X100F

Fujifilm X100F: Auto Detect WCL & TCL Lenses

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If you have a Fujifilm X100F and the older mk1 WCL-X100 wide angle, and the TCL-X100 teleconverter lenses and you’re still diving into the menus or using up an Fn button to tell the camera when any of these are attached…read on.

The X100F has a magnet next to the front element of the lens (under the surface), as does each of the newer mkII lenses. So when the WCL or TCL are screwed on to the font of the camera, these two magnets react to each other and the camera automatically switches to whichever lens is attached and corrects for barrel distortion. How does the X100F know which of the two lenses are attached I here you say? Simple; The polarity of the magnets are reversed on each lens. So the magnet on one lens pulls and the other pushes. But the original two conversion lenses don’t have magnets on them.

I bought a packet of really small magnets on Amazon UK and I crudely attached them inside of the lenses next to the rear element. But they were either not strong enough or to slim. So I attached a second magnet on to of each of them, but this time just held by their on magnetic strength. They then worked as they should and although I meant to go back an do a neater job, I’ve never got round to it and the magnets have never moved at all. I might go back and use one magnet on each, with a bit of black Sugru to stick them down and raise them up at the same time.

The boxes that come with each of the conversion lenses actually have magnets inside the lids. If you don’t mind destroying your boxes you can cut these out with a sharp knife and use them.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Move the magnet over the front of the lens (close to the FUJINON logo).

  2. Check the viewfinder to see the point where the W or T symbol appears.

  3. Make a note if it was W or T and keep the magnet facing in the same direction (polarity).

  4. Place a piece of tape on the aperture dial where the magnet reacted (don’t move the dial).

  5. Now screw each lens and place a piece of tape on them at the same point as the camera’s

  6. Remove the lenses & attach a magnet using tape inside the back of the lens (see picture).

  7. You might need to re-check the polarity to make sure it’s correct for each lens.

  8. Screw the lenses on and check that the camera automatically switches to WCL or TCL.

  9. If the camera doesn’t automatically adjust, add another magnet on top of the first one

That’s it. No more menu diving or using up an Fn button. Plus, you’ve just saved a load of money buying the WCL or TCL mkII’s.

Good luck.

Fujifilm X100F Review : Beauty And A Beast

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Based On A Pre-Production FUJI X100F

This review is based on a pre-production camera after two months of using it, but the production model probably won't be much different. I'm an official Fujifilm X-Photographer and I have owned each version of the X100, plus almost all of the other X-Series cameras. I shoot exclusively with the X-Series cameras and haven't used a DSLR is years. This review is based on that. The pictures of the camera on this post were shot by me (they are not the official promo shots). I used my X-Pro2 with the brilliant 35mm f2 lens and a single overhead umbrella. For the close shots, I used the smallest of the Fuji Macro Tubes (11).

DESIGN AND LAYOUT

Your opinion may differ from mine, but I think the X100F is the most beautiful camera I have seen in my entire life! It keeps the look of the original X100, but the lines are cleaner, sharper and the top plate now slopes from the upper to the lower level. This, more than any other camera, has that thing where you just want to pick it up and hold it in your hands.

The X100F now has a front command dial, A front fn button (on the OVF/EVF selector lever) and the focus assist light has been moved up to sit alongside the flash on the front of the top plate. My first thought when I unboxed it back in November was that it felt a little chunkier in my hands than my X100T, which is a good thing in my book.

The rear of the X100F has a similar button layout to the X-Pro2 so it's been so easy to shoot with both these cameras together without having to think too much. I do wish Fuji had put three buttons next to the viewfinder instead of two (the X-Pro2 has three). It would also be nice to use the Delete key as an Fn button while in playback mode (like on the X70) and even be able to use the Q button as an Fn button and have Q assignable to any of the Fn buttons. The best new feature on the back of the the F is the joystick. I'm so used to this now that I find it awkward when I use any of my older X-Series cameras. It's also great that this frees the D Pad up to be used as 4 fn buttons now (Drive + 3 more).

