photo | blog

Mike Kobal

May 16, 2012

Confessions from a camera addict, part I

Filed under: City Life,Gear Reviews,Portrait Photography,Street Photography — mike.kobal @ 9:46 am

xpro1_str_05152012_7363
Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture, Midtown, Manhattan, Fuji X Pro1 with 35mm 1.4

When I first laid my eyes on her, I stared as a starving man would have gazed at a bowl of rice. She was beyond beautiful, wearing all black. 24mp APSC sensor and full manual video control. The best EVF I had ever seen. The inevitable had to happen, I pulled my credit card and ordered one. There were problems. Thailand floods. Sleepless nights. Back order status updates. But when she finally arrived, everything was perfect. More after the break

Almost. I was willing to take risks with this stunning beauty, she was accustomed to having a powerful effect on man and women. I took her everywhere, even gaffa taped her for protection. Photographers looked thunderstruck as they recognized the Tri Navi controls. Certain men and women approached and asked for permission to touch her. She was everything I ever wished for.

nx7_str_04302012_5079
Sony Nex-7, Sigma 30mm f2.8
nx7_str_05042012b_5412
Sony Nex-7, Sony 16mm f2.8
nx7_str_05072012_6177
Sony Nex-7, Sigma 30mm f2.8
nx7_str_05102012_6468
Sony Nex 7 with 18-55 kit lens

Until I laid my eyes on her. “Perfection” I said quietly to myself, is not everything. I once had a dream about the ideal street companion. And there she was, right in front of my eyes. I had to blink and look away. And when I dared to look at her again she looked even more beautiful then I remembered. Exquisitely shaped body, and the 35mm 1.4 wasn’t too shabby either.

Mike_Kobal_Fuji_X_Pro1
Fuji X Pro1 with 35mm 1.4

Destroying perfection with beauty and passion. I pulled my credit card and ordered one. There were problems, real problems this time, like auto focus, aperture chatter and no proper raw support. Sleepless nights, again. Nightmares. One morning after coffee, I have had enough and sent her back, just like that. Peace, at last. No more nightmares. But it was not the end as I had hoped.

xpro1_str_05142012_7299
Fuji X Pro1 with 35mm 1.4

I missed her and recalled the images we had produced together. Stunning files. One morning after coffee, I pulled out my credit card and placed another order. When UPS rang my bell a couple of days later I didn’t recall putting one foot in front of the other as I rushed to the door.

xpro1_str_05142012_7292
Fuji X Pro1 with 35mm f1.4 wide open
xpro1_str_05142012_7273
Fuji X Pro1 with 35mm 1.4 wide open
xpro1_str_05152012_7330
Fuji X Pro1 with 35mm 1.4 f1.4 wide open
xpro1_str_05152012_7323
Fuji X Pro1 with 35mm 1.4 wide open


If you find this article inspiring, please consider helping me maintaining this blog by purchasing your gear through my product links to Adorama and B&H. It will cost you nothing and allows me to keep adding! Or consider making a direct donation using PayPal, thank you!


27 Comments »

  1. Very well written, had some amusing minutes and could really recognize myself in your words. Will be coming back to read some more articles you’ve written. Good looking pictures! I think you finally found the tool you were searching for! The perfect companion…
    Martin (http://www.pholux.com/)

    Comment by Martin — May 18, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

  2. Love the images…BUT, there is a ton of CA in that last image of the flute and musician. The cyan/magenta fringing is very evident. Too bad really.

    Comment by Juxtaposition — May 18, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  3. Thank you very much, Martin! Let’s wait and see how it performs over the next couple of weeks :)

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 18, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  4. Thanks much Juxtaposition, I am shooting jpeg fine and raw and posting jpegs, waiting for ACR support, shouldn’t be a problem to minimize c/m fringing when converting from raw, fwiw, it is not as bad as shooting wide open with the Canon 50mm, color fringing on that lens is really terrible

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 18, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

  5. Great photos and entertaining write up Mike! I feel the same way about the XPro1. I returned it, because of the chatter. I was about to buy another one, when I got a hold of an Olympus OMD. Now that I have the OMD, I miss the XPro1, which has superior IQ. So the XPro1 is coming home soon!

    Oh, and I also had a stint with the NEX7. And she almost came back again. But I resisted. :)

    Comment by Armanius — May 19, 2012 @ 4:00 am

  6. Great post Mike!
    Have been following your trials with the X-Pro, and when you returned it, I thought, “noooo!” that IQ is just too lovely :)
    I was sold on it the second I saw your post on it, and, hopefully will be swinging B and H this week. Would have to say that I think ACR support is coming soon.

    Comment by Eric Schneider — May 19, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

  7. :) true, gotta live with the quirks for now

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 21, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

  8. Today, I sold my X-100. I purchased a NEX-7 just two weeks ago and couldn’t believe the difference between the two cameras. The sony just runs circles around the the fuji, which I loved til I got the sony. Fuji blew it with the terrible implementation of auto and manual focus on this camera. I had hoped that the fuji would provide the same user experience I had with my first camera, an M-3 knockoff. Focus confirmation is imperative and the way fuji went about it, didn’t cut it with me. If you’re going to make a rangefinder style camera, make it with a real rangefinder.
    Add interchangeable lenses and twice the resolution and the sony wins, no contest. I loved the images I made with the fuji, but I don’t need two ‘walking around’ cameras.

