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3 months ago 15

 

 

Almost 6,000 miles, 55 giga-bytes of images, over a hundred locations or photographic spots, all add up to a good test of the New Generation Fuji X PRO 2!  There are tons of reports that go over every feature, and they are numerous and wonderful, but I wanted to give you a photographer’s hands on, extended shoot, evaluation of this wonderful instrument.  First let me apologize to the Nikon F5 film camera, it was rightly called “A Picture Making Machine” and in it’s day, it surely was, today I’m deeming the new X PRO 2, (and it’s associated internal parts), the current “Picture Making Machine!”  When you consider what else is out there on the market that is an unbelievable statement, so let me back it up.

 

Let’s start with the other contenders; the Nikon D810, the Canon EOS 5DS, and the Sony Alpha a 7RII.  Why these three?  Medium format is out of the reach of most photographers, ($$$), While the Panasonic and Olympus make some wonderful cameras and lenses, the 4/3rd sensor limits ultimate quality, especially at high ISO. To service all our needs, an APS-C or full 35mm size sensor is needed.  These three cameras are supported with a full range of optics (except for Sony – which is slowly getting up to speed on lenses, not there yet.)  All of these are well made, with excellent sensors and of very high resolution catagory.  So the battle is set.

 

The single most important factor, (for me), in any camera is IMAGE QUALITY.  Image Quality is the combination of color quality, sharpness, gradation, and the lack of objectionable noise at higher ISO settings. Fort he record the new X-Trans CMOS sensor in the X PRO 2 is great our to 6400 and beyond!

 

 

The image above is my evidence of why the X PRO 2 stands out against the competition.  The image above at a motorcycle museum is shot at ISO 800 even at a higher ISO, the gradation on the red fender is amazing!  Gradation is tone to tone smoothness, in the words the red fender has the feel of the tonal texture (smoothness).  This is a factor that in high enough resolution shows minute changes in tone.  In detail, noise, gradation and color quality (admittedly this one is an individual thing, I love Fuji color).  I declare the X PRO 2 the winner.  (o.k. you got me, I did not shoot this scene side by side with all four.)  I am very aware of the quality of all these cameras, and I know that the X PRO 2  does not take a back seat to any of them in these qualities, so why is it the winner?  For me two things;  1. the color quality (remember that Fuji offers a bewildering choice of film simulations that are very handy, including Acros monochrome with several different filters, add to that you can, in jpeg, shoot any three every push of the shutter release. ), and 2.  Price;  Sony $3,198. Nikon $2,796., Canon $3,599.  to the Fuji X PRO 2′s  $1,698.  in other words you could buy a pair of the X PRO 2 bodies for the price of one of the others!  Twice the reliability!!!!!  Seriously, a second body is a back up!!!!

 

 

Had to show this image, just sells my color prejudice or Fuji X cameras!  Factor two; Lenses.  Nikon and Canon have a very large selection of pro quality glass with some very specialized lenses.  If you need those highly specialized lenses and are willing to carry large full frame capable lenses then Canon or Nikon might win the battle for you.  Sony is woefully behind the parade on the number and types of lenses available at this time.  Fuji has a secret weapon, not only are there lenses a very complete set of the 95% most used focal lengths and zooms, but there quality is second to none.  The Fuji lenses are mostly solid metal construction, smaller and lighter and faster than almost any competing lens for Nikon and Canon or Sony.  They also feature the most effective Optical Image Stabilization of any brand, hand down.  The image below was shot by a shaky 70 year old man, hand held at 1/60th of a second, it Fuji’s new 100-400 f 4.5-5.6 zoom @ 400 (600mm equivalent!!!!)

 

 

Enough said!

 

Next we need to look at functionality in the shooting situation.  For many years we all shot DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras.  With a  DSLR you look through a prism to a mirror and through the lens, seeing exactly what the sensor will see, but not what the final image will look like.  A DSLR does not take into account any user settings, like white balance, color quality, sharpening or exposure compensation , unless you are using the back camera’s LCD which is a video image.  The view through the eye level viewfinder in a mirror less camera is alway a video image that shows all the above information about the final image, in other words what you see is “truly” what  you get, and I find this trumps all the other except Sony which is mirrorless as well.  Another very important fact is mirrorless cameras allow the viewing of real time depth of field in a viewfinder that does not darken, as you stop down the aperture you simply see the increasing depth!!!!  Winner Fuji and Sony!

 

Another factor favoring the mirror less cameras is that the video image is still clear to see in low light conditions.  The video image is amplified making composing easier as in the image above at pre dawn. Advantage Fuji & Sony.

 

 

 

The two images above illustrate more than all the statistics why I love the Fuji X System, it is a shooter’s camera, it feels right in the hands, substantial but not too big and heavy, the lenses are tack sharp, the OIS works almost magically allowing an old man to go back to and hand held shooting for the first time in decades.  The Acros monochrome (above is stunningly beautiful) and Nikon, Canon and Sony have nothing that can touch it or create the rich color of Velvia film simulation!  It costs less, Fuji offers more affordable, incredibly sharp fast single focal length and zoom lenses!  The new 100-400 (equiv. to a 150-600) is take tack sharp and has magical OIS and is under two grand!!!!

 

If all this were not enough, the X-T2 will surely come later this year with all this magic for and more for those that prefers a DSLR style body with all the advantages of mirror less.

 

Fuji has brought us the best of all worlds in this ground breaking, “Picture Making Machine!!”

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

Now I need to go back to the pool, hot tub and my bride!!!!!!

 

 

 

3 months, 1 week ago 8

 

 

Hello my friends, i just pulled into Nashville tonight, after 18 days on the road covering 5,896 miles!!!!  I’m ready for a rest!  Great people, great workshops, wonderful photography, great fellowship, and I love the X PRO 2!!!!!  I fly to Florida tomorrow to join my wife for week of rest and recovery!  I promise to get back on and blog some after I recover!  Give me couple of days!

 

Thanks for tagging along this journey!!!!!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

3 months, 1 week ago 33

 

 

I witnessed something this morning at North Window in Arches N.P. that is becoming all to common!  My group was across the opening North Window ready for what promised to be a fabulous sunrise, when a bus load of Japanese tourists unloaded and stood in the open arch during the sun rise!  At dinner last night I saw a friend who shared an iPhone image of the 40 + people at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands that morning.  It is becoming a common issue, once desolate lonely places where we could make landscape images, now jammed with people. Don’t get me wrong, people have a right to be there, it’s just sad to see an era end when these places were quieter and more accessible, with less folks.

 

So what is the solution?  For me, I am going to start researching some less visited, but equally beautiful places to take my groups.  On the way to Moab, Jim and Sue Haverstock, Tom and Maryanne Cherry Gaffuri and I spent a day and morning in Capital Reef N.P. and at Goblin Valley State Park, both unique and beautiful and we saw very few people!!!!!  10 of us had a great trip down Route 66, never experiencing crowds.  My 2017 schedule will reflect this changing trend.  I will still go to some of my favorite parks in my favorite times, like the Smokies in Spring and Acadia in the fall, Americana locations like Old Car City, Shaker Village and Roanoke, VA, but I think I will start to look at either better times or not returning to some hot spots when the crowds arrive.  In the past, mid March was safe for Arches, not so today!

 

The advent of GoPros and iPhones has made everyone a photographer and we must get used to the fact that we are not a lonely group of wanderers anymore…..

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

Join Jack and I in the Smokies, April 14-17, for one of our great Fuji Workshops, back to a quieter calmer place of beauty!!!!

3 months, 1 week ago 8

 

 

We got into the field today!  This morning at Dead Horse Point State Park, this evening at Balanced Rock!  Long days, short night!  Here is a few from today!

 

 

My gang at Balanced Rock!

 

One last shot, the 100-400 continues to amaze! 1/6oth of a second, @ 600mm and hand held!!!!!

 

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim