X-Pro Series is a camera designed for documentary, reportage and street snap. The concept behind it is to be "unobtrusive", "inconspicuous", and "casual". The subject in such genre of photography are the general public, and in order to capture as naturally as they are, we believed that the camera needed to be "thoughtful".
To realize the concept, one thing we did is we made the camera "semi glossy" in black. It is not as intrusive as the glossy paint, but it isn't all that plain looking either. The right amount of glossiness reflects the emotion hidden inside the photographer.
"Black semi gloss paint" is a finish that requires most time and effort. It also is the most expensive. This paint is not something that we can apply to all models due to the cost, but as X-Pro series is something that is very special for FUJIFILM, we applied the paint not only on the original X-Pro1 but also on the 2nd generation as well.
"Wait a second, isn't Graphite Silver the high grade finish?", you may wonder. Indeed, Graphite silver is high grade, but its method is quite different. Graphite Silver is achieved by coating multiple of layers. The multiple layer gives its unique appearance and texture. It also requires additional touch on the finishing color to give that unique color. It is indeed high grade.
On the other hand, "Black semi gloss paint" is same as any typical "glossy paint" or "hammer tone paint" in terms of number of paint. So in this sense, it isn't that high grade. But this paint is picky on the "surface". If we say "Graphite silver" is luxurious, then may be we should say "black semi gloss paint" is precious.
The modern camera body often uses magnesium for its ease of processing. Heat it up and throw it into molding to give its shape.
The liquid metal, as it solidifies, leaves a marble-like pattern on the surface. If it's "Glossy paint" or "Hammer tone paint" finish, then the marble-pattern disappears from the surface once the paint is complete, but in the case of "Black semi gloss paint", it picks up the tiny bumps on the surface so that the patterns stay intact. *Keep in mind that these little bumps are in the size of microns, something that you will not notice just by touching on the surface....
To avoid this, the surface is polished before the "Black semi gloss paint" is applied. If the marbles stay intact after the polishing, then they will not be used. The paint is applied to those that passed the test, but even then the marble patterns become apparant on some of them. We've spent lots of labor up until now, but we leave these behind.
Even when there is not a problem on the surface, if we see a lump, then they will not be used. The subtle gradation of "The semi gloss" picks up these tiny defects. And of course, if we see them, we leave them behind.
"Black semi gloss paint" is only achieved by the combination of selected surface and paint. I hope you understand why we say "Precious" as opposed to "High grade." This beautiful finish is only for "X-Pro" series.
FUJIFILM is not simply manufacturing large number of surfaces to make the X-Pro2. Our inspection is irrationally very severe, but beautiful things come rationally.
Remember that the marble patterns are created when the liquid metal is put to molding. Pressure is applied to the molding process, and if the design is irrational somewhere, then the liquid stumbles upon a point somewhere. In other words, if the design is rational, the liquid will naturally flow, therefore it will keep its beauty.
There had been a numerous feedback that went back and forth between the exterior designer and the product designer before we came on the final design of X-Pro2. And the final design reflected many ideas that the exterior designer had proposed. Generally speaking, product designers hate to see the change from its original idea, but it wasn't so in the case of X-Pro2. He felt it was "natural." Maybe the Natural rationality crossed the artificially created design.