Fuji x100s Follow Up Review :: Life Without DSLRs

June 11, 2013 | • Gear & Gadgets Shop Talk

fuji x100s street photograph

I have been DSLR free for about two months and all is well. During the past two months I’ve been to Cuba, New York (x2), and Arizona. I feel I have hit just about every type, and kind, of job I do and my little Fujis have performed flawlessly. I really relied on them in Arizona where I was shooting for Land Rover. I shot that job with a mix of Fujis and the Phase One. Everything else has been Fuji only. 

I have no clue how many miles I have put on my Think Tank Airport Security roller bag. I love that bag and it has been everywhere with me for four or five years as my main camera bag. For the past two months I’ve mainly been living out of the Think Tank Airport Essentials backpack. Here’s a fully packed bag that fits under the seat in coach. I never have to worry about it getting gate checked.


Fuji cameras

Packed in there is a Fuji X-Pro1, X-E1, x100s (x2), a Fuji 60, 35, 14, and the new 55-200, Kung Pao (Yongnuo) 560, an external battery pack for the Kung Pao (JJC), Fuji EF-X20 flash, Wein Safe Sync IR transmitter, an OCF Gear 5 meter Canon cord, a Rainbow Imaging intervalometer and remote release controller (for the X-E1), a Fuji M mount adapter, Macbook Air, external drive, and misc other bits and bobs. Strapped to the side is a Phottix 36″ double fold umbrella, and a one foot length of 1/2″ copper pipe with a small swivel adapter. That’s A LOT of gear in a small bag.

Let me go through a few things in this bag that I haven’t talked about before on this blog.

The Fuji X-E1 :: I got this to be a back up to my X-Pro1. The X-Pro is still my go to camera when I need the variety of focal lengths it gives me. A LOT of people ask me which I prefer. I prefer the X-Pro1. The optical view finder is fantastic and it feels better in my hand. It has a better balance to it and it is definitely my preferred camera compared to the X-E1. One interesting difference between the two, though, is the X-E1 has a port on it that allows a remote to be connected. I’m using the Rainbow Imaging Remote. I’m using it for its intervalometer function for time lapse and remote firing. $27 FTW.

Wein Safe Sync :: This is an IR transmitter.This little guy sits on your hotshoe and fires a light with a built in optical slave. The $73 Yongnuo flashes I’ve been using lately have such a slave and the two work together quite well. Even in bright sunlight. The reason I have this is for the x100s. Being that it can sync at stupid fast shutter speeds, my Pocket Wizard Plus III’s can’t keep up. The radio latency is too slow. Nothing beats the speed of light though so the IR sync is one way to go.

OCF Gear 5 Meter Cord :: ocfgear.com Syl Arena started making these long TTL cords and the Canon version works great with the Fuji. The Nikon probably works as well. Because I’m not dealing with TTL all I need is the center pin to fire and both Nikon and Canon have center pins. Syl makes these things as long as 33 feet! This is here for fast syncing again. Just in case the IR goes south then I can hardwire to a flash. I’ve used this on a job recently and it works flawlessly. I’m catching my flash at 1000th – 2000th of a second. It’s also a very inexpensive alternative to using radio slaves.

Phottix 36″ Double Fold Umbrella :: In my search to build a bag that can do everything and fit under the seat in coach I’ve been trying these small umbrellas that David Hobby has long been a fan of. Count me a fan of them as well now. The 1/2″ copper pipe with a swivel adapter is basically a handheld solution to hold a light in one hand and a camera with the other. We’re talking no light stands! And questions from TSA as to why there’s a pipe in your bag. So far so good. Here’s a shot with an x100s, the Kung Pao fired by the Safe Sync, and the Phottix.


That’s 3pm full sun behind her. That’s f 2.8 with the internal 3 stop ND filter engaged. That’s 640th of a second on the shutter. 

Fuji M Mount Adapter :: The one thing I need right now is a kick ass portrait lens. Something around 90mm. I have just gotten the new 55-200 Fuji lens and the jury is still out on that one. Even though it’s a big ass lens and slow on the long end , it’s sharp as a tack and the image stabilization is great. However, I’ve yet to really run it through the paces.

I’m looking for a good prime portrait lens right now and I’m about to pull the trigger on a Leica 90mm Summarit. I’ve tried all the Leica 90’s and I think for quality / size / and price I’m going to go with the Summarit. It’s a 2.5 lens. It’s kick ass and I love the small size of it. The 90 APO is fantastic but I’m not dropping $3-$4k on a lens for my Fuji. $1k range is a little more reasonable.

I think Zeiss screwed the pooch by releasing the wrong X mount lenses right now. They should have come out of the gates with a portrait lens. The Fuji 60mm works but it ain’t great. I’d really like to see Fuji redesign that damn lens. It’s a pain in the ass when focusing. When you get it focused it’s awesome. The rest of your time you’re cussing the damn thing. I’m just going to ditch it when I get a Leica lens. If Zeiss had an 85 something or another lens coming out I’d be first in line for it. Right now they are offering comparable focal lengths to already great Fuji lenses (12mm, 32mm, 50mm). I don’t get it.

As to the other X mount lenses I have been using… That new 14mm is effing amazing. I love that lens. The 35mm is still my favorite of all of them but that 14 is a close second. A very close second.  

Fuji EF-X20 Flash :: Party flash. Nuff said. A nice little TTL / manual flash to sit on the Fuji’s when you want that hipster/scenester sort of vibe. I pulled it out of the bag at a late night dance club in Cuba. It was an awesome night. I think it was. I was told it was a great night. :)



Yeah. Get to Cuba. It’s amazing there.


I’d like to share some other images with you but alas, I have contractual embargos on them. I can’t share them until the client releases them first. I’ll do a Land Rover post once I can. That was a fun job. Here’s a shot from Cuba with the X-Pro1 and the 14mm.


Fuji x-pro1 Havana Cuba


I’ve got a whole blog post to do at some point about Cuba. OMG. The photography and art that is being made in that country is unreal.

So. The Fuji x100s. Capable on jobs? Hell yes. The AF is so much better than the first version. The image quality is great. Shooting RAW or JPG. Fuji has been working with Adobe on the RAW conversions and things have gotten much better on that front with Lightroom 4 and 5. High speed sync is fantastic. A few folks have told me recently via Twitter that they are getting Plus III’s syncing faster in HFS mode. I haven’t tried that yet. Right now the Wein and the OCF cord are working like a charm. PW’s are also a little top heavy when put on an x100 so I prefer the Wein.

Print quality is also very important when I’m looking at a camera system. My Q&A book is now shipping (blog post on that this week) and I had several images sent to the printer for tests before final layout. I had every kind of image printed from every camera I’ve shot in the last ten years. Nikon, Canon, Fuji, and Phase. CMYK is the great equalizer. I have to know that these images hold up in print for magazine and commercial clients. For the test prints, the Phase images stood out, as they tend to do, but I tell you what… from Canon to Nikon to Fuji… they all held up equally in CMYK printing. I’ve done lab tests and Epson tests and the Fuji’s stand side by side with DSLRs in print quality. 

Right now, this is my desert island rig…

Fuji x rig


Just looking at that kit makes me smile. 

I was recently asked on my Q&A blog whether I was switching to Fuji just to be different and not because they are better. I replied saying it is part of the equation. Not a large part. Not even half of the part, but yeah, that’s part of it. Who has a DSLR these days? Everyone. Moms, grandpas, clients, kids, that guy in accounting, everyone. Nikon this. Canon that. DSLRs are a dime a dozen these days everywhere you look. While everyone is chatting, talking, flaming, and trolling about this camera or another in the DSLR world, I’ve snuck out the back door and I’m not associated with any of that any longer. Bye.

Does it make a difference? It does. It’s mostly a mental departure from how I’ve done things for a long time and how much of the rest of the photography world works. It makes a difference with my clients and subjects as well. DSLRs are so generic these days that when you show up with something different like a Fuji or a medium format people take notice. They ask questions. These cameras start conversations. When I shot DSLRs I always heard about what camera my client or subject had. “Oh. You shoot Canon. I have a Nikon.” Etc. Etc. And then those conversations would take place. Not any more. “Wow. What is that? I’ve never seen one of those.” is now the opening line. Especially the Phase. Even folks who don’t know much about photography want to talk about that thing. (Meg here. Hi. He isn’t making an exercise in hyperbole. I assisted Zack on a job today and the client was ogling the Phase and Fuji’s and asked, “What kind of cameras are those?” I watched it happen!) 



Are you kidding me? I couldn’t have staged that shot above better. I damn near got ran over trying to get that shot.

Photography is as much a mental and emotional art form as it is a technical artform. We rely on a certain amount of tools to do our job. When you change those tools there’s a mental change as well. The retro styling of the Fuji cameras isn’t just for show. There’s a reason cameras have been set up like those for decades. There’s a very practical reasoning behind dedicated aperture dials on the lens and shutter speed dials. I can “feel” where my settings are. A quick glance at simple analog dials tells me a lot as I’m pulling the camera to my eye. There’s also a — how do I say it? There’s a feeling of heritage to the Fuji’s. I don’t want to call it retro. It’s a modern day digital connection to the past that feels right. That’s another reason I prefer the X-Pro1 over the X-E1.

I say all of this to say I’m emotionally connected to my Fujis. I’ve never been emotionally connected to a DSLR. Ever. That connection matters. It’s not on a spec sheet. It can’t be tested in the lab. I look at my Fuji cameras and I want to go shoot. I want to make photos. They don’t belong in a bag. They belong on in my hand. I have been pursuing photography for 16 something years. I’ve been full time for ten years. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in the last ten years. I’m now heading into my next ten. It is time for me to go deeper down the rabbit hole and evolve and grow and push and change and morph. I’m not leaving what I’ve done behind. I’m going to build on it. I want the next ten years of my photography to depart from the last ten though. Changing my tools is part of this process…. for me.

Maybe it’s not for you. Maybe it is. Not if you’re a full time sports photographer though. I recently got an email from a full time sports photographer. It was a 12 paragraph diatribe on why he would never leave DSLRs because mirrorless cameras will never be capable of shooting action like his pro bodies and 300 and 400mm lenses can do. Really? No kidding. 

I stepped on some toes when I claimed that Fuji is the new Leica. I’ve been asked over and over that if price wasn’t a concern would I shoot Leica instead? Unless any of you are offering Leica M class cameras for $1,200 new with an f2 lens then I can’t really answer that question can I? If price wasn’t a concern I’d be driving a different car. I’d live in a different house. I’d have a different studio. I have shot with Leicas. M6, M8, M9 and M9 monochrome to be specific. I’ve had a Fuji in one hand and a Leica in another. Hand on my heart… I’d chose the Fuji.

Some think I’m paid to say this stuff. Trust me. One hand on my heart and the other hand on the FCC laws regarding endorsements and advertising on blogs like this one… I’m not paid by Fuji to say this stuff. I’m not paid by them to review their gear. I have shot jobs for them. I’ve stood on their platform and talked about my experience with the cameras at industry events. That’s it. Once the images or videos are delivered to them my job is done. Just like all of the other jobs I do. Fuji didn’t pay me to sell all my L glass.



Leicas are great cameras. Amazing cameras. Their lenses are fantastic. They too elicit an emotional response when working with them. That’s part of the reason they are at the top of the gear food chain. The heritage of the Leica brand has been one of thoughtful and provocative documentary work, street photography, and photojournalism essays. Even if you weren’t shooting that kind of work simply owning a Leica could give you a feeling that you were connected to that work made by others. The working stiff photographer of old could hustle some cash together to build a Leica kit. These days the brand is that of a boutique camera company with their products glistening from within glass showcases. I’ve heard them called dentist cameras. The only docs they are shooting these days are the medical kind. :) Basically it would seem that Leica is now thought of as making cameras for people with a good bit of disposable income. Working photographers usually aren’t equated with people who have a lot of disposable income.

Exhibit A:: Leica stores. 

It’s akin to artists moving into a bad part of town because the rent is affordable. Then they make that bad part of town cool. Then people start pouring in and shops and restaurants open up. Rent goes up to the point that the people who made that place cool can no longer afford to live there and they have to go find a new place to live. Fuji is that new place to live.

In this day and age it is much more difficult for the working Joe and Jane to get a solid Leica kit together. They’ve never been cheap but they were attainable. They’ve kind of moved out of the “attainable” status. You’re a working photographer that needs to travel, shoot, and have to have the best quality you can from a small, quiet, and unobtrusive camera kit. Fuji is now that. From form to function to price Fuji is this new globe trotting documentary camera. From portraits to events to breaking news… these cameras can handle it. Need it to run double truck? Done. Want to exhibit 30×40 prints? Done. Want to run full page in a wedding album? Done again. I’ve lusted over Leica cameras and lenses many times. I could never ever ever justify the cost though. The jump in image quality over a DSLR was never great enough to even think about it. I just wanted one because they’re cool and sexy and come from good blood so to speak. 

Build a good kit with Leicas. Used M9 prices are hovering around the $7k mark on ebay right now. I’m told you can find them for around $4k from other places. I’m not really in that market so I’m not sure. Suffice it to say, the used prices on them are in the pro DSLR price range. Buy two of those. Then three good lenses. We’re talking medium format gear now as far as cash laid out. I’ll take a medium format camera any day over a Leica kit. Any. Day. Oh. In fact. I did get a medium format over a Leica system. No way in hell I’d trade my Phase for a Leica. Ever. 

Where Fuji really seems to “get it” is in the quality of their sensors, lenses, and their ability to build a solid working system with really tough cameras. I put my cameras through hell and they keep going and going and going. My X-Pro1 has hit the pavement three times in the last year without a single thing breaking on it. 

Lastly… a lot of folks asked where Pentax was in my initial x100s review. Yeah. Sorry I left her out. Pentax wasn’t at the bar. She was over at Hasselblad’s house. Poor Hasselblad. She recently went to Japan to see Sony and got some botched cosmetic surgery done by Dr. Lunar. Pentax was over there trying to console her. Pentax is a good friend. Hasselblad should have never hooked up with Sony. That was a mistake. 😉




  • Mike said on June 11, 2013


    I agree completely re: Leica (though I shoot a film Leica every day). However, if you’re paying $7k for a used M9, you’re getting seriously ripped off. They’re available for just short of $4k any day of the week on reputable sites like Fred Miranda or rangefinderforum.com. Still very, very expensive (I have no interest in a digital Leica, being a pure Fuji guy myself), but it pays to be accurate about these things.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Mike – Thanks for the info. I’m not in the market for them so I just checked ebay for average buy it now prices. I’ve updated the blog post.


  • Mike said on June 11, 2013

    How is the battery life? I love my X100 but it just eats batteries. My 5D (original with an old battery) just goes on forever in comparison.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Mike – If I’m heading out for a full day of shooting then I take 3 or 4 batteries. Look at the size of them compared to your 5d batteries. They can only hold so much juice in there. Also, the OVF overlays and all that are constantly taking battery power to keep that running where DSLRs don’t have much to display. Being the x100 batteries are small and relatively cheap, it’s easy to keep a few in your pocket for a day of shooting. I have extra chargers as well. All third party BTW. When I’m done for the day I pop four batteries into chargers so they are all ready to go the next day.


  • Brian said on June 11, 2013

    Good review per usual. Don’t tell the good folks at F-Stoppers though…

    Had the x100s for two months now, it’s a life saver and a back saver. Knowing I can throw just about anything at it and not kill my back, knowing that I have a great (read: professional) lens, body, and sensor in tow has been huge. Resolution is great. HSS is great. Sharpness is unbelievable. It’s added some elements to my work that I didn’t expect such as not having to carry triggers/receivers to shoot HSS… being able to do it on a dime. Not having to carry NDF’s around, etc.

    One thing people may not touch on, that you did a little bit, is the client interaction. They hired me (or anyone) because I’m a professional and when I show up with an x100s it strikes off some really great conversations, especially if they are used to being shot with the a dslr w/ grip, L-Plate, laser attachment, 2x riffle scope, and a disco ball attached to it. They assume you know what you’re doing and when you come up with a small (by comparison) fuji body, they want to talk about it. I’ve found this to be an AWESOME experience…

    If people are worried about showing up to a shoot w/ it because it’s not professional enough, then that’s the cart before the horse. They hired YOU, not your damn camera.

    I love my x100s for the tool that it is. I love my d700 for the tool that it is. All these cameras are just tools to be used.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Brian – Well said.


  • Jorgen said on June 11, 2013

    Not to mention Leica sync speed is terrible.

  • JC said on June 11, 2013

    Hey Zack, do you still keep a UV filter on your x100s? I know in the x100 you did.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @JC – I do not. I bought lens hoods for them and have gaff taped them on so they don’t fall off. That’s now my lens protection.


  • John Matthews said on June 11, 2013

    Thank you, Zach, for a great follow-up. I’m sitting on waiting lists for the X100S and find myself wondering once a day if I should be, then I read another glowing review and see images like the ones you posted and am so ready to leave my 5DmkII at home.

  • David Hobby said on June 11, 2013


    True, but (a) there are power management sliders to tweak it, and (b) extra batts are really small and really cheap (3rd party, at least – $10). You can carry 2 extras in a card wallet—along with cards—and forget they are in your pocket.


  • Sara Lando said on June 11, 2013

    As usual, great article. Except the part where you make me wanna buy stuff.
    Those last 2 photos are insane. As usual your street photography kicks major butts.

  • Federico Ciapi said on June 11, 2013

    I wonder why I can sync at 1/4000 with the efx-20 on camera, but only at 1/1000 when using a cable !

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Federico – I’ve pushed mine to 4000th with a cable but you’re losing power from the flash at that point since you are only grabbing a fraction of it.


  • ksgal said on June 11, 2013

    Zack, you were meant to be a street photographer. The x100s was meant to be your camera. Life is Good.

  • Spizzy said on June 11, 2013

    Zach, did you use a shoot-through or reflective umbrella in that shot on the girl on the stairs? Good work, sir.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Spizzy – Shoot through. The small double folds are shoot through’s. I haven’t found one with a cover on it. Not saying they aren’t out there but I don’t own one.


  • Mark said on June 11, 2013

    That was a nice review, not sure what Pentax has to do with anything, but the other stuff is a nice case for the Fuji camera.

    I think though, that you’re leaving out the fact that when you need a DSLR and resolution for a commercial job, you have a Phase One. I can’t dump my Nikon for Fuji because sometimes I need a boring old hammer in the tool box. Hopefully some day I will, but not just yet. The D800 will probably be my ‘Phase One.’

    X-Pro2 wish list:
    Weather sealed.
    SOME way of manual focusing while in the optical view finder mode. There has to be a way.
    Battery life and faster AF, sure.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Mark – How am I leaving that out when I talk about when I use the Phase? If you go through a few pages of this blog or my Q&A blog you’ll see I never leave that sort of information out. If you go back one blog post you’ll see why Pentax had to get to mentioned.

    I Agree on the X-Pro2. I’d add wifi for wireless tethering to an iPad.


  • Ernest said on June 11, 2013

    I just wish I could find an X100s in stock somewhere! No telling when they will be available either. Worth the wait i’m sure but the wait is killing me!

  • Jacek said on June 11, 2013

    I have recently bought a used Fuji x100 for half the price of the new ones and even less than a half of the new 100s. I was waiting for that beautiful moment when the price would drop to a point that I could justifying buying it being a hobbyist not a professional. I wanted a small everyday/vacation camera because hiking that one time in the mountains with D300 + grip and tamron 17-50 was not pleasant :) Once the camera arrived I couldn’t wait until the battery charges so I could use it :) The AF is slow, that’s a given… but the quality is superb :) I compared it to D300 in studio lighting on the same settings and Fuji gave me crispier jpegs with the same amount of detail as my D300. The only thing I wish for would be the option of portrait lens for the x100… make a new one, call it X100P (for portrait) and put some prime 2.0 long glass on it with the same syncing speed and I’m sold :) but that 35mm equivalent forces me to see a bit differently so that’s also a good thing :)

  • Federico Ciapi said on June 11, 2013

    Yes I know it could loose power at 1/4000.
    But this is not the point.

    If I use the EF-X20 mounted directly on the camera, I can get 1/4000.
    If I use a cable I can’t shoot faster than 1/1000 with the same EF-X20.

    One thing I noticed is that the camera can’t recognize the EF-X20 when I use the cable.
    To me this means that the camera uses a slower flash triggering when used with a non fuji flash (try “external flash”).
    I can’t see the cable introducing any latency.

    P.S. use a step down 49-28mm converter as hood, it’s perfect !

  • Tom K. said on June 11, 2013

    That second to the last photo posted above. The girl in blue. Good Gawd Man! Absolutely, positively, museum worthy. Epic. Legendary. Quite literally my favorite Zack Arias photograph ever taken. And that’s saying something brother.

    That photo should have it’s own Facebook page. It’s own Twitter account. Someone could write a movie script about that one photo and win an Oscar. Somewhere Cartier-Bresson and Winogrand are having a beer and smiling about that photograph.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Tom K – Hahahaha! Thank you sir. :)


  • Matt said on June 11, 2013

    Good stuff Z!

    You mention it’s good to go for a full page in a wedding album…how is the X-Pro 1 in low light wedding reception type situations?

  • Mike said on June 11, 2013

    Phottix does make bounce umbrellas as well.


    great review as always,


  • Ernest K said on June 11, 2013

    great write-up, but why the loaded “Kung Pao” name for the Chinese flashes; it’s sorta cute but in an awkward, mildly irritatingly racist sort of way.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Ernest – I’ll stick with it if it’s only mildly irritating. :)

    Racist? I haven’t come anywhere close to getting that label. Racist remarks would mean I wouldn’t be buying Chinese goods because I would feel their race, and their products, are inferior to another race. I sure as hell don’t think that. I don’t think you can even coin it as bigoted or prejudiced. It’s a funny term for the flash that has nothing to do with feelings of superiority or race.


  • gmb said on June 11, 2013

    Great review Zack. I’m still using DSLRs day-to-day (my D700 is my go-to for most shoots) but I’ve got an original x100 that is absolutely and completely my baby, and which goes everywhere with me. It’s saved my bacon on shoots where I didn’t have enough flash power to overpower the sun, too.

    And added to that, I’m about to add an RZ67 to the family… May try and pick up a used digital back for it eventually, but right now I just want the experience of shooting with that beast. Besides, I always wanted a curve to my spine…

    You’re doing a great job, Zack; the industry is better off for having you in it.

  • Zachary Long said on June 11, 2013

    Tom K I think Major Lazer already did before this post even went live, it was the first thing I thought of when I saw that photo in the post haha: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR-NXv5Tma0 (Disclaimer: NSFW music video parody)

  • Mike said on June 11, 2013

    Possible solution for your portrait lens conundrum:

    Get the $14 Nikon to Fuji adapter from ebay that David Hobby just bought. Get a Nikon 60mm f/2.8D macro, the older cheaper version which still has an aperture ring, for about $450. That puts you right at 90mm and for not much cash. Just an idea.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Mike – I want an optical 90. Not just an equivalent.


  • Shawn C said on June 11, 2013


    Enjoyed your review. You mentioned that people told you they’re getting high sync speeds out of Plus IIIs. You know where I can find more info about how to do that? Or who on Twitter is doing that, so I can ask?

    My searches aren’t getting me very good info.


  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    Someone on twitter told me. I’d have to go hunt for it. If I find info on it or confirm it I’ll twitter it out.


  • Riley Joseph said on June 11, 2013

    Another good read, Zack. After hauling all my heavy dSLR gear to NYC last month and only using my X-Pro1 & X100s I am sold on the system.
    My 5dmk3 will act as my Phase since I am several thousands away from one of those.

  • Angela said on June 11, 2013

    I switched from my Nikon DSLR to a Fuji X100, and now to an XE-1, and I love it! I can throw my XE-1 into any bag or purse I own, which means I am much more likely to do so! For my Nikon, I needed much bigger bag, and it was so heavy – I hated taking it hiking, even though I love taking photos while I’m hiking. My husband and I are moving to Portland, OR in a couple of weeks, and I am SO excited to have my Fuji to adventure with instead of a burdensome DSLR :)

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Angela – Remember the 90’s? There’s a place where that still exists! #portlandia

    You’re moving to beautiful hiking country!


  • Mike Sansano said on June 11, 2013

    Great, REAL WORLD review Zach. Bought the x100s when it came out and look to replace my 7d very soon with an xpro. 2 questions. 1) Would you wait for an xpro 2 at this point? 2) How much better is the wein rather than the built in flash for triggering off cam flashes. I have 2 Kung Pao’s also. lol

  • Felipe Curvello Anciaes said on June 11, 2013

    Zack, I plucked up courage to sold my 35L and buy a x100s!!
    I don’t regret!
    Thanks a lot for your informations!

  • Felipe Curvello Anciaes said on June 11, 2013

    BTW, I love the “Busted!” shot!!!!

  • Goofball Jones said on June 11, 2013

    Where the heck do you find the X100s? They’re sold out everywhere in the US. I’ve gone down the list of Fujifilm dealers (from their website) and they’re all sold out. One company said they’re still trying to fill orders from January! How the heck did you get two of them, much less just one?

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    A number of people have reported buying them on Amazon when the shipping date says “one month” and then getting it shipped to them within a week.


  • Greg said on June 11, 2013

    Love the post… and the honesty…

    Quick question…

    I’m debating between picking up a Fuji x100 used for $600 or buying the new Fuji x100s for $1500 (with taxes).

    I have a 24mm L and a 70-200mm L lenses… want a 35 or 50…
    why by the 50mm at $400 or 50mm L at $1500… when I can have a Fuji…

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Greg – If you see yourself occasionally using the x100 then buy it used. If you see using it ALL the time then I’d kind of point you to a new one.


  • Zach Gray said on June 11, 2013

    Any thoughts on the Yongnuo 560 III with a built in receiver?

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Zach – Not yet. Haven’t looked at it. I’ve got my eye on another flash at the moment.


  • Benjamin Bloom said on June 11, 2013

    Yep – I agree with Tom K. The girl in blue is killer. I was skimming the post and got to that photo. It made me bookmark and come back to really read.

    Thanks for a great post, Zack. You often get me thinking beyond “I wonder what _____ he used?”

  • Tony Drumm said on June 11, 2013

    I thoroughly enjoy hearing your thoughts on all photography subjects. I wonder if maybe the underlying message might just be change – do something different. Mess up your brain cells a bit. It’s good for you and your creativity. We’re so fortunate to have so many *good* choices. We can choose something different without feeling like we also have to settle for less. Thanks for inspiring us with your stories. And photos, of course. (Love the gal in the blue dress!)

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Tony – Well said. I think you sum it up quite well.


  • Scott Gant said on June 11, 2013

    Just a question about the Pocket Wizards and the X100S (I have quite an investment in a bunch of Plus III’s). What is the sync limit on them? I’ve heard around 1/800th or so?

    Also, why are you using those cheap flashes? Did something happen to your Nikon ones? Or are they just getting old?

    Great write-up btw…as always.

  • HenningWüst said on June 11, 2013

    Zack you wrote “emotionally connected to my…” … “That connection matters”.

    For me you nailed it with this thought and these words!

    All the talk about “gear lust” and gear, gear, gear… misses exactly that: it’s about this connection.

    Thank’s and best regards from the arctic circle!

  • Daniel said on June 11, 2013

    Zack, regarding your IR sync and PW3s not keeping up, both those devices transmit at the speed of light. The problem you might be experiencing is the reception delay from having the PW3 having to recieve the signal then transfering it to the KungPows. We are of course talking nano/micro seconds here, but if you’re trying to sync at 1/4000-1/2000 it will make that difference.

  • Aaron Aubrey said on June 11, 2013

    Great post as always Zack!
    Had my x100 for a few months and really wish I could afford to jump to the S as I’m in love with this camera..
    Your ‘doing this to be different’ thought process stuck with me because I love how a camera as different as the x100 (from a DSLR) makes me think completely different while shooting with it,I see differently, I react differently, I seem to be more ‘in the moment’.. it’s why I fumble around trying to explain why I love this camera so much.. On the flip side. I just rented a Hassy/Phase One for a shoot for my first go with MF 😀 and that was a whole different exercise in ‘thinking different’ on a shoot, and I like it! I love how we’re not choosing cameras based on ”OMFG this camera is just so sharp!” or other measurebating things (OK, maybe just a bit :) but it’s more about how these things make you feel while you’re shooting, which is important. Because if you don’t feel anything while you’re shooting, your images will look just as dead.

  • Johnny said on June 11, 2013

    @Goofball Jones, I bought my X100s on Amazon April 16 and the estimated shipping time was 2 weeks. I received it in a few days though. I have a Prime account with Amazon so that probably speed up the delivery like it does with most other items on Prime but still, they had them in stock and ready to ship. Give them a try.

  • Dan Holmes said on June 11, 2013

    Zack, as a point of interest, I am able to sync at 1/2000 with the PocketWizard PlusXs and Canon 600EX-RT flashes. I set the PocketWizard on the X100s to transmit-only mode by holding the test button down when I turn the unit on. That seems to reduce the latency. I’ve only tried it with one flash, but am going to give two flashes a try in the future.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Dan – Thanks for that info.


  • Gary said on June 11, 2013

    Hi Zack

    Once again great blog, and thanks for answering all our questions.

    I have sold all my L Lenses and Canon gear because i love my x100 so much.
    Is it worth my while waiting for an x pro2 or buy an xpro1 as they have dramatically dropped in price?

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Gary – I’m hoping the drop in prices means clearing stock for a Pro2. I have ZERO information about that. I find out about new products when everyone else finds out about them. People think I have these closed door meetings with Fuji. That’s not the case.

    I say wait for the Pro2 or S or whatever they are going to call it. I imagine it’s going to kick ass. Although… the Pro1 could then be your backup body later. Yeah. I know. Sorry. #GAS. :)


  • Goofball Jones said on June 11, 2013

    Here’s a question for ya. X-Pro 1 or X100s? If you had to choose one. I think I know your answer as you’ve said many times you prefer the 35mm FOV, so that would make it the X100s.

    Okay, what if Fuji came out with a 23mm f/2.0 lens for the X-mount? Then your X-Pro 1 would have access to the same lens length as the X100s, yes? So, toss up to either having the X-Pro with it’s ability to switch to all the different lenses, yet be stuck with 1/180th sync speed (if you can get it there that is, shutter speeds go from 1/125-1/250, though you can wiggle that down to 1/160 or 1/200…so I don’t know where they’re coming up with 1/180th), or having the X100s with it’s one lens, and it’s leaf shutter. Leaf shutter vs. Variety of lenses?

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @goofball – The x100 is my baby. The XPro is my bitch. I have no idea if that’s the right way to think about it but that should answer it. As crass as possible. Sorry. 😉

  • Derek said on June 11, 2013

    Zack, I’ve just upgraded to a XPro 1 + 35mm, thanks to you, and traded in a Canon (G1X) that I used for this kind of shooting. I’m a designer that supplements my work with photography. One day I hope to have a medium format digital workflow in place but until then it will stay as full frame dslr for my commercial stuff(5d mk1 and mk2). As nice as the fuji kit is, I don’t yet, think it could replace that gear. Full size sensors can never be replaced with c sized ones. It’s the bigger is better phylosophy ( nice big sensor pixels make creamy gradations). With that said, I’ve only had it for 5 days so the gate isn’t closed yet. But I’m lovin’ it. Being true old school, I also shoot both 35mm film and medium format film for recreation. Thanks

  • nate said on June 11, 2013

    Hi Zack! Thanks for the review. I’m into serious GAS and you’re definitly not helping ! Ha!
    Anyway, that’s my own problem.;)
    I’m actually do ing wedding photography ans was looking for an opportunity to try the xpro for that matter. I finally have chance this weekend as I will notre be the official photographer. I’m pretty sûre I’ll go home even more convinced bu fuji’s système.
    I just wish the 23 f1.4 ans 56 f1.2 were available as 35mm and 85mm are my full frame combo. As you said, fuji needs a real portrait lens!

  • nate said on June 11, 2013

    Crap! Sorry for all the strange words in my comment, Android is actually trying to correct english with french dictionnary…

  • Jason said on June 11, 2013

    Hey Zack, why two hundies?
    I’m assuming backup but I’m also wondering why an XPro1 or the XE-1 couldn’t backup up a hundy?
    Thanks for writing.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013


  • Dan Tran said on June 11, 2013

    Thanks Zack. Ive been irrationally checking your site every few days in anticipation of this follow-up review. That last pic is GREAT. Ive had the x100s for a couple months now…and I must say…I love the silence of the leaf shutter and the portability of the camera.

  • Bix Bautista said on June 11, 2013

    Great post, Zack! May I ask if it is still effective to use IR to sync at 2000th of a second under a high-noon sun, with no shade of a building, or a fire escape 😉 when you’re hand-holding your light kit (flash + small umbrella)? Will the sun just completely wash out the IR, or will there still be enough IR to reach a short distance when you’re only holding your light? Thanks!

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Bix – It does work… most of the time but sometimes the bright sun is just too much so I switch to that OCF cord and it does the trick. Or I use PW’s if I don’t need high speed sync.


  • Kevin Laycock said on June 11, 2013

    Seriously – they are actually going to make the Lunar? Wow, Hasselblad has large (insert appropriate Swedish word here).

    Not sure how you did it but you’ve actually re-convinced the convinced (me) on the wisdom of losing the DSLR. Need to make it happen and current prices are helping.


    PS. Meg – great placement of the word ogling! It really sets up the blue curves shot very well.

  • Bob Biess said on June 11, 2013

    Zak – I continue to follow and appreciate all the info you’re publishing about your experiences with the the X100s. I, like you am a long-time Canon shooter and have really enjoyed the lightweight liberation the X100s has provided.

    I have a question about using an external flash I’m hoping you can answer. Is there a particular reason you’re using a Yongnuo 560 versus one of your many Canon 550s/560s? Since TTL doesn’t factor into the equation why not use what you already have? I own several that I’d like to use and am interested in your thoughts.


    Is there a functional/technical reason why I can’t use a Canon flash? I’ve got a couple of old Vivitar 280sthat I’ve love to use.

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    I have been in the market for some affordable flash units as mine are aging and showing signs of wear and tear to the point they aren’t trustworthy on shoots. Most of my flashes are older Nikon SB-80s. I have one Canon 580exII. It’s in good shape and I’m thinking of selling it. I just need basic flashes that do basic functions. Nikon flashes are a hot item and the prices are starting to reach $200 at times. I used to buy the 80’s for about $110.

    There’s zero reason you can’t use Canon flashes. Or Nikons. Or whatever. There’s a new flash that is about to hit the market and I’m interested in looking at that. I’ll report back when I get my hands on one.


  • John F. Williams said on June 11, 2013

    Zack, I really appreciate all your insight and thoughts on the X100S. I have been shooting with the X10 for about eight months and recently rented a X100S from borrowed lenses for a trip to Toronto, Ontario. During the ten days of shooting I really connected with this camera and know exactly what you are talking about regarding having an emotional connection. The design coupled with the viewfinder and everything else means this is a camera you just want to carry with you. And that’s half the battle to getting great pictures.

  • Chris Gachot said on June 11, 2013

    But would you trade your Phase for an S2?

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    @Chris – Not ever. I’ve shot with the S2. Don’t care for it.


  • Barry said on June 11, 2013

    Hi Zack!

    Wondering where you purchase your “Kung Pao” strobes? Have you tried to tether the X-Pro 1? If so, what luck?


  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Barry – I bought mine on Amazon.


  • Anais said on June 11, 2013


    Love this article, and especially the results you are getting out of the Fujis. Portrait lens conundrum? Zeiss not making the grade with the new X-mount range? You have an M-mount converter, so why not try the Zeiss ZM Sonnar 85mm? Manual focus sadly, but absolute gold in terms of performance….

  • Zack said on June 11, 2013

    I’ll look into that!


  • Matthew Maddock said on June 11, 2013

    You’re right about people loving these intriguing cameras. I was doing some interiors for a restaurant a little while back and happened upon some friends who were eating there. I had a D800 with a 14-24mm 2.8 on it in one hand and the X-Pro1 over my shoulder. All they were interested in playing with was the X-Pro1! I’m now D800 free (my back is thanking me!) and X-Pro1 + X100S only. Just fantastic inspirational cameras. The dSLR is certainly dead for me. Love the feeling of creative freedom when all I have in my hand is the X100S. My original X100 totally changed my aspect on photography – very much for the better.

  • Ray said on June 11, 2013

    If you were a full time wedding photographer would you go back to DSLR or use the kit you carry in the Think Tank Backpack?

  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Ray – I shot two weddings last year and used the Fujis for a vast majority of the day. It requires a more methodical approach since they aren’t speed demons. Can it be done? Yes. Is it great? Yep. Is it for everyone? No. The best thing is to supplement your current kit with one and see how it goes.


  • Derek said on June 11, 2013

    Zack, I have a question regarding your Think Tank Airport Security bag. What it the airline didn’t allow you to carry on that bag? It doesn’t seem secure enough to check in. What would you do?

    I like the Think Tank stuff and have a sling and a retrospect for light location stuff. For air travel I use Pelican 1510 and 1500 cases for just that reason. Got on a plane coming back from Saint-Pierre Miquelon, after arriving by boat, and had to check them (no room under the seats). Pad locked them and knew the stuff would be safe.


  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Derek – Several international carriers have given me grief over the size and weight. I’ve also had issues on small regional jets. Finally, if I’m not in the first zone of boarding a plane and the overhead compartments fill up then I have to gate check it. Sometimes I can sweet talk its way into a closet but not always.


  • David B. said on June 12, 2013

    Thanks Zack for sharing and let us take a look inside a real human/photographer’s mind, strugles. How did it go in Cuba?, are you going to post some pics?. Thanks again Zack.

  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @David – I will do a Cuba post.


  • Martin said on June 12, 2013

    A very nice review. I’m going to check out the x100s in-store very soon. I’m currently using an NEX-7 with the Zeiss 24/1.8 lens and I love the combo. I’m considering an RX1 for sheer performance and full-frame DoF; but the X100s is an interesting candidate. I know people rave about the Fuji colours, but your review covered much more. Thanks.

  • Bobby C. said on June 12, 2013

    Loved the review, and will probably be moving to a Fuji system when the next generation comes out. One question though, I am really interested about the copper tube with the swivel for hand held off camera flash. Any DIY info for how to make one myself?

  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Bobby – Go to Home Depot or similar. Buy a one foot 1/2 inch copper pipe. Stick a Manfrotto swivel adapter on it. #done.


  • Adam Richardson said on June 12, 2013

    I recently picked up my X100s after a long shipping delay at my local camera store, and really enjoying myself. It in part inspired this article I just wrote for Harvard Business Review Online about how applying the right constraints on yourself can improve your creativity. Something which will be old news to visitors of this site, but something which often gets misunderstood by people in “non-creative” fields. http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/06/boosting_creativity_through_co.html

  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Adam – Thanks for the link. Great blog post. Well said. You should see Cuba.


  • Jonny said on June 12, 2013

    Zack. Brilliant post. Your comments about how Moms are carrying DSLRs couldn’t be more true. That was definitely a part of my decision to switch to m4/3 a couple years back, and a large part of why I find these new Fuji’s so appealing.

  • Lean said on June 12, 2013

    Looking at these comments I realized Zack is just like Fuji.. He listens to his followers!

    Cheers Z!

  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Lean – :)


  • Preben Randhol said on June 12, 2013

    Nice post!

    The x100s is giving me GAS, but I think I would rather go for a X-pro2 in the future. Do you know if Fuji has any plans for FF? Currently I’m enjoying my three Sigma DP Merrill cameras as Leica replacements :-). Sadly overlooked by many, but has FF resolution in an APS-C sensor. Worth googling :-) DSLR gear is collecting dust…

  • Aaron Pelly said on June 12, 2013

    Zack, thanks for the great follow up. I get what you said about Leica. I used to lust after them too. I spent so many hours reading reviews of the M8, M9, and even the R-D1. I’ve still never used a Leica, but Fuji is the small documentary camera I always wanted. Note that I’ve hardly read a thing about the new M. It’s interesting, but I’m no longer drooling over it. I have what I want (except the X100s—I’m drooling over that). As a side note, didn’t I hear David Alan Harvey is using an X100s now?

    A couple questions for you: Have you figured out what you like for sharpening and clarity settings in Lightroom with the Fujis? I had the settings tweaked to my satisfaction in LR 4, then the 4.4 update came out and though the files work better now, they seem softer. To counter that, I tried upping the sharpening and they wound up looking chunky. In print they wound up looking a bit over-sharpened.

    Have you tried another copy of the 60? It’s my least favorite lens (I have the 60, 35, 14, and X100), but I don’t seem to have near the same problems you do with it. The one time I do is when I throw up a huge softbox in a room and block the only lamp—then I start cursing it. I do think Fuji missed it by releasing this lens as a macro rather than a fast portrait lens.

    I get the same thing you do with people commenting on the cameras. I shot a wedding Saturday with my X-Pro over one shoulder and the X100 over the other. Two people asked me if I was shooting film. One asked me if that was a Leica or a Contax I had. I’ve never had anyone be so interested in the gear I was using before. At weddings, though, this can be a bad thing if I’m in the middle of watching for unfolding moments. “Yeah, I know it looks like it, but it’s digital. Yeah, it’s one of those new mirrorless cameras. Fuji. It’s awesome. (Excuse me while I ignore you and go back to work.)”


  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Aaron – I hate getting cornered in situations like that. :)


  • Richard Melanson said on June 12, 2013

    “It’s akin to artists moving into a bad part of town because the rent is affordable. Then they make that bad part of town cool. Then people start pouring in and shops and restaurants open up. Rent goes up to the point that the people who made that place cool can no longer afford to live there and they have to go find a new place to live. Fuji is that new place to live.”

    That’s a damn good analogy if I’ve ever heard one.

  • Sten said on June 12, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    have a look at the Contax G/Zeiss 90/2.8 AF lens of the old Contax G System (rangefinder). This lens is very good and very small. Only the adapters are not that great because of the focusing mechnanism needed in the adapters.

    How is IQ of the lens in the X100s compared to the XF35/1.4 (contrast, lensflare, sharpness, colours)?

  • Matt said on June 12, 2013

    Good to hear that you still love the x100s. I think you and David Hobby should have an x100 flash shoot off

  • Lach said on June 12, 2013

    Hey Zack,

    Love the review. I’ve been shooting my X100S for just over a week now and loving it. It keeps killing it at 3200iso and most of my work is in live performance and the theatre so it’s a giant killer. Just thinking of travel and landscape- have you tried out a Polarizer on yours? I’m imagining it’s potentially fiddly tweaking the filter and chimping etc… But I’m keen to hear other thoughts.


  • Eddy said on June 12, 2013

    Zack, a follower for along time.. and you seem to hit everything right dead the head dead center, I feel you have taken me away and shown me something new having sold all my Nikon gear (D800e) I feel I lost a lot of lbs and can move without restriction… (woot)
    BTW what setting you used
    And also carrying 2 Xpro I”s is a lot better then carrying one dslr. (lmao right now) luv you dude..
    and Ty

  • malcolm anderson said on June 12, 2013

    Zack, great post. Have to agree with you entirely, have been shooting on the x-pro for six months now, just did my first big wedding where I felt brave enough to leave the 5d stuff behind entirely. Won’t worry again, my two x-pro’s worked flawlessly on the day, and given the rain, very poor light and difficult shooting conditions that’s some achievement. All I need to do now is add a 100s to the bag.

    Quietly just getting on taking pictures now without worrying about the kit so much. Very funny to see guests at a wedding with a 5diii and 70-200L lens looking very confused as the ‘pro’ (cough cough) photographer is running around with two beaten up fuji’s round his neck :)

  • Andy said on June 12, 2013

    The worst part about shooting Leica is that you need two bodies. That’s a lot of inevitable digital rot. No regrets though. Oh wait. Mine is being repaired for a hot pixel / column.

    The 90mm on the other hand is something else. When focused (rare) it’s a beaut. But you’re right. The latest 90 2.0 is stupid expensive and for some reason I bought one lol. It’s some consolation that its value won’t decrease with time.

    7k is a bit steep even for a new m9. 4-4500 is right on the money. I’d say the newest m with evf will be nice, but even if you have the $$ for one you’re on some waitlist like its a mclaren.

  • Gisueppe said on June 12, 2013

    Lovely article. Inspirational photography, Just a kiss ass comment 😉 had to be done.

  • Holg said on June 12, 2013

    Zack – in your desert island rig there is a thing on the top left right next to the stand – is that a video light?


  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Holg – That’s the Wein Safe Sync IR transmitter I spoke about in the blog post.


  • Carsten said on June 12, 2013

    I loved shooting with Leica M6 cameras in the film era. There was one problem: reliability was really bad. I had to drive out to the Leica plant in Solms (I live in Germany) many times. From what I hear this has not improved with their digital offerings.
    The X-Pro 1 and the X100s works great for me these days, although there are some things that could be improved. For example, I don’t understand why I can have the corrected AF frames displayed in AF mode but not when I use the back button to engage AF in MF mode. Fortunately this could be fixed in a firmware update.

  • Ryan said on June 12, 2013

    Hey Zack, I always love reading your posts, but have never commented. Firstly I’d like to say that I think you do a great service responding to people’s questions. I haven’t asked one. yet. But I still enjoy reading others’ questions, and your answers :) I like when are down, in need of some direction, and you build them up, and try to give them some sound advice.

    And second, I agree with someone else that loved the girl in the blue dress. Great shot. Awesome colors. And man, she’s got some nice curves going on! So, thanks goes to her for being there, and wearing that, and to you for seeing such an awesome shot!

  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Ryan – Glad to be of service!


  • PV said on June 12, 2013

    Hi Zack
    I read about your issue with the lack of a good portrait lens. I had the same problem and I got a cheap adapter ($40) to get the Canon Lenses on the X Pro 1. For portraits I have the Sigma 85 1.4 EF mount and it has become my go to lens for portraits with the X Pro 1. I almost always shoot wide open so the lack of aperture control is not an issue for me and manual focusing on X Pro 1 works much better and faster than the auto focus so I am all happy. Here is a link to the pictures I shot with this combination



  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @PV – That’s a good thing to do and those images are great but I really want something that is in balance with the camera body. I’ve shot with a Nikon converter and it works great but it is out of balance. That Leica 90 feels like it was made for the XPro1.

    Part of this move to Fujis is for the “feel” of the system.


  • Mike said on June 12, 2013

    Hey Zach. Love the blog. How much better is the wein rather than the built in flash for triggering off cam flashes.

  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Mike – The Wein doesn’t add any light to the exposure since it’s IR. The on camera flash would have to be dialed way down to make it work. Plus, using the on camera flash sucks battery.


  • Bruno Moniz said on June 12, 2013

    Hello Zack,

    First I have to say that you’re one of the reasons that me and my wife are getting a X100S (already ordered and waiting for it). You’re know how to talk to us. Thanks for your raw and honest input about all things photography.

    I have been shooting all my life with Canon and street photography is where I like to spend more time. The X100S is the perfect camera for the street (no money for leica). Walking all day with Canon and L lenses makes me tired and at certain moment you lose focus.

    Just one quick question: What’s your thumb rest you’re using on the X100S?

    Best regards,
    Bruno Moniz

  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Bruno – That’s a Fuji product I picked up at a trade show. I haven’t found it online yet. There are several 3rd party ones on the market. Check amazon and ebay.


  • ToddH said on June 12, 2013

    Have you checked out the lenses made for the Konica Hexar Rangefinder a few years ago? They came out with a 28mm, 35mm, 50mm and a 90mm f/2.8… All in Leica M mount. The 90mm is basically a copy if the Leica and goes for about $600 on eBay.
    I couldn’t find any reviews of the 90, but the 35mm f/2 gets rave reviews… Check it out!
    Just sayin’

  • Talia said on June 12, 2013

    Hello Zach,

    Great post.

    I have been thinking about making the switch from my Canon 5D Mark2. I like to print big, usually square. What’s the largest you have printed using a Fuji X and how would you assess the quality? And what is your sense of how large one could go while maintaining gallery-level quality?

    Many thanks.

  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Talia – I’ve printed 20×30 with good results.


  • Sherwin said on June 12, 2013

    Is there a reason why Pentax is the only girl? The other brands in your review reflect their real life versions fairly well, but what does Pentax have to do with Hasselblad in real life? I googled “hasselblad pentax” but the first page is all just forum postings.

  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Sherwin – It’s a story. A metaphor. A parable. A joke. Don’t take it seriously. Seriously. :)


  • Francesco said on June 12, 2013

    Thanks Zack!
    For a long time, my desire to take photographs was gone, I had missed the inspiration ..
    My Nikon and my Pentax did not give me more satisfaction, i had lost happiness to make and look my photos.

    So one day I read on your blog your advice, I’ve seen your movies to YouTube and I decided to buy the Fuji X100S
    I was born again and my desire to photograph is back ..
    Now I do not stop more, every weekend around Italy in search of something or someone interesting to photograph..

    Last Sunday I was in Florence at Fuji eXperience tour and it was great, I got to try the Fuji X1-Pro that will be my next purchase ..

    Thanks Zack!

    Sorry for my english … but I’m Italian;)


  • Jorge alias Raskolnikov said on June 12, 2013

    Hi Zackarias ;-),

    The article just perfect, as ussual but, the shot of the lady in green in Cuba is to my eyes pure ART !!!.
    Thanks a lot for all what you are teaching other Fuji X Pro maniacs like me ;-).

    Un fuerte abrazo,


    PS – I´m also axiously waiting for the arrival of Fuji´s 85mm f1.2. Será la guinda de un excelente pastel 😉

  • Ivan said on June 12, 2013

    No more to say other than Thank you

  • Scott Gant said on June 12, 2013

    Hey again Zack. Do you ever shoot with flash with your X-Pro? You’re looking for a good portrait lens for it, so will you be only shooting natural light with it or with flash? If so, what do you end up syncing your X-Pro at for flash? It says 1/180th is it’s upper sync, but there’s no way to get to that in manual mode, is there? On the shutter dial it goes from 125 – 256. You can go in and go between though with the commands and get it to either 160 or 200. But there’s no way to get to 180 is there? So do you shoot at 125, 160 or 200?

  • Zack said on June 12, 2013

    @Scott – I shoot at 160 and below.


  • Brian said on June 12, 2013

    Amazing post! Hands down my favorite online photography blog.

    I didn’t read through all the comments to see if someone already suggested it, but-
    Another worthy portrait lens to consider would be the Contax G Zeiss 90/2.8. It’s small, sharp & has nice bokeh & contrast. You can grab one mint for $500 or less. And they hold they’re value, so if you don’t like it you can turn around and sell it for what you paid for it. I’ve read that the Leica is better but that’s also coming from bias Leica shooters who think Leica lenses can’t be bested.
    Anywho, worth a shot and would make a good backup portrait lens

  • Tom said on June 12, 2013

    Got my X100S two months back, my first Fuji, and haven’t picked up my Canon 7D since. Recently took it to Niagara Falls as my only camera and the results couldn’t be better. Shot nighttime fireworks over the falls using just a Gorillapod while manually triggering the camera since I couldn’t find my remote cord. 15 sec exposures are crazy sharp. Made 16×24″ prints and there is just no noise at all. And the street photography is nothing I could come close to doing if I was carrying the big Canon. Like you I really feel connected to this little camera.

  • Robert Wisbey said on June 12, 2013

    I tried the Leica M (240) and Monochrom the other day. Personally, I find the rangefinder patch on the old Olympus 35 SP/UC film cameras clearer and better to use than on these modern Leica cameras ! I also preferred the focus peaking on the X100s to the Leica. Also on the Leica you cannot move the focus area when you zoom in to focus — it stays in the middle!!! Frankly, it’s Fujifilm all the way (for a fraction of the price)… Thanks for keeping it real as ever Zach.

  • James Spencer said on June 12, 2013

    I must have an X100s, I love my X10 but after playing with the original X100 I fell in love. They are built like. bricks, I’ve dropped my X10 from waist height at speed on a longboard and it’s totally fine, save for a few chunks out of it here and there. Most of the pictures I take these days are on the Fuji, I leave the Canon SLR for bigger shoots. Love reading your blog Zack, keep up the great work and the telling it like it is approach :)

  • Vic May said on June 12, 2013

    Great post Zack, thank you. I have been using an XPro1 now for a few months and like you traded my DSLR in for it. I found a guy who makes custom grips that allow you to access the battery and SD card without removing the grip. The link can be found here: http://www.mayphotography.co.uk/blog/?p=231
    It’s a great bit of kit.
    I used to sell Leica and agree with your comments about the type of person who purchased them. They became the photographers version of the designer handbag.

  • Tom Gresham said on June 12, 2013

    If you haven’t yet bought the Leica 90mm, you may want to consider the Olympus Zuiko 100mm f/2.8. Just got one for my X-E1. Zwowie! I have a 50mm Summilux and two shelves of Nikon lenses. The Zuiko is really small, really lightweight, has beautiful bokeh, is sharp enough to cut you, and stupid-cheap.

    I don’t go cheap on lenses (200mm f/2 Nikon, 70-180mm Micro, 135mm f/2 DC, etc.), and this one would be a good choice at $500, but it’s about a buck and a half. What a package! Worth consideration.

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    @Tom – Thanks! I’ll check it out.


  • Scott said on June 12, 2013

    I sorely wish Fuji were to offer an X-Pro camera in the vein of the Xpan they did for Hasselblad. The Lunar is such a sad sense of wannabe-leica-hubris, over designed and un-utilisable. The Fuji Hasselblad relationship was far more fruitful and genuine, and no one was left battered or scarred after it ended. People still, to this day have fond memories of that gem of a light-tight box of the panoramic variety. Dr. Lunar was most unkind.

    I recently took the dive and traded a Nikon 24 afs f1.4 for the Xpro + 35mm. Fair trade in my opinion, despite the value of the lens holding far better than any camera might. Truth is, I LOVED that lens from Nikon, and it was my dream for years that it may come to Nikon, so when it showed up, Bam! I had it in my hands. Yet after 5 months trekking in India, and Many great photos, it still left me feeling a little, well, sore at the wrist. Back in Canada it stayed in a drawer, unused. A shame really. I had used Voigtlander, Leica, then Zeiss RF’s, and wished a Digital variant was available (M8 & M9 were too bloody much, so they disqualify themselves as available)

    The Fuji has jumped headlong into the river of awesome and is navigating that torrent like a boss.
    The SLR has its place, for sure, but that place is not in my hand. It’s somewhere on the neck of dad at the soccer game of his kid, along side the umpteen ga-lump of Dumb-phones.

    Me the Fooge’ is in my hand, ready to help me tell what I see, say, and feel.
    That is what is awesome, and for that, I offer my thanks to you, Zack, for helping me reawaken my joy of discovery, and the reason I took on the mantle of a Photographer as a means to eat.
    Thank you for keeping me from starving to death, or, worse, getting a ‘real’ job.

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    @Scott – Bravo! You said it better than I can.


  • NoelB said on June 13, 2013

    “I say all of this to say I’m emotionally connected to my Fujis. I’ve never been emotionally connected to a DSLR. Ever. That connection matters.”

    Apart from the Fujis (plural) that could be me saying that. I have had my X-Pro-1 for about a year now and bought it and the 18, 35 and 60mm lenses for an extended overseas holiday because I had heard of the great quality and the gear above weighed much the same as my Canon 5d MkII.

    My Canon has been used twice in the last year. Probably time to let it go although it is hard having had pro quality slrs for about forty years (started with the venerable Nikon F).

    The arrival of digital imaging, although forced upon me simply to remain relevant in the professional photographic world, was a major blessing in disguise because it re-invigorated my interest in photography.

    The arrival of the Fuji gear in my life has again bolstered my interest.

    Emotional attachment? I think it is a bit like your wife and kids, you love them but they frustrate you at times. Still, I wouldn’t want to be without my Fuji gear (and my wife and kids).

    All, I think will be long term relationships.

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    @Noel – Also well said!


  • Anthony Caciopo said on June 13, 2013

    Luvin’ all your posts and work, AlsoZackZarathrusta. Awesome that you address virtually every every question posted. Very eager to check out these Fuji models. I know nothing about them other than enthusiastic reviews by you and David. Thanks!

  • Robert said on June 13, 2013


    What’s your most-often used technique for focusing with your X-Pro 1…? Focus and recompose? Move the cursor about? Or going manual and using hyperfocal distance?

    Wondering which technique you find most efficient for street shooting, for example?

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    Typically focus and recompose on the street.


  • Clement said on June 13, 2013

    Hey Zack,
    I’m a good christian. I go to church every week. But lately I have been a heavy user of the film simulations that my X100s tempts me with. So I am now shooting jpg and tweak the files in LR if needed. Am I gonna go to hell?

  • jc said on June 13, 2013

    Speaking of which, do you still shoot jpeg for the x100s? Or do you shoot raw with it now?

  • mars said on June 13, 2013

    Poor old Canon and nikon, to think they were your ‘bread and butter’ many moons ago…
    C’mon Z a bit of respect and gratitude at least!


  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Mars – Always. :)


  • Heikki Takala said on June 13, 2013

    I’ve had the original X100 for about two years now, since it came to market anyway. What I love about it is the organic feel it gives, and images that usually don’t seem planned at all. With Fuji it just happens. Another quirk is that it forces you to learn zone focusing, and everything else connected to estimating DOF at any given distance. I think it is a big testament to the little camera that you want to work around all the cons.

    However, I cannot get any reliable results at weddings or events. That’s where I turn to my Nikons. But apart from that, I rarely use any other camera then the X100. My 2 cents is that if you have the original X100, the s model is not worth the update. AF is not that much better from what I’ve tried, and the original has better colors. To my eyes at least. Even though this might be purely subjective.

    I just wish they would improve the lens performance at macro distances. For some reason, it tends to be pretty soft when pushed at the limit. Love your blog Zack. You are an inspiration.

  • Ferdinand said on June 13, 2013

    Love your work Zack, i always watch your reviews and works in youtube. Quick question, does the XE-1 have a built in electronic ND filter ? or is it the X-PRO 1 that has that feature ?

    Thanks Zack

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    @Ferdinand – No ND filter on the E1.


  • Bill M said on June 13, 2013

    Zack, you may want to consider finding a Canon FD 85mm 1.2L for portraits on the X-mount bodies. I have been using one for several months and absolutely love it. Since they are crop bodies, the extra speed of 1.2 helps for when you want very shallow depth of field, and it gets razor sharp slightly stopped down(f2). You can find them for around $700-800, which is about a quarter the price of the Summarit. I will say that the FD 85L is a bit of a beast in terms size, but well worth it.

    Thanks for the great blog, I always enjoy it.
    Best Regards,

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    @Bill – I want a smaller lens than that. I want a balanced rig.


  • pradeep said on June 13, 2013

    The article is relay helpful and insightful .and thanks a lot for writing for us. I am amateur street photographer from mumbai India. want to shift to fuji XE1. currently I am using a canon 7D.
    Can you tell me how is the quality and colour rendition compared to canon

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    @Pradeep – Color is great. You’ll be happy. It’s different but it’s good.


  • Roeder said on June 13, 2013

    Fantastic blog. Wondering if you’ve had a chance to try the X-pro1 or the X100s with PW MiniTT1 or FlexTT5? I just got the X-pro1 (oh my f!@#^%$^ing GOD what a camera) and I tested it with my PW’s, the Nikon version. Using a AC3, you can have manual power control on a Nikon speedlight. (6 stops, 1/64th to full) I’ve read it does the same for Canon. I’m wondering how they might work with an X100s?

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    Haven’t tried that. I don’t have the AC3.


  • Marcelo said on June 13, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    The 100s looks great but the fact that its a fixed lens 35mm. Doesn’t that limit you?

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    @Marcelo – Of course it does. But I thrive under limitations. If you think about it, I have all sorts of limits on me as a photographer. I don’t have enough time. Never enough money. I always need a wider lens than I have. Or a longer one. Or I need more power from my lights than what I have. Or I need another assistant. On and on and on. We never have each and every thing we need or we can’t even carry every thing we have. Having limitations forces you to work within what you have and you have to make it happen. I love that and suggest it for others to at least do as a regular exercise.


  • Goofball Jones said on June 13, 2013

    Quick question, as some people are debating this. Did you start selling off your Canon gear and replace it with the Fujifilm X cameras, or did you replace the Canon with your Phase One and the X cameras were just a side thing?

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    @Goofball – I was NEVER searching for a DSLR replacement. I figured I would be Phase + Canon for a long time to come. Then the x100 came along to be my carry with me everywhere camera. Then I put it to work on jobs along side the Phase. Then I did a gig for Fuji and they gave me an X-Pro1 and a 35. Then that started coming out of the bag on jobs. Then my Canons were collecting dust. It’s been an organic process for me.


  • Mauro said on June 13, 2013

    X100s is an amazing camera. I use it every day.

    Now I’m waiting x-pro 2 before switch from my canon gears

  • Wi said on June 13, 2013

    Hi Jack,

    I love your photos with the Fuji X100s so much.

    I am a Nikon DSLR and now I intend to move to Fujifilm, so I really don’t know much about these Fujifilm camera. I got 2 options now: a XPro-1 with 35 1.4 and a X100s. I want to buy an XPro-1 because the capability of changing the lens, but I heard that the AF on X100s is better, quicker than XPro-1. So which one I should choose? Should I buy the X100s and wait for the XPro-2?

    Thank you very much for your answer.

    Have a good day.

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    Wi – The x100s is a better AF performer right now as it is newer technology than the Pro1. I’d go with the x100s now and wait for the Pro2.


  • Jeremy Harris said on June 13, 2013

    Hey Zack! I’ve lost both of my bayonet mount
    lens shades for my Xpro1. Replaced them with $9
    screw on shades with caps from EBay. No need for gaff tape!


  • Rich Owen said on June 13, 2013

    I can relate to just about everything you have noted in your blog…except one. I have had an emotional attachment to my Nikons…up until recently. After spending time shooting for newspapers (truly the most fun I have had at a job in my life), the layoff came several years ago. I continued shooting with my Nikons because they just got out of the way of my shooting. You might think I had the top of the line stuff and I did when the D2H first hit the streets. I have shot with D2H bodies (still have two including the original gray market body I bought in 2003 – working on its second shutter with just under 118,000 clicks) and never have to think about them. They are an extension of my arm. Until recently. After hearing about the layoff of the entire Chicago Sun-Times photo staff, I do realize that at my advanced age (66 this year!), there will be no more chances for me. I decided it was time to let the old gear go, lenses and all, to some young shooter just starting out that cannot afford a D4 with the 2.8/80-200mm VR AF-S etc.
    Picked up the X100S a couple of months back (after the long wait on pre-order) and it brings a different experience to the game for me. Now, as I look to sell my Nikon gear, I am looking forward to either the X-Pro1 or its successor. As I look to give back to my new community (just relocated Carrollton, GA), I am planning on some pro-bono work with local NPOs to get my name out there. To me, the thought of using big, heavy, noisy pro bodies like the D2H would be an intruder to any photo opportunities. I really like your comments about the X-Pro1 but would really like some of the upgrades that are in the X100S (better EVF, PDAF with CDAF, etc.). I may just wait a while and play with just the X100S and really get to know it like I know my “vintage” D2H!

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    @Rich – Welcome to GA!


  • Felipe Curvello Anciaes said on June 13, 2013

    Zack, sorry for use your blog and this post in this way. But, you have been recognized, at

    least in my opinion, as the greatest Fuji X series enthusiast. The one Fuji would really

    listen to, when deciding on making changes or improvements in their products.
    So, I would like to “paste” here a open letter Roël has published into his blog

    (http://roel.me/two-months-with-the-fujifilm-x100s/) and ask you and your readers (I mean,

    all of us) to endorse him in his campaing for a x100s with a 85mm equivalent lens.
    Here is his letter:

    “Dear Fujifilm,
    I have a really off the wall idea for a new product which I believe will make you a lot of

    money and it requires minimal engineering effort on your part.
    I have been experimenting with the Sigma DPx Merrill cameras and even though the camera body

    leaves much to be desired, the resulting image quality is excellent (at or near base ISO).

    I also like the concept of having only 2 or 3 compact camera bodies with small, fixed lenses

    in my bag for travel.
    During my recent trips, I discovered that I constantly used my X100S (35mm equivalent field

    of view) and my X-Pro1 with the 60mm lens (90mm equivalent field of view). In fact, I shot

    over 99% of my images with these two focal lengths alone. And if I am not mistaken, these

    are the two focal lengths that many photojournalists commonly use – plus I use them a lot in

    my wedding work.
    Here is something you already know – your image quality from the X-Trans sensor is amongst

    the best in the industry.
    My idea – create another camera (call it the X200) with the same body/sensor as the X100S

    but with a fixed 56mm f/2 lens (85mm equivalent field of view). You have done most of the

    difficult work in creating the X100S, now all you have to do is design an appropriate 56mm

    lens to go with it. I know the lens won’t be compact like the 23mm optic on the X100S, but

    I am confident you can keep the size to a minimum by making its widest aperture f/2 (I know

    f/1.4 is nice, but it would make the lens quite large).
    I’ll even make this offer to you – since I am both an engineer and a photographer, I’ll even

    help you out with the design and beta testing :o)
    I can tell you this – if you created an X200 with these specifications, that, plus the X100S

    would be the cameras I would use for over 90% of my work. That combination would be the

    perfect travel kit and all I would ever take with me on my trips. I would be in heaven if

    you did that. So would many other photographers.
    I guarantee it.”

  • Zack said on June 13, 2013

    I’d LOVE a portrait version of an x100. With leaf shutter!!!


  • Nicolai Perjesi said on June 13, 2013

    I still bring my fuji and my canon 1dx on jobs, and when I look at the files, the fuji ones are just so much better. So soon the day must come where I only will bring the fuji with me :-)

  • Weldon Brewster said on June 13, 2013

    I’m glad that someone else feels the same way I do about my Fuji XPro-1. I sold all of my backup camera Nikon stuff and switched to Fuji. My main camera is a Contax 645 w/ a Phase One back. The fuji files are gorgeous and it’s really fun to shoot with. I think it’s bit under rated as it can do so much more than just street photography.

    Wish list for the Xpro-2. Flash sync at all speeds (it’s mirrorless why can’t they do that?), built in NDs, built in pocket wizards, wireless or usb tethered support (they should release a Fuji SDK so Capture One could support tethering.) and lastly electronic cable release socket like Ex-1

  • Dave said on June 13, 2013

    Zack ….. love the bar analogy! Sad Sad Hasselbald and the plastic surgery. Phase would not do that I hope!

    Just like you, my DSLR went the way of the dodo. Have not had the heart to sell the lenses yet, but they need to go.

    Shooting the kids swim meets the the OM-D, have don’t have a zoom for the X-Pro, but the 55-200 is really tempting.


  • Cor den Uijl said on June 13, 2013

    Hi mr Zack, I bought this camera too, normally making pictures with 5dmII and L glaasjes. I wonder, when I read your wunderfull reports, lovely for dutch people too, do’nt you miss image stabilizer?

    Thanks for your answer.

    I think shooting with Dslr and this type of camera is totally different. Such camera’ like the x100s has an emotional gradience with must be experienced.

    Best regards,

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Cor – I didn’t own any IS lenses for Canon so I’m not missing them!


  • Jens said on June 13, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    big THX for your thoughts on the Fuji X-Series Cameras. I really enjoy your work and and your blog.

    I am amateur photographer and I remember when the news about the Fuji X100 rewoke my interest in photography. It was great to see that Fuji brought out a new camera with a no-nonsense layout. A camera with dedicated dials for shutter speed, exposure control and aperture! A camera that wants to be taken as a camera and not as a picture recording computer.

    And finally after two years with a Pen E-P2 which worked well with my Canon FD lenses I couldn`t resist to get my hands on a X-E1. It is a great camera with an amazing image quality. It is really a joy. The 18 to 55 zoom is amazing too. And after all the X-E1 works well with my old FD lenses.

    But there are some quirks to work around which must be the same with the X-Pro1. I hope Fuji will fix them in an upcoming firmware. Coming from Olympus I don`t understand why Fuji gives away the advantage of an EVF: to be able to see what you get. The EVF of the X-E1 is always bright regardless what exposure you have dialed in. Checking the histogram or the exposure control and re-compute the possible result in your brain costs sometimes valuable time or even THE picture. I would find it very helpful if the EVF would show a preview of the exposure.

    The other quirk which could easily be fixed via firmware is the logic of the exposure control. It is for no obvious reason disabled when AUTO-ISO or a dynamic range setting other then DR100 is engaged.

    That the lens correction menue is only fully enabled via the FUJI to Leica adapter could be caused by marketing reasons but that makes me feel a bit like a 2nd class user, because I haven`t got any Leica glass. So the Leica man has it again – LOL

    I think these small changes would make a great camera (series) even better.

    What do you think?

    Keep up your really great work – cheers,


  • Zack said on June 25, 2013

    @Jens – The lack of exposure simulation that you speak of is a hotly debated thing. Some love it. Some hate it. The new x100s has it and I hate it. Sucks for shooting high speed sync work. I’m hoping they give a user option to turn it off or on.

    As to the Leica adapter / lens correction menu. You can still dial in a focal length but nothing else from there. Imagine if you had to build profiles for every known M mount lens known to man. That would suck and would never happen. I think they got the most requests for an M mount adapter and went with well known M mount lenses.


  • kris said on June 13, 2013


    With the Fuji, you are happy shooting on a crop sensor once again, correct? I have your creative live series, and at least at that point you explained that you tended to choose full frame camera’s when you could. Does it just matter less to you now? Or do the benefits of shooting the fuji just outweigh the fact that they are not full frame?



  • Zack said on June 25, 2013

    @Kris – Would I love for it to be full frame? Of course. But then the bodies would get bigger. The lenses would get bigger. Etc. It’s a balance. Size, form, function, image quality, etc. I will tell you that I would not have looked at the Fuji had it been any smaller than APS.


  • Earl Richardson said on June 13, 2013

    Just curious Zack, what’s been your experience using Leica M lens on the X-Pro 1/XE-1? Have you shot the 90mm F2.5 Leitz lens on either camera? I have the 60mm and I have the same frustration as you do. Very nice and sharp when it locks on. Thanks,

  • Zack said on June 25, 2013

    @Earl – I’ve shot all the major Leica 90’s. I like them all but am settling toward the 2.5 for it’s size and weight. It balances well on the Fuji.


  • Roy Barnett Jr said on June 13, 2013

    It’s great reading things like this because it points to the fact that at the end of the day, cameras are just tools of creation. To the credit of camera marketing, the tools themselves have become more important than the art which is why I think there’s such an emotional attachment people have towards whatever they use. You have to justify the biggest, “best”, and most expensive gear to prove you are a photographer in some peoples minds. But something I’ve taken away from Zack and other artists, is it doesn’t matter. I’ve seen lots of reactions to leaving DSLR’s and people attaching personally and questioning Zack’s work as a photographer (which is simply jealousy because Zack you do proper good work, and they are sitting in front of a computer instead of actually shooting)because how could it be possible to shoot good photographs without a DSLR or Leica? Coltrane once said “you can play a shoe string if you’re sincere” which I think speaks to photography. Use whatever you have to speak from the soul. Thanks for these words, reviews, and work Zack.

  • Zack said on June 25, 2013

    @Roy – Great Coltrane quote!


  • Earl Richardson said on June 13, 2013

    I’ve got to add that the size and weight of these cameras (I have an X-Pro 1 and a x100s) has been a godsend for me. I’ve been fighting tendonitis in my right elbow. While a Nikon D800 and a D4 with a 70-200 or an 84mm F1.4 put me in agony after a day of shooting, the Fuji cameras cause little to no pain.

  • Brad Calkins said on June 14, 2013

    Love your blogs – and your images! I’ll bet that carrying a metal pipe through security raises some eyebrows :) For the portrait lens – have you considered the Samyang 85mm as an interim lens?

  • Abelardo said on June 14, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    I’ve been shooting exclusively street photography with an X100s for about a month, you may want to take a look here at my Tumblr (yeah I use Tumblr for that) http://cybergus.tumblr.com

    You may find interesting stuff at Mexico City streets, Dalí once said… “I don’t want to come back to Mexico, I can stand a country that is more surreal than my paintings.”


  • Roeder said on June 14, 2013

    Second day in with the X-Pro1 and all I can say is I don’t regret letting go of my D3 and Nikkor glass. I’m not a fan boy of any brand but damn, GO FUJI. (and wake the f@#$ up Nikon)

    The sensor they just announced in cooperation with Panasonic holds so much promise. Let’s hope they continue to listen to the customers and offer solid cameras with regular updates.

  • Stuart Little said on June 14, 2013

    I just want to thank you for this and previous posts about the X100s and X-Pro1.

    I shoot commercial and social portraits and I have been seriously thinking of getting out of the DSLR rat race for a bit. I used to use Canon Rangefinders back when film was king and I miss the experience a lot. I also have a soft spot for Fuji because their S1 Pro DSLR was the 1st digital camera I bought and I was the first person outside of Fujifilm to get a hold of and use S2 Pro camera in the UK. Both great cameras in their day.

    I have never been tied to a brand as I have used Bronica, Canon, Nikon, and Fuji throughout my career and I like that you have a soft spot for the YN560 of which I now use 5 of them plus a couple SB900’s. This article alone is the reason why I am going to get a hands on with both cameras within the next month and I will be starting the move by getting X100s once supply here in the UK picks up.

    Do you think a portrait version of the x100s will be in the works?

    Kind Regards


  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Stu – I have no clue about a portrait version of the x100.


  • Simon SWAC said on June 14, 2013

    HI Zack, it’s always been a pleasure reading your blogs. Speaking of Fuji, have you ever heard of SLR Magic Hyperprime lenses, made in Hong Kong ? I owe a 23mm 1.7 and it has become my low light lens choice ever since because it just beats the lenses I have from Fuji on manual focusing. One reason must be the fact that that lens is completely mechanical, which means that the direct communication between the sensor and the available light is some how better than Fuji lenses ( including other compatible lenses) with their electronic manual control !http://www.flickr.com/photos/swac_experiment/8743659956/in/set-72157633491176843/
    I just hope that you would try them out some day, because I very treasure your opinion.


    p.s. The lenses are very cheap compared to their qualities !

  • Zack said on June 25, 2013

    @Simon – Haven’t heard of those. I’ll check them out.


  • kkonkkrete said on June 14, 2013

    Quick question … So how would you focus the Leica portrait lens on your XPro? With focus peaking via the back screen? Is the EVF good enough for manual focusing?

  • Zack said on June 25, 2013

    @kkonkkrete – I focus manually via the EVF. The X-Pro1 does not have focus peaking. A fast lens is fairly easy to focus though without it. I sure would love for Fuji to add peaking as a firmware update though!


  • Atli said on June 14, 2013

    Hi Zack.
    What third party batteries do you use for your x series? I have been looking for something that doesn’t set my x-e1 in “flames”. I have heard(read) that some of these third party batteries have been frying up the cameras.

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Atli – I just buy ones that have a lot of reviews on Amazon as being good batteries. If they aren’t highly rated by others then I don’t bother with them.


  • Linh said on June 14, 2013

    Zack (or anyone really), does that IR transmitter do a better job and covering more angles than a flash? Like if I set a flash on/near the ground, I have trouble with triggering them via optical slaves.

    I would just get the new YN 560III’s, but the triggers are canikon specific (w/o hacking, and the old triggers use special batteries). I currently use Cybersyncs or V5s, and they work great, but I want to cut back on wires for a small travel kit.

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Linh – It doesn’t have the best coverage but I turn the slave of the flash toward it and it does a pretty good job.


  • STONEY XL said on June 14, 2013

    Hey Zack, don’t know if U know this gal Dirty Souf Yankee. I met her when Myspace was still poppin; I believe she’s from the A. Her most notable client back then was Nicki Minaj before the Fame. We did a gig together back in like ’09-’10 in NYC, me on video and she with her $60 P&S. I had just finished your One Light Dvd, and all the Dean Collins stuff I could find, to actually learn lighting for my One-Man-Band music videos since I was told Hype was a dope photographer and the best light cutter before all the videos. I remember asking her “is that what you’ve been shooting with all this time?” She was like “yeah, I don’t know, I just kinda figured out how to make this camera look good.” Her stuff was pretty good, some of it amazing. Jeremy Cowartish w/o the PS. That was such a Hip-Hop thing the way she bent that Camera, the same way we freaked beats in the 80s-90s with minimalist equipment. I’m just still buggin that you have sworn off all that L glass. I keep rereading the post to make sure I’m seeing what I’m seeing. I was about to cop a D800 so I could shoot both the FF stills and the mvs. Now I’m like F it, I’m coppin a few of those Fujis and BMD for the MVs. That post on the ThinkTank bag stocked with Fuji gear has me salivating, lol! -peace- One2ThaXL

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Stoney – Coming from the hip hop world it’s no surprise to you that you make a lot with a little!


  • Doug B said on June 14, 2013

    Thanks for such an honest and telling review Zack, love your street work! I’ll make this question as short as possible, but if you can, please try and refrain from answering right away if the answer doesn’t hit you like a brick. Here goes nuthin’:

    Image personality. Not quality, but personality. We already know that the 100s is faster, is generations ahead for manual focusing and outputs higher res files for print. I’ve looked all over the web to have this question answered, and can’t quite find anything which goes into detail about it. The main thing *IMO* which sets the 100 and 100s apart for street shooting (again, apart from the above mentions) is the sensors in both of them.

    There’s something in my gut that tells me, when looking at B&W images from the 100, that they have more “personality” than the 100s samples. I can not totally confirm this though, because there’s never side to side street shots from both to look at, at the same time. As nice as the 100s’ samples are, I somehow always feel that they’re a bit more “generic” feeling/looking, even though colors are quite nice, and signature Fuji, for sure.

    I’ve seen some amazing street work done from several street photogs (yourself included) with the X100, and they all seem to exude this natural feel, as if closer to film, when comparing them to samples I’ve seen with the 100s.

    Question is… Am I nuts, or is there something to this? Have you taken a look at your work from both cameras and compared the output? I think that the sample subject matter really makes a difference, too. Shooting inanimate objects like trees and foliage never seem to get what I’m trying to express across, like people in real-world situations do though, I think.

    I’m eventually going to purchase one of these cameras, and would love the features of the 100s, but not if it means sacrificing the type of output rendition that the 100 seems to convey (to me?). So, is there anything to this in your opinion, or am I seeing things?

    Thanks so much, and keep it up!


  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Doug – I haven’t noticed this at all.


  • Lanthus Clark said on June 14, 2013

    Your desert island would have to have a mains outlet. 😉

    Very sweet kit, I feel serious GAS coming on…

  • Matt F said on June 15, 2013

    Here’s an idea. How about we all emil fuji and ask them to make a portrait x100s with a leaf lense.

  • Kelvin said on June 15, 2013

    Great Stuff Zack,

    Been following your blog for a while and love it. This though is my first post here… Regarding the Summarit 90mm 2.5, it is indeed kick a ass lens, i use it primarily on my M8 and to me for the cost it is simply fantastic. Just recently used it at the Gay Pride Parade in DC ( http://blog.ikphotography.com/?p=2647 ) along with my X-Pro1 with Minolta MD 35-70mm 3.5…

    If you want to go even cheaper than the Summarit, try the Minolta MD 50 1.4 ( 49mm thread ) at F/2-4 on the X-Pro1 via an adapter, it will blow your mind!

    Go slightly longer with the Minolta Auto Rokkor 55mm f/2 found on eBay and you’ll thank me :-)


  • Jeff Dietz said on June 15, 2013

    Hi Zach
    I had a quick question for you. As mainly a wedding photographer I am struggling getting into street photography more as I am a very shy person at times and I find the approach to be very scary. Fear of rejection I guess ha. So I always go to safety with the 70-200 so I don’t have to get in close. I am trying to force myself to get over that though and get in close as I know there is a lot of awesome living in that tighter experience.

    That all being said, I had a question as a wedding photographer, and I know you did some wedding work in your past. How do you think the x100s or even the xPro-1 would handle working at a wedding? Be that any part of the day, getting ready images, ceremony, reception etc. More so the photojournalism moments as opposed so much for “portrait time”.

    I am thinking maybe would be great to have as a natural light third or second camera. I just switched to Nikon after being fed up with Canon (great discussion about them not listening to our wants). But as you said once I am looking for that ‘different’ as well. But above anything else at a wedding it’s got to perform.

    I struggle a lot due to back problems with the weight of carrying cameras and heavy bag and jazz all day so any time I can get lighter I will take it.

    I am also juggling decision on should I get a 100s when I can find one, or the xpro-1 because of the lens variety (and they have amazing $200-300 off lenses deals right now). But I feel like a lot of people here that I will want that xpro2, and if it goes full frame maybe the lenses will no longer be compatible or something. I think the decision would be a 100s or a xpro with the 35 1.4. I like that focal length a touch better then the 23mm or whatever it is on the 100s.

    Note… I had owned a 100 before and sold it due to those problems it had with focus. My plan with it was to force myself to take it with me wherever I went, but then slowly realized I don’t go anywhere ha. But I need to get my butt traveling and that will be the first task for this camera. I just wonder if I am going to feel too limited with only having the fixed lens. If you could smash the two cameras together that would be awesome!

    Anyways, I am interested to hear your thoughts on the applications on a wedding day and how you think the camera would hold up in those conditions. Either the 100s or the xpro.


  • Sten said on June 15, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    At which aperture you have the best results for IQ in comparison with the old X100?

    While looking at photos on the net, it seems to me that best aperture is more F5.6-F8. With my X100, I was already at 2.8-4.0 very satisfied.

    I have the impression, that the X-TRans sensor demands more from the 23mm lens than with my X100 classic.

    What do you think?

  • Bob said on June 15, 2013

    Zack, would love to see if you feel the 55-200 might work as a portrait lens after ‘putting it through its paces”. Or is it just too slow wide open to consider for good portraiture?

  • Alexander Kharlamov said on June 15, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Great writing.

    Just to drop a probably useful information on the X100s: The cheapest RF-04 triggers sync up to 1/2000 without trouble…about 9/10 shots syncs flawlessly!

    Pity the RF canon system does not cope with speeds higher than 1/125 with this combo so I must attach a receiver to each unit.

    Take care,

  • dib said on June 15, 2013

    aperture, schmaperture, really, who cares? you’re going to make an image that may be blown up to a 40″ print, or it may be seen on your computer screen only, but in any case whether it’s tack sharp in the corners or almost tack sharp in the corners isn’t going to affect the success of the picture. was cartier bresson worrying about f4 vs f8? no! it’s the moment, it’s the composition, it’s the light. it’s not the pixel peeping, it never has been. tri-x in rodinal or d-76, what’s better grain structure? do i photograph the revolution with leica or nikon or rolleiflex? would any of those images that zack put in his post look better or worse with the x100? in the end it doesn’t matter.

    that, anyway, is my opinion.

  • Joffrey Wallaart said on June 15, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Thanks for your effort in sharing your enthusiasm for photography. It sparked mine again after 10 years of not touching a camera other than my iPhone. On a whim, i bought an x100s in Japan last month and I am really enjoying my new/old hobby again. Thanks a lot!

    Anyway, I have a question: what is the fastest sync speed you reliably get using an IR trigger?



  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Joffrey – 2000th

  • Neville Hopwood said on June 15, 2013

    Hi Zak, great heads up on the Fuji X system. Im blown away with the Xpro1 myself.
    Could you please tell me if the Yongnuo 560 flash units combined with the Wein IR controller work with the Xpro1?

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Neville – That rig works with any camera with a hotshoe. Any camera. Any of them. All of them.


  • Munya Chawora said on June 16, 2013

    Brilliant review as always Zack!

    You were the first convinced me to get the X-pro 1 last year on Tumblr and can’t put it down!!!
    I’ve ditched my 1d mark iv for the 5d mk iii but my Fuji is my woman! Love it I to bits.

    Thank you for all the work you put into what you do! The knowledge you give us is like water in a desert!!!


  • Anderson said on June 16, 2013

    Hello Zack . what happen with all the things about the fujifilm x100s you said you will talk about in part 2 ? for example


    iso 200 duck

    and again at iso 200

    I don´t understand how a camera of this price can show artifacts at iso 200 and you can see that at just 2 times zoom

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Anderson – I don’t have ANY of those issues. And… as I said before… I’m not going to get in a discussion about a borring ass picture of a duck.


  • Christopher said on June 16, 2013

    Thanks for your Fuji posts, Zack. Very interesting and informative. I’ve been shooting professionally for over 20 years. For the past year or so, the weight of a D3 system with heavy glass has finally taken its toll and my thoughts have turned to considering the switch to compact gear. I don’t like waiting for an expensive camera/lens to focus. I expect it to react and lock on. So, there’s definitely concern about any weakness in autofocus. I’m willing to wait for the next offerings from Fuji to see what kind of updates are made. Just as important to me is a dual card slot. Having images written simultaneously to two cards is an incredible feature that offers a tremendous amount of peace of mind, and has actually saved my ass when a card in slot #1 failed. Along with the request in an earlier post from someone wanting a 100s with an 85 f2 attached (agreed!), please pass along the desire for a dual card slot. Thanks, and keep up the great work!

  • Mark Loader said on June 16, 2013

    Hey Zack, thanks for the X100S followup, always nice getting together for a chat 😉 Particularly pleased with your thoughts on the emotional connection and the bonding experience we have with these beauties. Always envied wealthy Leica swine who seemed to have this warm fuzziness all to themselves. Well, not any more. Shot yesterday and today with an X-E1, 18-55, 55-200 and 35 keeping cozy in the Think Tank Retro and felt like I was carrying nothing heavier than a couple of books. Seldom use the DSLRs much now, although I will if the need arises. Also very much in love with the X100 (the elitist black one) and refuse to trade it in. Currently dreaming of two things : an X100 Monochrom…ok maybe that’s asking too much, but the other, the X-Pro2 or whatever it’ll be called can’t come quick enough. Santa, please…anyway thanks again , and hope to see you one day in Australia…go to San Francisco and head south-west, you can’t miss us, we’ve got lots of….really poisonous things, you’ll love it. Cheers, Mark

  • Russell Dawson said on June 16, 2013

    Just an observation Zack. I noticed you pack your cameras with their backs to the outside of the case? I would be concerned that if the bag took a severe hit the camera would get damaged where I would prefer the lens to take the brunt?

    Excellent reading on all your blogs.

    From an X pro obsessive…


  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Russell – If my bags took a hit hard enough to damage the back of a camera then I’m probably facing bigger issues at that moment. :) Think about it. How hard of a hit would it take to break the back of a camera? I’ve dropped them on the floor / ground without a break. There’s a lot of padding and space between the camera and a surface hit when it’s in a bag.


  • Tom White said on June 16, 2013

    I bought a Fuji X100 as a carry everywhere camera. Ended up using it on so many assignments I thought I’d give the interchangeable X cameras a go (I went for the X-E1). The other week I was on assignment as a stringer for an agency shooting a conference attended by defense ministers, military brass and academics. On day one I was walking around with 2 SLRs and a few lenses. By day three I’d dropped one SLR in favour of the Fuji and I was shooting with the Nikon D800 with a 70-200 and the Fuji X-E1 with the 35 1.4 in pretty much equal measure, and I felt more comfortable with the Fuji. Photos I took during that assignment got published in various newspapers and online – including this one (shot with the Fuji) which made it into both the Guardian UK’s 24 hours in pictures and the Time Lightbox pictures of the week. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2013/jun/02/24-hours-in-pictures?CMP=twt_gu

    Use a Fuji on assignment? Yep. Sure do.

    I bought lens adapters for Leica M mount lenses and Nikon mount lenses and I’ve been using these quite a lot as well. I too have lusted over digital Leica’s but balked at the cost. And this coming from someone you just dropped an eye watering amount of cash to overhaul my aged M6, though not as eye watering as even a second hand M9. Budget wise, I could buy a second hand M9, or a new ME…. Or… the next couple of iterations of the X-PRO camera brand new. Hmmm. Which makes the most business sense? I could even go for the X-PRO 2, skip the X-PRO 3 and then upgrade to the X-PRO 4, selling the X-PRO 2 for whatever I could get for it, seeing as it will have – should have – paid for itself easily by then. That would also be spreading the cost of that expenditure over the next, say, half decade. Thanks Fuji. I think you just made my ‘digital-camera-future-upgrade-business-expense’ a little easier to bear.

    Now, while it’s not all about the gear, I am really enjoying using the Fuji. Almost as much as I enjoy using my M6, and while I won’t be parting with my SLR gear (yeah, I do sometimes shoot sports!) I think I will find the Fuji in my hand more than any other camera for a long while. Have I bought my last SLR? Well, let’s see how long the D800 will last me. I’m betting on quite a while. Nice one Fuji. I’ve almost forgiven you for discontinuing my favourite Neopan 1600 film…

  • Bob Biess said on June 16, 2013

    Zack, your ‘copper pipe’ light handle has me intrigued. Any chance of seeing a shot or two of what it looks like and/or how you use it during a shoot?


  • jeff strickland said on June 16, 2013

    Regarding the copper pipe — there’s no reason a wooden dowel wouldn’t work just as well. Something that thick wouldn’t break, you can still tighten the flash bracket on it, it’s cheap to replace if it shows wear. I mean, right?

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Jeff – Yep! And less questions from TSA! I’m going to go get one! Why didn’t I think of that? :)


  • Matt said on June 17, 2013

    Hey Zack, been reading your blog since the very enthusiastic words about the original X100!

    Fuji are redesigning the 60mm… Well sort of, with the 56mm f1.2 – I think that might be worth holding out for. In the mean time a Samyang / Rokinon 85mm f1.4 might fit the bill for a MF lens (as they are designed for MF), they are uber cheap and surprisingly good, like your Kung Pao flashes might be well worth giving a go especially at only $300 a hit!

  • Roeder said on June 17, 2013

    @ Christopher: I am what you would call a very enthusiastic enthusiast, not a pro. That said, I just went from the D3 (sold last week) to the X-Pro1. I had the 28-70mm f/2.8 (the “Beast” as it’s known) and I hear you about the weight.

    The X-Pro1 is NOT a replacement to the D3 if you need the quickness. Not even close. It’s a killer rig, but (as I am quickly realizing) it commands a completely different approach to shooting. You have much less opportunity presented to you, because the reaction time (focus acquisition, focus tracking, shutter response, frame rate, etc) is just not there on the Fuji compared to a cheetah like the D3.

    It forces you to call back into play your anticipatory skills. Not that these have gone away with a D3 or similar body, but they are much more of a requirement here. Probably why the X series is looked at so fondly by retro geeks who miss their film bodies.

    When held up to cameras from, let’s face it, not THAT long ago, the X-Pro1 would be a fine performer AF wise.

    The files though… GOOD LORD. And the lenses. Top notch, through and through.

    I would say get the X100s to jump into the x system and wait to see what the X-Pro2 or whatever it is turns out to be before you stop using the D3.

  • ealvarez said on June 17, 2013

    Dear Zack,

    Nice follow up review per always,

    I have a non technical question. Who’s the girl with green (half) blouse? She’s purty :) Do you have more pictures of her? IF there are many girls looking like that in Cuba I wanna go there to take pictures of them ^_^


  • Kayar said on June 17, 2013

    Great post Zack. I a reading your blog for a ling time now and they are inspirational as always.
    I am a wedding photographer from Switzerland and switched all my gear to Fuji. Now I work with the X Pro 1 and all Fuji lenses. My Nikon D800 and 3 Nikon lenses are used now at every wedding but only 30%. 70% of my wedding work is done by the X Pro 1. Awesome camera. Slow Focus, but you can work around. At the end only the image matters.

  • Joel Smith said on June 17, 2013

    @zack would you take this on a commercial shoot? Would you or have you gotten ride of your DSLR’s?

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Joel – I have taken them on commercial shoots. I still have one DSLR hanging out as a back up and the occasional need for DSLR video. I don’t take it on jobs any longer though. It’s collecting dust.

  • MikeScottPhoto said on June 17, 2013

    Regarding the idea of a portrait version of the X100s, Fuji has done it before. The GW690 6×9 rangefinder was available with either a 60mm or 90mm lens. How excellent would it be to have a pair of X100s cameras and that’s it? The 35mm lens camera over one shoulder and an 85mm lens version over the other.. I’m no engineer, but it doesn’t seem like it would be too difficult for Fuji to pull this off. Have you sent them a letter of encouragement yet? :)

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Mike – Yes. I’ve requested that over and over and over again!


  • pixie said on June 17, 2013

    I have an X100, i actually bought it WAY back when you first started talking about it (and a few others). I bought it in NYC instead of a 135mm L at B&H. I love that little thing. I’ve never done the firmware upgrade and I STILL love it. I want the 100s I admit 😀 so bad!! gear lust! So I keep my little x100 and use it when I go on vacation and don’t want to bring my big DSLR. but I must admit (and it may be because its not an s version and the first one has its issues) I feel like have so much more control over focus with my 5D Mark iii. I adore the canon 5Ds I just feel 100% in control of it. Might just be from using it more though. Maybe its the menu on the X100.. but again need to update. Your post makes me want that 100s, but I will resist as I am very happy with my kit right now! I WILL RESIST! lol :) thank you Zack, I always enjoy your posts!

  • kyle hale said on June 17, 2013

    Love this little camera. Just got back from a motorcycle trip this weekend and took the x100s. Man, it’s so much nicer taking this camera than my bulky d800/35mm. You should try using an eye-fi card so you can upload to your mobile phone, edit the file with app of choice (vsco fan boy here) and upload to 500px, vsco grid, etc. Zack! thanks for the great review. Join the x100s facebook group to talk shop!

  • Christopher said on June 17, 2013

    @Roeder. I hear you. It’s pretty much what I’ve been thinking and I appreciate your input. Thanks, man.

  • Massimo said on June 18, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    nice followup. Only “small” complain I have on the camera if that AWB tends a bit towards the “cool” zone, at least on my X100s.
    Have you noticed the same behavior?

    If you have time have a look to Iridient Developer. I’m constantly getting better results then LR4.4 out of X100s RAWS: http://www.thevisualexperience.org/web/processing-x100s-raw-with-iridient-developer-part-2/


  • Dade Freeman said on June 18, 2013

    So good to hear all this good stuff, I am in the market to ditch the big camera and go with something more ‘practical’, you are def selling the idea to me Zack :)

  • Peter said on June 19, 2013

    Nice follow up Zack. Still waiting for my x100s

    I have an old Nikon sb-26 flash, will that work with the x100s or will I risk burning the hotshoe?

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    I’d do a bit of google searching on that but I imagine you’ll be fine. Just google it a bit though. I doubt there’s an issue.


  • John Clarkson said on June 19, 2013

    I went to Pratt in the early ’90s, film and photography, and my main camera back then was a gnarly vintage Ricohflex. I still have that camera and love it dearly, both for what it is and for what it does. In 2006 I bought a Nikon D200. If that Nikon fell down a well, I’d nary bat an eye. I have a frank and open dislike for it; it’s a cold lump of electronics.

    Last night I ordered a X100s. Based on your reviews, based on your images and based on X100s I played with for a couple precious minutes a few weeks back. I’m already in love, the way I love my old Ricohflex. So, yeah, Zack, thanks for being a part of that and for putting the time in.

  • Phil said on June 19, 2013

    Hey, i got a question a little bit of topic for you guys concerning my x100s … it seems to me that the Focusring has a little bit play in it … not much maybe half a millimeter but noticeable … so im wondering if anyone of you guys has observed the same with his x100s ?

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Phil – Half a millimeter? Really? Half. of. a. millimeter. ?? C’mon now. Go shoot. I’d only worry if it was half an inch.


  • Mike said on June 19, 2013

    The Fuji Pro kicks my ass every time I use it. But I usually deserve it for not thinking some basic element of photography through. It is making me a better photographer. Thanks for the inspiration. Peace.

  • DocEd said on June 21, 2013

    Hi Zack! Read your review twice already. Got my X100S later than my XE1 and it’s been with me most of the time. AF is much faster than the XE though both have great IQ. I shoot purely JPEGS now. I am truly amazed with its high ISO performance very close to my Canon Mark III attached to the Tamron 24-70 f2.8VC. Thank you for your great reviews.

  • Joe Ethridge said on June 21, 2013

    Zack, Just thinking out loud here, but have you considered a Contax 90mm f/2.8G lens? I realize that you’d need to have it Rube Goldberged and all but it was a crazy good lens for portraiture. I see they’re bringing more money ($300 or so). I sold mine for about $100. The micro 4/3rds had an adapter made with a manual focus wheel. Like I said, just thinking……Cheers buddy!

  • Felipe Curvello Anciaes said on June 22, 2013

    I’ve made my first experience with high speed sync and x100s’ shutter leaf. I’m very happy with the result: http://500px.com/photo/38192470

  • Christian Anderl said on June 23, 2013

    i did quite a lot portrait shootings with the Canon 1Gx lately, quite the same minimalistic kit as on your photo (http://christiananderl.com/blog/2012/canon-g1x) and even the G12. both did a great job but were not suitable for professional work. this was where i considered to give the fuji X100 a try. after reading this i´m already one step further without having purchased one yet. thanks for this great and detailled “review” (not sure if i would call that a review, more a really interesting story :)
    rock on

  • Ryan said on June 24, 2013

    Hi there Zack,
    Is there any chance you will land your hand on the latest Ricoh GR V? I always love Ricoh GR, hope there is a Zack’s version review on it. :)

  • richard tompkins said on June 24, 2013


    ok, question… the IR Sync for high sync speeds — the transmitter is on the camera of course (duh) but what is on the lights? i’m using canon 580ex as my off cam flash, haven’t tried the cheapo models you’re raving about yet… any advice?

    and… why the IR vs the off camera cords? more freedom to move? thank you!

    also… sure WOULD LOVE LOVE LOVE to see more images from you. could you post more of those? please?????

  • Zack said on June 25, 2013

    @Richard – My dream vacation would have less children. :)

    The Canon flashes do not have a built in optical slave. You need to get something like a Wein hotshoe slave ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/62712-REG/Wein_940_030_HS_Hot_Shoe_Slave.html )

    Put your Canon on that and now you’re set for any other flash or IR trigger to fire your Canon flash.


  • Jason Keefer said on June 24, 2013

    I returned my X100S. I’ll wait for the Black Limited Edition X100S. Many reasons! But most of all, because of the shadow clipping in all JPGs. I’m baffled as to why not many people are not mentioning this fact in their raves and reviews. It comes down to Fujifilm rushing the production and lacking in Quality Control.

  • Zack said on June 25, 2013

    @Jason – I’m not having an issue with clipped shadows. I don’t find any odd differences between the x100s and the X-Pro1. There are some subtle differences between the x and the original but not enough to return. IMHO.


  • Mike said on June 25, 2013

    Hey Zach. Is there any difference in max shutter speed when using a TTL cord vs the IR trigger?

  • Zack said on June 27, 2013

    @Mike – Not really.

  • Eirik said on June 25, 2013

    hi Zack,
    so you check-in your Phase at the airport?

  • Zack said on June 27, 2013

    @Eirik – Oh crimey! NEVER! If I have to fly with the Phase then I use a different bag.


  • Richard said on June 25, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Been a massive fan of your lighting tutorials for a few years now, I’ve been out of the photography game for a year or so now after the birth of my son, but now I have a ready made young model on hand 24/7 I am slowly getting back into it! I’m looking at mirrorless cameras currently and have had some experience using the X100, but I’m edging toward an XE-1 for the interchangeable lenses and the fact I can use older manual primes via an adapter.

    Loved this blog post, time for me to re-subscribe to teh RSS methinks! Also, I noticed you were wishing for focus peaking to be added to the XPro1, well looks like your wish has been granted as Fuji just announced a couple of new firmware updates and focus-peaking will be coming in July! Bingo! :)

  • Jason Keefer said on June 25, 2013

    Interesting, Zach. It looks to me that all of your images in this post have zero deep shadow detail (except for maybe the last one of which has very little deep shadows in the scene). Take a closer look at your original JPG files. I have a couple X-PRO1s (and an X100) that behave entirely different than the new X100S. The XPRO1 JPG shadow rendition is amazing as well as the X100. I can control these shadows (& highlights) very easily by changing between -2 to 0, unlike the X100s. When I altered these settings the images looked very muddy and unusable.

    Now this JPG shadow clipping “phenomena” (as Fujfilm will describe in their future firmware updates) also occurs in my X20. I don’t really mind since it’s just a point and shoot snap shot camera.

    I also got heavy moire when shooting the X100S through a screen window. The sensor also had a streak of dead pixels (showed green) which actually moved around slightly. Very strange. Surely, it was defective.

    I am a 100% Fujifilm shooter.
    (two XPRO1s, X100: main cameras
    X20, & XS1: back up cameras)

    I hope they come around and pay attention to the pros again. Now they announce the viewfinderless X-M1. Not exactly what I hoped for.

    Thanks for letting me rant.

  • EvilTed said on June 26, 2013

    A Fuji is as good as a Leica?

    You are comparing a Honda Civic to a AMG Mercedes..


  • Zack said on June 27, 2013

    I’m not saying the quality is better. Remember that a Leica is designed to outlive the technology inside of it. What I am saying is they are no longer the working Joe or Jane’s camera company. They have become a boutique high end camera company. The working photographer’s small and discreet camera is now a Fuji.


  • Sam said on June 26, 2013


    I read over on the FujiX-Forum about a user of the x100s. He was of the opinion that shadows were clipping, but when he changed the colour space settings in camera to sRGB, a lot of shadow detail came back in the jpegs.

    Here’s a link to the thread and I’m not technical enough to know if the guy is right, but thought you may be interested.


  • Lean Sanchez said on June 26, 2013

    I love #Fujifilm and they love us. Latest firmware update for X-Pro1 and X-E1 allows me to use the down button to choose AF points. Now I don’t have to look like picking my nose every time I compose a shot. Sorry just too excited with my camera!

  • Antônio Emygdio said on June 26, 2013

    Hi Zack, any thoughts on the new X-M1 versus x100s?


  • Zack said on June 27, 2013

    @Antonio – I think that new X-M1 looks awesome but not as an x100 replacement. What’s odd is I’m more interested in that than I ever was in the X-E1.


  • Peter MacDonald said on June 27, 2013

    Hi Zack
    Thanks for the follow up on the Fuji x100s and the X-Pro. It is always great to get such enthusiasm and understanding.
    Like you, i have been using these to cameras exclusively over the last four months and have come to the same conclusions you have in your review. Simply, I am more motivated to going out shooting every day. I am enjoying it more and producing a wider range of images. I doesn’t get much better than that.
    I had been contemplating the Fuji 60mm lens on offer as a portrait prime lens when I read your review and the suggestion of the Leica 90mm as a better alternative. I have no experience with the Leica lens so any info as to why this could be your possible option and what adapter mount you would you use would be very useful.
    Thanks again Petef

  • REARless said on June 27, 2013

    I went to see Social Distortion in Pittsburgh last night, I had my X100s in tow. While being frisked by the goons at the door the one asked the other if my camera was allowed in. “As long as it doesn’t have a removable lens, it is allowed in.”


  • william piacenti said on June 27, 2013

    Hi Zack! Just when I had a weird memory card reader short out a few memory cards on vacation and my 5dmkii acting funny for no reaason after 4 great years, I thought about the fuji – then i thought – I should see what Zack is up to these days – sure enough – the fuji is the first blog post that comes up when i hit your site! Leave it to Zack to save the day and echo my thoughts completely! Keep up the great work! You’ve been a huge source of inspiration ever since i attended One Light!

  • Jason Keefer said on June 28, 2013

    @Sam – Thanks for the post. That describes the problem to the T. And yes, my camera was set to sRGB, I just checked the original files.

    I’m actually kind of glad that it’s crap. This allows me to pick up a bunch of late model Black original X100 cameras for about half the price.

    I’m sticking to old faithful for now. I really hope Fuji improves.


  • Ben said on June 28, 2013

    Ok Zack – I done did it this time. I have had an X100 since Nov. 2012 and love it! It is my go-to camera for family shots/personal work. I am branching out into more semi-pro work (weddings, family portrait shoots) and didn’t *quite* trust the X100 for mission-critical PJ type work. So… I just ordered the X100s and intend to use it as a personal camera and for PJ wedding work. Compared to the X100, do you think the AF/MF performance is better enough to give me that extra little bit of confidence for mission-critical PJ work?

    I should add – I have two Canon DSLRs (5d/50D) for portraiture/backup, so the X100s would not be my only body.

  • Graham said on June 28, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Great to see you back on your blog, I’ve been re-reading your Fuji review for months hoping for the next instalment.

    I shoot both digital and film, digital for clients (mainly product photography) and film for pretty much everything else.
    I can relate to your conversations regarding your Phase. My main film camera is a Hasselblad 503cx and I constantly get stopped in the street or in cafe’s by people (mainly old guys with beards) wanting to talk to me about it and reminisce about the days they used to shoot film. My wife couldn’t believe it the first few times we were out and I was carrying it. Now we call it getting “Hasseled”!

    I put together a cheap lighting kit (yongnuo 560exIII’s & wireless transmitter, light stands, soft box, umbrella) after buying and studying your one light field guide and I even managed to work out how to flash from my Hasselblad using the wireless trigger with a pc cable to hot shoe widget.

    Anyway, as much as I like using my Hassy or my 35mm Asahi SP2 on the street, I would love to get my hands on a x100 or x100s to shoot some digital frames. Do you ever use them in manual focus mode? Is it easy to override the AF?

    Appreciate everything you do for photography, you’ve def helped me reach a new level with my photography, watching your critiques and following your q&a and blog, etc. I sincerely thank you for that.

  • Zack said on July 6, 2013

    @Graham – The x100 manual focus was useless. The S is far better and quite useful now. I use it quite a bit. Very easy to switch between focus modes.


  • Michael McQueen said on June 29, 2013

    Hey zack! Love your work and your reviews and insight into the amazing system that is fuji.

    Quick question.. What bag would you recommend for travelling South America for 6months with a x-pro1, x-e1, x100s, hasselblad xpan and the fuji’s 14, 35 and 55-200 and obviously film and little bits and bobs. I am having a hard time finding a bag that will help me look discrete.

    Cheers mate.

  • Zack said on July 6, 2013

    This Think Tank bag in the post works great. I think it would work for you.


  • Gabriel said on June 29, 2013

    Hello Zack.
    I do work every single day with as a photojournalist.
    My X100 do have a 28 mm attachment, I guess you have never tried that one did you?
    My X-Pro has 96.000shots.
    No joke, Fuji told me so… and I had to send it to service because shutter was KO. ( They looked somehow astonished after reading the counter…)
    Once back from service repair watercolour effect appeared, and some severe sensor dust issues.
    have you experinced this?
    Specially in red.
    I do have an extreme 8mm samyang 2,8.
    I freaking weird but get an absolutelly incredible quality. Recommendable and not expensive.
    Please, keep sharing thoughts, i really like your writing.

  • Gabriel said on June 29, 2013

    One thing.
    I’m not a trigger maniac.
    I really work a lot, that’s why so many shots. :)

  • Wim Winters said on June 30, 2013

    Thanks, Zack for another great blog!
    I had the same frustration as you with the 60mm Fujilens, but try the continuos focus. It helps a lot!

    all best,


  • Colin Nicholls said on July 1, 2013

    Looks likes you have the fuji thing all sorted out, I myself cant wait for that 52mm its a shame as you said that the zeiss lenses aren’t anything different form the fuji ones, thanks for sharing!

  • Joel Turrell said on July 3, 2013

    Zack, I’m late to your party, because I’ve only had an XPro-1 for about 3 weeks, but I wanted to drop a note in about Life Without DSLRs. I’m an old man, age 70, and have shot as amateur since I got a Leica IIIg for Christmas at age 13, and I’ve used Rolleis, Linhof 23, various film SLRs from Leica, Canon, Nikon, and Retina, and lest I forget, a Kalart and a Speed Graphic. Throughout my life, I have always used the smallest camera possible to get the quality I needed, whether shooting for myself, the school yearbooks, or the daily college paper. I shoot Division 1 sports as a volunteer for the local college. For that work, I moved to Nikon DSLRs, but this year I will be using the E-M5 and the GH3, and I hope, the long zoom on the XPro-1. Using the Nikons feels like the old days with the Speed Graphic, a camera I hated but mastered. I doubt that anyone ever LOVED a Speed Graphic (not even Weegee), and very few love a D4 or D800. It’s possible to be unemotional about the E-M5 and the GH3 (although I’m not), but no one is unemotional about the Fuji X cameras. Some may hate them, lots of folks rag on them, but most of you guys love ’em. And I’m beginning to see why. This past week end, though, I did finally hit the wall and encounter a situation where I had to admit that the mirrorless gear is still inferior to the DSLR. I was at the Grand Am road race at Watkins Glen. While the freeze-up in the EVF does not impair shooting basketball or lacrosse, it does lower your rate of keeper shots when shooting bursts in car racing. Mind you, DSLRs have their issues when panning a sports car at speed, but nothing like these new guys on the block. I suspect it will take another 2 or 3 years to push the DSLR out of the car racing business. OTOH, I handheld a 300mm lens on a m4/3 this week end, and I could never handhold a 600mm on my Hikons.

    I’m grateful that you are out there to help newbies to the Fuji system like me. By waiting, I did avoid the initial batch of problems, but this is not a kid’s camera, and I can tell that to get the best from it, I’m going to need a lot of tutoring from you and the user community.

    Joel Turrell
    Lewisburg, PA

  • Zack said on July 6, 2013

    Thanks for writing Joel!


  • David Smithson said on July 4, 2013

    I’ve been shooting in Indonesia for ten years as a pro – easy, no, but has been great fun. Editorial and books. I was a manual Nikon FM2/3 kind of guy until I got my Leica Digilux 2 in 2005, and shot my first 5 years of Java on it. Awesome, beautiful, chunky, very weather-proof and totally volcanic-eruption-proof – a truly personal camera with edge-to-edge 5 prime lenses on it. Very cool and very, very quiet. Rubbish at seeing green, beautiful with Asian skin as its reds, browns and yellows were too sexy for words. And so, so slow – like shooting on a Pentax 6×7. Then I got a Fuji x100 a couple of years ago. It’s unreal. All colour blows me away. JPEG only. The best auto white balance I’ve seen. So very unobtrusive in a country where shooting documentary for a living is a relatively dangerous past-time that can easily have you thrown out of the country for being snoopy. The general reaction to the x100 is that it is ‘antik’ – antique, a grandad’s camera – and that is exactly how I’d like to appear here. Anything but professional. So easy to carry. The police laugh at it. Mad ISO. So very sharp. I’ve used the 28mm converter and it’s good – not as sharp, but useful. Oh come on, give me another converter that’ll give me a 75mm or 80mm or 90mm – Fuji, get a grip. And give me a 20/24mm when the next disaster hits. You’ve got a class camera here. Just one more converter, or two… Go on, we know you can do it. You’ve beaten Leica hands-down, all the way. The quietest camera I have ever used for the past 27 years.

  • Bradley said on July 4, 2013

    I see you have the $230 ergonomic kit on your x100s – really?? $230??? Is it worth it?? Seems crazy expensive and then lose the hotshoe to boot.

    Looking forward to a workshop with you at GPP in Dubai.

  • Zack said on July 6, 2013

    I didn’t pay that. Is that the retail price?


  • Eric said on July 7, 2013

    I betcha that new flash you are waiting to try out is the LP180. I am patiently waiting, too.

  • Zack said on July 11, 2013

    @Eric – YEP! And it is awesome. Just ordered three of them. Yes. Ordered. And paid for.


  • Seraj said on July 7, 2013

    Oh Zack,

    I think the proverbial nail in the coffin had struck, for me it’s a lot to do with the mindset and the ergonomics, I love my M6TTL and although I enjoy the sheer ego stroking size of the D800 sometimes I have lusted after the xpro1. If you were acquiring a kit right now would you wait out the peotent2 reveal or just go for it, with Fuji bringing better af locking and focus peaking to the xpro1 it seems like they intend to keep it around.

    Honestly other than overcoming the initial self doubt of professional self presentation, as a college student and aspiring pro, being able to expand my kit for under two thousand a lens is also really appealing.


  • Stefan said on July 8, 2013

    I wish I could get my hands on a Fuji. I own a EOS 60D and a Olympus OM-D with various lenses each. I really like the light weight, image quality and digital viewfinder of the OM-D. But it is clumsy as hell (and I have small hands) to use and not very intuitive. Especially on events. That is why I still carry around the 60D when speed matters.

    Honestly I never thought you’d switch to mirrorless cameras because you said you live in the wider range of focal lengths. Nice to see you tried it out anyway. Would you still recommend DSLRs for beginners? Did you really sell your DSLR stuff?

  • John said on July 8, 2013

    I have 3 of those flashes and run them off Cactus v5 trans/rec units. Work beautifully. Tried it on the Xpro1 and again, work flawless. The cactus 5’s were $70 per pair so 3 pairs give me all the lighting I need (I use my old film gear flashes for backlighting etc if the 3 aren’t enough).

  • Bradley said on July 9, 2013

    Well, not $230; $229.95


    Ouch!! Then lose the hotshoe? So the camera flash is enough to trigger your off camera strobes??

    See you’re having a GPP show in London; might see you there.

  • Zack said on July 11, 2013

    @Bradley – Ouch! Get aftermarket.

  • Paolo said on July 9, 2013

    Hi Zack! Compliments for your awesome shots and for your interesting posts. I’ve a x-pro1 and when I use the ovf and a lens like 35 f 1.4 for portraits from 1,2 or 3 meters the pictures are out of focus. No problem with the evf. Cold you suggest me something?
    Best regards and have a nice week.

  • Zack said on July 11, 2013

    @Paolo – This will sound weird but you have to feel that OVF focus. There’s something about the feel of the camera when I feel the lens focusing and I know whether or not it grabbed focus. You’ve also got to make sure there is nothing in that focus box in the background that could throw it off.


  • Larry said on July 9, 2013

    Hey Zach – Been following you for a few years now and wanted to thank you for your honesty when it comes to gear. I’ve never been a fan of “I’ve got this gear – so I’m good” as in my mind it’s always been what you do with what you’ve got instead of just what you’ve got.

    I’ve reread this piece along with your initial bar scene quite a few times. I’m intrigued by the Fuji and will rent it before I take the deep dive into ownership. That said – your writing style reminds me of a guy that used (maybe still does) to write a monthly column for Outdoor Photographer Magazine. He published insights – not f-stops and shutter speeds – and I learned more from those insights than I ever could have learned from raw photographic data.

    “Photography is as much a mental and emotional art form as it is a technical artform.” Great quote and sums up the relationship between the artist and machine when photographing any subject. I admire your writing style and look forward to the next post.

  • Jacob said on July 9, 2013

    You mention this remote shutter release http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008YCP9FC/ref=cm_sw_su_dp When I read the description it doesn’t mention Fuji or the X-E1. I’ve did some research and most canon remotes work with the x-e1. Is this the case with this remote also?

    I’ve recently traded in my sony nex gear and took advantage of the X-E1 lens deal through b&h photo. The X-E1 has been quite an adjustment but I’ve really enjoyed learning and discovering all the camera has to offer.
    Thank you Zack keep up the great work!

  • Zack said on July 11, 2013

    @Jacob – That’s the one I believe.


  • Christian said on July 9, 2013

    Man oh man, I agree with you 100% Zack. I use Fuji’s for most of my event work and documentary shoots, and they work flawlessly. The sensor on the xpro 1 is simply amazing, and that 35mm lens… Yeah, thats what I’m talking about. For fashion shoots and portraits I use a Leica M with a sweet 50mm Summilux lens, but the Fuji is almost up there with the Leica. Now, with this being said, I was never a big fan of DSLR’s. They are just too big for me to carry around all day without getting angry at some point, and that is a huge deal for me, especially since I prefer location shoots over the studio any day. Fuji hit the spot, and for 80% of my shoots they are perfect. For the other 20% of the shoots I prefer my Leica, just because they are magical (but thats another story).

  • Armando Solares said on July 10, 2013


    Hey man, we met in St. Pete a while back. Glad you are doing well, dig the review. I just bought myself a Fuji x20. So far I love it. I just wanted something small (point and shoot) I could take with me that has better control than an iPhone. I tried to read through most of the comments and the one thing that wasn’t mentioned was how the camera handles dark places, or low light. I have 5D MKIIs and they are phenomenal in low light. A lot of my business takes me to convention centers which most often than not are lit dimly or flat out poorly. So I have to make due with what’s available in order not to disturb speakers, audience and so on. I love the Canons, but the kit gets heavier every year. I am considering the switch to the fuji’s for their size and light weight. But I need to know if they perform comparatively well to the MKIIs in low light. What’s your take on that? Cheers. I look forward to your reply.

  • Zack said on July 11, 2013

    @Armando – They work fine. You may find an issue with not having a long and fast enough lens though if you rely on something like an 80-200 a lot.


  • rickcollins said on July 25, 2013

    Ok Zack I just poured through all the musings here after reading your review and updates. Nice work as always.
    I bought the X100 thinking I would use it as a travel/street camera, but it just doesn’t fit my style so I gave it to my wife. I can only hope that the S version actually fires when you squeeze the trigger – with no hesitation. I know I’m spoiled as a Nikon user in that when I shoot no-look street shots with the D4 the shutter fires with just a breath of pressure. I wish the X100 was similar. I don’t need rapid fire. I just want one shot. But I want it to fire when I say so.
    Can you tell us, is the shutter more responsive on the S to go along with the reported “better auto focus, or the same as the X100?
    I don’t have time to compose, say “cheese” to my subject, focus and shoot. I just want to shoot.

  • Zack said on July 26, 2013

    @Rick – It is not a Nikon in that regards. It’s better but not like that.


  • Dave said on July 28, 2013

    My x100 died. (Yes, the original “What, me focus?” x100) The good aperture blades stick and everything overexposes problem we all know and love. Fortunately, Fuji will, at my shop’s request will fix it this time, but they can’t fix my extreme distrust of the faux-retro cam.

    Now I have a real problem. Can I use the dSLRs that the Fuji snail focus cameras killed even though they still work and are seemingly not as dead as the Fuji. Also, with the latest Fuji firmware update that was sorta f—-d up and will now require those Fuji X-Pro users who updated to send it back to be fixed, can those users use dead dSLRs until Fuji pulls its head out and fixes the Fuji killed Fujis?

    Oh, and are the overexposed frames I shot with the sticky-peeper x100 still of better quality that the perfectly exposed, yet too small (for what?) m43 frames from my Oly PEN EP-3? Can I blow the blown Fuji files up more than the small m43 files?

    Oops! Too snarky. Love reading your stuff Zack and enjoy your photography, but the dSLR claim is stick a big fat snark target on your forehead. (I’d invite you to shoot waterfowl on the Tamagawa, esp in flight with your Fuji when you come to Japan, but seeing what you did on DigtalRev TV, you just might pull it off.)

  • Zack said on July 28, 2013

    @Dave – Snarks allowed!


  • Mike said on July 28, 2013

    Do you mind sharing with us your Jpeg setup (color, Sharpness, highlight, shadow, etc) and if you use the Advance filter? and what is your best Film Simulation please :)

  • Zack said on July 28, 2013

    @Mike – I keep everything at standard or zero and deal with it in post.


  • James Duffy said on July 30, 2013

    Hey Zack and all,

    Maybe this is common knowledge as I’m new to the Fuji funwagon, but someone recommended I try Iridient Developer (ID) vs ACR/LR…and I thought, “Raw converter nuances, blah, blah, yada, yada”. I downloaded the trial and it was “O.M.G!” No wonder the in-camera jpegs look so much better than ACR.

    Evidence: http://www.thevisualexperience.org/web/camera-image-quality-why-dpreview-may-be-sometimes-wrong/

  • Zack said on July 30, 2013

    @James – Yeah. I’m trying that out soon. Just been busy and I have not had the need to do so.


  • EvilTed said on July 31, 2013


    I’ve been shooting Fuji’s as long as you have m8 😉
    Had an X-Pro1 and all primes, have an XE-1, M adapter, Contax G adapter, Zeiss 90mm G2, Lots of Leica glass.
    I sold the 18-55 zoom that came with the XE-1 :(
    Now I bought another Fuji 35mm to put on the XE-1 but I may return it and sell the XE-1 and get a x100s instead.

    Big question:
    Is the x100s IQ as good as the XE-1 + 35mm F/1.4?
    AF speed and all the rest is not as important to me as final IQ.



  • Zack said on August 1, 2013

    @Ted – You’ll be happy with the IQ. Yep.


  • Evil Ted said on August 2, 2013

    I sold the XE-1 body for $575 and the 18-55mm lens for $550, so I’m on the waiting list :)
    I may just take it to Vietnam instead of the Leica.
    Less worry…



  • Anastasia said on August 2, 2013

    Zack, you changed the way I photograph, the way I approach photography in general. You were the inspiration that at the end of the day made me enrol in photography school (after ttending online your creativeLive workshop):-) I am over the moon that you are using fujis (as I sold all canon gear I had to buy my little x-pro and a few lenses)
    Now at school I feel a bit as “an odd one out” virtully everyone has a Canon (no Nikons in our intake!)next year we will be srudio shooting and I can’t shoot tethered with Fuji…
    Two questions:
    Is there a way aroud the tethered problem? Is there a camera I could use just for studio year (I so don’t want canon or nikon but maybe I am wrong and should just get a Mark II, can’t afford Mark III anyway)

    More importantly – and this is a bit of a profan question, though so important to me – photography is my second career, I’m 40, have two very young children and a job that will end soon. For someone who can’t afford to do unpaid internships for years, which area of photography is the quiquest to get up to speed with (get employed/find clients)? I have another 3 years of school in front of me so plenty of opportunities to tailor my portfolio etc to a certain type of photography (e.g table top product photography, or flower macro :-)))

    It would be great if you could answer those questions, though I am like number 300 comment here, so would anderstand if it didn’t happend:-)

  • Zack said on August 2, 2013

    Hey Anastasia – The workaround for tethering right now is using EyeFi cards but it’s not the best work around and often screws up.

    Easiest areas to start turning some money? Family Portraits and headshots. You can start casting a fairly wide net there.


  • Anastasia said on August 3, 2013

    @Zack, thank you:-)

  • Ben said on August 4, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    With regards to a portrait lens, are you going to be getting the 56mm f1.2 when it drops next year?

    Cheers Ben

  • Zack said on August 6, 2013

    @Ben – YES. I want that lens. Very much want bad yes. :) Still need a 90’ish though.


  • HeartBeat said on August 6, 2013

    Zack, I got your book its great so far.. I am on page 13 and one sentence just stroked me ” People who get passionate about the gear usually have the most boring photos in the world” ! :)

  • HeartBeat said on August 6, 2013

    sorry no offense Zack I just found it funny since I know how much u loved the X100s :)

  • Zack said on August 7, 2013

    @HeartBeat – :)

  • EvilTed said on August 10, 2013

    I totally lucked out.
    Called my Leica dealer about an X100s.
    Prepaid in the morning, camera arrived 3 hours later :)

    The only thing I don’t “like” about it is the 1/1000 speed limit @ F2.
    Well, I have a Leica M3, so I’m used to this.

    Otherwise, it’s a little beauty.
    I love the digital split prism manual focus.
    It means you can nail the shot when the light is so poor that AF has lock issues.
    Now it’s getting closer to Leica in capability…

    I can’t wait for the X-Pro2 :)


  • Blake said on August 11, 2013

    I just used an X100 for my wide and a tele on my SLR for an entire wedding ceremony. Honestly, I could probably have shot the whole thing on just the X100.

    The thought when through my head and I remembered this article. Just thought I’d share.

  • Nitcha said on August 11, 2013

    A great follow up . A question for you zack . I am planning to move ahead of my point and shoot . First i thought about d5200 with 35 f1.8 lens but don’like large system . Is fujifilm xm1 a good choice with its kit zoom ? I don’t have budget for 35 f1.4 fujinon .

  • Zack said on August 11, 2013

    I haven’t tried the XM yet so I can’t say.


  • william hughes said on August 13, 2013

    Dear Zack,
    I really enjoy your comments. Before reading what nyou say, I too ditched all my expensive Canon L lenses and DSLR and bought the Fuiji X Pro1 now with all the lenses available. I totally agree with what you have said, a different mindset, no loss of quality, possibly better technically but far more creative. Does one really need all those functions you never use?! I do not take sport photographs so any autofocus problems are on the whole non existent. It now becomes an art form. I am off to Mongolia for a month, with that camera and four lenses, the 14 mm, 60 mm, 55-200mm and the 18-55mm!What a photo opportunity!!
    All the best and keep writing!
    William from Wales

  • Herk said on August 14, 2013


    Great stuff, but you need to stop!!! You are giving me major G.A.S.

    BTW – I would love to experience street photography of my old country through your eyes. So if you ever decide to visit Greece please give me a shout.

