Jun 172015

Simone & My X-Pro 1

By Jermore Santos


Hi Brandon & Steve,

Great site you have going on, this is just a little write up on my shoot with Simone and my X-Pro 1. I decided to leave my Canon 5D Mk III with my L Series zooms and strip back my photography, my awesome talent, Simone had complete trust in that the images that come out of the Fuji with the 35mm prime would be comparable and so we embarked on a little photographic endeavour. As I adjust the aperture ring around my 35mm f1.4 Fujinon the image darkens anticipating the coming break in the clouds, revealing a beautiful golden autumn sun. My ‘guestimation’ is spot on, thanks to the camera providing real time exposure in live view.

The most amazing realisation as a photographer is how the photons bounce off objects, be it landscape, lifestyle or product. To create contours by bending the light around your subjects while framing the image to reveal only what you want around your subject. Shooting with primes forces your creativity to go into overdrive as the forced perspective creates limited options for composition onto your frame, with the Fujinon 35mm f1.4, I get a similar angle of view to a full frame format 50mm, an angle that is so similar to our eyes that this is probably why the nifty fifty is the world’s most popular prime focal length. Speaking of the 50mm, last year in I went to Japan, I knew it would be an excellent opportunity to snag myself a beautiful little vintage Canon 50mm f1.4 FD lens in one of those awesome used photographic stores in Japan at a fraction of the cost of what I would have paid here in Sydney. I managed to score the more expensive f1.4 at the price of one would pay for an f1.8 here in Australia. The beautiful vintage FD lenses aren’t as sterile or tack sharp as today’s lenses and they bring a warmth and some organic nostalgia back to photography, I use a cheap FD to X Mount adapter to piece it all together from eBay and the results can make any photographer giggle with delight.

We ended up getting rained out but not before catching some beautiful sun shower shots, images that you hope to get when ideas get thrown around in pre-production.







Feb 092015

The Fuji X-Pro 1..My “Soulmate” Camera

by Christina Davis

Thank you for letting me share, once again, with the readers here on this site. I am a Fujifilm camera user (X-Photographer wannabe….I can dream, can’t I?). I sold off all of my DSLR equipment and the XPro1 was my main camera. Like many Fuji enthusiasts I, too, got one of the X-T1 cameras when they came out. While I was less than thrilled with the form, the performance was as described and I happily shot away with it all spring and summer this year. In fact, the XPro1 was gathering dust and as August rolled around, I was considering letting it go. As I thought it over I remembered one photo I took this summer with it. On an outing to The Huntington in Pasadena, California, I took the XT1 and the XPro1. I put on the 18mm lens on the XPro1 “just in case”. Well, this is the photo I made with that “just in case” set up:


That picture drew me in – it spoke to me, if you will. The tones I got out of the XPro1 that day were far and above any taken by the X-T1 on that same day. So I pondered my decision to sell the XPro1 and then I decided to put the X-T1 aside, except for shooting my son’s sports, and focus once again on using the XPro1. I have been using the XPro1 almost daily since the end of August. It just feels right and even when I do use it for sports shooting, the handling and shooting experience are much more satisfying. The set-up in camera is different and I get many fewer action shots with the XPro1, but it is still possible to shoot a soccer game with it.

On a nit-picky level, one of my biggest issues with the X-T1 was the placement of the movie mode button. I was used to changing ISO on the XPro1 with the function (Fn) button. It is quick, easy and I don’t have to take the camera away from my eye to change ISO settings while in the process of shooting. It just works for me. I can’t count the number of times, while shooting with the X-T1, that I engaged the movie mode. Even while shooting for a number of months on end of the X-T1, that reflex to change ISO with my shooting finger never went away.


Another thing I notice is the original X-Trans sensor is just a little more….subtle? I can’t put it into words, but there is a difference in the way the original iteration of the X-Trans sensor handles the files when compared to those from the updated sensor in the X-T1. Both are perfectly fine and produce wonderful files. I just find the original X-Trans sensor output more pleasing to my eye and taste.


Old habits die hard. How many times did I open the battery door to remove the SD card in the X-T1? Every. Single. Time. Every time I went to download the photos, I looked for the card under the battery door. Also, my SD card door on the X-T1 opened up on me constantly while out and about. Minor? Oh yes! Annoying? Yes.



Feeling in hand? I like the rangefinder styling of the XPro1 over the slr styling of the X-T1. I mentioned in the first paragraph that I was a little disappointed with the style of the X-T1. It handles just fine, I don’t have any major complaints at all – just the minor ones I noted above, but it does not give me the same shooting experience, tactile experience, as I get when holding and using the XPro1.
When I jumped into Fuji I lusted after the XPro1 but avoided it for months due to higher price. I finally broke down and got one, used it and love it – then put it aside for something newer. Now, I can’t believe I actually considered getting rid of it. It is my main camera and camera of choice with the Fuji 35mm lens. I still have the X-T1. It is great for shooting my son’s soccer and football games with the 55-200 lens. I won’t get rid of it, either.


As corny as it sounds, the XPro1 is my soul-mate camera…unless the X100T takes its place. It is a never-ending cycle of newer and better and I do fall victim to liking the shiny new toys. With the layout and style of the X100T….only time will tell.

If you like what you see, you can see what I’m up to on Instagram @cldavisphotography.

Thanks for letting me share with you again!

Best to you all,
Chris Davis

Dec 132014

Switching to Mirrorless from a DSLR

By Mohamed Hakem

Hello Steve!

Whenever I’m into any stage of photography I come to my passionate website :)

Mirrorless really helped me unhinge a new passion for photography.

