X-Pro2 – Vintage’d

Since joining the Fujifilm mirrorless eco-system, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most is using vintage manual focus lenses on the system. The amount of affordable, yet good performing, lenses out there is staggering. Not only are most of these old lenses cheap, but they also add a ton of character to the images that you simply can not get by using the newer optically perfected, ultra sharp lenses.

Sharpness really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in my book. I’d rather look at an image with soft gloomy highlights with aberrations all over the place, than a clinically perfect super shot. It’s the same with human beings. It’s our flaws that makes us unique. Its these flaws that enhance beauty by giving us immediate reference through presence of the less-than-perfect. You might not hold the same belief. I won’t hold that against you 😛 – Promise!

XT123688

From going through the archives of this site you can clearly see that I love myself a good ol’ vintage lens. (There are plenty!) Now, my buying habits have changed a bit. I got hooked on that Leica feeling! Not the newer aspherical perfect stuff, rather the older my characterstic offerings. So this blog post will indeed contain images taken with gear that will set you back much more than a bargain. But there are some pretty affordable ones in here as well.

So, what does the X-Pro2 bring to the table in all this vintage lens madness?

A couple of things really stand out to me.

1. The new hybrid viewfinder.

We already had this in the X-Pro1. But we were restricted to using the EVF since unlike a proper rangefinder there is no “coupling” from the lens to the optical viewfinder. So you cannot see if you’re in focus. X-Pro1 at the beginning did not have focus peaking, and although added in firmware later on it is still quite weak and restricted to white as the only highlight color.

Things changed in the X-T1. The huge EVF made it very easy to nail focus with the different peaking colors, dual image side by side mode etc. but one thing was still missing! That OVF!

DSCF4044

Now with the X-Pro2 Fujifilm took the little “center EVF overlay” thingie from the X100T and put it in the X-Pro2 interchangeable lens body. Et voila! You can now have OVF while having focus peaking/ focus confirmation in that tiny EVF center representation. In the beginning I found it a little hard to manoeuvre, but I forced myself into using the mode instead of just switching to full EVF, and now it feels fluid!

2. The new Acros filmsimulation.

Designed to mimic old black and white film with everything from exposure dependent grain control over Highlight preservation to Highlight/shadow differentiation of noise reduction. It’s a beautiful simulation that is only enhanced further by using these older lenses and their inherent character.

This new film-simulation is tightly bound to the Sensor and Processor of the X-Pro2 and according to Fujifilm is very unlikely to be coming to the older X-series models. There is an Acros profile in the new Lightroom, but from my experience it doesn’t have the grain control/highlight dependent noise reduction that is made in-camera.

These are the two mainpoints why I think the X-Pro2 is perfect for my venture out into photography using vintage lenses

I have divided the galleries below into lens specific sections. As usual they have been processed to my liking. A lot of the B&W are Acros jpegs that I tweaked further with contrast and curve.


Helios 44m-4 58mm f/2 M42-mount

I used the Lens Turbo II focal reducer to get full frame DOF as well as that lovely swirl. I have written about this lens a couple of times before, and I still love it to death. It’s characteristic signature is the “swirly bokeh” Great for portraits, and nature shots.

 


Leica Summicron-c 40mm f/2

An incredible little lens! – For street photography this thing is very fun. It’s very very tiny, and the M-adapter needed is only 1cm thick so the combo is really small. It has this crazy flare that shows up from f/2.8 and downwards. Wide open its sharp in the middle, a bit of CA but very well controlled.

 

 


Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.5 ASPH

This is not really a vintage lens. It was modelled after the original Voigtländer 50/1.5, but the optics are brand new, and it includes aspherical elements that is not present in its predecessor. The reason why I still include it in this little write up is the fact that I love its rendering. It has amazing colors right off the bat, and it goes great with the Velvia type images. It has some amazingly smooth bokeh, and it is dead sharp. But it still has some gloominess in the high contrast transitions. A definite favourite of mine.

 

In Acros simulation this lens produces some gorgeous black and whites. The little triplet of my niece below is SOOC jpegs. No editing. Look at that substance. Fantastic.

