Saqib Shams: The story of my passion for Fuji X-E2

Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan
Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 . 35mm . f/1.4 . 1/35" . ISO 6400

Hello, my name is Dr. S. Saqib Shams, and I have been using Fujifilm X-E2 for more than two years now. This is the story of my passion with Fujifilm cameras. I first held a DSLR in November, 2010. It was my brother’s camera which I borrowed to have photos taken at my graduation ceremony at the University of Bradford, UK.

Having never used a DSLR before, it appeared like an anomaly to me. It was too large for me to comfortably hold or operate. And I did not understand how it worked or how to operate it. It was just too complex for me. So I just put the camera on ‘Auto’ mode and hoped things would turn out alright at my big day. And they did, I saw those photos on my computer and started to realise the image quality superceded anything (mobile and P&S cameras) I’ve used before to take photos. The photos were super sharp and clear. So I started to admire the camera.
I started borrowing it more often. And one fine day, I asked my brother to just let me keep it (he did). Soon after I moved to China for a PhD. And that’s when I had the chance to learn and use this camera more often to the point where I started to outgrow it.

I was looking to for a full frame DSLR this time. I was arguing with myself on whether I should buy the D610, or switch to a Canon 6D. And that’s when I stumbled upon Fujifilm X-E2. And it was just such a beautiful thing that I decided to buy it, along with 18-55mm and 35mmF1.4 lens. And that’s when I started to appreciate the difference in quality from the preceding camera and this new beauty.

Potala Palace, Lhasa Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 23,3mm . f/3.2 . 1/1400" . ISO 200
Potala Palace, Lhasa
Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 23,3mm . f/3.2 . 1/1400″ . ISO 200

I travelled to Tibet with this camera. People travelling with me were simply jealous of how good the photos turned out compared to their DSLRs and also the way it looked. This made me feel happy about following my heart and making the right decision by not overthinking the camera buying process.

Sera Monastery, Lhasa Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 55mm . f/4 . 1/1000" . ISO 200
Sera Monastery, Lhasa
Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 55mm . f/4 . 1/1000″ . ISO 200

It also made me realise that Fuji RAW files have a higher amount of effective resolution compared to it’s JPEG files. Because I tend to crop my photos occasionally. And when I did, I noticed no loss in image quality.

Tashilunpo Monastery, Tibet Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 31,5mm . f/3.6 . 1/200" . ISO 200
Tashilunpo Monastery, Tibet
Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 31,5mm . f/3.6 . 1/200″ . ISO 200

Fujifilm’s color rendition was so impressive that it made me feel like a NatGeo photographer in my mind. In many ways, it’s the perfect camera. It’s small so it’s easier to carry. It’s beautiful so you wish to be seen carrying it. It’s functional so you enjoy using it and it produces great photos right out of the camera!

Mount Everest Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 30,2mm . f/9 . 1/2000" . ISO 400
Mount Everest
Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 30,2mm . f/9 . 1/2000″ . ISO 400

Fujifilm X-E2 has no weather sealing and is recommended to be used in moderate climate conditions. But I’ve used it in extreme temperatures (-15 to 45ºC). It just works.

Yarlung Tsangpo river, Tibet Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 18,8mm . f/14 . 1/250" . ISO 500
Yarlung Tsangpo river, Tibet
Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 18,8mm . f/14 . 1/250″ . ISO 500

Fujinon optics are an amalgamation of years of research put in to broadcast and cinema lenses. You get so much detail in the photo it’s always a pleasant surprise.

Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 . 35mm . f/1.4 . 1/35" . ISO 6400
Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan
Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 . 35mm . f/1.4 . 1/35″ . ISO 6400

High ISO performance of the X-Trans sensor is phenomenal. I can get printable photos at ISO6400. It’s a bit grainy, ofcourse, but the grain resembles more to the film grain which is nicer to look at. Not the digital grain called noise produced by other sensors.

Khairpur, Pakistan Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 37,4mm . f/3.6 . 1/800" . ISO 200
Khairpur, Pakistan
Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 37,4mm . f/3.6 . 1/800″ . ISO 200

Due to it’s small size, it is quite easy to carry on you over a longer journey. Esp. if you intend on trekking into rough terrains for the occasional wildlife photography.

Wild Ibex, Hingol National Park, Pakistan Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF50-140mmF2.8 . 140mm . f/5 . 1/100" . ISO 200
Wild Ibex, Hingol National Park, Pakistan
Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF50-140mmF2.8 . 140mm . f/5 . 1/100″ . ISO 200

My most favourite lens is the standard XF18-55mm lens. It is such a versatile and sharp lens. It stays on my camera 90% of the time. And I honestly think it can’t be praised enough.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 20,5mm . f/5.6 . 1/1800" . ISO 200
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi
Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 20,5mm . f/5.6 . 1/1800″ . ISO 200

Fujifilm tends to upgrade older cameras via regular firmware updates. And it’s just such a nice bonus to have. When I bought my X-E2 more than two years ago, it didn’t have many of the features it has now, like the WiFi remote control option, faster refresh rate in the view finder, lens modulation optimiser to reduce lens aberrations, fast focus/tracking, Classic Chrome film simulation or the most recent electronic shutter – speaking of which is something made out of fantasy. Using crazy high shutter speed enables you to open that lens aperture wider even in broad daylight, if so you wish. I no longer have to fear losing details in overexposed photos.

X-E2 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 . 35mm . f/1.4 . 1/23000" . ISO 200
X-E2 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 . 35mm . f/1.4 . 1/23000″ . ISO 200

I think Fujifilm has spoiled me with their cameras and I don’t think I can switch to another system again. I am looking forward to purchasing the new X-Pro 2. I’ve had the chance to try it in Dubai and it just made me want to buy it immediately. The focusing, the ergonomics, the resolution. It’s the complete package. Hats off Fujifilm! Keep up the good work. Please.

Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 55mm . f/4 . 1/4000" . ISO 400
Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan
Fuji X-E2 . Fuji XF18-55mm . 55mm . f/4 . 1/4000″ . ISO 400

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  • Muneer Ahmed

    Its nice to hear your little story and experience with Fuji X camera , its an inspiring story for those who are planing to adopt photography as a hobby as well as profession,, Good luck Saqib!

  • Roger Chevalier

    Saqip, I love your pictures. Good success