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Taking my first photographic step into the digital age with X-Pro1 - Advice Please
Old 01-03-2017   #1
Bhpeck
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Taking my first photographic step into the digital age with X-Pro1 - Advice Please

Hello,
this is my first post here, although I am a frequent visitor of this site. (Rangefinder Forum is a popular tab on my gov't computer at work )

Just a short 3 years back I took the hard fall, head over heels, for analog photography. Which was perhaps strange for me, because my love didn't start with digital. I have been developing b&w films myself and making good ol' fashioned darkroom prints as often as I can (which hasn't been much lately). I have amassed a large assortment of film gear. Mainly old manual stuff, in 35mm, 120mm and 4x5 formats. A lot of thrift store cheapo to mid range stuff but some real good stuff to; Nikon FM2, F3, Leica M3, Crown Graphic's in 2x3 & 4x5, Yashicamat 124G, Etc.

it doesn't matter what I do, I just cant seem to have enough b&w film around or the will power to keep up with the develop-scan-print routine. I cant help but find myself desiring something a little easier... and the ability to shoot in low light, post the images the same day, shoot my buddies concert, just all around make images with out adding to the pile of undeveloped film....

That being said, here I am wanting to buy the Xpro1. I have chosen that model based on extensive reading on this site and others. Manual controls + classic styling are a must. I know what to expect as far as autofocus, etc. Money is a factor as well, but if it wasn't, I would probably just buy the xpro2.

I want to give digital a chance, and in order to do so want to start off right. I will probably be ordering a used body from a shop with a guarantee the next couple of days, along with an adapter for Nikon f lenses. It will be another couple of weeks before I have the money for a native lens, so It will be that long before I can test that the body functions properly with Fuji glass.

I am thinking of starting with the Fuji XF 18mm/f2

with an F adapter I will have 24mm/2.8 ais and 50mm 1.4ais.
that should cover a good range of focal lengths to get started (still no 35mm - 50mm equiv. though).

What accessories should I consider?
Spare batteries and charger?

It seems many people use a grip on their xpro, either thumbs up or one with a handle. what is the benefit of one style over the other?
could you suggest a model and brand for one of these?

also, what are peoples thoughts on the cheap Nikon F to Fuji adapters from cheap brands like Fotasy on amazon?

I would like the best value, not necessarily the cheapest. I would appreciate any feedback and recommendations, as well as your experience with the system.

Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2017   #2
Bille
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Welcome to RFF. I can't speak for Fuji but if you have Nikon lenses around why not get a used D700 with warranty?
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Old 01-04-2017   #3
adamjbonn
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Hi,

I can't really comment on using adapted lenses, as it's something I seldom do... but I suspect if you're planning to shoot 'legacy' glass a lot on the Fuji, then don't buy the cheapest one around.

A couple of spare batteries is highly recommended, there's 2 schools of thought

Don't take a chance with an aftermarket product and only buy OEM Fuji batteries

And

Aftermarket batteries are fine, save some money

People can get a bit evangelical about that...

For what's it worth, I've gone for the latter and not had a problem, others haven't

Aftermarket batteries vary in brand country to country. I bought mine in the UK and they are branded Ex-Pro 'white' series

At the risk of shameless self promotion... my website has a ton of info about setting up the fuji x-pro1 (and 2) there's a thread here on this forum from another member thanking the site for its helpfulness

So perhaps it's worth you having a read?

I think the best advice I can offer at this stage would be to get the camera, see how you get on with it, then ask specific questions about any areas that you've not comfortable with.

If you're a BW fan and a film body shooter, then IMO you could do a lot worse than setting a BW jpeg profile, enabling the histogram for exposure confirmation, setting ISO to the Fn button, enabling focusing peaking in manual focusing mode and controlling exposure (& focus) manually

I use both the accessory grip and the thumbgrip on mine. But my right hand is a bit funny after a motocycle accident 20-odd years ago and I need all the help I can get!

The 3rd party grips are ok, you MIGHT need to dig out a needle file and make an adjustment here or there

For the thumbgrip, I use the matchtechnical one, it's not cheap (although I got mine secondhand for a good price) but it's well made and has additional support build into the design to prevent unnecessary load being placed on to the hot shoe.

Personally I'd avoid cheap versions of these

If I could only have one of the 2 grips, then I'm not sure which... perhaps the thumbgrip, as it's the little finger of my hand that doesn't work quite right, so I tend to compensate with the top part of my hand.

But I can't stress enough, my ergonomic requirements are very much non standard, so I shouldn't be making any suggestions on that score!

