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 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.
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.
But I digress..
The Fujfilm X100F achieves a similar result with its 35mm-equivalent 23mm fixed lens and its optional TCL-X100 II Tele Conversion and WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion lenses providing the equivalent to the 28mm and 50mm focal lengths in 35mm sensor terms, making it close to a credible digital “complete advanced camera system” able to fit in a small waist bag or shoulder bag.
Now if only Fujifilm could release its own hand grip for the X100F to make it a complete camera system, then we would be much happier. 🙂
- 3 Legged Thing – QR11 L bracket
- Fujifilm Global – Hand Grip
- J.B. – Fuji X100F Grip Options
- LensMate – Fujifilm X100F Thumbrest Black by LensMate
- Match Technical – Thumbs Up EP-2F for the Fuji 100F
- Metro Case – Fuji X100F
- Mike Mu – Fuji X100F Hand Grip by VKO, Carbon Edition – Quick Review
- Mike Mu – My Fuji X100F Grip and L-Bracket | The Best Affordable L-Grip Combo
- Mike Mu – My Fuji Film X100F Thumb Grip, Lensmate X100F Thumb Grip Review
- Really Right Stuff – Magpul Gen 2 MS4 Dual QD Sling
- Really Right Stuff – X100F Plates
- Samuel L. Streetlife – GET THIS FOR YOUR FUJI X100F – JB Camera Designs
- Sunrise Camera
- VKO via Amazon – VKO Camera Metal Hand Grip & Carbon Fiber for Fujifilm X100F X100T X100S Digital Cameras Handgrip (Titanium Gray)
Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris. Hero image of the Fujifilm X100 with hand grip photographed as 5-bracket HDR on Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 with Panasonic Lumix 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric lens then processed with Skylum Aurora HDR 2018 and Luminar 2018.
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- Fujifilm MHG-X100 Hand Grip for X100T, X100S and X100 Digital Cameras – B&H
- Fujifilm X100F Digital Camera – B&H
- Fujifilm TCL-X100 II Tele Conversion Lens – B&H
- Fujifilm WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens – B&H
- Match Technical EP-2F Thumbs Up Grip for Fujifilm X100F – B&H
- Peak Design Anchor Connectors for Peak Design Straps (4-Pack) – B&H
- Peak Design AL-3 Anchor Links – B&H
- Peak Design Cuff Camera Wrist Strap – B&H
- Peak Design CL-2 Clutch Camera Hand-Strap – B&H
- Peak Design Leash Camera Strap – B&H
- Really Right Stuff Base Plate for Fujifilm X100F – B&H
- Really Right Stuff Base Plate and Grip for Fujifilm X100F – B&H
- Really Right StuffL-Component for BX100F Base Plate – B&H
- Really Right Stuff L-Plate Set and Grip for Fujifilm X100F – B&H