I will tell you a fairy-tale... once upon a time there was a boy (meaning me) who was secretly dreaming about being a photographer one day. He was enchanted by the black and white wartime photographs by James Nachtway, children from Zizkov by Dagmar Hochová and photographs of regular people by Jindřich Štreit. The dream was so big that he rather did not share it with anyone. He just secretly tackled it. And what followed?
Dreaming is cheap; transforming a dream into reality is priceless...
The most important was that the boy tackled it! The very last part was to take care of what to use and what to photograph. The boy was saving money for more than one year so that he would be able to buy for the money not spent for a sort of party animal life the best can(n)on available at that time and all sorts of the photographic "amenities"– in case they would be needed one day.... " With the best (and the most expensive) equipment I can only struggle with my own limits", he was appeasing himself at that time. Well, but how to take advantage of those limits?
He was not that fond of war since he was young and could not do anything, so he decided to photograph weddings - the same level of stress as on a battle field but (mostly) with alive people, as a bonus with cute babies and especially getting into the situations when those who are prepared are lucky. That could be the right way (of a real men)!
Fulfilling our own dreams depends on our own responsibility
As those wartime years (meaning two) passed, the number of wedding days as well as equipment increased. After over 40 photographed "battles" the boy was still alive but for his own discomfort covered with two expensive and big reflex cameras with small lens. That was from the fear not to miss any single headshot. Somehow, it was not that sexy and something was missing.
As we say: "One can play big performance even with a small puppet."
On one sunny day he caught a glimpse on a website of a small pseudo-retro stylish FUJIFILMcamera and realized at once that with his companion accompanying him at the wedding ceremonies he established more a sort of (non-)rationally-based relationship. But this meeting was different - it was love at first sight! The other people often (more often than he would wish for) claimed about the boy that he is headless. Already the second day after collecting the package from FUJIFILM, he sent his impersonal equipment somewhere to the world so that it eventually makes someone happy.
The photographer's journey - by means of revolution to evolution!
Isn't the story touching? After 66 weddings "won" with the flagship of compact cameras I would like to share with you why I'm really overwhelmed with these photographic treasures and would not like to exchange them for anything.
The size matters (though I have a small one, I'm sexy, cause it's pretty smart...)
Compactness – it's not necessary to be a travelling photographer (or even a porn actor) to know that size and weight matters! Not only the vintage style is fashionable nowadays but also fairly practical and probably (un-)surprisingly every user is addicted to it in a flash. Why? You set up f-stop, timing, and sensitivity literally just with turning the mode dial. You can take control of everything and have it intuitively "at hand". A non-negligible advantage of those inconspicuous cams is that at weddings you do not make an impression with them that you're a wartime reporter. –You simply match up with the wedding guests and why not? You are not any more that uncle with the reflex camera, got it? You're simply closer to the ordinary people and in this way you can take the snapshots more naturally!
I use the best lens (without any compromise)
Excellent zoom lens = FUJINON. This concerns both fixed and zoom lens (even the telephoto ones that mostly function as a sort of cover for the camera so that no dust can penetrate into it :). I'm an addict to the fixed ones (I'm going to "recruit" also the zoom ones) and with them I photograph with full open aperture (f/1,2 and f/1,4). Focus from centre to edges, excellent design of contrast as well as brilliant colours and other similarities are sure things that satisfy every technical photo enthusiast.
You get from the cam "ready pictures" (I subdue any differences)
The picture quality – that's the break-even point cause the outcome is simply astonishing. The scope is amazingly dynamic, there is little coarseness with high sensitivity and when some coarseness appears, it is close to the film coarseness. And the colours! The time I devote to the post processing shortened by one third!
I photograph what I can see (stepping out of the crowd)
Viewfinder – the fact that I can see the picture in a way as I have set it up (it's simply either dark or light) is simply blowing up that usually determines every battle but here it's mind-blowing! You'll not miss anything – there is not any unsociable staring at the display whether it ended up as you wished or not instead looking proudly with the head up when each time haunting for even better snapshot. In addition, you can view it already in the viewfinder in black and white – which is a dream of every photographer who is interested more in composition since he/she's colour sensitive (as me).
And the focus! There are fifty points spread on the whole surface of the viewfinder (up to the edges) plus the possibility to set up the size of the selected focusing point (as well as its speed) which means that during constant movement (focusing) of the camera you don't look like as if you are driving off some bothering insect from your view or something like that. And forget also about one unnerving thing - focusing through! You don't need to be stressed any more about your computer when you usually realized that the only thing that was focused was your mind. You can actually check this directly on the camera with one press of the button and nothing else is needed!
Calm before storm (no one can hear me yet)
Quiet (electronic) shutter – what's more than the fact that no one can see that you are taking the pictures? The quiet shutter is not fashionable any more - a state-of-the-art must is the shutter that is absolutely inaudible. That is another very simple hint for amazing snapshots. It is even able to click in the speed of 1/32 000s which is fair enough, isn't it!
A letter to my mum (I'm taken care of)
Regular updates of the firmware – I've had FUJI for a year and half and the Japanese guys have already released three updates of the firmware (for my X-T1) – it was literally as if I got a new model. In a flash my camera suddenly got the electronic shutter, pretty enhanced continual shooting, more precise focusing points and all that for free! How comes? FUJI simply listens to its users and properly takes care of them. And I'm also the one giving them the feedback!
Money not lower than on the first place (I've saved some money)
Price – all in all with transfer to FUJI my situation did not anyhow deteriorate– it's actually the other way round cause I even saved some bucks. When comparing the FUJI equipment with the one I used to have, I could save one third of money already during purchase. That's pretty enough to be able to go for a nice trip with my lovely Barunka instead. I wouldn't even take the "brick-looking reflex camera" out of the back at such trip but now we have already three photos from our vacation.
I can print (and share the joy)
WiFi function – yes, sure, nowadays you may find it on every single fridge and I've heard that you may set up via your cell phone even the speed of your plastic "backup" (for sure smaller one) available for your girlfriend when you are far away overseas, so I guess you would agree that it's meaningful since it can bring an instant pleasure! But how? Simply in connection with the WiFi printer Instax SHARE SP-1. A photograph is sent directly to the printer and then to someone's hand or already in the evening as a nice surprise and a gift to the newly weds when leaving form the wedding! What a joy you bring!
The family as the most important thing (I'm already part of it)
FUJIFAMILY – I've become part of a very creative family – and what's more than meeting such open-minded people who share online and "live" more impressions than what I was used to - simply I'm not a solitaire any more.
Show your pictures (equipment is on the second place)
A brand new approach – to spell it out, it is just an electronic device and a bit of glass. FUJIFILM has, however, managed to create devices that I have built a great relationship with. I wanna keep it all the time (that's what the user of reflex cameras probably never understands) cause they gave me back simply the most important thing – a joy of photographing without any specific purpose. It's all about doing the things with joy and bringing the joy, isn't it?
And last but not the least... the cam is constantly accompanying me (and therefore also you)!
So what are you waiting for?
a couple of footnotes (for the haters who are not interested so far to spend their precious time with me to spam my forums)
1 – this text does not concern the fact whether are better the reflex cameras or not
2 – please carve in my gravestone: he lived fulllframe life with the cropfaktor 1,5x!
3 – I was photographing or I currently photograph with: X-T1, X-T10, X100S, X100T, X-Pro2, X70 and with lenses XF 16/1,4R; (XF 18/2R); XF 23/1,4; XF 23/2; XF 35/1,4R; XF 35/2; XF 56/1,2R, XF 16-55/2,8, XF 50-140/2,8
4 – props provided by Pikolici