two years with the x-t1

obnoxious statistics

My current Fujifilm arsenal. I should clean my table.

Two years ago I sold almost all my Canon gear and went to Fujifilm. Under the auspices of Canon, I cut my teeth in really learning photography. Over the Canon years I had gone through a ludicrous amount of Canon gear, having used well over two dozen different lenses, not to mention the slew of flashes and other accessories. But by two years ago, when Canon and I parted ways, I was shooting Canon's flagship full-frame EOS 5D Mark II body, with a full complement of high-end "L" lenses (three fast primes and a sturdy zoom). But as I progressed in my own understanding of photography, and developed a taste for how I like to shoot, I came to realize that the Canon setup was just too damn big. Showing up to shoot photos with the 5D2 and a bag full of L lenses was like driving around town in a chrome-plated Hummer H2 – maybe that sounds awesome to you, but it's not my style. I was leaving the Canon stuff at home in lieu of the freedom of smaller, lighter weight film cameras.

Canon for sale

Here comes the X-T1

This is where the Fujifilm X-T1 entered my life. I started with the "kit" (18-55mm) lens and the 23mm f/1.4, and quickly added the 35mm f/1.4 to the mix. A few months later, I added the 55-200mm telephoto zoom lens. Then when my pre-order shipped, I added the 16mm f/1.4, and finally a month later the discreet 27mm f/2.8 lens. And there my Fujifilm system has remained for over a year. I'm happy with the setup, as other articles on this site (and my Flickr stream) can attest, but can I measure that happiness? Yes, I can.

Measuring happiness

Here's a chart where you can see the number of photos I've shot with each camera since purchasing the Fujifilm X-T1 (the blue bar). The orange bar shows the number of photos I've marked as "good!" in Lightroom, and the silver bar shows what percentage of the blue bar is the orange bar – or, more plainly, what is the "keeper" ratio.

So there's a few things here that should stand out immediately: we can basically ignore the first four cameras (all 9 of the Digital Rebel photos were photos of the Fujifilm X-T1 camera itself, the Powershot S200 photos were sample images taken for this website, I hate shooting with my iPhone, and the Panasonic toughcam only got used one time I was on a small boat in the ocean). I only included those cameras on this chart for completeness' sake.

Unrelated photo to keep the page looking interesting

The Pentax K-01 is a recently acquisition for me (Summer 2016), and you can see by the low "keeper" ratio of 20%, that I don't have great success with it. It's not until the generically labeled "film" chart that there's any serious contender to the X-T1, and splitting out the detail behind that "film" label is for a different article, but I have an unsurprisingly high keeper ratio with film. This comes from that my film photos are nearly all street or landscape photos (not event, family, or other types of photos where keeper ratios are naturally lower), which are composed slower and more methodically taken.

But the X-T1's bar towers above the other cameras. The X-T1 was clearly able to deliver on its promise to me – great photos, reliable usability, and flexible enough to work in almost every situation I encounter. I have measured happiness, and here it is on a bar chart.

But wait, there's more

"How do the lenses compare?" I imagine a fake reader asking. Well, fake reader, let me answer with another bar chart.

Note: the 56mm f/1.2 lens I only rented for a short while

Looking at this chart, I think it fairly sums up my feelings; the triple threat of 16mm, 23mm, and 35mm see the most action, because I love them. I'm happiest overall with the 35mm, followed closely by the 55-200mm lens, even though the latter doesn't see as much use. The "kit" 18-55mm lens is useful, even though I don't frequently use it. The 27mm lens doesn't see much use, and either because of or as a consequence, doesn't net many "keepers".

The gearhound will notice several popular XF lenses not appearing at all on my list. Notable absences are the 10-24mm ultrawide zoom (eh...), the 14mm f/2.8 (the 16mm outclasses it), the 18mm f/2 (too expensive for what it is), the suite of XF lenses which are bigger than a car (16-55mm, 50-140mm, 18-135mm, and the 100-400mm), the macro 60mm (I don't care about macro), the new 23mm and 35mm f/2 lenses (my f/1.4 versions are fine thankyouverymuch), and lastly the 90mm (which I feel insatiable gearlust for so we'll see how long it remains off this chart).

And one more chart just because

I also made a chart comparing two years of ISO settings. Gripping, I know.

I made this chart because I wanted to see it myself. I've always found it weird that the X-T1 starts at ISO 200 (instead of, say, ISO 100, like every other digital camera I've used). But what ISO do I actually shoot at? Turns out, over half my photos are shot at under ISO 800. So while all the other gearlust blogs go on and on about how great these new cameras can shoot at ISO one billion or whatever, those abilities probably wouldn't be much used by me. I much prefer fast glass to high ISO.

Anyway, enough with the bar charts! This is a photography website! Where are the photos?? Ok fine here's a photo.

Shot on the Fujifilm X-T1 using the XF 16mm f/1.4 lens at ISO 200 and f/8 with a 1.1 second exposure

Now stop asking questions.

First published on 24 Oct 2016; last updated on 27 Jan 2017.

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