Heading Back to Fuji

Mar 14, 2021
Photo credit Alik Griffin

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).

Meanwhile in Key West...Miami Tower

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.

leica wide gear

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.