There was a Fujifilm X Summit today? Guess I missed it.
I’m on a long road trip right now, and I was driving when the big announcements were made. That’s not entirely true. I was actually photographing an abandoned car garage in Childress, Texas, at that time. Originally a gas station built in 1940, this building spent its last active days as an auto body shop. I think it’s been abandoned for at least a couple of years. I suppose I could have tuned into the X Summit instead, but this was a better use of my time, as I prefer to invest in experiences over gear.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but Fujifilm announced the X-H2S. Everyone already knew this camera was going to be announced, and what exactly it is. Now it is all official. This is the first of two new “flagship” cameras that will come out later this year. If you need the fastest Fujifilm camera or the best video specs, this is the camera to buy. It’s intended to convince those who are unsatisfied with their current brand to consider Fujifilm instead. I’m not personally interested in this camera, and I already gave my opinions on it.
Apparently Fujifilm will have two different X-Trans V sensors on their future models: the fast 26mp and the high-resolution 40mp options—the 40mp sensor will be the “normal” one. I wish that Fujifilm would focus on other advancements and improvements instead of resolution. And I’m not talking about autofocus speed, either. People complain about autofocus speed, but consider all of the amazing photographs (and movies) that were made well before autofocus even existed, and in its infancy, too. The X-E1’s autofocus is plenty capable, just so long as the photographer is capable. The autofocus on my X-E4 is amazing, yet some people think it’s not all that good. I’ve come to the conclusion that this complaining is just an excuse, and doesn’t have any true merit. Autofocus could improve by 400% and somebody would complain, because autofocus isn’t the real problem. And it’s definitely reached the point of diminishing returns, as it’s already well beyond what most people need for their photography.
Fujifilm announced two new zoom lenses, too: 18-120mm F/4 and 150-600mm f/5.6-f/8. I’m sure plenty will get excited for the 18-120mm for travel and the 150-600mm for wildlife, but I don’t have a desire for either. I suppose zooms just aren’t my thing. Fujifilm did add an 8mm f/3.5 and 30mm f/2.8 Macro to the roadmap, both of which seem like interesting lenses, but no date was given for when they’ll be released. More than anything, I’m excited for an M42-mount Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 that I found at an antique store for $15. It’s been so much fun to use, yet highly challenging. I’d like to see Fujifilm release a prime longer than 90mm (but less than 200mm)—that would be something to get excited for!
I suppose that I should be more excited than I am at this moment. Maybe once my road trip is over and I’m all settled into my new home, I’ll feel a little more positive about these upcoming releases. I think it’s good to have options. This camera will serve many people very well. These two zooms will open up photographic possibilities for hundreds. That’s truly great! They’re just not for me, and that’s ok, because I don’t need new gear right now. What I “need” is to use what I have, which is what I’ve been doing, and the reason why the X Summit came and went and I didn’t notice.
Why even write this article? It’s 10 PM where I’m at right now. I’m spending the night in a cheap hotel. It kind of smells funny. I have to get up early in the morning and drive for a whole bunch of hours. I could be in bed, and maybe I should be. I’m writing this article because I’ve received a dozen or so messages from people wanting to know my opinions on today’s announcements. A lot has been said already by those on the internet, including those who were given a chance to use the preproduction models. I don’t think I have much to add. If something seems interesting to you, and you believe it might help with your photography (or videography), then by all means get your preorders in. But if you are on the fence, spend the money on experiences instead, and use the gear you already own as best as you can. That’s my advice. Now I’m off to bed.
This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.
Preorder the Fujifilm X-H2S at B&H
Preorder the Fujinon 18-120mm at B&H
Proeorder the Fujinon 150-600mm at B&H
I’m in the middle of moving now, too. I hate moving. I am astounded how you can keep working!
Because I am moving I just coincidentally just pulled my own old 135mm Minolta 2.8 out of the old drawer, and it only has a little dust inside, no mold or etching mold–haven’t used it in almost 40 years?
You have inspired me to see what it might be good for nowadays. …old full frame glass!… … i do have an unused mount to my sony so we will see!
Definitely give it a try! The Vivitar lens is from 1978. The glass is a little scratched, and there’s some dust on the inside, but it still takes some nice pictures. I bet your Minolta lens will do even better!
Thanks for your post. I love that Vivitar lens. I’m curious why you found it challenging.
Doug . .
There are three things, but the main thing that makes it challenging is the focal length. It’s equivalent to 202.5mm, which is pretty long for everything except for sports, wildlife, and headshots. Using it for landscapes, street/urban, automobile, and abandonment photography hasn’t been easy, but the challenge is good–I’ve been enjoying it. The other two “issues” are shutter speed (it requires a faster shutter speed for handheld photography, I’ve been using 1/250 as a minimum), and manual focus (the X-E4 doesn’t have a M/S/C switch, so there’s an extra step that’s slightly frustrating and shouldn’t be necessary… it’s a camera issue and not a lens issue).
Thanks for the clarification. I find it works well on the X-T4, given the larger body and the very helpful IBIS.
IBIS would indeed be helpful….
It will be great to see what you do with the Vivitar, Ritchie; that get me excited too : ) when I had a Fujifilm X-E1 I would pair it with an Auto-Wep 135mm f2.8 for canon FD mount, close objects would immerse in a sea of bokeh. Those 135mm f2.8 lenses can be really portable.
With the M42-to-Fuji-X adapter attached to it, the lens is slightly smaller than the Fujinon 90mm f/2. It doesn’t quite fit into my travel camera bag, so I’m still working on the practicalness of it for travel (for me), but it’s amazing just how compact it is for what it is. Thanks for the input!
Agree with you 100%. The new cameras don’t have anything that I personally need and the video capability doesn’t interest me. The XT3 is more than capable of fast autofocus. I’ve been photographing fox cubs playing in the garden, leaping through the air and running faster than the eye can follow, but the XT3 and 100-400 lens captured their antics with ease… the focus and tracking works absolutely fine. BTW, the photos you’ve been posting from your road trip are beautiful!
Thanks so much for your kindness!
The X-T3 is a greatly capable camera. It’s no wonder that it’s Fujifilm’s all-time best seller! They should look more closely at it when designing future models, because they obviously hit a very nice sweet spot with it. I appreciate your input!
I cannot see any real advantage on releasing a slow xf 30mm f2.8, apart maybe for the macro capability, sitting in between the already great xf 35mm f2 wr and xf 27mm f2..8. It’s an already covered focal length. I think they should have released an updated xf 18mm f2 wr pancake, since many people love this focal length and have been waiting for a wr update of the older lens. Looking forward to the next summit in September, where perhaps a new X-Pro 4 will be announced. Let’s see what upgrades and changes they will bring to the table, apart from the boost in pixel resolution that I’m not really interested in. I wonder if they will make bold moves like they did with the previous X-Pro 3. Still hoping they will release a Monochrome version.
I think the XF 18/2 pancake would be a good update as well but, as a macro shooter, I’m actually very pleased that Fuji is releasing the XF 30/2.8 because I’ll find the 50mm FF-equivalent focal length really useful and a good complement to the XF 80/2.8 macro.
I think it will be a good offering for macro photographers, for sure!
I agree. The 30mm focal length is pretty much been covered (27mm f/2.8, 33mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4 and two 35mm f/2), and the 18mm f/2 is indeed in need of an update; however, I do think another macro option is good, especially if it can come in at a reasonable price. For macro, there’s the 80mm, which is a great lens but expensive, the 60mm, which isn’t Fujifilm’s greatest, and not actually a true macro (and probably in need of an update, too), and that’s it. So I think if the 30mm is indeed a true macro (1:1), performs well (hopefully better than the 60mm), and can come with a price of less than $800, it makes sense and will definitely be purchased by macro-photographers and aspiring macro-photographers within the X system. If it isn’t a good performer, isn’t a true macro, or is too expensive (and perhaps too big and heavy), I don’t think it will sell particularly well. I’m personally looking forward to it more than the two lenses that were just announced. I appreciate the input!
I appreciate your contributions.
But it is obvious you are not a motion photographer….past offerings are dreadful for birds in flight etc.
If this camera holds true to the hype it will be phenomenal.
I am not a video guy. My wife is the video person in our family, and she’s done some commercial work with her X-T4 (although she considers it a hobby and not a profession).
I guess my point was that there’s a century of cinematic work that has been done without the X-H2S’s autofocus. While I’m sure cinematographers throughout the last 100 years would prefer the best technology available (who wouldn’t?), the fact that so many great works have been produced with manual focus (or with what one might consider subpar autofocus) is a testament that it’s not the gear that matters most. If what one is using isn’t good enough, it’s not the gear. No new gear will ever make one a better photographer or cinematographer. People are constantly looking at new gear to “save” them or take them to “the next level” when the issue was never the gear. If someone doesn’t find (for example) the X-T3 to be good enough, the problem isn’t the X-T3, it’s the person holding it, because so many people have created so many great works with gear that is so inferior–the X-T3 not being “good enough” is simply an excuse, when it’s really the person using it that’s not good enough. I’m sure this sounds harsh, and I definitely don’t mean anything personal by it (I’m speaking generically)–I just want to be clear exactly what my point was.
