About 18 months ago I decided to give really small cameras a try. I bought a Fuji X100s and rented the Fuji XE-1 along with two lenses. I used that kit to photograph the Lost Coast, a story that has been one of my most popular ever and will be featured in a magazine this spring.
While I enjoyed the size and weight of this kit, and felt the images were good, they still did not give me what I was personally looking for when my goal is to tell a story via the web and have the ability to print large. At that time, I felt that the Fuji kit was nice, but just not up to the task, so I divested myself of the little X100s and moved on.
Fast forward to 2015, and one could argue that Fuji is on a roll, with big names jumping on their bandwagon and a host of my good friends signing up as well. Since that Lost Coast trip I have seen one of my X100s images printed wall size by the wizards at Dugall which again reminded me that today's cameras have plenty of oomph to do just about anything we want of them.
Still, I believe it is important to feel a connection to your gear, something that transcends simply taking photographs. At least for me, this is an important element to my photography. So here we are, and I have now picked up a little Fuji X100T to be my 'grab' camera for my next two trips. I have 3 weeks biking through Ireland, an environment full of spring time color and great old textures. This will be a wonderful palette to play with the little Fuji. Of course, it will not be my primary tool -- that task will belong to the Leica M240 and a 35/50 Summilux combination.
Next, 2 days after returning from Ireland, I head to Alaska for 3 weeks of deep winter cycling through the barren AK interior. A region known for white and shadows, dancing night lights and temperatures that will reach -30F at night. An environment that is hostile towards people and electronics. For that trip, I will again rely on the little X100T as a grab camera alongside my trusty Nikon D810.
My last trip to Alaska I used a D800E for two months with much success. I came back with images that to this day blow me away. They have graced the covers of Salsa's catalogs; are all over their website; and are blown up life size in their traveling display. The quality and image size of the D800 along with the large lithium batteries will be key to dealing with the environment of Alaska winter.
This is not too say that a Fuji couldn't, but I am not prepared to make to big a jump as of yet. So I consider these two trips as my attempt at dipping one of my toes back into the land of Fuji to see if the X series can appeal to my photographic needs. Follow along as the X100T and its wireless capabilities should get a tremendous amount of action on my Instagram and Twitter feeds. I will follow up after the trip with some of my thoughts on how this gear selection worked out and where I see myself going in the future.