After posting some of my macro shots of the spider’s and insects, I’ve been asked about what kind of gear I use to create those images. Instead of buying an expensive macro lens, I’ve been able to piece together a rather inexpensive setup that lets me get close to 1 to 1 ratio. Below are some pictures and a list of the gear I use.
Ever since Fuji first announced the X100 compact camera, I’ve loved the design and ergonomics of the Fuji X series. Though I never shot with old film camera’s, I immediately felt at ease controlling the most essential functions of the camera (shutter speed, aperture and ISO) from dedicated dials. I dove into the system with the purchase of a used X-E1 and never looked back. Soon after that, the X-T1 was released and I had one on order. That was about 3 years ago now. The X-T1 was much better than the X-E1 in regards to speed, but I missed the rangefinder style body. Enter the X-Pro2.
The major draw of this camera is the hybrid optical hybrid viewfinder. This gives you your choice of an optical viewfinder or an electronic one depending on your need. The optical is great for seeing outside of your frame and being able to compose shots and wait for the right moment. The electronic gives you an accurate preview of exactly what you are about to shoot. Both are useful and switching between them is just a flick of a lever away.
The X-Pro2 just feels right in the hand. The controls are easy to get too, logically laid out (to me) and can be assigned just how you like. Even the much derided ISO dial isn’t nearly as bad as others have written about it. It just takes some muscle memory to master. The focus speed is very much beyond my X-T1’s capabilities and now just generally works without being an issue. The new 24 megapixel sensor is fantastic in both resolution and noise performance at higher ISO’s.
I don’t have much to complain about with this camera. There is still much I have to learn with it, but so far, it has been a great purchase.
Ask any hobbyist photographer how many camera bags they have owned over the years and the answer surely will be high. I may be a bit guilty trying to find the perfect bag that will hold and protect all the gear I need, be comfortable to carry and also look good while doing it. Everyone wants something just a little bit different in form, function and style, so relying on others to give an opinion is quite difficult. Up until a few weeks ago, I thought I had my ‘perfect’ bag, a Billingham Hadley Pro. Then Tenba had to go and release the Cooper series.
As is the norm, anytime I get a new lens in my hands, it gets pointed at my cat. These shots happen to be from a Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 55mm f/1.8 in m42 mount. It connects to my X-T1 via a cheap Fotodiox adapter and gives me a roughly 85mm angle of view. Since I can’t afford the Fuji 56mm f/1.2 currently, I’m hoping this will hold me over until I can. For a 40 year old lens, I think it performs quite well. The cat was still not happy though.