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Fujifilm made a huge splash at Adobe MAX! If you’re one of the lucky 7,000 or so people who were just given a free Fuji X-T10 at the massive Adobe show, you might be thinking, “Now what do I do with this camera?!” First of all, welcome to the family. If you decide to keep your X-T10 (and really, you should, bit of a no brainer there) you’ll probably want a quick primer on some affordable and necessary accessories to get you going. After all, the X-T10 is a great camera, but it’d be pretty tough to start taking amazing pictures without a memory card!
The Adobe MAX package included the versatile 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit zoom lens, and that’s a great start. For those of you who weren’t at Adobe MAX but may be thinking about purchasing this lens along with a new X-T10 body, I can definitely recommend it. If you’re brand new to the Fuji system, the 18-55mm lens is a flexible, relatively fast zoom that’s been praised for its excellent sharpness. It may be the default kit lens, but Fuji took great care to make it one of the best small zooms available.
Having said that, Fuji is renowned for making high quality prime lenses that excel in producing extremely high quality results in their given focal lengths. I’ve listed three of the most affordable small primes below to get you started, but if you feel like spending a bit more, be sure to check out some of the other primes that Fujifilm offers.
Affordable SMALL prime recommendations:
18mm f/2 - Roughly a 28mm field of view in 35mm system terms, this lens is a fantastic wide angle with a very small footprint. As one of Fuji’s first generation lenses the autofocus can be a bit noisy at times but not distractingly so. I’ve always loved the image quality but reviews have stated it loses sharpness at the edges. Like most X Series lenses, it features an aperture ring and the small design would look great on the X-T10.
27mm f/2.8 - Speaking of small designs, what do you get when you take the 18mm, remove the aperture ring and change the optics to make it a 40mm field of view in 35mm system terms? Answer: the Fuji 27mm lens. At f/2.8, the 27mm pancake lens is slightly slower than the 18mm f/2 but in terms of sheer size it’s an amazing achievement. If you want the absolute smallest footprint and stealthiest street photography lens for an X-T10 combo, the 27mm is your lens.
35mm f/1.4 - In the 18 months that I've actively been using the X Series and interacting with communities both on the web and in person, never once has anyone ever said, “I don’t like the images from my Fuji 35mm”. Like the 18mm, the 35mm is a first generation lens. It can be very chatty when it autofocuses and the motor does seem slower than the latest and greatest XF lenses, but despite the older design this lens is an absolute gem. The roughly 50mm field of view in 35mm system terms is fast at f/1.4 and the image quality more than makes up for its first generation quirkiness. I’m saying that this lens can render some truly beautiful images. Still, if you want to wait another month, Fuji is going to release an even more compact 35mm f/2. Presumably it will have a speedier autofocus engine and internally moving components (the current 35mm f/1.4 telescopes in and out of its housing as it focuses). Just something to consider if you can wait a bit.
From there, you’ll need to invest in a great memory card to store all of your new images. There’s a ton of choices out there, but really I’ve only come to trust and recommend one brand: Sandisk. I use their 95MB/s Pro cards (32GB is linked, but I also use their 64GB cards for video) and I’ve never once had a problem. No card failures, no images dropped. Just fast write speeds and reliability. They may cost a bit more, and surely you don’t need to spend this much on a decent memory card, but I would consider investing wisely in this part of your kit. This is, after all, the "film" for your new camera. Besides the reliability that I’ve come to know from these cards, I also appreciate the fact that these cards are highly rated for capturing high quality video. I’ve used them with my Fuji X-T1, a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and a Sony RX100 Mark IV - all without issues. Do yourself a favor and seriously consider them.
All of that advice is pointless if your camera dies on you. Invest in at least one extra battery and keep it with you at all times. I wrap a rubber band around my charged batteries so that I can differentiate from the dead ones in my bag. We live in a digital world, and digital cameras eat batteries relatively quickly if you’re shooting for awhile. Don’t let a dead camera stop you in your tracks. Keep a spare battery on you at all times. Side note: the battery linked above is the genuine $50 Fuji battery. If you're on a tight budget, then consider this $20 Watson brand equivalent.
BAGS, A.K.A. THE ENDLESS DEBATE
Bags: you should probably look into something to carry your camera in if you want to also bring one or two lenses out with you. This is so subjective I won’t even get into it, but I personally like the ThinkTank Retrospective 5 for my X-T1 kit. Google "camera bags", but before you do make sure you have plenty of time to get lost down that rabbit hole. Better yet - try them out in your local camera store and spend your hard-earned money with them.
ODDS AND ENDS:
ADOBE MAX: REGISTER TO WIN A 55-200MM LENS
All new Adobe MAX X-T10 owners should register their X-T10 and enter this sweepstakes to possibly win a 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 zoom lens.
Here’s a little insider tip: If you don’t win that 55-200mm lens, never fear. To get a great quality zoom for your X-T10 at a lower price than the 55-200mm, look into the Fuji XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7. The construction of the 50-230mm is more plastic and lighter than the 55-200mm lens, and it’s also slower, but in the right light it absolutely excels and should not be overlooked by any means.
Don’t forget to shop the used market from time to time. If you’ve never tried it, you might be pleased to know that there are communities of X Series owners who go through lenses and accessories like crazy, often selling off “old” gear at reasonable prices to make room for a new piece of the kit that they’d like to own. These lenses and accessories are usually well taken care of and in near mint condition. Check out Fred Miranda Buy & Sell and Fuji X Portal Classifieds for examples.
RELIVE THE MOMENT
That time Fuji gave away 7,000 free X-T10 and 18-55mm lens kits at one time and got a Steve Jobs / Apple "one more thing" response from the crowd (2:15:00 into the keynote below):
This is by no means an exhaustive list but that sums up some first round recommendations for your new X-T10 kit. If you have any specific questions about the X Series or anything you've read here, leave a comment or send me a shout on Twitter. Now go out and enjoy that brand new camera!