Is the Fuji X-Pro1 still relevant?

I have a lot to thank the Fuji X system for. Over a year and a half ago, I bought my first Fuji camera, the X-Pro1. Due to its rangefinder form that reminded me of my old Leica M cameras, optical/electronic hybrid finder, its lightweight, its range of great lenses, fantastic image quality and reasonable price, I was totally smitten with the X system. It made photography fun again for me.

The Fuji X-Pro1 with the XF 18mm f2 lens - one the best set-ups I've found for street photography

But it wasn’t just the fun aspect, in using the Fuji X-Pro1 for street and personal photography. The ability to switch from the optical finder to the electronic finder made the camera completely relevant for my professional work too. The EVF allows me to see exactly what the lens is seeing. I can carefully line up elements visually, which I need to do for my real estate/architecture work and when I do corporate portraits. The camera’s EVF allowed me to get rid of my old and heavy Canon DSLR system, which I could never do if my only remaining system was the Leica M system.

The X-Pro1, however, is getting on in age. It was released in 2012, and was already overshadowed by its up to date sister, the fast focusing X-T1, when I purchased it in 2014. At over three years old and with its rumored successor, the X-Pro2, possibly being announced before the end of 2015, the flagship of the X system is looking very elderly.

With the high performance X-T1, the budget priced X-E2 and now the X-T10 all available, and the X-Pro2 around the corner, is the X-Pro1 still relevant?

It’s about the OVF

If there was one feature that still makes X-Pro1 relevant for me, it has to be the Optical Viewfinder. For street work and personal shooting, I much prefer using the optical finder to an Electronic Viewfinder (or an SLR, for that matter).

I’ve handled the X-T1 several times, and admire its huge EVF. But it’s still an EVF, and sometimes, for my purposes, I want to view the world as directly as possible. For me, the best way to do that is with an optical finder.

We’re a bit jaded with the X-Pro1’s optical finder, as it’s been around for over three years. But I believe it’s still a wonder of photographic technology. While my old, reliable Leica M system has languished for decades with its barely evolving optical viewfinder, the X-Pro1’s OVF made a huge leap beyond the M.

In addition to its ability to switch to EVF with an easy to flick switch, the features I love about the X-Pro1’s Optical Viewfinder are:

A bright, clear and real (no lag time) view of the world. Nothing to distract me from the scene and it doesn’t “manipulate” me (in the extreme view of the great street shooter, Gary Winogrand) the way any Through the Lens viewing, like an SLR or an electronic finder, does. While I don’t entirely subscribe to the legendary Winogrand’s extreme viewpoint, I understand where he is coming from.

Parallax-correcting frames. Although it doesn’t work exactly as the Leica M finder, where you can see the frame lines correcting as you focus (the X-Pro1’s frames jump into correct position upon focusing), this is a nice feature over using an accessory bright finder. It allows for accurate framing. Keep in mind, though, for carefully lining up visual elements within the frame, it’s still better to switch to the EVF.

Two magnifications for the OVF. I’ve wished for a Leica M with the ability to switch its optical viewfinder’s magnification for decades. Fuji did it with their first, interchangeable lens X system camera. It’s wonderful to have the lower magnification for my 18mm (28mm-e) lens. I can easily see the entire frame, even though I wear eyeglasses. Conversely, when I’m using my Zeiss Touit X 32mm (50mm-e), I can switch to the higher magnification (by holding the OVF/EVF switch on the front of the camera, for a few seconds to the right). The higher magnification helps to fill the frame with its 32mm view and makes it easier to compose with that lens in a split second.

Easy to view and frame in bright light. Both the LCD and sometimes even the EVF can be tricky to view in bright, outdoor light. This can be made worse by the fact that sometimes, I’ll accidently be wearing my prescription driving glasses, which are polarized. The polarization makes it impossible to see the EVF! But the OVF, with its simple glass view, can be easily viewed; no matter how bright it is and even if I’m wearing my polarized sunglasses. To be fair, in dim light, the opposite is true: I find viewing a scene with the EVF to be the superior choice.

Other aspects that keeps the X-Pro1 relevant for me

While the X-Pro1’s Optical Viewfinder is what makes it the choice for me, over other X cameras, there are secondary aspects that also contribute to that.

The X-Pro1 over the X-100S or T: The X-100 series has a great hybrid finder too and is one of the most stylish cameras I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve come very close to buying the S or the T several times, but two characteristics about it always makes me back off.

