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guest post by Gerhard Witteveen – fotogw.nl
Last January marked my 20th year as a self-employed photographer. A lot has changed in those years. But there was, however, one constant. From the start on I made most of my images with Fujifilm. Of course, back in 1996 the Astia, Provia and FP100C was ordered in bulk. Those films where loaded in the one camera I used from the very start, and I still use, on a daily basis, today.
My true workhorse. Even though it regularly feels like the workhorse is me… Nope. It’s the Fuji GX680. (Not the Fujifilm. The Fuji. Ironic; the cameras that used film did not have the “film” added in the name, the digital camera’s are FujiFILM cameras…) It was one of the biggest investments I made when I started.
A brand-new Fuji GX680, with 65mm, 100mm and 210 mm lenses. and some accessories: An extra long bellows for close-ups, rail extender for the same purpose an a wide-angle bellows. It was actually a little to expensive for a starting business, but I wanted it! The other big investment was lighting equipment. Since I am a fan of quality gear I chose Broncolor lights. I still use many of those lights today. So choosing quality gear paid off for me.
A camera system still in use after 2 decades is remarkable. Sure, some lenses where repaired or replaced, because of broken internal flash-contacts. But the reliability after so many years exceeds my expectations.
Now, in 2016 the camera and lenses can not be repaired anymore. But there is a reasonable amount of second-hand gear out there. I even bought brand-new lenses for it on Ebay. Bought a spare camera just to be sure. Had the battery-packs adapted and the cells renewed. But it is still there. In daily use. Not with the film-back, but with the Leaf Aptus 65. A 28 megapixel back, top of the line in 2006. Still the old Fujinon lenses are superb. The focusing is great. The tilt-shift the GX680 offers is awesome.
Fast forward: X-pro. To answer the question that pops up in Fujifilm users heads; Both. First the X-pro1, with the XF18mm and XF27mm. Later a XF56mm was added. The X-pro1 taught me to shoot in a different way. Very different from the DSLR’s I worked with earlier. More intuitive. Less menu’s. Superb feel.
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