• Cameraderie, a friendly photography forum, join now for free! Welcome! 欢迎! स्वागत हे! ようこそ!

Reflecting back on my X-E1 and X-E2 (My love story with the Fuji X system thus far)

Mikey

Veteran
May 15, 2013
28
Louisville, KY
As I eagerly anticipate delivery of my X-T1 from Henry's Camera in Canada, I can't help but reflect back on the great (as well as less-than-great) experiences I've had with my old X-E1 and current X-E2 cameras.

I picked up an X-E1 kit plus 35/1.4 and 14/2.8 during the mid-year 2013 Fuji sale. Transitioning from micro four thirds, it was at first a bit of a learning curve for me -- having to fidget with physical aperture rings, re-train myself by looking through an auto-gain EVF, and deal with slower AF. Surprisingly, the layout of the rings and dials were quite intuitive. The auto-gain EVF forced me to slow down, do proper zone metering, and pay better attention to my histograms, which were all things that helped me be a better photographer. As for the AF, fortunately, I was a late adapter of the X-E1. While the AF was still noticeably slower than my old OM-D, after the 2nd round of firmware updates, it became more than adequate for my use.


On the upside, image noise handling was excellent thru ISO 3200.
@ISO 1600


@ISO 3200


I also really liked the color rendering from Fuji. RAW support was (and some would argue still is) an issue so I would convert in-camera and export as JPEGs. With the mileage that the Fuji JPEGs give you, I don't think I'll ever go back to editing RAW images again. And did I mention that Fuji has by far the best autoWB there is? Yellowish portraits from indoor lighting are practically a thing of the past.


And B&W images look great OOC and need very little tweaking in post.




The lack of a fast ultra-wide prime was one of the main reasons I switched from MFT. And the 14/2.8 made me fall in love at first sight (or should I say at first shot?)


The other reason was the lack of a proper standard fast zoom. (This was before the announcement of the Olympus 12-40 and the Panny 12-35 was not long enough at the tele end to be useful to me). While the 18-55 does at times feel too long at the short end (16mm would've been more ideal), the variable aperture allows for a smaller build and the IQ is light years ahead of what's seen with typical kit lenses. Do I miss shooting long exposures up to 1.6secs with the 5-axis IBIS with the OM-D? Heck yeah but the superb OIS in the XF zoom lenses does soften the blow a good deal. The first 2 shots below were taken with the 18-55 kit handheld at 1/15secs and 1/8secs, respectively. The 3rd shot was with the 55-200 @150mm, 1/60secs







I never bought into the whole sensor size debate, that is, until I made the switch. Yes, the PL 25/1.4 and Oly 75/1.8 given the right subject to background distance, can give you exquisite-looking portraits. But let's be honest, it's just so much easier achieving that 3d pop and desired OOF background look with a larger sensor, especially if you have f/1.4 or faster primes attached. Both of the portraits below were shot with the 35/1.4 wide-open.





The 23/1.4 is equally a stellar wide-open performer. Results from these 2 fast lenses make me drool over the OOF possibilities from the upcoming 56/1.2.


While I miss the portability and reach of the Oly 75-300, it (as well as the 40-150) often doesn't provide enough subject isolation for animal portraiture work. The modestly fast(er) 55-200/3.5-4.8 zoom for me is just the right mix of reach, portability, great OIS, and excellent IQ.







I wasn't intending on getting the X-E2 when it was first announced as the X-E1 for me was still quite the able performer. But of course, G.A.S. kicked in after I read reviews about the faster AF and more responsive EVF that was now WYSIWYG (the WYSIWYG capability would later come to the X-E1). I thought the C-AF tracking from the hybrid PDAF sensor was more a marketing ploy and never really worked when I tried it. With that said, however, the faster S-AF did allow for shots like this to all of a sudden be possible...


One underrated feature (IMO) in the 2nd generation of X ILCs is the presence of a TTL (aka super-intelligent) built-in flash. Perfect for impromptu portraits without resulting in the dreaded deer-in-the-headlights look.


While I also sorely miss how Olympus' 5-axis IBIS yielded sharp results with shooting handheld macro shots, having a TTL built-in flash (though still less ideal) provided more than acceptable results.

@125secs, shot with the X-M1 (also with the same built-in flash)




I only owned the 60/2.4 for a brief period and sold it after using it for a couple of sessions. It's tack sharp and the bokeh quality is just wonderful. However, AF was too doggedly slow for me (even after FW updates), hated the telescoping inner barrel and the uber small lens cap (almost lost it on a couple of occasions), and I dare say that Fuji was plain stupid for not including OIS. I'm crossing my fingers for an XF 100/2.8 macro with OIS and a faster AF motor in the future.

Like before, I did not intend to pre-order the X-T1 in spite of its predictive AF that actually works and the highly revered EVF. But with the favorable CAD to USD exchange rate alongside the free vertical grip offer, I succumbed to G.A.S. yet again. Can't wait to begin the next chapter in what I expect will be a very long love affair with Fuji.

Thanks for stopping by. And do feel free to share your own journey/love story/love-hate relationship with Fuji thus far by posting here.
 

c0ldc0ne

Regular
Feb 27, 2014
8
First off, thanks for sharing your experiences.

A few things I noticed:

experiences I've had with my old X-E1 and current X-E2 cameras.
While the AF was still noticeably slower than my old OM-D
The fact that the OM-D and X-E1 are considered "old", really drives home the notion of how fast the perceived ageing of camera bodies is progressing.

The lack of a fast ultra-wide prime was one of the main reasons I switched from MFT. And the 14/2.8 made me fall in love at first sight (or should I say at first shot?)
In 35mm terms, the 14/2.8 has a FOV equivalent to 21mm whereas the m43 12/2's FOV corresponds to a 24mm. Considering that the latter is a full stop faster and just 3mm less wide in equivalent terms, I'm a bit surprised that this was a main reason to abandon m43.

Apart from that, I can relate to pretty much everything you mentioned and your results speak for themselves.

I'm lucky enough to be able to afford holding on to both my OM-D and Fuji gear and love both for their respective merits (the OM-D for its IBIS, speed and versatility, Fuji for its signature rendering and back-to-basics haptics/ergonomics).
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Mikey, thanks so much for taking the time to do this write up and include your pictures along with it. I'm sold!

This thread will be a good touchstone thread for people who are considering different lenses, as well as the Fuji cameras themselves.:drinks:
 

Mikey

Veteran
May 15, 2013
28
Louisville, KY
The fact that the OM-D and X-E1 are considered "old", really drives home the notion of how fast the perceived ageing of camera bodies is progressing.
While I agree with your notion, I only meant to call them old since I don't own them anymore.

In 35mm terms, the 14/2.8 has a FOV equivalent to 21mm whereas the m43 12/2's FOV corresponds to a 24mm. Considering that the latter is a full stop faster and just 3mm less wide in equivalent terms, I'm a bit surprised that this was a main reason to abandon m43.
The 12/2 was a tiny yet superb performer but that FOV would often feel awkwardly not wide enough. That mere 3mm difference in POV really does make quite the difference. But I'm an UWA freak so take this with a grain of salt. I loved the Panny 7-14 but hated that it can't take filters. The Fuji 10-24/4 is coming out this late spring/early summer and it takes filters (yey!) and has OIS (double yey!)[/QUOTE]

I'm lucky enough to be able to afford holding on to both my OM-D and Fuji gear and love both for their respective merits (the OM-D for its IBIS, speed and versatility, Fuji for its signature rendering and back-to-basics haptics/ergonomics).
I've been tempted by the GX7 and the E-M10 but at the end of the day, I crave for the 5-axis IBIS the most so I'll hold out until an E-M6 is released.

Mikey, thanks so much for taking the time to do this write up and include your pictures along with it. I'm sold!

This thread will be a good touchstone thread for people who are considering different lenses, as well as the Fuji cameras themselves.:drinks:
Thank you very much! I know a lot of micro four thirds and Sony people who are curious about Fuji frequent this site and I just wanted to share my honest opinions.

Great photos. Very impressive stuff.
Thanks! Much appreciated!
 

c0ldc0ne

Regular
Feb 27, 2014
8
The 12/2 was a tiny yet superb performer but that FOV would often feel awkwardly not wide enough. That mere 3mm difference in POV really does make quite the difference. But I'm an UWA freak so take this with a grain of salt. I loved the Panny 7-14 but hated that it can't take filters. The Fuji 10-24/4 is coming out this late spring/early summer and it takes filters (yey!) and has OIS (double yey!)
I can relate to that. I've always loved my Sigma 12-24 back when I predominantly shot with DSLR's and there's just something magical about that extremely wide FOV, provided that you compose and frame your shot appropriately.

