My Love Affair with the Fujifilm X-Pro1

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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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109 Replies to “My Love Affair with the Fujifilm X-Pro1”

      1. No problem, thank you. Maybe… I’ve yet to decide. I personally find that these decisions are best made after the initial rush and excitement has died down a bit and I’ve had chance to play with one in real life

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  1. I know exactly what you’ve been going through. I just sold all of my Nikon equipment. I am using a X-t10. I have the 18-55, 56 f1.2, 35 f2 and I am on the waiting list for the 100–400.

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  2. Nicely written!
    I’ve used a lot of equipment over the last 40 years and had the joy of managing a chain of pro camera stores in the US Midwest. This has allowed me to “play” with a lot of equipment and sort out what I like and don’t like. The X-Pro1 is what I had been waiting for when it came out.

    The X-T1 then gave me the performance that was missing in the X-Pro1. Now I have a X-Pro2 on order and I’m hoping to get the performance of the X-T1 in the body of the X-Pro2.

    eBay has been both a blessing and a curse to me. It makes it way to easy to liquidate my equipment as I have moved from system to system. I think I’m finally at home with the Fuji’s. The big Canon gear is going to go as soon as I get my X-Pro2. I just hate looking at the two systems and trying to decide which one I like today!

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    1. Thanks very much Mark. I think my claims of being largely GAS immune would be severely tested if I had access to a camera store! The X-Pro2 certainly seems to be an attractive proposition and I’m excited to start to hear from real world users and to see their work. Keep me posted on what you think about it!

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    1. Thanks very much Lefey. You realise that’s £850 LESS than a X-Pro2 is going to cost you, plus you get 2 lenses and leather case thrown in? I don’t mean to tip you over that edge or anything… But if great AF, an extra stop of ISO and many other improvements aren’t that necessary to your work, then it might be worth a look… I don’t want to spoil the story I’m writing in instalments here… but I bought a X-Pro1, hated it. Flipped it. Re-bought it and loved it! So I wouldn’t take my advice on whether or not to get a X-Pro1 or not 🙂 (I’m biased)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Blimey, yes I know it is a bargain.. but I am still loving my X100 and XE2 and don’t need the lenses Umm or do I ? ahhhh

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  3. I’m wondering lately why so much talk about Fuji rather than actual pictures by Fuji cameras…I use Canon, Lumix and also Fuji…I find that each one has its own strength & weakness…so lets not hype up Fuji to mislead the others..To me, Fuji is good but not great! They are also becoming really expensive lately!

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    1. Well I can’t speak for anyone other than myself… But I’m serialising a story of the initial disappointment I felt with my X-Pro1 and how I learned to work with its shortcomings, also I’ve just posted over 50 shots taken with Fuji (well a few are with a Lumix) onto my blog. So the overall rhetoric on here is the pictures! So sorry I can’t really answer your question!

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  4. GAS i have suffered badly from it with Fuji
    Started off with the X100 and still love it
    Decided on XPRO 1 paid £1400 in 2012 sold it to buy…..
    XT1!
    The XT1 never gave me the same buzz as the XPRO1 did so much so i sold it all bought an X100T and recently a mint XPRO for £295
    For me it has to stop soon……………..
    The XPRO2 will wait for me i am sure

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mark, well if history repeats itself, then the X-Pro1 will wait about 4 years for you! Honestly in my opinion it’s all about deciding if a product offers things you really need, rather than just things that are nice to have.

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  5. Looking at the X100T X70 or X-PRO 1 but can not decide I have nikon and Contax G2 lenses which could be used with the x-pro. I love the idea of the compact but the X-pro would be like replacing my Contax G2 with a digital version which would be cool as I loved using the G2 which I still have and is appreciating in value. On eBay I can get a X-PRO 1 with 18mm sense for £370 which seems crazy value and opens up a load of sense options compared with the X100 and X70 although I would love a compact to replace my ageing Canon S90. Any thought would be great. Great blog by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ian. Not sure what to suggest… The 100T and X70 are fixed lens cameras, I’ve not seen a x70 but the 100T is not so small…. It’s a very good camera tho, having genuinely handy features like a built in ND filter and it can sync (its integral) flash to very high speed. The x70 lacks a built in viewfinder, which is a pet hate of mine (ymmv)
      The pro1 is a great camera, but it will feel a bit dated next to more modern offerings, but as you say, it can be used with legacy lenses via an adaptor. The manual focus aid, namely focus peaking, it’s one area where the pro1 shows its age… It’s perfectly usable, but far better implemented on the later cameras. Have you looked at the XE2? It’s a bit smaller than the pro1, about the same size as the 100T, has a built in flash (only 1/180 sync tho) a built in view finder and works with interchangeable lenses, this might tick the highest number of your boxes?!

