Fujifilm X100

The Death & Life Of The Fujifilm X100

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF3637-Edit The release of firmware 2.0 for the X100 was a very welcome present from Fuji that a lot of people thought wouldn't happen. They've replaced the X100 for the X100s, so why would they update an older model and give it a bit of what entices people to upgrade. Because they're Fuji, that's why.

So on the morning v2.0 was released, I got ready for the upgrade by playing around with the focus so that I could compare the difference after upgrading. I got my Fuji branded 4gb card that I keep just for firmware updates and reformatted it in the camera. I put an original Fuji battery, fresh from a full overnight charge, into the camera. I then put the downloaded file on the SD card (checking that the file size matched the download page) and placed it into the camera. After the ritual was complete and I started the update. I placed the camera on the desk to avoid pressing anything and watched the progress bar on the LCD move from right to left. But just after about quarter of the way through, the LCD went dark. It had never done this before, but I left it for a few minutes incase it was a new way updates worked. Nothing, Nada, Wala. I picked my X100 up and lightly half pressed the shutter button, expecting to see the camera coming out of sleep mode. The write lamp on the back blinked red and I knew something was wrong. I turned it off and then back on, but the same thing, nothing but the blink of a light on half pressing the shutter. My X100 was dead. This was an ex-X100

DerekClarkPhotography.com-HongKongAirportTripA couple of shots of Hong Kong International Airport from the X100. No hassle from security with this camera.

After sending a tweet to Fujifilm UK, I got a phone call from a nice man from the Service Department, who said it would have to go in to be looked at. After the weekend a box arrived from Fuji. I packed up my X100 and waved it goodbye. In my mind, I imagined the full town lining the street and throwing flowers on the Royal Mail van as it moved slowly through a prearranged route, but people have no respect these days!

My trusty X100 returned a few days later when major brain surgery had been performed and v2.0 firmware had been installed. It was back, but it wasn't the same (I did say major brain surgery for Fuji's sake). My X100 meter was way off and everything was over exposed by two stops. The preview image in the viewfinder was also very blue. I dragged the beast outside and chained it to the barn. Slowly I raised the shotgun up and took aim, my finger trembling on the trigger. The X100 flickered it's EVF screen at me and I could see the glint in it's lens. I went to the shed and bent the barrels of the shotgun in a vice, so that I could never be tempted again.

Luckily, Fuji had some sort of glitch in firmware 2.0 and they released v2.01 a few days later. Although the problems I was experiencing had nothing to do with the glitch in v2.0, the update to v2.01 gave it a reset and the meter and EVF were back to normal. But like The Six Million Dollar man, the X100 would never be the same. Start-up is quicker, Auto Focus is quicker in all situations, it now has Focus Peaking and Manual Focus has gone from the worst of my three Fuji cameras to probably the best. The main reason being that the focus ring only needs to travel a short distance, rather than the multiple rotations it did before the update.

A big thanks to Fujifilm UK for their first class customer service. It's second to none. Customer support is also amazing, with updates that take our cameras from great to amazing! Not many companies produce updates for legacy products.


This is the camera that I shot the photo above with, and won Professional Photographer of The Year in 2012 (News category), but I don't think I would enter any competitions with it after the v2 firmware. It probably wouldn't pass a drugs test...too many steroids in that little X100 now!

View From My Keys :: Shetland Island

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF9729-EditThe beautiful Island of Shetland is located off the north coast of Scotland and takes an hour to reach by air or 12 hours by boat from Aberdeen. Norway sits to the east and Iceland is situated to the north west. Both Iceland and Norway are on my bucket list, but for now, Shetland is the furthest north I've been on Planet Earth. Click HERE for a map. I was armed with the Fujifilm X100, the X-Pro1 with the 35mm f1.4 & the X-E1 with the 18mm f2 (and a tenor saxophone). All of the photos on this post were shot with one of these cameras. This kit fits easily into the Think Tank Retrospective 7 (not the sax), along with my iPad, Zoom H4n audio recorder and lots of Fuji Batteries and memory cards. The in-camera panoramic above was taken with the X-E1. DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF9669-EditThe flight to Shetland was one of the smoothest I've ever been on, but probably the noisiest, due to the twin prop plane. It was early in the morning and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. There were more newspapers on board than people, most of which were the band.

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF9696On first arrival at Shetland airport you immediately reach for your watch and adjust the time to 1973. It's like an episode of Life on Mars (BBC).

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF2329Ships can be docked in Shetland for a while, so it's no surprise that these two decided to play tug of war with a white van, just to pass the time.

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF2326DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF9734DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF2360DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF2367DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF1829The rhythm section stand against the huge fretboard of the Warwick five string bass. Not the fist time these two have shared the same G string! The Mareel is a stunning venue that overlooks the dock & ferry terminal.

