A Battery, Some Rice & A Bit Of Hope

One of the great aspects of using the Fuji X system, is it’s portability.

You don’t always have to carry a camera bag when you go out to shoot.  You can simply put your spare battery, extra lens, etc. in your coat/jacket pocket.  Though, if you do do this, please be careful about leaving items in your pockets!

When i was in Ottawa/Gatineau last weekend, i went out with only my X-Pro1 and a spare battery that i had put in the inside pocket of my winter jacket.  Perfect!  No camera bag to haul around.

However, when i got back home in Montreal, i completely forgot about the spare battery being in the inside pocket of my winter coat.

Having forgotten about the battery, i thought nothing of it when i threw my winter coat into the washing machine.  I only remembered that i  had put the spare battery in the inside of my winter coat, when the battery started to rattle around in the dryer!

Well, i certainly don’t recommend putting you camera battery through a full washing cycle in your washing machine, let alone a few minutes in your dryer.  However, it seems that the battery came out of this unfortunate adventure unscathed.

Once i had taken the battery out of the dryer, i checked it for any external damage and there was none.  I then proceeded to put it in my charger and the green light lite up and stayed solid, meaning there were no issues with the battery.

I then put the battery in my camera and the camera started up fine and i got three bars on the battery meter.  So far so good.

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Now, i am no battery expert and i have no positive proof that the battery is not somehow internally damaged.  Though, my thoughts are that if there was water damage inside, there would have been a short and the battery would not operate.

Furthermore, the battery itself seems to be sealed quite good, so perhaps water had a hard time finding a way into the inside of the battery.  And perhaps, since it was in the inside pocket of my winter jacket, it did not completely get submerged in water.

Just to be on the safe side, i put the battery in a Ziploc bag full of rice and left it in the bag for a few days.  I can’t say with any certainty that this took care of any residual water that may have been inside the battery, but it was the only measure that i could take aside from putting a blow dryer to it.

Lesson learnt:  check all pockets of your jacket/coat before throwing it into the washing machine.

Who dares wins.

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Making Your Own “Lens Hood” For The Fuji X100T

As i had mentioned in my last post about the lens hood for the X100T (https://d7100shooter.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/lens-hood-for-the-x100t/), you don’t necessarily need to use an actual lens hood to protect the lens on your X100.

If you merely want to protect the front element of the lens on your X100, you can simply use a couple of filters and here is how you do it.

First and foremost, don’t spend a lot of money on the filters because you are going to have to break/dissemble one.  I bought a set of three 49mm Polaroid filters from Amazon: a UV filter, a CPL filter and a Fluorescent filter.  I used the UV filter and Fluorescent filter for this little project.

The first thing you need to do, is take off the protective ring from the front of the lens to expose the 49mm thread.

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In the above photo, you can see that the protective ring from the front of the lens has been removed, exposing the 49mm thread of the lens.

Once that is done, you will need to sacrifice one of your filters, preferably the fluorescent one.  You are going to need the UV filter.

If you are able to unscrew the retaining ring in the filter and take out the glass that way, great.  If not, you are going to have to break the glass and remove it.  In regards to the Polaroid filters i bought, the retaining ring does not seem to come out, so i had to break the glass.

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Above is a photo of the fluorescent filter without it’s glass.

Once you have cleaned out the glass from the filter ring, you have to reverse mount it onto the 49mm thread of the lens.  This will be your “adapter”.

Next, you will have to mate together the UV filter and the protective ring from the lens.  This will form the remainder of your “lens hood”.

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Above is a photo of the protective lens ring and the UV filter mated together.

The next step would be to screw on the UV filter/protective ring onto your “adapter”.  That’s it!  You now have a “lens hood”.

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Above photo shows the completed “lens hood” attached to the front of the lens on my X100T.

I have tested this setup and i have received no “error” message on my camera; meaning, there is enough room under the UV filter for the lens to travel back and forth.

Furthermore, there is no vignetting and i really don’t see any differnece in IQ with the UV filter off or on.

Thanks for looking.

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Two Piece Case For The Fuji X100T

A few weeks ago, i wrote a post about the “leather” case for the X100T.  Well, i put my order in on Amazon this past Sunday night and i received the case yesterday.

Here is my little review:

As i had mentioned before, the case that i ordered is from MegaWest/MegaGear.  If you are wanting a product description to search online with, here you go.

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I tried to search with the product code that is showing on the label, but nothing comes up.  To make it easy for you, here is the link to the case on Amazon: (http://www.amazon.ca/MegaGear-Protective-Leather-Fujifilm-Digital/dp/B00D0O9QC6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433710674&sr=8-1&keywords=leather+case+for+x100).

Unlike the case that i ordered for my X10 from the same company, this case did not come with a black, velvet bag.

Aside from the case itself, you get a neck strap and a lens cloth.

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Once again, this case is not made from real leather.  If you want a real leather case, you are going to have to order the Fuji branded case.

Quality:

As with my last case from the same company, i am quite impressed by the quality of the product.  It is very well put together, the stitching is nice and the materials are good.

As with real leather, the case is a bit stiff at first.  Though, as you use it, it does become more supple.

As far as i can see, there are no imperfections on the case and everything has been put together very nicely.

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Fit:

Since this is not a genuine Fuji product, you will have to expect that it is not going to fit as good as the Fuji branded case.

With the case for my X10, the only fit problem i had, was with the loops that go over the camera lugs and attach to the side of the case with snap buttons.  Well, i have the same problem with this case and one side is more severe then the other.

I am still able to close the loops with the snap buttons, but it does become a bit of a tight fit.

One other little fit problem, is with the cut-out for the AF switch.  You can still access the switch and move it, but the cut-out seems to be placed a little to forward; therefore, you can not see the writing on the AF switch.

I am thinking that since there is no mention of this case being for the T model of the X100, that is why there may be some slight fit issues with it.  Though, i am not so sure the AF switch is that much different on the S or the original X100.

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Conclusion:

If you don’t want to spend $140 on the Fuji branded case or if you’re an animal rights activist who is anti-leather, then this case is a good alternative for you.

Aside from the fit issues with the loops and the cut-out for the AF switch being slightly to forward, this case will be $30 well spent if all you want is a stylish case to protect your camera when thrown into your day bag.

Thanks for looking.

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Leather Case For Fuji X100T

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Since owning Fuji X cameras, i have come to the conclusion that you don’t need a camera bag per se.  This is even more true for the fixed lens cameras, like the X10 and the X100T.  All you need is a good case.

Finding a good case for Fuji X cameras is not really hard and once you have found one, you can then throw your camera into whatever bag you are carrying and off you go.

If i am going to go out with my X100T or X10, the only other “bits” that i take along with me, is a spare battery, spare SD card and the lens hood when i am using the X10.  The spare battery, SD card and lens hood fit very easily into my jacket pocket or in the side pockets of my cargo shorts/pants.

I can do the same with my X-Pro1.  I put the camera in it’s case and i bring along a spare battery and SD card.  If i am going to bring along an extra lens, i do bring my camera bag.

Leather case for the X100T:

As i had mentioned above, there really is no need for a camera bag when you are using the fixed lens cameras from Fuji, such as the X10 or X100T.  You can simply put them in a case and carry a few accessories in your pocket.

If you already carry a bag on a daily basis, even better.  You can just dump the camera in your bag and the camera case will serve to protect your camera from whatever else you have in your bag.

As with most other Fuji accessories, if not with all of them, there is a third party option.  This is the case (pardon the pun) in regards to the leather case for the X100T.  You have a choice between a Fuji branded case or a case from a number of other manufactures.

For the purpose of this article, i am gong to concentrate on the Fuji branded case and a case from Mega West.

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Who is Mega West you may ask?  Well, i don’t know much about them either.  But, i do know that they make decent cases for Fuji cameras.  I have one of their cases for my X10.

For the X100, they have made this case (http://www.amazon.ca/MegaGear-Protective-Leather-Fujifilm-Digital/dp/B00D0O9QC6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433710674&sr=8-1&keywords=leather+case+for+x100).

Now, as you may conclude from the price of the case, it is not real leather.  However, having owned their case for the X10 since September 2013, i can say that the material they do use, is quite durable.

They use something called PU leather and it does feel and look like real leather.  Though, putting it next to my real leather case for my X-Pro1, you can clearly see which one is fake leather.

What about the real leather case?:

By all means you can spend the money on the real leather case for the X100T, but it is not going to protect your camera any better then the case from Mega West that i mentioned above.

Don’t get me wrong, i love leather and it wears so well over time.  But, i have found that the Mega West case that i bought for my X10 nearly two years ago has performed so well, that i don’t really see any justification to spend $140 on real leather case.

Sometimes you just have to be practical.

For my X-Pro1, i do have the Fuji branded leather case.  However, at the time it was purchased, it was only $50 brand new.

It’s a beautiful case and the leather is very smooth and the stitching is extremely well done.  I can only imagine that this quality craftsmanship would carry over to all of Fuji’s cases.

