It was 1995, I found myself in a dark red lit room and the smell of fixer and developer seemed to intoxicate me. This was the Shawnee High School photo lab and I literally fell in love with photography. Using Minolta and Canon film cameras that I could “borrow” for several days and shoot skateboarding pictures of my friends was awesome. And, the film was free too!! I eventually landed at a photography school where shooting on film cameras was still what was happening. 35mm, medium format, 4×5. I owned and used them all over the years and didn’t think I was missing out on anything. Until I bought my first digital camera…a Canon 10d digital camera. Being able to use autofocus and shoot many more images quickly changed the way I did things and pretty much everything else in the industry. It was an incredible breakthrough in technology but something changed that was not positive. I began to learn to shoot excessively, because I could, without slowing down and putting thought into the photograph. I wasn’t limited to just 36 frames any more and I was a shooting machine and still am to a certain extent.
Ok, lets fast forward here a bit. I’m a commercial editorial photographer, and wedding photographer, in Philadelphia and I pretty much found myself using my canon dslr for paying jobs only. I rarely brought my cameras to family events, on trips, or really with me at all. Why? Because they are huge systems, cumbersome, and they make you a bit of a target in public scenarios. They are amazing cameras that can deliver very fast tack sharp images but I don’t really need that capability in the day to day. So, I found myself shooting for jobs only. I’m not a fan of iPhone photography so this portable option wasn’t ever an option for me. And, that where this little wonder called the Fuji X-Pro 1 comes in. I’m only owned it a few weeks now, and still putting it through its paces, but I’m super excited with the possabilities of this little camera. It reminds my of old minolta SRT102 & Canon AE-1 film cameras. It’s just a little bit smaller than a traditional 35mm film camera, it has a shutter speed dial, exposure compensation dial, and many other great manual features that will help slow me down and enable me to be a part of the process. One thing that was very important to me was being able to use an aperture setting at f2.0 or below. I rarely shoot about 2.0 for my commercial and wedding work, and I wanted a camera that could give me the same look as my dslr’s. All the images below, except the last frame of me, were shot with the X-pro1 with the 35mm lens, which converts to a 50mm. The quality is amazing and very comprabel to my dslr’s. I’ve been bringing it on jobs and working it in slowly to see what it can handle and I’m very impressed. I had it on the dance floor of a recent wedding while shooting available light at iso 5000 and the images look great at f/1.4. The autofocus was even super snappy which surprised me quite a bit since the room was fairly dark.
This camera has brought me to a place where I don’t feel burdened by bringing my camera along. And, that was huge for me. Its a fun camera, but isn’t without its quirks, that I’ll continue to use on jobs and incorporate more and more. I’ll be putting up another post soon with images from actual jobs. The last image in the post was shot by Seth Shimkonis showing me and the X-Pro1.