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF9742Another soundcheck. It might look like specs of dust all over this photo, but it's actually small lights in the stage curtain known as Starcloth. DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF1843Probably the first pair of self harming jeans in Shetland!

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF1881Shetland has an impressively low unemployment figure, but is plagued with one of the worst zombie problems west of Denmark. This one, known to the locals as Margaret, is a particularly nasty beast that can strip flesh off the ass of an ass in 28 seconds.

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF1888Back to the airport and time to leave 1973 behind and head back to to the future. I'd like to return to Shetland for a longer stay and to concentrate more on photographing the island and its people. I'd like to do documentary projects on a fishing boat and maybe a local manufacturer that produces something unusual???.

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF1892The weather was a complete contrast to our arrival and it was clear that the flight of doom was imminent.


DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF1906Cabin crew demonstrate the procedures for the flight ahead. A flight that turned out to be the roughest I've been on.

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF9819-EditBack on the mainland and safe. The pilot did a fantastic job on this Buddy Holly style flight. The technique of tapping the wings on the runway to check for a soft landing spot worked really well. It was an interesting weekend and lasting memories were formed for all involved. I can't wait to go back to Shetland!

PPOTY :: And The Winner Is...

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF1681-EditI didn't have much expectation of winning Professional Photographer Of The Year, but as I was a finalist in the News category, I thought it was only right to go along and be a part of the awards night. At least it was an excuse for my wife Fe and I to have a day or two away. The night before the awards, I visited my dad at hospital after he had just gone through a kidney operation. He was in an enormous amount of pain and I wished the awards had been the following week, instead of the following night. But it made me think it would be really nice to win the award, because I knew that it would give him a big boost and it would mean a lot to him. Derek Clark-Professional Photographer Of The Year-2012When we arrived at the venue, there was an easel for each category that had a collage of the finalists photos on it. We had a good look at each board before getting to the news category, but  we were both surprised to see the other nine finalists photos printed there, but not mine. Maybe if I had engaged my brain I would have realised that none of the winners were included on the finalists prints, which were actually taped down to hide the winners. As the awards started, it was made clear by judge and compare Adam Scorly, that "if your photo isn't included on the prints, you've done pretty well!". So the penny dropped and I realised that, as mine was the only photo in the News category that was missing, it had to be the winner....dahhh!

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF2050-Edit-2Maybe it was an omen that earlier in the day, a pedestrian tried to re-inact my soon to be winning photo by falling in the street, which I shot with the same X100 (cue Twilight Zone music). I also took a few street shots in Brisol and Cheltenham and will be posting them on 35mmStreet this week.

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF2090For a change, it really was back to sunny Scotland. As we walked out of the airport, the sun was shinning and the shadows were long. A combination I'm growing to love.

So the little Fujifim X100 that I took the winning shot with, just keeps taking me to places I don't expect. It's been a game changer for me and many others, including my fellow Kage Collective colleagues, Patrick LaRoque, Paul Pride, Robert Catto and Flemming Bo Jensen. It was also great to talk to a few of the nice people at Loxley Colour who did a fantastic job of printing all the photos, including the large ones of the winners. I was really impressed by the resolution from the X100 print, which sadly, I wasn't able to take it on the flight home. But Loxley kindly offered to do another print that I can collect from their lab near by, so a big thanks to them.

You can read all about the winning photo on The Digital Contact Sheet :: Episode 3 or by clicking HERE

A huge thanks to everyone that sent congratulations by text, email, tweets, Facebook etc... I really appreciate it!

  • Top photo of the X100 was taken by the X-Pro1 and the 35mm f1.4
  • The shot of myself was taken by Fe with the X-E1 and the 18mm f2
  • Last two shots were taken with the X100

Addendum :: Click HERE for some street photos taken in Bristol & Cheltenham during this trip. 

Italy :: Venice & Verona With The X100 & X-Pro1

DerekClarkPhotography.com-Italy-DSCF4591This post is just about showing a few shots from Italy. I have hundreds sitting on my hard drive, so I thought it would be a good idea to throw a few up here. These shots are from Verona, Venice, and Jesolo. They were all taken with either the Fuji X100 with it's built in 23mm f2 lens or the X-Pro1 with the 18mm f2. I'll note which is which at the bottom of the post.DerekClarkPhotography.com-Italy-Italy2012DerekClarkPhotography.com-Italy-DSCF4502DerekClarkPhotography.com-Italy-DSCF4608DerekClarkPhotography.com-Italy-DSCF4626DerekClarkPhotography.com-Italy-DSCF4577DerekClarkPhotography.com-Italy-DSCF0205DerekClarkPhotography.com-Italy-DSCF0221DerekClarkPhotography.com-Italy-DSCF9029DerekClarkPhotography.com-Italy-DSCF8792

  • Photos 1 - 6::  Verona, Italy, X-Pro1, 18mm f2
  • Photos 7 - 9::  Venice, Italy, X100, 23mm f2
  • Photo 10::  Jesolo, Italy, X100, 23mm f2


Professional Photographer Of The Year Finalist

PPOTYnewsI'm delighted to be a finalist in The Professional Photographer Of The Year Awards. I received an email yesterday confirming I was in the final ten of the News category. A selection of the finalist photographs from all categories will be featured in the April edition of Professional Photographer Magazine (on sale in March) and the winners will be announced at the awards event in Cheltenham at the end of March. You can read more about this shot (taken with my X100) in the previous post The Digital Contact Sheet :: Episode 3

The Digital Contact Sheet :: Episode 3

DigitalNegative680-E3 It's only episode 3, but it's time to change the format of this feature. When I first thought about doing The Digital Contact Sheet, I imagined it with...well you know, contact sheets. But rather than sit on the idea for a while and get it right in my head and then transfer it into a blog post, I went ahead and jumped in before I really thought it through. That's not always a bad thing as ideas come thick and fast and most of them never see the light of day. So I kind of went with the "ship anyway" mentality, but now I'm changing it into what it should be, with proper contact sheets and all. I hope this is a welcome change.


This sequence of images were shot in Italy last year at The Moonlight Marathon near Venice. The Contact sheet, above, shows the photos straight out of camera, which in this case was the Fujifilm X100. This ended up being called Running Into Darkness and was my first story on the Kage Collective website.


I usually know while I'm shooting a project if it will be in black & white, Colour or a mixture of both. This shoot was always going to be black and white, so I've converted the contact sheet in Photoshop and used +70 of Contrast and +10 of Brightness. This also helps to show the markings in red. As this is The Digital Contact Sheet my markings were done with a Wacom tablet, rather than a wax pencil.


The red boxes are the frames I would use and the ones with the red X's are the rejects. The others are OK, but more than I need. The three with the stars are the ones that tell the story. It's interesting to see a sequence of images in contact sheet form. One of the things that stands out right away, is whither I have worked the scene enough. I know by looking at this sheet, that I would have liked to have moved around a bit more and got some different points of view. Remember to click on the contact sheet above to see a larger version.

DerekClarkPhotography.com-DSCF9782I was shooting with the X100 which has a full frame equivalent of a 35mm lens, so I'm pretty close here. It's a tense situation and I don't want to come accross as too mercenary, so the shots of the guy on the ground are all shot from the hip. I would have framed it differently if the camera had been up to my eye, but I think this wonky composition adds a bit of tension to the shot and works well.


I chose the frame above as my favorite, because it asks more questions than it answers. Is he alive? Is he dead? What happened to him? Is that blood on the ground or water? Is the man standing over him a stranger or a friend? is he performing CPR? The number on his shirt is turned up and not that noticeable at first. The guy standing over him is obscuring his running shoes (which would tell all). As part of the story, you already know what's going on here, but I think this frame stands up well on it's own and in some ways more powerful when taken out of context. I converted these three shots to black and white using Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2. I used my homemade preset for street photography.


This is not the sharpest photo ever made, but the content is more important than the technical and this shot is really important from a storytelling point of view. It also reveals the running shoes which gives enough information to know what's going on.


This is the last shot of this sequence, although not the end of the story. I continued to shoot the runners until the last one had gone. I then turned my lens on the aftermath of hundreds of plastic bottles.

I believe a photographer can learn as much by going through a contact sheet as he can from actually shooting the photos. It's good to ask yourself questions. Did I get everything I could have? Did I work the scene and get all the angles? Did I get enough tight, medium and wide shots?

As always, I hope you've got something out of this post and maybe some of you will try printing a contact sheet and studying your photos more. The contact sheets in this post were made in the Lightroom 4 print module. I used Print To File to save the sheet as a jpeg.

My Bag Is Featured On Japan Camera Hunter

My Street and Documentary camera bag is featured on Japan Camera Hunter's 'In Your Bag' feature. I'm number 390 in this long running feature. You'll find a list of what's inside my bag, plus a bit of information too. Click here to see my bag Japan Camera hunter, AKA Bellamy Hunt is the man to contact if you're looking for quality cameras and equipment. Bellamy sources great gear from in Japan (where he's based) and ships it all over the world. Looking for a Leica M2? Bellamy's your man.

The S Factor :: Fujifilm X100s

New from Fuji is the X100s, an update to the original X model. Fujifilm has done the opposite of what a lot of camera manufactures do by just giving the camera an S rather than naming it the X200. How many times do we see new models coming out with very minimal improvements? With the X100s, it looks like there has been a huge leap in the technology inside the camera, but very little on the outside. I'm really glad it's that way round as the the camera looks stunning!

Here are some of the new features:

  • 16.3 million pixels APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor
  • EXR Processor II
  • Hybrid Viewfinder (OVF / EVF)
  • FUJINON 23mm F2 lens
  • Intelligent Hybrid AF (with the world’s fastest AF speed of 0.08 secs
  • Start-up time of 0.5 secs
  • Shutter time lag of 0.01 secs
  • Shooting interval of 0.5 secs
  • High-contrast and wide viewing-angle 2.8-inch Premium Clear LCD (460K dots)
  • Super Intelligent Flash
  • Burst shooting rate of up to 6 frames per second at full resolution (max. 29 frames)
  • Focus Peak Highlight function
  • Digital Split Image display
  • Artistic filters
  • Full HD movie recording (60fps / 30fps)


It's nice to see the old split screen focussing making a comeback. I have a similar thing in my Olympus OM2-n, but with a horizontal line, rather than vertical. The X100s looks like a cross between that and a rangefinder patch in the centre of the screen. I'm looking forward to trying it out. The X100s will also have the fastest focusing in it's class.

Let's hope we get an update to the X100 firmware to get an updated menu and to add a Q button function to the Raw button. While I'm on the subject of firmware, we really need a minimum shutter speed added to the Auto ISO in the X-Pro1 and X-E1. This should be a Fuji priority!

Trigger Happy :: Flashwave III Radio Triggers

I've been a heavy user of Nikon's Creative Lighting System for the past few years and it has worked well for me...if I'm shooting Nikon. But these days I need a radio system that would work equally well on the Nikon and the Fuji X-Pro1, X100 and now the X-E1. The latest pocket wizard plus iii's were looking like the direction I was going to go, but the system was a bit messy as the transceivers needed to be hung from the lights by lanyards. The Pocket wizards were also working out pretty expensive as I would have needed six units.

I was turned on to the Flashwave III system after reading that Billy 'the Fuji Guy' used these units and recommended them for the X cameras. I ordered two sets from Warehouse Express to try before buying the rest of the receivers that I required. A set consists of one very small transmitter for the camera hotshoe and one receiver to trigger a flash. One of the plus sides of the Flashwave system is that the receiver has it's own hotshoe that a strobe can be mounted on, plus because it has a flat base, the receiver also doubles as a Speedlight stand. These units can also be mounted on light stands via a threaded socket on the base.  A set of Flashwave III's also come with an impressive array of cables and adapters that most companies would charge as extras.

Built quality is pretty good and although the units are plastic, they have stainless steel plates on the flat areas that give them a quality feel. I get quite a few miss-fires with the Nikon SU800 commander unit (probably due to it being infrared line of sight), but the Flashwave's fire every time. Channels are controlled by 4 dip switches on all units, which gives a total of 16 channels. So if you do events with other photographers, both of you can select a different Channel and avoid firing each others lights.

It's great to use two cameras with a Flashwave transmitter on each! With a 50mm on one and an 85mm on the other, I can get through a full portrait session without having to change a lens. I used to either switch lenses or switch off cameras and move the SU800 from one to another.

The downside of using generic radio triggers is that you can't change power from the transmitters, they simply trigger and nothing more. But on the up side, I find that my lighting is more consistent when I come to editing a shoot, as I'm less likely to try to micro adjust power settings. Which of course means that photos can be adjusted in batches as the exposures are all the same.

We Are The Kage Collective :: An Announcement

I'm proud to announce the launch of The Kage Collective (pronounced Kaji), a project I'm involved in with fellow photographers Patrick La Roque (Canada), Paul Pride (England, UK) and Robert Catto (Australia), with me (Scotland, UK).

As you will see from the Kage Collective website, we are a group of international photographers shooting documentary projects about a wide variety of subjects. The one common thread that runs through the project and the thing that not only brought us together, but also binds us, is that we shoot with the Fujifilm X series cameras. At the moment the X100, X-Pro1 and X-E1 are the models being used by the collective, but I'm sure other models will become available to us, and of course we can't wait to get our hands on the new XF lenses as they come available.

Kage Collective has been simmering away in the background for a few months, taking shape and getting refined ready for todays launch. It's been difficult not to let it slip a few times, especially on Twitter. I'm excited and thrilled to be a part of this collective and couldn't wish for a better group of photographers to collaborate with. To say we're on the same wavelength would be an understatement! So please take a look at the brand new Kage Collective website (built by our very own Patrick LaRoque) and have a look at our launch stories. The site will be updated regularly and will definitely give us all a bit of pressure to go out with our Fuji X cameras and document life as we see it!

The photo above is taken from my first story on the Kage site 'Running Into Darkness' which was shot on the streets of Italy this year. As you can see, my style is my style, so if you're a regular on my 35mmStreet blog and you like my black and white photography, you should take a look at the Kage website. If you're not familiar with Patrick, Paul or Robert's work, you really are missing out on some great photography. Let me know in the comments what you think.