      Unlike the pro1, it has no OVF though and the pro1 certainly has a lot of charm! But IMO it’s charm based on quirkiness, that people just seem to gel with… The newer Fujis (xe2, XT range etc) are definitely more polished products.

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  6. Adam thanks for the reply its much appreciated. I have just seen an x100t in John Lewis…very nice. I am really tempted by the X-PRO one and for £370 with a lense I don’t think I can go wrong and would get the value back on eBay as it lost it value already. I really like the back to basics approach without all the wiz bang of most modern cameras. I still think that most of my best photographs have been taken with my G2. The only thing the x-pro does not hit is compact size but that is not the point. I want to get the spark back into my photography which has gone. The studio test here is very good for the X-PRO 1…http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison?attr18=daylight&attr13_0=fujifilm_xe2&attr13_1=fujifilm_xpro1&attr13_2=canon_eos5dmkii&attr13_3=canon_eos5dmkii&attr15_0=jpeg&attr15_1=jpeg&attr15_2=jpeg&attr15_3=jpeg&attr16_0=3200&attr16_1=3200&attr16_2=3200&attr16_3=3200&normalization=full&widget=1&x=0&y=0

    I can deal with quirks having used the G2 which is not perfect and I have got good results from a AGFA Billy Record.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The whole compact size thing is, IMO overated… Once a camera gets over a certain size, it won’t fit in a pocket, when that happens it’s not much bother to have a camera that’s a bit bigger!

      I love my Pro1, but it is a camera that I sincerely think people will either love or hate in context of 2016. It has none of the whizzbang tech of just about any other camera. If that ‘less is more’ is what you want then I think you’ll be happy…

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      1. Really like these articles about the Fuji X-Pro 1. Like them because they are written from a user perspective and that gives them a well earned place next to the may technical reviews . . .

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Adam 🙂

    Loving the blog!

    Here’s my dispassionate take on the differences between the first 2 X sensor generations (dispassionate on the basis that I don’t own an Xtrans equipped Fuji but would like to – feel free to salt liberally):

    Xtrans 1 – looks like it’s been printed on matte.
    Xtrans 2 – looks like it’s been printed on gloss.

    The aesthetic differences are minimal in bright even scenes, but the minute shadows become a part of the composition something changes in the rendering – part of that “glossy” look seems to be a result of shadows appearing to block up quicker on the xt1 (weirdly, there’s detail in the shadows that can be revealed, but there’s always this sudden clip point in the rendering).

    Just between the two of us and the four walls of the Internet, I prefer gen 1 (assuming I can actually spot the difference) – gen 2 seems to need much more careful handling to avoid the Velvia effect (somewhat prevalent in certain circles)!

    Anyway, wonderful work on the blog -photos r excellent.

    Cheers!
    Alex

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much Alex,
      I really like your gloss/matte analogy (and I bought a whole lot of matte, back in the day…) I think it’s spot on! I too generally prefer the first gen… but of course it is ‘horses for courses’ and sometimes the XT1 files do work better (higher ISO for example)
      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, but most importantly, I’m delighted you like the photos, that is after all, what it’s all about!
      Cheers
      Adam

