Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fuji X-Pro1 and the M mount

One of the most compelling reasons to have gotten the Fuji X-Pro1 camera was the announced intention of Fuji to make an m-mount adapter so that old Leicaphiles such as myself (the Leica part, not the old) would be able to make use of their wonderful Leica m-mount lenses on this yummie new type of camera. I was hot to get the adapter but resisted the temptation to get a cheaply produced third party adapter ring with no electronic/digital functionality. 

When I got the Fuji adapter I checked all my Leica lenses to see which lenses would or wouldn't be functional.  There is a problem with some lenses because when focused to infinity the rear element housing protrudes from the back of the lens and hits an internal baffle in the adapter. I really wanted the adapter so that I could use my 50mm f2 lens and my 90mm f2.8 lens (on the DX sensor that translates into 75mm and 135mm respectively). I did all the setup stuff that Fuji recommended: adjustments for barrel/pincushion distortion, peripheral illumination, and color shading, and did some quick tests around town. Everything seemed fine.

I had yet to really use the adapter and Leica glass in a field test on the streets of New York. I made it a 
mission for my street walk yesterday. Those focal lengths are not what I would customarily use for my street work, as I like to be in close, so I found a chair on the plaza in front of the Apple Store on the corner of 59th Street and Fifth Avenue and watched as people walked by. My standard configuration now is to set the camera on Auto ISO 3200, shutter to 1/250th second, and aperture to f8. That's what I used here.

To manually focus I tried spot focus, hyper focal distance focus, and zone focus. Since I was sitting in one spot and taking my time to shoot manually, the best result was using spot focusing. It's essential to use the electronic viewfinder in this configuration. With the camera set to M (manual focus)  and with a gentle pressure on the function wheel the viewfinder zooms into the focus point at a magnification of 1.5X. The zoom functionality is very good to have for critical fine focusing, but with aging hands like mine the zoomed image was very jittery. No matter, the focusing in regular mode worked well, and for whatever flak Fuji has taken over the speed of its auto focus mechanism, auto focus is much faster than manual focus - at least for now until I get my manual chops back up to speed. 

I got this using the 90mm f2.8 lens at 1/400th second, f8, at ISO 1600. I was far enough from the young woman so that she was totally unaware of my presence until one of her friends mentioned to her that I was taking photos. I got several shots off before she turned to look at me. But this was the best of them.


  1. Gene, I have used my 50mm Summilux and 90mm CV and 28mm CV with adapter on the XP1. My experience is that the quality of the Fujinon lenses is as good, if not better than the Leica and CV glass. So, the 50 and 28 are for sale, but will keep the 90 for the focal length.


    1. I agree Don. The Fuji glass is creepy good. Not sure yet what I'll do with the Leica glass once the whole Fuji line comes out.

  2. Hi Gene - you definitely nailed the focus on this one! Overall were you pleased with the way the Leica glass "looked". Was it what you expected to see? How would you compare it to what you were able to do with Fuji glass?



    1. ck, As for the 'look' I can't judge it yet. I need more experience with using those lenses. More to come about that. However, I was generally pleased when the shot worked. As for comparing it to Fuji glass, I haven't done that yet. I have the 18mm and 35mm Fuji lenses. When I have enough time, I'll do some comparions to see how they stack up against each other. But in general, I'd have to say that the Fuji glass is remarkably good, and I'd use it over the Leica lenses just for the convenience of having autofocus. When Fuji comes out with the 14mm and the tele zoom they have planned, I'm getting them! I'm not sorry I got the adapter though. It would be a shame to just let the Leica glass sit in a camera bag and never get used. Not sure I feel the same about my M6 however ....

  3. Fantastica Gene.
    Sarebbe ottima per Street Urban. Domani rientro a Venezia se vuoi puoi inviare le foto. Un abbraccio

  4. I have used the Voigtlander and Leica lenses on the X-Pro1. I am always surprised on how well the Fujinon 35mm stacks up against them. I bought the X-Pro1 as it seemed to be a great mount for my Leica M lenses. Now I am having second opinions in that all I need is the Fujinon lens. When the wider range of X lenses come out, I use the Leica lenses for

    The picture of the woman and her friends is wonderful, by the way.