NEW FUNCTIONS

The X100F has been brought up to spec with the two flagship Fuji cameras, the X-Pro2 and the X-T2, which is pretty impressive in this much smaller camera. It has the same 24 megapixel sensor and processor, which seems to be the new standard in X-Series cameras and one I hope will find its way into the next version of the X70.

THE ISO DIAL

The ISO dial has been brough over from the X-Pro2, which some will like and some won't. I like it, but it could have benefited from having a shutter speed lock button (like on the X-Pro2) because it is easy to move the shutter speed dial by accident if you don't pull the dial up far enough. I didn't find this to be too much of a problem though. But thanks to the next feature, you don't even need to use the ISO Dial if you don't want to.

ISO COMMAND MODE

This is a big one that has been brought over from the X-T10. You can still use Auto ISO in the usual way, but if set to Command in the Buttons & Dials setup menu and the ISO Dial on the top plate is set to A, the front command dial becomes the ISO dial. This is ideal if you want to lock your aperture and shutter speed and have ISO as the only variable. We Need this feature in the X-Pro2 and X-T2. It would be nice to be able to lock this by pressing the front Command Dial switch.

C = 5 STOPS OF EV COMPENSATION

Like on the X-Pro2 and X-T2, the X100F has the letter C on the Exposure Compensation Dial which extends EV Comp to 5 stops. Simply select C and then use the front Command Dial to scroll through 5 stops in either direction.

So what happens if both ISO and EV Comp are set to be controlled by the front command dial? In this instance the front command dial switch is used to toggle between ISO and EV Comp.

DIGITAL ZOOM AND CONVERSION LENSES

Both of the currently available conversion lenses, the WCL-100 (28mm) and the TCL-X100 (50mm) work with the X100F, but at the time of writing this review there is a second version of both lenses on the horizon. I have no idea how they differ from the ones I have, because both of the original conversion lenses perform brilliantly.

These lenses have apertures of f2 wide open (just like the fixed lens) and there's no loss of light like you would get with a teleconverter. But if you don't want to carry extra lenses (having a single fixed lens is after all the beauty of this camera), the X100F inherits the Digital Zoom function from the X70. By twisting the focus ring (in auto focus mode) you have the option of 50mm, 70mm and the cameras standard 35mm field of view. This is not an optical zoom, but there is some sort of magical upscaling going on that keeps the quality high. I'd still rather use one of the conversion lenses, but the Digital Zoom can be really handy sometimes. The viewfinder displays either 50 or 70 in a small box at the upper side, which changes when you have the camera set to Tele Converter Lens (72mm & 100mm using the digital zoom) or Wide Converter Lens (41mm & 58mm).

It's worth mentioning here that the Digital Zoom feature won't work in RAW, so you have to set the camera to JPEG only or the focus ring does nothing. Another point would be that when the camera is set to Manual Focus Mode, the focus ring obviously won't be used for Digital Zoom. The feature will still work, but you will need to with to AF adjust Digital Zoom with the focus ring and then switch back to MF.

There are 4 Control Ring Settings (focus ring). STD or Standard (changes the default option according to the shooting mode), White Balance, Film Simulation and Digital Zoom. Standard and Digital Zoom pretty much do the latter, but it would be nice to have a fifth option of OFF. A workaround for this is obviously to shoot in RAW+JPEG so that the control ring does nothing.

BATTERY

The NP-95 battery from the previous three X100 models has been replaced by the same NP-W126 that the X-Pro, X-T and X-E series uses, which is a great thing if, like me, you tend to cary more than one X-Series camera with you. I haven't noticed much difference in the amount of shots I get out of a single battery, but I have been using the F on high performance. Check Fuji's specs for more info on battery life.