I've been tempted by the GX7 and the E-M10 but at the end of the day, I crave for the 5-axis IBIS the most so I'll hold out until an E-M6 is released.
I take it that the E-M1 doesn't do it for you?

Also, I'm curious. Why do you still look out for an E-M6 after you decided to leave m43 for the Fuji X?
 

Mikey

Veteran
May 15, 2013
28
Louisville, KY
I take it that the E-M1 doesn't do it for you?
No, not at all. I can't believe how adding that nasty-looking grip transformed a sleek-looking camera into a butt fugly one (Forgive my French). Also, it's a bit too big for my taste. I've heard disparate feedback about its improved C-AF tracking which I assume translates into it doesn't always work.

Also, I'm curious. Why do you still look out for an E-M6 after you decided to leave m43 for the Fuji X?
2 reasons: 1) I'm able to sneak in an E-M5 with the 75/1.8 into concerts but can't really do that with my Fuji gear. Also, there isn't any (and I expect there may never ever be) a direct counterpart for that in the APS-C world except maybe when a 135mm fast prime gets released -- but I still won't be able to sneak that in. 2) night shots -- I'm lazy and would rather have a second camera system than lug around a tripod all day. :p
 

c0ldc0ne

Regular
Feb 27, 2014
8
2 reasons: 1) I'm able to sneak in an E-M5 with the 75/1.8 into concerts but can't really do that with my Fuji gear. Also, there isn't any (and I expect there may never ever be) a direct counterpart for that in the APS-C world except maybe when a 135mm fast prime gets released -- but I still won't be able to sneak that in. 2) night shots -- I'm lazy and would rather have a second camera system than lug around a tripod all day. :p
That just leaves the question why you sold off your E-M5 to begin with. :)
 

Mikey

Veteran
May 15, 2013
28
Louisville, KY
That just leaves the question why you sold off your E-M5 to begin with. :)
Let's just say absence makes the heart grow fonder is the reason why I now want to buy the next iteration on the E-M5. :p

As for leaving completely to begin with, wanted to commit to learning the Fuji system -- sold off everything but my 2 fave lenses. My main gripes were: wasn't happy with noise level from ISO 1600 onwards, started getting weary of constantly tinkering my WB for indoor shots, felt like Olympus cared more about releasing bodies than filling up the gaps in their lens lineup, Panasonic was producing great lenses but their release prices are always ludicrous at release (42.5/1.2 for example).
 

jloden

All-Pro
Jun 30, 2012
88
Jay
Beautiful shots Mikey - and I can definitely relate!

I skipped the X-E2 intending to buy in later, and I'm glad I did. The X-T1 looks like exactly the ticket for me and just what I want out of the Fuji X system.

Many of the items you mentioned are things I struggle with as well. It seems like I'm doomed to be stuck between multiple systems :p Like you, I intended to drop out of m4/3 entirely in favor of Fuji for my mirrorless needs, but I'm finding myself delving back into it for various practical reasons. At the same time, seeing the awesome stuff Fuji has coming down the pipeline in for the X system, I'm loathe to give up my Fuji gear.
 

pniev

Student for life
May 13, 2013
123
A wonderful report and photos.

I intended to drop out of Fuji a few times but I ended up buying another. ;-)
I almost bought the Nikon Df but when I was in the store, I left with the X-T1, thinking I could always the Df later. But probably I won't. The X-T1 works great. The EVF is a phenomenal TV-screen. Not as clear in bright light as the x-pro's/x100's OVF but very useable. My current struggle is what lenses to add to the line-up. ;-)
 

Mikey

Veteran
May 15, 2013
28
Louisville, KY
Beautiful shots Mikey - and I can definitely relate!

I skipped the X-E2 intending to buy in later, and I'm glad I did. The X-T1 looks like exactly the ticket for me and just what I want out of the Fuji X system.

Many of the items you mentioned are things I struggle with as well. It seems like I'm doomed to be stuck between multiple systems :p Like you, I intended to drop out of m4/3 entirely in favor of Fuji for my mirrorless needs, but I'm finding myself delving back into it for various practical reasons. At the same time, seeing the awesome stuff Fuji has coming down the pipeline in for the X system, I'm loathe to give up my Fuji gear.
Thanks, Jay!!

Looks like the X-T1 will solve the AF issues and possibly even trump the E-M1 with its predictive AF.

