Transition to Fuji – Part 4

Posted on 1st March 2017 by Admin under Comment, Equipment
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It is time to wrap up my review of the current camera market with the fourth and final instalment of this series.  I now have a camera system which I am happy to use in most circumstances.  That would not be the case if I did a lot of action photography, for which a fast focussing DSLR remains the best option.   There is the prospect of an eventual upgrade to a newer model with the 24 MP sensor, but I am in no rush.  I went to a Fuji launch event for the X-T2 where a well known fashion photographer was presenting.  He had only had the camera for a few days and consequently no images taken with the camera to show us.  Instead he had shots taken mainly with the X-T1 and a few with the X-Pro2.

At this point the Fuji reps present should have been having kittens.  The message was obviously meant to be that if good results are possible with the older 16 MP camera, imagine what the new one can do.  To my eye, and believe me I looked closely, there was not much difference between the prints.  Admittedly AF speed and some ergonomic issues have been addressed, but we have long reached the stage of sufficiency with digital cameras.  The secondhand value of digital cameras plummets rapidly and Fuji has not helped itself in that regard.  As witness to that, the two cameras I own have been acquired cheaply, at prices well below the original selling cost.  Ironically that is partly what persuaded me to buy into the system.

Why no aperture markings?

No aperture markings on the XF 18-55 lens
(Click on image for a larger version)

 

Why are there no values marked on the 18-55 lens aperture ring?

So, Fuji is the perfect camera?  Not exactly.  Some of the controls are not as intuitive as my Canon DSLR and Fuji demonstrates a lot of confusion when it comes to setting apertures.  Most lenses have an old fashioned aperture ring.  For prime lenses and zooms with fixed apertures, the values are marked on the rings.  Zooms with variable apertures do not.  Come on Fuji, I know that if I have bought such a lens the aperture will vary with focal length when shot wide open.  I can see the actual value in the viewfinder display.  Surely it would be possible to do something simple such as marking the variable apertures in a different colour?  It really is an unnecessary dumbing down.  Worse, it is a “solution” which reduces some of the benefit of having an aperture ring.

Some Fuji lenses forego the aperture ring altogether and it is set from a dial on the camera.  While I cannot see the setting when looking at the lens, it does avoid another issue.  Some of the aperture rings have less resistance and turn easily, others not.  Fuji has not implemented a consistent approach and it varies across various lenses.  The main culprit is the 18-55 zoom.  You know, the one with a variable maximum aperture, thus without aperture markings which makes visual inspection impossible.  It is easy to shoot at an unintended aperture, being yet another thing to check before pressing the shutter release.  Dials with markings are a mixed blessing.  Yes, you can see how the camera is set up simply by looking at it, but control wheels which operate only when the power is on are less prone to inadvertent changes.

Conclusion

My two Fujis have been my “goto” cameras for some months now.  The X-E2 and XF 18-55 lens is a compact combination that I usually carry in my hand with a wrist strap as a precaution.  In terms of focal length, it is similar to my Canon 7D and EF-s 17-55 lens, but with far less bulk and weight.  In a review, I read that the lens on its own is reason enough to buy into the Fuji system.  I would have to agree.  Most of my recent work has been done with this lens and I have been pleasantly pleased by the results.

Part 1 of this series is here.

Part 2 of this series is here.

Part 3 of this series is here.

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