I actually find the X-100 cameras too small for my hands. I realize its compact size is one of its great features, but it’s of limited benefit, personally, to me. I don’t have huge hands, but I think it’s because I’m so used to the old form of the Leica M camera, that the size of the X-Pro1 feels much better to me than the tiny X-100 series body.

While the X-100 cameras have the option of attachable optics to turn its fixed, 35mm-e lens into a slightly longer or wider lens, it’s much more limited than a true interchangeable lens camera like the X-Pro1. Since the X-Pro1 is a true ILC, I was able to get rid of my entire Canon DSLR system for my professional work. I have access to all of the same focal lengths I was using on the old Canon. If I had gone with the X-100 series camera, it remains a camera only for my personal work, and I wouldn’t have been able to get rid of my heavy DSLR system.

The Rangefinder Form of the X-Pro1 over the SLR Form of the X-T1: no doubt about it, I’m most comfortable with the rangefinder form, after three decades of using the old mechanical Leica M system. After the benefit of its Optical Viewfinder, the X-Pro1’s rangefinder form is what keeps me from switching to the X-T1.

This isn’t a knock against the X-T1 at all, as I’ve experienced its fantastic focusing speed and amazingly large EVF.   Even with all the firmware updates, the X-Pro1 is a step behind the X-T1’s performance. I’m hoping that the upcoming X-Pro2 will achieve or surpass the X-T1’s focusing speed.

But I’m really comfortable with the handling of the X-Pro1’s form. Having the viewfinder on the upper left of the camera deck, rather than the center, makes a big difference for me. This is especially true when I’m doing street photography.   It’s more a psychological thing, but I feel it blocks my view of the world less, than when the finder is in the center of the camera.

The Build Quality and Feel over other X cameras: the X-Pro1 is considered by Fujifilm to be the flagship of the X line. Even though it’s now behind, technologically, the X-T1 and X-E2, I find its build quality and feel befits its position as the flagship camera.

The X-E2 is light and small, but to me, it feels a bit hollow and not sufficiently solid. Even the X-T1, which has a great build quality, doesn’t quite match the solid feel of the X-Pro1. It’s 95% there, but it’s the little things, like the battery door, which just seems to make the X-Pro1 slightly better built than the X-T1.

iPhone pic capturing two Fuji X-Pro1 bodies, with the Zeiss 32mm & Fuji 18mm.  Minolta IV Light Meter

Well, those are my very personal reasons for still preferring the X-Pro1 to the other great Fuji X cameras, even today. While I’m looking forward to the eventual release of the X-Pro2, I’m still very happy with my choice of the X-Pro1 camera. It’s dependable and versatile as a professional tool, and its OVF makes it fun to use for street and personal work.

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25 thoughts on “Is the Fuji X-Pro1 still relevant?

  1. Hi Marco,
    I’m following your blog and it’s very interesting, since I’m searching a substitute for my not-so-loved Nex-6. My main concerns with this camera are the lack of dials and the absence of the aperture ring on the native lenses. It’s for this reason that my lenses are mainly old manual focus from Olympus, Voigtlander and the only real Sony lens I own is the kit lens and a Samyang 8mm with E-mount (but the last is, as the legacy ones, manual, with aperture ring and zone focus guides).

    At first, my obvious choice was the a6000, since I already own the adapters for the lenses and the 2 E-mounts, but the more I read about Fuji X, the more I’m tempted to switch to it. But there are some things that make me hesitate to do the order simply because It’s difficult to decide.

    My answer is: it’s worth to buy the X-Pro1 coming from the Nex-6? The price is very tempting nowadays, and I can’t decide if can go with X-Pro1, or make the real investiment in X-T1 and wait for the release of the X-Pro2.

    I shoot mainly street with legacy lenses and I use zone focusing (for more precision shots and portraits I use the focus peaking). I know it’s a very personal thing, but the tilting screen it’s a big plus on the X-T1/T10 for me, since it can allow me to shoot from waist level. When I look at the screen in that manner, I’m nearly invisible to the eye of the subject of my candid shots.

    But the X-Pro1 really attracts me more… I don’t know what it is… It’s attraction without a real – technical – reason (apart from the IQ, that I think it’s incredible for an APSC sensor).

    What do you think? Should I go for the Pro1 or maybe try the X-T1/10? Or maybe you have other suggestions for my uncertain soul?

    Thank you for your article, congratulation for your – very well built – blog, thank you in advance for your suggestions, and sorry for the nearly infinite reply.

    goodbye and keep shooting 🙂

    • Hello Paolo;
      Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate it. I’m glad you’re finding my blog interesting!

      Reading your questions:

      From what I gather, the ability to use legacy lenses and a tilt screen seems to be your biggest priorities.

      To me, the biggest reason to still use the older X-Pro1 is its Optical Viewfinder. That wouldn’t be of help to using legacy lenses or using a tilt screen for discrete candid photography.

      If the feature of an Optical Viewfinder isn’t a priority, then I would strongly steer you towards the X-T1. I suppose the X-T10 would be a good candidate too, but I missed the Fujifilm Canada presentation of it this week at Toronto’s Fuji Tuesday!! So I haven’t had a chance to get my hands on the X-T10 yet 🙂

      Also, with the X-T1 now over a year old, the pricing on it has dropped a little bit. Every few months, Fujifilm also offers rebates on some of their gear, so look out for that. And no doubt, the price on the X-T1 will drop even further if and once the X-Pro2 is released.

      The X-T1’s tilt screen addresses your requirement for a discrete way to view and focus for candid street shots. Framing with zone focusing with an optical viewfinder is not as easy to make discrete. It took me many years of both practicing at the skill, as well as getting over my fear and shyness of raising the camera to my eye in a public setting! Even today, I’m still a little nervous about raising the camera to my eye 🙂 But I do it anyway, as it’s the only way to frame properly with a camera that doesn’t have a tilt screen.

      The X-T1’s EVF is GREAT. Its focus peaking is very nice to use, nicer than the X-Pro1. So that will allow you to do precision focusing well with your legacy lenses.

      I hope that helps! Please write anytime if you want to discuss further 🙂

      Best regards, Marco

  2. I went from the X-Pro1 to the X-T1 and in pure photography appliance, I never looked back (unless maybe, once in I while I miss the OVF concept) but the X-Pro1 is an outdated, slow and laggy concept versus the X-T1 and is also having a lot of quirks Fuji can never solve, not even in eventual upgrades (to my feeling, Fuji has stopped putting effort in them as well). The X-T1 feels a lot more solid from an operational point of view, like a decade of development has gone over it. I don’t like the X-T1’s look over the X-Pro1 but after a bit more than 2 years, the X-Pro1 had really taken me to the limit of what I wanted to afford in terms of dedicated care to avoid all (low light) problems related to it. Anyone seduced by the X-Pro1 concept can better wait another 6 months (I assume) and go for the X-Pro2 instead. One remark regarding ‘feel’, nothing in this MILC world feels as solid as a rugged DSLR solution. If you take a close to the assembly of this type of camera – they will never deliver the same rigid and strong feeling as a full die cast, pro-magnesium alloy body. Also the lenses are much more delicate as they seem to be (something I experienced myself, 2 major issues). A sturdy pro Nikon, Canon or Leica can virtually survive any mission from a mechanical point of view. Fuji, well maybe, I wouldn’t be over-confident, Keep in mind that this segment evolved out of the compact camera market and maintains about the same development and manufacturing methodologies, production standards. For the entire MILC market – at first, the lightweight, fragile concepts with small delicate buttons and scales disappointed me more than it did bring me the ‘relief’ of the lightweight mantra I read in so many posts.

    • Hello EJPB;

      Thanks for commenting!

      For quite a while, I ignored the entire mirrorless segment of photographic gear, dismissing it as warmed over point and shoots. As a professional, all of the cameras I’ve been using have either been Leica M’s, DSLR’s, and before 2006, mostly Hasselblad mechanical bodies with Sinar, and then Phase backs. But a lot of that has changed, since then.

      A few sites like findingrange.com made me finally pay attention to the quality of imagery coming from an MILC system like the Fuji X. The X-Pro1, in particular, seemed more than solid enough for my purposes. As mentioned, for personal work, I do a bit of street photography and the usual family shots. When I use that camera for work, it’s mostly for corporate portraits and real estate/architecture.

