Boy meets camera, lives happily ever, right? WRONG! But how wrong? And can two wrongs make a right?
(I’ve decided to “blog serialise” my popular ‘X-Pro1 Love Story’. If you can’t wait for the next instalment, then you can find may more parts of this article on my website!)
I’m a funny bugger when it comes to camera gear… Don’t get me wrong, I can suffer from GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), my obsessive collection of Transformer toys as a kid, various motorcycles that I’ve pimped up, and a one-time large collection of wrist watches that basically all looked the same…
Yup, if you say to me, “Adam, I know I don’t need it, but I simply HAVE to have it” then I’ll unflinchingly look you back in the eye, fix you with an understanding look and say, I know, I know… let’s figure out a plan to get you what you don’t need… What have you got that can be flipped on eBay, how much room is left on your credit card, do you have 2 functioning kidneys?
There’s always a way with GAS.
But bizarrely I’ve never really suffered with camera GAS. Sure, if I’m looking to buy a new camera, I’ll read all the reviews, buy a magazine if they’re featuring the genre of models that I’m interested in. I’ll go through all the relevant forums. I’ll do my research! But once I’ve decided which model I want, and acquired it, I’m done. I stop reading the trade press, I stop looking at camera store websites. I’m basically content. I know, I know – shocking, and I have the audacity to call myself a photographer.
Now, I have been known to make poor purchasing decisions with my cameras… I really want camera X, but camera Y does 90% of the same thing and costs so much less, let’s buy camera Y
This without fail leads to camera Y being flipped at maximum loss and camera X, which I should have bought in the first place, replacing it.
So, it was something of a surprise back in 2012 when I first got wind of a new camera from Fujifilm, a camera called the X-Pro1. It was lust at first sight!
I wasn’t in the market for a new camera, I was quite happy with my Nikon DSLR.
I couldn’t even quantify what it was that I liked about it. I remember reading the first review, where the form factor was compared to the Leica M9 and I actually had to go and google M9 because I had no clue what one looked like. I wasn’t coming from a history of film rangefinders, my other half has a couple of film rangefinders from the 60s and 70s and although I’d used them, I couldn’t say that the experience was in any way magically appealing to me, and therefore by proxy I didn’t imagine that X-Pro1 ownership would be empirical.
So this is the part right? This is the part where I say I stood in the store fondling the X-Pro1, I felt a stirring in my pants as my wallet came out, and then man and camera skipped off into the sunset happily ever after?
Nope. I don’t suffer from GAS, my DSLR was only 4 months old and at the time the X-Pro1 was stupid money.
Now let’s fast forward a couple of years… Things had changed. The DSLR had outgrown its usefulness to me, it was big and heavy, we’d had our first child and suddenly we were confined by the amount of baby stuff we needed to take with us whenever we left the house, and also a bit confined by the types of places we were going.
It was time for a shift, like a great many ‘Togs, it was time to take mirrorless seriously as an option.
So you can guess what happened next right? Wrong! I bought an X-E1, same guts as the X-Pro1, smaller and so much cheaper, not to mention that it came with a versatile (and highly regarded) XF18-55 and at the time Fujifilm UK were tossing in a free XC50-230. As I had zero X Mount glass, this was clearly the best decision… Less money down and a colossal focal range included. No brainer.
I knew I’d made a mistake almost instantly.
That’s not to say that there was anything wrong with the X-E1, far from it. But I just didn’t feel it, I found it a bit small for me, and I didn’t like the EVF that much.
I sold the X-E1 body only at great loss (seriously, let’s not even go there) about a month later.
I was as excited as a child at Christmas as I woke up early on the day that I knew the store would be receiving my X-Pro1 for me to collect.
Finally, I had the camera that I’d wanted for 2 years. What was particularly sweet was that Fujifilm UK were doing various cash back and lens promotion deals at the time, and without going into all the nitty gritty details of the free lenses I claimed then sold BNIB, or the double cash back offers, I basically ended up with the X-Pro1, XF18-55, XC50-230, XF18, XF35, XF60 all for the same price as the X-Pro1 and one of those lenses would have cost originally, if I’d bought it at the time of release.
So I was happy, right? WRONG!
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