5 frames with...

5 frames with a Fuji X100 / a reminder of an annoying conversation I had with some Fuji reps

January 6, 2020

I didn’t take many photos on Christmas day – not with “real” cameras at least. I mostly just used my iPhone. I did take a few shots though – the kids on their new trampoline was too good an opportunity not to try out the Fuji X100 Of course, kids on a trampoline isn’t exactly the easiest of subjects to shoot autofocus, especially with a camera that’s not exactly known for its speed in such departments. As such, I decided to stop down a bit and shoot manual focus using the depth of field scale in the camera.

Using this scale instantly took me back to a very frustrating conversation I had with the guys on the Fuji stand at the photography show some years back – in fact, it might have even been at “Focus”, the show that was there before TPS.

Anyway, those who remember the early days of the X100 might remember the brief debacle around the depth of field scale in the viewfinder. When the camera was released, the scale was (if I remember rightly) based on a 0.03mm circle of confusion as if the camera was a 35mm film camera.

This caused some people to lose their minds as when pixel peeping objects toward the front or back of the area that was supposed to be in focus were slightly out of focus. In response to this, Fuji changed the scale, again if I remember rightly, to be based on a 0.02mm circle of confusion. This made the indicated area of focus shrink to ensure those pixel peepers would be happy.

I wasn’t happy though, I didn’t pixel peep and was happier with the larger indicators. So when I went to the show I asked the reps at the Fuji stand if there would be a further update to allow the user to choose a film or digital based scale. They didn’t understand what I was talking about and in response mocked me for being a geek. Then, in a really patronising way gave, my a little chrome ‘X’ key ring and sent me on my way.

Some of the later editions of the camera have that exact option too, so I can’t have been the only person to ask the question. I actually left the stand quite pissed off, and that’s despite usually being able to take a bit of banter. I didn’t feel like a geek (though I know I am) I just wanted a straight answer. Even a simple “I don’t know, sorry” would have sufficed.

Anyway, it’s a long time ago now, but using the shrunk indicators brought the pain and torment I suffered at the hands of those despicable Fuji reps flooding back to me. I’m joking of course, I didn’t really bother me (it did!!!). Either way, it’s still annoying that I can’t have the boarder indicators on this camera.

Regardless, with the aperture set to f/8 or f/11 and the shutter at 1/250th I’m pretty pleased with the shots I got.

Kids on the bounce

Kids on the bounce

Kids on the bounce

Kids on the bounce

Kids on the bounce

I was quite keen to keep the sky and use the little bits of sunlight shining through the trees as the light to expose for. I think that plan turned out quite well. I didn’t process the files too much either – it’s funny, if you don’t use Fuji cameras for a while, you forget how nicely they do colours. This old CCD pre-x-trans CMOS has a bit of character to it I think too!

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Paul Mulherin
    January 6, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    “This old CCD has a bit of character to it I think too!”

    Pah, call yourself a geek!? Everyone knows it’s an EXR CMOS sensor in there… ;-P
    Nice photos fella.
    Not sure how old the original X100 is but I’m fairly sure my old X20 can do back-button focusing so there might be an option to do that with your (posher) X100 too?
    As an aside I lament the fact that Fuji ditched the Xx0 series and now only offer either the (fixed lens) X100f or chunkier X-Pro3 CSC for people like me wanting OVFs. Even the X30 had an EVF making it bigger and more batttery-hungry.

    If only they could release another small (1″ sensor?) rangefinder camera with a similar 28-112mm lens as the X20… :-/

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      January 7, 2020 at 10:18 pm

      I know, I know … I was a little merry when I wrote it! Edited, thanks for spotting!
      Those compact cameras are a risky game these days I think – they have to have a lot going for them to atract people

  • Reply
    The annoying guy from Texas
    January 6, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Dude,

    That black camera looks HOT!!!!! Nice photos!!!

    SB

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      January 7, 2020 at 8:46 am

      Haha! You don’t need any more cameras… 🤣

  • Reply
    Ronald Jensen
    January 6, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    I own a Sony A7rII and a LOT of nice old lenses and a few new ones.
    But I still love to shoot my Fuji X100, first generation. Slooow autofocus.
    I just used it this New Years eve with a huge flash.
    I got the chrome version. People just smile at you, even if you stick it up their face. They do not expect you to ever get those pictures developed anyway.. 🙂

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      January 7, 2020 at 10:18 pm

      Ha, quite!

