Fujifilm Love Hate!

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Matt Hart

“I am a black and white Street and Event Photographer based in Liverpool. I am an official Fujifilm X Photographer; a Formatt Hitech featured Artist and the founder of The Fujiholics Social Media Group. Annual projects have helped me to focus on my personal development within the industry constantly challenging my own ideas and concepts and motivating me to learn new skills. I am passionate about Street Photography, I have developed the skill to observe and be virtually invisible, letting the world carry on around me without affecting the scene. The subject is unaware. I keep the system and process as simple as possible so as not to over complicate the task. This is why I have chosen the Fuji X system for my professional work which helps me to achieve my style."

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I have lent out a lot of personal Fujifilm kit over the last five years and the result has always been some love hate relationships and personal battles with the kit. I always find this very interesting. I remember my first time with the X100 and how it wound me up no end that the sensor was giving me better black and white images than my Nikon D3s but how hard it was to get used to the camera and menus. Most of all the focus system was hard work and so much more. This all made me question my choice but the images spoke for themselves ! It felt like a toy camera compared to the mighty D3s ! But who cared about the feel when the images were just so great…

On a recent trip to Edinburgh I was having a facebook conversation with a friend who had brought an X100T on my recommendation for her Street Photography. She hated it out of the box and many times I looked at her comments on social media saying how she wanted to get rid of it. One day it was driving her nuts the next it was fine. I could see the personal battle taking place this Marmite camera was tearing this girl apart!

She even asked me when the X-Pro2 was out and then the X-T2 and the X-T20 but all the time she went out shooting with the X100T. On this trip to Edinburgh she messaged me and said ” I love this camera Matt I really do, but it’s taken me 18 months to make it work for me” I laughed and said I know ! I said to her the problem with the X100 series is you have to adapt your style to the camera and no one can help you with that. It’s up to you to decide on every setting from Jpeg to focus mode. You can’t just look up what other people do on the internet or blogs you just have to go out every day and have a personal battle with the camera and almost fight over who is in change !

X-Pro2 50mm f/2

I have taught over 200 workshops over the last two years and so many people come on the workshops who have the same battle not just with the X100 series but some of the other Fujifilm models.

I was talking with another friend tonight who has my X-T10 and she said I am getting there but I am having a love hate relationship with this camera ! I just laughed and said I know…
I would say 99.9% of the people that have this battle win and they fall in love with the X Series Camera system. I know a few people who have lost the battle and gone back to their chosen brand. I have noticed one thing though, the people that battle on don’t just learned how to adapt to a new camera system their work changes for the better too.

I think the the personal battle teaches them more than just how to use a new camera it makes them look at the way they work as well. It’s all too easy to pick up a DSLR out of the box and go out and shoot on auto, it’s not so easy to use the X100 you have to start to understand your craft more and in doing so your work improves.

X-Pro2 50mm F/2

Quite a few people love the way the X Series slowed them down at the start but then became frustrated by that very fact ! Fujifilm responded to customer feedback and have made the XPro2 and X-T2 but you still have to know what you are doing to get the best out of these cameras. You can use them out of the box on Auto now but once you really learn how to set them up you take a great big step up on your photography journey.

X-Pro2 50mm F/2

The shame is that most people just look at these cameras on the internet or for a few minutes in a shop ! They never get to use them for 12-18 months and so never get to experience love hate battle and that is such a shame. So many people don’t like change but I think that is where the X100F comes in. You can buy it as a back up camera and take it everywhere. Some days you will want to throw it in the river or bin some days you will want to hug it and kiss it ( possibly a bit far ) but when you look at those images you know you have an amazing bit of kit in your hands that you can stick in your pocket and take everywhere! Take the X100F challenge buy one or borrow one and see how you get on, then come back on here in 18 months and leave a comment.

X-Pro2 16mm f/1.4

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  • MB Kinsman

    Just bought the X-100F, own the X-pro2 & X-T2 and am battling love/hate with the 100F. It’s only been a few days, but this is a different beast. Slower the my beloved X-Pro2, but it does have something that is calling to me. Added a small clear bumper to the left of the Q control to end the frustration of landing on the Q every time I picked the camera up and now it fits the hand, leading me to explore its capabilities. Can I justify keeping it? That is the question…

  • agdodds

    Know the feeling! In a previous life I was a medical photographer until I killed the thing I loved. After forty years as a Neuropsychologist I retired and found myself with a lot of spare time on my hands. I bought a Canon G10 and loved it for its versatility and ease of use. Then I became aware of the X100T, had a demo in the local camera shop and fell in love with it right away. It reminded me so much of the rangefinder cameras I used in the 1960s but with all the hassle taken out of focussing and exposure.

    Then, after spending a day with it I became so frustrated and cross with myself for having wasted so much money on a super computer instead of a camera, I put it away and forgot about it for over a year. A guilty conscience motivated me to give it a second go and when on holiday I took it with me, together with instruction booklet and an independent book on it, and put my mind to what I felt had been wrong in the first place.

    The answer came soon enough: there were far too many features that I would never use in a lifetime that seemed to be getting in the way of using the camera as if it was a 1960s one. I therefore removed most of the OVF info from the display, leaving only shutter speed, aperture, film speed and battery life. Hey presto, the OVF looked just like my Kodak Retina or Leica M3, only with vital info at a glance. Next, I reprogrammed the function keys with what I used most: flash, ISO and dynamic range. For macro I use Manual plus AEL/AFL button and it autofocuses.

    Each person can programme this little gem to suit their shooting needs and style. Once that’s done you can forget all about the myriad technicalities at your disposal that get in the way of taking proper pictures! In Iridient you can then while away the winter months playing around with post-processing to your heart’s content. So what’s not to like?