The 35/1.4 appears to be a lovely lens and the X-Pro1 sensor appears quite nice. But I have some concerns about sharpness, see my Flowers and Food examples page with the Fuji X-Pro1.
See my Compact cameras gear page for availability status.
Paul I writes:
Too bad you let me play with your M9. I was thinking the X-Pro1 would be a great second camera. But it’s boxed back up waiting to go back to B&H after the holidays.
Looks great on slowly moving subjects, with autofocus on the 35mm in the ballpark more often than not. Sometimes focus on the mouth, sometimes the hat, and even on the eye where its supposed to be about half of the time.
Several deal breakers though. With the rangefinder the my 20/20 distance eye can see fine. But with the EVF I would need a +2 to +3 diopter to focus. It’s adjusted for near focus. Having had Lasik so my left eye can see through an SLR viewfinder and the right eye close focuses to see the back of the camera, I can use the viewfinder if I switch eyes. A non-starter. What were they thinking???
I tried photographing someone walking near by. By the time the focus latched on they were gone. No easy zone focusing on it to solve the problem. Worse, is that the image “jumps” in the EVF after it focuses.
I’ll stick with the M9, thank you. If I need something for better close up framing that’s light weight I’d consider something like a Rebel, and leave the big Canon 1DS Mk3 at home.
Too bad. A good idea too poorly implemented to be useful. I tried a Sony Nex-7, but I just don’t have the patience to wade through the nightmare of a menu system. All I want is aperture priority with exposure compensation and manual at my fingertips. Why do manufacturers take a good concept and make it unusable by adding layer of menu garbage that is impossible to get rid of?
DIGLLOYD: unfortunately I cannot disagree with this ergonomic assessment, at least for those with vision that has certain requirements. However, my experience is still very limited with the X-Pro1, so readers should not assume too much from my brief comments— the foregoing just means that I have heard from this reader as well as one optical expert whom I respect that there is a diopter issue for older eyes.
To be clear, zone focusing doesn't work, at least not if one wants a sharp image.
The 35/1.4 autofocus also pinches my hand due to its extension/contraction of the front of the lens barrel, quite annoying for the way I like to hold a camera. I can change my grip, but I should not have to.
Martin D writes:
I'm having a little trouble swallowing Paul I’s complaints as legitimate indictments of the camera. True that people who need diopters have a problem (and they need to be aware of it), but that doesn't necessarily translate to "poorly implemented". That was a design decision.
Zone focusing is not a focusing solution outside of a specific street shooting style where “good enough focus” applies. I guess Ricoh figured out a way to deliver something like that through menu options in their P&S cameras, and maybe Fuji could have too, although given how horrendous Fuji's menus are, it probably would have required five minutes of searching around to activate it. Really, is the X1's focusing performance any worse than any other small EVF camera?
And is it actually possible to make an autofocus lens 35mm for a camera like the X1 that is internally focusing without also making it substantially bulkier/longer? Or is this pinching some kind of flange problem? Given that it will be years for Fuji to build up a stable of quality lenses for the X1 (currently, it's a one lens camera because the wide angle is a toy) it still seems to me the real story is how the X1 will fare as an ALLVIEW camera.
Still, I don't think the X1 will replace an SLR for me. Which is a shame. Its sensor is dynamite.
DIGLLOYD: Yes, the sensor appears to be terrific at first glance.
I have the impression that the Fuji X-Pro1 focusing is less fast and accurate than the Sony NEX-7, but since I don’t have the NEX-7 any more, I cannot confirm that.
I look forward to getting a hold of a Leica M adapter for the X-Pro1, so I can evaluate the EVF and its zoom-in focus on a manual lens.