I switched to Fujifilm X

Posted on Monday, 8th October 2018 10:05 AM EDT

Yes, gear acquisition syndrome (GAS) seems ever-present in some photographers.

I had rented or used different cameras over the last few years including Sony a7, Fujifilm X-T1, Fujifilm X-E1,Fujifilm X-T2, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon 5D Mk II, etc. because I was always curious. But switching cameras system is expensive and would have meant a learning curve to adjust to the new tool. I stuck with Nikon and worked to learn how to use what I had.

I recently switched to Fujifilm. I did not do this frivolously. I did not switch camera system because Nikon sucks and Fujifilm is fantastic. My decision was well considered.

My Nikon DSLR broke last winter, and I did not have the budget to replace it right away. I waited until the summer, and I spent the intervening months considering my options - purchase a Nikon D500, or Nikon D7200 or Nikon D5600. I realised that perhaps I should look at other options outside Nikon.

I borrowed a friend's Canon, and while I was getting used to the difference in menus and controls, I started thinking about how I use a camera. I realised that the modern DSLR was not to my liking. Flipping into menus or holding down a specific combination of buttons to change things like ISO and shutter speed etc. was a drag. I had rented some Fujifilm X cameras a few years ago, and I liked how the controls felt in my hand. I was feeling some nostalgia for my younger days when my father took us on day trips in his Volkswagen Beatle and took photos with his Asahi Pentax SP II. For me, this realisation wasn't new.

I had long felt that the D40, D5100 and other cameras I had rented/borrowed over the years, were more like gadgets than cameras. When Fujifilm came around the corner with the Fujifilm X-Pro1, Fujifilm X-E1 and started to develop a new system with apparently excellent lenses, I was very close to switching when they released the Fujifilm X-T1. But since I didn’t like the first version of this camera for various reasons, it took me another four years until I finally decided to concentrate on only one system in the future.

My main subjects of importance always were the usability (the pragmatic point) and the fun (the emotional end) that I felt I could obtain from working with this system. My desire for this intensified over the years. For me, the Fujifilm X-T2 is the best in terms of usability for the last 2.5 years now. It’s the perfect symbiosis of form and function.

Mechanical dials are provided for key operation, including the shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, drive modes and metering modes. The settings can be adjusted even when the camera is turned off so that you can always be ready for the next shot.Fujifilm X-T2 website

I finally bought a Fujifilm X-T2 and the Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR lens. The switch was not because of technical specs but because of the way the Fujifilm cameras feel when operated. My choice of camera is about how I prefer to interact with my camera. This Fujifilm X-T2 is mostly all metal, and it has real, dedicated single-purpose individually marked dials for each of ISO, aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation and the metering mode. It feels great in hand to have a real metal camera with real dials rather than a plastic thingy with one dial. With the controls/knobs being just at my fingertips, the Fujifilm feels "right". I like the layout of the controls, the retro-styled knobs and such, that allow me to make quick changes without jumping through menus.

I have only the one camera body and one lens. Over time I want to acquire a few more lenses, namely:

  • Fujinon XF23mmF2 R WR - I think this would be a great travel/street photography lens until Fujifilm makes a similar metal lens at 27mm.
  • Fujinon XF8-16mmF2.8 R WR - The 16mm end of the Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR may not be wide enough for most landscape and cityscape photography.
  • Fujinon XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR - A camera system isn't complete without a sporting lens, but I'm not sure about this one. I rarely shoot sports (but I attend the high school games to support the band) and dislike big, heavy lenses.
  • Fujinon XF80mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR lens for macro work.

For nature photography, I can rent a Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR when needed. But I most likely won't need it on a regular basis. I would also love a Fujifilm X100F for when my travel companion, my spouse, gets annoyed with the bulk of the Fujifilm X-T2 occupying the dinner table when we eat out but also for personal [photowallks].

On my shortlist of items to purchase for my new kit, are a flash unit, L-bracket and strap. I don't know much about how well the Fujifilm EF-X500 flash units perform. I am willing to consider third-party flash units so long as they are fully compatible with all the functionality possible with the Fujifilm X-T2. I haven't researched to find out what's available.

