151015 Y X Z - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

I brought this home yesterday.

I’ve been looking to buy a Fujifilm camera for a while now – a few months to many years, depending on how you count it. Fuji’s a great company that makes interesting machines, but somehow we’ve never quite been in the same place at the same time. They launched the fixed-lens X100 right after I had invested in a three-lens Zeiss Ikon 35mm film rangefinder; I shifted away from mirrorless and into large-sensored fixed-lens cameras while Fujifilm perfected their interchangeable X-series options.

It’s like rain on your wedding day.

But finally the two worlds are in alignment: I’ve picked an X-T10 as a digital companion to my film rangefinder and its three lenses.

To be completely honest, as gorgeous as the XT10 is, it wasn’t my first choice. I would have preferred the boxy stylings of the XE2, with its EVF on the top-left corner of the body, as a better physical match to the ZM Ikon. But I really like tilting LCD panels. So I was also considering the smaller and equally boxy XM1 as a budget choice, but I really, really like EVFs for manual focus. I tried the XM1 with my ZM lenses last summer and it just didn’t work out. So, the XT10 it is.

And what a camera it is.

The Fuji M-Mount Adapter is what will usually be on the camera, and it’s great to have a film-digital combination back again. The first time I tried this – almost exactly five years ago – I paired a then-cutting-edge micro four thirds camera with the Ikon for a week in New York City. The idea was good, but I simply didn’t have the right digital companion to make it work properly. The Zeiss Ikon has certain standards, after all.

Even after just a few hours I can tell that this is going to be a vastly more successful combination. The 1.5x sensor size is ideal for lenses that, despite what Zeiss says, were designed for film, and focus peaking makes working with M-mount lenses even easier than it is on their bespoke rangefinder.

For now the XT10 is my choice for legacy lenses, but for the future, who knows? There’s the new XF35/2 Fuji lens that’s going to be an excellent match for the little XT10, assuming that my ZM 35/2 Biogon doesn’t keep that role. And there’s also the XF60/2.4 macro, which is the kind of lens I’ve always done well with, that could pair with a little 27mm wide-standard pancake. In time my XF lens collection may exceed the ZM collection that I bought the XT10 for.

Isn’t that ironic… don’t you think?


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