“At the CP+ show earlier this month in Yokohama Japan, we sat down with senior executives from Fujifilm. During our conversation we covered everything from the upcoming GFX 100, to plans for APS-C and why the X100 still occupies such an important position in the company’s lineup.
Our interview was conducted with three senior executives in Fujifilm’s Electronic Imaging Products Division:
Toshi Iida, General Manager.
Makoto Oishi, Product Planning Manager.
Shin Udono, Senior Manager of the Sales and Marketing Group.…”
Fujifilm GFX 50R with Fujinon GF 63mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens, equivalent to 50mm in 35mm format.
Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS zoom lens.
“My earliest memories of X100 was at a shopping mall. I was walking pass an electronic store and on display was a gorgeous camera. I actually stop and spend a little moment admiring how good looking it was. It was a Fujifilm camera. Wow. I have never own the original X100. I have used a X100s and owned a X100T and now a X100F.
The X100 series is always special to me. I love the design of it. Kudos to the designer; whom I have the privilege to meet on two occasion. Thank you Masazumi Imai; you have design a timeless looking camera that is loved by photographers all over the world….”
The X100 was the first camera that showed me I was going to love digital photography, after too many dodgy and disappointing premium compacts, bridge cameras and DSLRs.
I ordered one immediately and have loved it from the day it eventually arrived.
One thing my partner learned from ten years working in Canon’s research and development division is that even photographic market leaders have hardware and firmware blindspots, and in that instance they were legion and persistent, and remain so to this day.
Fujifilm has its own persistent camera and lens hardware and firmware idiosyncrasies, which I have covered in other articles on this site, with one of its most recent hardware blindspots being the failure to issue a hand grip for the camera most in need of one, the Fujifilm X100F.
When I managed to see an X100, I was impressed by Fujifilm’s achievement but dismayed by its minimal built-in grip and the slipperiness of its tiny body.
I ordered one and it arrived just before a trip to San Francisco where I carried it everywhere every day.
It helped me produce some terrific photographs but my ability to hold it comfortably and safely at all times was compromised by the lack of a hand grip, despite finding a reasonable wrist strap to attach the camera.
I eventually came across Fujifilm’s MHG-X100 hand grip and snapped it up, attaching it to the camera along with Peak Design’s Clutch and Cuff camera straps.
I was impressed by how Fujifilm had thought of everything, by designing a rectangular notch into the side of the hand grip to allow attaching camera straps like the first one I bought for it, from San Francisco’s DSPTCH travel company.
Gallery of X100 images, before and after hand grip
The top three photographs were made when I did not have a hand grip for my X100, and the three photographs below were made after I bought a Fujifilm hand grip.
The safer former grip afforded by the hand grip gave me far more confidence and allowed me to be far more gestural in my approach, working faster and getting close in to the action.
I use my X100 with hand grip for documentary projects to this day.
No Fujifilm hand grip for the X100F!
I was shocked to learn that Fujifilm had failed to produce an updated version of its MHG-X100 hand grip for the X100F, when I was kindly loaned an X100F.
Like the X100 and its two successors, the X100S and X100T, the X100F’s body is small and slippery, and its taller built-in slippery grip bump does little or nothing to aid in ensuring a good hand-hold of the camera.
I attached my usual Peak Design Clutch and Cuff via Peak Design’s Arca-Swiss compatible camera plate, as in the photographs above, but it was a compromise compared to my hand-grip-plus-camera-straps solution for the X100.
Compromise, too is the word I would apply to each third party camera grip design I have seen online so far, linked to in my list of links blow.
None of them appeal to me and I am wondering whether even Really Right Stuff’s L-Plate Set and Grip might be worth the investment given its size, weight and slippery CNC surface, despite the potential usefulness of its optional L-Component for tripod-mounting in portrait orientation via an Arca-Swiss tripod head.
Really Right Stuff’s X100F solution has one really big downside besides slipperiness, size, expense and weight, and that is its lack of provision for attaching my two Peak Design camera straps.
Instead the company offers its Magpul Gen 2 MS4 Dual QD Sling for carrying the plated and gripped-up X100F rather than my smaller, safer, lighter and more elegant Clutch plus Cuff solution.
A long, long time ago… even the Leica CL, Leitz Minolta CL and Minolta CLE had a hand grip
My first thought on first seeing preview images of the Fujifilm Finepix X100 online some years ago was that it might be the closest digital equivalent to a Leica CL, Leitz Minolta CL or a Minolta CLE.
The Leitz camera company, now Leica Camera AG, reportedly killed off the Leica CL as sales were eating into those of the far more expensive Leica M5, and having seen and tried an M5 I can see why.
According to Ken Rockwell, “the CLE is a joy to carry, and a joy to shoot” and that it “could be photography’s messiah: the smallest, lightest possible solution for a complete advanced camera system” but as none of its versions appeared in my part of the world at the time I have never had the pleasure of using one.
It is remarkable how popular the Minolta CLE remains amongst those in the know to this day, including Take Kayo of Big Head Taco who reportedly has two of them.
Three lenses were created specially for these three cameras – the Minolta M-Rokkor 28mm f/2.8 wide-angle, the M-Rokkor 40mm f/2.0 “perfect normal” and the M-Rokkor 90mm f/4.0 medium telephoto.