Belfast and the X100

The Elegance of the Fujifilm X100V Camera

5 mins read

The Fujifilm X100 was first announced in the spring of 2011. The year I found myself frustrated with photography. Frustrated, as I wanted to integrate the photographic process into everyday life, I regularly questioned if I should pack a camera at all. It was the weight, bulk and responsibility of carrying a camera that was off putting. Forward to 2022 and the Fujifilm X100V goes everywhere.

The frustration was in fact twofold. On too many occasions (when I hadn’t bothered to pack the camera) I found something I wish I could have photographed. I longed for a camera that was portable enough to take everywhere but still be capable of delivering the image quality akin to my DSLR.

X100 in the Mournes.

By chance I spotted a YouTube video from the now historic ‘Focus on Imaging’ of the Fujifilm stand. The video featured a hands-on of the FinePix X100 camera by a Fujifilm employee. Within the hour I placed an order together with the little leather case. A few weeks later I was the proud owner of my first Fujifilm camera since my film photography days.

It would be wrong not to mention the learning curve. There was a transitioning period moving from the digital SLR to the little X100 style camera. There were moments of frustration. My previous ‘aim and hope’ approach of firing off 10 shots in the hope that one would be good wasn’t going to cut it on the X100.

X100 – Improving Technique

To be honest I think the X100 revealed how lazy I had become as a photographer since shooting film. The learning curve (albeit brief) taught me to slow down and consider every aspect of the shot. I ended up taking less photographs but interestingly I was also rejecting far less at the Lightroom editing stage. The X100 offered photography at its purest, a more creative, enjoyable process akin to my previous approach with film cameras. I loved it.

Since 2011 I have genuinely carried an X100 Series camera with me everywhere. (always the silver model). With each refinement from S, through to F, and now to V the Fujifilm X100 has seen signifiant updates. From additional processing power, wifi and and features hidden under the retro elegance of vintage styling. Rarely does the X100V escape positive comment or queries when it’s out in public. People love the vintage look. This creates a relaxed atmosphere for portrait photography.

The retro styling may suggest retro features to some and as we all know; looks aren’t everything. It is the sheer versatility of the Fujifilm X100 Series that makes it my everyday camera.

Fujifilm X100V Landscape Photography

Although I pack my X-T5 for landscape photography work the X100v will always be in my rucksack. Some may consider the 35mm to be a limit, personally I feel 35mm is the ideal general purpose focal length. This is useful if you have something in the frame to offer a sense of scale.

Road through the Mournes
Hen Mountain, Mournes

Fujifilm X100 V Panorama Mode

If you need wider coverage of a scene the X100 Series cameras to date offer a sweep panorama mode. Simply, slowly sweep in an arc and the camera will capture and stitch a series of images into a final jpg panorama. I love these images and actually have one of the Mourne mountains printed and mounted on my wall.

View to Slieve Bearnagh
Bearnagh View

Fujifilm X100V Long Exposure Photography

Don’t let the compact simplicity of the X100V deceive you, this is a powerful, fully featured little camera. As well as a built-in ND filter the lens ring unscrews allowing filters to be attached. This next photograph was captured on a later summer evening on the edge of Derwentwater (Lake District). I on a later summer evening. The X100 shutter button is threaded for a cable release, this makes long exposure photography easy.

Derwentwater

Long Exposure photography can be useful on bright and windy days to smooth out the surface of water.

Ben Crom

X100V Documentary & Music

I love using the X100 series for documenting behind the scenes work whether at music events or on film sets. The X100 is a natural performer that doesn’t intimidate a subject in the same way a large DSLR might.
As an additional challenge I now only allow myself a single frame to capture a subject. This portrait below of actor Jim Broadbent was a single capture with the X100S.

Jim Broadbent

I also invested in the TCL-X100 lens adaptor to create a 50mm focal length (as used below). This image was captured using the “CLASSIC CHROME” film simulation. The X range of cameras come with a host of film stock stimulations built in that are well worth exploring.

Fiona O'Kane
Fiona O’Kane

I really enjoy the TCL adaptor and Fujifilm have now included a digital tele converter feature into the X100F. (35mm/50mm/70mm) when shooting JPG.

Tele-conversion Lenses

If you own the X100 camera the converters are a great addition. Version two of the lenses automatically talk to the X100., this removes the need to visit a menus.

Fight Scene

Fujifilm X100V Landscape Images

The X100 is also great in low light. The dynamic range and clarity offered by the X100 meant it was the perfect companion to capture gritty black and white images on a film set, you can see the artificial rain falling on the right hand side of the image below.

I captured the next image on a video shoot in the Mourne mountains. You can see the crew setting up the next scene on the backdrop of the fog filled tree line.

Peter J McCauley Video shoot
Peter J McCauley Video Shoot

Everyday Life

For me it’s documenting everyday life where the X100V camera has its most important role. All the photos I missed in the past are now accessible with little silver camera I am able to take everywhere. You can add a Pro mist filter for cinematic nighttime photography.

Belfast with the X100V

This next image was capture on Tyrella beach on a late winter’s afternoon’s walk and subsequent game of football. This cold October memory was captured as I had the camera with me.

At this point you may be thinking “but sure I will have my phone with me” it’s not a debate I want to get into but I know for a fact there is no way I will have captured this image on a phone nor would probably still have it now.

Tyrella beach

This next photography is one of the first I captured with the X100 camera. It’s not even a great photograph but it captured a Saturday out in Belfast that I able to revisit through the image, as you can see no one bats an eyelid when you are sitting with a little retro looking camera.

Cafe in Belfast

The next photographs were captured during days out around Northern Ireland. It’s liberating to have the power of the X100 with such refreshing portability.

Fujfilm X100V Macro Photography

From macro style images through to cityscapes the X100 is an all-round performer. For me, it is the ultimate travel and documentary camera.

Fujifilm X100 Review
X100 Funji
Lisburn, County Antrim

This next image was taken on a summer’s day in the Mournes. We saw every type of weather possible from agonisingly painful hale storms through to burning sun in a single August afternoon.

There wasn’t much to capture but the treat came on our way back down from the mountains with a single shot over the wall. I love how the horses almost mimic the contours of the mountain backdrop.

Horses in the Mournes Fujifilm X100 Review

If you are concerned about the image quality for professional work, fear not. Employing the same sensor as the flagship Fujifilm range the X100 series delivers stunning image quality with impeccable colour rendering.

Some of the first images I captured with the X100 in 2011 are in my Getty Image portfolio. This photography, for the Malojian ‘Southlands’ album cover was captured on the X100T. It honestly looks stunning on the gatefold vinyl LP and tour posters.

Malojian

For me the X100 Series is special. It’s portable, ideal for traveling light, both the X100T and X100F offer charging over USB. It’s powerful, the X100F hosts the same sensor as the flagship X-Pro2 and X-T2 cameras and like is larger relations it’s versatile enough to capture stunning images in almost every situation.

If I was only allowed a single camera… without hesitation it would be a Fujifilm X100V camera.

Fujifilm X100V Links

100 Photos Captured with the X100 Series Camera
Understanding Depth of Field
Lightroom Presets for the Fujifilm X100
To X100V Accessories
X100V Posts and Tutorials

David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.

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