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  8. It’s interesting to read your opinions about the X-pro1 As for now I really like this camera, it’s not perfect but a beauty in my eyes.
    You wrote:”The case also comes with a little lens hood pouch (designed to fit the hood from the XF35)”.
    I use it for the 27mm 2.8. It’s a tight fit, but it fits and will fit better when times pas . . . For my 18mm 2.0 it’s too small. But for now the 18mm is my most used lens (only have two) and I have a nice protection for the 27.
    I’m thinking of buying the Fuji 50-230. Because I seldom use a tele but for that once and with those prices (cheap) it’s tempting. But also the 60mm . . . So there is so much to go for (And I’m saving for an X-pro2).
    Worries, worries 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much Jos. I have the XC50-230 and for my occasional long shots it does just fine. The plastic mount is a bit off putting though… That’s a great idea to keep the 27 in the little pouch. I do fancy owning the 56, but it’s not cheap and the 60 isn’t ‘that’ far behind (I’ve read that some people stop the 56 down to 2.4 to get a bit more DOF anyway…) and iirc, according to fujvsfuji the 60 is a bit sharper after F8 anyway, plus the macro function… There’s a internet rumour that Fuji will make a 35mm F1.0… If so, that’s a lens that I’ll be lusting over.

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  9. i think the X-E1 has the same sensor as the X-Pro1, right? I loved the files i got from my old X-E1 and miss them in my X-T1…i might have to pick up a used X-Pro1.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Grant,
      Yes the XE1 (& XM1) share the same sensor as the XP1, but the XM1 benefits from the faster X-TransII processor. The tones curves are a bit different on the XP1 though (according to DPR)

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  10. Read your articles with more than normal interest because they help me with exploring the Pro-1 and you have a nice hand of writing.
    I have an accessoire that I like and recently bought. It’s a diopter lens, (from Nikon because the Fuji ones are really hard to find), that made it possible for me to have a better look through the viewfinder without my reading glasses . . .
    So for now I’m more than happy although the thumbgrip is tempting but expensive over here ( The Netherlands).

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    1. Thanks very much Jos, I really appreciate you telling me that. Re the thumbrest, I scored mine secondhand via one of the forums for €40, I’d have never paid new price for it! (Plus Euro tax!) congrats on the dioptre, people criticise the XP1 for not being adjustable, but once you have the correct lens its always right and can’t get knocked out of place, which I like!

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  11. OK, here’s another edit for you….
    On the page where you describe the lenses and case you write that the 35mm is not “optically corrected” and that the 18mm requires “optical correction”. Maybe I am being pedantic, but the 35mm is actually fully optically corrected, and therefore needs no *software* correction. Whereas the 18mm requires software correction due to not being optically corrected. Hope that makes sense. 😉
    Fun blog posts to read. 🙂 I am the very happy owner of an XE1, and agree that the 1st gen sensors produce “nicer” images. Just an extra note; the new 35/2 is so fast in focusing it makes the XE1/XPro1 into a whole new experience, certainly changed my perception of the original cameras as “too slow” although I agree that back button focusing is an often overlooked, easy way to maximise performance.
    Keep up the entertaining writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not at all, thanks very much! Article updated! I cover DR modes and a little bit about ISO tomorrow, which can get a little contentious when it comes up on the forums… So we’ll see what happens here… Also a couple of people have commented that my Jpeg/RAW article is telling them NOT to shoot RAW, which it doesn’t at all (it just says not to be a snob about raw, and if Jpegs work for you, go for it. IIRC Kevin Mullens is largely a Jpeg shooter) so I might revisit that page too! I REALLY apprecaite your interest and picking me up on anything that I don’t make clear, or just downright get wrong! Not pedantic at all, just really helpful and I’m thankful. I started this just over 13weeks ago, and it went over 21k views last week, which is far beyond what I expected, so suddenly I feel a little self concious for it to be as good as it can… So please keep any feedback coming my way.
      Kind regards
      Adam

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  12. Nice work with the JPEG comparisons. I love my flat Fuji files (Provia with -1 to both S & H), they served me well for almost a year before I plucked up the courage to process from scratch – I discovered it was much easier to add contrast to a flat file than take it away from a punchy one!

    Now they are great for giving me a histogram that I can rely on for ETTR, and as a quality baseline for my own processing – I learnt a fair bit trying to emulate the Fuji files in Capture 1.

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    1. Thanks Alex, I’m sure someone will be be along (probably on FB) to tell me how wrong I am before the day’s out! I’m sure you have them already… But I have various C1 presets (not made by me) that emulate the fuji colour profiles if you want them?

