A month with the Fujifilm X70. What I love. What I hate?

Let me preface by saying upfront that the only thing I hate about this camera is that I didn’t buy it sooner. So, if you’re looking for a list of cons, this probably isn’t the blog post for you.

I’m not opposed to sharing lists of pros and cons but with this camera, after a month of shooting with it, I don’t have any. That doesn’t mean the camera is perfect. It’s not. But for me, for my life, for my style of shooting, I have found the little X70 to be a welcome addition with no true pitfalls.

My search for a truly portable, possibly pocketable second camera that I could carry everywhere began over two years ago with the X100F. Then I tried out the X100V. Both great cameras, but neither really filled the role I had intended. I was trying out the newest additions, all the while the camera that checked all the boxes was “old.”

(And I know the Ricoh is also awesome, but I wanted to stick with Fuji because 90% of my work is shot jpeg – because I hate editing – using Fujifilm’s custom film simulations and I wanted continuity with images shot on my X-T1).

Where this camera really excels is in the documentation of the everyday: photographing life as you live it. It resides in my handbag and goes with me everywhere. I like the tactile nature of shooting with a dedicated camera and I doubt that will ever change.

Fuji’s “fun” lens, the 18mm f/2. (It’s almost a pancake. And who doesn’t love pancakes?)

One of my favorite lenses of all time? Perhaps.

I’m not even sure where to start. This lens is pure joy to shoot with. It’s the kind of lens that puts you right in the middle of whatever you’re shooting because in order to fill the frame, you have to get close. Sometimes really close. Maybe that’s why I love it so much – it allows me to photograph my family while I’m in the midst of living life with them instead of feeling like I’m on the outskirts, observing but not participating.

With a 28mm equivalent focal length, it’s on the wider end and that’s not for everyone. For many years, I gravitated toward a 35mm equivalent – highly recommended as a versatile focal length, it seemed a sure bet. And I used it heavily for a few years, but I was never in love with it.

Enter the 18mm f/2 lens (28mm equivalent). I originally purchased it for interior photography and I was surprised when I wound up using it so much for my personal photos as well. The focal length is fun. I don’t know how else to describe it. It is perfect for capturing the silly, the unusual, the playful…I really love using it to photograph my kids. But it also holds its own in areas where one might typically go wider, such as interior photography and landscapes.

I can’t help but compare its function to that of the 16mm f/1.4 because the focal lengths and maximum apertures are so similar. But the size and cost are vastly different. Having owned both, my money is on the 18mm and here’s why: If you’re shooting wide, there’s a good chance that you’re stopping down to at least f/4 – in which case, you really have no need of a lens with a 1.4 aperture. In addition, for any type of traveling, the 18mm is significantly smaller and lighter. Significantly. That alone is enough to sway me. And I think the results speak for themselves.

*All images shot on the X-T1 or X-T2 with the 18mm f/2 lens.

I took a break from Instagram and my productivity spiked.

January was a very productive month for me, creatively. I published four posts to this blog – double what I normally write. I invested in learning about aspects of my gear that I never knew, despite shooting with it for many years. (If you’re a Fuji shooter, I highly recommend Chris Lee’s YouTube channel, Pal2Tech).

I took pictures for me. They may not be anything to write home about but I focused more on taking a picture associated with how I’m feeling rather than just what looks good compositionally. Sometimes, how I’m feeling looks messy, cluttered, and chaotic.

Instead of pouring over the work of others via Instagram, I made more photos of my own. In fact, I enjoyed this aspect so much that when I opened up Instagram yesterday for the first time in three weeks, I paired down who I follow to ensure that the accounts I’m following inspire me to create rather than induce me to compare.

It’s no secret that I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love to have a platform to stay connected, share my photographs and enjoy the creativity of others (VSCO is my favorite for iPhoneography) but I have always hated how pervasive social media is. I need these periodic breaks from it in order to reset my usage and my goals regarding managing my time on it.

Overall, I’ve come away from these three weeks with a more clear understanding of how social media should fit into my life without overrunning it. I plan to use the Stories feature to share the latest happenings here on the blog so I can direct those who are really interested in following along to my little corner of the web where “likes” and “follows” aren’t the Holy Grail.

Because if I’m honest, it’s hard not to look for affirmation on a platform that is literally designed for it. But the search for such validation usually only succeeds in limiting my own creative vision.

Frankly, I’m too old for that nonsense.