So I have to admit to not using the Fujifilm X-Pro1 anywhere near as much as I used to recently, especially after the release of the X100S which is just an awesome camera!
I was fortunate enough to be able to go along and shoot English Heritage’s Stott Park Bobbin Mill whilst it was closed to the public for the winter. I took along two cameras, one of which was the X-Pro1. I’d deliberately left the X100S at home because I wanted to give the X-Pro1 a good run out! I took two lenses with me, the 14mm f/2.8 and the 35mm f/1.4 – one for the ‘room’ shots and the other for close-up detail shots. I started the shoot with my ‘big’ camera and after about 30 minutes got fed up with carrying it around and trying to get it set up right – it’s great, but only really works well in a studio environment tethered to a computer. What a joy it was to switch back to the Fujifilm X-Pro1! Not only for weight but for ease of use.
I got a few wide shots with the 14mm, which is a stellar lens. I love the manual focusing on that thing and now that the X-Pro1 has focus peaking it makes it a breeze. For the rest of the day I used the 35mm f/1.4 lens. It made me realise that the X-Pro1 and the 35mm f/1.4 is just about all the camera you need. Super sharp, you can get wide-ish shots but then get close in, open up to f/2 or f/2.8 and get some nice shallow depth of field shots. I was regretting not having the 60mm macro with me for the detailed shots, but the 35mm does focus quite close.
I shot JPEG and RAW just because I thought I might fiddle with the files a bit, but sat here editing the images I’m truly wondering why I keep shooting in RAW on the Fuji’s! I think it’s because it’s drummed into us so often that ‘professionals’ only shoot RAW. I still struggle to process RAW files in Lightroom to anywhere near the sort of beautiful rich files the camera gives me in JPEG. More recently I’ve been shooting the Fuji’s with quite flat JPEGs – highlights and shadows turned down one stop and then bring back what I want in Lightroom, and that works pretty well and I think I’m just going to give up shooting RAW on the Fuji unless I really know I’ll need it.
The manual control are just a joy to use, no fiddling, no accidentally knocking an unmarked dial and not realising it. Not that you can’t necessarily knock the dials on the X-Pro1, but if you do it’s blatantly obvious because the settings are right in front of you instead of having to peer into an electronic display.
I’m still missing not having an electronic shutter release. My work-around is to use the self-timer. Yeah I know there is the cable release, but I still didn’t get around to buying one and I still feel there is a physical connection that may (when shooting several second exposures) just introduce some camera shake, however tiny.
The EVF (Sorry Fuji, but I rarely use the OVF) and LCD screen are more than good enough to focus with, check exposure etc. As I said, peaking makes things really quick, and the MF zoom assist is there for those critical focus moments.
Image quality, especially with the primes (although the 18-55 still amazes me) is exceptional.
Yes, the X-Pro1 is getting on a bit now and will in all likelihood be replaced sometime next year (don’t ask me, I have no specific confirmed knowledge) but it’s still one of the very best mirrorless cameras out there and at the moment with all the deals around it is very much worth looking at over the newer models.
Anyway, enough of me going on, here are a selection of images from the day. Hopefully they speak for themselves.