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      1. Hi Adam. I’d love to know what you’ve been using as presets. Not sure why I haven’t sought any out yet, so would love to have your recommendations.

        Sorry about the FB crowd, they sound tough!

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      2. The FB crowd is a small yet vocal minority! Approx. 25K views in 12 weeks means I must be writing something interesting!

        C1 has a kind of ‘VSCO’ pack you can buy, but they offer some free samples that are quite reasonable.

        Someone on one of the forums (Fuji-x-forum, the forum you’re not allowed to mention on the Fujix-forum !!!) made and shared some FOC that look like the in-built Jpeg profiles (look = give or take)

        Also with C1 you don’t have to use the profile for your own camera… you can try any of them, which can be a easy place to start off.

        drop me a email if you need any help, or clarification, I probably still have those ‘Fuji-look’ presets kicking around my HDD somewhere or could probably export them straight from C1… It’s a bit more convoluted than LR, and it depends how you name them on where you find them in the C1 menu structure

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  13. Interesting article. It’s interesting to test these possibilities the camera gives us. Makes me think of the old film days when we had to choose before we went which film we had to go for.

    I use, for colour Negative Soft with -1(S=H). NR-2, Color +2, Sharpness +2.
    For B&W I use B&W /R, sharpness +2, S+H -1, NR-2.
    For B&W portrait I use the same settings but I switch the film to B&W /G.
    DR is still on auto . . . I’m still searching for the best SOOC.
    For all security I set my X-pro1 to Raw and JPEG . . . .

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    1. Thanks very much Jos, FWIW I set the Jpegs to give the view I want in the EVF, then use the in-built RAW convertor to make the Jpegs I actually want! (When I don’t just use the raw)

      There’s a SOOC ‘trick’ that’s a bit hit and miss (well, miss, miss, miss, miss HIT)

      Set DR200, then manually over expose by 1 stop (as DR200 is 1 stop of underexposure) the in-built Jpeg algorithm will brighten the dark/mid tones and on a happy day you get a nice ‘high-key’ jpeg. Often you get a overexposed mess though!

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  14. About the comparison with the Leica . . . I can understand why, certainly after reading your post but for me it’s more comperable with the Mamiya 6 or 7 or the Contax G2. Walking many years with the Mamiya M 645 which I really liked, so many years later found that same feeling with my X-pro1. Always wanted that Mamiya 6 but never found the money, or the G2, but maybe let’s not compare and take the X-pro1 for what it is, a fine camera . . .

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    1. Thanks Jos, that’s exactly the thing… the XP1 is a XP1 nothing more or less! In part two I give my take on the emotive aspect of each brand… the subtext of part one was to suggest that if someone is desperate for a digital M, then just buy a M8, they’re cheap enough now! For me, my XP1 reminds me of film cameras, not a specific camera, I’ve never had a rangefinder – my mrs has a couple of film ones though! Like you say – the XP1 is a fine camera, worthy of standing on its own without comparison!

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  15. After reading chapter 14 I thought that it mmight be (not so) good for this, might be (not so) good for that but it was and still is good enough for bringing back having fun into photography again . . .
    Nice article BTW . . .

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    1. Ha! You tell me, I’m so glad that I decided to name them (in URL terms) numerically after the second one or I’d have no clue where I was up too or what order I wrote them!

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  16. It’s Sunday and yes, there is a new and interesting article about the X-pro1. I’ve got two lenses that came with my Fuji X-pro1, the 27mm and the 18mm. When mounted on the X-pro1 I certainly prefer the looks of the 18mm with lens hood. I used the 18mm a lot and started to believe it’s my favourite. On M43 the 25mm was and is my favourite, especially the PanaLeica version. In fact that lens is the reason I still use M43 too. So yesterday when I went out for a walk I took the 27mm. Doesn’t look that great, but it fits in my coat! Now looking at the pictures and of course your’s with the Cola can, I know this lens is a gem! Maybe the 35mm might be fine to, as it’s closer to the angle of the PanaLeica and the 60mm looks tempting too . . . .
    Let’s start saving!
    BTW, fitting a lens hood like yours makes it look better IMO.

