My Year With Fuji

Window shopping

I know — another write-up on a mirrorless camera. But it’s less of that and more of my story about a year in my life with my Fuji X100T.

I remember when I first picked up my father’s mid-80s Kodak VR35, and by picked up, I was mostly swiping it out of his hands to goof around with. I was mesmerised about the flip up lens cover, felt everything like I imagined a Delorean to feel like, (I was clearly watching too much Back to the Future). I can still remember the hidden joy behind framing something and capturing that moment in time. Then it was his Canon AE-1 and I was forever hooked. There was something so exact between what I was seeing and feeling, and with what were the end results in the prints.

Up the stairs and on the right

When it was time for me to graduate to my own gear it, I grabbed my first dSLR, Nikon D200. Everything about the camera I adored. Except the pictures. At the time, I widdled it down to me just not being good enough, and the learning curve of the digital realm — I would say 65% of that is true. So I stuck with it, even eventually upgraded to a D600, invested in glass, and all of the above.

My experience wasn’t bad, but mostly I lost that feeling I had when I was younger. I still used it on paid shoots but outside of that it would sit quietly on the shelf.

Waiting for the groom

Louvre at night

It wasn’t until my trip last year to Europe where I just wanted something a little more portable; and I happened to stumble onto Zack Arias’ page where he was gushing about the X100(S/T). And man, was he right! As cliché as it sounds it was love at first click — everything from the EVF and film simulations, to the dials and end product. All those initial feelings from the analog days came flooding back, every picture I took I got more giddy, excited to get out the next day to take more. It feels like everything I’m taking is pure gold (even when it may not be the case), but it certainly makes me feel like this is fun again. I literally took this friend everywhere with me… and I mean everywhere; the beach, bike rides, restaurants and bars, hikes, weddings, and even as a second camera on professional shoots. It’s to the point now where my friends are annoyed with me documenting our lives at all times! I think it also comes down to the fact that this style of camera has slowed down my pace and makes me think about exactly what and how I’m trying to capture my next frame, very much akin to shooting on film.

Out dog walking

Kick, push

All the naysayers talking about lag in the EVF, battery life or quality isn’t up to par — unless you’re shooting sports (and even then the A6500 and X-T2 looks to be able to handle it), really is better than to be expected… There’s something to be said about being able to see what your final product looks before you’ve taken an image.

Exchanging hair numbers

This all aside, what really matters is I’ve found a tool and form of expression again that I’m excited to take out with me, to improve my craft, have fun and share with others. It’s like I’ve found a significant other that just gets me, and I can now live happily ever after… just don’t tell my girlfriend I said that. I’m a little more than a year in and I’m still shooting almost daily with it — and that’s all that matters.

Going off the rails in Amsterdam

Lego artist Ekow & his cat

What I’m hoping for is anyone else that is struggling from similar emotions, is to find something whether digital or analog, (or potato), that really makes them enjoy what they’re shooting. I know that sounds basic, but gear can be frustrating at times and sometimes it takes a camera or two before you find the right one. This doesn’t mean getting caught up in ‘gear-acquisition-syndrome’, but finding that tool that makes you feel as you once did when you picked up your first camera, and less worried about megapixel count or burst rate.

Red light district

Countryside in France

Beach bum

As for now, Fuji has won over this Nikon user, and I’m hoping to move over to their line full-time. You can check out more of my story at akbarahmad.com, on Instagram & VSCO.

Peace.

♕ ♕ ♕


Also published on Medium.

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