I always considered myself as a nature/landscape. I had a D800 and all what I was interested in was landscape, nature and architecture. I was never a people’s photographer, not because I couldn’t but because I’m a little bit shy and not the right personality for doing weddings and commercials. Despite loving street photography and portraits of normal people in the street, it is an absurd dream for me in Egypt. In conservative cultures, people get offended when you point a camera and snap a picture, they might even get aggressive. So for me this category was off the list. Until when I got a Fuji X100 and things change! magically people in the street began accepting the photos! I had more and more confidence and I liked the Idea of having a camera with me 100% of the time! I found myself leaving the D800 and other lenses at home despite knowing that they are way more capable.

I gradually began shifting towards Fuji, I got an Xpro-1 and a couple of lenses and began traveling with the Xpro-1 18mm F/2 + 35mm F1.4. I started to discover new horizons for me in street photography. I really liked it! It wasn’t long since I got an XT-1 and sold all my nikon glass and committed myself to Fuji.

I started to get the courage to get closer to people here in my country and surprisingly having a retro style camera shifts you towards an artist more than a spy or a CIA agent or even a journalist!. I went with some friends all lugging around huge backpacks full of equipment and I really pitted them, I was going light with just the Fuji XT-1, 35mm and a 23mm. I could move more easily, having just a small shoulder bag that doesn’t even look like a camera bag I was able to get closer to people. I took some portraits of amazingly kind and simple people all with a friendly spirit.

I just LOVED mirrorless more and I knew that I took the right decision. believe me people it’s not sensor sizes or charts or dynamic ranges. It’s only you who really knows what makes you happy, Don’t just sit and read articles like mirrorless VS DSLR or buying gears just because it has a PRO marks all over it! for me, being light and mobile allowed me to get more! to discover more and to move more!

before I had the D800 and Nikon’s trinity, I couldn’t wish for more quality and supreme performance, but with the Fuji, going around more and having a clearer mind allowed me to do settings more wisely, intuitively and faster. Yes the Fuji is a slower less capable camera than the Nikon, but its combination with ME is a faster package, even the Landscape that I come from is much easier and nicer.

It reminded me with the good old days when I had the Nikon FM2 and a couple of lenses.

My website:



below are some street photos that I took with my XPRO-1 and X-T1













May 262014

NY with Fuji X Pro1

By Pieter Vermeulen

Hi Steve,

Long time reader from The Netherlands here, and I wanted to share some pictures.

After years of shooting with my Canon 5D and other big camera’s I bought a Leica M8.2 a little over a year ago along with two nice Elmarit lenses. In the end, it wasn’t for me. I loved shooting with and getting that Leica feeling, but the ISO performances were so bad that I could not justify it. Thought of buying a M9 instead, but even for the extra money I could not just do it. I also bought the Fuji X100S when it came out and loved it. I did sell it after 2 months because the fixed focal length wasn’t for me. So I sold everything and bought the Fuji X Pro 1 with the 18mm 2.0 and the 35mm 1.4. Fell in love with it. Wasn’t the Leica M but it was what I was looking for.

So when I went to New York for the first time in my life (actually flying for the first time in my life after being scared of flying my entire life) I brought the X Pro. One day… I will go back to Leica… but for now… the Fuji helped in capturing the people of New York. Just wanted to share!

Pieter Vermeulen













Mar 082014

User report: My Fuji X-Pro 1

By Liandro Siringoringo

Dear Steve,

First of all, thank you very much for this opportunity Steve, much appreciate, and let’s cut to the chase :D

My name is Liandro and I’m from Indonesia. It’s been a year now, my journey with the X-Pro1, my very first camera and the one that I decided to start to learn with and I must say, it’s a rough, long and windy road. Oh and I bought this camera in Melbourne with a whopping $300 discount by that time so lot of my photos will be around Melbourne.

I started out with loving it (since it’s my first camera) and the hating it because all the flaws. Luckily though, several weeks after that the firmware update came and voila, the focusing got better a notch and it’s enjoyable in some way but still..with the hate feelings lurking just right around the corner.

“In the Afternoon, Melbourne”

In The Afternoon

I shot the photo above and many other photos mainly using spot metering. This one with a voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 @f/8 if I’m not mistaken. The spot metering(which later I change to average) sometimes confuses me as a beginner because it gives me a blown out highlights or just a very dark shadows area and it’s really a learning curve for me.

What made me chose the Fuji is because the layout and handling is so direct. You can see the aperture, shutter speed, exp comp straight away without have to guess which dial control which. And it’s small, even though it’s not as small as other MFT camera, but still.

Without the mirror it really does give us a way to try old lenses which has its own magic.

“Chef’s prep time @GAZI Restaurant, Melbourne”

Chefs Prep Time GAZI Restaurant Melbourne

I took the shot above with an old Fujinon EBC 50mm f/1.4 @f/2 and even though without the focus peaking, I can focus manually just fine and manage to get the chef’s eyes sharp. The EVF really helps and I really love how Fuji came up up with a solution, a Hybrid viewfinder. IMHO, it’s brilliant.

Here are some other shot of the chefs..

“Simon Moss – Owner and Head Chef of Sapore at St. Kilda”

Simon Moss Owner of Sapore

 “Simon Moss trusty right hand, Chef Dario”

Trusty Right Hand Chef Dario

One thing also, I’m not to knowledgeable in data processing and technical stuff about camera but the RAW files from Fuji is pretty cool. The range that you can play with (if you got the exposure right or slightly right) is very broad. You can save some blown highlight at some point like I did on the image below

 “Playing with fire, Literally”

Playing with fire literally

I got the exposure wrong on the image above but I can save it somehow even though it’s not perfect but it’ll do for me.