My Nikon L-bracket was a from Really Right Stuff, so I expect I will purchase from the same brand. I have been getting by without one, but I am annoyed that I can't shoot vertically on my tripod. The Really Right Stuff BXT2 plates for the Fujifilm X-T2 are currently out of stock.

4 thoughts on “I switched to Fujifilm X”

  1. Update 2019-01-25.Over the years, I’ve documented bits and pieces of my kits on this website including my diabetes travel kit, my diabetes kit for photowalks, and iPhone camera kit. I even have some kits — my basic camera kit and coffee making kit — documented on an external site dedicated to “kits”.Aaron Parecki recently updated his “life stack” page with the tools, apps, services and other things he uses to manage his work and life. I think the idea is worth “stealing” and given my recent attempts to re-embrace the IndieWeb principle of “owning your data,” I’ve documented my collection of things, my “kit and caboodle”1 on this page.I use a lot of apps and services. I will only add the products and services I use and recommend2. If possible, I will also link to any reviews I have written. I add things to this page if I would personally recommend purchasing them.ComputingMy 2013 iMac has a 3.5GHz Intel “Core i7” with 32GB of RAM, a 27” HD 2560×1440 LED-backlit 16:9 widescreen IPS display, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M graphics processor with 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory. I have a lot of external storage, so I limited the internal solid-state storage (SSD) to 512GB. Peripheral ports include four USB 3.0 ports, dual Thunderbolt ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n compatible), and Bluetooth 4.0. The iMac came with an Apple Wireless Keyboard and a multi-touch “Magic Mouse,” but I also purchased a multi-touch “Magic Trackpad.”I purchased the iMac primarily for use with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. It’s an excellent performer, especially when stitching panoramas from several 24MP images.I have an 11-Inch (Wi-Fi Only) Apple iPad Pro with 256GB of memory. I use it mostly for reading (email, news, RSS feeds, books), note-taking and quick research during meetings, writing, presenting and shopping. It is my laptop replacement. I understand and acknowledge the limitation, and I have no expectations that I will be as productive on the iPad Pro, as I am on my iMac.I use an Apple Magic Keyboard and Apple Magic Mouse.iOS and macOSThe apps listed below have iOS and macOS versions that sync between my iPhone, iPad Pro and iMac.

    1Password is the password manager I have used on iOS and macOS for years. It syncs with macOS and iOS. I also use 1Password to store credit card numbers, insurance account information, social security numbers, etc. I trust this software.

    Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Photoshop Lightroom are the apps I use to edit and catalogue my digital images. I use both the macOS and iOS versions of these apps.

    AirMail is a mail client with support for Markdown, multiple accounts, Unified Inbox, Exchange, iCloud, Gmail, IMAP, POP3, Google Apps, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com, etc. and supports attachments from Google Drive, Dropbox, CloudApp, Box, Onedrive, Droplr, and FTP.

    Wunderlist is a nice todo app with projects, labels, shared lists, and anything else you can think of.

    Byword is a minimalist Markdown text editor with subtle syntax highlighting. I use it with and without MarsEdit to create my blog post. Documents can be synced via Dropbox or iCloud to iPad, iPhone, and macOS. Byword can publish to Medium, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Evernote.

    Reeder is an RSS news reader that supports Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, FeedHQ, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, Inoreader, Minimal Reader, BazQux Reader, Fever, Readability and Instapaper. I use it with Feedbin and Instapaper to sync and track my news feeds.

    Tweetbot is my preferred Twitter client. It has support for multiple accounts and lists. It also has mute filters and multiple column views.

    iCloud Calendar works for me. I no longer use Google Calendar.
    Apple Maps on makes it simple to get directions and information about local points of interest ,including restaurants. I no longer use Google Maps.

    AnyList is the best way to create and share grocery shopping lists with a family. When my kids or spouse make changes, they show up instantly on everyone’s iPhone, iPad or Mac.

    iCloud Drive syncs important files to my iPad, iPhone and iMac. I no longer use Dropbox or Google Drive for anything important.

    Mint is how my wife and I keep track of our finances.

