Enter the X-Pro 2, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the x100s

I’ve been shooting Fujifilm cameras since 2012. At that time I got a good deal on a second hand X-Pro 1 with the 18mm and 35mm lenses so I took the plunge. I was looking to step away from my Nikon gear as I rarely used it any more due to its size and had been originally looking into a second-hand M9.

I will admit the rangefinder look was appealing to me and one of the reasons I went for the Fuji. It had a certain classic design that made it stand out from the other cameras on the market.

I bought the camera with a little bit of hesitation as Fujifilm X cameras were not the established brand they are today. The X-Pro 1 had just come out with the first 3 Fuji primes (18mm, 35mm and 60mm). Also, Lightroom did not support Fuji RAW files at that time so I needed to change my workflow. All of these worries went away when I took my first picture.

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I can’t really explain what it was about these images but they had a certain quality to them that my Nikon files did not have. I’d like to say that I immediately ditched my Nikon but that would be a lie. I had built up a respectable selection of glass for my Nikon and felt I might need it for some future magical day. In the meantime I shot more and more with my Fuji and less (if at all) with my Nikon.

I finally sold my Nikon and was perfectly happy with my 2 new primes and my X-Pro 1 which kept on getting better every year thanks to Fuji’s new firmwares. It still had some issues but I was happy to use it exclusively to travel to Nepal and Thailand.

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In 2014 I stumbled upon a very reasonably priced x100s and decided to take the leap. I was curious about the 23mm focal length and was also looking for a camera that would fit in my jacket pocket.  This was also love at first shot. The much improved AF of this new camera, together with the 23mm field of view, made it my new favourite.

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As I could carry it with me every day, I came to really understand the focal length and became able to see pictures in my head before I took out my camera.  Over the last 2 years I have come to realise that this camera is good enough for 80% of my photography. So much so that I have travelled to China, Hong Kong, Japan and Iran with only this camera. I have acquired the WCL-X100 wide angle converter to give me some more flexibility but I rarely use it.

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So this brings us to January 2016 and the announcement of the X-Pro 2…

 

I will start off by saying that I will probably buy this camera but it’s not triggering my G.A.S. as badly as I thought it would. I’ve been thinking why and I’ve come up with 3 reasons why my x100s  is probably a better choice for me than the new X-Pro 2:

1. Size

The x100s is a small camera that punches way above its size. I have big hands and tend to wear jackets with big pockets so it’s well within my pocketable size range at 127 x 74 x 54 mm (5 x 2.91 x 2.13″).

Taken while waiting for the bus to work
Taken while waiting for the bus to work

Having it in my pocket at all times has allowed me to capture moments that I would have regretted missing. This is probably my biggest hesitation in getting the X-Pro 2 as even with the 18mm it is not really a pocketable camera.

Much easier to capture candids too!
Much easier to capture candids too!

2. Focal Length

This one is the one surprises me the most. Looking back on my evolution as a photographer I’ve gone from a photographer obsessed with covering every focal length, to one that is worried about having to change focal length.

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The truth is I love the 23mm focal length of the x100s. I find that my 35mm lens is not wide enough and the 18mm is too wide at times. I had considered selling my x100s to finance buying the 23mm f1.4 but I’m afraid that setup may be too big to carry around everyday. (see point above)

It’s a strange problem to have and I’m sure I just need to force myself to shoot with the 35mm for a couple of months and I’ll adapt to that too. 🙂

3. Familiarity

This is the weakest of the arguments but I have to admit that I really don’t feel like forcing myself to learn a new focal length or a new camera. The x100s is a great camera and using it has become second nature to me. I can change setting without bringing the camera to my eye and I already know what will be covered by the lens before I even take the picture.

I know that with a few months of use, I’ll feel the same way about the X-Pro 2, but I’m lazy…

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Hey, 35mm is good too!

So I guess you could consider that the “Cons” list of my X-Pro 2 purchase. I’m working on a “Pros” list too so stay tuned for more. Please leave a comment below if you have any other reasons you can think of to stop me from buying the X-Pro 2!

2 thoughts on “Enter the X-Pro 2, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the x100s”

    1. Thanks David, I think the core of this is that if I’m honest with myself, it is never the camera that limits me. A camera is a tool that I use to convey how I see a certain scene and I need to work with and adapt to its characteristics.

      I find that the less options I have, the better images I take as I have to think of less variables. Only having one focal length has allowed me to see that I can convey what I’m feeling without needing to change the camera, I just need to change how I’m framing the image.

      Glad you enjoyed the article, I’ll be posting a follow-up soon so make sure to subscribe below to get the latest update.

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