Long Term Love Affair: Fuji X-E1

It’s been awhile since I made the move from Nikon DSLRs to the Fuji X Mirrorless System. I wanted to get back to a rangefinder style camera that I so loved in the days of 35mm Film cameras. My Yashica Electro 35 GT was my very first camera. I purchased it while stationed at Misawa Air Force Base in Misawa, Japan. It had a feel to it in my hands that just fit. The controls back then were all fully manual. There was no such thing as Auto-focus or Auto-exposure. There was no image stabilization, Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority. You were lucky if you had a light meter built into the camera. What you did have was a camera that took really good quality pictures when combined with your knowledge of the camera’s features and your expertise in composition & light. Film speeds were very limited to ASA 25 Kodachrome slide  film, ASA 100 Kodacolor print film and a few European films like Ilford and Fujicolor. Then there was ASA 100 PanX and 400 ASA TriX Kodak B&W film. That was it.

But you know, that was all you needed if you knew what you were doing. Most of the time you didn’t even need a light meter because you got  good at judging the available light and adjusting your shutter speed and aperture accordingly.

Now, with digital photography, the new folks you meet in photographic forums are spoiled stupid. They whine about every little feature that doesn’t do everything for them. Buy a lens without image stabilization? No way! They’d rather pay twice as much for the latest version that has VR (vibration Reduction). Thank you rookies! I’ll buy the non-VR lens and save a bundle because my hand holding technique is solid out of habit so I don’t need Image Stabilization.

When the Fuji X-E1 was introduced I had already been using Sony’s NEX-5N mirrorless changeable lens camera. It had a 16 MP APS-C sensor and took great pictures. I only had 3 lenses at the time I sold the Sony to my best friend, Warren, and used the money from the sale of my D800 & D7000 Nikon DSLRs combined with the cash I got for my Sony kit to buy the Fuji gear with 5 lenses. A year later the X-E1 was replaced with the X-E2 and I picked up my 2nd X-E1 chrome body for $450. I slapped a 27mm F/2 pancake lens on my chrome body and my favorite 55-299mm F/3.5-4.8 zoom on the black body that also had a Really Right Stuff L=Plate with grip for extra stability with the bigger lens. Voila! The perfect camera kit. My Think Tank Retrospective 20 and Really Right Stuff Mirrorless Movers bags kept my load lightweight and protected. I’ve added two Mefoto small and medium tripods to supplement my bigger Manfrotto gear and I’m ready for anything. This gear will last a lifetime.

Now, about the quality of the pictures taken with a Fuji X-E1, I’ve never seen better shots from anyone shooting with anything. That includes my top of the line Nikon D800. The Fuji X Trans-sensor has no  moire filter between the subject and the sensor. There is no mirror and there is no prism. The light travels straight from the subject to the sensor. This makes shooting in very low light a piece of cake. If your eye can see it this camera can capture it. The pictures are scary sharp.

The one thing I love the most about the Fuji X-E1 camera is that it keeps my eye on the subject at all times. The critical adjustments are ergonomically laid out so well that you seldom, if ever, find yourself needing to look at the camera’s menus. All important information is displayed on the 3″ LCD or in the EVF. I am in love with the Fuji X-E1s.

Two Fuji X-E1s

Fuji X-E1 & 27mm


2 thoughts on “Long Term Love Affair: Fuji X-E1

  1. We all have our favorites. I have heard very good things from everyone about the Fuji. I’m happy with the Olympus and the 4/3 format, which gives me a larger choice of lenses than I would have otherwise. But I suspect I’d have been equally happy with other choices. I also love my little tiny Pentax and keep being surprised at the high quality pictures it gives me. I think I am finally fully “camera ready!”

    You know, despite all the crap they stick in the software of our cameras, basically for me it still comes down to aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. Pick your lens, take your reading on the highlight, go for it.

    • I wouldn’t have thought ergonomics makes a difference until I went from from The Sony NEX-5N to The Fuji X-E1. Sony relies heavily upon menu driven changes like focus points and ISO changes while I do constantly. The mostly manual controls of the Fuji combined with the image quality in low light sold me.

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