    Micro.blog so I can post to WordPress directly from the iOS app for Micro.blog.
    iOS OnlyI have Type 1 diabetes and useFatSecret to help with carbohydrate counting and tracking my diet. This is useful information for my endocrinologist and myself to review to make any necessary changes to my diabetes management.I enjoy coffee over the years I have learned various brewing techniques. I use the Press app for customizable brew timers and entering tasting and brewing notes.When travelling ,I use Foursquare to find restaurant recommendations. I use Yelp as well but I prefer Foursquare and the sister app Swarm to check-in to locations that I think are noteworthy.macOS OnlyI’ve used MarsEdit for what seems like ... forever.Programming ToolsI used to do a lot of Web development in Perl, PHP and JavaScript on top of a Linux, Apache and MySQL (and to a lesser extent PostgreSQL) stack. I have not coded professionally since 2013, but I do mess around with PHP when making changes to WordPress, and I create small Perl 5 scripts for personal use. The macOS Terminal app (for local or remote access to a Linux VPC) with vim, a highly configurable text editor that I have used since the 1990s, is included as “vi” with macOS and is my IDE of choice. I don’t need anything else.PhotographyAfter over ten years of shooting with Nikon DSLRs, I dumped all my lenses and switched to Fuji. My current camera kit is minimalist - the Fujifilm X-T2 (Body Only) + Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR lens. I have two Lexar Professional 32GB SDHC UHS-II/U3 SD Card set up in a backup arrangement with every photograph capture saved in both cards. I have a Manfrotto 496RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 486RC2 for my Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black). I bought a Hejnar Photo 3.250 Inch conversion Clamp for Manfrotto that provides an ArcaSwiss style mount plate. For mobile photography, I use a Manfrotto MTPIXI-WH PIXI Mini Tripod (White) with a Glif.Audio/VideoApple TV 4K and TiVo Bolt connected to Sony XBR-55X850D TV and Sony HT-CT780 soundbar. I'm hoping to add an Apple HomePod to that.

    The word caboodle may be derived from the Old-English word bottel, a bunch or a bundle, as a bottel of straw. Later the word boodle may have become synonymous with the woodpile, a term used at a gaming table, and signifying a quantity of money. The word kit may have originated with the military, referring to the whole of a soldier’s necessaries, the contents of his knapsack. ?

    links on this page or review posts may link to affiliate links for the product. I make a few bucks if you purchase the product. ?

  2. I'm experimenting with some vintage lenses and Fotodiox adapters. In a fit of nostalgia, I recently bought an Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II on eBay. It came with an Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 lenses. This lens has an M42 mount. X-photographers such as Jonas Rask and amateurs such as Ritchie Roesch are adept at using vintage lenses with a Fuji X camera. I wanted to give it a try. I bought a Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter Compatible with M42 Screw Mount SLR Lens on Fuji X-Mount Cameras and mounted the Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 lens to my Fuji X-T2.All shots were handheld, so any softness in the photos is probably because of my unsteady hand. Please keep in mind that this is more of a superficial look at the kinds of results I might expect from this lens and adapter combination. It is not a review. It is me just wanting to be curious and find a reason to go out and shot and have some fun. If attaching an old lens to my modern "digital photon capturing device" does that for me, it might do that for you. I'm just having fun. After all, one of the reasons why I switched to the Fuji X system was the retro experience.The Fuji X-T2 has an APS-C sensor. The crop factor is 1.5. That means that the 55mm lens on this camera has the same FOV as an 82.5mm lens on a 35mm full-frame camera. Jonas Rask recommended the Mitakon Zhongyi Lens Turbo Adapter V2 for Full-Frame M42 Mount Lens to Fujifilm X Mount APS-C adapter.

