Sunday, 21 February 2021

X-T2 as a Manual Focus Body


Fujifilm X-T2, Micro-Nikkor 55mm f3.5 AI, Acros+R Film Simulation

The image above is straight out of the camera, Acros film simulation with simulated Red 25 Filter and H+1, S-1 and Sharpness +2 for a bit of extra punch. Cropped down to 1:1 and slightly less than full width.

This is part of why I still love the Fuji's, especially for B&W and cityscape work. The film simulations just give a great starting point to get a great image. I took the X-T2 out with a bag full of primes, native & adapted, and just had some fun shooting in the city. 

I've largely settled on how I'm going to approach my kit for now. The Fuji's will stay and will be paired with manual focus lenses and mostly be used in the city. The Oly will be primarily zoom-based and backpacking/rough weather kit. The 12-40 replaces the XC 16-50 and a 40-150 Pro will replace the departed 55-200. I'll still need a UWA for the Oly, likely a Laowa 7.5mm f2 as I'm just not sure I want to spend on a 7-14 Pro with its lack of filter compatibility and likelihood to just get used at 7.5mm. Maybe I'll look at a zoom when Oly releases their new f4 option (they have 2-3 f4 zooms known to be coming, all of which are interesting to me)

So the X-T2 will mostly get used with the inexpensive Chinese manual focus lenses I've been buying. I really do find manual, mechanical lenses more fun to use than zooms on the Fuji bodies. I've ever liked focus by wire that much and the more I rely on just the physical controls, the more I like the Fuji's. The only physical control I never really liked is the M/S/C AF switch on the front, and shooting MF glass makes it irrelevant. I suspect I will continue to add inexpensive MF lenses to my Fuji kit, but right now I don't really see adding any AF lenses, although that could change, Fuji's primes are excellent and I could totally live with an all-prime Fuji kit if the Olympus kit handles my zoom needs. That also saves me from looking for a second Olympus body, as I'm quite conflicted as to what would be interesting there. No smaller body has battery compatibility with the E-M1.2. 

All of this will let me use the two kits at what I like best about them. Oly colours for landscapes, Oly tech for landscape & long exposure work, Oly sealing for rough conditions. Fuji Film Simulations for B&W and night work, classic Fuji handling & big beautiful finders for manual focus lenses and taking advantage of the fact that most manual focus crop lenses are designed for APS-C use (Laowa's MFT lenses being some of the rare exceptions). 

This also lets me continue to focus on the inexpensive lenses that I so enjoy, without giving up performance by settling on 3 higher-end lenses for my landscape work, where I need the absolute quality.

This won't stop me from shooting landscape on my Fuji's, especially while my only UWA option is on that system (I sold my Nikkor 20mm and my Laowa 15mm Macro is already spoken for, eliminating my UWA FF options, outside of my 7Artisans 12mm on Fuji, all my other systems are limited to 24mm-e at the widest for now). I ill just prioritize using the Oly when I have to go somewhere I don't want to carry 4+ primes to.

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