Re the camera itself, all cameras can have problems, but the only known flaw in the early fuji X cameras is that fuji didn't fit hardened inserts to the strap lugs, and also provided triangular clips that were to acute - this leads to premature wear in the strap lugs, (ie the round holes become elongated) so check this before purchase if you can.

A work a round is too swap to round strap clips (like the ones from a key ring) but this needs to be done before the lugs have severely worn. Fuji do have an updated top plate with the same bushed lugs as the newer bodies, but (in the UK at least) is only available as a warranty (or presumably paid for) repair

Hope the above is helpful? Any follow on questions please don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 01-04-2017   #4
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The x-pro1 is a superb camera.

Things you MUST do:

1. Ensure the firmware is the current one.

2. Turn High performance AF mode ON in the menu.

3. Turn 'corrected AF frame' ON in the menu (without this, theres no way to accurately focus in the OVF without zooming in.

My personal notes - adapted lenses on a crop body means the lenses aren't going to be performing at their best. If you can afford, try and snag a 35mm f2 or f1.4 second hand - both are superb.

A good thumb grip improves the handling quite a bit.
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Old 01-04-2017   #5
Dogman
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My suggestions:

Be patient. Becoming familiar with a new digital camera can be frustrating.

Read the manual and some of the secondary books dedicated to using the camera. It will take a while to understand some of the features and the reference language.

Buy extra batteries, as stated above. I've had good luck with Wasabi and Watson aftermarket batteries but I feel more comfortable with Fuji's own.

Buy an extra battery charger. A cheap travel model with a folding plug works fine and is actually handier than the OEM Fuji. I've used the Wasabi brand a lot and it functions perfectly. It came with two batteries as a plus.

To improve the handling of the camera about 200%, get a thumb grip. I prefer the Lensmate brand--expensive but the fit is better than the cheap models and the newest model (for the XP2) is hinged to allow better access to the shutter speed dial. A thumb grip will prevent you from pushing buttons and turning dials with your right thumb, something that's particularly easy to do and highly frustrating with the XP1.

I've only used Fuji lenses, so I can't comment on adapting other lenses to the bodies. I can state that every single Fuji lens I own is outstanding. Those include the 14/2.8, 18/2, 23/1.4, 27/2.8, 35/2, 35/1.4 and 60/2.4 lenses. Of these, the most outstanding are the 14/2.8, 23/1.4 and 35/1.4.

Have fun. Don't expect blazing fast AF with the XP1 but, otherwise, it's still a highly capable camera.
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Old 01-04-2017   #6
willie_901
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Having owned a X-Pro1, 1 I concur with the advice above.

I would have three batteries.

I have owned four five Fujifilm X bodies. I ended up buying only OEM batteries. If you go for third-party batteries don't buy the least expensive you can find. I had one very inexpensive battery swell up. More expensive third-party batteries work fine. I also bought a Watson charging unit. I was doing gigs regularly and often needed to charge multiple batteries.

I don't see a need for a grip. With 3D printing becoming common place there is probably a small,but ergonomically helpful grip. I use one for my X-100T. But for me. the X-Pro1 is just large enough. I never tried a thumb grip.

You may need a diopter. The screw-on threads are standard so Nikon/Cosina diopters are readily available.

The 18/2 is a great place to start. The AF is reasonably fast. I think it is a great reportage lens. If you decide to get more Fujinon lenses, get the 23/2 and 35/2 versions. While the main AF limitations are related to the older in-camera CPU, the newer lens' motor technology does help.

I always used raw files and never exceed ISO 1600. The X-Pro1 is reasonably ISO invariant up to ISO 1600 and completely ISO invariant above 1600. So there is no disadvantage pushing raw files exposed at lower ISOs up to three stops during post-production rendering. With careful exposure un-cropped color work is often practical up to IS0 1600. Of course, using raw I always had DR set to 100 (off). In very low light I rendered everything as B&W.

I used back-button AF instead of a shutter half press. Unlike newer X Series bodies, the AF focus-region box size can make a have a significant impact on AF. The main issues are: the AF can focus on unintended objects with higher contrast behind your intended focus region and speed/hunting.

I typically used the OVF. It took a while for me to adapt to focus peaking. It was confusing at first because objects within the DOF will 'peak' and 'peaking' is also a function of object contrast. With practice, before long my in-focus keeper rate was at least as high as I achieved with a Zeiss Ikon M film body.