Later on I change my metering to average and follow some of the setting for the RAW files such as, color -2, highlight -2, shadow -2, from a discussion with my friend’s experience and from the Fuji forum. It really helps us with the handling of the RAW files.

Oh, The average metering really helps me to get a good exposure for my architectural photos and others but then again this is not scientific, it’s just my personal experience.

“HQ, Bandung, Indonesia”




 “To The Other Side”

To The Other Side

Love the weight of it and the size, it makes you just want to go out with it everyday.

“Eternal Beauty” (One of my personal project)

Eternal Beauty

Hmm..Until now it’s still a love-hate relationship with my X-Pro1 and it’s still an on-going learning of photography (which probably never ends) for me. There are a lot of things I would like to suggest to Fuji to change and improve but I think others already covered it up. Well I hope you guys and Steve enjoy my user report. It might not be technical but it’s my experience gradually understanding the system and changing the setting through out my learning curve.

Oh almost forgot, feel free to visit my Flickr account


I am welcome to any critics if that can help me grow to be a better photographer. Along with this goodbye, I want to share the rest of photos I had taken with the X-Pro1

Again, thank you very much Steve for this opportunity, best of luck and stay healthy. God bless

Kind regards,

Liandro N. I. Siringoringo


“Grande” Voigt 15mm f/4.5 @8


“In Need of Lights” Fujinon EBC 50mm f/1.4 @1.4

In Need of Lights 


 Game On

“Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5”

 Voigtlander 15mm

“White Converse”

 White Converse

“Stacked Rectangles”

Stacked Rectangles 

“Sheets of Paper”

 Sheets of Paper

“Holmesglen Share House, Melbourne”

Holmesglen Share House 

“Every Girl’s Dream”

 Every Girl Dream





“Quiet Time”

Quiet Time 

“Le French Connection”

Le French Connection

Feb 262014


Varanasi with the Fuji X-Pro 1

By Sebastien Bey-Haut

I just came back from a photo trip in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh, India) and would like to share a few shots of this incredible city. Varanasi (or Banaras) is one of the holiest cities of the Hindu religion. It’s mostly known for its Ghats on the banks of the Ganga river.

Varanasi is said to be older than history, and frankly speaking it seems true. Going there is like entering another time dimension. It’s the dirtiest but also the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen.

To give you an idea of the local mood the nice guy with the skull is an Aghori Kapalik baba, a member of an Hindu sect known to eat pieces of human bodies found in the Ganga. The “fire shot” has been taken at Manikarnika, the most important “open air cremation” Ghat of India.

You should however not be afraid by these disturbing aspects of the city; these traditions are part of its magic. Going there is actually quite safe, precautions should of course be taken in terms of health (drinking a glass of Ganga water might not be a good idea), but no particular violence is to be feared.

For a photo trip the best would be to hire a local “unofficial” guide (there are a lot of them close to Manikarnika) and ask them to show you the “real” Varanasi (meaning the narrow streets of the old city and the less touristic places). The official guides will be reluctant to take you out of the main touristic route.

One last advice: let your Berluti at home and bring shoes you are comfortable to make (very) dirty, the streets are full of animal and human fluids and materials of any sorts…

In terms of gear I used exclusively my X-Pro1 and Zeiss Touit 32mm (because I stupidly forgot my 18mm home). I used it in the simplest way: OVF, center focusing, no picture preview on the OVF. A good trick is to use the OVF on the “wide angle”: With the 50mm equivalent it allows seeing a lot of what is outside of the frame and thus taking your shot at the right moment.

The only Fuji quirk is the poor raw handling in lightroom, is thus used only neutral jpegs (everything like color, noise, sharpness at middle or low) and then post processed them with the Nik Collection and Lightroom.

The most difficult thing has been to select only a few shots for Steve, many more (including baba portraits, night shots, and shots of the small villages on the other side of the Ganga) are available on my 500px page, please take a look at it.

I’m also considering to sell some high quality baryta prints of the best shots, please do not hesitate to send me an email to discuss it further (sebks @ hotmail.com)

Best regards,


BO Steve Huff (1 sur 23)

BO Steve Huff (2 sur 23)

BO Steve Huff (23 sur 23)

BO Steve Huff (20 sur 23)




Feb 202014

Shooting with Fuji

By Olaf Sztaba

It is not common in the days of big egos and anonymous message boards that a great photographer and hugely popular blogger stands back and allows other photographers to share their work on his own website. I applaud you for such a generous approach.

This is our first submission to your website, so a few words about our philosophy. We believe that as we have all been taking photographs for over 100 years, we are experienced enough to go beyond portraits and landscapes to take photography into the artistic realm. Capturing the emotions you feel as you look at people and landscapes is another level of photography, as is capturing the essence of a person or landscape.

Having said that, we put a lot of effort into the visual and emotional quality of the photograph; only after that do we strive for technical perfection. Our photo trips usually take us into unknown and forgotten places, some of which may seem obscure and rusty at first sight but somehow they interest us more than what’s new and pretty. I had my first camera at the age of four and ever since my eyes have been searching for the perfect composition, light and subject. My wife Kasia and I are based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

We are currently shooting with the Fuji X-Pro1, Fuji X100S cameras and Fujinon XF lenses, which fit our style of photography well. With the basic gauges at our fingers, we can focus on what’s important: our subject, emotions, visuals and light. We believe that every photographer has special needs and preferences, so I don’t want this post to be about equipment.

After all, a strong, artistically beautiful image, even if it is technically imperfect, will always triumph over a technically perfect but dull image.

Thank you for the opportunity.

Olaf & Kasia Sztaba




Image #1: Fuji X100S


Image #2: Fuji X100


Image #3: Fuji X-Pro1 & XF 14mm F2.8


Image #4: Fuji X100S


Image #5: Fuji X-Pro1 & XF 14mm F2.8


Image #6: Fuji X-Pro1 & XF 14mm F2.8


Image #7: Fuji X-Pro1 & XF 14mm F2.8




Sep 302013


Traveling to the USA with a Fuji X-Pro 1

by Axel Friberg

Dear Steve,

I hoped you enjoyed your stay in Ireland! Dublin is one of my personal favorites.

I am a Swedish photographer based in Uppsala, north of Stockholm. This summer I have been lucky enough to travel for 5 weeks to the US, France and the west coast of Sweden thanks to hospitable friends. I would like to share my pictures with you and your readers. They are all taken with the Fuji X-Pro1 and 35mm f/1.4.

Picture 1. Nantucket Island, USA. Street shooting. Man with yellow phone and matching car

Picture 1

Picture 2. North Haven, Long Island, USA. Walking up towards an empty plot of land with beautiful trees.

Picture 2

Picture 3. North Haven, Long Island, USA. On the empty plot of land.

Picture 3

Picture 4. Tribecca, New York, USA. Street shooting the police who stopped in front of me to yell at a biker.

Picture 4

Picture 5. Central Park, New York, USA. Street shooting very talented musicians.

Picture 5

Picture 6. Grand Central Terminal, New York, USA. Shooting the crowd passing by. Notice the woman in white?

Picture 6

Picture 7. Nordkoster, Sweden. Girls on swings.

Picture 7

Picture 8. Fayence, France. Street shooting in the village after thunderstorm. Reflections in water, upside-down.

Picture 8

Picture 9. Fayence, France. Street shooting in the village after thunderstorm.

Picture 9

Picture 10. Uppsala, Sweden. Shooting an event on a Fraternity/Sorority which houses in a beautiful building from the 17:th century.

Picture 10

I recently read your thoughts on the new Fujifilm X-A1 and your take on the X-trans sensor, or the lack thereof. After shooting with the X-Pro1 for little over a year, I dare say I have some experience with the sensor. And I agree with you! In fact, I dislike the way my OOC files turn out. It is not uncommon that the pictures look kind of smeared. Especially soft objects, like leaves or skin, despite being in perfect focus. However, I have always found it to work well as a monochrome camera. I am huge B&W fan.

For a long time, I did some “pixel peeping”, or at least kind of; 100% zoom to check that I nailed focus etc. I’m not a rich guy, and when I put over 2’000 USD last year on the camera and lens, knowingly sacrificing AF-speed for IQ, I was kind of expecting greatness. At first, I felt a tad disappointed. Now, a year later, I have stopped the intense pixel peeping and focus on the final image.

What I have learned is that despite the Fuji X-cameras takes a dull OOC picture, one can achieve great results with some post processing. Just like the Leica MM OOC files. Since the camera does a fine job handling mid-high ISO, you can give your images a pretty damn impressive DR in PP, when lifting shadows for example. (However, I would personally set the ISO to a maximum of 3200 in a dark room. It can handle 6400 without a problem in perfect light, but I often shoot in a non-controlled environment.) I really like what you can do with the files in PP! The files can get that deep, rich look; see the picture of the cops? Hugely improved with 15 second PP! The Fuji is not as good as a full frame camera, like the Leica M typ 240, of course, but it gives you good value in terms of IQ! Another problem I used to have with the X-Pro1, which I know you have mentioned on the blog, is that it does not handle well in full sun. With some minor PP, I have been able to get rid of this problem. (I use Lightroom 5).

Since the release of the Olympus OM-D EM-1 however, I have been thinking of switching systems. I might get the mark 2 version in the future. The only thing that would make me want to keep investing in Fuji glass instead of selling would be if Fuji released an IC with in-body IS, like the Olympus OMD, or the Panasonic GX-7, AF-speed even faster than the X100S and an EVF on-pair with the EM-1. I feel that I miss too many shots right now. However, I appreciate the fact that Fuji often try to improve the current line up with firmware updates. When we finally got focus peaking, MF went much faster and easier than before.

Another camera that will probably peak my interest is the upcoming Canon 7D mk ii. I have seen great portraits with Canons APS-C sensor cameras paired with the 85mm f/1.8 (about 135mm equivalent). Furthermore, it’s bound to be a fantastic camera for bird photography. For portability, which is why I got the X-Pro1, I’d switch to the Ricoh GR. I used to prefer 50mm to any other focal length, but lately I have been studying William Klein and fallen in love with the 24-35mm range.

Keep up the good work!

Sep 182013

Around the world with the Fuji X-Pro 1 by Nate Robert

Hey Steve!

In December last year, I sent you a bunch of photos from the streets
of Iran
, all taken using the Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 18mm lens. I
thought your readers may like an update, as my journey around the
world with one camera and one lens has now passed the 400 day mark –
I’m still going strong and not slowing down – I’ve done 17 countries
in the last month.

I recently spent some time in an unrecognised breakaway territory deep
in Eastern Europe, known as “Transnistria”. After a brutal war of
independence in the early 90’s, the region is now doing its own thing
– due in large part to the Russian military that maintains a presence
on the ground. It was an incredibly interesting place to visit,
especially on Independence Day – held annually on the 2nd September.

Apart from an extremely Soviet-esque military parade, other highlights
included a parade of available brides, plenty of BBQ, and Vodka
flowing freely. It’s a hard place to explain, and I’m not sure my
photos do anything more than seed further confusion about

In any case, despite being tempted by full frame in the Leica range, I
have stuck with the Fuji and the 18mm for quite some time now. It’s
something I recommend everyone doing at least once in their
photographic life. As time passes, I get to know the capabilities of
the camera, and the lens, in great detail. I’ve used this combo for
street photography, landscapes, and architectural shots. Of course,
the Fuji does have it’s “quirks”, but let’s face it – all camera’s do.
Is any camera really perfect?

