Reintroduction of an old friend

Featuring the ‘old’ Fuji X100

Sefanja Vitalis     16-04-2013

This will not be a piece about the X100s, you can go to stevehuffphoto, digitalrev or whatever blog/site you normally use  for that.  But I’ll be writing about my thoughts on the first, very lovable version.

You may or may not remember me writing about once owning a Fujifilm X100 camera, and me getting rid of it over time because the AF was a bit sloppy. Well, truth be told I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry about doing that. It is a great camera, and it did everything I wanted it to. So I kind of convinced myself to pick one up again. With the arrival of the new X100s the old X100 can be picked up second hand for under $500,-.  And to me, that’s probably one of the best deals you’ll ever make, because the images that come from this little guy are beyond good looking. The sensor has a tendency to make your images feel like a fine grained film photograph, and some of the in-camera black and white magic will do wonders as well.

So after some very happy shooting with the Micro Four Thirds system, it’s back to the old Fuji for a bit. Restricting myself to a single focal length liberates me from the old lens decision making process. Do it with what you got, the results are ever more pleasing I’d say.

One of the benefits of this fixed (focal) lens is that its integrated design into the camera body means almost no loss of detail whatsoever. The lens and camera are very specifically designed to be one, the images from this camera are pure. And it is, like the OMD, a camera that doesn’t intimidate anyone. And more so than the OMD, people might actually think that you’re holding an old film camera, to which they will often respond with a smile, instead of a rather shocked  ‘’ violation of privacy!’’ look on their faces. And that look is at times hardly photogenic.

It is unobtrusive, good looking and a great performer. Especially once you consider you can’t even buy half an OMD for the price of an old X100, let alone a quality lens for it. I have considered getting the X100s, but it’s a bit on the expensive side, especially down here in the Netherlands where it’ll set you back somewhere around €1299/1700USD. You can get an X-pro 1 and a 35mm f/1.4 lens for that kind of money.

So, to point out how this camera, other than a DSLR, can help you take really spontaneous shots, I’ve posted some candid photographs along with this article. The portrait of the girl I made while watching TV. The evening lights street shots I made on my way home from the train station. Those aren’t usually the kind of moments in which you carry a camera with you, let alone have it out of your bag. But with this camera, it’s almost like a cell phone. You can always take it with you. Hopefully you guys don’t mind me talking about an old camera instead of reviewing the latest and the greatest. But I wanted to give this camera some extra attention before it’s overtaken by its big brother.

And for the new X100s? I’ll let that simmer a bit, let it prove itself over time and wait for it to drop its price. And then maybe I’ll write something about that in the future. But in my eyes, the X100 still fits the bill for me.


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