I’m a huge fan of Zack Arias’s work and his philosophy on photography. I’ve watched his One Light series dvd a number times and I still learn every time I watch it. I don’t remember exactly where I heard Zack says the following quote (paraphrased) but he said “every time I get a new lens I shoot hell out of it to learn it in and out,” and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing with the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS. This lens has been quite fulfilling, its great on the short, middle, and long end and has truly become a jack of all trade. If I could only afford one lens from the XF series the 18-55mm would have to be it, but I still yearn for a pancake like experience reminiscing on my old days with the GF1/20mm combo.

Recently I’ve been pondering which Fujinon XF lens to add my kit and I’m on the fence as to which one to choose. Do I get the XF 35mm 1.4, the jewel of the XF lenses, or do I get the XF 27mm 2.8, the pancake, to get an X100/s experience on the Fuji XE1. Patrick Laroque, a Canadian Fuji X Photographer said it best on a recent post

The telephoto lens has kept me confined the entire morning, boxing me in with my enclosed subjects. At lunch I take the X100 out of the bag and look around me …. I’ve rejoined the collective.

I think Patrick nailed it with this very simple observation. The X100/s is the kind of camera that just mixes in the crowds unnoticed and has become an extremely versatile documentary tool. When Patrick mentioned in the last part of his statement “I’ve rejoined the collective,” he was making a reference to his Kage Collective, the site Patrick founded comprised of an international group of independent photographers, which is focused on visual storytelling and documentary photography with the premise of “kage.” Kage is the japanese word for shadow and I believe the Kage Manifesto explains it all.

“This is not about forced reality. It is not about pure reportage without intent. It is about resolute interpretations of the moment. The eye as ghost and poet and translator. We believe in interaction without interference, in rogue infiltrations borne out of respect. The image as truth and as point of view. We vow to be shadows.
We vow to search for light.” 

To conclude, I think I’ve made my decision already and my next lens will be the Fujinon XF 27mm 2.8 with a focal length of 41mm in order for my Fuji XE1 to become more like an X100/s  (image credit by Simon). I’ll probably end up getting the silver version of the lens.

All images shot with the Fuji XE1 and XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS