After much experimentation and deliberation, I pulled the trigger on something I’m very excited about. But we’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s recap.
In the past few years, I’ve owned the following Fujifilm gear, all with its own pros and cons.
⁃ 16mm f/1.4
⁃ 18mm f/2
⁃ 23mm f/1.4
⁃ 27mm f/2.8 R WR
⁃ 35mm f/1.4
⁃ 35mm f/2 R WR
⁃ 50mm f/2 R WR
⁃ 56mm f/1.2
⁃ 60mm f/2.4 macro
⁃ 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS
⁃ WCL and TCL conversion lenses for the X100 series
The caveat being that I didn’t own it all at the same time and most of this gear was necessary for professional purposes. While I enjoyed all of it, I definitely noticed a trend in what I leaned toward using when clients weren’t involved. The “best” lenses weren’t the ones I gravitated toward because they were typically significantly larger and heavier. My favorite lenses for personal use are the 18mm f/2 and the 35mm f/2. Small, lightweight, easy to carry and both focal lengths that I find very versatile.
When it came to the cameras, it’s no secret that I love the X-T1. My first foray into mirrorless and it didn’t disappoint. Even now, this seven year old camera still packs a punch! (So much so that I sold the X-T2 and went back to shooting with the X-T1). The only thing I don’t love about it is the form factor. It’s DSLR-esque to be sure and I much prefer the form factor of a rangefinder style body.
Which is why I took a spin with the X100 series. Ultimately, (though perhaps the most beautiful cameras Fuji makes), I wanted more versatility. Yes, I like to limit myself and I don’t mind shooting with only one lens (in fact, I relish it), but I would like the option to change said lens if the situation warrants. Even if it only warrants a handful of times a year.
I thought maybe the X70 could replace the compact camera void left by the X100F and X100V when I sold them, and it did, to a point. I really loved it to be honest and if I were a camera collector, I would’ve kept it. But I’m not a collector. My cameras are utilitarian tools and the X70 was a little too niché. I loved it when I used it (even if the D-Pad was a little too close to the screen, making it hard to depress the button on the far left), but I couldn’t use it as much as I wanted. It didn’t have a wide enough aperture to shoot in my home, which can be somewhat dark. It was a solid, well built little machine and I do think Fuji should update it with newer features and a flush screen like the one found on the X100V and X-E4. An X80 would certainly peak my interest.
The X-E2s was the most recent of my experiments and I raved about it. I loved the form factor, the size…I even said it could usurp the X-T1 as my favorite interchangeable lens camera of all time. It was a joy to shoot with. I don’t think I’ve ever had a camera that fit my hand so well.
But alas, some of the projects I’m working on need more megapixels in order to showcase the detail I’m aiming for. I was also feeling the limitations of the slower autofocus found in gear that was 6+ years old. I don’t always have the option of taking my time.
I briefly considered the X-E4 but ultimately, the body is just a little too streamlined for me. No grip, no focus mode selector switch, and no rear dial – all things that are very useful to me. Next, I toyed around with the idea of an X-Pro series camera but of course, that’s a significant size/weight increase and I dismissed it on those grounds.
So, after selling off all my gear save the X-T1 and 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS lens, which I kept for my daughter, what did I wind up purchasing? You may have caught on if you were paying attention to the captions in my last post. Keeping in mind my tried and tested 4-S philosophy (i.e. size, speed, sound, savings) I went with…
The Fujifilm X-E3! A little bit old, a little bit new, it’s the perfect combination of all the things I loved about the X-E2s but with some more updated features, while at the same time, not sacrificing the tactile functionality. My goal was a small, lightweight, versatile toss-in-my-bag option and coupled with either the 18mm f/2 or the 35mm f/2, I think this fits the bill nicely. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks so I’ve not had a chance to really put it through its paces yet, just grabbing a few shots here and there as I do life. But I think that really demonstrates how portable this camera is. I always have it with me.
I’m also interested in adapting some wide aperture vintage glass (which I haven’t done since I sold off my film gear a few years ago) so I’ll be on the lookout for that as well.
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