April 16th, 2014 … Fuji X-Pro 1 and 18mm … a Meeting of the Eye, Heart and MInd

Well, Garry woke early this morning again. He had the un-named 18mm on and I gotta tell ya…I don’t plan on naming my lenses only because I have to many to deal with. My Leica glass alone is like a well equipped shop, in fact it used to be. So back to Garry and the 18mm. I spent decades with a 35mm Summilux or Summicron on my M bodies and never felt the need to switch FOV except sometimes. Well That became my NATURAL FIELD OF VIEW. Of course now just like then I carried a few other lens in my small bag. Well, that’s easier said than done with the X-lenses except the 18mm and the 27mm. So for many years with a variety of cameras I’ve come to learn to see the 28mm FOV as natural.

Now this doesn’t mean that I can’t use other lenses, it just means that my NATURAL FIELD OF VIEW has actually changed due to habits. It’s now really 28mm or the 18mm that Fuji makes but gets trashed by many users on forums because it doesn’t have that snappy sharpness that has nothing to do with the real quality of a photograph. What is true is that the 23mm (35mm) is an amazing lens and I’m lucky to own it and understand it. because of that….I will now revert back to the magical 18mm.

Fortunately I am of the mindset, that the content of my photos always without exception takes precedence over the Pixel Peeping that gets in the way of the Art of Seeing. The mechanical aspects of photography have never grabbed me and held me long enough to effect what and why I do what I do or try to do.

04-14-0287Fuji XP1 & 18mm

I have to say that many months ago, I used the 18mm a lot. When the 23mm arrived on the shelf, I fell under it’s spell and was enamored by it’s charms. On the street I felt as if an old friend had come to visit me. I felt the FOV just work for me without hesitation. I could come upon a scene and when I raised the camera, I was where I was to be. That brought back the Natural Field Of View to me and I cherished every frame I made with it. There was something I started to notice. I noticed that many times, I was too tight. It felt uncomfortable and I spent a lot of time analyzing the situation to try to find a solution.

I had figured on having the Trinity. This is like my 1st release Tri-Elmar 28-35-50.  So I would want to get the 18-23-35 to equal the Trinity. I have it but with the Leica and all my Leica’s and lenses…I used 35mm as the Pivot Point for Lens change. So, I would be at 35mm and could go wider to 28mm or longer to 50mm. As it happens now, I still have the Trinity but my Pivot Point is different.

I would use the 18mm as normal, then go to the 23mm or 35mm. Of course the 14mm is an option but not for me at the moment. There are a few shooters that make use of the 14mm that should be studied. Chris Dodkin and Gene Lowinger really have it down. For me it’s a bust time with street shooting, preset designing, magazine stuff. interviews and Tanya the Russian Wifey. I simply don’t have the time to investigate the 14mm. Besides, I’ve used the Heliar 15mm for a long time and it’s virtually the same but different.

04-14-0302Fuji XP1 & 18mm

So with all this going on, I am glued to LightRoom making Presets. It’s going to be a nice set and should be released soon. What I do with my presets is to find a formulae I like then, take it in another direction but still keep the characteristics of what I started with, just enhanced. This way, when someone loads the presets in their program, it will work as a continuation . Think of it as a series of images, related but different enough to be interesting and re-interpret the image.

The X-Trans requires different approaches as there are many that use the DR 200 & DR 400. Of course that requires a different approach that I am working on. Today I got out just a little and ya know for Spring Tome here in Philly, I froze my nuggins off. Tomorrow promises to be about the same but I’ll go out anyway because sometimes I do stupid things like that.

You should all know, Duane is flying his Jet all around trying to find Spring. He’s a flying Marine and if anyone can find Spring, he can. I don’t know how he’ll get it back here for us but the Marines Improvise and Overcome.

Have a good day and thanks for your friendship.

20 thoughts on “April 16th, 2014 … Fuji X-Pro 1 and 18mm … a Meeting of the Eye, Heart and MInd”

  1. One of the mistakes a made was to trade the 18mm and 27mm lenses in against the purchase of the 23mm. Don’t get me wrong the 23mm is a sweetheart but the 18 and 27 provided excellent results and the form factor was wonderful for the streets.

    I also have the 14mm which is superb and I get to use it quite a bit. I have always been a wide shooter even when I was shooting Nikon so I am familiar on how to work it and when to use it.

    So my collection is the 14,23,35,60,18-55 and 55-200. The zooms are quite good and they have their own nice bag, with their own XE1 body. The primes give me a great range to work with, but I do miss the 18 and 27.

    Once again I really enjoy your articles, your incite. Stay healthy so you can keep doing what you do. 🙂 I don’t always follow the diet rules either. :(….