      When it comes to durability and quality, the X-Pro1 is more than good enough for me to put food on the table. I’m finding that even its AF is sufficient for my work, although I wouldn’t ever shoot anything like sports with it. But I’m not a sports photojournalist, so that need hasn’t surfaced! About the only time my Fuji X system is maddening when it comes to AF, is when I use the notoriously slow to focus, XF 60mm. Great optics, especially for portraits, but its AF is slow as molasses. So I always use that manually.

      None of those purposes demands the mission survivability of a pro Nikon, Canon or Leica M rangefinder. In all of the professional studios that I’ve run or worked in, we don’t bother using the pro level DSLR for high volume work either. It’s mostly Canon in the city that I work in, and most studio work done for advertising (agency, packaging, advertising) is executed with the 5D MkIII or MkII. The virtual reality work I’m doing for a cutting edge company in real estate/contract renovation/architecture uses even more consumer-oriented Canon’s, namely the old 60D.

      It’s interesting at the highest level of photojournalism, we have Magnum photographers like David Alan Harvey leaving their Nikon D800 behind and switching to the lighter Fuji X cameras, like the X100s, and then the XT-1. And of all the cameras that I’ve owned, the only time I’ve ever damaged a camera to the point where the repair costs were no longer economical was a Leica M3, when I was a young shooter. The camera dropped out of my locker and onto a concrete floor. That was a hard lesson to learn, and I’ve never damaged a camera to that extent since then, pro body or otherwise.

      With that said, there are photojournalists whom I’ve met in the past who definitely need a pro level, DSLR for their work. Both are AFP wire shooters, with one of them often in combat (so camera durability is paramount) and the other one was often assigned to world class sporting events (she’s attended every Olympics since ’96), so she needs the pro quality, DSLR AF.

  3. Infact. The “lightweight mantra” it’s, as many things about the photography world, not a general law that everyone has to observe. I never “switched” from a pro-dslr because I’m not a pro. Photography for me is a passion (someone would say a “hobby”) and I’ve never had a pro-dslr. But I’ve tried to handle a D700 that my brother use for work (and also for his vacation, he’s mad!) and I felt I could never go out with such a body to shoot street photography. I think the only body will weight more than a X-T1 with a 35mm attached to it. With the Nex-6 I could go out and shoot even without a bag if I choose to shoot with, say, the 20mm 2.8. It’s not the IQ of a D700, but it’s better than my smartphone, I could print bigger and, most important, shoot pics and enjoy doing it. A thing that recently became less and less true, due to the quirky builded Nex. I would like to shoot with more immersion and with a machine that is builded to shoot photos, a comprehensive thing that is builded by and for photographers in mind. Not with “a computer attached to a lens”. For me, and only for me, a big and heavy DSLR it’s not worth the purchase only because for my type of shooting is completely useless, and I would not use it. I agree that for work Leica, Nikon, Canon and medium format are the best and are builded more seriously than the MILC.

    I’ll tell you another thing, for everyday shooting I’m searching for an used GR or a Coolpix A, because more than other things I’m feeling I need portability over IQ.
    I don’t want to begin a fight between one sistem and another, neither between a brand and another. I’m not a fanboy, I know what are the little thing that matter to me, and I’m searching for the camera that best suit my needs, it’s not me that must adapt to it (or at least, the less I can adapt, the better), a camera that can make me enjoy to take stills, and the images are the only thing that matter in the end. These my 2c

    That said, thanks a lot for your suggestions Marco and EJPB, I think that I’ll go for a used X-T1 (maybe with a 27 and a 56) and then wait for the big thing at the end of the year.

    • Hi Paolo;
      Very good points about a big pro DSLR and its use on the street! I found it interesting that when a pro like Harvey from Magnum, has the opportunity to go with a smaller camera (first, the X100s and then the X-T1), instead of his Nikon D800, he did so.

      Another interesting thing that is sometimes historically forgotten: when the Leica came out, it was considered an “amateur” camera, and not a professional tool. It was categorized as a “miniature” camera during those early decades, and many professional publications wouldn’t accept negatives from any camera smaller than a 6cm x 6cm square (2 1/4) medium format.

      In a way, today’s mirrorless systems have gone through the same stigma, but in a compressed time period (as with many things today, compared to many decades ago). Pro’s are finding the mirrorless cameras useful for a lot of situations, but not for everything. But the same can be said about an FF DSLR, or medium format too!

