My initial introduction to the Fujifilm X world was through the original X100 – as soon as I saw it, I lusted after it! Up to that point, I had always used DSLR cameras but something about the little retro looking X100 intrigued me and at the point in time when I decided I wanted to get one…nobody had them in stock! I tracked one down at a Dodd Camera north of Dayton, Ohio after a few days and jumped in the car. A couple hours later I was the proud new owner of an X100. I was so excited to have it, I even took it inside with me when I went to Red Lobster for lunch and sat and stared at it on the table while waiting for my food!
That original X100 was a quirky little camera. Fixed, single focal length lens…slow AF…odd menu system, etc. But the images…so film-like and rich. So many people were frustrated with the handling but loved the IQ. I only had my X100 for a couple months before swapping it for the newly introduced Fuji X-Pro1 and the awesome Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 lens. After that, I was hooked on the Fuji X system for good.
The X100 eventually was upgraded to the X100S, which I briefly owned for a day. The same day I bought it, Nikon ended up announcing the Df camera and I thought that was going to be the bees’ knees so I returned the X100S and decided to wait for the Df. Well, once the Df was released to less than glowing reviews and I saw just how big it was and how wrong it was, I decided it wasn’t for me…but Fuji was working on a camera that just might be – the “coming soon” X-T1. I now own two X-T1’s so you can tell I love them. Fuji made exactly what Nikon was trying to make with the Df.
Anyway, recently I wanted to get a “carry everywhere, everyday” camera and initially thought about the X100T, or maybe another X100S which had been lowered in price since the X100T was out. I did find a used original X100 for a great price so I bought it, but once I got home two things made me return it – it’s serial number was in the range of the first batch that had the “sticky aperture blade” issue and even though it didn’t display that issue, if it did pop up in the future it wouldn’t be covered under warranty obviously. The second thing was the hotshot was a bit loose, which was sometimes a problem with the original X100’s that were used with a “thumb grip”. I ended up finding a great deal on both a Sony A7 with kit lens and a Sony A6000 with kit lens. The A7 body is pretty good…full frame, small size. The kit lens sucks though. I was never too happy with the A7 honestly so I ditched it. That left me with the A6000 to try out, and after a few weeks I thought maybe it was the camera I was looking for as my everyday shooter…image quality is fantastic. It had the 16-50 kit lens though, which like all Sony kit lenses ain’t great. I also had two of the Sigma DN Art lenses for the Sony though – the 30mm f/2.8 and the 60mm f/2.8, and they actually are GREAT lenses. Not as good as the Fujinon lenses I am used to using with my Fuji X gear, but really nice and very inexpensive. The thing is, I ended up with a “kit” again…the A6000 body, three lenses, a Nikon-to-Sony adapter, Arca-Swiss grip, etc. and my carry everywhere camera was suddenly too big. I ended up getting rid of that A6000, but I sold the Sigma lenses. I did get another A6000 though when there was the instant savings deal going on. It’s currently my “play” camera – I put older legacy glass on it via a Fotodiox Pro adapter – fun & inexpensive, and some of the old, cheap legacy lenses are really great. I have a Cimko 28mm f/2.8 lens that is a great street photography lens on the A6000, and also a small collection of old legacy glass like a couple of 135mm lenses and a small & lightweight Nikon 50mm E Series lens. The combo of such a high-res sensor with older, (sometimes) low-contrast legacy glass can give cool results a lot of times.
So, back to square one. I started researching every kind of small, quality camera I could find and spent about 2 weeks doing it. I looked at some Micro 4/3 cameras, which I’ve had in the past and was never all that happy with…the only thing I’ve ever really liked about m4/3 cameras are the size of the system…but I knew if I went that route I’d end up with a kit again. I looked at the Ricoh GR…some really cool features and a lot of street shooters seemed to like them and if you’re into black and white you can get some amazing image quality, but it has no viewfinder. The Nikon Coolpix A…very similar to the Ricoh, and now priced at less than half of it’s original price, but again no viewfinder. A Panasonic LX100? No, again the m4/3 sensor is a bit small. A Samsung?!? Nah.
Then I thought, why not just get a Fuji X100T?!? Yeah, it’s a fixed, single focal length lens…but it’s a killer lens and at 35mm equivalent, it’s right what I would want for street photography. The quirkiness of the original X100 was now gone – they fixed just about everything with the X100S, and the last couple of niggles they fixed with the X100T now. There are some people that think the X100T’s AF isn’t good enough for street photography…I think they’re nuts. It’s plenty fast enough if you know how to use it. I love the way you can set the AEL/AFL button as a “back focus” button and it will autofocus even if you’re in manual focus mode. The IQ is fantastic…the handling is fine…and the menus are very similar to the X-T1’s that I use already. I decided to go ahead and get one and I’m so glad I did. I went for the all black version this time after having the two-toned silver/black version that I had in the X100 and X100S…but honestly, the camera is beautiful in either version. The two-toned is a little sexier in it’s retro vibe, but the all black is a bit more stealth-like.