Reader review (Iulian): “My thoughts about The Fuji X-E1”


Hi, my name is Iulian and I’m from Romania. I’d like to share my thoughts about the Fuji X-E1. Best regards, Iulian.

 “My thoughts about Fuji X-E1 – what bugs me

No photos, just thoughts

Before I start writing about the Fuji X-E1, I have to provide something about my background skills and gear.

I’m relatively young (33 yrs) and I started photography only three years ago. So, I don’t have the shooting on film background. I started with a Sony Alpha A200, upgraded to Sony Alpha A580 and, after that, to Sony Alpha A77. I had some nice lenses, including the very nice 16-50 F2.8 Sony lens and the excellent Samyangs: the 35 1.4, 85 1.4 and 8 2.8 fisheye. I also had the 50 1.4 Minolta AF and Sony primes. After two years of using the DSLR’s I found out that the gear is too heavy for me and, most of it, the noise that came out from the Sony A77 was obvious even at ISO400, when printed at poster size. The IQ was excellent.

I bought the Nex 5N for keeping it light and paired it with the two Sigmas and the Sony 50 1.8, and I also bought the external electronic viewfinder for it. Since I started using the Nex, I also started using the old M42 lenses, the best of them being the Revuenon 55 1.4. This way I started to love the manual focusing, the focus peaking in the viewfinder making it easier and, especially, faster.

Being so pleased with the Nex, I wanted more. So, I bought the Fuji X-E1, paired with the 18-55 Fujinon lens and the SLR Magic 35 1.4.

Now, about the X-E1, from my perspective:

–          The size, the weight and the feeling – they are all there.

–          The 18-55 lens – it’s a nice lens, similar in build quality and IQ with the Sony 16-50 F2.8 lens (very nice lens, but not exceptional)

–          The autofocus of X-E1 is ok in daylight, but very slow indoors, under the room lightings. In fact, is so slow, that, with autofocus, I simply cannot track my 2 yrs old daughter when running or even walking through the house. [personal note: some FR-readers reported that the latest firmware improved AF in low light conditions]

–          So, I thought I should start using the manual focus instead. No chance at all because of:

o   The manual focus on the 18-55 is annoying – no direct focus like the old real manual focus lenses

o   The viewfinder of the Fuji X-E1 might have the same resolution as the external Sony one for Nex – but, because of the slower refresh rate, the ghosting is disturbing

o   The lack of a real focus peaking is something beyond my understanding

–          Because I thought that, if I cannot rely on autofocus indoor, the autofocus of the Fuji 35 1.4 lens doesn’t provide me any help – I bought the SLR Magic 35.1.4 real manual focus. Somehow, I ended being familiar with manual focus at F2 without the help of the magnification in the viewfinder. So, now, I have around 75% keepers in manual focus.

–          Another thing that I observed is the inaccurate LCD of the Fuji. When I have something bright in the photo (like a paper, or a white toy), when reviewing in on the LCD, the brightest objects have no details. When I look through the viewfinder, those objects appear to have some details. When I check the histogram, everything is ok. And, when I check on my computer, all the details are there. It’s only the LCD of the camera that cannot show me anything.

–          The small flash it’s nice and, when bounced indoors, it’s even great.

Outside, the camera has another face. I think of my Fuji like as a Phoenix bird. It simply reborns every morning. It’s such a nice camera for everything else but indoors and sports.

The photos have colors, vibrancy, sharpness and no disturbing noise.

I give Fuji so much credit, that I bought a leica M to Fuji X adapter and intend to buy two Voigtlanders: the Skopar 25 F4 Pancake and the Heliar 75 1.8 for portraits. Hopefully, one day, Fuji will provide the focus peaking via firmware.

Maybe stupid, maybe not, I sold all my Sony gear, except the Nex 5N and the Revuenon 55 1.4, and I intend keeping and, eventually, falling in love with the X-E1.”


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