Sunday, 13 October 2019

The Last Frame

The Last Stop

Fujifilm X-T1, XF 23mm f2 WR

This was the last image I ever took with the X-T1, less than 12 hours later it would be gone from my kit.

This is one of the rare cases where I sold on a camera I very much liked, and got along with very well. And I sold it for a somewhat unusual reason, the need for one specific lens, a compact UWA zoom. Oly's 9-18 was made almost exactly for my needs (I just wish it was 8mm on the wide end and sealed).

I really like the Fuji system today. The Fujicron's are brilliant, the bodies are well sorted and the rest of the lens lineup works with a couple exceptions.

The exceptions are:

1. The XC 50-230 is about twice the cost it should be. Decent lens, should be $200USD retail not double that.

2. No consumer UWA, the 10-24/4 is great (but needs a WR update) but spendy, the 8-16 is even better, but even spendier. There should be a compact XC 12-24 or 10-18 for around $400 (like the Nikkor 10-20VR DX in F mount).

3. No consumer fast prime. Again, as great as the Fujicrons are, the guy buying an X-A or X-Tx00 body is looking for a $200 fast prime like the Panasonic 25/1.7, the Nikkor 35/1.8DX or the Canon 22/2. I think if Fuji shrank the 35/1.4 to a 35/1.8 design and rehoused it in plastic it would be perfect. It doesn't need to be as small as the 35/2, or sealed, or as well built, or as fast to focus. Just cheap & decent. 

Aside from that Fuji does still need to fill the gaps. They need an 80-300 to pair with the 16-80, they need a 135 prime and a 300/4 prime quickly, and a 200-600 zoom for the wildlife guys who need more reach than the 100-400 delivers.  But those are mostly lenses I'd not buy anytime soon.

In another note, the second last X-T1 pic I posted was one of two of my images to hit explore today. Very happy with that, I've never had 2 images in Explore on the same day before. I'm up to 12 images in Explore for the year, 2 less than my previous record from over a decade ago.

I've also been thinking seriously about what's driving my system angst. The reality is aside from a couple edge cases around telephoto performance, the m43 system I have now delivers very well, and frankly even if the E-M5III turns out to be underwhelming, at the likely cost of it I'd be better off just getting an E-M1.2 off the used market to replace the E-M1. After some research I'm also convinced that getting a 4/3rds 50-200SWD will also alleviate a lot of my challenges in this area, at a fairly low cost. They aren't repairable, but you can buy 4-5 of them for the cost of a PL50-200 and TC's are cheap and superb for these.

The other thing that seems to be driving my system angst is having something to play with old glass on as m43 is not really a great adaptation platform unless you really like manual focus telephotos (which I'm not exactly big on, being a wide guy mostly). Not sure I really want to invest in that even if I do like old glass. I think I need to hold off there unless I trip over the right deal on a 2nd gen A7 or A7R or maybe a D800. But that would be a toy, not a primary camera, much like my FE is today (and frankly, my D300 is the same, a toy for occasional use). Alternatively I might just get another Fuji and a Speedbooster. I do love the X-T series, the pricing is right (an X-T2 costs about the same as a D800 or A7II) and that would give me FF equivalence when using the Speedbooster, and APS-C reach using my current adapters. Might even justify eventually getting the Fujicron set, but nothing much more for a secondary system.

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