Quarantine Inspiration, Part 2

While trapped for 2 weeks in quarantine, I got inspired to refocus on photography. Here are some photos from that time.

I’ve divided these images by camera. If you read Part 1, you’ll know that I succumbed to impulse purchases, almost entirely related to photography gear. One of those was the Fujifilm GFX 50s ii, which I nicknamed “my sweet chonky boi.” But I’ll make you scroll through the others before you get to my read thoughts on that.

Fujifilm X100F

I owned the X100T a long time ago, and upgraded to the X100F five (!) years ago. After using it for a bit, I gave it to my teenage son who was showing some interest in photography at the time. Big mistake. It gathered dust for a few years, but I recently got it back.

What they say about X100-series images is true. There’s a special… something to the photos they produce. And yes, of course the X100V looks even better. But the way I’m shooting lately doesn’t warrant the upgrade (and I refuse to pay scalper prices).

Fujifilm X-T2

This camera, usually with the 23mm f1.4 lens, has been my go-to for several years. I did a photo-a-day project with that combo in 2020, and have taken some of my favorite travel photos with it. My original interchangeable lens camera on the Fujifilm platform was the X-T20. This X-T2 replaced that, but I recommend either series, mostly depending on budget and whether you need the extra video features in the flagship series (I don’t, but here we are).

Oh, and I just kept the 100-400mm on this camera, so quarantine photo opportunities in a small bedroom were, um, limited.

Fujifilm X-T5

I preordered the X-T5 when it was announced, but hadn’t had much of a chance to get out with it before catching the ’vids. Unfortunately, I’d sold a couple lenses (including my beloved 23mm f1.4, since I’d recovered my X100F and didn’t need to double up the focal length) to help cover the cost of the X-T5, so I was left with the 10-24mm as my only reasonable walking around lens. Not a bad lens, and that ~23mm long end is my jam, but the f4 maximum aperture is challenging indoors.

Fortunately, with the return and refund of my sweet, sweet baby chonky boiii I was able to get some other lenses. More on those in future posts.

Fujifilm GFX 50s ii

I absolutely fell in love with the images the GFX 50s ii produced. This is a clunky camera if you’re used to the X series. But it works. It works very well.

I found that shooting with the camera forces a certain amount of consideration (if for no other reason than those file sizes will murder whatever storage solution you think you’ve got). The auto-focus is perfectly fine, no matter what every single review feels the need to point out about the technicalities of contrast vs phase detect. We’re so damned spoiled, we have to find something to criticize, I guess.

There’s just so much detail. You can crop an image however you like. You can recover any highlights or shadows. There’s no banding in bright→dark gradient areas. Even with the effectively-$500 35-70mm kit lens, there’s just nothing wrong with the photos. It’s the tool you buy when you’re tired of the tool limiting what you can do.

Unfortunately, you can buy a heap of gear for the cost of this camera with the kit lens. And it’d be a while before I could afford to improve my G mount lens collection. So it’s back in B&H’s loving arms. For now.

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