    1. Elliot, Thanks….yeah, that 27mm is a great lens. I had at the time the 18mm, 27mm & 35mm from the Fuji lenses. I was using the XE1 and also had the XP1. So, the 27mm found it’s way on the XE1 and it was almost like an M43 outfit but with better IQ. I loved that kist for sure but the XP1 wasn’t getting any use at all so I sold the XE1 and the 27mm to Olivier my young Mentor. He’s not really my Mentor but I like him to feel good.

      The 18mm and 27mm together are really what every diehard Ricoh user dreams of. The 23mm is a great lens but it’s big in use even tho it pulls it’s weight. I always start the shoot with the camera on a nice Luigi Braided neckstrap or the Acam-25. With the 23mm, I get a cramp rather quickly. Then I switch to a Luigi wrist strap and work that way till I want the neck strap. The XP1 with the 18mm never creates a cramp…that means something to me.

      I read your stuff at DPR and I sometimes post but not liken to do so at that place.
      Have a good one and thanks for being here….
      don

      1. ahhhhh! DPreview. I really do my best to stay off the forums. Every once in a while if I think I can be of help I’ll post but the fighting back and forth is very tiring and not my cup of tea to be sure. Take care!!

  2. Don, you know how to grip your readers. Hats off.

    In addition I’d like to say to my delight that all Fuji lenses impress more or less quite soft in a natural pleasant way.

    1. Thank you my friend. You must be a politician to post your delight that way. If I post that Fuji glass is soft on a few forums…well, it won’t be a pretty site I tell ya.

      Truthfully, there is the same thing going on with Leica glass. IFor example, the VII 35mm Summicron delivers such a nice palatte of contrast and tone that you can’t get with the newer ASPH versions. It comes down to taste and me not having any, I call it as I see it or pretend to…..
      Thanks again for being here…….don

  3. That last image is a killer Don. Everything about it touches my soul and senses. As well, I can’t seem to find fault with anything Fuji right now. I’ve been lovin’ the 18 since I purchased it.

    1. Keith, you’re too kind….nah….thanks tho’. Actually the 18mm is what got me into the Fuji system. I was happy in NexLand and then my friend Roger showed me his XP1 and 18mm….the Nex stuff was sold a few days later and here I am…and apparently, so are you…

      You’ve been getting some nice stuff posted on your blog…..it’s a nice place to visit…..

  4. A great commentary Don and I love the images. I’m a HUGE fan of the 27mm. Popped on the X-M1 and now on the X-T1 with the screen flipped it’s a killer combo. Love the blog!

    1. Dave, we may not have the snow but sure enough have the COLD and WIND. That’s before I leave the house, outside, eh…not too bad.

  5. Great article Don, I recently purchased an X Pro1 with an 18mm lens, found it really comfortable to use around the streets of Liverpool, UK. Bought a 35mm and to be honest I’m struggling with it! The lens is fab, but the 18mm just seems to work better with my eye and what I see. Thanks again

    1. Steve, thanks for stopping by. Part of the problem is shooter/camera communications. Once you name your camera it will tell you which lens to use and which to keep around just in case. The 18mm is a fine choice for most everything. The 35mm, like you is a struggle for me. The 23mm is great but, well….Garry really likes the 18mm.
      The thing is…that the 18mm and 35mm are a perfect pair beings that the 35mm gives a 2 x magnification over the 18mm. That creates a great kit for the street or whatever. I’m glad you found your way here and know that you are most welcome to come back.
      don

  6. Another great post Don. “Fortunately I am of the mindset, that the content of my photos always without exception takes precedence over the Pixel Peeping that gets in the way of the Art of Seeing.”
    Fortunately indeed… This well put sentence reminds me somewhat of the “Inverse Square Law” you mentioned in your latest article as the more you peep, the less you see…
    As for the various FOVs I have always been most comfortable with the 18/27mm to 30/45mm range and the Fuji 18 is also a very light lens I am happy to carry all day. As I find the 35 somewhat narrow, I carry the 27 as its companion for the few occasions the 18 appears to be too wide. (The 2 lenses together weight less than 200g!)
    I hope the warmth of spring will find its way to your neck of the woods soon

    1. Thanks Ishu.The 18/27 combo is very strong indeed. Most Ricoh shooters dream of that in a GR?. The 18mm of course is there and it’s probably one of the best if not the best 28mm lenses ever. Then having a GR? with a 40mm….hmmmmm very much dreamt of. I didn’t bond with the 27mm on my XP1 but on the XE1, well…it almost never came off. It was like an M43 setup. Olivier got the XE1 and 27mmm along with the 15mm Heliar and there’s no looking back for mr.
      The 18mm, well…that’s a sweetheart of a lens.
      I’m writing a post today about the X20 and how it’s a great family snap shooter…..
      seeya then…..
      don

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