Category Archives: Gear

Any post related to the gear I use and my thoughts on that gear.

Starting the new year with an X-Pro2

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.

Tenba Cooper 13 Slim Quick Review

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.

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Continue reading Tenba Cooper 13 Slim Quick Review

A New (Old) Lens

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.

Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 R First Impressions

One of the perks of using the Fuji X system is the quality of the glass they provide.  Ever since I bought into it, I’ve yet to be disappointed in a lens purchase.  The lens selection keeps growing and the roadmap that Fuji has mapped out shows that they intend on making the X a complete system.  The only problem is that I am always tempted to increase the size of my lens collection.  Last week, Fuji broke my resolve of holding out when they announced another big sale on many of their lenses.

I have been pining after the Fuji 23mm XF lens ever since it was first announced.  For years, I’ve always had a 50mm (in 35mm field of view) and have really enjoyed that focal length.  Lately however, I’ve been wanting to simplify what I bring to family functions and have been very intrigued about the 35mm field of view and fast aperture of the Fuji 23mm.  Once the sale was announced, I couldn’t pass it up.  2 days later, it showed up.

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The lens so far is everything I expected and my expectations were quite high.  It seems every review of this lens that I could find online praised it top to bottom.  The build quality feels superb, the manual focus ring works great and the optics are beautiful.  I’m already in love with the field of view if offers.

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So far, I don’t have any complaints with the 23mm lens.  The hood is a bit big, but I knew that going in and purchased an old style screw in round hood.  This protects the front element and reduces some glare, but isn’t nearly as large as the oem petal shaped hood.  Autofocus is pretty quick and accurate, so no issues there.  Manual focus works very well when paired with my X-T1.  Originally, I was a fan of the focus peaking, but after playing around with the Split Focus mode, I’ve found that to work out the best for me.

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All in all, this lens has been glued to my camera since I bought it.  I don’t think it will be coming off anytime soon unless there is a specific purpose that the 23mm simply isn’t for.  I’m even thinking of taking only the 23mm on my next trip to really give the lens a workout and see how universal it actually is.