Finding the perfect camera is a very personal endeavour. What may seem right for a time in your photographic career, won’t be the tool of choice the next. Take me for example. I’ve been a ‘Nikon’ guy ever since my very first F90X. Little did I realise that the practice of photography would develop, evolve and refine as much as it has over the last few decades.
I still have my Hasselblad, Polaroid back and prime lenses, just for the love of the craft of processing your own film. However, my purposes have changed when it comes to image-making. It happens over time as one moves from one system to the next. My Billingham is now empty of DSLRs. I sold all my Nikon lenses and bodies. Sold my Linhof M679cs with Phase One backs. I required a little more space to breath and frictionless mobility.
Here’s where the fun began to creep in. I replaced all that with a Fuji X-Pro 2. This is not a review of the camera, this is a stamp of approval. I picked it up a few years ago but never bought into it. It seems now was the time, and I’m very fortunate to have found photography again. Walking through the streets of London would have been a joy with this thing 27 years ago.
My nose is never smashed to the back of the camera anymore, ending up with that greasy nose oil LCD screen. Breathe and shoot, breathe and shoot with this rangefinder body, that has in my view, almost perfect proportions. Everything from the buttons to dials is well aligned and balanced. The Electronic Viewfinder (or Optical Viewfinder based on your preference and flavour of shooting style) is sharp, bright and informative. Just like one on a rangefinder should be.
Holding the camera in my big paws feels ergonomically correct. I have actually started holding it by the lens. It just feels right as it weighs almost nothing when walking through the streets of my home in Helsinki. I’m in stealth mode now and don’t look like a travel photographer with long lenses. You become invisible with this thing. I have had so many cameras through my years. Finally, I feel that finding the zen in photography is like the grail. You don’t need to worry about gear, you just look and photograph. Finding the ideas that make up the image, the composition, being inquisitive of the exquisite.
Currently I have a pristine 23mm Fujinon 1.4 which is one of the best lenses I have used so far, and frankly one of the best lenses out of the Fuji camp. I also have an 18-55mm but hardly use it. I prefer the primes over zoom lenses so will probably end up with a couple more to add to the small kit bag I now have.
I could wax lyrical about this X-Pro 2 all day but it’s better I show more than tell right? For now, I have found the meditative zen in photography again. I can say I am content with my refined shooting style. I have started to look at the world around me again, with the Fujifilm ACROS Film Simulation. The images I’ll be pouring over will be continually added to on this little corner of the web. The passion keeps growing and I’ll keep breathing and shooting.