    Comment by ric — May 22, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

  9. thanks for swinging by, Ric, I hope your comment will inspire other Xpro1 owners (or ex owners) to share their experience with that cam

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 22, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  10. thank you for swinging by and your comment, Armanius :)

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 22, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

  11. When a Leica M would perform exactly the same as a Fuji X-Pro1, even with lot more quirks, all reviews and forums would be in an extremely positive mood, the best Leica ever. When Sony would release a camera with the same viewfinder as the X-Pro1, even with the same type of manual control (they do nothing else in their video-stuff), everybody would be talking about ‘state of the art’, very refined. When Canon or Nikon would implement a similar lens-concept as the XF-mount on a mirrorless camera, the photography magazines would double in size. Unfortunately we’re only speaking about… Fujifilm. That is it, they are the Rotel-amplifier or the Subaru FWD of the camera-world, nothing more, nothing less. If you can accept the idea that the X-Pro1 is the best mirrorless camera around, maybe over a lot of DSLR’s, have fun, enjoy it, it’s worth all the money you paid for it. If not, please buy a Leica, Sony, Canon or Nikon and enjoy it as well, go outside, take pictures instead of poisoning all forums with silly reactions on the X-Pro1. That’s exactly the love & hate relationship. Creativity comes with the photographer, not the system. What concerns the X-Pro1: it is capable to do everything the other do, maybe here and there a little bit better.

    Comment by Dirk B — May 23, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  12. Hi Dirk, thanks for your comment. Obviously, we have diverging opinions about quirks and qualities in a camera and sharing a few amusing thoughts . FWIW, I am and always was a big fan of Fuji rangefinder cameras and worked with most of them at some point in the past. As you probably know Fuji also built the Hasselblad XPan and was involved building the Hasselblad H1 (sold under the Fuji name in Japan) and Fuji also produced high quality lenses for Hasselblad. I don’t think of it as a Subaru FWD (nice car by the way) and when compared to the Leica M series, which I owned for many years as well and still consider one of the purest (but not very practical) cameras available, flawless, for the most part, except for cost, perhaps the biggest “quirk”, I highly doubt most Leica shooters would be in an extremely positive mood when confronted with the temperamental behavior of the Xpro1. If we would live in a world of slow motion, I could agree with your last sentence, however, at the rate things are moving around here…..I can’t.

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 23, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  13. So what does this mean for you and the NEX-7 ?

    Comment by Josh S — May 23, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

  14. I am definitely keeping the Nex 7, the most versatile compact mirrorless I own, the Fuji is a specialty item and appeals to me since I have a soft spot for rangefinder cameras

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 23, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

  15. Mike: What do you think of the video on the NEX 7? To me, it seems very good in everything but very low light, but I am a still guy and not a video expert.

    Comment by Bob Krist — May 24, 2012 @ 7:38 am

  16. Hey Bob, I just shot a shortfilm with it, as long as there is enough light shooting 1080/24p at 24mbps the quality is quite impressive.

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 24, 2012 @ 8:26 am

  17. A short story more than pleasant to read that left me frustrated note being longer in the end, haha.
    The fuji is such a jewel. Will you try the ring fuji juste released for m glass ?
    In the presse release they talk a bit about the fact that one could use the ovf, but it doesn’t sound easy to me since I don’t really see how one could focus apart from playing with hyperfocal and distance scale.

    Comment by carbish — May 24, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  18. thanks carbish, sure looks very interesting, will try to get my hands on one

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 24, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

  19. If I save up for my next camera and I have a choice between the nex 7 and the fujifilm XPRO (don’t ask it’s my concept!) Which would you recommend to a photographer of 40 years that really loves rangefinders

    Comment by Wingpea — May 27, 2012 @ 8:35 am

  20. go with the XPro1 :) however, keep in mind you will get the best results using the EVF and rear LCD, I use the rangefinder in hyperfocal mode with the 18mm

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 27, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

  21. Funny, my story is exactly the contrary… bought the Fuji… sold it and bought (with peace of mind and happyness) the Nex-7. regards
    Alberto

    Comment by Alberto — May 29, 2012 @ 12:39 am

  22. thanks Alberto ( I still have the Nex 7)

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 29, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

  23. Hum, why dont you use the ovf more .?

    Comment by carbish — May 31, 2012 @ 11:35 am

  24. I use the OVF quite a lot lately, really love it, about 50%, framing is very loose, esp with the 18mm, it only shows about 80% – there is a lot more on “film” then you see and I also find it easier to acquire quicker focus in EVF mode on tricky subjects, the OVF rests at infinity until you half press the shutter, this action then corrects the parallax and also repositions the focus point, which means one has to reposition the camera and refocus, much less of a problem in EVF mode, not a deal breaker, love the camera more and more

    Comment by mike.kobal — May 31, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

  25. Hi Mike –
    Great writing and good work to back it up. I also have now sold my NEX7 and kept the Fuji (my first and only).

    Comment by Terry — May 31, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

  26. Excellent write up Mike :) Cameras can feel like women sometimes (if you-re an addict!) Cheers!

    Comment by Francisco G. — June 19, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

  27. :)

    Comment by mike.kobal — June 20, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress