My tips on the Fuji X100 by Kaushal Parikh

My tips on the Fuji X100 by Kaushal Parikh

 

I know in my last post on Steve’s site many people were quite pleased that I did not make any mention of gear used.   I don’t think that gear alone can create good photographs but I do believe that a good photographer can be inspired to take better photographs with the right gear.  I recently acquired a Fuji x100 that I have come to love and thought I would just share a few thoughts and tips about this camera.

These are just personal adaptations I have made with the x100 to help my style of shooting in the streets of Mumbai.

I shoot my x100 in manual focus mode between f4 and f8.  I set my focus to about 7 feet, which gives me an acceptable range, and I have barely ever missed a shot, as shutter delay is non-existent.  If my subject is out of this range a quick press of the af lock button resets the focus.  On using the af lock button to focus, I always glance down at the distance indicator in the viewfinder to ensure that the set focus distance seems about right. After the firmware upgrades I even use the focus ring for slight adjustments in manual focus mode.

I rarely check my images on the LCD so the image review is set to off in camera. However, I set the playback view mode to viewfinder so that when I do press the play button the image appears in the viewfinder itself.  This way I don’t have to remove the camera from my eye and can see the review image clearly even in bright sunlight.

I do not use the camera in full silent mode.  I set all the camera sounds off except for the shutter which I keep at its lowest volume which is barely audible to anyone but me, so I know exactly when the camera has fired and also gives me a better sense with regard to the timing of the shot.

I use the camera in manual metering mode only and have found it gives the best exposure (in most situations) when underexposed by half a stop.  With regard to ISO I confidently shoot from ISO 400 up to ISO 1600 (even go higher sometimes)

I like shooting in black and white so I set the camera to RAW+normal jpeg and set the film mode to b&w.  This way the image when reviewed in playback mode is b&w allowing me to see what the monotone image actually looks like while at the same time the RAW image is available giving me the option of colour as well at the time of processing.

Overall I am really enjoying the camera and if nothing else it inspires me to go out and shoot.  It is light, unobtrusive and produces good quality images.  Below are some of the images I have made with the x100.

You can see more of my work at  www.kaushalp.com or on my street photography blog at http://kaushalpar.wordpress.com

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27 Comments

  1. I lived in south Mumbai for four years, and these photos make my heart ache for the place. Great, great work. My x100 is due to arrive tomorrow. Cant wait.

  2. Thank you both for the council, fuji x100 I begin to love, a feeling of love the photo, this device more than quality problems when you have problems there is always a solution, I hope that the ring’m done better with fingers sliding over

  3. I find so much of what passes for “street photography” to be quite haphazard, almost random, without thought for composition, for the geometry of what’s in front of the lens. It seems that many have heard too often of Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment” and lost track of his classical training in composition that’s so evident in his greatest shots. I think all the great street photographers evidence compositional discipline and, in part, that’s what made or makes them great.

    It is very rewarding, therefore, to see these images from you, Kaushal, with their careful, thoughtful, and really strong compositional components. One, two, and five seem to me especially strong, with the first two so wonderfully balanced, one like a teeter totter and two like ripples from a stone dropped into still water and then five going the other direction entirely while puting it’s imbalance fully in support of its content. I thought that compositional strength was central and striking, too, in your original post. Classic images in a distinguished tradition. Very nice work. Thanks.

    • Thanks Greg for your inspiring feedback. I do pay a lot of attention to composition and content and consciously try to fire the shutter only when things fall into place rather than firing away in the hope that something will work. Not that the latter method is wrong – it’s just that I get more satisfaction by slowing down the process.

  4. The only thing holding this camera back for me is the focusing ring – it’s just awful to use, and always will be no matter what they do with the firmware. For this reason I’ll probably sell the x100 and upgrade to the interchangeable lens version when it hits next year.

    • It is not a focus ring in the normal sense. Use the AFL-AEL button for fast focus and then the focus ring for fine tuning.

      There is also a very nice focus distance indicator in the bottom of the X100 display, so you can see the actual distance in meters or feet.

      This distance indicator can be used for setting the distance you want to use when shooting. Lets say you want to shoot at 3 meters at f/5.6 then you will get everything in focus between 2.36-4.12 meters.

      You can get DOF calculators for many mobile phones, PC or Mac and some of them are free.

      • True – and this is what I do. But it really drags the camera away from being the brilliance it could have been, at least in an operational / enjoyable to use sense.

        • Yes, I think you are right, a normal focus ring would have been nicer.

          Btw. forgot to mention that there is actually an indication of the DOF on the X100 distance indicator. It is marked with a white horizontal bar that gets wider or narrower when changing the aperture, so a DOF calculator is actually built in.

  5. NIce work Kaushal, the only times the X100 AF fails me is when I’m chasing very fast moving subjects (kids, animals) otherwise it never failed me in landscapes, portraits, and street photography.

  6. Nice photos and great tips! This is definitely very helpful and I can’t wait to try out the techniques you mention above.

    Steve, thanks a for Kaushal’s tips!

  7. nice work

    what do you mean by manual metering mode? spot?

    Also did the last firmware upgrade change the manual focus ring behaviour?

    • By manual metering i mean that i set both the aperture and shutter manually. The firmware update 1.10 definitely improved the focus ring response. Just upgraded to 1.11 so not sure if and how much that has improved it.

  8. Great pictures as usual Kaushal !
    Thanks for your tips with the X100, I’ve just buy one (because of Steve review, thank you Steve) And find it’s just a great camera helping me become a better photographer and finding my own style.
    It’s really great to have photographers like you and Steve sharing their experience and pictures !

  9. thanks for charing! the shuttersounds are so awful, i HAVE to turn them off 😉

    may i ask how you do your B&W processing? i love your film-look.

    • What? I would agree if you said $1000 or even $900ish but $5-600 for a camera like this… in your dreams!

      High quality build with a lens what would normally cost upwards of a thousand, providing the ISO performance of a much more expensive camera, the IQ of which rivals much more expensive cameras, manual controls, hybrid EVF/OVF, and it’s classic retro looks… for $600?! It’s closest comparison is the X1 and that thing lacks the features and the IQ of the X100 and is $2000.

      • The X1 appears to be a more reliable and possibly better built camera. Hence, the higher price. I have seen the odd complaint from X1 owners regarding the leatherette peeling, but not much else. On the other hand, there are scores of X100 owners complaining about various faults like sticky aperture blades, tilted frames lines, dead LCD’s and so on.

        • I would say that the X100 is superior to the old X1 in every aspect and the price is very low considering what you get.

          Btw. very nice photos in this article.

    • Why not stop at $500, maybe down to $150. Yeah, I think $150 is a great price. And M9s should go for $999 max!

      • Not to mention the NEX-7 and Zeiss 24 is a $2k kit, and m4/3rds cameras would be at most a couple hundred bucks less expensive than the X100, but they don’t have too many lenses that rival the Fuji 23mm, and NO cameras that rival the user experiance of the X100.

        The argument tha the X100 is overpriced is tired, and uninformed. This ain’t no G12!

        Honestly considering the NEX-7 with the Zeiss 24 is $2000 dollars, and the X1 is almost the same…I’m THANKFUL that the Fuji is as cheap as it is! And since Fuji has sold more than 70,000 units worldwide so far, after Leica has only sold 30,000 M9s, I’m sure they did nearly everything right.

    • I’m interested in knowing what would you recommend in terms of a camera similar to the X100’s capabilities or build for under $500-600 …

      Can’t think of any? That’s right, the thing doesn’t exist.

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