 


The Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 Pre-ASPH

This lens! – Wow! – Classic rendering all the way! Bokeh has that almost oil painting-like quality. Not smooth, but very characteristic. It’s very sharp where, and ONLY where, you nail focus. It melts into blurry mosh quite rapidly so it can look very gloomy right next to the in-focus parts of the image.

It even has swirly bokeh potential that exceeds that of the Helios under the right conditions.
When you stop it down to f/2 it becomes sharp. Almost as sharp as the Summicron-M 50mm f/2.

I use it with an M-FX helicoid adapter, so I can get as close as 30cm from my subject. It easily fills the frame with a face, or you can do close-up macro’esque type stuff.

 


The Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 and Summicron 50mm f/2

Two lenses that in many ways share the same characteristics. They’re both very sharp, even wide open. They render some sub-par bokeh that when used right can look fine, but can turn your image into a mess if you’re not careful. They’re both very small, the 35 being almost as small as the Summicron-C 40mm.

They’re great allround lenses, and they do great on the streets.


 

35mm


50mm


Of course there are many other lenses that I could write about. And I feel rather sad that I didn’t find the time to include images with the Canon LTM 50mm f/1.4. It’s a true gem of a lens, but I’m thinking that it’ll get a post of its own.

 

jr050680

55 thoughts on “X-Pro2 – Vintage’d

  1. Very cool Jonas .. blimey, that little Summicron 40mm looks fabulous.. I never got on with the Helios on my XE2, maybe had a duff version and the Pentax 55mm f2.0 forget it. ! Just tried a vintage Hoya 80-200 constant f4 zoom which has the most incredible soft look and wonderful colour rendition, have to bust the end off to make it fit the adapter though.. and umm hold it steady too… Many regards Drew

  2. Davs!

    I can only agree. I see the Fujinon’s being too good, too razorsharp but indeed fantastic – it easy to get quality but it is like bashing in an open door compared to work manually.. Yes’ I like to DIY ,-)

    I’ve done a lot of B/W with my set of T1/M1 and 100S with ISO 6400 or better 12800. Not perhaps as nice grain as Acros but indeed a hommage to the style from 50’s or 60’s.
    The feeling one get (I’ve inherited a Summaron 35/3,5 and have fun with the Industar 50-2/3,5 (try it!) or the Pancolor 50/2,0) is more human – and I don’t miss the motor driven focusing in a modern lens at all!
    But color, well there it’s different end not perhaps as easy to chose! Leica is more pale/clinical, Canon Fd’s are warm (50/1,4 has 2 much CA though) where the 24/2,8 emulates a perfect 60’s postcard look.

    Keep the good work on, thx!

    -J!

  3. It’s wonderful to see these vintage lenses getting such good use. I, too, have many of these and love the rendering I can achieve with many of them.

    1. There are a lot of adapters for X, Canon Fd (not perfect for FL), Leica, M42…
      Working manual is different, mostly in the focusing where one has to go back to how one did in the old days ,-)

      Adaptor prices from some 10- 20 USD (China) to 100+ USD (Metabones ot Fuji).
      Lenses can be found on Ebay maybe:
      http://www.ebay.fr/sch/i.html?_odkw=photo&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1311.R5.TR10.TRC0.A0.H0.Xobjecti.TRS0&_nkw=objectif+m42&_sacat=0

      -J!

  4. Hi Jonas,

    One of the best reviews that I have read. Like you I enjoy using vintage lenses and went through the same evolution as you have. Though I prefer longer focal lengths, with my favorite being a Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 and a Konica 135mm f/3.2. Looking forward to getting the X-Pro 2. Thanks for your efforts.

  5. Great insight and review.

    I hope to get my X-Pro2 soon.. provided they are able to ship in time and stop pushing back the ship date.. recently, it looks like they fixed the firmware to where they finally have a production firmware they can use and ship with the X-Pro2 now.. hence, online stores have moved up the expected ship date from March 25 to March 10.. I hope it will be sooner.

    But, I digress… back to my point and question.

    Are you saying you can use the OVF with that electronic rangefinder feature that the X100T had in the X-Pro2 with manual focus lenses (vintage or not)? I was most curious about that since I would like to use the OVF whenever possible, but as I understood it, at least with the X-Pro1, you could only use the EVF to manually focus with manual lenses.. there is just no information in the OVF for one to use or reference to have any idea what you’d be focusing on.

