December 9, 2020

From Gerald R. Lucas

Fuji First Day covid-19: day 262 | US: GA | info | exit

FedEx dropped off my Fujifilm X-T30 just after I came home from my walk. I was pretty excited, as I had already received my Fujicron 23mm yesterday—I was anxious to try out the new system. On a similar note, the Leica M sold for just under $2700 last night, and I mailed it to Oregon this morning. I am a bit sad to see such a great camera go, but I’m over the rangefinder, even if I’ve not seen the last of Leica. And after my first afternoon with the Fuji, I might have another Leica sooner than I anticipated.

The camera is a beautiful piece of hardware, as is the lens. It’s not Leica (this will be a theme in this post), but the build quality is excellent. The X-T30 is compact and well put together. It looks great, especially with the red soft shutter button I got for it. After using it for a bit, I think I need a better grip and something to protect the bottom.

2020-12-09 15-55-03.jpeg

Henry was all about trying out the new camera after school. The sis one of many shots I was about to capture. It’s pretty delightful, but it pales in comparison to my Leica. OK, what do I like? Well, I could never have achieved this next shot with the Leica.

2020-12-09 15-43-12.jpeg

The articulating screen is nice. Another great feature of the camera is that it uses my iPhone’s GPS to tag the location of the photos. Too cool. It also set the date and time with the phone. Yes, it has autofocus, but I’m not thrilled with the sharpness of the buddha. That’s another point: the Leica’s manual focus slowed me down, so a session like this might have produced 50 shots at the most. Today, because of the autofocus, I took over 300. I used to mark at least two-thirds of the images from the Leica as good; today, it was more like one-third from the X-T30.

Everyone talks about the great colors from Fuji. I don’t see it, frankly. I was always pleased with the color rendering of the Leica, but my favorite shots from this afternoon were the black and white conversions in Capture One. And the reason I converted them was because of the crappy color.

Unlike the Leica, this lens focuses very close. However, the sharpness sucks very close wide open. So what’s the point? When I stop it down, it’s better, but I’m a wide-open kinda guy.

These three are nice: focus and colors and composition. Still, I never remember my Leica blowing out the sky like in the third image. These are all RAW conversions, BTW. I notice, too, they tend to be dark. The Leica’s RAWs were more neutral. I have to tweak the Fuji files more, too, and the auto white balance in Capture One never looks right. Finally, the vignetting on this lens is pretty extreme.

I like these images: again, this is with the help of the articulating LCD.


OK, so the X-T30 is gonna take some getting used to. I know I can’t go by my initial impressions: I wasn’t too pleased with the Leica when I first got it either. Still, I did get a number of images I liked today, so I’ll be patient. It’ll be fun to play, at least.

Fujifilm Camera Information
Camera: Fujifilm X-T30. Lenses: Fujinon XF 23mm F/2 R WR • Leica Summicron-M 2/50mm (Typ IV) • Leica Summicron-M 2/35mm ASPH (Typ V) • Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan 100/2.8. Processed with Capture One Pro.