Does Camera Accessories Maker JJC Produce a Better Fujifilm X-Pro2 Rubber Eyecup?

I just came across a possible solution to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera’s less than perfect rubber eyecup when researching for an article on the coming Fujifilm X-Pro3, and am sharing what I know so far. 

Fujifilm chose a rather minimalist solution for the rubber eyecup on the X-Pro2’s viewfinder eyepiece, one that seems to have forgotten the needs of those of use who must wear eyeglasses, just as they did when designing the X-Pro2’s less than perfect eye relief and viewfinder magnification. 

 I hope that these design solutions will be improved in the coming X-Pro3, but meanwhile I have been searching for ways to improve the experience of using my X-Pro2. 

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JJC EF-XPRO2G silicone rubber replacement eyecup for Fujifilm X-Pro2 cameras. This version is for photographers who wear eyeglasses.

Since getting back into photography and video with recent generations of digital cameras, there is not a single camera that I have used without modifying it in some way in order to improve my experience with it.

I usually do that via camera-maker or third party accessories including hand grips, vertical battery grips, lens hoods, rubber eyecups, terminal covers, camera straps, thumb grips, self-adhesive buttons and sometimes even improvised solutions made with Sugru, “the world’s first mouldable glue”.

Interesting to note that Sugru, once pooh-poohed by the owner of our now tragically defunct local hardware store, now has its imitators with at least three different pseudo-Sugrus turning up on the shelves of an inner-city Bunnings SuperStore last month.

Sadly, DIYing it may not be the best solution for some camera or lens improvements and that is when I go searching the more obscure corners of the non-dark web for readymade alternatives.

Chinese camera and lens accessories maker JJC has improved its design and manufacturing quality since I first purchased some of their products for my Fujifilm Finepix X100 way back when, so much so that I had no hesitation in almost permanently attaching a JJC LH-JXF23 Lens Hood to the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R prime lens that is almost always attached to my Fujifilm X-Pro2.

So, my first port of call after returning from a documentary photography shoot last weekend was the JJC website as a result of which I ordered two JJC products for the X-Pro2.

They are the JJC EX-XPRO2G and JJC EX-XPRO2 silicone rubber eyecups and I am waiting for their arrival with bated breath

As an eyeglasses wearer with less than perfect vision, I have problems when shooting outdoors in Australia’s laser beam sunlight as well as indoor locations lit by harsh LED downlights.

The X-Pro2’s minimalist rubber eyecup does little to nothing to help block out either forms of hard, bright light, often making it difficult to see well.

JJC’s description of how to attach and detach the two versions of its silicone rubber eyecups for the X-Pro2 pretty much non-existent, and I wish that manufacturers would bother to hire some brilliant technical writers and technical illustrators such as my BFF who worked in those roles for Canon until the company began closing down its global research and development arm.

How any camera and lens maker can continue to effectively innovate and communicate without an R&D department much less tech writers and technical illustrators is beyond me but there is no accounting for corporate male egos I suppose.

I am looking forward to seeing if JJC’s rubber eyecups will do the trick and will be glad to learn how they are to be attached to my X-Pro2’s eyepiece, if the packages contain actual instructions.

Meanwhile I hope that Fujifilm has come up with a better solution for the X-Pro3’s viewfinder, eyepiece and eyecup.

I note that Fujifilm offers five different options for eyecups on its X-T3, X-T3 and X-H1 cameras so hope that they have the same amount of thought into the one, or ones, for the X-Pro3.

I shall add a postscript to this page when I have received both pairs of JJC eyecups.

JJC EF-XPRO2G silicone rubber eyecup for eyeglasses wearers

JJC EF-XPRO2 silicone rubber eyecup for non-eyeglasses wearers

Fujifilm rubber eyecups for Fujifilm X-T3, X-T2 and X-H1 cameras

Guerrilla alternative and Panasonic Lumix replacement rubber eyecups

Postscript

Rubber eyecups are one of the more vulnerable things on digital camera bodies, in my experience, and I have had several of them drop off in the street or into the crevasses of camera bags in the past despite careful treatment when using and carrying my gear.

When that happens the last thing you want to do is frantically search online for replacements that can cost a fortune and take days if not weeks to arrive when shipped from overseas online retailers.

Accordingly I have replacement OEM and alternative third-party rubber eyecups for all my non-Fujifilm cameras, and the lack of either for my Fujifilm cameras gave me extra motivation for researching and ordering JJC’s two silicone rubber eyecups, the JJC EF-XPRO and the JJC EF-XPRO2G.

The JJC EF-XPRO has just arrived and the JJC EF-XPROG may be here in the next couple of days.

My first conclusion is that both JJC rubber eyecups are replacements and not supplements to the one that comes attached to the X-Pro2.

That is a good thing in that if friction or accident causes the camera’s rubber eyecup to come off, as it apparently has for a number of X-Pro2 owners, then it is possible to use the JJC EF-XPRO or JJC EF-XPRO2G as a do-it-yourself replacement.

The downside is that JJC offers no explanation of that or how to do it in their website and there are no instructions or illustrations on the procedure and the tools and possible adhesives needed on the packet.

Oh dear.

I am not a techie by any means so I may need to find someone who is skilled and equipped to do the replacement for me, if I choose to go ahead with it.

I am guessing that involves detaching the currently well-attached eyecup currently on the camera and then glueing the replacement on in its place.

Examination of the JJC EF-XPRO shows it is almost exactly the same size and shape as the eyecup that goes with the X-Pro2.

As an eyeglasses-wearer, I am more likely to seriously consider replacing the camera’s current rubber eyecup with the JJC EF-XPROG, which is 25.4mm wide compared to the JJC EF-XPRO’s 22.8mm width.

I will consider that possibility further when the JJC EF-XPROG arrives.

One thing makes me nervous, though, and that is how much damage might be done to the camera’s viewfinder eyepiece by removing the current rubber eyecup.

I don’t have the required skills, experience, tools and glues to do it myself, so will have to find someone who does, if I decide to go ahead.

Meanwhile…

I have just one across an optional, that is, not a replacement, rubber eyecup for the Fujifilm X-T3 camera that can also be used on the X-T2, X-t1 and GFX 50S cameras.

The JJC EF-XTLIIG appears to go several steps beyond the five optional Fujifilm rubber eyecups that Fujifilm offers for these cameras, and looks particularly well-suited for shooting video with the X-T3.

Once again, detailed use and attachment information about this product is limited and I will need to do more research, especially in regard to using it with eyeglasses.

The X-T3 is a great camera for high-specced HLG and F-Log video as well as portraiture with vertical battery grip and longer lenses such as the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R, and I have experienced problems with bright light affecting my vision when using it for those purposes.

I have not tried removing an existing rubber eyecup from an X-T3, but review loaner X-T2 cameras came with loose rubber eyecups or in one case no rubber eyecup at all so they may be easily replaced in a way that the one on the X-Pro2 is not.

Once again there appears to be a lack of clarity in the JJC and third party online retailer pages about the JJC EF-XTLIIG rubber eyecup with images of two different eyecups purporting to be the same product, as seen in the last two images above.

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FujiLove: Why I Want the XF18mm f/2, by Charlene Winfred

https://fujilove.com/why-i-want-the-xf18mm-f-2/

“… I think I want-need another lens. No, none of those fancy new ones Fuji recently released. It’s another small prime, six years old, an original XF lens.

I want the XF 18mm F2.

I’ve been told it’s optically not quite up to par with the newer Fujinon lenses, but that doesn’t bother me, and I love it for all of the reasons I love my other gear:…

fujinon_xf_18mm_f2_r_01_1024px_60pc
Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R prime lens, for me regrettably much too slow to focus manually or via autofocus and its aperture ring too flakey and quirky for fast-paced professional work in stills and video, though some folks seem to like it for the quirkiness that made it so frustrating when I tried it out..