Therefore, if you really want the leather case, go for it and splurge a bit.  I am sure you will not regret it.

But, if you are wanting to be practical, purchase the Mega West case.  They make good products and the case will protect your camera just as well as the leather one would.  Furthermore, i have had mine (for my X10) for nearly 2 years and it has held up very well with no signs of wear at all.

I hope that this has helped you in making your decision about a case for your X100.

Thanks for looking.

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Lens Hood For The X100T

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Just like me, perhaps you have recently purchased an X100 and are now wondering how on earth you are going to protect the front lens element.  Well, there are various options out there and some are fairly cheap to employ.

Before i go any further in talking about the different options to protect your lens, it somewhat baffles me that Fuji does not include the lens hood with the X100.

Yes, i do realize that they can make extra money by selling it separately as an accessory, but they are selling a camera with a fixed lens – at a high price may i add.  With the majority of their XF/XC lenses, they provide a lens hood with the lens.  It would seem to make sense that they would do the same for the lens on the X100.  But i digress…

Fuji does not provide a lens hood or even the adapter ring with the X100. Nope.  They rather you spend another $100 to buy the hood and adapter ring.

No thanks Fuji.  I did not buy the Fuji branded hood & adapter for my X10, i won’t be buying it for my X100T.

What other options are there?

Well, if you go out onto Amazon or eBay, you will find third party options, such as the one from JJC.  It is apparently very well made and is about 70% cheaper then the Fuji branded hood & adapter.

Aside from the set that JJC makes, there are other options as well.  But, i would advise that you select one that has actual reviews written about it.

With a quick search on Amazon, here is what i was able to find: (http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lens+hood+for+x100)

Why the need for the “adapter”?:

You may have noticed that i keep talking about an adapter, along with the lens hood for the X100.

If you are going to attach anything to the X100s lens, you are going to need the adapter or an adapter of equivalent specifications to do it.  There is no other way that you can attach a filter or a hood to the front of the lens.

Are you scratching your head now?  Right…. how would you attach an adapter to the lens anyhow?

I am glad you asked.

If you have not become intimate with your camera yet, it’s time to do so.  If you look at the front of the lens, you will notice that there is a rounded ring on the outer edge of the lens.

That ring actually comes off to reveal the 49mm thread that you will use to attach the adapter.  The ring is there to protect the threading.

Okay, so what other “kind” of adapter can i use?: 

If you are not willing to pay $50 for the Fuji branded adapter, you can instead buy some cheap 49mm filters, break out the glass and install the filter backwards/in reverse onto the 49mm thread of the X100s lens.

Before you order just any 49mm filter, you need to make sure that the filter’s glass is held in by a retaining ring that you can take out.  If you are not able to do this with the filter, it is not going to work.

I know for a fact that the filters from Polaroid (3 for $19) do have this retaining ring that you can screw out.

Once you have the retaining ring and glass out, you have yourself the start of an adapter.

Because the lens of the X100 does protrude from the housing when focusing, you may have to stack at least a couple of rings together to build up your adapter.

Once that is done, you can then attach a UV filter to top it off and then screw on the ring (the protective ring you took off the X100s lens) to the UV filter – the UV filter will be on backwards; therefore, you will have the thread showing in order to screw the ring on.

I have not tried this yet, but i have seen it be done by many people on camera forums.  It looks good and is a cheaper alternative to buying the Fuji branded adapter and lens hood.

The case against a lens hood:

If you go ahead with the above “filter ring” project, you will essentially be protecting your lens with a UV filter instead of a hood.

(I have shot with a UV filter on my lenses before and i do not see any degradation in image IQ.)  

But, is a hood really necessary on the X100?

The answer to that question, in my opinion, is no.

First of all, if you will be using fill flash for your photos, the hood will get in the way.  You will end up with the shadow of your hood in the photo.  Of course, you could take it off and store it in your bag.  Personally, i would rather not be taking it on and off all the time.

Secondly, the lens on the X100 is so damn good, that you really don’t need a lens hood to prevent flare or ghosts.

On the other hand, the camera does look good with the hood attached and it does provide protection for the lens.  It’s really up to you which way you want to go.

Conclusion:

Whatever you do, don’t spend the $99 on the Fuji branded adapter & lens hood.  The cheaper alternatives are just as good – read my review of the third party X10 adapter & lens hood that i bought here: (https://d7100shooter.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/3rd-party-lens-hood-adapter-for-x10/).

If lens hoods are not for you, buy some cheap 49mm filters, take out the retaining ring & glass and reverse mount them to make your own adapter.  Top it off with a UV filter and the protective ring from the camera lens and your done.

Thanks for looking.

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Fujifilm LC-XPro1 Review

As promised, here is my review of the Fujifilm LC-XPro1, the leather case for the X-Pro1.

I have wanted the Fujifilm LC-XPro1 for quite some time now, but i was just not willing to pay the price that they were at over a year ago.

When i saw that the LC-XPro1 was on sale at my local camera store, i gave the idea of the LC-XPro1 as a b-day gift to my wife.  Well, God bless her, she came through.

I have had it for a while now (you thought i would tell you when my b-day was?), so i thought it was time to finally write the review.

Here is the box that the case came in.  It’s not as posh as the box that my X-Pro1 came in or as posh as the box that the XF lenses come in, but it serves it’s purpose. The case, neck strap and lens case sat in a plastic mold and that was it in regards to packaging.

DSCF5015_1084x1084 Here are all the pieces: far left, top of the case.  In the middle, lens hood/lens case.  Far right, bottom half of the case.  As opposed to my case for the X10, this one is real leather.

* One piece that is not in the photo, is the leather neck strap.  The leather is slightly more supple then the leather used for the neck strap that came with my X-Pro1.  One little bonus, is that it has “X-Pro1” stamped into it.

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Here is the bottom half of the case.  I don’t know how Fuji did it, but it fits the X-Pro1 like a glove.  It’s ever so slightly difficult to take off, since the rubber grip prevents the case from just sliding off easily.

One little caveat with the bottom half of the case, is that it sits a little to close to the left button on the D-pad on the back of the camera.

DSCF5011_1649x1237Here is the top of the case.  It attaches to the bottom half by two pop buttons.  In terms of what lens can fit under the top part of the case, you would not be able to have anything bigger then the 35mm on your camera.  Anything bigger then the 35mm, the top half of the case will not be able to close.

Furthermore, you are not able to have the lens hood on the lens if you are wanting to close the case.
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Here is the lens hood case.  This is where you put your lens hood when the camera is not in use and the camera case closed.

It can also be used to carry your spare battery, a spare SD card and the lens cap.  At the back of the case, there is a little belt “loop” so that you can attach the case to the neck strap.

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All in all, it’s a very functional case that does it’s job, which is to protect the camera.  Aside from protecting the camera, the bottom half of the case also adds bulk to the camera grip, which is nice.

Since i can carry a spare battery and even a spare SD card in the lens hood case, i no longer need to carry my camera in my camera bag for a day out.

Thanks for looking.

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Fuji Extension Tubes

For the last year or so, i have noticed that Fuji really listens to it’s customers, but perhaps not in the most traditional way.

There are two major Fuji forums on the internet as it stands now and these are the “places” that Fuji lovers congregate and discuss their passion for photography & Fuji.

If you take the time to browse through the forums, you will notice that there is a lot of talk about future firmware updates that Fuji lovers would like for Fuji to develop.  Creepy as it may sound, Fuji actually “listens” to all those suggestions.  The firmware updates that eventually come out, run parallel to the discussions the Fuji lovers had been having some months before.

Other then the discussions about future firmware updates, folks have also been discussing the need to have Fuji branded extension tubes that can electronically communicate between the camera and the lens.

Well, once again, Fuji listened and delivered.  They have come out with two types of extension tubes: the MCEX-11 and the MCEX-16.  Both of these extension tubes, according to Fujifilm, will be available from mid-December 2014.

Depending on the level of magnification you are looking for, you will have the choice of an 11mm tube or a 16mm tube.

Both tubes have electronic contacts; therefore, information will be able to pass between the lens and the camera.  Because of the electronic contacts, you will be able to auto focus and control the aperture of the lens.

These tubes are as precisely made with high quality metals as the Fuji XF lenses are.  As far as i know, there are specifically designed for the XF lenses; therefore, i don’t believe that they will work with the XC line of lenses.

In regards to the magnification that these tubes can offer on specific lenses, here is a PDF that will give you a run down on all the numbers:

(http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/accessories/pdf/mcex_01.pdf)

As with any other Fuji accessory, i am going to assume that these extension tubes will cost you slight more then a 3rd party offering would.  Though, on the other hand, i will also assume that the fit of the tubes and the electronic connection will be slightly superior to any 3rd party product.

If you are into macro photography and have been waiting for Fuji to come out with a set of extension tubes, you will not have to wait much longer to put in your pre-order.

Thanks for looking.