      Paolo, good choice in going with a used X-T1. That would be a good value, and I believe it will fill your needs for a discrete camera, with great IQ, tilt screen and the ability to focus your legacy lenses well with its large EVF and peaking.

      The 56mm will focus much, much faster than my pokey 60mm. So that’s a great choice.

      The 27mm is petite, but are you sure you want to give up the aperture ring? Perhaps consider a used 18mm which has an aperture ring (a great street lens, and almost as small as the 27mm) or a used 23mm, which has an aperture ring AND a DOF scale (also great for street, solidly built, but it’s the size of a Noctilux, although half its weight).

      All the best, Marco

  4. Marco-
    Thanks for your thoughts on the X-Pro1. I just purchased mine a few months ago. Actually this is my second time around with the XP1. I really enjoy shooting with this camera.
    My question is: What lenses do you have in your collection and what is their rank when you are shooting? I know it depends on the job but I bet you have a favorite lens !?
    Thanks again for your article.

    • Hello Henry;

      Thank you for commenting!

      I’m really glad you’re enjoying your X-Pro1.

      For my personal stuff, like street shooting and for everyday carrying, I love the XF 18mm and the Touit 32mm. I think that combination of 28mm-e and 50mm-e, especially for street photography, is a great pairing.

      I usually use the 18mm zone-focused, but when I do use the AF, it’s quite fast. I’ve never owned the XF 14mm, but I’ve heard that the 14mm is the only lens that focuses faster than the 18mm within the X system. As for the Touit 32mm, it performs really well wide open (f1.8) and I found that it focuses slightly faster than the XF 35mm (at least, on the actual 32mm and 35mm lenses that I owned). So I would say those are my two personal favourite lenses in the X system.

      Recently, I also bought the XF 23mm f1.4. Its build quality is superb, it feels really solid. It has a DOF scale, which is great. And my early pics concur with everyone’s reviews of it – great IQ. It’s big for a mirrorless prime, though. It’s actually a mm or two bigger in length and diameter than a Canadian-made Noctilux!! Thankfully, it’s about half the weight of that massive Leitz/Leica lens 🙂 But I haven’t owned it long enough to have a real opinion on it, so I’ll leave commenting on it further, until I log in more hours using it.

      For professional work, I almost never use the 18mm and 23mm. For corporate portraits, it’s mostly the 60mm on manual focus (its VERY slow focusing when used on AF) or the Touit 32mm if I want a bit more of the office environment. Anything wider and when shooting company events or board meetings, I use the XF 10-24mm, which is optically superb, and the zoom gives me a lot of focal length options without having to change out prime lenses. I tend to use it from 18mm to 24mm (about 28mm-e to 35mm-e), for those jobs. As for the slow f4, because I usually pair it with bounced flash, I’m shooting around f8 anyway, so I don’t need a fast aperture.

      Most of my work in the past half year has been real estate and architecture location photography. For still photos, that 10-24mm is invaluable. I use it on a tripod, set the camera at base ISO, tend to be shooting closer to 10mm (around 15mm-e), set aperture at f8 or f11, go with longer exposures, and the IQ is fantastic. For virtual reality, when I’m using the Fuji X system, it’s the Samyang/Rokinon 8mm fisheye in X mount. Those two lenses, more than any others, have been my primary tools for making a living this past half year 🙂

      Best Regards, Marco

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  7. Here we are in November and my X-Pro1 has found new life. Why? I just purchased the new 35/2 lens. Although not as fast as the 35/1.4, it gets rid of all my grips about the 35/14. No more grinding about for an AF spot. This new lens rocks. A great mate for my old workhorse.

    • Hello Akiva;

      Thanks for your comment and that’s great news about the new 35mm f2 lens. Glad to hear its AF is much improved over the old f1.4.

      Compared to the 18mm, 10-24mm and Touit 32mm, the 35mm f1.4 was a step behind on AF. It’s good to see the new f2 is much better.

      I also like the f2’s size (close to the 18mm, which is a nice combination in hand on an X-Pro1) and looks. Its appearance reminds of old school 35mm Summicron M lenses from the early 60’s.

      Best regards, Marco

  8. Hey Domenico;
    We’re new just a couple of weeks away from the launch of the X-Pro2, which means great deals to be found on the X-Pro1!
    I believe there are a lot of advantages in being a late adopter of equipment. Lower price and hence, better value, is one of them. Other benefits include: any manufacturing issues tend to have been solved and worked out. Firmware updates on electronic gear has been available and provides noticeable improved performance. Lots of reviews and articles pointing out strengths, weaknesses and ideal ways to use the gear.