I disabled as much automation as possible. Though I often auto bracketed exposures by 1/3 or 1/2 stops and later used the raw file with the optimum exposure (blew unimportant highlights yet retained required highlights).
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Old 01-04-2017   #7
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Bhpeck, I have to say you will enjoy this camera once you use the advice given by the above experienced users. I went for (2) lenses, as I have never seen such quality out there. The 14 2.8 and the 23 1.4. I decided on the XE2s for one lens, and waited for the XPro2 a while so I could start using the other. The lenses never come off the bodies, as I have this personal phobia about changing lens and sensor dust.
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Old 01-04-2017   #8
narsuitus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhpeck View Post
Taking my first photographic step into the digital age with X-Pro1 - Advice Please
I have a long history of shooting and developing 35mm small format, 120 medium format, and 4x5 inch large format film. I primarily shot 35mm Nikon SLRs and 35mm Leica rangefinders. When I went digital, I selected a digital Nikon SLR that could use my Nikon lenses. When I went digital, I selected a Fuji X-Pro1 that was similar in style and performance to my rangefinders.

One feature that I really like about my X-Pro1 is that I can use adapters that allow me to use all my Nikon and Leica lenses on my X-Pro1. I stopped using low-cost adapters from China after I had a bad experience with one. I now only buy higher quality adapters like FotoDiox.
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Old 01-04-2017   #9
rybolt
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I have both the X Pro 1 and XT1 cameras. Over the past six months I've found myself using manual focus adapted lenses far more than the superb Zeiss and Fuji AF lenses. However, if you have anything short of excellent vision you may find accurate manual focus to be difficult on the X Pro 1. I had to go to the XT1 in order to easily focus the manual lenses. I prefer the form of the X Pro 1 but the lower quality EVF made it impossible for me to use successfully.
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Old 01-04-2017   #10
danielsterno
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Hi- good luck with your digital journey. Unless I missed it, why not XPro2z/ if not new, maybe try to hold out for a used body? I know I just saw one here recently for approx $1200., do not know if it was in good condition or not. Keep an eye out on used at B&H if you want a backing of a camera store, here is a link to their used fuji's: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/searc...538+4291439075 check back daily, there are not any XP1's BUT a few XT1's being people probably upgraded to the XT2.... BTW Ive never bought a new camera or lens. My one and only digital-X100 was bought used from bergen county camera, They have a XP1 now for $399., in E+ condition, better move quick, someone here will snag it!: http://bergencountycamera.com/banner...y-usedlist.pdf
Good luck to you..... Daniel.
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Old 01-04-2017   #11
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Bought my X Pro 1 in June of 2012 and have loved it since, warts and all.

Firmware updates are a must.

Other than that, shoot it as you would an analog camera once you get things set up the way you want. I also come from a film background and having the classic camera experience is much more enjoyable to me than having to look at a screen to see what's what.

With respect to adapters, I have yet to have a bum adapter. I buy from seller rainbowimaging (no affiliation, for the record) and their stuff is good.

With no rangefinder or ground glass focus screen, manual focus can be a bit tough to come to grips with. However, I've shot primarily adapted glass on my various Fujis for years and, with the ability to zoom to check focus, it's second nature.

If there's an Achilles heel with the XP1 it's the EVF. In low light it gets choppy and muddy. If you can work around that/live with it, you'll enjoy owning and shooting with that camera.

I held a friend's XP2 the other day and was impressed. Not so impressed as to need to upgrade, but the thought did occur to me. If you can muster the funds for the XP2, it's a much more mature camera and a more complete experience.
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Old 01-05-2017   #12
Bhpeck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bille View Post
Welcome to RFF. I can't speak for Fuji but if you have Nikon lenses around why not get a used D700 with warranty?
Thanks for the question, my answer is price, and form. I love the physical shutter speed dial and exp. compensation wheel, more compact size, etc. I don't turn up my nose at DSLR's but to me the Fuji just seems right for me.
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Old 01-05-2017   #13
Bhpeck
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Thank you EVERYONE for your input!
I ordered yesterday:
Fuji X-pro1 in bargain condition w/ manual from KEH $375 Shipped to my office
Lensmate Folding thumb grip (also fits x-pro2 if I decide to upgrade) $60
Watson Battery $20 (may or may not be better than the wasabi's many say it is. - I read to many scary reviews)
Sandisk Extreme Pro 64gb SD Card (good reviews / specs.) $35
Fotodiox Nikon F - Fuji XF (not the cheapest but still cheap) $30

total of $525 + some more for shipping - the most I have ever spent on a camera, but also the newest I will own by some 15 years (IPhone excluded!)

I know that's really a bargain for all this especially considering the cost of the Fuji just a couple of years ago! I just need some Fuji lenses now...
and those will come, just a few more camera sales away.

I will be returning to this thread to re read many of the suggestions you guys have given.

AdamjBonn - Thanks for your input! I have been over at your site a few times. some really good stuff I am eager to return to with the camera in my hands.

thanks again all for your help.
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