Last weekend, my wife and I went backpacking for two days in the White Mountains National Forest for our wedding anniversary. Usually, I would bring my Panasonic LX100 on those trips because of the size and versatility. This time, I decided to bring the Fuji X-T20 with the 16-50mm OIS lens and the Rokinon 12mm f/2. I wanted to bring my MeFoto Backpacker Air tripod, but changed my mind to keep my backpack lighter. I brought an old Gorilla Pod instead.
I wanted to test how it would perform for vlogging and how it would feel in comparison to the LX100. I brought the 12mm for landscape and possibly astro-photography. With the cloud coverage, I never got that lens out of the bag.
I like the 16-50mm because it's light and stabilized. It's a good vlogging lens. It's not the best lens in the Fujifilm’s lineup but it's sharp enough. It's versatile but does not open as wide as the native LX100 lens (f/1.7-2.8). Maybe I'll get the 18-55 one day, but between you and I, the future 16-80mm f/4 OIS is appealing to me a lot more for that kind of trip. I'm eager to see the size, weight and price of that lens.
So we started up from Appalachia parking lot, just north of Mount Adams, New Hampshire. Our first destination was The Perch, a shelter and tent platforms area maintained by the Randolph Mountain Club. We picketed our tent, had a nice Vegan Tacos meal and went to bed early. The temperature dropped a lot and we got rain overnight. I was afraid to wake up with a couple of inches of snow.
After breakfast, we started up toward Adams… at least that's what we thought. We missed a turn and headed toward Jefferson instead. Anyway, we never saw either of them since we were in the clouds. I was afraid for the X-T20 since it's not weather-sealed. It was fixed to my backpack's shoulder strap with a Peak Design's Capture Clip Pro. I covered it with a buff and it was enough to keep the water droplets from it. It performed well even though the conditions were bad.
The sky started to clear up as we were heading down toward Madison Hut. On our way back down toward Appalachia, we found a side trail with beautiful waterfalls. That's where I regretted ditching the tripod. I made some long exposure photos, but they are not perfectly sharp. They are good enough for online memories but I would not print them. You are a lot more constrained for composition when you try to balance the camera on a rock or on the ground.
Overall, I was happy with the Fuji X-T20 on that trip because, even though it's larger then the LX100, it's still small and lightweight enough to bring. The OIS helped a lot while filming. I wish I had bring the tripod and the Fuji 23mm f/2 with me for some shots.
Here’s the vlog, but it is in French.