The Fuji X system - more Yin and Yang - Part 2 - Fuji X-T1 35mm & 55-200mm lenses

In Part 1 I made four statements about my Fuji X system and said I would expand on them in Part 2. So here goes.

1) Using the X-E2 shows just why I think the X-T1 is such a great camera.

After using the X-T1 for a while, I must say I'd forgotten how sluggish the X-E2 can sometimes be. The X-T1 is certainly a faster responding camera and with the physical knobs and dials replacing menu only functions I do find it easier to set the camera up how I want for each shot. The tilt screen is also a nice addition as is the grip. Incidentally I find I get a longer battery life if I shoot raw only.

2) The 14mm is a magnificent lens and probably the best wide-angle I've ever used.  

The 35mm f/1.4 I used yesterday is a great lens, but I'm not sure it's better than the 14mm. I'm really impressed with the wide-angle and I do think it's the best of it's type I've ever used. I've always wanted a W/A lens with the same sharpness and optical consistency of the best standard lenses and I think I've finally got one.

3) The 60mm as a macro lens is capable of great results in that macro capacity, but far from the easiest lens to achieve them with.

I was having a conversation with Heather from BestMirrorlessCameraReviews the other day about macro lenses. She uses them much more than I do and said how much she liked the Olympus 60mm. Now I can understand that. The Fuji 60mm produces decent enough results in macro mode, but it does have a tendency to hunt for focus, particularly on the X-E2. With the X-T1 it is better and used in non-macro mode is actually pretty quick for AF on that camera. I will use it rarely for macro work and if I do that I suspect I'll switch to manual focus as it's probably quicker and more reliable. 

4) That despite the continuing reservations I still have about low ISO image quality and raw processing, if I could only use one system it would be Fuji X

There is no doubt that I can get some pretty stunning conversions from raw files these days with my Fuji X cameras. Unfortunately, this can involve a pretty long-winded process. Photo Ninja produces some great files, sharper and free of the smearing and watercolour effects. But Photoshop ACR does some things a lot better. 

The above shot was severely overexposed and the top version (photo Ninja) is unable to be 'rescued' whereas in the bottom version Photoshop ACR has done a pretty good job at putting back detail in the highlights. The PN conversions also have more CA and fringing and more luminance noise (digital 'grain') which I find hard to remove and the PN files also loose the clean noise-free look of the ACR files. Going through PN I do get sharper files, but to achieve what I want in terms of the final product I'm converting the PN files to tiffs using a very 'flat' preset I've put together and then running these files through ACR to 'clean them up.' Consequently this takes a lot more time. Often if I need to get the files uploaded to picture libraries I will just use Phoroshop ACR.

With the PN / ACR method I can get files that when upsized to 24 or even 36MP are close to my Sony A7 / A7r files. In fact I compared what I'm getting with some files shot on a Nikon D600 and I much preferred what the Fuji's produce The files were distinctly sharper, even when upsized.

As I indicated if I had to choose only one system it would be Fuji X, despite the above workflow issue. It's just so versatile. Pretty much a shoot in any conditions system, particularly now the X-T1 has arrived. Plus I do know that if I want really superb image quality I can get it, even though it takes me a while. The Fuji X Trans sensor does 'punch above it's weight' and is capable of producing files that can be reproduced much larger than the basic MP count would indicate. For me there is really no need to up this from 16MP, since larger files can be easily produced with virtually no degrading of quality.

And that's why I've stuck with it all this time. These days the Yin definitely outweighs the Yang (Or is it the other way around??) for me. Add in those amazing lenses and the sheer enjoyment I get from using the cameras and the Fuji X system is certainly my favourite. And it seems it's becoming more and more my 'go to' system. Now I wonder what that 56mm f/1.2 will give me???

For my ongoing owner assessment of the Fuji X-T1 - CLICK HERE

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