After decades of rigorously maintained analog self control and moderation, the very first chance I got a little extra change in my pocket, I immediately made a play for the young hot bod housed in the petite looker known as the Fujifilm XT-1 (complete w/14mm). The mere sight of her drove me crazy with desire- all those buttons and dials to press and caress amidst her tight young curves... OK- Enuf.
|Love those muted greens. All Photos: © S. Banos|
Yes, the XT-1 can deliver the goods, it has also driven me half crazy getting to know it. The first few days were absolutely maddening- pressing every wrong button for every wrong reason (purposely and accidentally). We're a tad more acquainted now, starting to respect each other's space and preferences. Still, there is a very palpable tension between us...
The main drawback remains the EVF which may be the best out there, but still looks like a vintage era color TV from the '60s if you ask me. It's especially annoying in changing, contrasty light, as well as sunlight, where seeing what's in the shadows is particularly difficult- particularly ironic since one thing this camera can do is render shadow detail extraordinary well! The body is superbly compact but that also causes one to push things one doesn't want to- at least I'm getting familiar with how to undo it.
|Did notice slight shutter lag for high speed action shots.|
I came back from my initial real life, field test (see results) fully prepared to put it up for sale on eBay. It hadn't been a fun experience, and had really missed my Nikon analogs. If there's no joy in the actual experience- what is there? Case closed. But before I got to actually packaging the camera away, I decided to take a look at said photos, and... First, there were the colors (and you must understand that except for a literal handful of SX-70 shots, I have not shot color since 1978), some lovely reds and muted greens- Wow! And it complemented the compositions, it wasn't just filler. OK, fine- but back to reality, I still wanted to know how it performed as a tool for B&W. I completed my first B&W conversion, and it came out... OK. Amazingly, while the color corrections took mere minutes, it was still a slow drive getting the local tonalities in B&W down pat (although selections were easier). But in the end, it still had that plasticky digital look- it needed.... grain. It had to have grain to feel "real." Fake grain for authenticity, Stan? Really? Yes, it's one slippery slope...
|The self professed "King of Pain." Yes, that is a taser. Yes, that is a (very) sensitive area.|
I had read how grain software was pretty awful at best, but reluctantly went ahead and... I've been looking at 35mm Tri-X grain for decades, and this fake shit looked looked pretty damn good to me. Scanning B&W negs somewhat exaggerates grain, so I didn't pump it up as much (the grain software can be infinitely massaged or intensified) as it appears on my scans, gave it more a Plus-X feel- but it was enough to soothe the craving, and rid the image of its digital curse. It had achieved the look and feel of B&W film.
|Relationships- they need constant work and attention.|
So is everything copacetic? Not really, I may still sell it. Or I may sell all my analog film stuff to finance 28 and 40mm equivalents. I honestly don't know right now, but I can't afford to keep both. The film cameras are fun, simplicity and ease in the field- they can also last me a lifetime. The digital is more a working tool with various perks, like getting color & B&W (and a 1:1 crop) on demand. It's definitely not a one night stand, I just don't know if we're ready to commit just yet.