First Impressions

So, as I wrote in my last post I’ve taken another step along the path to a fully mirrorless existence. Unless “Senior Management” wins the lottery I can’t imagine I will ever be in a position to replace the Nikon D800E that I sold this week but I have no regrets (yet?). As well as the X-T1 I have also been able to purchase a Samyang 85mm f1.4 and most excitingly the Fuji 23mm WR f2.  The Samyang arrived yesterday and seems very sturdy and whilst I’ve not tried it in earnest as yet I have high hopes for this manual focus lens. The second generation Fuji 23mm arrives tomorrow … watch this space!

© Dave Whenham

Literally the first shot with the XT-1. 18-55 lens at 20mm 1/20th sec f7.1 ISO 400

A hospital appointment Wednesday morning was the unlikely opportunity to try the X-T1 for the first time. For flexibility I added the 18-55 “kit” lens and arrived at the hospital an hour early so I could wander down some of the back streets to have a play. Not particularly inspiring conditions but it gave me a taster and I found that the camera handled well and was as intuitive to use as I’d hoped.  I popped a Lee Seven5 graduated filter in my pocket too and found that the EVF was more than up to the job of helping me line up the filter.

Back button focusing worked well although it’s going to take a while for muscle memory to find the button first time every time. It is small and positioned slightly behind where my thumb naturally rests but given time it will be fine I think. I’ve ordered a third-party hand grip for under £20 to see if that helps (sorry Fuji at £129 you’ve priced yourself out of the market for that accessory).

© Dave Whenham

18-55 lens at 55mm 1/60th sec f6.4 ISO 1000

Late-afternoon Wednesday and after picking the Nipper up from school it was pleasant enough to play in our small front yard.  Zac is quite speedy on the bike and truth be told the 18-55 was struggling to keep up. With hindsight I would have put the 35mm f1.4 on the camera as that is no slouch in the focus department but hindsight is such a wonderful thing. Those shots where I nailed the focus though made up for the failures and I learned a lot from the experience I think.

© Dave Whenham

18-55 lens at 46mm 1/25th sec f4 ISO 400 indoors

I’ve saved the best for last though. Still with the 18-55 attached (I have now removed it) I photographed Ted on Thursday as he ate his breakfast. Not at all shabby in my view and after just a small time I am already feeling very comfortable with the new toy.

First impressions then are very favourable. The X-T1 handled well although I do need to adjust to the smaller form compared to my D800E. Ironically, the slightly smaller body of the X-T10 never gave me the same issue but I think that is largely down to expectations; I bought the  X-T10 as an additional camera whereas in my mind the X-T1 is replacing the Nikon, a camera with which I am very well acquainted. I will post further impressions over the coming weeks as I get out with the X-T1 more.

Incidentally, all of these were processed in Luminar, the relatively new image editing software from Macphun. It works very differently to Photoshop but after viewing a couple of introductory videos from the vast collection on Macphun’s website I’m finding it simple to use. Given time I may have found a far more cost effective alternative to the Adobe behemoth. They are posted in the order I processed the RAW files too, I think I could make a better fist of the railway line if I reprocessed the file today.