There is something so very special about the moment when you press a camera shutter and you know, and I mean really ‘know’ you’ve captured something sweet, special or just ‘something’ in an image. I think this is one such image for me. So what’s the story…? Well a couple of weeks ago I invested a financial bonus I had received from my work – a job wholly unrelated to my photography – and decided to re-invest this into my hobby/new career plan. I bought a Fujifilm X-Pro 1.
I have spent much of this summer and to be fair, some time over the past 3-years certainly building myself up to develop photography as something I might make some kind of ‘living’ from. I’m not there yet by any means, in fact it’s not yet even a self-financing hobby’ but nonetheless I have the ambition and desire to make something happen. In that light I decided to invest any money I could on some new gear and having long-since fallen for the charms of the Fujifilm X-series, that is where the investment went. Having already secured an X-M1 deal complete with two lenses, the Fujinon 27mm and 16-50mm, I then decided to go the whole hog and also get the Fujinon 18mm and 35mm knowing that these are really very high-quality lenses. These safely in the camera bag I was then keen to add something approaching a ‘professional’ body – the X-M1 is a nice usable camera certainly, but I was looking for something that bit better.
Initially I was looking at an X-T10. I had ruled out on cost grounds an X-T1 albeit that the write-up’s sing it’s praises. The X-T10 has also received a lot of praise, in fact it’s focusing was initially deemed better than it’s larger stable-mate. However when I went to try one out, while it felt like a quality piece of kit but… well, it was a little ‘small’! I don’t have the biggest of hands but even for me it felt just too tiny. I had noticed an X-Pro 1 in the shop at the time and of course, knew all about this beautiful camera which had been released almost 3-years ago to much acclaim and also some criticism. Well that was all in July August. In late September I was scanning over Amazon looking at camera’s etc when I noticed the X-Pro 1 body going for a ridiculously small sum of cash given the £1000+ price tag back in 2012. So I bought one. And I’m so glad I did. It’s a lovely camera and a real ‘photographer’s camera’ at that. It oozes quality and control-ability; it have size and a sense of ‘gravitas’ if that’s the right word. The IQ is truly stunning and when married to the glass I have – lenses which were in effect designed for this camera – really does deliver some wonderful images.
The image here was captured in my local coffee shop at the weekend. It’s from the X-Pro 1 with the 18mm lens, f/2.8, ISO-200, 1/125th sec. It is a tad random, a bit ‘rushed’. The little girl was there with her mother and grandmother and as ever with younger children, the interaction between her and the adults with her presented opportunities for a nice candid shot. Here the girl was talking to grandmother about what she wanted; the girls face is hidden but grandmother has that look about her which is just so very caring and engaged. It’s shot in monochrome. Where the Fujifilm camera’s excel in their colour rendition, their monochrome performance is also fantastic and actually my whole day’s shooting was in B&W. Anyway, this is in effect, my first use of the X-Pro 1 for some candid image-making and I think it delivers it well. I then went into Manchester that afternoon and captured even more superb street photographs. So that’s the X-Pro 1. It looks and feels ‘professional’ and if my first few images are anything to go by, well I can’t wait to use it even more.