Saturday, November 10, 2012

APhotoContributor Author Shares His Fuji XPro-1 Experience. He's Left Leica Digital Behind.

Chris, author at the blog APhotoContributor, has posted a detailed summary of his shift from Leica digital to the Fuji XPro-1.
(Click Here) to read Chris' complete post.
Chris is a retired engineer, turned photographer and blogger. He was an initial beta-tester for the Leica M9, and took an amazing number of images (>100,000) with the M9. He always used the M9 in conjunction with either Canon or Nikon DSLRs, which he considered as more reliable. In particular, Chris had problems with the M9 hanging up while writing images to memory cards. I've never seen this with my M9, but I have maybe 1% of the M9 images under my belt that he does.
Chris says he's not a Leica hater, and continues to use a Leica MP (film camera) regularly. I would stretch to say that he's a "Leica-guy" hater, though. He includes a lot of disparaging comments about Leica photographers worrying more about whether their straps match their jackets than about their images, Leica photographers being those who "want to shoot in Cuba" (I admit, I'd love to shoot in Cuba), and being people who "wear a camera" instead of using it. He is also very rough on Thorsten Overgaard, a strong Leica digital proponent. To check out Thorsten's blog, (Click Here). I think Thorsten seems like a pretty good guy; Chris uses the phrase "king of dilettantes." Oh well, to each his own. Diversity makes the world more interesting.
On to the meaningful part of the post. Chris has been using the Fuji XPro-1, and is obviously pleased. He has had no problems with the camera writing files to cards, ever. He is a strong proponent of autofocus in digital cameras, and finds Leica's continued production of manual focus-only bodies an anachronism. Along those lines, he's not interested in adapting his Leica lenses (including the awesome 35mm Summilux) to the Fuji body. He is fond of the Fuji 18mm lens. According to Chris, the latest firmware update for the XPro was transformational, and made the autofocus on the camera "really good."
Chris also finds the XPro quieter than the M9.
Many times, critical reviews of the Leica M9 come from people who secretly wish they could have an M9, so go very far to find reasons why they'd never want one ("I'm sure those grapes were sour, anyway."). Not in this case. In fact, Chris still pairs his Fuji XPro-1 with the venerable Leica MP for street shooting.
Personally, I am very intrigued with where Fujifilm is going. I think the XPro-1 looks like a beginning of a great system. I'm not sure if I could get used to the hybrid finder system. Playing with it just a little made it seem a little clunky to me, but I certainly haven't given it a chance. In concept, it's a great idea. I also believe that Fuji is capable of making lenses that are every bit as good as Leica. They've made gorgeous optics for many, many years. I once had a Fuji G690 medium format rangefinder, with 100mm f/3.5 lens that was just plain incredible. Known as the "Texas Leica," the camera gave absolutely beautiful results, but was just a little too cartoonish for me to carry. It truly looked like a prop for a geeky photographer halloween outfit.
As you probably know, I do love my new (used) Leica M9. That said, I'm keeping my eye on Fuji. I think we're going to continue to see interesting new products from them.