Commentary

leica_elmarit-m_28mm_f2-8_aspheric_1024px_60
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 Aspheric prime lens for Leica M-System cameras, for me the archetypal 28mm documentary and photojournalism lens whose short barrel and narrow front diameter does not protrude into the camera’s viewfinder window. I want something similar for my X-Pro2, an 18mm f/2.8 or faster. When I had my own Elmarit-M 28mm lens for use on analog Leicas, f/2.8 proved fast enough, though Leica also does f/2.0 and f/1.4 28mm lenses.

I sympathize with Charlene Winfred’s Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R GAS* attack.

A new lens is a new way of seeing the world and if that new lens is a focal length far away from those you are most accustomed to using then it can be exciting, even liberating.

Ms Winfred has relied on some of the longer Fujinon XF focal lengths for some years – 23mm, 27mm, 35mm and 56mm – and felt the allure of 18mm while borrowing one a couple of times.

That I can well understand.

I felt the same after buying into the Leica M-System with a secondhand Leica rangefinder camera and a new Summicron-M 35mm f/2.0 lens, the perfect one camera, one lens combination for environmental portraits, cityscapes and documentary work.

The 35mm focal length – 23mm in Fujifilm APS-C, 17mm in Micro Four Thirds – is a great one prime lens compromise along with the slightly longer 40mm lens – 27mm in APS-C and 20mm in M43.

I felt the 28mm urge – 18mm in APS-C and 14mm in M43 – after getting deeper into documentary photography, needing to better share my close proximity to the people, events and emotions in which I was embedded.

My 28mm Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 lens was my documentary go-to lens for years, and when Fujifilm finally released its first interchangeable lens rangefinder camera, the X-Pro1, I hoped that the 18mm lens released with it might have qualities located somewhere in that particular ball park.

It didn’t.

Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R is quirky, what some commentators refer to as a character or art lens with properties that suit some subjects and  photographic styes but not others.

Especially not the sort of photographs I like to make where every single part of the photograph is important and the whole visual field needs to be in sharp focus, near to far, left to right and right up into all four corners.

If I want radical bokeh or a curved image field instead of flat, then I will consider an art lens or two, some day.

A number of other documentary photographers have expressed the hope that Fujifilm will finally release a Fujicron style Fujinon 18mm f/2.0 R WR to go with its current Fujicron 23mm, 35mm and 50mm lenses and the coming 16mm ‘Fujicron’ prime.

I would prefer to see Fujifilm release an 18mm lens in the style of its excellent 14mm f/2.8, 16mm f/1.4 and 23mm f/1.4 lenses with their manual clutch focus mechanisms, so useful for video and available light photography with the aperture wide open.

Why can’t Fujifilm issue two or more versions of some focal lengths, just like other lens makers do?

They are about to do exactly that with the 16mm focal length, a focal length I do not particularly like, that is so wide it draws undue attention to itself and detracts from what it depicts, and that I find so distorting for human subjects that I must apply volume deformation correction to images I have shot with 16mm or equivalent lenses via DxO ViewPoint.

Fujifilm, keep the current 18mm f/2.0 semi-pancake lens, by all means, for those for whom quirky is an essential creative character trait, but please, please, please Fujifilm, give us a professional-quality 18mm lens too.

What have you got to lose?

Not as much as I have by not being able to have a good enough 18mm prime lens on my X-Pro2.

I hope that Ms Winfred gets hold of her own Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens very soon as its immersive, wide but not too wide focal length can be a real liberation after years of narrower ways of seeing.

Fujifilm, are you reading this?

Some views of Chatswood with a borrowed Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R on my X-Pro2

The folks at Fujifilm Australia kindly loaned me a subset of Fujinon XF prime and zoom lenses a little while ago and one of them was the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R.

I took it out for a spin several times but found it frustrating to use in making my usual urban documentary photographs as above, and found I needed to bend my usual way of processing raw files shot with it into more of a quirky, funky direction than I like, substituting clarity all across the frame with something a little more retro, an almost 1980s analog style.