CONCLUSION

I hate to state the obvious, but the X100F is the best X100 camera so far. The X100F,  X-Pro2 and X-T2 have jumped so far ahead of all the other X-Series cameras that I'm now in the process of selling both my X-T1's and probably my X-E2, in favour of the X100F, X-Pro2 and X-T2. I'm not sure what the fate of my X100T will be yet.

If you own any of the X100 cameras, from the original to the S and the T, it is a no brainier. Buy the X100F (if you can afford to) and you will not be disappointed. F is for Fourth, but it could just as well be for Fast or even another F word :o)

I think the X100F is of close to perfection. Obviously we all have our own preferences to how we setup our cameras and Fuji have made their cameras super customisable, from the Q Menu to My Menu and lots of Fn Buttons. But if Fuji are reading this post, I would be doing them a miss service if I didn't mention a few firmware updates for the future that would make this camera out of this world.

MY WISH LIST FOR FUTURE FIRMWARE

  • Q Button as an assignable Fn button.
  • Delete button as an Fn button in shooting mode (like the X70).
  • Pressing the front command dial to lock ISO in Command Mode.
  • Ability to toggle ISO Auto & Command Mode on any of the Fn buttons (not just in the menu).
  • Ability to put ISO Auto & Command Mode in My Menu
  • The ability to disengage the Control Ring function.
  • Be able t use the front Fn button to toggle between digital zoom settings with each press 50 -70 -35 -50...
  • More options for assigning things to the front command dial (on all Fuji cameras).
  • Swap the functions of pressing the rear command dial and the joystick (i.e. put Focus Check on the joystick).

LAST WORD FROM ME

The X-Pro2 and the X-T2 are the dual flagship models, but I personally see the X100F as a 3rd flagship. The flagship of the compacts.

LINKS TO OTHER X100F POSTS

 

Fujifilm X100F As A Studio Portrait Camera

All pictures taken with a pre-production Fuji X100F

Most people might not think of the X100 series cameras as portrait or studio tools. For a start, the 35mm field of view is not the best focal length for portraits (unless you're aiming for environmental portraits of course). The small size of the camera can also be deceiving and not something that would come to mind for studio work. But as you will see in this post, the X100F is very capable in a variety of styles in photography. 

For this shoot with my daughter Janel, I used the TCL-X100 teleconverter lens to switch the X100F from 35mm to 50mm, which takes it into a more suitable focal length for portraits. Don't forget to set the camera to TCL mode in the menu. I have assigned it to an Fn button, but My Menu is a good place for it too. It's worth pointing out that at the time of writing this post, there are version 2 of the conversion lenses on the horizon. I don't know yet what the differences are from the original ones, but it might be something to keep in mind if you're thinking of buying the TCL (50mm) or the WCL (28mm).

I used a single Bowens Streamlite 530 daylight balanced fluorescent light with the diffuser sock attached and a Lastolight background. Hair and makeup was handled by my wife Fe and after shooting the first few pictures, Janel grabbed Fe's hat and started to pose with it. We then took a peace of black velvet from my lighting bag and wrapped it around her for a darker look. Janel has been my model all her life, so she just moves and poses without having to think about it. She's a natural!

I also used a Color Checker Passport to set a custom white ballance, but I still felt it was a little too warm. I shot RAW + JPEG, but everything you see here are the JPEG's. I used Single Point Auto Focus for the full shoot, but aperture, shutter speed and ISO were all set manually. 

When the original X100 was released with the fixed 23mm lens (35mm FF), some people complained that it was a disadvantage. I never subscribed to this point of view and felt that it was an advantage in some situations and that shooting with a single focal length can make you a better photographer. But there's no denying the two conversion lenses (28mm and 50mm) opened the X100 series up into a system and three times more capable.

