35 via 24

My Fuji X100s with my Dad’s genuine 70s camera strap.

My Fuji X100s with my Dad’s genuine 70s camera strap.

I’ve been using Nikon gear exclusively for 7 years now. When I upgraded my D300 to a full frame D700, I had my eye on Nikon’s newly released 24mm ƒ/1.4, mostly for its shallow depth of field capabilities. It’s a pretty great lens and I managed to get some decent shots with it, but after the novelty wore off, I found it wasn’t a very good everyday lens. The focal length was too wide and it wasn’t particularly compact.

I decided it was time to unload it and move to a 35mm lens. After considering Nikon’s 35/1.4, I started lusting after Sigma’s 35mm ƒ/1.4 which, by most accounts, betters the Nikon in almost every way that matters.

Then a pro photographer buddy of mine asked me if I’d seen the new Fuji yet. “The X100?” I asked. “Yeah,” he said, “all the landscape pros are using it as their travel camera.” Of course it wasn’t the X100 he meant, it was the shiny new X100s. I hadn’t heard of the update yet. It seems that an ‘s’ moniker in Fuji’s parlance is as meaningful as it is in Apple’s and, since the X100s is fixed at 23mm on APS-C sensors which makes 35mm equivalent, I figured why not get a whole new camera to play with at the focal-length I want? 

After a little research, I phoned every local camera shop in the area. The first was sold out and had 100 people with orders ahead of me. The second and third had no idea when they would get more in. I called the fourth shop saying “I guess you don’t have any X100s’ in stock?” Turns out they had a couple. I walked over at lunch and had a look at the X100s and the Fuji X-E1. Having interchangeable lenses was appealing to me and the Fujinon lenses are very nicely made, but I decided to stick with the X100s since it was sure to sell out again and mull it over for a couple days before I opened the box.

In some ways it is really tempting to unload my entire DSLR kit—the bulk and weight are not things I enjoy—but the speed and weather sealing are still really valuable to me given how much I enjoy travelling in the UK. So for now, I’ve decided not to get into building up a full mirrorless system. I’ll keep my Nikon gear as my heavy duty workhorse setup and the Fuji will be my walk-around, taking-pictures-for-the-heck-of-it camera. Plus I finally get to use my Dad’s camera strap again.

As luck would have it, my wife, Melissa, took one look at the Fuji and decided she had to have one of her very own. Guess who’s getting an X-E1 soon? We may just end up becoming a Fuji family before we know it.

I plan to post some photos and impressions on the X100s soon.

Posted on July 27, 2013 and filed under Photography.