Suffering from G.A.S...

Fuji X-Pro2 Landscape Photographer review

Or to be a little more clear, G.A.S (Gear acquisition syndrome) see also C.T.A.S (Compulsive Tool Acquisition Syndrome). These are conditions that many photographers, and DIY enthusiasts suffer from - the constant need, want, and desire to purchase the very latest item that will, for at least a short period of time, transform their life and craft.

I am a long term sufferer of both of these awful conditions… They cause both a slimming effect to ones wallet and many nights of restless sleep, your mind chasing you in circles about weather or not you’ve researched enough, whether or not you're making the right decision, and until recently, is my wife going to kill me… Well, having gotten rid of the latter problem (divorced, not buried under the patio, I hasten to add) - the other problems still remain. They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, however I don't want to recover, I am more than happy to have a good excuse to hide behind when purchasing the latest must have item.

Fuji X-Pro2 Review
Fuji X-Pro2

This brings me to the point of this post - new toy has arrived. It’s lovely. It’s not cheap. It’s well made. I love it.

So in a previous post I explained that I had taken the plunge and bought a 'hobby' camera for day to day stuff, photos out and about - basically when lugging a big pro body and lenses would be silly or off putting. Well the summary of that experience was that I purchased a Fuji X-Pro2 camera and a XF 23mm f1.4 lens, with a view to getting two other lenses… Well the first of those has now arrived, and the other (XF 56mm f1.2) will have to wait for now.

The Fuji system uses an APS-C sized sensor, smaller than my full frame Canon cameras, but resulting in a much smaller camera and lens package, with very very high quality files. As a result of this smaller sensor size you have to take into account a little bit of maths when looking at lens focal lengths - simply divide in half and add to the focal length (1.5x) - so the 23mm is equivalent to the 35mm field of view on a full frame camera, with the new 10-24mm working out to be 15-36mm, so very similar to my Canon 16-35mm - my go to wide angle lens on that system.

So why this lens? Well when I decided to invest in a smaller system, I identified that I didn't want to get weighed down by having too many lens options and to be constantly changing lenses. I also fell in love with both the XF23mm and the XF 56mm - small fast sharp prime lenses that would cover most of my non landscape subjects. But I needed /wanted those fantastic wide, dramatic skies that I was used to when using the Canon 16-35, so I went and tried both the 14mm f2.8 and the 16mm f1.4.

I really wanted to fall in love with the 16mm - it has a lovely fast aperture of f1.4, and also has the excellent manual focus clutch system as the 23mm f1.4 - but there was the problem, it was too close to the 23mm. So I tried the 10-24 - and yup, at 10,11,12mm there were the big beautiful skies that I was lusting after… Ok so it kinda goes against the idea that I wanted a small prime lens setup, but its still smaller and lighter than my Canon glass - so I’m still ok with it.

One smaller issue that arose was the handling of the camera haas changed with this lens attached, the X-Pro2 is a small camera - much smaller than my gripped Canon 5D3’s that I'm used to. Putting the 10-24 on the X-Pro2 results in the camera feeling slightly front heavy, and as such the grip isn't quite enough for my liking or hand size - so I’ve fitted the additional grip to the camera. This isn't like a DSLR grip, it doesn't have additional controls or battery capacity - its simply a plate with a slightly larger grip on the front of it, but with the added bonus of having an integrated Arca Swiss style tripod mounting machined into it. So slightly better grip, check - and integrated tripod plate, check - very happy days.