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.
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.
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.
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.
Even with no ACROS, the X-Pro1 rendered monochrome beautifully.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*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.
A kind reader by the name of Mr Sam Chapman has generously shared his experience of modifying his X-Pro1 set and here in his own words (so that I don’t risk misrepresenting his good intentions)
It’s a very neat idea and I always have this profound respect for people who work out solutions to a problem vs those who simply can just complain and here’s sharing his neat work and I thank him.
“One of my main niggles with the X-Pro1 WAS that the Drive, AE and AF buttons could be far too easily depressed by the palm of my left hand. However, I have solved this problem by applying a piece of ‘Sugru’ about 4-5mm thick, so that these buttons are now ‘recessed’. in the following manner:
I have decided to use black Sugru, but fair warning, it’s is fiddly stuff and you haven’t much time to play around with it!
I first produced a ‘template’ that runs down the ‘rubberised’ section on the left-hand side and from that, cut out ‘slots’ to match the gaps between the buttons and extend to the edge of the protruding LCD screen edge. Don’t for heaven’s sake use blu-tack instead, as it won’t stay in place, doesn’t harden like Sugru and will as likely as not, foul up and get down the edge of the buttons PDQ!
Once the Sugru is cut out and located into position, I think it takes about 24 hrs to ‘Cure’, but what I made has been on there about 3 years, without any problems surfacing. The ‘Indents’ are deep enough to prevent the palm of your hand contacting the buttons, whilst your finger can still actuate the buttons when needed.”
the completed work.