Not my favourite era, frankly.

One of the other loaner lenses was the Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR zoom lens and I found myself relying on that mounted on a loaner Fujifilm X-T2 on preference to the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R mounted on my X-Pro2 when needing the 18mm focal length.

I have yet to try Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom lens but note that veteran photojournalist David Alan Harvey spoke of using that lens at its 18mm focal length setting during Fujifilm’s X-Pro2 launch event in Tokyo.

I have also tried out the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens on a Fujifilm X-T1 at the 18mm focal length setting and found that a very satisfying experience too, even though my needs are for rangefinder and rangefinder-stye cameras with prime lenses that do not protrude into those cameras’ optical viewfinders if they have them.

Theoretically the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom should provide a decent match for the X-Pro2 in its optical viewfinder aka OVF mode given the OVF’s brightline range from 18mm to 56mm, but I suspect the 58mm filter diameter of the lens may protrude into the OVF’s lower right somewhat.

That is a problem that can be palliated to some degree by using the X-Pro2 in M for manual focus mode with the EVF-in-OVF switched on to give you an overall view of the scene, or in S or C autofocus mode with the focusing area set to smallest.

Some urban documentary photographers render the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R more usable by taping its aperture and focusing rings up on selected settings while others use the lens untaped-up and set for zone focusing, like Sydney urban documentarian Steve Dimitriadis in his article below.

I have tried using the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R for the up-close, immersive, available light documentary projects for I which I also loved to use my Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 but found the 18mm even more frustrating in use than for urban documentary at a distance from my subjects.

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Postscript

As a result of this article I have been accused online of demanding that Fujifilm must now make two versions of every lens that they currently make, one with a wide maximum aperture and one with with a less wide maximum aperture, and thus that I am demanding that Fujifilm bankrupts itself.

Reference to some facts is in order.

I am asking Fujifilm that they consider releasing the updated 18mm lens design that has apparently been on their internal lens release roadmap for some time since it was first reported by Fuji Rumors.

Given Fujifilm is about to release a 16mm Fujicron lens to sit alongside its current 16mm f/1.4 lens, surely it is not outside the bounds of imagination that the company may be capable of having two 18mm lenses in its collection, a quirky and characterful 18mm art lens and a professional-quality 18mm lens.

If two different 16mm lenses are unlikely to bankrupt Fujifilm then perhaps two different 18mm lenses may not bankrupt Fujifilm either.

Other lens makers manage to issue two and sometimes even three different versions of the same focal length without bankrupting themselves.

I would hope Fujifilm is capable of doing the same.

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Veydra Mini Prime 19mm cinema lens available in Sony E-Mount, Micro Four Thirds mount and Fujifilm X-Mount. An alternative to the disappointing Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R in case Fujifilm does not bother to issue a professional quality 18mm prime lens? Only if you are using it on an X-T2, X-T3, X-H1 or future X-H2 I suspect as it is long, heavy and the filter diameter of 77mm means it will protrude far too much into the X-Pro2’s optical viewfinder. Or it may work in EVF mode on a future X-Pro3 if Fujifilm improves it beyond the X-Pro2’s EVF. Desperation makes its demands and takes it tolls. I have never used any of Veydra’s Mini Prime lenses but they apparently render not unlike Zeiss prime lenses.

Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • Breakthrough PhotographyB&H – the finest brass traction-framed ND, UV and CPL filters as well as the best step-up rings (sadly only sold direct on the company’s own website at present).
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  • Fujifilm Lens Hood For Fujinon XF 18mm F/2 R LensB&H
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  • Fujifilm X Series Mirrorless CamerasB&H
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  • Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH. Lens – B&H
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  • Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f/2 LensB&H – Cosina makes excellent lenses under its own brand name, Voigtlaender, as well as on commission from camera and lens companies. Voigtlaender lenses for Leica M-mount tend to be far more affordable than Leica own-brand lenses
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Footnotes

  • * Gear acquisition syndrome