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Confessions of a Fuji cheater

Discussion in 'General X Camera Forum' started by Voxford, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Voxford

    Voxford Member

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    I have a confession to make: I cheated on Fuji. I don't feel good about it. It's left me confused.

    Let me explain. I have a Fuji XE-2 and a few lenses -- kit, 35mm, 55-200, 27mm, 12mm Rokinon -- along with an X100T. My photos are ...okay. There's a keeper every now and then, but seldom do I get something stunning of the sort I see here. I accept that the shortcoming is mine. I don't use the cameras to their full potential. And I have a tendency to throw equipment at problems -- a new lens will help! -- rather than drill down and get adept at the basics.

    A while back, I handled a Sony A7 at Best Buy. It had a nice, fast Zeiss lens on it that was chock full of bokeh. I'd always worried that I was missing something by not having a full-frame camera. When the A7 kit went on sale at B&H for $998 I bought one, figuring I'd get rid of my Fuji stuff. But I never really clicked with the Sony. The kit lens was mediocre and the menu system counterintuitive. I'm sure I could familiarize myself with the controls, as I did with the Fuji. But I decided I just preferred the X system's arrangement and feel. And the best Sony glass is expensive. So I'm going to sell the Sony.

    That still leaves me feeling that I'm not getting the most out of Fuji. I went with it because I liked the smaller footprint and the retro look. I didn't want to be that guy hoisting a huge, clattering DSLR.

    Anyway, I'm going to Yosemite at the end of the month. I'm going to bring the XE-2, along with the 18-55, 55-200 and 12mm. I'm leaving the X100T at home so I can pack a Rolleiflex TLR for fun. My great fear is that I'll return with some meh pictures. I hope I'm adult enough to accept that that will be my fault, not the camera's.

    I am curious about the full-frame world, but I think maybe I'd be better off upgrading to an X-body with a more advanced sensor. And learning to be a better photographer.

    Thanks for letting me vent. And if anyone has any suggestions for Yosemite in late March, I'd be happy to hear them.
     
  2. pandoraefretum

    pandoraefretum Premium Member

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    Fuji have such amazing primes ; you need to get the 16, 56, or the 23 even the 14... they will persuade you that you're on the right road:
    Get one of these and do something exciting ; shoot landscape / portraits at F/1.4 in Black and White. Make some large prints of it... remember something exciting.
    The XE2 is perfectly okay.. but I really like the XPro2 as a Camera ; in any case any body that can mount those gorgeous lenses will do.. even the XE1.

    Sometimes it takes us a while to see a good thing... so much on the market to distract us. If you stick with the Fujifilm and focus your efforts you will be amply rewarded,
    The sensor size is not a big limitation. Good luck, and don't feel bad.. we've all cheated over some brand or other at some stage of life.
     
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  3. YogiMik

    YogiMik Premium Member

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    I'd suggest X-Trans III camera for landscape, and no zooms. IQ from zooms are mediocre. XF 50-140/2.8 is a fantastic zoom, but not for landscape. Even considering Fuji kit zooms are far better than competition . . but, still . . . get yourself the best primes, like 16, 23, 35mm F1.4. They are not landscape lenses, but they can be used. Sometimes you'll get CA. If you like ultra wide, then Zeiss Touit 12/2.8 is fantastic. For longer FL, like 50mm I'd suggest amazing Zeiss Plannar T 50/2 ZM manual focus lens, or more expensive and slightly better Zeiss Distagon 50/1.4 ZM. They are fantastic for landscape. I do not recommend Fuji's XF 56/1.2 for landscape, as it doesn't render colors as good as Zeiss, and it's bad with harsh contrasts (sunsets?). It is a portrait lens suitable best for studio light controlled environment. Or, when the natural light is right for the lens. XF 90/2 is also a portrait lens. Colors are boring, but you can get great bokeh.
    Honestly, the best lenses for landscape photography are Zeiss. Unfortunately, we do not have that choice for Fuji X.
    Zeiss Touit 32/1.8 is probably the worst lens Zeiss have ever made. We do not have 16 & 23mm Zeiss for Fuji. Zeiss Touit 50/2.8 is a macro lens.
    If you want Zeiss lenses, you'd be better of Sony A7II, or A7III with manual focus lenses. They are small, light, affordable, and fun to use with focus aid on A7.
    AF lenses are huge and heavy . . . and expensive. Prone to electronic fail after a few years of use. If you ad to them WR, that ads even more of the bulk, and price, and failure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  4. kenbennett

