I just bought a new lens to revive my 9-year-old Fujifilm X-T1

Grand Canal in Venice at golden hour
The Grand Canal in Venice at Golden Hour (Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

Call me crazy, but I recently bought a new lens for my Fujifilm X-T1. 

Nope, you didn’t read that wrong. I still own the original X-T camera released in 2014, and considering it’s nearly a decade old it’s still a brilliant little everyday carry-around. Since I sold my Fujifilm X-T3 it’s sat on my shelf, lensless and useless, but after finding a second-hand XC lens for a bargain price, I thought it was time to bring it out of the shadows. 

For all my professional work I use my trusty Sony A7 III, but there are times I don’t need to shoot for a client but still want better photos than my phone can take. Whether I’m at a festival, on holiday abroad, or enjoying a day out in the UK, I love documenting my adventures. But sometimes I don’t want to take my workhorse with me because it’s expensive, it’s pretty big, and – if anything were to happen to it – I’d be stuck when it comes to shooting paid jobs. 

(Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

When I sold my X-T3 I decided to sell all my lenses with it, as I needed the money to pay for my A7 III. In hindsight I perhaps should’ve held on to the Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2, but I sold it as part of a kit with the body and the XF 18-55mm for a very good price. Ever since then my poor X-T1 hasn't been used, so when I found a used Fujifilm XC 35mm f/2 lens at Wex for just £119 in very good condition I couldn't resist. 

Often I’m just walking around and I notice something I want to snap, but don’t bother because I know my phone just won't do it justice. Now I feel like I have a camera I can literally take everywhere with me. The combined weight of the body and the lens is just 565g, which isn’t much more than my 500ml Chilly’s Series 2 bottle when full. It’s perfect for chucking in my tote bag, rucksack or even slinging across my shoulders using my trust Peak Design Lite strap. 

(Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

The Fujifilm X-T1 might not be as good in low light as newer cameras, or have as many advanced features such as in-body stabilization or lightning-fast autofocus, but for what I need it for it does the job. Personally, I don’t mind pushing the ISO a bit and getting a grainier image. In fact I often add a bit of grain in post anyway, to give that film effect, so it just does that for me. I’m hoping my new/old setup will push me to take more photos and capture even more memories, plus think more creatively about composition since I am limited to just one lens. 

I’m sure there will be times when I won’t be able to resist the added capabilities of my Sony A7 III but, ultimately, the best camera you have is the one you have on you – and now I can shoot with a mirrorless system everywhere I go. 

(Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

A shot of a building taken on the ferry from Bormla - Valletta, Malta.  (Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

Check out the best Fujifilm cameras, including favorites from the X-Series and professional medium format systems, and take a look at the best Fujifilm lenses for super-sharp primes, amazing wide-angles and telephoto zooms.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.