fastest AF of Fuji’s offerings.
What do I like about Fuji and my X-T1 in particular? In choosing a camera my needs are “Quality of image”, “Build Quality, “Functionality” and “Ergonomics”. In addition and very importantly, the companies approach to customer service. Most of all these features on the X-T1 which set it apart from OVF cameras:
The ability to zoom in when composing at the press of the button and check focus without taking one’s eye off the viewfinder.
To be able to alter the aperture and watch the resultant image in the viewfinder and even a histogram preview.
These are real WYSIWYG features and no need to take the camera from the eye to check in the LED rear screen the exposure. My wife is a novice and yet she’s mastered taking an image by using these important features, leaving her to concentrate on composition etc.
I found most of these in the Fuji X-E2 and X-Pro 1, but the X-T1 exceeded all my expectations.
What are my principal benefits of Fuji over Nikon dSLR? Portability, light and easily carried on long trips into the hills and elsewhere. Initially, I was looking for a high quality holiday camera. Image quality, absolutely no arguments there. Functionality, everything I need, more on the top plate and less tucked away in menu functions. The EVF on the E-X2 was good, but the X-T1 is in my opinion ground breaking. Focus speed is extremely fast, not quite as fast as Nikon, but hey, I’m a mainly a landscape photographer.
I am not interested in MTF charts, or delving to nth degree into the depths of processor capability, I just want to take good, sharp clean photographs. I am finding my Fuji’s are doing what I want.
Do I miss my D800? The simple answer is “no”. I think I am achieving like for like quality and the X-T1 with the 10-24mm f4 lens is a landscapes photographer’s dream.
Finally, where is mirrorless lacking? Easy, in terms of fast action or moving wildlife they are just not there yet. The EVF, fast and good as it is, will just not keep up with the action. It lacks the ability to track and in particular, predictively.
So, there we are, that’s where I am now.
I’m going to stop my review here of the actual camera body as dpreview have just launched a review. The review says everything I would want to and so much more too! Well worth a read. See below.
Uh, Oh. X-T1 goes back to Fuji!!!
Just my luck, my Fuji X-T1 is one of the cameras, evidently, with the light leak problem! Mmm, I wonder how Fuji will compare to Nikon when a problem arises. Well, firstly they told me. Importantly, the process of repair went like this. Day 1 they sent me a box, day two I sent it to Fuji, Day six they despatched it, day seven it was back with me. Brilliant and a status of repair update link allowed me watch the whole process. Well, says it all really 🙂
The dpreview Review of the X-T1
Rather than me go further on the merits of the Fuji X-T1, it maybe time to look at the most comprehensive review to date. It is extensive and exhaustive and a great read for any Fuji X-T1 owner or prospective owner. Take a look at the review here. Fuji X-T1 in depth review.
April 17th 2014.
Ok, once again I took a break. Demand by folks wanting to know more about the X-T1 and the X models generally has led to me spending more time on the Nikonians Forum Lots of folks are getting excited now about the numerous CSC offerings, not just Fuji, but Olympus, Sony etc. So, now I can spend some more time working on this blog.
Since I last wrote I have now added the new Fuji 10-24mm f4 R OIS XF X-Mount Lens with the fleet! What a lens. Having owned both the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 and still have the excellent Nikon16-35mm F4 I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this is one heck of a lens. It’s put me back into Full Frame territory because it has a field of view of 15-36mm on the Fuji, which compares admirably against my 16-35mm Nikon. I would be in cloud cuckoo land if I compared it to the Holy Nikon 14-24mm f2.8, however it’s a fraction of the weight, a much lower cost, it is optically stabilised and it has a 72mm filter thread enabling the use of my Cokin ND filter holder. It’s image quality is outstanding and one only has to read the reviews to be persuaded. See, for example, this review. Fuji 10-24mm f4 R OIS XF X-Mount Lens review.
The lens is extremely well constructed and for an X lens quite weight, but when compared against the Nikon 14-24 f2.8 and 16-5mm f4 it’s a positive feather weight. In fact mounted on the X-T1 or X-E2 for that matter it balances well. Put the battery grip on the X-T1 and it almost a perfect balance with no feeling of front end weight. The lens works in a very similar feel to the excellent 18-55mm kit lens with the aperture adjustment ring and focus ring in the same place.
So, lets look at some images.
The following 5 Colour images are RAW files converted to jpeg
Fuji X-T1 + 10-24mm f4 – 1/125 @ f11 – ISO 200
Fuji X-T1 + 10-24mm f4 – 1/500 @ f9 – ISO 400
Utopia – North Wales in spring time and out with my best friend!
The following 2 images are jpeg B&W in camera film simulation B&W with Yellow filter
Early Summary of the Fuji 10-24mm f4.
It’s early days, but this lens seems to be on my X-T1 nearly all the time as it’s just so versatile. I am absolutely delighted with the results so far. I will end now and post more soon. Who know what I will be blogging about!