Keep up the great work, and I will check in again next time I have
something interesting to share. Iran, Transistria, who knows where I
will end up next. If any of your readers would like to follow my
indefinite  journey, I think they would find it interesting – one
lens, one camera, one world. I’m blogging as I go.

Keep on doing your thing Steve, we all appreciate it.

Nate Robert


army children transnistria

transnistria guns

general transnistria tiraspol


tiraspol transnistria october

transnistria girls nude

soviet transnistria

transnistria mig

Aug 032013

USER REPORT: Shooting Birds With The Fuji X-Pro 1

By Gareth Brough

So there I am, on a small Island off the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales (UK) surrounded by lots of other photographers with serious kit – we are talking big heavy gear for some ‘proper’ wildlife shooting – and I am lying on the ground with a Fuji X-Pro 1 and the 35mm F1.4 lens. Surely I don’t expect to be able to photograph birds with this tinny little camera/ lens combo? Well, actually I do. There is a bird on the Island called a Puffin, they are rather odd-looking, live in underground burrows and seemingly have no fear of humans, so if you sit and wait, they will come to you.

Taking the Fuji X-Pro 1 on a trip like this may seem like a gamble, after all the autofocus is not exactly cutting edge (more about that later), but the positives outweigh the negatives. I have used and owned cameras for many years – from medium format (Hassleblad / Mamiya 7 / Pentax) to the big Canon and Nikon digital beasts, all had one thing in common, WEIGHT! My last DSLR was the Nikon D700, which I used to carry around with tilt & shift lenses and an 80-200 f2.8 AFS, and I found (as Steve has said many times) that I would leave my kit at home on more occasions that not as I just couldn’t be bothered lugging it arround. So I made the decision about a year ago to get rid of all my gear and switch to a camera that I might actually enjoy using. I looked at all the cameras on offer (I wish the Sony RX1 had been around), nearly bought a Leica M8 but got the jitters due to my experiences focusing the rangefinder on the Mamiya 7, and finally bought the Fuji. I loved their collaboration with Hassleblad on the XPan and thought this camera could just answer most of my needs.

Walking around an Island all day with a heavy backpack = my idea of hell, so a Fuji X-Pro 1 and the LEE Filters RF75 kit snuggled into a Billingham Hadley Pro was just the ticket, and there was room for my Leica binoculars. For general scenic shots the Fuji is perfect, you can take your time to compose – add action to the mix and the Fuji can struggle. The autofocus on this camera does not keep up with anything that is fast moving (like birds) so you have to think of other strategies to get the shot. I spent some time watching what the birds were doing, how they moved, where they stayed still for a brief moment and then, when I was crouched into the right position, I started to fire away. If you are used to the precision of DSLR focusing then the wishy focus on the Fuji may come as a shock, the focus area, to me, is too large, making it easy to miss critical focus on an eye, but again, go slowly and you can get results.

I like the fact that the Fuji is a camera that you need to spend time with, learn how to get the most from it – it can frustrate and please in equal measure, but for me, it is a camera I always have around, and that outweighs any issues. Plus, Fuji does seem to listen to customers and gives us treats in firmware updates (focus peaking coming soon).

It seems you can’t talk about Fuji without mentioning post processing, so for anyone interested, I shoot RAW, process my files through RPP (Mac only) to 16bit Tiffs, and then bring them into Lightroom for final processing. I would love for this to be a one stage process, but I am not happy with what I get out of Lightroom from the RAW files on Fuji at the moment.

I would urge anyone reading to go try something a little different with their kit, do something unexpected and you may be surprised by the results and learn something new about your camera.

All photos : Fuji X-Pro 1, 35mm F1.4 lens, LEE Filters RF75 System with .6 grad filter










Jul 012013

User Report: My Journey to the Fuji X-Pro 1 by Christina Davis

Hi Steve,

I’ve been a reader for a little over a year now and have found your site to be a wonderful resource as well as a bad, bad enabler! I guess I’d fall under the category of MWAC: two kids (15 and 12) and camera as traveling companions – even to the grocery store. The problem is, my dslr was just too big. I have attempted to simplify in the past couple of years. When I upgraded to the 5DMIII, I did not upgrade my PS or LR. I went back to editing jpeg files and discovered no difference in the results. I even picked up a 40mm pancake lens in an effort to lighten the load; however, that dslr is just too much camera to carry around in my bag and to take on outings and trips.

untitled (133 of 560)-Edit copys copyFB

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I have been challenging myself to spend each summer with a small camera. Last summer, thanks to your blog, it was the Sony RX100. It was OK, but obviously didn’t come close to the dslr in quality. Last fall I read on your blog about the Fuji X100. I picked one up and took one step closer to finding the right fit and the image quality was more on par with what I was after. I should admit right here at I have some level of GAS. I just love cameras, handling cameras and making photographs, ever since I was a kid and my mom was constantly yelling at me, “Don’t waste the film!”

Well, that Fuji X100 is quite a camera, but then I read Amy Medina’s contribution on your site about how she picked up the Fuji X-E1. I was sold. I got the kit with the zoom lens. Only…I didn’t mesh with that camera or the lens. Both were great, don’t get me wrong, but that “feel” wasn’t there and I have to say I really was bothered with not having an OVF.

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After a couple of months and more reading on your site, and with summer getting closer and the kids being out of school soon, I caved to the camera which had been calling to me for months. I tried to ignore it. I told myself it was too expensive and I shouldn’t spend the money. I told myself it will be replaced pretty soon with a newer model. I just couldn’t resist any longer. I now have a Fuji XPro1. I paired it with the 18mm lens in the hopes of getting a do-it-all combination which is light and flexible. I have to say, I haven’t been disappointed.

A couple of weeks back I took the kids on a little mini vacation to San Diego. This was the first time I was able to really play with the camera, using it in all types of settings and situations. I really enjoy how it handles, I like the light weight of it and the image quality is closest to my dslr of any of the small cameras I have used. It’s a perfect “throw-and-go” camera for my purposes.

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What I found particularly pleasing is the image quality straight out of the camera. I shoot in jpeg on this camera as well and find that these files need so much less editing than those from the 5DMIII; maybe just a little crop here and there, maybe a very slight adjustment to add tone when necessary and some very light sharpening and that’s it! The only thing I do with any detail in PS would be B&W conversions. I just don’t care too much for the B&W files from the camera. I probably just need more practice.

Since I do really love the Canon 40mm pancake lens and find it to be the perfect focal length, I am anxiously awaiting Fuji’s 27mm pancake lens. I would like to see it out before summer is over, so I can use it, as well as the 18mm, on our outings.

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Thanks for letting me share and thank you for providing such an interesting and fun resource which really demonstrates what these little cameras can offer. I think that these days there is too much emphasis on dslrs and the “big brands”. The cameras you discuss on your site are really fantastic and offer up such versatility which was really enjoyed by people (and those masters of photography) in years gone by.

Christina Davis

May 282013


Fuji X-Pro 1 and the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5

by Jim Gamblin

(From Steve: The brand new redesigned Nokton 1.5 in M mount will be released in 2-4 weeks, check it out)

Hello again! This review or rather my impressions of the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5 has been a long time in the making. The reason for this, is that in truth I am not yet done. Thus there will be a second part to this review, in the form of comparisons with two other 50mm lenses.


First just this lens. I am not going to go into the history of Voigtlander. Just to say that the Voigtlander lenses are made today in Japan at Cosina. The same place many of the Zeiss lenses are made.

The Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 is currently the only Fuji lens that I have. It is optically a wonderful lens and for the most part a joy to use. However I needed something longer in focal length. My original choice was going to be the Fujinon 60mm f/2.4. However after trying it in a store I was put off by the terrible AF. Not only slow, but would not lock on once in roughly 20 tries.

On my Nikon D3 my most used lens is the 85mm AF-D f/1.4. So I thought I would try a 50mm, which would give me a 75mm equivalent AOV, close to the D3 ~ 85mm combo. First I put my Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S lens to work. But that lens is front heavy and puts the camera out of balance. At this point I had decided that I should investigate getting M mount style lenses in lieu of the larger SLR lenses.

The first M mount lens that I had acquired was the Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Color~Heliar and have been very happy with it. Great for portraits with it’s lower contrast. But for two people or in cramped quarters it became a little to long on the X-P 1 (equivalent 112mm). Thus I went back to the idea of a fast 50mm M mount lens.


With a Leica Summilux ASPH being completely out of the question, I began my research. Which is where I found this review on Steve Huff’s site: http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2010/02/04/voigtlander-nokton-50-1-5-lens-review-by-james-klotz/. Very impressive. Also Sean Reid had many good things about the lens.

Unfortunately this lens has been out of production for a while. (***note a new version of the Nokton f/1.5, is to be released this summer 2013). The current 50mm Nokton is a massive (in size) f/1.1 and has not been as well received. Like many others, I am on a size reduction program, thus this lens did not interest me. Carl Zeiss makes two fifty M mounts. The Sonnar f/1.5 and the Planar f/2. Both small and highly regarded and were both appealing to me. After reading many reviews on all three, I kept going back to the two reviews on the Nokton and decided that was the lens for me. Missed two on ebay as “auctions”, but then found another on ebay as a “Buy Now” from an antique store in Australia. Being a little nervous about buying a photographic lens from an antique dealer, I finally sucked it up and took a chance. Despite my early misgivings, it would appear that I was lucky and got a good copy. Apparently news on the internet is that Cosina Voigtlander lenses suffer from quality control and not all lenses are created equal.

This version like my Color~Heliar is the older LTM screw mount. So an adapter is needed first to convert it to the M mount. These cost about €50. It is a simple ring that just screws on to the lens mount and barely makes any difference in size, weight or appearance. Mine is made by Voigtlander and is specially made for the 50 and 75mm lenses.


The lens is similar in look and construction to the Color~Heliar 75mm. And it just looks right on the X-Pro 1. All metal with DOF markings (though these marking more apply to a 35mm size frame). It has a nice heft to it without being too heavy about 250 grams roughly half a pound. Front thread is 52mm. Half stop clicks after f/2. The clicks don’t feel really precise, but definitely not sloppy either. Close focus is a bit much at .90 meter. The focus ring has a nice feel to it and goes from close to infinity in half a turn. I am a fan of the knurled focus ring. Another item I am a fan of is the lens cap. It has a velvety lining and slips over the lens shade and sits there very snug. Speaking of the lens shade, one must remove it to put on or take off a filter. Not a big hassle, but something worth noting.

Over all I am quite pleased with this lens, especially considering the cost. In the second part of this review will be comparisons with two other fifties, nothing exotic just close in price range. So until then I will skip the inevitable bokeh speak.





When using the Nokton with the X-Pro 1, it of course must be focused in EVF mode. Having mostly used SLR’s for the better part of my career, I am not used to zone focusing. So in using this lens with the XP1, it is a slower more deliberate action. Focus peaking would of course help tremendously and like many I keep hoping to see it appear on whatever upcoming firmware. Also irritating is that Fuji files do not have the aperture setting in the EXIF of third-party lenses. However I have not experienced any problems in focusing and much of the time I do not need to use the magnifier. Have not missed focus on that many shots, except of course trying to capture fast action.