    kenbennett Premium Member

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    You may safely ignore the siren call of full frame. Seriously. I do this for a living, 30+ years now, started when 35mm film ("full frame") was the smallest thing one could shoot, had several complete medium format systems and a great 4x5 field camera. Switched to digital with the Canon D30 and then the 1D in 2001. I have several full frame Canons available at work, along with my own complete Fuji system, which I use for about 95% of my assignments.

    I work with an amazing group of graphic designers, who use my photos at all sizes in print, and I have never, not once, had any of them come to me and say, "Gee, Ken, this file isn't good enough, you shot it with a crop sensor camera." The largest image they made was 10x42 *feet* from a multi-frame stitched pano shot with the XT1 and the kit lens 18-55. The Please login or register to view links. I've had great results from the 55-200, too.

    So I realize this little pep talk has its downside - after all, if the camera doesn't matter..... :) And I know how hard it is to get past the "if I only had a better camera/lens/filter" thing. I do that with music, always looking for a better guitar when the reality is that it'll take years for me to outgrow the one I have now. But if you can get past that, and start thinking about the content and composition of your images, watching the light, the "moment," and looking for when it all comes together, you'll start to see better photos. Good luck and I hope you have a great trip to Yosemite.
     
  5. Frank Weiser

    Frank Weiser Premium Member

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    I have the Zeiss 50mm F2.8 macro. What are your thoughts on this lens vs. say the Distagon 50/1.4ZM for landscape? I find diffraction sets in early on the Macro lens at about F4. So most of my pics are shot at F3.6 and below. F5.6 and F8 are fine when shooting macro but landscape they become too muddy.
     
  6. starlights

    starlights Premium Member

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    The power to make great images is already in your hands - your camera and a couple of great travel lenses with a UVA (12mm) to boot. I suggest that at this time you should (as you rightly pointed out yourself), invest in yourself to learn the basics and not in accumulating more gear (lenses). Once you start to get a hang of proper exposure and composition you will realize that the equipment that you have is amazing for any type of photography that you can throw at it.

    My suggestion is to get yourself a couple of good books that teach composition and exposure, preferably related to landscape photography (browse through a couple of Ansel Adam's books at your local library). You should work towards developing a sense of "photographic seeing" (A highly recommended book is "A photographer's eye" or something like that - check Amazon).

    Furthermore, set reasonable expectations of yourself. End of the month is not very far and you won't transform into an ace landscape photographer, but you can definitely be a lot better than what you consider yourself to be now. A little success will do wonders to bolster your motivation.

    Finally, I suggest you take your X100T - its a very capable camera and will be handy when you want to travel light. Good luck and have fun!
     
  7. YogiMik

    YogiMik Premium Member

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    Distagon blows Touit out of water in landscape, and general photography. The same goes to Plannar. Plannar is much cheaper than Distagon, and almost as good. Just one stop slower. Touit macro is as it says . . is a macro lens, and that's all. Not much useful for anything else. There is another very interesting piece of glass . . . Zeiss C Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM. This lens is many lenses in one, b/c it behaves differently at different apertures. Takes a long time to master it. It's not razor sharp like the other ones, but it has a nice rounded sharpness, analog like look. Some people shoot only with this lens, and no other . . . on Leica FF camera of course. But, it fares on Fuji sensor pretty well, too. Just longer FL on crop sensor. I think, if Leica will make a camera of my liking, I'd buy it just only for this C Sonnar ZM lens. So far . . . for me digital Leica is still not there, yet. But, the next iteration of Leica M might be. For me, it needs to have better DR sensor, and hybrid OVF/EVF with excellent magnification, and great aid for manual focus of all lenses, not just Leica lens only.
     
