Not so long ago, the late Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape was asked by his publisher Kevin Raber, “Are we there yet?” The question was in regard to contemporary digital cameras and software. Mr Reichmann’s reply was “almost”.
That video was made before this year’s release of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and well before last week’s announcement of the X-T2 mirrorless APS-C camera. Both Mr Reichmann and Mr Raber are longtime photographic industry veterans and digital early adopters, the former once a Leica-toting photojournalist and the latter most recently a Phase One Camera Systems employee. They know their stuff. I trust their judgement.
If that question, are we there yet, had been asked last week, I strongly suspect Mr Reichmann would have answered wholeheartedly in the affirmative, at least insofar as photographic hardware goes. Mr Raber’s recent article about the X-T2 suggests that. Confirmation may come when the Luminous Landscape team receives its production X-T2, Vertical Power Booster Grip and accessories.
Although my way of seeing and photographing was intimately shaped by using a number of rangefinder cameras of all film formats, I maintained a parallel collection of more technically-oriented cameras for other kinds of photography.
Even a project like this one, Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success, with specific goals and subject matter demands, requires more than just one sort of camera and lens – for scene-setting wide extreme wide views, distant details, extreme close-ups, intimate portraits, immersive images of people in action and photographs of architecture. I have been looking for the contemporary, affordable, portable version of the sort of technical and other cameras I have often relied on, and the Fujifilm X-T2 may well fit that niche.
The X-T2’s standout features making it prime candidate for that role are several:
- Big, clear, fast-refreshing OLED EVF.
- Excellent eye relief, especially compared to the X-Pro2 – based on the eye relief of the X-T1.
- Suitability for wide, standard and long multifocal lenses aka zooms as well as macro lenses.
- Suitability for adapted lenses of all sorts and sizes including tilt and shift adapters.
- Small size even with the battery grip – I prefer using big lenses with battery-grip-equipped cameras for good balance.
- Articulating monitor aka LCD – I prefer the fully-articulated monitors on my Panasonic Lumix GH4 and GX8 but the jury will be out on the X-T2’s three-way tilting LCD.
Other X-T2 features such as 4K video are a welcome bonus. Quality video production often demands shooting with more than one camera at the same time, and the more video-capable cameras in one’s backpack, the better.
Then there is Fujifilm’s wide and ever-growing collection of top-quality lenses. The XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro lens with its 1:1 magnification, due out sometime in 2017, really caught my eye. My close-up full-face frontal magazine editorial portrait style was born from early access to Nikon’s Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 and Micro-NIKKOR 55mm f/2.8 lenses, until I opted for 120 and 4″x5″ technical cameras and reflex cameras in the studio and the field.
For these and other reasons, that X-T2 looks like it may be the perfect companion camera for the X-Pro2. I have added some thoughts about this at the base of my X-Pro2 reference page at:
- The Fujifilm X-Pro2: The Optical Viewfinder Documentary Hybrid Camera for the Rest of Us? Plus Notes About the X-T2.