Fujifilm X100F and creaping GAS

The X100F made me a victim of Gear Aquisition Syndrome!

Before I got the X100F, I was astunnished by the vast number of people buying gear for their X100F. I would have sworn, that it wouldn’t come to me. But I was wrong…

The Fujifilm X100F camera is a persuasive camera. The retro-design and the high tech inner parts, makes the camera appealing to photo enthusiasts as well as design diggers and hipster types. When you get it in your hands, it’s hard not to have positive vibes. And almost like a little kitten or puppy, you want to make it happy. In theory, taking pictures should be the path to happiness for you and the camera, but the thing is so d… attractive, you just feel it natural to fill in the minor design flaws with accessories. Wich leaves to GAS – Gear Aquisition Syndrome.

However, when it comes to accessories and gear, I think I must have scottish ancestors.  I do not mind spending money on premium gear, if it is worth it, but expensive gear does not alway equal best gear – and the brands are unimportant to me. Function over form ;) And as a X-T2 owner, I also want compatible gear. So I spend quite some time on the internet to find gear with a high Quality vs Price ratio. I ended up with this result of my X100F GAS:

All the gear at a glance

Protective filters

The X100F has a 23mm fixed lens. However, the front part of the lens moves forth and back, when the camera is focusing. I do not want to put pressure on this part of the camera by accident and compromise the focus mechanism. For instance, I could switch the camera on unintended in my pocket or in a bag. Moreover, since the lens is fixed, scratching the front part of the lens has greater implications, than for my Fujinon lenses for the X-T2.

So just after preordering the X100F, I knew I wanted a protective filter for the camera. I have several B+W filters, and they are made of very good quality and very resistant to scratches – and cleaning! This time I needed a neutral filter, and found the B+W 49mm UV-Haze XS-Pro MRC nano filter in a slim edition. This filter is not cheap, but I did not want to compromize image quality. In order to mount the filter, I needed a filter adaptor. I chose the JJC LH-JX100 lens hood with a filter adaptor. It is very inexpensive compared to the original Fujifilm lens hood, and the lens hood and filter adaptor are separate. With only the filter ring adaptor mounted (you need to unmount the original outer lens ring), you can use the original lens cap.

I handle my gear very carefully, but a street camera can have a hard time. So protecting the rear LCD screen seemed as a good idea. I bought a package of four anti-reflective screen protectors. The price was about 1 euro (1 dollar) higher than buying one, so now I have a few spare. I chose the anti-reflective type to lower reflections from the ambient light. It does not eliminate the reflections, but overall I find the preview experience has improved on behalf of a small loss in intensity. The product is a German product and has ok reviews.

To Lens hood or not to lens hood

The JJC lens hood is a copy of the Fujifilm lens hood – which in turn is pretty mucha Leica wannabe lens hood. I dont like the Leica style lens hood, so I don’t use it on my X100F. JJC and other chinese brands also make a lens hood that narrows in on the front letting the original lens cap still fit. Maybe I will buy it, if I want to photograph a lot in the sunsets. Untill then, I live with the flare.

Wrist strap

The Fujifilm X100F is a small camera, but walking in the streets with the camera in my hand is not convenient – and the viewfinder window will be covered with finger prints in no time. Hence, a wrist strap is a must!

I’m a huge Peak Design fanboy. Their products are not pretty or sexy, but very versatile and configurable – and durable! With a huge system of straps build up around their anchor system, it is very easy to select the right strap for the right situation. I already had a Cuff from Peak Design and a spare anchor, so this gear was ‘free’.

Tripod

To me, a tripod and X100F is like water and oil. A X100F begs for being hand held – and my X-T2 is better suited for the situations that requires a tripod. But for rare occasions, I want to put the cameara on steady ground for either long exposure or timer shots. And for these moments, I don’t want to scratch the camera – or get dust and sand in the tripod mount or mic beneath the camera. I already have a Joby Gorillapad with a Joby ball head. But this flexible tripod is too large to put in a pocket.

I spend a long time researching, and ended up with a Joby Micro Hybrid tripod for (GP20-01WW). It has a small ballhead that can tilt up to 36 degrees and turn 360 degrees. Manfrotto and other high quality pod manufacturers also have very cool small tripods and similar stuff. But the Micro Hybrid tripod takes up to 800 grams of load on the ball head. I have tested the tripod with my X-T2 and the XF18-135mm lens on. After 8 hours and a good sleep, the camera and lens was still in the same angle and direction. So thumbs up for the ball head.

Unfortunately, the mount has a major design flaw… The plate under the screw is made of solid metal. After first usage, my brand new X100F was scratched!!! In my cellar, I found a piece of rubber, punched a hole in the middle, added afew drops of super glue, and a scissor / stanley knife made the rubber fit the plate. But why isn’t the rubber packing in the ball head when you buy it ???? The cost is abaout a cent!!! I still consider suing Joby for the damages on my X100F…

Scratch marks after the Joby Tripod
Any handyman or handywoman can fix the design flaw for 1 cent

Thumb rest and Soft release Button

Some X100F shooters complains over the design of the upper right part of the back side. The reason is, that the thumb and the X100F ergonomics are not always compatible. Most users press the Q-button by accident. That is rather annoying. I have a relative long thumb, so I dont find it problematic. However, I miss a good place to rest my thumb, when I use the camera with one hand. I found the one hand grip a bit shaky, and often ended up tilting the camera slightly, when I pressed the shutter button.

