Revisiting The Fujifilm X-Pro1 : Can the love be rekindled?

I guess one common thing some have with growing experience in our photography journeys is that we start to re-evaluate our wants, and at times reminiscence our past loves, even thinking:

“what if we get together again? Will it be different this time round?”

And fate be it, one fine day I chanced upon a pre-owned X-Pro1 for sale at SGD400 and with a bit of nostalgia in mind, I jumped at it, even in the process managing to bargain it down to around SGD250 (US188).

When I first received it, it was still working perfectly! a testament to how durable this Fujifilm body is, but time had taken its toil and the grip had worn off together with the LCD coating , even the OVF was a mess of dirt particles. Even the once pristine white letters were in a shade of aged yellow.

Fujifilm X-Pro1
Ever seen an X-Pro1 so old that the lettering got yellowed? 

Looking at it, i simply took a a deep breathe, telling myself, ‘let’s get shooting’.

When the X-Pro 1 originally appeared in 2012, it was criticised for really slow autofocus with the XF35mm F1.4 and super awkward manual focus but Fujifilm’s ‘Kaizen‘ approach ensured this camera never really got obsolete, and madly enough Fujifilm was still providing firmware updates and fixes for this 2012 camera up to ver 3.80, 5 years plus from its release, plus realising the newly designed lenses also promised faster and more reliable autofocus performance, I decided to pair it with the XF23mm F2 lens.

Fujifilm X-Pro1

And what a joy it has been getting back to the X-Pro1 even after handling the GFX50S or the X-T2. Words don’t describe this but I guess the handling still speaks to me after all this while.

DSCF5011
X-Pro1, XF23mm F2.

I realised that I had missed the X-Trans I colours. I’ve been through X-Trans II and X-Trans III but I stands out for how it balances a natural and yet beautifully rendered feel as compared to so many variations out there. 

DSCF4993
X-Pro1, XF23mm F2.

Even with no ACROS, the X-Pro1 rendered monochrome beautifully.

DSCF4994

X-Pro1, XF23mm F2.

For those who argue the camera can’t catch up with capturing fleeting moments, the answer will be: you have not spent enough time learning to work with this camera.

DSCF5026
X-Pro1, XF23mm F2 

At the very end, I decided I wasn’t going to let go of this again and brought it into Fujifilm Service Centre at Singapore where the nice folks there gladly took it in and with a fast turnaround time, soon texted me to pick up the X-Pro1.

Fujifilm X-Pro1
That’s the old LCD screen cover which had its worn out coating next to the camera.

Fujifilm X-Pro1
A replacement of the worn out leather grip and yeap, back to X-Pro1 that to me is as good as it can get.

Even the OVF is now spanking new with the great job done and yes, i’ve an X-Pro1 with a count that’s in the 5 digits but well, that’s how I will continue to see it – a tool I love.

Conclusion

I started the Fujifilm system with the X-Pro1, back then paying ‘princey’ sum of US1700 (SGD2400) for the body and approx US600 back then for a XF35mm F1.4 lens, and I loved it back then, being one of the few cameras with a beautifully crafted rangefinder design and oh god, the X-Trans 1 colours even at 16 megapixel was beautiful.

Compared to the X-T2 or X-Pro2, it lacks a ton of functions, a tilting screen, has just + or – 2 stops exposure compensation, as against 5 stops on the X-T2 and the EVF display doesn’t rotate when shooting vertically. It even lacks diopter adjustment for the viewfinder, or even wifi transfer. But I realised that I didn’t really mind in the end.

This is a camera made in the likes of Leica cameras, no frivolous functions and simply designed and made to photograph moments.

It just works, and if you do manage to have your hands on one again, my suggestion is :

Don’t miss it. 

Fujifilm X-Pro1

*disclaimer: The X-Pro1 and the XF23 F2 in this article was fully paid for by and belongs to the writer. The writer did not get any form of reimbursement from Fujifilm for this article and yes, this writer paid fully for the repair bill too.

Advertisements
keithwee

Keith Father, Teacher and Life Photographer. Lives a life of positivism & seeks to photograph Life & his 2 toddlers Kei & Lynn.

7 thoughts on “Revisiting The Fujifilm X-Pro1 : Can the love be rekindled?

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful revisit of a great camera!
    If I may ask, have you tried the lens fujinon 18-55 f2.8-4 lens with the xpro1? If so, what was the experience like?
    🙂
    Ruben

    Like

    1. Hi! Thank you. The XF18-55 still remains one of the best kit lenses across most brands (most go only from F3.5-F5.6) and crazily it comes with OIS. It’s pretty much a very good versatile setup.

      Like

  2. Damn you Keith , i just bought the Fuji XPro 1 second hand after my first one was stolen some years back and for some reasons best memories and photos were taken with this camera – so i got one yesterday and just for the fun of it, search for some articles on X Pro 1 in 2018 and found this website…hahaha

    Like

    1. Hi Stephen, it’s a pity the first one got stolen 😦 a friend recently had his X70 stolen too. The X-Pro1 is kinda old , but ya , somehow as u have said , it does have this weird quality to it that keeps me going back to it again and again

      Like

      1. for some reasons it was really fun to use – and i had the olympus EM1 mk1 then at the same time (and now EM1 mk2) with me, but there was something in that camera which transend even the XPro2 – which was why i just have to get this back – i enjoyed using it in its own strange way but the photos that comes out of it, has a certain magic which i cannot replicate with the other cameras – so it’s going to be a keeper for me – nice website and thanks

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m just about to get an X-Pro1 myself with a couple of primes and came across your article. I don’t really care for the fancy features on the newer camera’s and even plan to use it with a bunch of vintage manual focus lenses. I think this camera comes closest to the Leica M experience without having to sell a kidney.
    I sometimes doubt if the 16mp is going to be enough, but when I see your photos I think I’ll get by with 16mp. Great shots! And there’s a certain threedimensionality to the xpro1 pictures that is reminiscent of film.

    Like

    1. Hi Michael, I agree too. Even for me, I’m quite guilty for not using a bulk of the new functions because we don’t really need so much end of the day too when creating an image. I’ve a print that A0 size printed from a 16mp image hanging in my living room and yes, 16mp is already plenty 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s