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, Fuji X-T1, X-E1,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 Fuji. I did not do this frivolously. I did not switch because Nikon sucks and Fuji is awesome. I did so because 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 came to the realization 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 Fuji X cameras a few years ago and I really 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 Bettle and took photos with his Asahi Pentax SP II.
This wasn’t a new realization. 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 Fuji X-Pro1, Fuji X-E1 and started to develop a new system with apparently wonderful lenses, I was very close to switching when they released the Fuji 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 point) 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.
I finally bought a Fuji 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 Fuji cameras operated. My choice of camera is about how I prefer to interact with my camera. With the controls/knobs being just at my fingertips the Fuji 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:
- XF27mmF2.8 R WR – 40mm is close to normal FOV for the human eye. This lens does not exist and the current 27mm (~ 40mm in 35mm format) lens does not have an aperture ring. I only want lenses with aperture rings.
- XF23mmF2 R WR – I think this would be a great travel/street photography lens until Fuji makes a similar lens at 27mm.
- XF8-16mmF2.8 R WR – The XF16-55mm isn’t wide enough.
- 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.
For nature photography, I could rent an XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR when needed. But I most likely won’t need it. I would also love a Fuji X100F for when my travel companion, my spouse, gets annoyed with the bulk of the X-T2 occupying the dinner table when we eat out.
On my short list 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 Fuji 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 X-T2. I haven’t done the research to find out what’s available.
My last L-bracket was a 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 X-T2 are currently out of stock.