I shot Leica stuff almost exclusively for three years. Frankly, it was hard to do. Not because the equipment was bad (it was phenomenal), but because anything with a red dot is so oppressively expensive that I was almost afraid to take it anywhere. I’m over that now. I sold off my M9 and most of my Leica glass. In fact, the only German made camera stuff I have left is a film M6 and an old 50mm Cron from the glory days of Leica. I imagine I’ll take those two to the grave with me.
But what spawned all of this? Frankly, I grew tired of the boutique camera company – tired of their prices, tired of their policies, tired of their limited editions… just tired. But the real kicker was the first time I tried out a Fuji X-Pro 1. Essentially, it’s a $1200 digital camera that beats the pants off the $7,500 Leica M9 in just about every way. It falls short with manual glass, but that is literally it…
I’ve been using the X-Pro 1 as well as the fixed lens X100S for about 9 months now and couldn’t be happier. Somehow, Fuji has positioned themselves as Leica of the 1950’s and 60’s. The X-100S and the X-Pro 1 are small cameras that shoot big photographs. They get out of the way and let you be you. They are just fantastic cameras.
Of course, with any new camera system comes the concern of glass availability. In the beginning, Fuji X glass was limited to 3 choices, but now inventory has grown considerably. The newest just might be the most exciting. Yesterday, Fuji announced the 23mm F1.4 (35mm equivalent)… HOLY SHIT.