Confessions from a camera addict, part I

Confessions from a camera addict, part I

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.

Sony Nex-7, Sigma 30mm f2.8
Sony Nex-7, Sony 16mm f2.8
Sony Nex-7, Sigma 30mm f2.8
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.

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.

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.

Fuji X Pro1 with 35mm f1.4 wide open
Fuji X Pro1 with 35mm 1.4 wide open
Fuji X Pro1 with 35mm 1.4 f1.4 wide open
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 thoughts on “Confessions from a camera addict, part I

  1. Terry

    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).

  2. mike.kobal Post author

    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

  3. Alberto

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

  4. mike.kobal Post author

    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

  5. Wingpea

    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

  6. carbish

    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.

  7. Bob Krist

    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.

  8. mike.kobal Post author

    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

  9. mike.kobal Post author

    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.

  10. Dirk B

    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.

  11. mike.kobal Post author

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

  12. ric

    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.

  13. Eric Schneider

    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.

  14. Armanius

    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. :)

  15. mike.kobal Post author

    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

  16. Juxtaposition

    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.

  17. Martin

    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 (

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>