Chris Foley Photo
I wrote this article in response to some questions Frank Chacho Quezada had for me about my opinions on the X-Pro2 and X-Pro3. I do field this sort of question with some frequency and so decided to write a larger article about it. This really covers my history with Fujifilm and provides some insights into why I prefer their rangefinder bodies over their SLR-style line.
By way of context, I'll say that I first dipped my toe into the Fujifilm world in 2013 when a well-connected friend of mine scored for me an early release of the x100s. It blew my mind and started me on a path to rethinking all of my crazy heavy professional Canon gear.
I moved full-time into Fujifilm in 2015 when I found myself overcome by anger and frustration at the fact that my little X-E2 was giving me better results than my full frame Canon DSLRs with L-Series lenses.
I've bought and sold a lot of Fujifilm bodies over the past 5-6 years. I've owned:
In 2015 I traded my X-E2 and all of my pro-level Canon gear in for a pair of X-T1 bodies and a collection of Fujifilm's prime lenses. At the time the X-T1 was their flagship and was an amazing body. I HAD explored the XPro (1) at the time and I hated it for being too slow. The processor and EVF on that camera just wasn't "there" yet. And so when it came time to switch the X-T1 was my logical (and really only) choice.
After the X-Pro2 was announced, I was very intrigued as I have always been a big fan of the rangefinder and I DO NOT LIKE a centered viewfinder. I like to have one eye in the camera and another eye in the world. That's my ideal way to work. I pre-ordered and was the first buyer in Santa Barbara to receive the X-Pro2. I FELL IN LOVE with that camera. I would have bought a pair of them and ditched the X-T bodies altogether but for one fatal flaw - the X-Pro2's veiwfinder is incompatible with UV-coated sunglasses. Since I shoot outdoors in sunny Southern California, I always wear UV-coated sunglasses -- prescription ones at that.
Thus, I ended up carrying an X-Pro2 and an X-T2 around at all times. I liked the capabilities of the X-T2 but I never "loved" the X-T series. In fact, when the X-H1 was released I grabbed that and sold my X-T2 just as I had sold my X-T1 bodies. The X-H1 was (and is) a truly incredible camera, and the IBIS is just crazy useful. But again with its centered viewfinder the X-H1 never became a "street" camera for me and only went with me to commercial and studio gigs.
At some point I made the decision to replace my UV-coated prescription sunglasses with new ones that did not include the UV-coating. THAT is how much I love the X-Pro2!
My street kit was then an X-Pro2 and X100F, and the X-H1 lived in my camera case only to be used for commercial gigs. But since the X100F was not weather sealed, I had to keep a redundant set of lenses. I had the 23mm f/2 and 16mm f/2.8 only so I could replicate my X100F experience on the X-Pro2 in bad weather. That's annoying.
Having these 2 lenses for my X-Pro2 is completely redundant but was necessary as my go-to daily carry couldn't get wet. This became an issue on a recent January 2020 trip to NYC when I was working in a crazy thunderstorm. I did come home with some really good images, as well as the Coronavirus. So that was fun.
Flash forward to the announcements of the (now) weather-sealed X100V. This was a joyous announcement for me for a few reasons. First, they fixed the lens, refreshing it for the first time in the X100's lifespan. It's now tack sharp, even wide open. Since it's weather-sealed, I can now take it out in the rain without worrying about it, which means that I could suddenly sell off the redundant 23mm and 16mm lenses. I have the little WC adapter that fits onto the X100's lens to convert it to an ultra wide and that gives me my 28mm equivalent field of view for street work.
In the end, I sold my 23mm f/2, the 16mm f/2.8, the X100F, and my X-H1 kit and used that money to buy the X100V and a new X-Pro3. (I have decided to hang onto my X-Pro2 because I want to have a backup interchangeable lens body should I need it and frankly because I've grown quite attached to it. It's been all over the world with me, and it's the body I started to get really good with.)
Now my street kit consists of the X100V, an X-Pro3 with the 35mm f/2 on it, and the WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens. I can easily pop that on if I find myself in a situation where I need to go wider.
Street photography perfection, right here:
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