  8. Frank Weiser

    Frank Weiser Premium Member

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    Thank you for your Zeiss information and experience. I agree. I think I'll keep the Zeiss Touit for macro and portraits only. I use my Fuji 14mm F2.8 for landscape anyway. My Fuji 35 1.4 is one lens however that seems to do everything well.
     
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  9. cug

    cug Premium Member

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    Take whatever you have and have fun with it. I have amazing photos of Yosemite landscapes that I absolutely love from crappy compact cameras and 6 mega pixel DSLRs from the early 2000s. Get over the gear issue.
     
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  10. Solsdad

    Solsdad Active Member

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    You wanted a Full Frame for chock full of bokeh and got yourself a kit lens... Why don't you get 56mm or 90mm instead of a new system? AFAIK the only two advantages from Full Frame are 1. paper thin DOF, which I think 56mm and 90mm are offering more than enough for amateurs like you and me, 2. low light performance, which again I find Fuji is nothing short of. Other than those, there is nothing else positive you can find Full Frame offers that Fuji can not. That's why I am shooting Fuji.
     
  11. Tim Sewell

    Tim Sewell Premium Member

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    Look at stuff. See how the light falls on it. If it looks nice, take a photograph of it. It really is the only way to improve.
     
  12. Woodworth

    Woodworth Premium Member

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    There may be something alluring about those Zeiss full frame lenses for the Sony FE cameras but I still prefer Fuji overall.
     
  13. jamie allan

    jamie allan Premium Member

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    I may be wrong but from your post (without seeing any examples of your images or your critique of them) it sounds as if your disappointment is more to do with the artistic side of photography than the technical side. I'd certainly say the equipment you already have is more than sufficient and good enough for most of us who don't make a living out of photography. I'd agree with @starlights above and maybe get a couple of good books on the aspects of photography you are most interested in. I'd also agree with @cug and @Tim Sewell and just have fun and don't over complicate things. I'd love to see Yosemite and I think that you've got the right gear to capture it's treasures. The 12mm for astrophotography in such a wide expanse would be something I'd love to try. Are you taking a tripod?

    I'd also agree with @starlights that taking the X100T allows you to easily carry a camera with you everywhere.

    Whatever you decide to take enjoy your trip and take plenty of photographs.
     
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  14. Frank Weiser

    Frank Weiser Premium Member

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    Exactly why I own the Fuji 90mm.
     
  15. YogiMik

    YogiMik Premium Member

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    Isn't Zeiss Touit macro too sharp & contrast for potrait?
     
  16. Voxford

    Voxford Member

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    Thank you for the words of advice and encouragement. I'll keep them in mind as I freeze my fingertips in the late-winter High Sierra wind.
     
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  17. username

    username Premium Member

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    I think you should only take the X100T to Yosemite. You'll force yourself to learn how to adapt. It'll be easier with fewer choices. Otherwise, you'll be constantly wondering if you've got the right lens unless, of course, you only take one lens.
     
  18. Tim Sewell

    Tim Sewell Premium Member

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    Spot on. Until my recent reacquaintance with film photography I'd forgotten just how much limitations can stimulate one's creativity.
     
  19. Frank Weiser

    Frank Weiser Premium Member

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    It's not as creamy bokeh as my Fuji 90mm but I quite like it.

    Please login or register to view links by Please login or register to view links, on Flickr
     
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  20. YogiMik

    YogiMik Premium Member

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    That means, you can only get what you can, but not much of what you want. It is good sometimes, but not all the time.
    I never get problem with creative side. But, I'm very lazy to change lens. So, I usually shoot all day long with my the most fave lens, or the chosen one, while a few primes in my bag don't get used at all, or very seldom, when it's really worth of effort to change lens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018

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