For a year and a half, I’ve been semi-interested in the Fujifilm X-Pro2. I’d watch Fujifilm’s promotional YouTube videos of photogs moving in slow motion, X-Pro2 in hand, ambient music playing in the background as the voice-over proclaims the X-Pro2 as the instrument connecting personal vision to the infinite…or something equally pretentious. I’d dream my Fuji dreams but in the end, the spell would break and I would realize that owning an X-Pro2 wasn’t a necessity.
That is, until a Saturday Instameet and suddenly I had reasons to get an X-Pro2:
1. Reverse peer pressure
I received an invitation to join a group of very talented Rhode Island and Connecticut Instagram photographers and photo enthusiasts at the Johnathan Edwards Winery near the Connecticut/Rhode Island border. I brought with me my standard Fujifilm X-T1 w/ XF14mm and X-T20 with XF35mm f/1.4 landscape and general-purpose kit.
After I arrived at the winery it became evident what a freak photog I was. Most of the photogs had their black photo backpacks with tripods strapped to the side, while I carried my gear in a small Domke F802 waxwear satchel. Of the 20 photogs, I was the only one shooting Fuji, or even mirrorless for that matter, while everyone else sported their Canons and Nikons. On all those Canons and Nikons were mounted impressive-looking F2.8 zoom lenses, while I used only small primes.
These little gear observations had a strange effect on me. I did not feel gear envy, in fact, I wanted to further separate myself from the other photographers. During the drive home I started thinking about a very different rangefinder form factor and the XPro2.
2. Craigslist and my wife was away
Saturday night after I returned home from the Instameet, I checked Craigslist and found three X-Pro2’s for sale in my area. Since my wife was away on a weekend-long course leaving me at home totally unsupervised there was no one to stop me from contacting the sellers to confirm availability and acceptable price.
Sunday afternoon I drove to Needham Massachusetts, chatted with a fellow Fujiholic at his kitchen table, slid a stack of 20’s across the table, and drove home with his, now my, X-Pro2. I can’t justify paying full price for a new camera, but as the X-Pro2 has been out for a while, there are good values in the used market.
Since my Panasonic GF-1 days to the X-Pro2 today, and every camera in between, I have ignored all the multi-mode, zone, matrix, AI-enhanced, neural-nodal metering and focusing options, and set my cameras to old school spot focus and spot metering. From spot, I either focus/meter and recompose or select my focus/metering point with the D-Pad. All I can say is that after experiencing AF-selection with the X-Pro2’s Joystick, I am now annoyed with my X-T20 due to the absence of a joystick. I would easily trade the X-T20’s touch screen for the X-Pro2’s.
While I mostly use X-Pro2 with the EVF selected, at night or just to take a different perspective, I’ll switch over to the optical viewfinder. The hybrid viewfinder is simply cool whether stylistically from the front of the camera, or behind the camera looking through it and toggling your vision and options.
5. Retro Hipster Cool
Which I am not, but since much of my interest in photography spans back to the analog film days, I can appreciate the design and influences of the X-Pro2. I like the accessibility and positioning of controls under the right thumb and the concentrated top control triangle with the retro combined shutter speed/ISO selector dial and the large exposure compensation dial, which I am often adjusting. I like the discrete lack of labeling. Essentially I like how the X-Pro2 looks, feels and operates and how it inspires me to go out and take pictures.
Here are some images I took around my neighborhood this week using my new X-Pro2 and 18-55 lens:
- Location: Pawtuxet Village, Cranston/Warwick Rhode Island
- ACROS film simulation used for B&W images.
- All .jpg’s were transferred to my Huawei Mate 9 phone and tweaked in Snapseed.
- I bought the soft shutter release pictured in the X-Pro2 glamour shot at the top of the page from Amazon.
- Adding to the retro-hipster cool effect is an inexpensive vented metal lens hood on one of my favorite lenses, the XF27mm f.2.8 pancake.