Having being enchanted by the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-T10, I was really looking forward to purchasing the X-T2 when it came out. Come to think of it I was also looking forward to the Olympus E-M1 II. However, as I realized what the manufacturers were charging for these engineering marvels I sat down and thought it all through again.
The X-T2 is retailing presently in Germany at €1700 and the Olympus E-M1 II is at a price point of €1999. Whichever you look at it that is a lot of money to fork out for 2 cameras. A little too much for my liking so I started looking elsewhere for some other alternatives. I can safely say that the M43 and the Fuji systems are mainly what I use on a daily basis so those two got most of the attention. I use Sony but I’ve become disenchanted with those cameras of late. Don’t get me wrong, the Sony A7RII might be one of the best cameras on the planet but I do prefer the M43 and Fuji systems. I find them more fun to use and I can’t complain about the image quality from either. This is of course, my preference, and I realize a lot of users out there would slam me for saying such blasphemy.
What attracted me to the X-T2 was the joystick on the back to move the focus point (I have this also on the Sony A900) and the 24MP sensor. For the E-M1 II it was IS and faster focusing. The new 20MP sensor isn’t really a big jump in megapixels and I’m sure I wouldn’t notice a real difference. All the above points I mentioned are nice to have but not really essential for my type of photography.
So, what were the alternatives? There certainly wasn’t anything in the Olympus stable that attracted my attention but Panasonic have released a few cameras of late. I looked for and read quite a few reviews and came to the conclusion that the G80/81/85 was looking good. The GX80 I thought was ok but had the same viewfinder as the GX7 and although the GX7 is a fine camera I’m not really fond of the viewfinder. I was excited when the GH5 was announced and was quickly demoralized by the €2000 price tag. So it really came down to the G81 (as it’s called in Germany) and that is what I purchased. It’s really a bargain and I did a little piece about in a previous blog post here.
I digress. The real purpose of this post is to talk about the Fuji camp. Like I said at the very beginning I was, and still am, very taken by the Fujifilm X-T10. It might be too small for a lot of people but it fits me perfectly. That’s why I looked at the X-T20 and purchased it almost immediately when it was available here in Germany.
I was out photographing a half marathon in Frankfurt the other day with both the X-T10 and X-T20 cameras. The new 50 f2 was on the X-T20 and the 23 f2 on the X-T10. I wanted to see how much faster the X-T20 is over the X-T10 so I set both to CH. It really is like night and day. The X-T20 is fast making the X-T10 look like an antiquated dinosaur. Having said that I don’t use this setting all that often and it doesn’t play a big role in my photography. If a camera can keep up with my method of using a camera then it’s good enough for me. It was fun using the X-T20 in that mode though, it was like a machine gun firing (that’s the X-T20s 14 fps against the X-T10s 8fps). Great fun indeed! And, I can see where this would come in handy if sports or BIFs were my targets.
Converted using a Gradient Map in Photoshop.
The Fuji files are the best files for monochrome conversion I have ever used.
The 23 f2 is a nice lens. I don’t know why people complain. Maybe I’m just not the perfectionist they are. I personally tend to look at the whole image and not just how sharp a lens is in every corner. I can tell when looking through the viewfinder that I’m not a wide-angle type of photographer. There’s not a lot I can do with these lenses and I think I’ve finally come to terms with this. The XF 23 f2 is the last wide-angle lens I will purchase for any system. I’ve been attempting to use these type of lenses for some time now but without success I’m afraid. I just don’t see that wide, my world is narrower and anything from a 50mm and longer lens suits me perfectly.
Which brings me to my next lens; the XF 50 f2.
Small, sharp and I love this lens. It seems natural to me when using it (as an equivalent 75mm FF) I keep thinking of the Voigtlaender 75 f2.5 that I use on my FF cameras. Only difference being the 50 f2 has AF. I’ll probably do a post on the Voigtlaender 75 f2.5 at some point because I find it an excellent lens. You can only acquire one now on the used market, but if you can get one at a good price, then do so.
Let’s have a look at a couple of images from the 50 f2 mounted on the X-T20.
If a lens has an aperture ring then I’m half way there to falling in love with it. I much prefer using an aperture ring than turning a little wheel on the back of a camera to change the aperture. Call me old fashioned but it’s just a part of interacting with a camera to take/make an image.
I find the 50 f2 to be a very fast focusing lens and it’s about a third of the size and weight of the 56 f1.2. I don’t own the 56 f1.2 and I don’t think I ever will. The 50 f2 is more to my liking.
Again converted in Photoshop using a Gradiant Map
One of these four won the Frankfurt half marathon this year.
They were well in front of the pack.
I think 3 things separate the X-T10 and the X-T20 that’s important to me:
1. 24MP instead of the 16MP of the X-T10.
2. Max frame rate of 14fps instead of 8fps of the X-T10. Not used very often but nice to have if required.
3. Focusing speed. X-T20 is faster (plus having more focusing points).
One of my next posts will be regarding the three new Fuji f2 prime lenses namely the 23 f2, the 35 f2 and the 50 f2. All exceptional lenses in my opinion.