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    1. Thanks Jos, the lens hood was about £7 from ebay, it screws on, so I’m screwed if I whack it on anything (unlike a proper hood, that accident will damage the lens barrel)

      I use my 18, 35 and 60 more than the 27.. Well I use the 35 the most, then the 18/60 equally in second place. But I do really like the 27, it’s great for reportage, good for zone focusing and being 2.8 it’s quite forgiving for focus (as long as you’re a couple of meters away)

      I really like the 60 too, it’s very sharp even wide open! Someone lent me a 56 to try last week and I was quite smitten with that too!

      I’m planning a page on each of the 4 primes I own, but I haven’t decided if I want to do them one after the other or keep it as an idea for when I don’t have any other ideas!

      Not that I’m running out of ideas! I’m planning something around battery life, but I’m testing an idea first…

      I also want to test the ISOless sensor thing out

      And I want to write about SilkyPix, but I don’t want to get heavily into talking about PP!

      So that’s the next 6 weeks covered, give or take any other ideas I have between now and then!

      I also want to do a lot more features where I show pictures and talk about them, but those articles seem quite unpopular compared to the review type stuff!

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  17. Hey Adam,
    Great articles 🙂

    I own an X100T and XE2 (with 14, 35 and 56).
    I’m really intrigued by the idea that the XPRO1 has something special in its IQ and it seems to be around its tone curve or way it holds shadow detail. There does seem to be something that looks a little more natural, more “analog” in the first version of the TransX photos.. maybe.. or is it the way people tend to process them

    You seem to be indicating that you mostly process raw. Were you unable to reproduce the look of the XPRO1 from your XT1 files?

    Im wondering whether I would find the quirks worth putting up with / learning to live with I guess.

    Buy one and see I suppose?

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    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thank you very much.

      On the one hand there are enough people making the tangible claim that there’s an intangible magic to the XP1 files, but on the other, such things are very much in the eye of the beholder!

      I think as well a lot of it comes down to the type of images that we like… clean, bright and digital or gritty, dark and analogue.. (or both depending on the subject)

      I do mainly shoot RAW (even my SOOC Jpegs are usually derived from in camera RAW, and not shot as Jpegs)

      I haven’t really tried to make my X-T1 files look like XP1 files… The XT1 files have more to them, they’re 14bit lossless, the XP1 are 12bit (and I presume not lossless), because the XT1 files have more too them, I tend to work with what’s there rather than discard data…

      That said, dropping the tone curve and adding a bit of fake grain might be somewhere close… only it may very well not look natural (because it isn’t)

      I’m not sure I want to recommend you a camera that’s older and lower spec than the 2 you have already, that would also sort of go against the anti-GAS undercurrent of my site 🙂

      That said… a second hand X-Pro1 obtained at a keen price, probably wouldn’t be the biggest financial loss if it didn’t work out and you decided to flip it…

      If I was you, I might be tempted to find some X-Pro1 RAFs to download and run them through your work flow. See what you make of them first hand.

      After it’s the files that makes one forgive the quirks, in my opinion, without that love (of the output) they’d be little to endear you to the XP1 as you already have a OVF Fuji and a newer Fuji.

      Regards
      Adam

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  18. Thanks Adam,
    Yes, GAS is a thing 🙂

    I like a variety of looks in my photos – though have a preference for a dark and contrast B&W– I shot a lot XP4 in my time and enjoy that look.

    My daughter has an XE1 and that is the same processor as the Xpro1 I understand — so for RAW at least would that be good comparison ? I did read that XPro was a bit different to XE1 but presumably for JPEG only.?

    I did have a pretty good comparison session between the XE1 and XE2: same scene and variety of lenses- quickly changing. I think I found that the XE1 tended to expose raws rather brighter (about 1 EV?) than the XE2 and that the XE1 did have somewhat more detail retention in the shadows. Pulling back the highlights in post for the XE1 tended to give better results than pushing the XE2 shadows up.
    I’m just a hobbyist though…

    Maybe as you say pick up a used XPro1 and give it a run.

