Shortly before COVID-19 drove the world crazy last year, I had traded in my cameras (including my Fuji X-Pro2) for a Nikon Z7 which I planned to use for some fine art projects. The lockdown put the kibosh on that project and I returned to doing street and travel photos (when and where I could).
Don't get me wrong, the Z7 took excellent images. They were big and bold with a lot of flexibility. The problem was me. The camera did not inspire me to go out and capture images.
Back in 2008, I acquired a lightly used Leica M8. It was my first rangefinder. To this day I regret selling it. I couldn't afford Leica glass so I used Voigtländer lenses and a Zeiss or two. All of them bought second-hand. Over the years, Leica has continued to develop the M series of cameras and their prices have skyrocketed. If I were to acquire one today (even used) it would likely cost me my marriage.
Despite the Leica M's retro goodness, my aging eyes (and my astigmatism) made focusing the M series very difficult for me. Before you ask, I refuse to have eye correction surgery. I know someone that had the procedure done and some blundering fool slapped her on the back while recovering and ruined her eyesight. No thanks.
I got a Fuji X-Pro2 in 2018 and enjoyed it immensely. Then Nikon finally launched their full frame mirrorless systems the following year and I had to try them out. Lesson learned and I am now heading back to familiar territory.
This time, however, I will be eschewing the native Fuji lenses for new ones by Viltrox. The trinity of primes (23mm, 33mm, & 56mm) all in glorious f/1.4 for the cost of one equivalent Fuji lens. Reports I have seen show these lenses to be highly performant often besting their Fuji equivalents in many important categories. I am also going to be investing in a Tiffen Black Pro Mist filter which supposedly gives a more cinematic feel to images. "But you can do that in post" you say. Yes. Yes you can. But I prefer to be shooting photos rather than editing them and if I can get the look I am after in the field, more the better.
Stay tuned to this space for further reports of my experiences with this bit of kit.