    Do you know if that’s changed with the X-Pro2?.. Manual lenses still have no contacts and don’t communicate any information to the X-Pro2 body, right?.. so, how would that work? I suppose you could use the OVF and the little focusing patch overlay to confirm focus, but, what about the frame lines? If no information exchanged between manual focus lens and the camera body, how would the X-Pro2 know what focal length you are using to create the appropriate frame line?.. and, even if you could go into menu somewhere and tell the camera what focal length manual lens you are using to create the appropriate frame line, then how would the frame change size and position as you’re focusing to correct for the parallax error?.

    I really wish the X-Pro2 could have and perform all the focusing features you’d want a rangefinder camera (I know it’s not a true rangefinder) to do when focusing manually… have focusing patch and real time frame lines that adjust for parallax as you focus.. but, from what information I know about the X-Pro2 tech, I think at best you’re just going to have a focusing patch overlay in the lower right corner when using the OVF and have to imagine and guess where the frame lines are going to be.

    That’s my main reservation about going with vintage or any manual focus lens on the X-Pro2.. and why I’d stick with Fujinon lens just because you’d be able to really do manual focusing with all the information and features in the OVF.

    Maybe I’m missing something and the application of using manual focus lens with X-Pro2’s OVF is more practical than I’m thinking it is not.

    Thanks for any further insight you could provide on using manual focus lens with X-Pro2 & its OVF.

    -Wing

    1. Hi,

      Thats exactly the answer I’m looking for …

      I can’t find a way to have the right frame lines with the ovf…

      I’m using a voigtlander 25mm f4 lens and that’s just disturbing…

      If you have any ifea, would be happy to see how you configure it

      1. Poke around the menu. I was able to set the frame lines by selecting the appropriate lens adapter setting. Not sure if they have a 25 though as it’s an odd FL these days. Set it for the absolute focal length on the lens, not the apparent focal length due to the sensor crop.

        -Vernon

        1. Thanks Vernon.

          Even when I put 25mm in the settings I still get a slighty difference between the OVF and the EVF where I get the actual final look of the image. With the OVF, I cant really have the same … quite annoying or maybe its just me …

          1. Hmmm, my final images are identical regardless of what method I use to shoot. Or are you talking about how it looks in the viewfinder? If so, it might be a coverage issue. EVF is obviously 100% of the image to the edge. I believe the optical has a .77 magnification. So you have to imagine the frame line being the entire screen in order to get an idea of what the EVF and final image would be. Sorry if that is obvious…

            Just to be sure we’re doing the same thing I set:

            tools(wrench icon)>button.dial setting>shoot without lens>on

            and

            camera icon>mount adapter setting>50mm (you’d set 25)

  6. Hello!
    I can only agree, as I bought the XE1 some years ago and the XPro1 last year just for that purpose: to use my CanonFd and Fl lenses with different adapters on these cameras and am very, very happy with the results. I use them with a Fotodiox or a Metabones adapter. Especially the latter one in combination with the Fl 55 1.2, the FdSSC 50 1.4, the 24 2.8 and my favourite, the 35 2.0 SSC creates a very much film like impression also when shooting already.
    And I never had problems with CA!?;-)
    But the downside: lenses are getting rare and more expensive…but still in another price range than the Fuji lenses. Here I use the 35 1.4 and am going to purchase the 35 2.0 which I could test thoroughly and has got a sturdy built and nice sharpness as well as it creates a superb out of focus atmosphere.
    Thank you! Jens
    Flickr.com/photos/jensaddis

  7. Really enjoy the articles on this subject , I recently aquired a super takumar 50mm 1.4 8 element which has raised my interest in legacy glass to the point of looking for more. I have looked at other pieces you have presented on the subject , nice work … thanks..

  8. Great review! (I was wondering when you were gonna get back to vintage lenses…..). X-Pro2 + vintage sounds like a match made in heaven! However, I am curious about one thing : I was gonna splash out on a Canon EF-Fuji X Lens Turbo II, and adapt this further to my Minolta, M42 and PK mounts using adapter rings (since the EF mount has the shortest flange distance), but have seen very few reviews of version 2. What is your experience with v2 versus the first version ? Any improvment?

    1. Hi Philipe, I take the liberty to answer you. Yes it will fit! I have the SMC Pentax-A 50 f/1.7 – great lens.. Since these adapters are “dumb”, basically a spacer, there is not much of a difference in quality to talk about between the different variants. But don’t pay a premium, for instance this from K&F concept (excellent quality from my experience) is 13 CAD (shipping from China though) http://www.ebay.com/itm/K-F-Pentax-PK-Lens-to-Fujifilm-FX-X-Mount-Fuji-X-Pro1-Camera-Adapter-Ring-PK-FX-/141492755365?hash=item20f1a01ba5:g:bfAAAOSwu4BV1ou4

  9. Funny, the 40mm Summicron-C didn’t have that flare thing back when I used to use one on a film camera. Guessing it’s caused by light bouncing off the sensor and being reflected off the rear glass of the lens. Oh, well, doesn’t matter what causes it as long as you like the effect…

  10. Thanks for another great article Jonas! Do you know how the X-Pro2’s sensor handles wider lenses? Its sensor stack is similar to the Sony A7 cameras (2.2mm vs. 0.8mm for M9 & M240), so I’m wondering if you see any vignetting or colour fringing like the Sonys have with wide Leica glass.

  11. Hi Jonas,

    thank you for your nice review. I want to test my Trioplan 100mm at the X-Pro2, but I don’t find the option to take a picture. On my X-T1 it is “shutter withour lens”, but where is it in the X-Pro2? Can you help me?

    Kind regards, andi

  12. I’m a fellow Fuji User as well.

    However don;t you feel alot of the “magic” of using a Vintage lens is lost when used without a lens booster/cropped sensor. It only takes the image from the center, losing alot of characteristic (vignetting, focal length/DoF changes due to smaller sensor) that these lenses have to offer.

    I’m just curious on your thoughts on this matter.

  13. Hai Jonas,
    I love your reviews and photos 🙂
    I want to ask you about Helios 44m-4 58mm f/2. Recently, I found several helios 58mm lenses but they have different mark: 44m-2, 44m-3, 44m-4 and 44m-6. I want to know if there is a significant difference or which one is the best?
    Thank you
    Dondy

  14. Hi Jonas,

    I hadn’t heard of focal reducers until reading this, but after reading this I ordered the Lens Turbo II right away to use with my X-pro 2. I ordered the m42 to Fuji X. Only problem is, I can’t mount it to the camera. The element sticks out so far past the mount that it won’t fit. Am I missing something? is there an adjustment? Or does it sound like this one is defective and I should send it back. Not much documentation that I could find. Thanks!

  15. Just recently found your site. I know, yes I’ve been living under a Fuji rock so to speak. Love the reviews and photos.

    Question: Where did you get the braided camera straps?

  16. Excellent article… very perceptive… I have to agree with your opening gambit – the predictable lenses are much more fun. Just loved the SOOC Acros shots – masterpieces with a little bit of editing. Congrats!!

  17. Based on your recent article in the FujiLove Magazine and this blog post I decided to buy the Nokton 50 mm 1.5 and after one day of testing it on the X-Pro 2 I’m very pleased with the outcome. I’m new to the X-Series system and needed a lens for portrait work (didn’t like the slow autofocus of the Fujinon 56mm) and I think I found my lens. So thanks for your thoughts about “vintage” lenses and maybe I’ll try one of the Minolta lenses as well, maybe the 58mm Rokkor lens you’ve written about as well!

  18. Have you used the Minolta mount Rokkor 50mm f1.4? I just got the Fotodiox adaptor and started playing around with it. A lot of the lens you mentioned are the same focal length. I wonder if it’s worth investing in another lens that you mentioned or if I should stick with what I have. The Leica samples you posted sure are pretty though!

  19. Great article! Can you please advise which adapter would be a good one for using Leica Summicron 35/2 asph and 90/2 asph and Zeiss ZM 50/1.5 on Xpro2? Thanks.

  20. What is the adapter you used on your XP2 that you said was a cm deep on the 40mm? Such a beautiful lens on the XP2. I was thinking it was something like this? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/994997-REG/fotodiox_lm_fx_p_pro_fujifilm_x_mount_adapter.html/pageID/accessory

    I love the artistic look of those lenses. Being a recent Nikon convert, early this year, it’s like drinking from a firehose with all the possibilities letting go of my DSLR opened up for me. At some point I’d love to see what shooting some of those vintage lenses would look like, especially at night. Great post.

  21. Jonas,

    I just bought a cheap Pentax SMC F1.8 and an adapter for my X-pro2. Wow! I’m hooked shooting manually. What fun! Thank you!

    Any ideas on smaller, rangefinder lens that won’t cost almost as much as a Fuji lens?

    -Vernon

    PA You have some explaining to do to my wife as I intend to buy more.

      1. Will give them a look! Thanks so much for this site and sharing your knowledge. MUCH appreciated!

  22. HI There,
    I am from Hong Kong, and always been a great fan of your works,
    i just got a X-Pro2 for its Acros filmsimulation,
    but one thing keep bothering me on B&W pictures shooting by Fujifilm cameras,
    B&W pics came out seems flat and plain, very boring,
    Any tips on camera settings? Or maybe i should tune it on Lightroom???

  23. Hi Jonas,

    First just thank you for your blog and your photos, it’s just a great balance of feeling, emotion, technical skills… and everything… It’s a pleasure to read !

    Can I ask you some questions ?

    Here’s the point : For my Dad’s birthday, my family and me are looking to offer him a X-Pro2 or a X-T2 to be the great and modern and lighter friend of his Minolta SRT 101.

    – One important point for him is the viewfinder quality. The SRT101 is one of the vintage great according to many people and got a 100% coverage 1:1 magnification. After a personal day test of the X-Pro2 (I love it !!!), I’m not sure about the viewfinder for my dad’s needs. He’s more portrait and “life landscape”.
    Do you have an advice for me ? X-Pro2 OVF+EVF or X-T2 100fs EVF ?
    It’s more about ergonomy than tech ; which one do you think can be the more close in term of confort ? (One last point, he’s wearing sunglasses like you but not like me, so I don’t know how to evaluate this point).

    – My second question is about legacy lenses, He’s got a Rokkor MC 55 f1.7 and an amazing (but heavy) MD 135 f2 tested by Rokkor Files here http://www.rokkorfiles.com/135mm.htm
    I’ve just got the Speedbooster MD-X from Metabones (also a gift for him) and yesterday, when testing the X-Pro2 with the MD 135 f2, I’ve noted infinity (a range between about 30m and infinity) is just impossible !
    The MC 55mm f1.7 lens is also incompatible, I clearly hear the inside barrel of the 55 touching the Metabones lens when focusing and I can’t get the focus from about 10m to infinity (thing that I don’t hear on the 135mm – but I don’t have infinty to -…)
    So I’m a little bit disappointed…

    There is a subject here http://www.metabones.com/article/of/infinity-adjustment-speed-booster-only
    But…I’m not very sure… and if I adjust for the 135mm (30m to Inf), the adjustment looks to be more important for the 55mm (10m to Inf).

    My question… I know you’re not from Metabones and that you have already answered Mattias (on June 18, 2014 at 12:35) on the Minolta 55mm 1.7 review ; but can you tell me your point and if you have this kind of issues with Mitakon and Minolta’s legacy lenses you’ve tested here ? (https://jonasraskphotography.com/2013/10/23/full-frame-x-pro1-the-mitakon-lens-turbo-review/)

    So thanks a lot for your advices and your answers and keep going on you blog, it’s great great great !

    Kyril

  24. Hi Jonas, hope you can help me. I have a Fuji xpro2 and one xt2, I had a problem with the Zhongyi Lens Turbo II, m42 to fuji mount. The adapter hit the baffle of the sensor… It was a defective one?Is the Zhongyi Lens Turbo II adapter fully compatible with Fuji xpro2 and xt2? I had the same problem in both of them.. thanks in advance for the help you can give me! Keep it up, love your work

  25. i love your work. Can you recommend a lens you have used or not, vintage for film (video)
    I have made a few shorts on my X-T1 and would love to use some old glass but I cant seem to find anyone talking about video & vintage glass. I’m looking for the cinimatic bokeh feel. Everyone I know who makes videos uses Sony because of the stabilizer I prefer a more hands on feel; less “perfect”, if you will.

    Maybe write me about it — any direction would be appreciated — even if you have a lens you’d be willing to sell…

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