Graphite cognition

Day 71 of 100, Nordjylland, Danmark

I got a new camera today. It’s a new X-Pro2, identical in every way to the other I was using, except for its new metallic gunmetal trim, instead of customary black skin. Fuji calls this color Graphite. It comes with a 23mm F2 lens and vented hood in the same gorgeous tint.

The X-Pro2 I’d been using until a month ago had a busted viewfinder. The switch that disabled the optical viewfinder when you put it into electronic viewfinder mode, broke. So flicking the viewfinder to electronic, you’d get a digital image overlaying the regular one through the glass. You couldn’t see the digital overlay at all in sunlight, but it was pretty disorienting by night. I needed a new Pro2, but I wasn’t figuring on getting this one. Thank you, Fujifilm Nordic!

This graphite version was introduced at the start of the year, and I couldn’t believe how incredible it looked. For me, the Pro2 is just about perfect, hitting that sublime sweet spot where design, function, refinement and robustness intersect. I love its spare, unassuming blackness. It calls for no attention, asking to be forgotten in hand. The perfect proposition for a camera.

But this…. this graphiteness.

A simple color change that makes the heart race.

It might be association. I used to own a sweet little coupe in this colour – a 1988 Honda Prelude, if you want to know. She was 17 when I sold her, and still handled like a dream. How that engine growled, reluctant and silky, when downshifting into a turn. That long clutch, light accelerator, and the joy of tight turns in a four wheel steer. I’ve had dalliances with plenty of vehicles since, but that none come anywhere close.

We made journeys to the ocean, that low grey ghost and I. We’d drive for hours, down the coast and back again, racing the sun, drinking salt air and sinking light.

She was smoke and metal, just like my new camera.

And that new camera? Marvelous like my last, and it shimmers like dark frost on a winter morning.


  1. I just woke up after passing out when I saw this gear post. I got to “graphite” and blacked out from sheer happiness. The only thing better would be to have two of them. Please tell me you saved the box? It looks great actually. I saw the XT2 in graphite and it was nice looking as well. And they finally figured out the hood goes in front of the lens. Power on!

    1. Charlene says:

      Yes, the hood, thank goodness!

      I am having a panel of that box framed. In ornate gilt.

      (Pffft, XT2)

  2. Go girl…you are the wordsmith Goddess!

    Nice work!

    1. Charlene says:

      Aww, thanks Markie :)

  3. Brian Miller says:

    I’ve had the same problem with the switch for the EVF on my X100. So now I run it with gaffers tape over the viewfinder so I can see the EVF display. Kinda silly but I don’t think it’s worth the money to repair that little sliding screen.

    That camera of yours looks awesome. Now if only you could get that car back……

    1. Charlene says:

      Brian, that’s so brilliant, and so simple! Just went and did that with the old camera, and hey presto, a working, pirate Pro2!

      I miss that car…. owning a car is about the only thing i really miss about living in one place, though not the house, garage etc that comes with it ;)

      1. Brian Miller says:

        Charlene, when I first received my X100 I thought that little screen would be the weak link, and so it was. Now when I think of getting an XPro2 I think of that little screen and then look at the XE-2s instead. As you know I don’t buy cameras often and don’t upgrade. I prefer to use a camera until it craps out. I figure if an XPro2 is going to end up functioning like an XE-2s I might as well save myself the money and disappointment.

        Maybe you can pass this on to the folks at Fuji. I like that little hybrid viewfinder, but it is a bit too delicate.

        Yep, paying for a house in order to house a car is a bit much.

      2. Charlene says:

        You and i are definitely not isolated incidents with this EVF / OVF thing, so i reckon Fuji knows about it already. If you’re an EVF only user, the X-E series is always a good way today​ go. They’re still a favorite of mine, and I sincerely hope they’re going to continue the line (Fuji Rumors reckons they are)!

      3. Charlene says:

        Oh i meant to ask Brian, aren’t you using an X-T1 presently? Is that going well for you?

  4. lainer says:

    The fact that your Fuji X-Pro2 broke already gives me pause. I’ve heard this a few times. Wonder if quality control is less these days.

  5. walker says:

    Now that beauty needs to be bashed in the field :)

    1. Charlene says:

      I dunno about needing, but the scratching up is inevitable. It’s all downhill from here :D

  6. I saw this camera at Samy’s Camera in San Francisco at the GFX demo day and thought that along with it’s matching 23mm f/2.0, it was absolutely gorgeous. At some level purchasing a camera with a “luxury” finish like this is a bit of an indulgence, but what the hey, life’s short. Make the most of it.

    (BTW, I am a big fan of Hondas; around the time you were driving around in your ’88 Prelude, I was zipping all over Northern California in my CRX Si! Today, I drive an Acura TL Type S; still love Honda)

    1. Charlene says:

      Heh, I drive other people’s cars these days, if I drive at all. I was crazy for Nissans after the Prelude was gone – the 200SX, then the R33s/R34s. Nomadic life and car ownership don’t go sensibly together though.

      Luxurious totally describes this camera – it’s the most luxe thing I own, a pleasure to look at, and view :)

  7. Mark Kinsman says:

    Love the graphite color, but bought the black one during the pre-order period. Love it. It’s my daily carry. I’ve always been a bit concerned with the little flip screens in the X Pro. Great concept but that screen just sounds fragile every time it slides into position.
    I long for the early days of Hondas mid to late 70’s when the bodies were somewhat Mini shaped. Had a 74 that I drove into the ground. Great engine, not so great sheet metal on the bodies.

    1. Charlene says:

      Fuji are always coming up with new stuff, so let’s see what they keep doing with the X-pro range. They’re tough as hell otherwise though… have you seen Jan Grarup’s Pro1? Multiple warzones and back. Looks like it too :D

      I love Honda designs in the 80s. I still think that 88 Prelude would be a good looking car today.

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