Whe top of the class of Thumbrests for X100F is by far the newly developed thumb rest from Lensmate. And the prize is also in the top. I ended up buying a cheap noname thumb rest; DSLKit long Thum Up Grip. It is not foldable, but the arm is so long, that the thumb rest is beyond buttons and dials. People with big thumbs may have a hard time accessing and pressing the rear dial, but it works ok for me.

A lot of people find a soft release button a must for their camera. I decided to try it out for my X100F. Again, you can find buttons for +30 $/€. I found a JJC SRB in red for about 4 $/€. If I loose it, I won’t spend time on fretting. And this one was concave. That makes sence to me, since the finger finds a natural rest in the concave hollowing. It also goes with two small rubber rings, so you don’t overthighten the button and break the shutter release on the camera.

The JJC Soft Release Button comes with two rubber rings

Case and Pouch

As a preoreder gift, I should get the original X100F Case together with my X100F camera. However, the case was delayed. Fortunately, the shop decided to contact me, when they had the camera, and asked if I would like the camera now or wait for the case. I chose to get the camera straight away. A good decision; the camera case came after 2 and a half month…

In the meantime, it left me with a minor problem: How to protect my camera from scratches when I had the camera in a bag or in the pocket of my jacket. I was lucky to find  the pouch for my PeakDesign Lite strap. The pouch fits nicely around the camera and protects it from being scratched – not from shocks or punches. I even find it useful when I walk withthe camera dangling in the wrist strap. However, then I need to tie the pouch around the strap – or it will simply slip off.

The pouch fits nicely around my camera.

When the original case arrived, I was a bit disappointed. It turns a sexy camera into a Instax look-alike. Even a pig or donkey is prettier than this case. The design is a bit bulky too with very visible buttons. I think Fuji has designed it a bit too retro. Only new innovative part is the magnetic flap on the front. But it seems to be made very durable but even BETTER(!); my soft release button and the thumb rest can be on the camera in the case(!). If not, the point of using this case would have been close to zero.

The case is not sexy – but it protects the camera very well

The case protects the camera very well. It is thick leather and there are good sewings all around. The interior is the soft, and there are extra paddings in the buttom of the case and outside the LCD screen and the eye piece. The case is in two parts, and the camera is fixed to the lower part around the straps. The upper part can be dismantled if you should use the camera for a longer period of time – and don’t want the dangling upper part attached. Another good detail is a small flap on the lower part that can be opened, so the battery and SD-card can be replaced without taking the camera out of the case. To me, the only concern about the case is that it is so unsexy. The quality of the case implies, that the case will outlast the camera.

The back side of the case with protection for the LCD screen
Easy access to the battery compartment.

Of-camera flash

Several articles in various Fuji-forums pinpoints that the leaf shutter enables new possibilities for flash photography with shutter speeds up to 1/1000s. The x100F has a fill-in flash, but I think a more powerfull (off-camera) flash will be needed.

Until Fujifilm or other vendors can deliver a good wireless TTL-flash system for the X-series (Godox is comming), I stick to my ‘old’ manual Yongnou flash system with the wireless YN-560 flashes. I have the YN-560TX remote control to adjust output power for up to three groups, but the box seems to be a bit oversized on the X100F. I found a small YN-603ii Flass trigger for Nikon from my drawers, and the size was more appropriate. The only annoying thing is, that the ISO setting can be hard to read. But it is still possible to adjust ISO – and the shutter speed ;)

So until a good flash system is on the market, I benefit from the old Yongnou flash system.

Gear List

So in two months, I have bought more accessory gear for my X100F than for X-T1 and X-T2 in two years. Here are the list and links. For most products I have found the vendors, but a few products could only be found on amazon.

Protective filter: B+W 49mm Slim UV Haze MRC nano (M010)

LCD screen protection: disGuard anti-reflective screen protection

Lens cap: Original Fujifilm X100F lenscap

Lens hood and filter ring: JJC LH-JX100

Hand strap: Peak Design Cuff Wrist strap

Small Tripod: Joby Micro Hybrid Tripod GP-01WW

Thumb rest: On Amazon.com DSLRKIT Thumb Up Grip

Soft release Button: JJC Concave  Soft Release Button with rubber ring

Case: Original Fujifilm X100F Case in Brown.

Pouch: Pouch for PeakDesign Slide Lite

 

Gordon

As an enthusiastic amateur photographer, I spend most of my spare time finding the next photo opportunity. I favor landscape photography and portraiture, and challenge myself with street.

%d bloggers like this: