Goodbye X100, Hello X2.


Last few months I had come with the idea of just photographing anything with one camera. The idea was to stick with what we’ve got and do the best out of it. I believed in what I could do with only a GRD. Thanks to so many advantages. A lot of the attention had gone to my GRD. So what about my ‘other’ camera – X100.

It came to my understanding that the delay from the eye sensor was a huge drawback for me. I can work with many other things just not the delay when I bring the camera to my eye. Another drawback is the frame line thru the viewfinder. Whenever the shutter is full released, the frame line is at the center position; And when the shutter is hit, it shifts to the appropriate position to counter the parallax. I have missed so many shots no matter how hard I give in for myself.

I’ve looked for many other camera options. Like the GXR, it’s compact but the hot shoe position is not aligned to the lens. How am I going to pop in a OVF. Then the GX1, I’ve tried a G3. Not much difference, the shutter sound is so f-ing loud. That left me no choice but to go back to my GRD.

My other dream (yes) besides well settling with the GRD, is the Leica X2. I got attracted by the compact body and a few accessories that go with it (OVF, hand grip). I’d seen the X1 in person at a used camera shop a few months back. It’s hella compact. And it’s a Leica with red dot.

I complained much about the X100. It did served the purpose but not to a point which I ‘enjoy’. The X100 actually catches some attention although how everybody says about it’s discreet. It’s really not when the body shines. I hesitated in bringing it out even for a few days as you know what persisted my ‘One month with GRD’ project.

The X100 is actually quite solid (by that means – heavy). I’m not a muscular guy…As an average guy, I prefer going light. Until last week, one of my favorite photographers (Yannick – bought a Leica X1 as his secondary, for his coming South America trip. I had gone back to my dream, and that had made me articulate my dream to thoughts. The more I read, the more I want to challenge myself with a Leica X camera.

You might ask, why the heck do I want a high end compact? I know the limitation of GRD is the clarity and image quality. A high end compact allows me to do some more manual stuff with greater control. Very much like driving with a stick shift.

Until yesterday, the last holiday of a long weekend. I went to trade-in my X100 and bought a X2. That used quite some of my savings to fund this baby. I do not think I’m suffering from G.A.S. I think it’s more of a dedication to my photography.

My Initial Impression on Leica X2
As I would have thought. I’m more used to the classic optical viewfinder experience so I got myself a used Leica OVF. I love the magnification of it (almost like what we exact see naturally). Everything about the X2 works,  you might thought the setting wheel that controls the manual focus distance is weird. It’s not. It’s very smart to have controls at our finger tips. Same thing applied to the aperture dial, all the values can be set without going to the other function lever like in X100.

My shadow
Taken with X2

Some other designs such as the optical viewfinder mode. It turns off the LCD screen but whenever you call out the settings such as ISO, focus, WB, etc. The screen would show you the detail. And if you wish to have the screen display again, pressing the info button would maintain the screen. Apart from that, there’s also a LED placed near the hot shoe which allows users to know if subject is in focus or not by indicating green and red – green in focus, vice versa. Ricoh actually has it, but i don’t think I’ve ever gotten any reds???

I’ve set my autofocus to area mode. As it says on the manual, it’d aid in quicker focus. Let’s see if it’s acceptably fast. I really like the shutter sound. It’s audible for the user, in a very silent way.

Plants over the bridge
Taken with X2

With all the praises, is there anything I do not like? I found the distortion is a bit annoying. It’s not fully corrected in the camera? I tested it side by side with X1. It has the same issue. I do not know if anyone had complained about it or not. This is something the X100 won over X1/X2.

This new toy is still new to me. I’d only spent half an hour at night with it. I still don’t know how to hold it comfortably in hand. I had thought about the handgrip accessory, that makes changing battery a hassle. I’ll think about it later as there’s still so much to learn about this camera. One thing that I still very much believe in, camera is just a tool. I’m still the person who’s in charge. I hope I’ll make it to good use very soon.

More updates and photos on X2 on my coming posts.

9 thoughts on “Goodbye X100, Hello X2.

  1. Good luck with your new tool! I’m thrilled about your step. Because I’m thinking about the Leica too. But the X1. Cheaper right now and not that far behind the X2. It’s also the OVF that attracts me. And the 35mm equiv. of course. Looking forward to read something about your experiences.

    1. i am surprised that i did not turn myself into a happy dog. Or at least I was not excited as last time when I got my X100. I know the fact that nothing would change. Besides I’d have to pay for the credit payment. My photos would very much stays the way they are. It’s only a different machine with more fun for me to enjoy.

      If there’s a 28mm version of X2, I’d very much want to have that instead. Plenty of adjustment myself ahead…

      I’ll keep my blog updated. Thanks KUM.

      1. Regarding the 28mm lens, the A12 on the GXR has one. But I find myself in cropping many pictures down to 35mm afterwords. I figured out a trick. Just shoot in 4:3 aspect ratio and crop that to 2:3 in PP. That’s the way I gain the 35mm. The position of the hot shoe on the GXR is terrible. Never thought a Ricoh technician would do that. But they did….

  2. Congratulations for your new purchase; I’m sure it will change your photography in some way. The photographer is still the key, but I can’t say that camera don’t matter… because it does in a lot of ways, at least in practicality– otherwise you would want to keep the X100 :D…

    Talking about X100, I rent one about two weeks ago… turns out it’s not the right camera for me. Now back to research, looking for the perfect ‘all-purpose’ camera… a P&S + prime lens + OVF + good price… not an easy combination, ya?… I have a feeling you would suggest GRD III + OVF :D…

    1. Thanks! Oh wow there’s camera rental. Sounds like something I should be trying..

      Or you may try the Lumix GX1. It was something I thought about. Rent it and a pancake lens. It’s pretty slick.

      Thanks 😉

      1. Yeah, there’s some of them here in Singapore — don’t know about Hong Kong…

        I’m afraid GX1 is too expensive for me, same as GRD IV. That’s why I’m eyeing for a used GRD III … wish me luck 😀

        *Ah, if only I can attach an external OVF to my S95. I’ll be a happy chap :D…

  3. Congratulations on the new camera, I’ve heard great things about it! Looking forward to see your photos.

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