If I like my X-T1 so much and can't let go of my X-E2, I may end up buying a tripod which should save me a buttload of money from re-buying into micro four thirds. Hehe..

Lovely stuff! Love my x-cams also.
Thanks, John! And you certainly put them to great use. :cool:

A wonderful report and photos.

I intended to drop out of Fuji a few times but I ended up buying another. ;-)
I almost bought the Nikon Df but when I was in the store, I left with the X-T1, thinking I could always the Df later. But probably I won't. The X-T1 works great. The EVF is a phenomenal TV-screen. Not as clear in bright light as the x-pro's/x100's OVF but very useable. My current struggle is what lenses to add to the line-up. ;-)
Thanks a lot! :D

Can't go wrong with choosing any of the XF (and even XC) lenses. It all boils down to prioritizing between focal length, portability, and OIS needs.
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
Wonderful set of photos Mikey. Enjoyed the write up too!

I'm currently without a X ILC, after being an early XP1 adopter. Had two stints with the XE1 later. Was going to get the XT1 with grip but ended up canceling the preorder, because of gear acquisition guilt (aka GAG)!

Like Jay and you to a point, I've been wanting to ditch m4/3, but find myself coming back to it due to the smaller system size, operational speed, IBIS, and "good enough" IQ.

Still lusting after the XT1 and that new 56/1.2 though!
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
No, not at all. I can't believe how adding that nasty-looking grip transformed a sleek-looking camera into a butt fugly one (Forgive my French). Also, it's a bit too big for my taste....


2 reasons: 1) I'm able to sneak in an E-M5 with the 75/1.8 into concerts but can't really do that with my Fuji gear. Also, there isn't any (and I expect there may never ever be) a direct counterpart for that in the APS-C world except maybe when a 135mm fast prime gets released -- but I still won't be able to sneak that in. 2) night shots -- I'm lazy and would rather have a second camera system than lug around a tripod all day. :p
Enjoyed the photos and your sharing of experience. Seems like there are a lot of us with feet in both Fuji and m43 camps. I agree that the EM1 is nothing to look AT, but I did find that all if the little improvements (including the grip) added more than the sum if the parts and I like it overall a good deal more than the EM5 (which I liked a LOT). I stay in m43 basically for zooms (which I don't use often, but at times are critical) and longer lenses (also don't use a lot, but love em in certain situations). I left Fuji and played around with a number of options over the past year, including full frame, but just came back to it for almost all of my prime shooting, which is most of what I do. But the size advantage of m43 with zooms and longer lenses is really compelling, and they have such an incredible array of lenses now.

But I agree on the 75mm - that kens alone has kept me in m43 when I've wavered. I don't see anything like it on the horizon from Fuji, and if there was it would be a lot larger. Just an amazing lens. That lens combined with Oly's amazing face detection (and eye priority), gets almost all of my use when friends and family are around.

I'll probably keep both systems for quite a while, but the Fuji gear gets the bulk of my day to day use...

-Ray
 

Mikey

Veteran
May 15, 2013
28
Louisville, KY
Wonderful set of photos Mikey. Enjoyed the write up too!

Still lusting after the XT1 and that new 56/1.2 though!
Thanks, Armanius! I'd say give in to the gear lust. :)

Enjoyed the photos and your sharing of experience. Seems like there are a lot of us with feet in both Fuji and m43 camps. I agree that the EM1 is nothing to look AT, but I did find that all if the little improvements (including the grip) added more than the sum if the parts and I like it overall a good deal more than the EM5 (which I liked a LOT). I stay in m43 basically for zooms (which I don't use often, but at times are critical) and longer lenses (also don't use a lot, but love em in certain situations). I left Fuji and played around with a number of options over the past year, including full frame, but just came back to it for almost all of my prime shooting, which is most of what I do. But the size advantage of m43 with zooms and longer lenses is really compelling, and they have such an incredible array of lenses now.

But I agree on the 75mm - that kens alone has kept me in m43 when I've wavered. I don't see anything like it on the horizon from Fuji, and if there was it would be a lot larger. Just an amazing lens. That lens combined with Oly's amazing face detection (and eye priority), gets almost all of my use when friends and family are around.

I'll probably keep both systems for quite a while, but the Fuji gear gets the bulk of my day to day use...

-Ray
Thanks, Ray!!

