I’ve really been enjoying my new Fujifilm X100S. It’s probably my favorite camera right now. I keep using the word “fun” to describe it and that is something I really enjoy about it. It does have its limitations, i.e., the fixed focal length lens, but when I need to be at 35mm (or 28mm – see below) I always grab the Fuji and leave my other cameras in the studio. Also, I finally got some accessories for it and have some thoughts I’d like to share.
Since I work mostly on a tripod, I prefer the Gariz. It is beautifully-designed and lets the photographer access all the ports. More importantly – it has it’s own tripod mounting hole on the bottom so I can attach an Arca-Swiss style tongue-in-grove camera plate to the bottom of the camera with the case still on. It doesn’t offer as much protection as the Fuji-branded case, but works better for me. It also moves the tripod mounting hole away from the battery cover so you can now use something like a Black Rapid strap if you like. I also added the Gariz Genuine Leather Camera Strap to the case. This is an expensive combo to be sure, but it looks like a million bucks, is comfortable, lightweight and makes it easy to carry and protect the camera.
If I were the kind of photographer who didn’t rely on a tripod, I’d pick the Fuji product. It’s beautiful, sturdy and well-made. It offers complete protection for the camera yet is easy enough to unfold for fast shooting.
I also tried the $80 Fujifilm LH-X100 Lens Hood and Adapter Ring as well as the $8 EzFoto 49mm Black Filter Adapter Ring and Metal Lens Hood for Fuji Finepix X100, + Premier Cleaning Cloth which is a Chinese knock off. Usually I end up with the camera manufacturer’s product, but in this case I see absolutely no reason to spend 10 times the money for the Fuji product. It’s 100% guaranteed to not be 10 times better than the knock off. Save yourself $72 and get the EzFoto product. And by the way this is a must-have accessory if you want to screw on a filter. Without it there is no way to mount a filter to the camera. Some people buy a UV filter to place over the lens (since the lens cover no longer fits once this accessory is mounted,) but I went with something less expensive and more protective, the OP/TECH USA Hood Hat.
You do NEED at least one extra battery for the X100s. I tried both the Fuji product, the $35 Fujifilm NP-95 Li-Ion Battery for Fuji X-100 Digital Camera and a $10 Chinese knock off – the MaximalPower DB FUJ NP-95 Replacement Battery for Fujifilm FinePix X100, F30, F31fd, Real 3D W, Fully Decoded.
I can see about 10% better performance with the Fuji product and using a third-party battery may void your Fuji warranty. Since we’re only talking $35 for the real deal, I recommend sticking with the Fuji battery.
I also ordered the Fujifilm WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens so I could shoot a little wider. This is the first conversion lens I have ever used that doesn’t degrade image quality. Of course it costs as much as many lenses do so that’s probably got something to do with it. It’s optical quality is amazing. The photos in this post of the Jaguar F-Type were made using the 28mm WAC lens.
Using the WAC lens is easy. It just screws onto the existing (EFL) 35mm lens on the X100s and turns it into an (EFL) 28mm lens. I know what you’re thinking. That’s not much different. And you’re right. It would have been better if they could have made it equal to a 24mm lens. But I can use the additional seven mm in my car photography so I will take what I can get. If I were on a budget, I’d probably pass on this accessory, but if you can afford it and want to go a little bit wider, then this is a no-brainer.
For long exposures, I ordered a EzFoto 12″ Locking Mechanical Cable Release. It works just fine and gives you the ability to make bulb exposures without having to stand over the camera pressing the shutter button.
On my wish list? If only Fuji would now go the other direction and give us an equally-impressive 75mm telephoto conversion lens. My life would be so much easier. I’d also like to see an electronic cable release that would let you program time exposures, time-lapse, etc. Lastly, some sort of longer life battery (even if it cost more) so that you would be able to go out and shoot longer in between battery changes.
All the accessories I have tried so far have improved the Fuji X100s. If you get a chance to play with any of these, you’ll enjoy them.