I have two m-mount lenses currently. The recently updated Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton and a 75mm f/2.5 Heliar. This latter lens is an old Voigtlander design and is a screw mount, which I have an m-mount adapter for.
FOCUSING WITH THE LENSES
For anyone who has used MF lenses on the latest Panasonic m4/3 cameras this will seem very familiar as the process is almost exactly the same. There's a thumbwheel on the back of the camera, easily accessible for my thumb while looking through the viewfinder. After setting the camera up for manual focus and turning the SHOOT W/O LENS option to on, pressing this thumbwheel brings up a magnified view. I'm having trouble finding out exactly what this magnification is, but its certainly enough. In good light it works well, but in low light the refresh rate on the EVF is a little slow and there is a fair amount of "smearing" in the viewfinder. However, while not being as clear as a Panasonic EVF, it still works well enough.
There is no focus peaking as with the Sony NEX system, but I haven't found it to be a problem. It even coped with my wearing dark glasses. Non-polaroid, I should mention, as my polarised glasses turn the EVF completely black.
I often had the aperture set to f/8 and f/11 and I was still able to focus accurately on the 35mm lens, without having to open the lens up to get precise focus. The 75mm lens, with its more limited depth of field was really easy to focus at all apertures. I was also able to focus without using the magnificaton on the 75mm lens, though the 35mm was somewhat more difficult.
Without the focus peaking of the Sony NEX-7, NEX-5n, its somewhat slower, but as I said almost exactly the same as the Panasonic system and somewhat better and less fiddly than that on the Olympus Pens.
USING THE X-PRO 1 AS A MANUAL FOCUS CAMERA
All of a sudden this is a different camera or me. All the clicking, clattering and grinding of the AF system goes away. Suddenly you realise that the shutter is actually very quiet. Not as quiet as the X100, but still not intrusive. My 35mm lens is also much heavier than any of the Fuji native lenses and the camera has a very solid feel with it fitted. This is very different to the feel of the X100.
In fact the whole outfit feels very "Leicaesque". It reminded me very much of using cameras like the M8 and M9. I know its just psychological, but with these metal lenses on the camera, the body suddenly developed more "gravitas", but thats just me!!
I indicated yesterday that I enjoyed shooting like this, and that was certainly the case. In a previous post I wrote about using my Nikon mount Voigtlander 20mm and how easy that was. This is similar. I personally enjoy this simplified approach and its going to be how I mostly use the camera.
Its a very personal view, but my X-PRO 1 has changed from being a flawed camera that I struggle to make do what I want, into a nicely balanced picture taking machine that I feel completely in control of. I really do have a problem with noisy cameras. I dislike them. The X-PRO 1 is the most persistantly noisy I've ever used, and the AF grinding makes me think that its going to self-destruct any minute! Using these MF lenses I feel like a photographer again, instead of a technician.
I also love the fact that I do everything through the viewfinder. I compose, focus, change settings and check my results through the EVF. I had the screen turned off throughout most of yesterdays shooting, which considering the poor battery life is useful.
The camera mostly handles very well with these lenses. However I have ordered the grip, which is due to arrive today. I found that using handgrips on both of my Leicas gave me better handling on those cameras. I don't particularly like the "neither one thing or the other" feel of the X-PRO 1 as it is, but I didn't have any particular problems.
I'm going to go through some of these pictures individually.
By the way for anyone who is planning to shoot with alternative and/or legacy lenses on an X-PRO 1, I've started a group for that over on flickr.
Its at:- http://www.flickr.com/groups/1933080@N21/ I'd be happy to see you and your pictures there.
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