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    1. Hi Andrew,

      Yes, XP1 and XE1 (& XM1) all share the same sensor..

      Sometimes when I look at the studio comparison shots (between the XP1 and XE1) on DPR I think I see slightly more clarity from the XP1 RAW shots… but I could EASILY be imagining it… Either way it’s very, VERY similar (if not exactly the same)

      I think all the Fuji Xs I’ve tried have been a little more forgiving with highlight data than shadow, it varies a bit between PP software too… But as a base statement I think that’s valid!

      If you compare your daughter’s XE1 files to your XE2 ones and simply HAVE to own a camera that makes those files, then it’s an easy decision (to get a XP1)

      If it’s not that clear cut… then I think it all comes down to how much you want a quirky, older, slower camera… which is a far less rational and easy decision!

      Let me know which way you go!
      Adam

      Like

  19. Hey Adam,
    There is an IQ difference in the Xtrans 1and 2. It is subtle.. Sometimes one might be better than another. Is it the limiting factor in my photography? No not really.

    IQ is very important but mostly I am looking for another camera to love I guess. I love my X100 for lots of reasons but I don’t really love my XE2.. It is a great camera, and it pretty much does what it says it does on the can and it is great but I don’t quite love it. I’m not really sure why though?

    I used to have a Suzuki GS550 in the ’80s.. There were many faster and better specked bikes at the time and I rode many of them but there was a certain “more than the sum of its parts” thing about the GS550. It was quirky but a joy to ride, and the design and motor and sound had a certain “mojo” that just made you love it even though it was kind of unreliable and hard to start sometimes.

    I suppose that is what intrigues me about the following that the XP1 has as much as anything..is this one of those cases when you forgive aspects and quirks because there is a “more than sum of parts” design convergence? Or are the XPro 1 owners just romanticising their use of a quirky older camera.. 🙂

    You seem like a straight up bloke to me who has thought about this and your decision to go “backwards” was obviously right for you at this time.

    It’s intriguing. But it would not hold it against you if I bought one and hated it because design beauty is in the eye of the beholder and your tolerance of quicks seems pretty high 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Your motorbike analogy is almost serendipitous!

      I’ve been thinking a little about the X-Pro2… (and stranger things have happened than me getting one) But I think about the bikes I’ve owned…

      I no longer have a bike… When I moved to Portugal it was far to much hassle to take it with me, and after a while I ended up thinking, “well I’m in my 40s now, I’ve had a LOT of fun on bikes… bikes have been great to me, so many happy memories. I’ve know a fair few people who haven’t fared as well as me.. why not leave it there?”

      So I think back to the bikes I’ve had and man, that 97 blade… it did everything… and I did everything on it, track days, trips to Europe, commute to work yadayada

      Eventually I got bored of it, it was old tech… carbs RWU forks, brakes that were a bit scary… so I bought a CBR600RR7. That was a precision instrument… It was like the 100BHP RS250 I wanted when I had a 60BHP (Aprilia) RS250.

      It was everything I wanted and I loved it.

      But when I think back, it’s the blade I loved the most.

      It was just a great bike, with my (*ahem* not completely unskilled -I’ve had motorbikes since I was 10-) hand I could just make it do what I needed, and what it couldn’t do, I didn’t want…

      That’s a little how I see my X-Pro1. I also have a X-T1, which is a far better camera, but I never use it these days.

      The XP1 is like my blade… I know how to use it (I think..) I know what it can do, what it can’t, and it gives me pleasure.

      And I really like the files from it, I can work with the native DR, I like the grittiness, I don’t want images that are all clean and overtly digital, nor fake and VSCO’d

      And the XP1 just rings my bell for that.

      It’s not that it’s a great camera, it’s that it’s a great camera for me, and I solemnly believe the best camera isn’t “the one you have with you” it’s the one you demand to take with you, and want to use

      For me that’s the XP1, but for anyone else, it might not be…

      But, when you have a camera you truly love to use, I think it pushes you to use it to the fullest of it’s (and your own) abilities (maybe not every time, but you get my point…. maybe) and that reflects in the shots.

      I only use mine in MF mode, often in full manual (I was darkroom trained with film in 94!) it only does what I tell it, it’s all is can do… it doesn’t even have LMO, so if I stop down far enough to get diffraction, then I get diffraction!