The X100F is a real joy to use for shooting portraits. The quality is on a par with the X-Pro2 and X-T2, which means it's as good as any DSLR. I'd like to end this post with a couple of screenshots from Lightroom. What you see below is every picture taken on this shoot. The 13 black and whites you see were shot in camera with the Acros film simulation. There were a couple of shots where Janel moved and I missed focus, but other than that, each shot was usable. I'm looking forward to a lot more portraiture with the X100F.

UPDATE 28th Nov 2017

Jeremy asked in the comments about using the TCL-X100 with the X100F's Digital Zoom feature, which would take the focal length up to 100mm and producing a more natural shape to the face. Thisis indeed true, but at the cost of losing shallow depth of field. This wouldn't matter when shooting against a plain background at f8, but it would if you were shooting at f2.8 to produce a nice bokeh. Here's an example.

I used my feed to make sure Janel's head was roughly the same size in the frame

I used my feed to make sure Janel's head was roughly the same size in the frame

Fujifilm X100F: Tommy Smith - Return To The Mausoleum

I was honoured when the good people of Fujifilm asked me to be part of the Pre-Production testing of the new X100F camera. As a documentary photographer, I've been working on a long term Jazz project for the past 3+ years which has gained a bit of attention recently. It also seemed like a good subject for this X100F assignment, which I had to produce still photographs and a short film.

STEVEN HAWKES

Rather than bring someone up from the south all the way up to Scotland, I suggested to Fuji that I would make the video in partnership with my good friend Steven Hawkes. An interesting fact is that I met Steven because of the original X100. I had reviewed the X100 on my blog and posted many pictures and articles. So when Steven searched the internet looking for information on the camera before he bought one, he found my website. But instead of using the comments section or emailing me, he decided to use the phone. It turned out we were only a few miles from each other, so I asked if he would like to see the camera in the flesh and we met for a coffee. He did buy the X100 after that and we stayed in touch and became really good friends, meeting for coffee often and even going out shooting now and then.

Steven also has a health obsession for video and shoots corporate promo films, so he was the obvious choice when it came to shooting the X100F film.

TOMMY SMITH

Tommy is a jazz saxophonist, composer, band leader and educator. He is Head of Jazz at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has a list of accomplishments that defy his age. Without Tommy, my jazz project would probably never got off the ground. I was honoured to have been part of his recent composing and recording project with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, producing pictures for the CD and even on the front cover of Jazzwise magazine.

When I told Tommy that I wanted to make a film based around jazz for a pre-production camera, he planted the seed in my brain to use The Hamilton Mausoleum as the location. I had been thinking more about one of Tommy's gigs, but the Mausoleum was a terrific idea. Tommy has a connection with this iconic building as he recorded an album called 'Into Silence' many years before. The building has one of the longest reverbs in Europe and that made it the perfect place for a solo saxophone piece.

HAMILTON MAUSOLEUM

I contacted the extremely helpful folks at The Hamilton Mausoleum the next day and got things rolling. I wasn't sure if I could hire an iconic building like this, but I did and it didn't break the bank either. Even before there day of the hire, Steven and I would meet outside the Mausoleum and shoot all the external scenes that feature in the film. It was winter and frosty outside. We froze our asses of during these shoots, but it was Tommy who suffered the most for our art.

On the day of the shoot, the interior of the Mausoleum was colder than it was outside. I was like being in a fridge and Tommy wore a suit and a pair of leather shoes. I also play saxophone, so I can testify that when it's cold, a sax is not an instrument you want to be holding! Tommy's feet and hands must have been extremely painful for the two hours we kept him there, but he's a pro and didn't complain once.

EDITING THE FILM

Editing proved to be a difficult job. Unlike a regular video edit where you cut to a piece of music used in the background, Tommy played live, so what you see and what you here are from the same shoot. Editing to live music is filled with many problems. But I think Steven and I pulled it off and we're both happy with the results. But the most important people I hope are pleased with the film are of course Fuji and Tommy. Steven and I set out to make something a little different from the average promo film. We think we have, but the viewers will decide.