Fujifilm X100 10th Anniversary
Fujifilm X100 camera series has been with me since 2013 when I jumped on the Trans-Siberia train. I remember I had a Fujifilm X-E1 of my own with a few lenses and Fujifilm was very kind to lend me X100S for my trip and quickly I noticed what that camera was made for. With this column together with photos, I want to show you why this is my desert camera. We have been together for 7 years, seen 10 countries, and it hangs with me most of the time.
X100 pushes your creativity.
This camera expands my creativity. When I take the camera to my hands, it calls me to shoot, and shoot more. It calls me to an adventure. To meet new people, talk with strangers, and look behind the unknown corners. I go further than I thought I would go without it.
When I’m ”stuck” with one focal length, I have to solve problems that I meet during the shoot. And that’s a good thing, let me explain; I don’t have 200mm or 14mm. I have 35mm (or 28 & 50 with extension lenses) and I have to deal with that. This is the part when it gets interesting. How I can manage to get the photo that I want with this gear? How do I manage to do it differently? Let’s say you are on a Polar Bear safari like a badass Fujifilm X-photographer @tommysimonsen and you didn’t have a chance to take that 200-400mm lens with you, (Sure at this point Tommy would show you how to take a selfie with your X100 series and Polar Bear but I can’t do that) so I will show you how to document a worker’s life on a ship. What kind of questions could you ask to get closer to the story? When a Polar Bear comes to the actual situation, how can you use X100 to build a story in the photo with layers? I mean there are people, there is a scene, a bear and everything that is happening around you in that setting. There’s your story! Show it to the World. Let your eye, hand and camera work together. Your life story and soul translates to your photos. Let yourself be free and forget the rules. Go close, be far. Have fun!
The only thing that stops us from creating is our own mind.
The only thing that stops us from creating is our own mind. You have some kind of idea of photos you’re going to shoot but I can tell you that it will not happen. Trust the moment. Let the living setting with all the emotion and transactional communication take you there where you need to be. Only thing is that you don’t know the path yet. The path is in your hands and yet, it’s not.
Size & weight
These are important things when I take the camera to a desert with me. Or it’s a big thing if the camera fits in my winter gear pocket. It’s also an important thing if I want to play with my camera. Gear can’t be too big and heavy (go to the gym Timo) and if the camera takes too much attention for example in street photography, it can harm your existence when you’re trying to blend in. In that kind of photography when you need to get close, be small. Be humble. I use this kind of ”power” when I’m shooting at weddings or doing some kind of documentary. My camera can’t be bigger than the moment itself.
It is what you bring out, with whatever you have.
I remember as a boy who liked photography I thought that a bigger camera makes a better photographer. Boy was I wrong… I have learned from that. It’s not about the size of your equipment, it is what you bring out, with whatever you have.But I also asked myself, does a massive and heavy camera invite me to go out and shoot? Does it tempt me to carry it with me when life happens? When I see my friends and family, when I go on a date or when I hang out by myself. Beauty is in that everyday life, shoot it. Make those memories immortal. You will be glad that you did.
The magical EVF
This one thing helps me so much when I’m playing around with light and shadows. It helps me understand the mood of what I want from the photos, for example if I’m looking for ‘dark moody’ or ‘light beauty’. What about colors? Maybe black and white? What about color temperature? I save a lot of time when I try to make the photo as ready as possible in my camera. That means less time in front of my screen and more time to do other things. EVF allows for unexpected creations, and even more with film simulations.
I’m a big fan of shooting film. Especially 120mm but it’s still expensive for me. What helps with this is Fujifilm film simulation. I shoot both, 120mm with my Rolleicord but also I shoot a lot with Classic Chrome, Classic Negative, and Acros with Fujifilm X100V. I think it’s interesting to try to get the photo as ready in-camera as it can become. Like film. I know what we can do for the film shot afterwards but what if we could do it right away and before the shot? This a fun and challenging! It makes me take the work slower and I believe that if I take my time I will learn faster. I’m more in the moment. Also, film simulations are just fun to play with, right? Let’s say it’s a rainy day with cinematic grey, almost blue mood. How you would support that with film simulations? Practice: play a game with your friends; All-day Acros contrast & highlights +2 and JPEG of course. No cheating! For me, it gives me more variations, but go and see for yourself!
I could write about technical stuff forever. All the small technical details make the camera fantastic to use. Honestly Fujifilm X100V is good enough for what it is made for and beyond. Even X100s was and still is good enough. The advances that technology brings to photography is phenomenal but at the end of the day, we cannot hide behind it. Now I’m talking to myself and to everyone who feels that photography is the main thing. Not gear. I’ll give you a few opinions of my own:
- The shutter speed and ISO dial are damn good. Also EV dial.
- X100V design 10/10. It’s beautiful. Like making love. Real love!
- EVF is gold.
- Focus speed enough.
- Classic Negative film simulation like smooth butter!
- Battery charge from the power bank is useful when traveling.
- The lens is sharp as a knife.
- I love the grain from high ISO. It reminds me of small and smooth film grain.
- Battery life could be better.
- Somehow I miss the up/down and left/right buttons. Never learned to use a touch screen. They were good Fn buttons.
- Not a big fan of the joystick with cloves on.
- I would love to see a full-frame X100 camera someday.
Love is not perfect. Nothing is perfect and everything exists with constant change. We change and our photography changes. Even the meaning of what we give for our photos changes and I believe our job is to document that change in our world. Document our soul and life. Our children and family. This is the camera that I love to document it with.