      It sounds daft… but all I have to remember with it is… it’s a camera, nothing more or less, treat it like one and it’ll make photos… expect it to have ‘traction control’ (sic) and you’ll “crash”

      A bit like that old ‘blade… there’s no second set of fuel injection butterflies controlled by a servo to level out your throttle input, just a cable and some carbs… so exercise throttle control 🙂

      Not sure how all of that will read…

      It’s a quirky camera in context… but standalone it’s just a camera… 3 functions (ISO/SS/A) and a shutter, actually has less bells and whistles than a Leica M240.

      That works for me… That’s not to say I’ll never change it. But much like that blade, if I ever end up not taking pictures, I bet the XP1 is the camera I’m thinking of when I miss photography!

      By contrast, I think the XE2/XT1/XT2/XP2/M240/A7Rii/etc are currently hot, soon to be tepid… they’ll never out shine their successors

      If you buy a XP1, then you’ll need to enjoy a methodical approach… On one of the forums this week someone said they thought that slow AF stifled their creativity… Sometimes I know what I’m going to focus on before I leave the house! I’ve got ideas in my little head that have been kicking around for months that I’m waiting to realise…

      That’s not to say I’m right, they’re wrong

      Not at all.

      But the XP1 doesn’t stand in the way of me realising ideas, and I enjoy using it.

      I doubt I can add more really! (I’m really quite verbose, you can see why I started my own website?!!)

      Adam

      Like

  20. Thanks Adam, that’s very clear to me: I totally get where you are coming from. 🙂
    What about glass? I really like the Fuji primes I own.. I dismissed the xf18 as having some bad reviews for image quality but actually I have reading some really good things about that lens more recently.. Have you used it?

    Like

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I have the 18! The most recent part of the X-Pro1 story was about the 18 🙂

      I like it, I prefer the 35/1.4 and the 60, but I’m not convinced I have the frame discipline for 18 more than anything about the rendering per se..

      I guess it’s not the sharpest lens, but it’s ok… I don’t really go looking for softness… I sincerely believe if a shot is good, then no one will look past the content!

      The 14 is probably a better bet if sharp and wide is crucial though!

      I see the 18 as more a reportage choice than a landscape one!

      It’s very good for zone focusing!

      Like

  21. Ah, yes I see your report on the 18mm now. Thanks.

    I have decided I will get an XPro1 but will keep my XE2 for a while until I properly decide whether I like or not.

    I will let you know how I go with it 🙂
    All the best

    Like

      1. So I got one 🙂 Very nice condition– pretty cheap on eBay. It arrived today and so far, just fiddling around with it, it seems lovely: nice size and feel. AF is ok with my XF 35mm 1.4 anyway.. EVF is not nearly as nice as my X100T – not as detailed and laggy– but it is ok- useable I’d say. OVF is nice with the XF 35mm. I will have a bit more of a play with it tomorrow in the daylight hopefully.

        Like

      2. Yes, thanks Adam – these articles are very helpful.

        My first thoughts are that the image quality is lovely and the camera wakes up and Auto focusses fast enough for me which was my main concern.

        — The EVF is not nearly as nice – I can’t really tell whether a photo I have taken is in focus of not through the EVF. This may be due to the lack of diopter, though when I use my glasses (+2 for nearsight) I’d say the plane of the EVF is in focus but still the image itself lacks some detailed resolution compared to the display on the newer camera. But the focus peaking on the X-Pro 1 is ok and the autofocus is accurate so my shots are coming out crisply (subject to other operator errors)

        –On my X1OOT when in MF focus mode and viewing through the OVF when you manually turn the lens focus ring, the view-finder automatically switches to EVF and shows your preferred focus mechanism (e.g. focus peaking). This is a really nice feature – it saves pressing the command wheel– can the XP pro 1 do this?

        But I’m liking the X-Pro1 a lot so far 🙂

        Like

      3. Hi Andy,

        The X-Pro1 can’t automatically replicate that feature from the X100T. But in MF mode, if you press the rear command in, it’ll go straight to a magnified view of wherever you’ve set the focus box.

