It’s so long Fuji and thanks for all the fish. (Google if not Douglas Adams fan).
It’s been a pretty happy 6 years with Fuji since my original X-Pro1 arrived. I thought the original concept was brilliant and they sustained that throughout. I’ve been impressed with the cameras, the lenses and immensely appreciative of the regular firmware updates.
Despite liking the “Leica influenced’ look of the X-Pro, I was much happier with the X-T1 and then the X-T2. Both superbly well designed cameras and an absolute joy to use. The combination of small size, low weight and high quality was perfect for me. The lenses I owned were excellent by and large with some rising to outstanding such as the 56mm f1.2 and 50-140mm f2.8, the 23mm f1.4 and the 90mm f2 and the wonderful little 14mm. Others were a tad underwhelming such as the 55-200mm which was great until you looked closely. I had two similar samples, others may have been luckier. The 18-55mm kit lens batted way above it place and was responsible for a high percentage of keepers from the cameras. I was hooked on the EVF from day one and always missed it when using the Nikon. I used the Fuji wherever weight mattered, the fells, longs walks, overseas travel or just when I wanted to grab a light bag. It fulfilled those requirements perfectly.
From day one it would have been more convenient to have a lightweight camera that shared a mount with the bigger Nikon. Not least of which to take as a backup camera on trips. When heading for Harris for example, I always had to take two entire systems to insure against breakage or malfunction. I dipped a toe into the DX Nikon range for a while but found it too frustrating.
The straw that broke the camel’s back however was the instability of the files. A perfect exposure under perfect conditions resulted in a pretty good file if treated correctly. If however the file needed a degree of work in Photoshop, I found them to be fragile and smooth gradation between different tones could disappear quickly. I also found the propensity for the ‘grains’ in the image to form elongated shapes unattractive. Many authors reported on the dreaded Fuji ‘worms’. I never found these particular problematic as they seemed to appear if too much sharpening was applied. Many other photographers evolved specific workflows using software from other companies to arrive at their optimum files. I’m quite happy to admit that the problems I experienced were due to poor technique on my part, a lack of expertise or a lack of subtlety. However I didn’t find any such issues with Nikon and I didn’t want to have to evolve a complex process to edit raw files, I just wanted to operate in the same way as I had always done.
My ideal would have been a Nikon sensor in a Fuji X camera. A really interesting development might be a new series of sensors in the Fuji or perhaps a revised in camera software or processing engine.
Arguably the thing I may miss most about Fuji was the sense that one was part of a project to move on and develop. There was always a very strong sense that Fuji listened to users, listened to wishes and listened to criticism (lesson for Nikon here). Their regular Firmware releases showed this very clearly and they generously rewarded loyalty by improving the camera, at no cost, from the one you originally bought.
I’m sorry to be going, I really am. I may well return at one point but for now it’s off to pastures new and in the next Blog entry I’ll discuss what steps I’ve taken to replace the role of the Fuji X-T2.