The New Fuji: Early Days

When I attempted my first and only “official” camera review in 2014, I discovered I was more interested in the implications of one’s inexperience with a system than I was in any technical specifications. So if you’re in mood for the latter, I refer you to the excellent FujiVsFuji. As far as this review goes, most can be left unsaid. The pictures really do tell all—and even they are bound to evolve along with my mastery of the equipment. After all, I’m still getting used to the controls and testing my agility with the autofocus and its manual better half (my main challenge, either way, for which I blame both second-rate eyesight and iffy motor coordination). The question isn’t really if my bokeh is dazzling enough, or if the sharpness can julienne a diamond: it’s whether I’ve found a tool for capturing the scenes I need to capture to tell the stories I want to tell. So far, things look promising.

The switch I’m making is from both the maddeningly viewfinder-free 2010 Leica X1 and the superb Canon L 200mm f/2.8 (perversely mounted on the paltry 8MP Digital Rebel XT from 2005). My expectations are high, but the bar isn’t: I’m already enthralled, and I haven’t even played with all of the basic functions. My pulse-quickening kit includes the 14mm f/2.8, the 23mm f/1.4 and the 56mm f/1.2 Fujinon prime lenses (equivalents of the 21, 35 and 85 focal lengths in classic 35mm format), along with the X-T20 mirrorless body, which is almost too small, but in fact fits my hands perfectly and was worth every minute of the long wait for supply to catch up with demand. In time I may add the 90mm f/2 or the ultralight 27mm f/2.8 (or both), but for the moment I’m content with the options I’ve got, and delighted to find myself rediscovering the possibilities of photography. Because what are megapixels without the inspiration to match?

Or test shots with a new camera—what good are those if they don’t reveal something new about the person behind the lens?