This section of the book includes an overview of the accessories that are available for the X100, with a focus on those available from Fujifilm.
LC-X100 LEATHER CASE
With this classic leather case, Fujifilm offers an accessory that suits the retro look of the camera. At around $130, though, it’s not cheap. The case is constructed well and consists of two parts. The camera is fully protected when the case is closed, and when you’re ready to shoot, the top comes off. When the camera is nested in the lower part of the case, it is easier to hold onto than the camera body itself, and the overall size is a little larger (figure 3.1).
Figure 3.1 LC-X100 Leather case
This well-made case consists of two parts. The upper part is easily removed for shooting, and the bottom part makes the camera easier to hold. It has one functional weakness: in order to change the SD card and the battery or to connect any cables, the camera needs to be completely removed from the case.
Unfortunately, the case also has a few downsides that indicate it wasn’t thought all the way through. First, it’s impossible to exchange the battery and the SD card unless you remove the camera from the case (the same is true for connecting cables to the USB and HDMI ports). Second, the upper part of the case only closes properly when the optional adapter ring with lens cap or the lens hood (see next section) is not screwed on. This failing is unfortunate because these accessories are designed specifically for the camera. I could imagine that many photographers who use the X100 would have preferred a few extra millimeters of space in the casing. All things considered, though, this is a visually attractive case that is quite useful with the upper part removed (even though the lack of access to the battery and the SD card is regrettable). If closed, the case is somewhat impractical, since it cannot accommodate a camera that has the lens hood or a filter and lens cap attached.
LENS HOOD LH-X100
Fujifilm also offers a lens hood designed to match the camera. The lens hood is marketed with the adapter ring AR-X100 and costs around $140, or you can purchase the adapter ring AR-X100 separately for around $50. The adapter ring is necessary to affix the lens hood, and it also enables the attachment of a variety of lens filters. Filters must have a diameter of 49 mm to attach properly. The metal lens cap that comes standard with the X100 unfortunately won’t fit when the lens hood or the adapter ring is attached. This means that when you purchase the hood or the ring, you should also buy a 49 mm lens cap in order to be able to cover up the lens with a filter affixed. This is too bad because the original lens cap fits the camera very well. As stated above, the case won’t clasp entirely when the accessories are attached to the camera. This means that the lens hood and lens caps attached on filters need to be removed first to allow a proper case closure. The design of the accessories is harmonious, but their practical functionality comes up a bit short.
There are two external flashes that were designed for the X100. These flashes—the EF-20 and the EF-42—support the full functionality of the camera’s flash system (Super Intelligent Flash with TTL). Both external flashes have the same capabilities as the X100’s integrated flash, but they have higher guide numbers, meaning they are capable of producing a brighter flash. For the EF-20, the guide number is 20, and for the EF-42, it’s 42. The greatest advantage to using a brighter external flash with the X100 is the ability to make use of very brief flash synchronization times. This allows you to get creative with flash lighting. During daylight, for example, you can affect the relationship between the background and foreground brightness (p. 159).
The EF-20 is a small shoe-mount flash that is very portable and a good size for the X100 (figure 3.3). The flash reflector can be angled vertically, allowing you to reflect the flash off the ceiling to create indirect light. The cost is around $145. The EF-20 also allows photographers to control the camera-regulated flash output value by increasing or decreasing it by up to 1 EV in increments of 0.5 EV.
Figure 3.3 EF-20
The EF-20 has a guide number of 20. The reflector can be directed vertically, so you can make use of indirect light. The flash output can be set in 0.5 EV steps between a range of –1 and +1 EV. This means that you can customize the camera-regulated value for the flash output within this range.
This flash offers a clearly stronger output. Furthermore, it has more flexibility in terms of its positioning—not only can it be angled vertically, but also it can be swiveled horizontally (figure 3.4). In addition to the automatic flash control, photographers can manually regulate the flash output by selecting settings between full power and 1/64 of the maximum output. The flash’s exposure compensation range is ±1.5 EV. Additionally, the flash angle can be adjusted to the lens focal length, a feature that doesn’t apply to the X100 because it has a built-in lens with a fixed focal length. Perhaps this function will be of use with the successor of the X100, but that’s just speculation. The flash retails for around $220.
Figure 3.4 EF-42
The EF-42 allows you to swivel the flash reflector vertically and horizontally. The flash output can be corrected within the range of ±1.5 EV and can be manually regulated. This allows you to choose a flash setting between full power and 1/64 of full power.
The EF-42 is a wonderful tech toy, in my opinion. The only quality that is less than desirable is its size in relation to the camera: the flash is almost as large as the camera body itself. When the flash is mounted, it not only looks comically oversized, but also it can cause the camera to tilt forward. (Figure 3.5).
Figure 3.5 EF-42 and X100
These two unfortunately make an ill-matched pair—the flash is too large for the camera. The consequence is that the handling of the camera can be awkward, as it has a tendency to tip forward. If the EF-42 is used remotely, though, its strengths become evident.
I can only recommend using the EF-42 flash remotely or when the camera and flash pair is mounted on a tripod. This flash definitely has its advantages over the smaller one for studio and indoor photography.
There are, of course, a whole slew of accessories available from other vendors, ranging from much more expensive, handcrafted leather cases to screen protectors. Discussing this wide range of accessories is beyond the scope of this book, so I’ve included the link to a useful forum here.
A list of accessories from around the world is available on this highly valuable website:
This site also includes do-it-yourself instructions, such as directions about how to make your own lens hood: