Here it is Sunday in magical Vietnam. I had some nice Vietnamese Beef Stew last night for dinner after wanting Bun Cha at a particular restaurant but it was closed for some emergency. Today I will venture forth camera in hand to further test and have fun with the new F2 35mm prime lens on my X-T30. I can say if you are looking for a good combination of travel camera, prime lens, and kit lens; consider getting the X-T30 with the F2 35mm prime lens and buy the camera and 18-55mm kit lens together. The cost is very competitive and you will get the same innards as the world class X-T3 camera. FujiFilm does this a lot so I thought I would offer my own take on the value of this camera for someone like me that moves very slowly in places in Southeast Asia.
- size and weight. The heft of the X-T30 is excellent for travel related activities and when you bundle it with the kit lens you get something which is not outrageous size wise. It will fit in a smaller over the shoulder bag you can find easily. I would consider though getting one of the smaller prime lens for day to day use. The F2 35mm prime lens is a perfect size and reduces the heft of the camera. So if size is a prerequisite for travel but you still want interchangeable lens at a good price, this camera size with the prime lens is nice.
- quality. My goals are to never edit photographs or take RAW images. I simply do not want to be bothered with the editing and time it takes. My goals are to find devices which work to meet my needs not for me to adjust to meet their needs. The quality of Fuji JPEGs is legendary and with the wonderful film simulations available like Provia, Classic Chrome, and Acros, you get different takes and abilities at quality to get the image with different effects. Wonderful for lazy people like me!
- price. Lets talk price. You can find the X-T30 body only for under $900 and you can find deals on the body with kit lens at decent prices hovering around the 1k mark. I don’t do links where I make money when you click. Go use a browser and view them at amazon or something. The second price is for the prime lens. I paid $369 for it here in Vietnam at the FujiFilm Style Store downtown. That’s pretty comparable to prices all over internationally and its backed by Fuji. So you can get the whole works for less than the cost of the X-T3 camera body only. Wow! A camera that captures the essence of the X-T3 in a lot of regards for less. Give it a look price wise.
- fun. This stuff is supposed to be fun folks. If you are not a professional photographer or believe yourself to be one or you are like me and just want a way to capture images to share, you will want something fun. I use an iPhone 7 plus for photographs as well as the X-T30. Both are fun but lets be honest; a dedicated camera has more knobs and dials. I like to play with knobs and dials. FujiFilm cameras have them in abundance and they are retro style so you look plenty cool as you mess around. Finally its supposed to be FUN.
- learning and education. Photography can be an expensive habit. Look at me. I went through a number of experiences mostly bad with cameras. I am hoping that the X-T30 lasts longer because along with FUN I want to learn. Not composition and the rule of thirds or light and shadow. I could care less about those things. I want to learn more about the places I go and then capture them so I can refer back or share them good or bad. I’ll take a few good images but many more bad ones and for me its all grist for the mill. I rarely delete photographs since Google Photos lets me upload them for free. I have found that by not deleting images, I can go back later to my albums for my two weeks in Japan and find things there I simply don’t remember taking.
- Finally, sharing! Sharing is what I enjoy doing at a few levels. I want to share the photographs so you can perhaps get a sense of a place but I get to choose the mechanism and the places. I don’t do Instagram or Twitter because I find no value in either of them. Instagram honestly is a joke to share photographs. You cannot even comment with an image of the same place or a different place. There is not even a desktop application for the site. What the Hell is that about? So its a joke really and its full of people self-promoting, taking scads of pictures where they are in each one (perhaps to prove they were there) and then writing the vapid captions which are the real purpose of the site. Lets just call it micro-blogging with basic photo sharing. Twitter is not much better in my book. It is full of a bunch of bloggers who do the same self promotion, pompous sponsored posts, trying to gain followers to the other social sites like Pinterest or whatever and its monolithic. You cannot find a photography community on twitter because all there are are hashtags. In the final analysis for me, neither site works so I share on the blog, Facebook (which is actually better at photo sharing than its bastard cousin Instagram), and the wonderful and focused Mastodon instance I belong to. That’s where I share the photographs. I choose the sharing and you choose to visit the blog and see them and read what I write.
So it is Sunday in Vietnam and the camera awaits some pleasure I will find. First will do the morning coffee somewhere and gather the moments before me like the net thrown out in Mekong Delta that the fisherfolk use. The moments always illuminate the places to me and I can capture with the camera the things and people and the places that either matter or don’t matter.
Welcome to Sunday in Ho Chi Minh City! Come on over. It’s a wild, wonderful, magical place where you can find a measure of things you may seek and a few you do not.