X100T vs X-Pro2 + 23mm f1.4


I started my involvement with Fujifilm digital cameras with the X100 back in 2011, and it was love at first sight. That first version had lots of warts and idiosyncrasies, but it still made hardcore Fuji fanboys out of a lot of people, myself included. I still have an original X100, the black limited edition model, and I still take it out and shoot with it from time to time. I also have the X100T, the latest and greatest version of the X100 series, and a worthy successor to the name. It’s currently my favorite street photography camera (at least until the X200 comes along).

But, things do change, and in the world of technology, they change quickly. In theory, the newest model of anything should be an improvement over what came before. But in the case of the Fuji X series cameras, even though new models come along, the older ones still remain as viable as ever. Take the X-Pro1, recently “replaced” by the quite amazing X-Pro2, oddly enough, the X-Pro1 still has a loyal fan base, and even more odd, it is gathering new fans all the time with many people taking advantage of the drop in price of the “old” X-Pro1 after the X-Pro2 was announced. And I have to admit that in spite of the new X-Pro2 joining my little Fuji family, the X-Pro1 will be staying right here too.

Which brings me neatly to the X-Pro2, and the reason for comparing it with the X100T. If you’re familiar with the original X100 cameras, you will know that it comes with a fixed 23mm lens (35mm equivalent in full frame lingo). Even though my formative years were spent with a 50mm lens on a Nikkormat 35mm film camera, I took pretty quickly to the 35mm  equivalent lens on the X100, and later the X100T. It turns out it’s pretty much ideal. Between wide and normal, it makes an almost perfect street photography lens (although of course some people will disagree – that’s ok, we can’t all be right). Factor in the relatively small size, light weight and virtually silent shutter, and you have a camera that is clearly made for shooting in the streets.

When the X-Pro2 came out with its bigger sensor, faster processor, quicker autofocus, and the Acros B&W film emulation, it became an overnight sensation and the darling of the Fuji X series lineup. Well, for me anyway. So of course it needs to be taken out into the street, into its native habitat where it can capture life as it goes by. And that’s where I took it. But initially I only had the option of 18mm and 35mm lenses. The 18mm works well for street shooting, but it’s wider than I’m used to, and the 35mm is great as a 50mm equivalent lens, but it’s a big long for shooting in the streets. So it occurred to me (and probably a bunch of other people too), that a 23mm lens on the X-Pro2 should be the ideal camera for street photography! So I got the 23mm lens, and it’s great, except for one thing, on the X-Pro2 it makes for a camera that is considerably larger and heavier than the X100T. Now I’m not implying that it’s too large or too heavy to carry around, but what I have noticed is that more people are noticing me with the camera than they do when I’m carrying the X100T. I almost feel like I have a sign around my neck that says I’m taking peoples’ pictures. And that’s really not what I want.

So, I find myself back to carrying the X100T out in the streets, but at the same time missing the sensor and high speed performance of the X-Pro2. It’s a bit of a quandary and something I’m just beginning to think about, so the solution is not obvious to me yet. Unless, of course, the rumored X200 comes to pass and we end up with a new version of the X100 with the sensor and processor from the X-Pro2 and, hopefully, the Acros film simulation. I’m getting excited already!

For the curious, here are a few snaps of the X100T and the X-Pro2 with the 23mm f1.4 lens mounted to give you an idea of the size difference. The larger and heavier X-Pro2 is still manageable, but as you can see, in a fight the X100T probably wouldn’t fare too well. You can click on the images for a larger view.