You could say I got spoiled a few years ago when I traveled to South Africa. We touched down in Paris for a few days to break up the long flight there and because I had never been, though Laura had traveled to the City of Lights back in her college years. At the time, I was shooting only a Fujifilm X100S and surely that wouldn’t do for the lions and cheetahs of our safari adventure. So, I rented a Nikon D7100 and a long lens for that portion. A few shots from that trip can be found here. In the end, the X100 series body was perfect for Paris (and some broader vista shots in Africa) and the Nikon body was incredible for the safari. This awesomeness subsequently became known as my “Paris-Africa Solution” and every camera kit I’ve tried since has been judged against it.
So, why not just shoot with an X100 body and a versatile DSLR?
Well, here’s the conundrum…
I have never enjoyed shooting with two bodies. This requires two sets of battery chargers and multiple extra batteries. It requires two sets of muscle memory. It’s more to carry. It’s expensive. I have a weird hang-up about it, ok?
Along comes the X-Pro2 from Fujifilm. I’ve written about it before on these pages and many (probably most) of the images I’ve posted for a good long while have come from it. It gets me close to the X100 vibe, though truly it doesn’t get me all the way there. There’s just something about the X100’s leaf shutter, smaller footprint, and embedded flash that the X-Pro can’t touch. Then again, I wanted more flexibility (read: interchangeable lenses) and weather sealing. The Pro makes that happen. Toss on the excellent 23/2 and I’m the guy who can quietly capture the image of the sleeping baby above.
More recently, I’ve added the exquisite Fujifilm 100-400 and dedicated bolt on grip (with very helpful Arca Swiss tripod plate) and the X-Pro2 transforms into a capable wildlife shooter. See the red-breasted nuthatch (I think… I’m new to this… please, somebody correct me if I’m wrong) image above.
Fujifilm has upped their autofocus performance, including tracking, so much that I now can be the stealthy and all Cartier-Bresson manual focusing artiste when I want and I can also don the bug spray and head out into the bush hunting for interesting species when I want as well. One camera: the Paris-Africa Solution. I’ll let you know how it all goes…