    The Lens Turbo Adapter V2 for Full-Frame M42 Mount Lens to Fujifilm X Mount APS-C Camera from Mitakon Zhongyi allows a full-frame M42 mount lens to be mounted onto a Fujifilm X mount camera. While doing so, the adapter approximates the lens's angle of view as if it were placed directly on a camera with a full-frame sensor while providing a 1-stop increase over the lens's aperture range.Jonas Rask

    With the Mitakon Zhongyi Lens Turbo Adapter V2 for Full-Frame M42 Mount Lens to Fujifilm X Mount APS-C adapter, I could use the Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 lens like a 55mm lens. I am considering buying an Asahi SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5 lens. On the Fuji X-T2, the lens would offer a ~42mm FOV, which is a normal FOV. This lens and adapter combination would be perfect for street photography.The focus peaking feature of the Fuji X-T2 is handy for manually focusing this lens. The lens adapter does not transmit aperture settings back to the camera body. My biggest challenge is remembering which aperture setting I used to take the shot. The following sample photos reflect my unscientific testing: namely, attach the Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 lens to the Fuji X-T2 and shoot stuff around the neighbourhood. I shot using a modified version of Ritchie Roesch's Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe. The following is the result. The following JPEG images are straight out of cameras (SOOC).Lens
    Name: Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2

    Mount: M42
    Tested On: Fujifilm X-T2 with FotodioX M42-FX adapter
    Zoom/Prime: Prime
    Focal Length: 55mm
    Maximum Aperture: f/2
    Minimum Aperture: f/16
    Diaphragm Blades: 6
    Price Paid: US$45
    Product Ratings (1=miserable, 5=excellent):
    Construction Quality: 4
    Image Quality: 4.5
    Overall Value For Price: 4.5
    Recommended: Yes
    Lens Photos
    Straight Out of the Camera (SOOC) | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO200
    Seiko 5 Automatic | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO200
    Ikigai-SIPA | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/2.8 | ISO200
    FujiFilm X-T2 | FAsahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6.0 | ISO200
    Self Storage | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO200
    Eno Terra, Kingston | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO200
    Kingston Mill House at the D&R Canal | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO200
    Kiran | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 &124; ISO800
    Lunch at Aunt Chubby's, Hopewell Township, Mercer County | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO500Bokeh | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO 400
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  3. Every year at Jim Goldstein invites his readers to his blog project. This is my third time participating in his project.

    I’m proud to say over the years that hundreds of photographers have taken part (see Best Photos of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007). It’s great to see the community of photographers that have developed around this blog project.

    Brent Huntley runs Photography and Travel and for the first time this year, I will be submitting to his project.I was more organized this year, but due to a job change, the breakage of my camera, and a new challenging chronic illness. I was not with a camera as often as I wanted. But this summer I finally replaced my broken Nikon and decided to jump to the Fujifilm X interchangeable lens camera system.Some of the images are from my iPhone, a Canon 5D Mk III that I borrowed from a friend until I made my buying decision, and from my Fujifilm X-T2.Bhavna and I realized that our kids are older (the last one turned 18 last month) and don’t need us to be just a few minutes from home. I convinced her to do something we both wanted to do, take a hot-air balloon ride. Many of the images are from the Finger Lakes area of New York.
    View from the 17th Floor of the Hilton at Penn's Landing, Philadelphia | Apple iPhone 7 | Apple iPhone 7 back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 @ 3.99 mm | f/1.8 | ISO20
    Waiting for the ferry at the Paulus Hook Terminal in Jersey City, New Jersey. | Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Canon EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mm | f/4.0 | ISO50
    Van Horne Park Trail, Skillman, New Jersey | Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm | f/5.6 | ISO250
    Bhavna enjoyiing the sunset on Seneca Lake at Two Goats Brewing in Hector, Nw York. | Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 25.7 mm | f/5.6 | ISO200
    Upper Buttermilk Falls Gorge Trail, Ithaca, New York | Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 16 mm | f/10 | ISO200
    Upper Buttermilk Falls Gorge Trail, Ithaca, New York | Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 16 mm | f/16 | ISO200
    Portage Railroad Bridge and Upper Falls in the Letchworth State Park, Castile, New York | Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 25.7 mm | f/5.6 | ISO640
    Watkins Glen State Park, Watkins Glen State Park, Watkins Glen, New York | Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 22 mm | f/11 | ISO200
    Mile Point Bridge, Watkins Glen Gorge Trail, Watkins Glen, New York | Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 20 mm | f/9.0 | ISO200
    Watkins Glen Gorge Trail, Watkins Glen, New York | Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 16.5 mm | f/9.0 | ISO200
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