With all of that said, technology advancements are good. I hope that the X-H2S is everything that you want it to be, it helps you in your endeavors, the “hype” does indeed hold true, and it is a phenomenal camera.
Mm, de XH2 does not appeal to me (PASM, duh) and neither do these new lenses. The 18-120 is very similar to the 18-135 (which I found uninspiring in the first place) and the 150-600 does not seem to offer much in comparison with the 70-300 in combination with a teleconverter. I would have been much more pleased with a, say, 12mm prime to compete with the Samyang and Viltrox alternatives, or a pancake 18mm Mk II. Of course, this is all very personal and opinions will differ, but I can’t get too excited over these new releases and the roadmap. The good news is that they do not trigger any GAS attacks! :).
Yea! No G.A.S.! 🙂
I agree. I don’t think the 18-120mm will be much different or better than the 18-135mm. Maybe it can resolve more details to pair better with the 40mp sensor? I’m sure some will love it, but I have zero interest in it. I’ve heard good things about the 70-300mm in combo with the teleconverter, so I’m not real sure what the advantage is to the 150-600mm. Again, maybe it’s just resolving ability for the new sensor? It seems like two somewhat unnecessary offerings, but maybe I’m just missing something. Anyway, I’m sure there are plenty of people who will buy them and love them.
I too would like to see a Fujinon 12mm f/2 or f/1.8, that’s a solid suggestion. The 18mm pancake is indeed in need of an update. I think even a third pancake option would be nice…. Thanks for the comment!
I’m not interested in the new Fuji’s either. Can’t help feeling that photographers in the UK get ripped off though, the H2S is $2500 in US and £2500 in UK. That works out that we in the UK pay equivalent of $3000? But I’ll be sticking with my X100v XE4, and SX10. Mind you though I probably wouldn’t resist the temptation when they bring out another X100.
US prices don’t include sales tax (our equivalent of VAT), so the price difference is less than it seems at first.
Thanks for that Tim, thought we were being ripped off.
I’m super curious about the next X100… what improvements or advancements there might be. The X100V is already so good! Thanks for the input!
Love my X100v Ritchie, and the X100s I had as well. Wish I’d kept it.
There’s one great thing on that camera, that I would enjoy on mine… The C1-C2-C3-C4-C5-C6-C7 knob! 🤣
OK, it has also the useless P-A-S-M modes, but I would pay to swap that knob with the exposure compensation on my XT3! It’s always on C position as I prefer to handle it with the front wheel, so for me it would be great to have a C1..7 dial instead…
It’s too bad that you can’t custom select the Exp Comp knob to control C1-C7 (or can you?). I have the rear command dial programmed to be a C1-C7 wheel (too bad the X-E4 can’t do this…), which is super convenient. I like the idea of a dedicated C1-C7 knob, but I also would hope it wouldn’t take up too much real estate. I guess I’m not sure the best way to execute it, but I like it in theory. Thanks for the input!
Yeah, I have the rear wheel programmed that way too… Programming the comp exp knob to switch Cx programs shouldn’t be that hard in a firmware release, it’s just a matter of will
Yeah, it seems like an easy no-brainer, but like you said, a matter of will…..
FWIW, the PR mentions “expanded low-light capabilities,” which if true would be something on your (and my) wish list.
As far as I understand that applies to video (not stills), and has to do with the programming of the firmware. In other words, it could be brought to X-Trans IV (or even III) with a firmware update if Fujifilm wanted to. Still, it’s good for those who buy it. I appreciate the input!
The H2s is a leap forward for action photographers needing speed for wildlife, weddings, sports. I’m still hoping Fujifilm will address those of us that take still pictures improvising the XT and XE, Xpro platforms, and hopefully a monochrome version.
A monochrome camera would be incredible!
Not sure of the benefits for a monochrome Fuji, the monochrome on the current fuji’s are so good already?
I agree that Acros on Fujifilm is absolutely fantastic. The advantages to B&W-only are you can use it with colored filters like with B&W film and you get a perceived resolution bump (although you probably wouldn’t notice without printing huge, cropping deeply, or pixel-peeping).
The largest I would print would be 16×20 and print quality from the X series at that size are beautiful. Even way back with my old Fuji S1 pro and that had a 6 mp sensor. I think if I went down the XH line I would get a XH1, and it’s made in Japan not China.
The X-H1 is phenomenal, and has more resolution than what most need. I would recommend it over the X-H2S, unless one just has to have the (so-called) “latest and greatest” model. Thanks for the input!
At the end of the day it’s all down to your creativity, a £5000 Leica isn’t going to make anyone a better photographer.