Fuji X-Pro1 Lens Roadmap And My First Thoughts on the X-Pro1

Seems as if every other photo blog is running this picture of Fuji’s lens roadmap for the X-Pro1, so I might as well too.

Here’s where I stand on this.

Right now I only have one lens, the 35mm F1.4.  It’s 53mm equivalent lens and I’m impressed with the detail and color.

The next lens I was planning to get was the 60mm F2.4 Macro (91mm equivalent).  The reviews of this lens I’ve seen have unanimously declared this the best of the three lens available for this mount to date.  This should be decent enough in terms of telephoto, an excellent lens for portraits and macro to boot.

I’m hesitant on the remaining lens, the 18mm F2 (27mm equivalent).  This has been the worse reviewed lens of the three.  Most reviews have said it’s tack sharp in the center but noticeably softer on the edges.  Also I think a wide angle lens is more suitable for street photography but would like something slightly wider than 27mm.

That being said, the 14mm F1.4 (21mm equivalent) could be damned attractive to me.

The 27mm pancake lens would have to be super cheap to mean anything to me.  I get the appeal – super thin and light – but I don’t get why I’d get that if I already have the 35mm F1.4.

Also I don’t see why I’d need the 23mm – not sure what good this focal length would do for me.  And why get the 56mm if I’m going to get the 60?  I suppose the appeal there is the F1.4 vs. the 2.4 on the 60mm.

There’s also three zoom lenses on the road map.  Some web sites have questioned why this camera should have zoom lenses when it’s patterned after cameras that don’t.  This makes zero sense to me.  Why be constrained by that?  Some may or may not find it interesting that these 3 zooms are the only one in the line-up that will have image stabilization.  I’m finding it notable that only one of the three has the same maximum aperture across its entire zoom range.

That one is the 10-24mm F4 (15-38mm equivalent).  I’m guessing this will be the sharpest of the three zooms but it’s of little interest to me.

The 18-55mm (27-84mm equivalent) could be a good general purpose lens.  That it goes from F2.8 to F4 for widest aperture depending on focal length is not too terrible.

Last is the 55mm-200mm (83-300mm equivalent) F3.5-4.8.  I’m not sure that I need a big zoom for this camera.  I think I’d prefer a prime lens longer than the 60mm one.

So there you have it.  A total of ten lenses to be available for the Fuji X-Pro1 by the end of next year.  Clearly Fuji is taking this platform seriously and investing in it for the long haul and current sales would seem to support that.

I’ve had the camera for less than a week and here are some initial thoughts:

Negative:

Writing to the SD card is ver-r-r-r-y slow.  But it was equally slow on the Fuji X100 so this is not a surprise to me.  I wish it was faster but for what I’m shooting, I can live with it.

The auto-focus “hunts” quite a bit in dark situations.  It seems to do this even more if the object you’re trying to focus on is rather close.  This may well be because I’m not using the focus-assist light.

High ISO shots are noisier than I expected.  I’ll have to play around a bit with the in-camera noise reduction settings and see what I gain from them (vs. potentially losing some detail?)

And, uh, that’s about it for the negatives.

Positive:

I love the quality of the images overall.  Sharp.  Rich color.  Great dynamic range.  The Auto White Balance seems to be more accurate than any I’ve used previously.

The control layout just makes more sense to me.  Call me old school if you wish but I love having an aperture ring and a dial dedicated to shutter speed.  I’ve got the function button set for ISO, so all three sides of the “exposure triangle” are instantly available to me.  For me, it’s a big difference from the Sony NEX-7, which has those two wheels up top that change function according to mode, and which I could never keep straight.  I think the easy and clarity of these settings on the X-Pro1 will encourage any photographer to venture out of Program mode more often.

The Q menu, a feature that the X100 doesn’t have, is also incredibly useful, bringing up all of the most important settings with a single button push.  They’ve also tightened down the exposure compensation wheel (a feature I find myself using quite often) making it harder to accidentally change it when you don’t want to.

There’s also something about the form factor that makes me more confident to use this for street photography.  I can’t say why and probably it’s just in my mind.  A friend I was with today told me that he feels if he walks around with a camera around his neck, it makes him feel like a tourist.  I told him that’s a bonus – I think if people look at me and think I’m a tourist, they’re less likely to object when I’m taking photos.  I’m even thinking about going to Temple Street and buying some real touristy t-shirts (“I am lost in Hong Kong!”) to wear when I’m walking around to make me look even more like a tourist.

My feeling is that, just like Nikon, this is a platform I can stick with for the long run, building up a collection of lenses and perhaps swapping out bodies as they eventually introduce an X-Pro2, X-Pro3 and so on.  After just a few days and a couple of hundred photos shot, I’m very happy with this camera.

UPDATE:  I’ve just updated the firmware on the X-Pro1 from version1.01 to version 1.10.  When Zack Arias reviewed the camera back in April, he had this to say about the update:  “Firmware 1.10 has dramatically improved the speed and responsiveness of the X-Pro 1. It’s now acting more like an x100. Focus is accurate. Lag is shorter. Overall speed of the camera has improved tremendously.”  I’ll be out tonight and the camera will be with me.

Share

4 Comments

  1. Will June 27, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    That does look like a great lens line up. I just wish Sony would pull a finger out and get some more fast primes out (preferably Zeiss). Hope you’re enjoying your new toy!

    • spike June 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

      Will, you have to wonder what the hell is taking Sony so long, right? Seems like at the moment their “focus” is on the RX-100.

  2. laurent Guerin July 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    first: the 23mm f1.4 is the lens every body is wayting for.
    second: the 14mm is 2.8

    • spike July 2, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

      Good catch, thanks!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*