I’m never sure if I should grab an umbrella when it’s a slight drizzle out. So I’m sitting in my car, listening to the rain out of rhythm to the Miles Davis album Kind of Blue playing through the speakers. The not so heavy rain is good though, it’s the reason I came out. I wanted to put the weather resistance of the Fuji X-Pro 2 and the 35mm F/2 to a test. The X-Pro 2 is sitting in the passenger seat, I’m thinking of replacing my Nikon D750 with it. Or rather, it’s the Fuji system as a whole I’m think of. That’s the idea at least use the X-Pro 2, sell my Nikon gear, buy equivalent glass to replace my current kit, and wait on the XT2 for work the X-Pro 2 isn't as well suited for. I definitely have my reservations about switching though. The D750 might just be one of the best all around full frame cameras on the market currently and the kit I’ve built is borderline decent.
The Fuji system, well it’s a bit like listening to this Miles Davis album. It’s great and I appreciate it for what it is but I don’t quite understand it. I like modal jazz like Kind of Blue but I’d have a bad time trying to describe what modal jazz is. The Fuji system similarly I’m having a hard time describing why and where it fits for me as a camera system. I've looked at a lot of professionals that use this system to see if it's being used in a manner similar to how I would use it. What I found is one of my biggest irks about Fuji and it's not even about their cameras. There’s a slew of professional photographers singing praise to the Fuji system yet many seem to use another system when a job comes around. I get it, I’d love Fuji too if I had a Phase One sitting in my bag but what Nikon/Canon professional is bringing out another system when there’s a big job to do?
Sure, if I had the financial means I’d invest in both Nikon and Fuji systems but that’s not my situation. The gear I have is what I use day in, day out. I can’t invest in two different systems especially not in one because its retro design is inspiring and nice to look at. At the end of the day my camera is a tool, I don’t need it to look pretty and I don’t need it to be some sort of talking point, I need it to get a job done. This is the biggest reason I'm reluctant to switch, I have a limited amount of funds for gear so I need to get the absolute most out of my money and not seeing other professionals use this system in a similar capacity to my needs is cause for hesitation.
The rain is letting up some and I’ve yet to get out of the car. "All Blues" has begun and I wish I would have picked up a vinyl copy of this album the last time I was out. Went for the CD and it sounds good but it doesn’t have the grit and warmth of vinyl. The irony of liking the retroness of vinyl while criticizing that same aspect of the Fuji isn’t lost on me. Vinyl creates a sort of experience, or perhaps more accurately a nostalgia, that CDs don’t and I know this is what many see in the Fujis. But the vinyl experience is one I enjoy solely without purpose. My camera has purpose it has a task and a job. If I’m setting up in a house with the real estate agent buzzing around making small talk with the owners so I can get pictures of the rooms without interruption, I don’t need an experience. I need to get the job done.
The drive home is a bit more wet than the drive out and I've no real pictures to show for my time. The best part of the night was stopping to get the raspberry chocolate chip ice cream from the local ice cream store. Good on you for staying open so late. I’ve spent a week with the Fuji X-Pro 2 and in that time I've tried it out in multiple scenarios that I would use it in. Regardless of my four paragraphs of bitching about this camera, it is a joy to use and the files are very nice. There's a reason the Fuji systems receive so much praise and it is warranted. But I don't see myself switching systems anytime soon and the boxes with return labels next to me attest to that. At the end of the day, the positives of this camera are outweighed not by it's negatives but by the positives of my current D750. It's not a question of whether or not it's a good camera but one of whether that camera will perform better or more efficiently. If I didn't have a decent kit built or I was starting anew, the Fuji system might be the route I'd go but I don't see it as a replacement for my current setup.
There is still the question of the Fuji XT2 after all this camera is more akin to a DSLR like the D750 than the X-Pro 2. I can't dismiss the XT2 as it's specs, much less the body itself, hasn't been fully released yet but likewise I can't invest in a system based on hopes for a future product. Will the eventual release of the XT2 change my mind on switching systems? Currently, I'd say no. Kind of Blue starts over again and after spending so much time comparing images at 100% zoom, reading review after review of the X-Pro 2, and wondering if I should instead be toying around with a Pentax K1 my current mood matches the first track, "So What". What you create with is never as important as what you create and I'm just ready to start creating again.