Professional commercial photographer and filmmaker Jim Marks talks about his first experiences shooting with the Fujifilm X-Pro2.
What are your first impressions of the Fujifilm X-Pro2?
First off, I’ve shot with the X-Pro1 for many years. It was the first camera that got me into the Fujifilm X-series system. On picking up the X-Pro2, for me it’s different – it’s an evolution. What I like though is they haven’t taken the whole concept and thrown it away; the X-Pro2 is simply better in every area.
How have you found the new sensor?
The new 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor is a wonderful thing, especially looking at its low-light capability. Recently I was handholding at 1/15sec (which obviously you shouldn’t do!) with something like ISO 6400 dialled in and I was getting amazing results.
How did you find the changes to the handling?
I have the original camera and I have the new one, and handling-wise it’s a subtle evolution. I think that the biggest change are the buttons at the back – the handling is much more intuitive. It’s better designed, but still familiar to previous models. It’s made from a huge chunk of lovely metal as well so that you can drop and abuse it, and hopefully get many years of use out of it. I love the new viewfinder too. Electronic viewfinders have really come of age. There’s really no reason why you’d even think it’s electronic any more, which I think is the best praise that I can give it.
How have you found the AF performance?
The AF system has come on leaps and bounds when you compare it to the early days of the X-Pro1. At the beginning with the X-Pro1 before Fujifilm made some updates with the firmware, I wasn’t sure. I’d come from shooting with a DSLR and it wasn’t as good, but now with the X-Pro2’s advanced AF system, it’s not even an issue any more. It’s quick, it locks on where you want it to, and it’s silent as well.
Which lens do you like to use with it?
Well, the X-Pro2 is a small camera, so I quite like using small lenses with it. I use a standard Fujinon XF35mm f/1.4 R a lot of the time and I can shoot a whole job on that. I just use my legs to get closer or further away depending on what I want to get in the frame. There’s something quite nice about using primes as it teaches your brain to look at things in a more classical sense in terms of composition.
Having said that, I do like to use the Fujinon XF56mm f/1.2 R APD for portraits. I really bounce between those two as my favourites, but occasionally I’ll opt for the Fujinon X90mm f/2 R LM WR if I want to really blow the background.
Can you sum up the X-Pro2 in one word?
You wanted one word, but the X-Pro2 is like that second album. It could have been difficult, they could have ruined it, but they haven’t. It sets Fujifilm up really nicely and is a fantastic introduction to the new 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor, which is going to do amazing things. It’s a great camera.