From an X-Pro2 to an X-H1
My name is Adam Torres and I am not a professional photographer, I’m an enthusiast. I take photographs purely because I love the craft. I fully credit Fujifilm cameras for reigniting my photographic passion, with their beautiful industrial design and approachable ergonomics, they feel like an expertly made tool that must be used constantly. So, that’s what I did, and along the way, my taste and subject matter changed, and consequently, so did my tool of choice.
I’ve only been shooting seriously for about 3 years or so, but a lot has changed in that time. When I started to get back into photography, I had an idea of what I wanted to shoot and I told myself that street photography would be my focus. After all, I live near San Francisco and it’s a wonderful place for that subject matter. I looked for cameras that fit that style, which naturally took me to the X-Pro2, so I took the leap and bought it.
The X-Pro2 is probably the first camera I’ve ever loved as ridiculous as that may sound. Forget about all its features, the camera is unassuming, beautiful, and simplistic. Looking square at the front of the camera, you see no markings, no words, and to folks on the street, they just see a regular old camera. To say the least, the X-Pro2 fit perfectly with my goal of shooting people and street and probably remains one of the best cameras for this genre of photography.
During this time, I had purchased a few prime lenses, like the 35mm f1.4, 23mm f1.4, and soon transitioned to the wonderful 23 and 35 f2 lenses. We were talking about cameras, so why are we talking about lenses all of a sudden. Well, the thing about all these lenses is that they paired extremely well with the X-Pro2 size and form factor, keeping the entire kit quite small. This is no surprise, of course, a quick Google or Youtube search will show you just how much people love the f2 series of lenses for their compact size and excellent build quality.
Now back to the camera — the X-Pro2 with these lenses are perfect for street photography. Again, the lenses are small, unassuming, and kind of just disappear, just like the camera. This was my kit for a while, with some additions and experimentation here and there. I took this kit everywhere, from San Francisco to Tokyo and numerous small trips along the way. From here, my taste and interest started to shift and it happened somewhat slowly. In the last year and a half or so, I really started to take a lot more landscape photographs and this is where my camera needs and preferences started to change.
Enter the large zooms — the XF 16-55mm f2.8, XF 8-16mm f2.8, XF 50-140 f2.8, XF 100-400 f4.5-5.6. As I started to take more landscape photographs, I realized that the primes that I used constantly for street, started staying in my bag in favor of the 16-55mm f/2.8 zoom or the 10-24mm f/4. Don’t get me wrong, I still use primes a lot, specifically the 16mm f/1.4 or the 35mm f/1.4, just depends on what I’m trying to do. The 16-55mm is big, well-built, but heavy. Honestly, I used that lens on my X-Pro2 for quite a while, but it simply feels unbalanced and makes handling the X-Pro2 a more cumbersome. Furthermore, my approach to capturing photographs changed quite a bit as well. I found myself slowing down when approaching a scene, wanting to shoot from a variety of angles, and I started to feel the lack of an articulating screen on the X-Pro2 impacting my goals.
Arguably, the X-T2, which was out by this time, probably would have made a better fit, but the zooms I mentioned above still felt a bit bulky on the X-T2, so I stuck it out with my X-Pro2. Then the X-H1 was released and it made a lot more sense to me. Forget about the in-body image stabilization or its killer video features, it was the form factor, ergonomics, articulating screen, rugged build quality, and absolutely beautiful electronic viewfinder. The X-H1 fits better in my hand and its weight pairs nicely my favorite large zooms. So, I picked one up and haven’t looked back.
The X-H1 fits what I primarily shoot now: landscapes. I toss it in my bag, hike to the spot I have in mind, attach my 16-55mm lens, grab some filters, setup, shoot, and hike around a bit more shooting along the way. When I go out with the family or friends through the city, I grab the 35mm 1.4 and put on my X-Pro2. I could never sell my beloved X-Pro2, I continue to use it, so it still has a place in my photographic life, as well as my heart.
Born and raised in Idaho, now living in San Francisco, California. I’m a self-taught photographer, have been shooting for about 3 years and now mainly shoots landscapes. When I’m not behind my Fujifilm camera, I’m working as a Product Designer and thinking about the next time I’m going to go shoot.