As noted earlier close focus is a distant .90 meter, which is a little disappointing. However back when Nikon use to be more considerate to their customers, they made a large selection of their lenses with a 52mm front thread and as it so happens the Nokton also has a 52mm front thread. Low and behold I found an unused set of Vivitar close-up filters tucked away in an old filter case of mine. I remember buying these before I got the 55mm f/3.5 macro lens. Using them will give the photographer a limited focus range. i.e. a #1 ~ 50cm to 110cm (19.5 to 43 inches), a #2 ~ 40cm to 60cm (16 to 23.5 inches) and a #4 ~ 24cm to 36cm (9.5 to 14 inches). Here are a couple of examples. Dark day today even at less than a meter form a large window, so I had to use ISO 2500 at f/5.6.

The #4 from 28cm (11 inches)


The #2 from 52cm (20.5 inches)


The #1 from 65 cm ( 25.6 inches)


The Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 mounted on the Fuji X-Pro1 


For comparison the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5. This lens would be better for more serious macro work and also has the benefit of full range. But then again the Nikkor cannot give you f/1.5.

The #2 at f/1.5


For the time being I plan to keep this lens. If however the newly announced Fujinon 56mm is at least as sharp and has AF as fast as the Fuji 35mm, then maybe the Nokton will be replaced. We shall wait and see. One thing I know for certain is, the more I use the XP1 the more I love it, regardless of what lens.

The different moods created by this lens. Thank you for stopping by.







Jan 292013

The Metabones Speed Booster adapter: A COLUMBUS EGG by Daniele Cametti Aspri

Daniele Cametti Aspri – Website is HERE, Flickr is HERE


Some days ago, reading a blog on the net my attention was captured by an advertisement on a new Metabones adapter for Fuji Film/Leica R: the Speed Booster.

I’m an happy Fuji film Xpro 1 user and I love experimenting with all my cameras with hybrid adaper Vs everything. I also I’ve used a Linhof Master teknica with a Canon 5dMKII and a sliding graflok adapter od the same adapter with a 1960 Speedgraphic press camera powered by a 1940 Kodak Aereo Ektar, but this is another story.

So I love shooting with this little piece of jewelry (the XPro 1) because it is little and practical like a Leica and has a great sensor. But I don’t love the lens and on the other hand is an APS-C size and I love full frame.

I’m always searching for a unique mood so I tried different options. Leica M lens are wonderful but very expensive, Leica R are more affordable and I have a little collection of them that I use with my Canon Mark III. So what? The sensor size. I’m always wondering when Fuji will make a full size version of the X1 Pro. You could tell me why don’t you buy an M9 or wait for an M (type 240). Yes of course, but. The price of combination body/lens is to high and I love shooting at night. So the M9 is not an option.

Telling the truth I ‘m waiting to see the new M. Leica R lens, High ISO, Video and is a Leica. Ohhh what a dream!!!

But last night when I saw the Metabones Speed Booster ad everything was so clear. It is a Columbus egg!

If you cannot have a full sensor size why don’t you reduce the image circle of a full frame lens to an aps c size sensor? The effects are terrific!!! So take the best sensor and the best (affordable) lens togheter this way and you have a definitive piece of hardware. And more… You have one more stop of light too and you have reduced any aberration the lens eventually had. Yes, you read well.

I don’t want to be more technical. I just show you the results of a shooting on Friday night with some musicians friends of mine. Starring a Fuji Film XPro 1, a Metabones Speed Booster, 1 leica R Elmarit 19 /2.8, 1 Summicron 35/2, 1 Summicron 50/2 and 1 Summicron 90/2

Enjoy pictures, they spoke themselves

P.S. By the way, on Sunday I went to the seaside with my dog Dolly my Fuji Film X1 Pro, a Leica R Elmarit 19/f2.8, a Leica R Summicron 35/2 and the Metabones Speed Booster. Ops, there was my girlfriend too.These are the last 4 images.
























Apr 272012

More Fun Comparisons – Fuji X-Pro 1 vs Olympus OM-D vs Sony NEX-7 – JPEG

NOTE – For those who decide to NOT read the text in this article and then send me messages about how I know nothing or I know nothing about different focal lengths and effects on the output…then I suggest you read this article instead of just looking at the images. This was NOT a test to show each camera with a same lens, as that would be impossible as you can not shoot the same lenses on each camera. This was not and is not a scientific test AT ALL. In fact, I was showing the differences in focal lengths and sensor sizes and the effects they have on the images, and this was just to show what you would get with each of these combos in the same situations. Those who are new here do not realize that this is how I have been doing things for 3 years, so I forgive you :) – But please read before making nonsense comments and personal attacks as those will be moderated. Thank you!

I know you guys LOVE these crazy comparisons..and some of you get all up in a roar over them but that doesn’t mean I am not going to post more! Today I was out and about with the OM-D, X-Pro 1 and NEX-7. Now, I could not use the same lenses on all of these so I used what I had on hand.

These comparisons are not really meant to show anything but how each camera renders JPEGS as well as the differences between the sensor sizes (Micro 4/3 and APS-C). With the OM-D you get the most Depth Of Field due to the sensor size being the smallest of the three. This can be a blessing to some, and a curse to those who love the creamy dreamy look that a fast lens and big sensor gives to you. It can be a blessing because cameras with smaller sensors focus faster and seem to be more accurate with the AF as well. You also usually get sharper images as everything is in focus (well, when using wide lenses especially).

