Well, I finally did it. I traded in my Sony A6000 kit for the gloriously retro but ever so cool, X-T2! I now have the X-T2 body, complete with vertical power booster grip, the FUJINON XF50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR, and the 1.4x Tele-convertor.
The whole thing, when assembled together, is quite a beast compared to my A6000 and it’s 50-200 zoom. However, the X-T2 is much more a professional camera, though no doubt the A6500 could be compared to it. I decided against the A6500 for several reasons in the end. Mainly the lack of 2 SD card slots and the greater costs, especially when you look at the cost of comparable lenses (where Sony has them even). Also, despite the fact, the Fuji X-T2 is larger and heavier than the Sony A6500, there isn’t a lot in it really, especially when you look at the bulk of comparable DSLRs from Nikon and Canon.
I also like the ease of use of the X-T2 with its retro control dials and user-friendly GUI of the menu system. Sony still has its quirks and to be honest (I have used my daughter’s X-E1 s Fuji menu system am familiar with it) the Fuji menu system is easier to get the hang of, once you have familiarised yourself with its many options and customisations.
So, how have I found it so far? Well, the first day I took it out (the day I bought it, once I had charged the three batteries (one for the camera body, two for the booster grip), I went along to our local nature reserve to see if I could find some birds to shoot (in the photographic sense that is!). However, unusually, there were very few around. In fact, I ended up taking photos of oncoming cars and the odd cyclist for the first hour!
Eventually, I managed to attempt some shots of birds in flight. What soon became apparent though was that I needed to understand the various options and settings. I did ok with the cars and cyclists, but the birds not so well. I was amazed by the tracking of the birds in flight but I had set my shutter speed to low to stop blurring! Also, in terms of bird watching and photography, the 50-140mm lens is not the best, even with the 1.4x T/C attached. I had considered getting the 100-400mm, but as I bought the camera especially for an upcoming trip to Silverstone for the F1 Rolex British Grand Prix in July, I felt the 100-400 would be too large to carry around all day for three days in a row. I also prefer the f2.8 aperture at all focal lengths too. As I will be shooting from the stands at Luffield, which is supposed to have good views fo the track, I felt the 50-140mm made the most sense. With the crop factor and the 1.4 T/C, I will have coverage roughly from 105-300mm.
Following my first day with the camera, I did a bit more research online about settings and customisations. I have also created my own custom setting for tracking, one of the many things to love about the Fuji. I haven’t had much shooting time, but did manage to try out some shots of a bee! Now, obviously, the 50-150mm lens is not designed for macro and the closest you can get to your subject is 1m – 3m (whole zoom position) – without the 1.4x T/C attached. With the 1.4x T/C attached, I think I was about 2-3m away. However, when I looked at the images on my Mac, I was very impressed with the sharpness. The OIS had done an excellent job of stabilising the image (hand-held), as you can see in the samples below.
I am very impressed and, it has to be said, very happy with my ourchase. I can’t wait to take more photos of different subjects and in fact, I am hoping this week to attend the Classic & Vintage Hillclimb at Harewood Speed Hillclimb, near Leeds.