        Which is exactly what the X100T (and XP2) is doing, but on the XP1 you have to press a ‘button’ (well dial) to make it happen!

        I’m delighted that you’re enjoying it though

        Like

  22. Hello Adam. In first place I muito apologize for my very bar english. I’m a wanna be amateur photographer that lives in Porto and want to congratulate you for the very beautifull way you show my city. Being a Xpro 1 owner I want to question if you give some kind of class/formation In Porto.

    Like

      1. Hi Adam.
        I will try to be in that event. Do I need to do some kind of inscription, or Just show up.
        Thanks
        Renato

        Like

      2. Hi Renato,
        It would be cool if you signed up for the event via the facebook link!

        I hope you can make it to the event, see you there…

        Regards
        Adam

        Like

  23. Hello Adam,

    Two questions:

    When you discuss presets you mention you’ll make a B&W in post; is this from other software, LR for example, or in-camera processing of the RAF?

    In the review of the X-Pro2, you note the awkward placement of buttons (which I’ve seen other refer to also). Would you categorize this as better or worse than button placement on the X-T1. Personally I’m continually frustrated with the X-T1 (in in an attempt to mimic BB focusing) – perhaps I do not use it often enough?

    Thanks,

    Bob

    Like

    1. Hi Bob,

      More often or not in other software, I mooch about between applications, but SilkyPix Pro is a PERSONAL fav of mine. I’m not much of a LR guy… I don’t talk about post processing software much, and it’s deliberate… Software is quite a personal choice in my opinion, people generally get the best results from the application that they find the easiest to use, and in that respect we are all a little different!

      I nearly always have my Fujis set to a B&W film simulation, as I use MF and the focus peaking is nicer to use when the EVF shows a B&W image

      The X-Pro2 buttons are -to me- not really awkwardly placed, give or take a few mm they’re pretty much where they are on the X-Pro1, but the (X-Pro2) AF-L button is quite recessed, ergo it sits virtually flush with the body and can be hard to locate by feel.

      That said… it’s been 2 weeks now and ‘muscle memory’ (which I’m not entirely convinced is an accurate term in this application, but the photography community sees to have adopted it!) has helped a lot. BUT, the fact remains the original X-Pro1 AF-L button is a lot easier to find and press by feel.

      Yes! The rear of the X-T1 is a crowded space, full of tiny buttons that (to me at least) never offered an intuitive user experience.

      It’ll be interesting to see if Fuji have improved this on the successor… But I’ve no intention of buying one!

      Anything else that I might be of help with, don’t hesitate to ask.

      Regards
      Adam

      Like

  24. Hi Adam. Great stuff and looking forward to the on going saga. As you know I now have the X pro 2 after having almost every Fuji body in the last few years. I seemed to have remembered my xpro1 being smaller than the xpro2 but I think it is just that my hands are a few years older.

    Now I have the new Xpro as well as the Xt1 and I love them both. So far the upgrades are worth it for me. Faster AF, 24 mp sensor which is actually pretty great. I am not going to worry about comparing because I have not had a bad image with any of my Fuji’s. But I am happy with the new toy.

    Like

    1. Hi Elliot, thanks very much, yes my story “ends” (sic) on about part 29/30 where I start talking about the X-Pro2 I bought! The XP2 is not without foibles, but it’s a worthy successor, that’s for sure!

      Like

  25. Hi Adam, thanks again for this series. Long story short I saw a used X-Pro1 on mpb.com for £150 so I have quickly re-read them this week before grabbing what I consider to be a huge bargain. It arrived yesterday and has already cured me of X-T2 lust – seriously!
    All the best
    Dave
    davewhenhamphotography.com

    Like

  26. Hi Adam, couldn’t agree with you more about the X-Pro-1. There is something ‘odd’ about this camera in a good way, an alchemy as to how it produces images of such outstanding quality? I own 2 Pro-1’s, an E2 and an M1. They all produce lovely images but the Pro-1 somehow does it ‘better’? I would like a Pro-2 at some stage, but I’ll keep the old versions for as long as they produce the goods!

    Keep up the good work mate!

    Martin

    Like

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