I have been shooting all of these cameras quite a bit lately trying to see which one I really truly like the best. They all have their pros and cons of course, but all are capable of producing lovely images. Olympus has their own unique color rendering as does Fuji and Sony. Which do you prefer?

The images below were all shot as JPEG..I did NOT shoot RAW because there is still no Adobe RAW support for the Fuji or Olympus, so keep in mind what you see below is JPEG output. Untouched, unedited. Just resized. Each camera was set to Aperture Priority and as always, for these fun JPEG comparisons I let the camera choose exposure. ISO was set to the base ISO on each camera. This is NOT an ISO test or a scientific test. It’s to show how each camera, with said lens, will output a JPEG. It shows DOF differences, color differences and also shows how sharp these lenses are.

I plan on doing RAW comparisons soon as well, so there will be a part 2. I will also have comparisons in my OM-D review, which will be up fairly soon I hope.

Enjoy this fun JPEG comparison!

1st the OM-D E-M5 and the 12mm f.2 at f/5.6 – click image for larger- This came closest to the real color during the “Golden Hour”

Now the Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 35 at f/5.6 – the color signature is much different from the Olympus and has less DOF due  to sensor size and focal length being much longer

Now the Sony with the Zeiss 24 at f/5.6 – Focal Equivalent of this one is 35mm

Now the OM-D at f/2.8 – pretty sharp JPEG output. Nice rich colors as well

Now the Fuji with the 25 at 2.8

and the Sony with the Zeiss at 2.8

OM-D at f/4 with the 12mm

and the Fuji at f/4 with the 35

Another one with the Fuji and OM-D. The Sony shot was corrupted on my SD card for this one so could not include it.

The OM-D with the 12 at f/2.8 – straight from camera JPEG – This is a 24mm equivalent so you will get much deeper DOF than the Fuji with the 35mm

and the Fuji at 2.8 with the 35mm – straight form camera JPEG

I saw this scene in the harsh sun and figured it may make a good shot for Dynamic Range. Again, my Sony shot was corrupted (due to an OLD worn out SD card that I need to replace) 

So take this as nothing more than JPEGS shot with each camera and their respective lenses. Out of the three, the most joyful and fun to shoot was the Olympus. I also enjoyed the Fuji as the AF was fine in this bright light so I had no problems with it. The Sony was also fast and easy to shoot. Any of these mirrorless cameras can give you great results, and when you learn the camera you can do just about anything with them. I am looking forward to taking them on vacation with me next week. I will also bring one of them with me to Berlin for the Leica event on May 10th (in addition to my Leica). Not sure which one yet :)

As always, thanks for reading. If anyone would like to see a specific test or comparison with these three cameras just let me know! I will do my best to oblige.


Apr 232012

OM-D E-M5 greater Dynamic Range than the X-Pro 1? Plus 1st quick snaps…

You guys know I do not do “technical” tests with charts but some enjoy this scientific look into cameras and sensors. I have been shooting with the OM-D E-M5 for a few days now and absolutely love it. Without a doubt it is my top mirrorless choice right now. Above the Fuji, Sony and others. Why is this? Well, not only for its design, build, size, color, sharpness, high ISO performance and speed and responsiveness but also due to the lenses available. It also doesn’t hurt that tech radar.com just tested it and showed that using RAW, it outclasses the NEX-7 and Fuji X-Pro in Dynamic Range. IN fact, they say it measures better than any compact to date.

This test is from techrader.com and their OM-D review

Yes, Micro 4/3 has matured. I have been seeing great results in every area just shooting JPEG with the E-M5 and even the video is spectacular. So with the E-M5 I have been able to shoot JPEG in good light, low light, high ISO, bright light and low ISO and get superb results, great detail and sharpness and that Olympus color signature. Love it.

My early thoughts? It is fast, accurate, highly capable, and doesn’t really give up much of anything to the NEX or Fuji besides if you shoot at super high ISO’s like 6400 or 12,800 (then the Fuji beats it no question). Shallow DOF is attainable with the 45 1.8 and the soon to come 75 1.8 should be even better but you will still get a more creamy shallow look from cameras with larger sensors. So far the low light performance has exceeded my expectations as has the 5 Axis IS (which is sooo good for video..and no more “jello” effect). I would use this in pro situations due to the speed, accuracy, IQ and ISO performance. DR seems great as well, and is confirmed by the techradar report. More to come.

My review will be here soon, but do take a look at the results from tech radar.com   on this little jewel of a camera. Below are just a few fun snaps that I took this weekend while around town, nothing special but it does show that this camera is a big step up from previous PEN cameras in regards to low light and IQ. Clicking an image will make it larger and the EXIF is embedded in each photo. Again, this is NOT my review – I will be posting that soon-ish and it will be very detailed. I have a couple of trips planned where I will be taking the E-M5 with  me so I plan on giving it a real workout.

remember to click the images for larger view!

12mm at f/2 – OOC JPEG

12mm at f.2 – ISO 1600 – OOC JPEG – sharp, detailed and noise is NOT offensive at all

45 1.8 at 1.8 – ISO 400 – OOC JPEG

45 1.8 at 1.8 – ISO 1000

45 1.8 at ISO 1600 – OOC JPEG

My beautiful fiancé with the 12 at f/2 – ISO 1600 – Was walking with low shutter speed so there is motion blur, this is not mis-focus (which has yet to happen with this camera)

12mm f/2 – iso 200 – the color and detail of OOC JPEGS is great. Can’t wait for RAW support from Adobe.

and something that was not attainable before…usable ISO 6400 – The X-Pro 1 does even better at 6400 but the OM-D is not too far behind. 

Remember, these were just quick snaps and all are JPEGS from the camera. I have yet to prices any RAW files.


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