  • Reply
    LASousa
    January 6, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Hamish, I owned all iterations of the X100, and just sold the X100F from lack of use and duplication with my Leica digital camera. I don’t know what version you own, but the X100F has very good “focus peaking” – much better than on my Leica. I used this feature all the time to great effect. I did not use the hokey distance scale in the camera at all. The same feature exists on Fuji’s interchangeable bodies. Focus peaking is visible in the eye-finder (I think) and in the LCD screen. I found it to be extremely accurate. There is a setting (I can’t recall how to trigger it) where the lens zooms and permits accurate focus on a scene segment in manual. My suggestion is to relax and enjoy the camera and its strengths and limitations. It has good ergonomics, can be customized to your taste, and has great image quality and has a cool retro vibe. Most important, it is rewarding, but only if you allow it to be so! I do not say this in a mean way, but it seems your photography malaise is finding its way into interaction with your gear too! I found the X100 to be a great tool for travel, street and especially for long exposures. For street the camera is not intimidating, and strangers are attracted to its vibe. I highly recommend the inexpensive JVC hood for the camera. It eases use of filters in addition to the shade feature and the OWM hood fits over it. I especially enjoyed the chrome film simulation and, with the X100F, the Acros setting. By the way, the images are very good! L.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      January 7, 2020 at 10:19 pm

      Thank Louis!

      • Reply
        Terry B
        January 9, 2020 at 12:19 pm

        Hamish, if the X100 is basically the same in manual mode as my X-Pro 1 and X-E1, then when you are in manual mode the image can be magnified by using the little thumb wheel on the back of the body. As well as L and R adjustments it pushes in to bring up the enlarged view.

  • Reply
    Steven Bleistein
    January 7, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Hamish,

    Fujifilm fixed the DOF issue on the X100F, and I suspect on other models as well. On the X100F, you have the option to set DOF indicators by “film” standards, which for all practical purposes other than pixel-peeping landscape photos, is perfectly fine. I find the DOF scale on the X100F wonderful, and useful when I am zone focusing manually.

    For the 35mm equivalent Fujinon lens with a crop sensor, DOF is much greater than full-frame for the same apertures. So if you have a sense of DOF on your 35mm M-mount lens, you will be perfectly safe using that an heuristic for DOF on the X100, with room to spare! Photopills.com has a nice online DOF calculator for multiple camera models including the X100 series (https://www.photopills.com/calculators/dof). They have an iPhone app as well.

    As for shooting with “real cameras,” let’s not get too carried away. The iPhone too is a real camera—just different from the wonderful analog cameras about which we write on this site. Maybe it is better to talk about “real” photographic talent as opposed to real gear.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      January 7, 2020 at 8:45 am

      Your post on the x100f is going out today, Steve, intentionally times to follow this one.
      My “real cameras” comment was supposed to be a little tongue in cheek – I totally agree. This is my own prejudice talking.
      Thanks for the links – I have an app called “simple DoF” that I use. You can even set your own CoC…

      • Reply
        Steven Bleistein
        January 7, 2020 at 8:41 pm

        Was wondering about the timing! You know, recently I have found I can’t be bothered to carry around my Leica M240 when I want to shoot digital. I’ve been reaching for the X100F instead. It is so much lighter and more compact. It is a pleasure to use. In many ways, the X100F is more Leica-like in the spirit of the Oskar Barnack than any Leica model on the the market today!

  • Reply
    Peter
    January 7, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    It’s CMOS not CCD, you don’t deserve the key ring!

    J/k.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      January 7, 2020 at 10:19 pm

      HA!!

  • Reply
    Indra Rosalia
    January 7, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    The original Fujifilm X100 use a CMOS sensor, not a CCD. I have exactly same black edition of X100. It’s an excellent camera for holiday and vacation.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      January 7, 2020 at 10:20 pm

      yes yes yes (sorry, you wouldnt have seen all the other comments saying the same 🙂 )

  • Reply
    Andy
    January 7, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    If you’re a rep at a camera show I’d have thought the first rule of conversation would be to never call anyone a geek. We’re people that go to camera shows, of course we’re geeks, but asking a technical question shouldn’t be met with derision.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      January 7, 2020 at 10:20 pm

      RIGHT!!

  • Reply
    Doing my Thing (with a Fuji or two) - By Thorsten Wulff - 35mmc
    February 1, 2020 at 10:01 am

    […] all sides. Hamish and Steven just got into some of the details of two of the cameras iterations here and here, so I’ll skip that. But for saying that what I love about the X100 is the size, and […]

  • Reply
    Stuart L Marcus
    August 19, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Thank you for the post, Hamish. I LOVED my original X100 and believe that the 12 MP CMOS sensor definitely had a sprinkle of fairy (or faery) dust on it as I feel none of the future iterations, although wonderful, had that bit of flesh-tone “MAGIC.” I caved and bought the X100V and I do love using the joystick and the OVF with the small EVF inset in the window that allows you to check focus.

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