X-Pro1, after a few weeks

Started Apr 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Petteri Sulonen
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X-Pro1, after a few weeks
Apr 9, 2012

I've now had the X-Pro 1 for about three weeks. The weather's been abysmal, and I haven't been out and about with it anywhere near as much as I would've liked, but I've nevertheless become pretty familiar with it by now.

Not a great deal has changed about my initial impressions. I've become more fluent working around some of the niggles—for example, the behavior of the AF lock when switching between half-press and full-press—and nothing new has bit me in the ass.

There are some things, though. For example, I haven't managed to "jell" with the 18 mm lens. By rights, I ought to love it—it's a great lens to shoot, it's optically more than adequate, it balances well on the camera, and I've shot a quite a lot at that focal length. Yet somehow I can't seem to get a good photo out of it to save my life. Not technically; they turn out nice and sharp and all, just not at all interesting. What's more, whenever I'm out and about with the 18, I keep wishing I'd brought the 35 instead.

This makes no kind of sense, and it might just be a mood, or something like that. There are times I'm drawn to wide-angle, and times I'm not. This is clearly not.

On the other hand, that 35 has been growing on me. I'd almost forgotten how much I love shooting with that focal length. It's just so versatile—you can get a vast variety of "looks" out of it simply by varying your subject distance and aperture. And optically it is so good it's almost not funny.

I still haven't got the 60 I have on pre-order, and in fact I'm considering canceling my pre-order. Simply because I don't do much tele to start with, and I really haven't felt much need for anything longer than the 35. It's fantastic for people photos, and I'm not sure the 60 could add all that much to it. And I'm not all that interested in macro.

However, I would like a 23. The 35 is just a bit too long for close-quarters indoor stuff; I find myself backing into corners a lot.

I continue to be amazed by the dynamic range of the sensor, especially with DR(AUTO) and ISO(AUTO). It handles completely ridiculous contrast and makes it look easy, and the in-camera RAW conversion makes it totally possible to turn it into perfectly usable pictures.

Fuji's film simulation modes are also growing on me—I still think Velvia looks overcooked most of the time, and I have Provia set by default, but I have a feeling that judiciously used they really can help bring out the best in a photo.

Perhaps the thing that impresses me the most about the camera is how easy it makes things look. The photos come out of the box looking finished —perfectly exposed, with tonality and color beautiful enough to make a grown man cry. One after the other, with no fuss and no commotion. No other camera I've owned gets them so consistently and arrogantly right all the time.

Finally, a lot of the discussion here strikes me as mind-bogglingly off the mark. This is a really remarkable picture-taking machine, and what's the chatter about here? Lens caps. The sounds the camera makes. That the AF isn't as fast as the camera across the aisle. The freakin' battery compartment door . Are you for real? :boggle:

To finish off, two from today, with the 18. And yeah, I do wish I'd have brought the 35 instead.

Petteri

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