  • Bruce Bachand said on August 19, 2013

    Groovy comments, Zach.

    It’s good to see some serious and sustained thought being put in as to what these Fuji cameras can pull off.

    BTW: you could use an adaptor and put a Contax G 90mm F/2.8 on your Fuji and it would be a superb portrait lens (*I use one on my NEX-6). The lens can be had for less than $500.

  • Kellie Stapleton said on August 25, 2013

    Where’s your new website?

  • Ian Hamilton said on August 26, 2013

    If it wasn’t for weddings, I’d ditch my Nikon kit and go with Fuji completely – loving my X100 and looking forward to an X-Pro 2

  • Mauro said on August 28, 2013

    nice gas review!

    very nice review!!

    I bought x100s 6 months ago, a very good camera!

    Just a “no-street” photo:

    now I want…an x pro 2

  • Zach: I’m with you on this! Just sitting here adding up what I can get for my Canon gear and what I’ll need to spend on the Fuji gear.
    Think I’ll need to hang onto my 5D and 70-200 for the long lens work. Otherwise ready to make the jump.
    Now I can I sell myself as a wedding street photographer?

  • Pete said on September 6, 2013

    Hi Zack, really interesting review. Thank you for sharing your views. I’ve recently bought an x100s and love it. I’ve got a lot of nikon glass and am trying to weigh up selling the glass in favour of an x-pro system vs buying a new nikon body. The one killer for me is the slow sync speed of the x-pro1. 1/160 limit options outdoors especially in the Australian sun. I’d be interested to understand how you manage with this. David Hobby calls 1/200 a deal breaker for the d600. Is there anything technically limited fuji upping this limit for the next version do you think?

  • S. said on September 7, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    I do own currently the classic X100. Now the 32/1.4 lens for the x-pro is announced and will be soon availabel. I guess that you tested a pre-production sample already.

    My question would be: Is the lens on the X100/X100s is as good as the new 23/1.4? I shoot rimarley close at open aperture. So around 70cm up to 5m with apertures between 2.0-4.0. and often the main subject is at the border of the frame.

    I I am thinking about getting teh x-pro1 with that 23/1.4 instead of upgrading to the x100s. What is your view on this?

    how big is the difference in IQ of these 2 lenses?


  • Thorir said on September 7, 2013

    I’m with Ernest K. Great write-up, inspiring even, but ‘kungpao’ makes me less likely to come visiting again soon. Which is a bit of a shame, cause your site is a wealth of great info…

  • Paul said on September 11, 2013


    I am shopping for my first serious digitial (I have a M6 with 50 mm summicron). Would you suggest the X-Pro I with 35 mm, or the X 100S. I like to shoot many my friends/family and some street. In Japan right now, X-Pro with 35 mm is only $100 more expensive than the X 100s. Many thanks in advance!

  • Victor Reynolds said on September 20, 2013

    Great work Zack. I find myself using my DSLR less and less; and P&S and cameraphone more and more. After reading your piece, I’m ready to put my dollars together for an X100!

    All the best!

  • Saradindu Bose said on September 22, 2013

    Your reviews are excellent. I am into photography for a long time -Pentax ME SUPER, NIKON FM2 in film days and now Pentax k10d, Nikon d7000 with Tokina 1116. I am an architect and I love nature and landscape photography. After reading your reviews I am tempted to shift to lighter FUJI gear . What combination would you suggest? I am from India and not very sure what kind of service would FUJI provide.
    Saradindu Bose

  • Ed said on September 23, 2013

    Awesome review, I’m a huge fan, love your work, and tonight sold my DSLR… have a couple of red ringed lenses to get rid of, and then I’ll be travelling much lighter, with my XP1 X100S and a stack of very nice glass! Keep doing what you;re doing!

  • Olivier said on September 25, 2013

    Hi Zack, Interesting review. I’ve had an x100 and I sold it for my x100s, so I understand your connection to the camera. It’s an awesome piece of machinery and helps me capture images that just have that special character about them.

    One critique though…what’s your deal with Leica? You sure do mention them a lot for a guy who is totally convinced by the Fuji system. Plus you reference Fuji as the new Leica. Seriously dude…get real. Fuji is not the next Leica and it will never be…it’s still the first and only Fuji though. That’s what counts. It doesn’t need to be Leica to be great. The x100s can stand on it’s own without having to be compared to a camera that it may or may not be inspired by. It’s not really existent association to to any Leica camera is not why it’s cool.

    It’s cool because, it is a camera with charm, with awesome image quality and it’s one of those cameras you can connect to in a different way than most of the cameras out there. Love it or hate it…don’t Leica it dude.


    PS You are still awesome and all you give is appreciated.

  • Damian said on September 25, 2013

    Hi Zack

    Thanks for your reviews and your website. I went off and bought the x100s primarily due to your enthusiastic ramblings. It’s brilliant. I was traveling in California in August and it went everywhere with me. It really does change things.

  • Michael Garrett said on September 28, 2013

    Zach, Thanks for the great posts, videos, books,,, !! Bought an x pro 1, so far love it…. Has the 3.0 software addressed your concerns with the 60mm lens?

  • Damian said on September 29, 2013

    Not sure my last comment read quite right. I really enjoy your writing which is honest, witty and straight forward. Your review of the x100s caused me to but one as did the accompanying photo’s. Great stuff.

  • Zack said on October 19, 2013

    Thanks @Damian!


  • Neville said on October 7, 2013

    I used my x100 as a back up to my 7D when videoing a concert…
    only the x100 worked with out a hitch!

  • redundant said on October 15, 2013

    I have only had the x100s for 3 weeks or so but I love it. Much better camera than I am a photographer. I hope to narrow the delta a bit with practice.

    I have been trying to get the look of the photo under the EF-X20 flash section with no success. I have been setting the aperture to auto and shutter to around 1/4 second and the flash on auto. My problem is not exposure per se, but that my subjects are just out of focus. I am inducing movement to get the back ground to blur, and I think the idea is for the flash to freeze the subject more distinctly when it flashes.

    Does anyone have any setting suggestions that might give me that look? Thanks.

  • Don said on October 19, 2013

    Zack, thanks for the great insights on this camera- I travel for a living, and like to shoot everywhere I go, but up to tis point, carrying a full DSLR rig just isn’t feasible for me. I’m mostly interested in street photography, and this looks like thug ideal solution for me. But I do have a question- I live and travel in the Pacific Northwest, and much of the year, rainy or misty weather is an issue for me, so I’m concerned about damage to my cameras from moisture and humidity. I have an Olympus TG-1 that takes great little pictures, but I want to use something like this Fujifilm x100s. Are you aware of any good weather protection techniques for this or other similar cameras? Of course, if this was weather sealed, I’d be in heaven. Do you know of any camera that is close to the x100s that is weather resistant? Thanks for your time. Beautiful work, by the way. I’m inspired.

  • Saradindu Bose said on October 20, 2013


  • Scott Pacaldo said on October 22, 2013

    Hello Zack!

    I’ve done my full research about the X-Pro1 and by only with that, I’m already sold! I’m waiting for our local camera shop’s test unit and see with my own eyes how awesome Xpro1 is. I’m really excited for this! By that time, I’ll sell my Canon60D.

    While I’m waiting, I’m doing further research on the other gears to accompany my Xpro1.

    I have a question regarding the OCF ETTL Cord. Does the Xpro1 do ETTL with it using the OCF cord with the Yongnuo 560 II ? And I see you are using two 560IIs, does the one connected to the OCF cord fires off the other 560II on stand alone?

    I’m looking forward for your response. Thanks!


  • Arved Gintenreiter Photography said on November 4, 2013

    Your reviews are fantastic! The Fuji’s managed to make their own look, whether one likes or not. But going for smaller cams again is something all of us photographers look for I bet. Great to see we are at a level one can start thinking of a change – at least as backup camera. Thanks!

  • Jair said on November 9, 2013

    Hello Zack, i always follow you, you´re great. Please, I need an advice, how can i use my new x100s with studio flashes? I use profoto or bowens flashes. What adapter for PC sync do you suggest to me? Also, any other tips please let me know.

    I really excited with the idea of start working wiht my x100s.

    Thank you very much.

    Best Regards.


  • Just Alan said on November 20, 2013

    Zack, that last picture on the subway was priceless…I love it. makes you wonder just what the story was behind it.

  • DP said on November 22, 2013

    “Wow. What is that? I’ve never seen one of those.”

    Clients will stop saying that about the Fuji XYZ in a couple years; when every soccer mom and vacationer will own one. At that point you and the rest of the hipsters will have to find a new thrill to blog about.

    Zack, you feel empowered because you’ve discovered something new. After all, you’ve only been shooting for a little while. Some of us have been shooting for 3-4 decades.

    Guess what? What you’re experiencing isn’t new. Back in the film days the same thing was going on with rangefinder cameras. The *VAST* majority of moms and vacationers did NOT shoot with SLRs; they shot rangefinders, manufactured by companies like Fuji film. So don’t get too excited over finding a “smaller” and “lighter” way of working. Some have been there, done that.

    While I agree that cameras that employ mirrors will soon be dead, Canon and Nikon will continue to make larger, robust camera bodies and lenses. But they will not be using mirrors. On that, we agree.

  • Jorge Jimenez said on December 10, 2013

    Hey Zack! I wanted to tell you about a piece of equipment I found at a tag sale. I almost threw it away because I thought it was junk, but I finally realized what it was for after seeing your Kelby Training workshop. It’s the butchered top half of an old light stand with electrical tape wrapped around the bottom of it. So, instead of a piece of copper pipe, you have an extendable handle that can go from 12″ to about two feet almost instantly. I’ve also managed to use it as a mini-boom. Glad I didn’t throw it away.

  • Nasser said on January 26, 2014

    Great article and great pictures.

  • cw said on February 8, 2014

    “Some think I’m paid to say this stuff. Trust me. One hand on my heart and the other hand on the FCC laws regarding endorsements and advertising on blogs like this one”

    the FCC doesn’t regulate internet blogs

  • Zack said on February 14, 2014

  • Jan Schwarz said on February 15, 2014

    Hey Zack!

    LTTP post :) Just ordered an X-E2 with the kit zoom and I actually want to sell all my Canon gear (including a 5dmkIII and the L II versions of the 70-200 and 24-70). I’m a bit nervous now but since I just simply didn’t take it out to shoot (except when on assignment) because I was afraid to get my 10k gear damaged, I think it is the right thing for me to do.

    I just don’t have no Phase..

    You think it makes sense to keep the 5dmkIII with something like a 50mm as a backup? I mean it is a lot of money for a backup camera if I end up never using it :/

  • Jan Schwarz said on February 15, 2014

    Oh and I wanted to say thank you. I don’t know why I haven’t written this any earlier but you changed the way I think about my photography. Yes, winter played a big part too but you made me realise I need to get my ass up again. My portfolio is nothing to brag about at the moment, but if I ever should manage to change it, you did help with that. You and that lady in blue 😉


  • Mario said on February 16, 2014

    I am a zack follower from Italy . I am a photographer since 1970 … I am 53 . I bought a Fuji x100s for hiking and street photo. When I discovered that 70 % of my better photos were done with my Fuji I sold my d800 16-35 70-200 85 and 50 mm ….. Now x100s xpro1 14 (great) 35 ( super) and 60 . I am an happy man! With 1/3 the weight of my nikons. Thank you for your great reviews !!!

  • Rodney said on February 21, 2014

    Hey Zack, Great write up! So, I have thoroughly confused myself. I’m an old school guy and I am ready to get serious again about my photography. This X100S reminded me of my first 35mm a Canon Canonet 28 albeit at a Much higher price. A few years ago I very reluctantly went to digital and sold all my Nikon and Canon gear. Got a Canon G5 and was mostly happy. Have lusted for DSLRs, but I slipped into the snapshot mode and not “Real” photography. Whew, now I really want to jump back to “real” photography, but I don’t want to be tied down by tons of gear. I don’t know what photo style I’m going for, but I do want to take portraits of my family as well. I have gone back and forth between the X100S and XE-2. Now there’s the XT-1. Again I don’t want to be weighed down by too much gear, but don’t want to limit myself either. So X100S or XE-2 or XT-1 with 35mm lens. Also I know I am interested in doing mostly available and natural light. Any suggestions to help direct me would be AWESOME!.

  • Zack said on February 24, 2014

    @Rodney – Here’s my philosophy on Fuji cameras. The x100s is my every day carry camera. It’s the goes anywhere and does anything camera for me. I put it to work on paid shoots as well. Yes, it’s limited to one focal length but I already love that focal length (35mm on a full frame body). I love that it has a leaf shutter so I can sync with flash at high speeds. So it’s my little Swiss Army knife sort of camera. The XPro1 and now XT1 are more like work cameras for me. I like them for the ability to change focal lengths. My go to lenses are the 14mm, 23mm, 35mm and now the 56mm. That gives me great coverage for just about anything I need on a working job or for other work.

    I typically suggest folks to get an x100s and live with that for awhile. See where a Fuji camera fits in to your life. Maybe it supplements your current rig. Maybe it starts to take over. Then rent an XPro or XE2 and a lens or two and try that for a week and see where it takes you.


  • Jesse Moen said on February 24, 2014

    Hi Zack,

    Thanks for all the great Fuji reviews, just ordered my first x100s and it’s being delivered tomorrow. Just curious if you had to experiment a lot with menu settings and creating color profiles to get the look you wanted from them, or are you just using them how they come from the factory?


  • Zack said on February 24, 2014

    @Jesse – When I do jump into the color settings I usually add some contrast by crunching the shadows a little bit in the shadow tone setting. I leave everything else pretty much the same.


  • Andrew said on February 25, 2014

    Hi Zack great site and write ups! I’m looking to downsize from my current Nikon DSLR gear, mostly for everyday street/landscape photography, and can’t decide between the x100s and XT1, any advice? My main problem has been my reluctance to bring my gear around with me due to the size/weight. In a perfect world I would sell my current gear and get both at some point in time, but realistically if I could only get one first, which would you recommend and why? I have used a friend’s x100s and while it was a little strange at first I enjoyed using it. But given the XT1 is more familiar in terms of controls, and has just been released (for fear of an x100s replacement coming sooner rather than later), should I just get that and say a Metabones Speedbones to use for my Nikon primes? Or just an XT1 and one prime to start off? Cheers!

  • Zack said on February 25, 2014

    @Andrew – I often tell folks to get an x100s and live with that for awhile. Let that be your gateway drug into Fuji. You’ll either love it or hate it. Then see how much it supplements your DSLR gear. Maybe the x100s is all you need and you’ll be happy with that. Maybe you’ll want to dive in more. Then rent an X cam of your choice and use it for a week.


  • Andrew said on February 25, 2014

    *spelling correction for my previous comment: Metabones Speedbooster (not Speedbones haha) Thanks again!

  • Joe Martin said on March 5, 2014

    But you don’t look as important with that smaller camera :) Great write up and review. Very complete.
    Thanks Joe

  • Stanley Butterfass said on March 8, 2014

    I have admired your work for a long time and unfortunately will not be able to join you in Cuba. Hopefully
    There will be a next time?
    Would you share your custom settings for 100xs?

  • Stanley Butterfass said on March 8, 2014

    Sorry I ment fuji X100s

  • Kepano said on September 24, 2014

    Z – How do you focus the X100s when using strobes? If I dial in a high shutter, the camera thinks it’s too dark for AF, and if I try to manually focus with the OVF, the EVF kicks in and I can’t see what I’m trying to focus on. There’s plenty enough ambient for the camera to focus if set to a slower shutter. Thx!

  • Zack said on January 15, 2015

    Update the firmware. IN display settings set the camera to turn off exposure simulation in manual mode and you should be set.


  • Benny said on October 8, 2014

    Hi Zack,

    Hi Zack

    First of all, I really admired your work.

    And I bought X100s early this year after reading your X100s reviews

    After using X100s for couple of months, I found that my X100s is prone to Flare.
    Specifically for back / sidelighting

    I have clean my lens, tested without filter, but I use LH-X100 hood, with various aperture value.

    Here are some sample, do you experience the same?


  • Zack said on January 15, 2015

    Links aren’t working. Sorry!


  • Jason said on October 14, 2014

    Hey Zack, longtime reader and follower of your blog and advice. I bought an Xe1 for myself about a year and a half ago with 35mm lens. Problem is, I haven’t shot a picture with it (it seems so complicated). So it’s sat on my shelf and I’ve been using my iPhone. Which is terrible. I’m contemplating getting the Fuji X100s because it seems easier to use, but really is that a step down from the Xe1 with the 35mm? Or should I wait and get the X100t in a month? I’m a little torn. Previously I had a Leica d-lux 4 and liked it a lot for the quality, but it was slow to focus and shoot. Right now I feel like I could sell my xe1 and lens for about what I’d pay for a x100s. Thoughts? I’m not a pro, but like to shoot and ease of use is important.

  • Alexandra said on December 29, 2014

    hi, Zack :) I was googling the X100S and you have no.idea how happy I am to have discovered your blog… I have been shooting with a Canon DSLR + 3 lenses for some 3 years now… and though ima happy with the results, ima so tired of that bulky equipment… I find myself more and more reluctant to carry it around, when I go out with it, I hate its weight, when I go out without it, I always happen see something I want to photograph and I hate I have missed it lol :) soooo I started researching compact-size great performing cameras and here I am, reading avidly everyting you have written about the X100s… the more I look at your images, the more I come to realize this is the camera I want… thank you so much for the great posts and awsome images… have a great new year!! :) Alex

  • Che Birch-Hayes said on November 1, 2015

    Awesome, cant wait to hear what you think of the x pro 2 and whatever x100 update that accompanies it!!

  • MarcW said on April 12, 2016

    Zack, you rock. About to get a 2nd hand X100t the day after tomorrow and I’m reading just about everything there is to read on the interwebs. Your reviews from the X100 onwards are so convincing it’s almost frightning. I’m in love with it already. And I’m definitely in love with your style of writing about photography. And I adore your shots. Did I mention you rock?

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