My Love Affair with the Fujifilm X-Pro1

Boy meets camera, lives happily ever, right? WRONG! But how wrong? And can two wrongs make a right?

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.

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The X-Pro Series Content: Referenced and All In One Place

Click here for Part Two
When you dream that a camera will be everything you hoped, how will you react when it isn’t?

Click here for Part Three
When you start to miss imperfection. The second time around the X-Pro1 became so very, very much more than eye candy to me. I finally figured out how to use it, I fell in love with it holistically

Click here for Part Four
When you (well I !!) start to realise it’s the way that files look that’s most important

Click here for Part Five
When you try to define just exactly what it is that you love about the look of an image

Click here for Part Six
Manual Focus: When you understand how to over come physical limitations, via self improvement

Click here for Part Seven
When you understand that blind love of a camera is only a personal view point and that’s important, you try harder if you love something

Click here for Part Eight
Accessories: When you start to look at what bits you can add on to your camera and ask, what do they add to the camera

Click here for Part Nine
Accessories: When you realise that companies other than the OEM can offer valid items for your camera

Click here for Part Ten
When you have a good look at your camera’s files and find your own path, why would you truncate your available possibilities.

Click here for Part Eleven
Understanding what the Dynamic Range settings do

Click here for Part Twelve
Understanding what the Jpeg settings do

Click here for Part Thirteen
That Camera Comparison: Part One. Why the Fuji usage experience is just that.

Click here for Part Fourteen
That Camera Comparison: Part Two. Why the Fuji identity is just as valid

Click here for Part Fifteen
What’s the X-Pro1 even for, what can you shoot with it?

Click here for Part Sixteen
The XF Lenses Part One: The XF27. Let’s not overlook the overlooked lens

Click here for Part Seventeen
Fujifilm X Cameras: Understanding the ‘ISOless’ Sensor

Click here for Part Eighteen
Fujifilm X Cameras: Using the ‘ISOless’ Sensor

Click here for Part Nineteen
Fuji XF Lenses: Part Two – The XF18. Taking a look at the original wide option

Click here for Part Twenty
How I Capture Movement with the X-Pro1

Click here for Part Twenty One
The Q Menu explained

Click here for Part Twenty Two
How I Set Up My Q Menu

Click here for Part Twenty Three
The X-Pro1 Great Shots: Camera or Coincidence?

Click here for Part Twenty Four
The X-Pro1 + 56 x 11. So what does that add up too then?

Click here for Part Twenty Five
The X-Pro2 Review: So… the shiny new X-Pro2… Let’s take a closer look and compare to the X-Pro1.

Click here for Part Twenty Six
The X-Pro2 Review: Part Two continuing the haptic comparison to the X-Pro1.

Click here for Part Twenty Seven
The X-Pro2 Review: Part Three The Front of the Body and Battery Life Vs the X-Pro1

Click here for Part Twenty Eight
The X-Pro2 Review: Part Four View Finding Vs the X-Pro1

Click here for Part Twenty Nine
The X-Pro2 Review: Part Five View Finding Vs the X-Pro1 Continued

Click here for Part Thirty
Why I Chose the X-Pro2: My rationale for choosing to buy a X-Pro2, the start of a new relationship not to mention several new chapters on this website!

Click here for Part Thirty One
Does it matter how the X-Pro2 stacks up with the original in terms of IQ? Or does it just matter whether or not it’s any good?

Click here for Part Thirty Two
The key parts of setting up the X-Pro2 for manual focus usage.

Click here for Part Thirty Three
The new MF focusing features of the X-Pro2 and how I recommend using focus peaking.

Click here for Part Thirty Four
The totally amazing, innovative Electronic Range Finder – and why you might not want to use it all the time

Click here for Part Thirty Five
History repeats itself? Has the X-Pro2 backlash started already?

Click here for Part Thirty Six
A look at the features and changes of the new X-Pro2 Firmware that released on the 6th of October 2016

Click here for Part Thirty Seven
A look at the RFC RAW convertor supplied with Fujifilm cameras (Part One)

Click here for Part Thirty Eight
A look at the RFC RAW convertor – Toolsets (Part Two)

Click here for Part Thirty Nine
A look at the RFC RAW convertor – Batch Development (Part Three)

Click here for Part Forty
A look at the RFC RAW convertor – Working with Pre-sets (Part Four)

Click here for Part Forty One
The first proper day out, with the X-Pro2

Click here for Part Forty Two
The XF56 F1.2R Review: Part1

Click here for Part Forty Three
The XF56 F1.2R Review: Part2

Click here for Part Forty Four
The XF56 F1.2R Review: Part3

Click here for Part Forty Five
The XF56 F1.2R Review: Part4

Click here for Part Forty Six
Budget Accessories for your X-Pro2

Click here for Part Forty Seven
Photo ideas – to help you feel magical!

Click here for Part Forty Eight
A Year in Review: Some real thoughts and favourite pictures

Click here for Part Forty Nine
Street Portraits: Could a new project lead to something more, and is the X-Pro the perfect camera for this?

Click here for Part Fifty
The X-Pro2: Six Months On – am I still happy with the X-Pro2 long after the honeymoon period?

Click here for Part Fifty One
Let’s take a walk, a long walk with nothing but our X-Pro and one lens

Click here for Part Fifty Two
Setting up our cameras to get them to work how we want!

Click here for Part Fifty Three
Setting up our Fn Function Buttons

Click here for Part Fifty Four
Camera Settings Explained

Click here for Part Fifty Five
White Balance Part One: I’m Not a Number

Click here for Part Fifty Six
White Balance Part Two: Finding Colour

Click here for Part Fifty Seven
White Balance Part Three: Seeing Colour

Click here for Part Fifty Eight
That Camera Comparison: Part Three. The high Level Differences

Click here for Part Fifty Nine
That Camera Comparison: Part Four. What I Truly Think Overall

Click here for Part Sixty
The GFX: Thoughts On Applicability

Click here for Part Sixty One
The X-Pro2 and FW V3.00

Click here for Part Sixty Two
The XF60mm F2.4

Click here for Part Sixty Three
More X-Pro2 Street Portraits: How’s that project working out for me?

Click here for Part Sixty Four
The X-Pro2 and the Pilgrim

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106 thoughts on “My Love Affair with the Fujifilm X-Pro1”

    1. Hi Joe,

      Probably not to be honest, as I don’t own that lens (or any Rokinon) and I don’t have a relationship with anyone to lend it to me for review. Their 35 1.2 is tempting… but also it’s rumoured that Fuji will make a very fast 35 so I want to see what happens with that

      Like

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