I agree with the portability of the tele zoom range as a primary reason for not giving up on micro four thirds completely. It's just sad that at 5 years after the first PEN came out, Oly is only now releasing pro-level zooms. I'm keeping my eye out for that 40-150 when it comes out. Hopefully, it can still be handheld and won't put much stress on the camera body's lens mount.

As far as the 75/1.8, if Fuji can come out with either an 85/1.4 that's smaller than the Rokinon or a 100/2.8 macro with OIS than I just might be convinced to ditch the 75/1.8 altogether. Not holding my breath though.
 

ean10775

All-Pro
Feb 13, 2013
88
Cleveland, Ohio
Eric
As far as the 75/1.8, if Fuji can come out with either an 85/1.4 that's smaller than the Rokinon or a 100/2.8 macro with OIS than I just might be convinced to ditch the 75/1.8 altogether. Not holding my breath though.
I think a Fuji 90mm f1.4, or f2 (if it makes it smaller and its very sharp wide open) would be a great FL and aperture. Coming from Canon I tend to think in terms of what their best primes are. Fuji have already covered the equivalent 35mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.2. A 135mm f2 would be a nice addition.
 

Mikey

Veteran
May 15, 2013
28
Louisville, KY
Beautiful shots Mikey - and I can definitely relate!

I skipped the X-E2 intending to buy in later, and I'm glad I did. The X-T1 looks like exactly the ticket for me and just what I want out of the Fuji X system.

Many of the items you mentioned are things I struggle with as well. It seems like I'm doomed to be stuck between multiple systems :p Like you, I intended to drop out of m4/3 entirely in favor of Fuji for my mirrorless needs, but I'm finding myself delving back into it for various practical reasons. At the same time, seeing the awesome stuff Fuji has coming down the pipeline in for the X system, I'm loathe to give up my Fuji gear.
Lovely stuff! Love my x-cams also.
A wonderful report and photos.

I intended to drop out of Fuji a few times but I ended up buying another. ;-)
I almost bought the Nikon Df but when I was in the store, I left with the X-T1, thinking I could always the Df later. But probably I won't. The X-T1 works great. The EVF is a phenomenal TV-screen. Not as clear in bright light as the x-pro's/x100's OVF but very useable. My current struggle is what lenses to add to the line-up. ;-)
I think a Fuji 90mm f1.4, or f2 (if it makes it smaller and its very sharp wide open) would be a great FL and aperture. Coming from Canon I tend to think in terms of what their best primes are. Fuji have already covered the equivalent 35mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.2. A 135mm f2 would be a nice addition.
Agreed!

Am secretly still hoping for a tele macro/portrait lens. :p A 100/2.4 macro would be exactly like Olympus' 75/1.8 except for less light gathering capability but with the bonus of macro capability.
 

yakky

Regular
Nov 30, 2013
18
Thanks for sharing. I went the other way. I have an X100 and XE1 and was about to order the XT1 from Henry's, the grip deal was great plus the conversion factor discount.

But focus speed was unknown plus I love how Olys are just very eager to shoot. Also Oly face detection is the best i have used. The fact that Oly had a deal on the EM5 plus 12-40 for $1200 made it too hard to resist.
 

S Noel

All-Pro
Oct 5, 2010
124
Casey County, KY (Liberty)
Stephen Noel
I keep watching the development of the Fuji system. I really would like to jump in, for various reasons.

Coming from the old OM and Minolta film era, the Fujis, just look right, and bring back the tactical controls, that real equipment "should" have.
I crave a higher level of "clean" detail, with less digital noise, for landscape/nature work.
The fuji's slightly larger bodies, actually would be an advantage, for old arthritic hands.( DSLR would work fine for that, but, I don't want to go back to the "flopping" mirror.)

Now, the why nots.
Cannot afford to keep feet, in both systems.
Amazed at how many people leave m4/3 for a while, and then return, in spite of the many "disadvantages".
I've been in the 4/3, m4/3 camp, ( with a few excursions outside) for several years, beginning with the E-500, and several models, leading to the "stopgap" E-pm1, I am holding until my daughter visits from out of state. We now have 6 and maybe 7 members of my immediate family with m4/3 cameras, spread across several states. (It makes it handy for trading gear)
It seems un-daddy like, to get everyone "in", and then jump ship. :eek:
And, better, is not always better. (greener grass) What I've been using for several years, has been, and is still working. But being human, I still want to try that grass on the other side. :)

So I still hang around here, looking.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom