Pimped out my Fuji X100 a bit, and you can too!

Look what I got today! A nice red Artisan and Artist strap and a mini classic soft release to fit to my X100. For about $100 total it has transformed the look of the camera and now screams out “Im An Expensive Camera, STEAL ME!” Lol. I love the cloth straps from Artisan & Artist as they can be adjusted to be long or short. I like wearing my cameras around my body and have them hang low. This is the only A&A strap that I am aware of that lets you do this. ALSO, it happens to be amazingly comfortable. I first used one a year or so ago on Seals M9 and it was so comfy when I shot with it that I knew I wanted one. Took me a year but hey, I bought a red and a black on from popflash because I noticed they were having a “Spring Special” on many A&A products, mostly the bags and cases. I bought a red strap for the X100 and bought a black for the M9. The red soft release looks really good on the X100 too. I am and always have been a fan of Artisan & Artist though they are usually on the pricey side. The cool thing about their products is that they are functional, and that is most important when shooting every day.

Not everyone will care for the red as it is a bit flashy but you can also buy the strap in black for a more stealthy look (on my M9 and will add a black soft release and black dot soon) so there is something for everyone.

Dale Photo also sells the A&A line including the straps, bags, cases, etc. I bought from PopFlash as the prices they have now on the bags and cases are great, for A&A, as they are normally pretty pricey. Saving money is always good!

I am still enjoying the X100 and took these shots with a Panasonic GH2 which just arrived for me to review along with a GF2 and Olympus XZ1. Lots of fun work for me over the next two weeks! The X1o0 though, even with its quirks and oddities, is still a GREAT picture taking memory making machine! Amazon is taking pre-orders if you want to get in line…Enjoy!

This cloth strap is wide, and soft. Very comfortable on your shoulders or neck.

This soft release is a Metallic Red and screws right into the X100 shutter release. Sort of matches the OVF/EV lever. Matched with the red strap, you have one Sexy looking camera.

Next to my camera “soulmate” the Leica M9 – also fitted with an Artisan & Artist leather case and cloth strap

Ready to travel in an ACAM-7000, also from A&A – This bag will hold two cameras, 2-3 lenses, your passport, paperwork and even an Ipad or Macbook Air 11-13″. $239

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  1. Just here enjoying some quality family time after our annual wedding vow renewal which was attended by our closest friends and some new ones. It was great to see Steffen D and Stefan K with their respective families. They brought me a a few Leica surprises that I’m very exited about. Can’t show them to you yet but they are extremely cool and will, I’m sure, be welcome additions to the line.

    I’m using them right now and they will be featured in the forthcoming `6/Leica coffee table book. Very exiting times indeed. Watch out rest of the field, Leica are coming with a bang and some 😉


    • Yah, lol on the 6 clouds comment in steve’s other post. Hah! Happy anniversary, and enjoy your new gear!

  2. Love how you pimped out your gear. I especially love that Artisan Bag! I’m looking for a good Camera neck strap for my NEX 5. I don’t like the one that came with the camera, and wrist straps are okay up to a point, but there are times I really want to wear the camera around my neck. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Elaine,
      you might want to try one of my favorite straps period. It’s from A&A and but I’m not sure what it’s called. It’s designed like the classic Japanese neck strap, made from silk (not sure if this one is but it’s silk-like at the very least). They are neck length and do well over the shoulder or wrapped around the wrist. A very simple design which works effectively. Steve has seen mine and commented on how surprisingly effective it was.


  3. Would love one of the soft releases, but Popflash charges $37 to ship me one to Norway, a bit steep I think.
    PhotoVIllage charges $50, thats even better.
    Anyone know a store that might not charge me double the price of the item in shipping? 🙂

    • Try Robert White (a UK photo shop) for soft releases. They have all of the Match Technical ones (including the red bug I bought) and must be cheaper to ship within Europe.

        • I purchased my Limited Edition X100 from Robert White and even in the UK you have to get your head around their shipping prices. Next day delivery though via UPS. Yes expensive, but the service and knowledge of these guys is worth having in any event you need it.

          I have just ordered the Lensmate Thumbrest (terrific design) and shipping is quite expensive from those guys also. Cheapest first class was $6.90, but priority shipping was $40. Needless to say I took the cheapest route and will probably have to wait a month to receive it as it comes overland by horse and rider…lol. You can see the thumbrest here: http://www.lensmateonline.com/store/fujifilm_x100_thumbrest_plus.php

    • Their shipping was expensive even here for such a small item, however the bigger issue was the undisclosed charge that appears at checkout. At the end I discovered they pass on a fee for using paypal, but combined between shipping/paypal fee, it was 45% of the charge of the item…far too much, and not very forthright when they just add random money without specifying why.

      Overall I found their site really annoying and I’m not sure I’d order again, we’ll see though. I find it ridiculous it would cost even $5 to ship this item, USPS. My guess is when I get it there’s a stamp on an envelope and they pocket $4.75 in handling..not great IMO..just charge for the item and actual shipping, so we know its actual price without all the kerfuffle.

  4. I have a Thumbs Up grip on mine – the one made for the Leica X1. Not a precise fit but it does the job. When I first got the camera, I struggled with how to hold it steady – I have troubles below 1/60th. This little accessory helps me tremendously. Now I just have to figure out what to do with my left hand.

  5. Enjoying mit’s too pricey. y black Gordy wrist strap wth red thread. It’s tough but has quickly loosened up. Allows me to throw the X100 in cargo pants pocket. The A&A wrist looks nice but

  6. Thanks for the feedback on the gordy’s guys.

    I’m really struggling with how to carry this camera around! The x100 is replacing my leica d-lux3 (similar to pany lx3), which is a small and light camera. At twice it’s weight the x100 seems heavy to me! (I know, slr users will laught at that 🙂 but I used a wrist strap for the d-lux 3 and it was perfect. There are two things I don’t like about a wriststrap on the x100. 1- since it’s heavier it swings around alot more (easier to hit things) and 2- my hand gets tired of holding the camera while street shooting, as there is no support.

    I briefly looked at slr type hand straps, but when I shoot from the hip I’m actually using my thumb to press the shutter and holding the camera at the bottom with my index and middle fingers. My latest thought was to use a neckstrap (around neck and shoulders) for general. And to wrap it tight around my hand when shooting street. A tight wrap helps support the camera, so your fingers aren’t doing all the lifting.

    Please chime in if you have other ideas/suggestions. I’m sensing there are other, better solutions that I’m missing…Thx.

    • These handstraps are pretty good, you can kind of have it hanging from your hand then.

      I was using it on the X100 and it works well, it does restrict you getting your index finger on the shutter until you learn to adapt to it.

      Now I’m using the leather case and strap and going to try to shoot as you suggest, the leather case was too nice to pass up 🙂

    • I’m still experimenting with trying to shoot from the hip. Currently, I use a neck strap and have a soft release so that my thumb can easily find the shutter button. Like you, my index and middle finger are under the bottom of the camera. My left hand mirrors my right.

      I try to pull the strap down against my neck to give the camera some stability. To do this I have my right hand thumb joint line up with the edge of the camera, so that I can push down with both thumbs. Sometimes I have my left hand just holding the strap and pulling down while pushing down with my right thumb.

      I need to qualify “pushing down with my right thumb”. I do so not from the top half of the thumb but from the bottom half. This allows the top half to be relaxed when pressing the shutter release.

      I also have a Thumbs Up accessory and am considering shortening the neck strap so that I can use my index finger to release the shutter. Don’t think this will be so good, since the camera will have to sit higher.

      The camera is not heavy on my neck but it can bounce around a little.

      I’m open to other suggestions too 🙂

  7. I can’t do the neck type straps, I’m too tall to wear them bandolier style, so I have to get the ‘sling’ type straps made for that. I’m thinking of using the luma loops for the x100, as the black rapid rs7 is really overkill and I would rather use the lug.

    Steve, how well does the soft release stay in there? Does it back out much? Any problem using the non mini version? Again with hand size, I almost want to try it for more elevation. Is it the same thread size as the m9? Input appreciated and thanks for the writeup!

    • The soft release is staying nice and tight. I had a Black DRagon Match Technical soft release for my M9 and it kept coming out, and I lost it. So far, this one has not budged and feels like the right size for this camera, to me and for my fingers 🙂 Same as the M9. Looks good on the M as well BTW so I bought a black mini for the 9.

    • Mine fell out after a week and I lost it. The guy in the shop screwed it in, so perhaps it wasn’t tight enough. Bought a second one because it’s so good and this one is still there. I check it every time I use the camera and so far it hasn’t loosened once.

  8. That A&A strap seems really expensive for a cotton product. What about the Gordy strap? $27 for an all leather product. But it is not nearly as wide, so I wonder if it will be as comfortable. Anybody have experience with both A&A and Gordy straps??

    • A&A Straps, bags, cases, etc – are all pricey. I have a Gordy strap somewhere as well as a wrist strap. Both are nice but stopped using them as they were not comfortable. They are leather but the leather is pretty stiff/tough.

      Luigi straps are super comfy but also expensive.

      This A&A strap, for me is about comfort and just the right length. Also like the fact that its in Red.

      All personal preference like anything really 🙂

      • I second Steve’s comment about Gordy straps.

        Bought a Gordy strap a while back, and regret it. I do use it, since I spent $60 for the custom strap, and it’s senseless to let it sit around unused; but if given another kind, I won’t have second thoughts ditching the Gordy strap.

        The leather is so thin and rough, almost not worth the price tag. I have the neckpad made though I always wrap it around my hands, but when it’s around my neck / shoulders, it itch, since the leatherette at the back is always fraying even though I condition the leather as recommended.

        Also the leather protector at the metal lugs is completely bent like a ‘c’, does its job but doesn’t look good. And when storing in my bag, I’m always cautious where to place the bundled strap; the leather is so rough it rubs at the paint.

        • I gotta stand up for Gordy’s straps. I have used mine regularly for 3 years now, and like good leather, it takes a bit of use and breaking in (probably with my own skin oils), like Luigi cases. I find mine very comfortable, especially after regular use. They arorned my M9, X1, and D-Lux 5.

          • Glad that the Gordy straps are working out good on you. But if it’s gonna take 3years to make it very comfortable, then I have a lot of breaking in to do (2 1/2years worth atleast). I prefer cotton / synthetic jackets & coats during winter time rather than thick leather jackets, maybe I’m just not the leather kinda guy.

  9. You’re Evil, Steve.
    Showing this two gorgeous “ladies”…
    Evil, evil!


    The one with the bag and the passport is saying “Hey, we don’t need so much to be happy…”

  10. A&A have beautiful accesories for Leica, I personally love the silk cord camera strap.

    The softie is definitely not from Match Technical, looks like the mini red softie from Tom Abrahamsson.

  11. To be honest I prefer Domke straps as they have an awesomely classic look to them. Can’t argue with the soft release however!

  12. Nice inspiration! Looking at photo #3 of the X100 next to the M9, I think a red Leica logo would suit the X100 as well 🙂

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