5 frames with...

5 Frames with the Fujifilm X100V – By Thorsten Wulff

August 4, 2020

The original X100 was a game changer, the dial-controlled classic body built around an APS-C sensor kicked off the X-Series success story. I got myself the second model, the S, and carry it with me all the time. This year Fujifilm came out with the fifth iteration. While the body got a facelift, a new, sharper version of the already excellent 23mm was added, as well as a bunch of options to fine tune the cameras behavior. Hamish posted an in-depth analysis about all the menu functions and buttons you can assign them to here, so I will not get into these details. Instead, I want to talk briefly about how I use the V in my daily routines.

While the good old X100S, and T and F, looked like our grandparents old Leica, the Vs body is a sleeker, streamlined affair. You see it, and you feel it in your hand. Masazumi Imai carefully re-designed the X100V for Fujifilm, and his inspiration came from the work of visual futurist Syd Mead (Blade Runner) as well as the Phantom F4 fighter jet. Don’t worry, the V hast not veered that much from it’s family tree, the articulated touch display is the most obvious change. Other highlights are the really sharp Super EBC 23mm f/2 mk II lens and the practical ability to be charged by USB-C.

While I never missed an articulated display on my X100s, I have to admit this one is perfectly integrated into the body, sitting flush on the back with only a tiny slot giving away its agility. While you can place AF-points and take pictures with the tip of your finger, swipes allow you and abundance of functions.

So how does the V perform on the streets?


This lady informed the kid about the virtues of distance and mask. I was standing next to them with the X100V and was completely ignored because of the form factor, and the silence (even with the mechanical shutter engaged).


Germany was so far quite successful with its handling of the pandemic, only some fringe groups used the opportunity to protest against the government measures. A counter movement formed quickly, which the gentleman with the crocodile hat is part of. I was able to approach closely while using the cameras display, and not the viewfinder.


The X100V viewfinder is able to display the depth of field pretty accurately, and the menu allows you to switch from pixel based to film based view (in which a blue bar shows you the extent of the area in focus). In this case I used manual focusing at f/8 with a 1/125sec and ISO 3200. I brought the camera up just to frame the image, not checking the focus.


Like all over the globe there were huge  BLM rallies in Berlin, with thousands attending. The X100V allows you to get close to the action,while people assume you to carry your grandmothers undisturbing rangefinder from the 1950s around.


Like London, Berlin has its own Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. While the wooden construction is still being erected, rehearsals began for the 2020 production of ‘The Tempest’. This is a backstage situation in which actors and director read the text for the first time. In this case I used the electronic shutter, with everybody wondering about me fiddling with the camera without taking pictures.

The X100V, created with the legacy of a visual futurist in mind, follows Fujifilm’s tradition of building highly practical tools with excellent sensors and processors that you just want to grab and take to the street. This perfect tool for candid street photography is no exception, and the display is a highly useful addition to the X100 line.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Khürt Louis Williams
    August 4, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    This lady informed the kid about the virtues of distance and mask.

    Yet, that same lady, nose exposed, needs instruction on the proper use of a face mask.

    I know the website is 35mmc but in my mind I’ve stored it as 35mm(film/vintage)c. I was surprised to read an article on a popular and modern camera.

    The X100 series has been on my “want” list for quite some time. When I have wanted a more compact camera for events where my X-T2 would be too noticeable, I rented an X100F. The camera becomes invisible to most people and that 23mm lens just seems like the perfect lens for street photography.

    I recently purchased a used Fujinon Aspherical Lens Super EBC XF 27mm f/2.8 (aka XF27mmF2.8) pancake lens for my X-T2 and the want has subsided but I still want some sort of X100 in my pocket.

  • Reply
    Ted
    August 4, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    I remember being excited by the announcement of the X100. In my mind it had everything I wanted from small modern rangefinder type camera. It promised much and delivered little. Notability the focus. In autofocus it hunted until your moment passed (so much for the decisive moment) The manual focus was equally horrible, you could turn that focus ring until the cows came home (again missing the moment) However the X100s was introduced and the “S” represented “should have been this way’ It now delivered everything I expected and wanted in the X100. So began my transition to Fujifilm, next purchase was a used Xpro1 with 2 lenses, and I was off and on the Fuji bandwagon. Now my digital bag houses the Xpro2 and and the XT2 along with the X100s and some very fine fuji glass. And although I have access to the X100f, etc I still reach for the X100s. 16mp is plenty for me, and Ive always found the fuji files brilliant . Less is more and you can get away with so much more with a small unobtrusive camera. Although Im tempted to upgrade to the newest cameras on offer the cost holds me back. The XT-4 is a beautiful camera with nice upgrades from the XT-2 but the cost is approx $2000.00 CDN and that 2K can buy a lot of Tri-X my friend. Enjoyed the article many thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      thorsten
      August 4, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      Absolutely agree, Ted. I still carry the S with me all the time (on which I never used the autofocus), it gave me some of my best pictures over the years. And the Xpro2 is a fantastic camera, my display is witched off anyway. I love the way the grain becomes coarser the higher the ISO gets in Acros, its silent and a perfect tool.

  • Reply
    Louis
    August 4, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Thorsten I enjoy the imagery and discussion very much. The tones in the color images are muted and I assume this is from one of the film simulations, possibly one of the Proneg selections? Thanks for a great post.

    • Reply
      thorsten
      August 4, 2020 at 9:25 pm

      Oh thank you Louis. I have to admit, there was some tweaking in Lightroom involved… and Ritchie Roesch has a very nice recipe for Kodachrome 64 over here.

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