    I’m sure the X-Pro2 will be an even better camera than the X-Pro1. But my old X-Pro1 cameras still make great images today, so they will be getting years more use!

    Best regards,Marco

  9. Hi Marco,

    Really glad i found your post about the X-Pro1, i have been saving up to get a camera. I was thinking about getting the Olympus OM-D EM10ii or the Lumix G7, but because those are newly released, the price is still unfriendly to us struggling college students. But then i found this post about the X-Pro 1, and now i am probably getting one.I found a good deal of a body only X-Pro1 for around US$500. What lens do you recommend i get, assuming i only can get 1 lens(for now)?

    Thanks for the article!

  10. Hello Adya;

    I’m glad my article provided some help for you!

    Yes, the X-Pro1 is available at really low prices, as everyone is anticipating the new X-Pro2. But as I’ve said, just because there’s a new camera coming out, doesn’t mean the old X-Pro1 can’t take good pictures anymore 🙂

    It’s still an excellent camera, with fantastic IQ. It’s main weakness, its AF focus, can be worked around with good technique – always focus on a high contrast area with the centre AF focus point, and then re-compose (I like separating the AF function away from the shutter button, to the AF/AE Lock button).

    I believe a single lens is a great start when you’re getting into a new camera system. It gives you time with the camera and that one lens, and allows you to really get to know your needs with real shooting experience.

    My recommendation is to start with a fixed focal length (i.e., not a zoom). The lens will be lighter, probably faster (wider f-stop) so it can gather light in darker situations, and is good discipline for seeing with a single field of view.

    35mm to 50mm Equivalent range are versatile focal lengths. They’ve proven themselves throughout the history of photography. For X mount native lenses, that means you’ll be looking at 23mm (equals 35mm in Full Frame), 27mm (about 41mm) to 32 or 35mm (roughly 50mm in FF).

    I love the XF 18mm too (equals to a 28mm in Full Frame) but I never use that without having either a 32mm or 60mm to supplement it. So I wouldn’t recommend going any wider than the 23mm, if you’re sticking to a single lens for now.

    If you tend to be fearless about your subjects and shoot close, going wider at 23mm or 27mm is a great choice. You’ll have a bit more Depth of Field when you need it, take in more of the scene and therefore contextual your subject. The two choices are –

    XF 27mm f2.8:
    Fuji’s least expensive lens and its tiny too. But it performs very nicely when it comes to optics. It makes for a very handy package with an X-Pro1, keeping the entire setup very small and light. Only downside is that it’s slower in F-stop than the other single focal length choices here, and it lacks an aperture ring (you have to control it from the camera).

    As a focal length (about 41mm equivalent), it’s often said this matches “normal” human perspective the closest. Bottom line: if you’re on a tight budget, like shooting relative close to your subject or wide scenes, and can live with the f2.8 aperture, this is a great starter choice.

    XF 23mm f1.4:
    fantastic build quality, very fast aperture for low light situations, a DOF scale on the lens barrel (with a great clutch control to engage manual focus and to reveal that DOF scale), aperture control on the lens too, one of the big optical winners in the entire Fuji XF line-up. As a 35mm equivalent, it’s a wide angle, but is still easier to handle edge distortion than wide angles at 28mm equivalent or beyond.

    Downside: this is the most expensive choice of the fixed focal lengths I’m recommending, and this lens is BIG. It’s not excessively heavy, but it’s quite bulky when placed on a Fuji X body.

    If you prefer a bit of distance from your subject, or want to isolate it a bit more, or doing medium distance portraits of people (upper body plus head and shoulders), then going with a lens from the 32 to 35mm range is great. This is the equivalent of the so-called “Normal” focal length of 50mm in Full Frame.

    XF 35mm, either f1.4 or f2.0:
    both of these are a great choice. Depending on whom you purchase from, one might be less expensive than the other. They are both cheaper than the 23mm f1.4.

    I owned the f1.4 for over a year and it yields beautiful IQ and is well-built. It’s a bit bigger than the f2.0 and slower on AF, but otherwise, a great choice.

    I haven’t tried the new f2.0 but it’s suppose to have better AF performance, it’s weather resistant, and smaller/lighter. It’s main downside compared to the f1.4 is its one stop slower (which may, or may not, be a factor for you).

    Zeiss Touit 32mm f1.8 in X mount:
    Native to the Fuji X mount, Zeiss makes a very nice alternative to their own 50mm-e lenses. F-stop is between Fuji’x 1.4 and 2.0 lenses. Optical performance is fantastic, but it’s different rather than superior to Fuji (which are also fantastic). I would say the Zeiss focuses a touch faster than the f1.4, and is superior wide open (with the Fuji f1.4 being better at smaller f stops).

    Build quality is great, the lens hood really protects the front element both physically and from flare. Main downsides: often more expensive than the Fuji 35mm (depends on whom you buy it from and if they have a sale on the Zeiss Touit lenses) and the hood can block the bottom corner of the X-Pro1 Optical finder. You can get around the latter by viewing with the EVF, if that bugs you.

    If you prefer a zoom:
    Fuji 18-55mm f2.8/4.0
    Often perceived as a “kit” lens, but the optical performance is great. Price is relatively affordable. Main downside is the slow aperture.

    I hope that helps! Please keep me informed as to what you decide!

    Best regards, Marco

    • Hi Marco,

      Thank you for the very detailed explanation, really appreciate it.
      I read a lot of reviews about the X-Pro1 in articles from 2012 until the latest, which is yours, and from what i have read, the main downside is the slow AF even with the updated firmware, because i probably won’t be shooting sport events, i think the AF speed will not be an issue. And there are a few ways around it, like you said, focusing on a high contrast area, and then recomposing.

      For the lens i am thinking about getting a prime lens, specifically the XF 35mm 1.4. I read that almost everyone loved that lens for the IQ and the build quality, i love the review of the XF 35mm 1.4 from tomash on fujilove (http://fujilove.com/why-i-love-the-fujinon-xf35mm-f1-4-r/). And because the XF 23mm 1.4 is more expensive, i think the XF 35mm 1.4 is the better choice.

      Thank you so much for the help on this, Marco, i really appreciate it. Will Keep you updated when i finally get the gear!

      Best Regards,
      Adya

  11. Hey Adya;

    Fantastic choice! The XF 35mm f1.4 is optically superb, a really great lens. Yes, that’s a great review from tomash.

    I’m going to predict you’ll also really enjoy shooting it wide open. When you’re close to your subject, you can generate beautiful, out of focus areas which have an aesthetic glow to them.

    I found the lens well made, and it has a hood that’s superior to the one on the Zeiss Touit 32mm. Sturdy, rectangular metal, and doesn’t block the OVF of the X-Pro1 very much. Does a good job at cutting flare.

    Stay in touch, and hope you get the Fuji X gear! 🙂

    All the best, Marco

  12. Marco,

    Really great responses for most of us newbies to the Fuji system. I really like the rangefinder look and feel to the X Pro 1. The drop in price seems to be a great value for the money. X Pro 2 a little expensive for my budget now. For most of my style of photography, the X Pro 1 seems like a great fit and I’m willing to work around the AF issue’s even with new firmware update. Couple of questions..Do you like the look of the X trans sensor on the new X Pro 2 over the X Pro 1? Many people lately think the older sensor looks more film like. Other question is how many more firmware updates do you think their could be in the near future for a four year old camera?

    Regards,

    Paul

  13. Hello Paul;

    Thank you for the comments. While I will eventually get an X-Pro2 at the end of the year, I’m still shooting real estate professionally, with my old X-Pro1 bodies. The resulting images look good to my clients and to myself, so there’s no reason to switch immediately!

    The X-Pro1 is a great value right now, and as long as you can work with its slower AF abilities, you will still be able to create images.

    As for the difference in the look of the older X sensor versus the new one – while I have tried and viewed the X-Pro2 images at a couple of Fuji events and at the local store, I don’t have enough experience with the new sensor to have an opinion. In using various sensors from Canon and Fuji, my general experience is that careful post-production on the files will yield the preferred look that the working photographer or artist wants with most of today’s sensors.

    I doubt there would be any more firmware updates to the X-Pro1 at this stage. A body with the final update, however, is still a good, solid, image making machine.

    All the best, Marco

  14. THX Eyebeam & StreetHunters.net !

    Encountered both your retro-ish XPRO1 reviews and a bunch of questions were answered. I was shocked to find out the other night, that former flagship camera does not have diopter adjustment !???! Read there are screw on diopters available but takes some searching. There is an actual brick n mortar photo store here in Orlando. So i will boogie up there & look through Fuji’s Hybrid viewfinder for the first time. I am new to digital and would like to purchase a camera for ……. experimentation = legacy lenses. Previous research (best SOOC Jpegs) had distilled my choices to either Olympus or Fuji. Olympus lost due to ridiculous fact it took them 6 years or more to produce rangefinder style body with built-in quality viewfinder. Oh & costs like $1100 here in US. I will not be purchasing until Halloween so have a bunch of time for further fact finding. Since I am new to digital going with Fuji or Olympus means much much less time with serious software & processing. So with X-Pro1 or X-E2 i might only use raw 25%. I am mid fifties and have shot 4×5 before so speed is not overriding quality i seek. I have already solved Color rendering/output issue. So Marco which body Pro1 or E2 is more straightforward to use. Which camera has the least ‘menu maze’ that forum members talk about? Also i am leaning more towards Pro1 due to undisputed image quality versus (waxy skin/smoothing) of later generation XTrans sensors. Ran across gentleman using X-E1 + Zuiko Pen F ultra rare 60mm f1.5 lens on Flickriver last night. Had never heard of that lens and certainly did not think it would cover APS-C. So obviously ‘workaround’ with adapted lenses can be done ! THX for any enlightenment you can send my way 🙂

    • Hello Hunter;
      Thank you for your comments! I greatly appreciate your detailed writing.

      – Pro1 vs E2 for menu: I don’t have any experience with the E2, so I can’t give you an opinion from experience. Overall, I’ve found the Pro1 menu system to be a bit easier to navigate than Canon (I don’t own a Canon, but I use one almost daily when I do virtual reality work for real estate). The Fuji X-Pro1 was a very easy menu for me to adapt to, and I’m not the most cutting-edge type of guy when it comes to digital tech.

      – the E2 is very inexpensive, and has essentially the same XTrans sensor. The key advantage of the X-Pro camera is its OVF though. It’s so great to switch to it for certain shooting parameters. With that said: with legacy glass, the OVF is probably not useable?

      – using non Fuji X mount lenses with adaptors: I was surprised at how easy it is to do this. The majority of my lenses for the X-Pro1, are, of course, Fuji XF glass. I also have the Zeiss Touit 32mm f1.8 in native Fuji X mount.
      I did use a Nikon F to Fuji X adaptor with a 15mm Tokina (F mount). It was very easy to use and the results were pretty good. I would say the Fuji X and Zeiss Touit glass was still better, as they should be. The 15mm lens I was using is almost 40 years old, versus modern advancements in optics. But it was still quite useable.

      Overall, as long as you don’t need the AF speed of the new X-Pro2 or X-T2, the X-Pro1 is still more than viable, given its excellent image quality. Good luck on your choice!
      All the best, Marco

  15. Hi Marco,
    Thanks for the great information! I recently found a Fuji x100 at a used camera shop for a great price. I’m sill considering my options but I was wondering if you have any recommendations for attachable optics. I would like to use this camera primarily for real estate photography. Do you think it’s even worth a try or am I better off getting spring for an interchangeable lense camera?
    Thanks,
    Logan

  16. Thanks Logan!

    For real estate photography, you need very, very wide, rectilinear lenses for interiors. It’s often wider than most people imagine. The attachable optics for the Fuji X100 series maxes out at 28mm-e. That’s just not wide enough, unfortunately.

    I use the Fuji XF 10-23mm on their interchangeable bodies, and the majority of the time (over 95%) I’m at 10mm (15mm-e). When the lens is levelled carefully on a tripod with a bubble level (plus using the Fuji’s artificial horizon sometimes too), vertical lines remain vertical and it doesn’t have a dizzying effect that can happen if one tilts the camera.

    My recommendation is to get a used Fuji X body for interchangeable lenses. I’m still happy with my ancient X-Pro1 bodies, so any of those cameras using that generation sensor are the same, and work fine, for the deliberate and careful work required for real estate photography.

    Going with an older, used body will keep the price down, and you can spend more money on appropriate optics. The 10-24mm would be ideal, but the Zeiss 12mm or Fuji XF 14mm would be OK too. The wider, the better!

    Best regards, Marco

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