Fuji’s Instant Film: The Immensely Interesting Story of Instax

Fujifilm’s top selling photographic line is not the X-series or GFX. By a large margin, Instax cameras and film are Fujifilm’s most popular photo products. Instax, of course, is instant film—their version of Polaroid. 2021 was an especially good year for Instax, thanks to the Instax Mini LiPlay and Instax Wide Printer, which have been hot sellers. This year, the new Instax Mini EVO is already a huge hit. I received a lot of positive feedback from my article explaining the history of the Fujifilm X-Pro1, so I thought it would be fun to explore the history of Instax. It turns out to be an immensely more interesting story than I imagined.

Let’s get started!

Edwin Land was a freshman physics student at Harvard University in 1926, and he had an idea: control scattered vibrations of light using a magnetic field and microscopic crystals. Less than two years later he dropped out of school and moved to New York City to pursue this idea. He spent extensive time in the public library, reading anything and everything that might help him succeed. Since he didn’t have access to a lab, he would sneak into Columbia University late at night to use theirs. In 1932, after four years of extensive experimenting and testing, Land had done it—he had invented an inexpensive and efficient polarizer. That same year he teamed up with George Wheelwright III, a Harvard physics professor, and started Land-Wheelwright Laboratories. In 1936, after years of work to commercialize the product, and 10 years after Land had his original idea, they began selling the Polaroid J Sheet Polarizer for use in sunglasses and photography. It was a quick hit, and a year later they renamed the company Polaroid after their product.

Many years later, in 1944, while on vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Edwin Land snapped a photograph of his three-year-old daughter, Jennifer. As the saying goes, kids say the darndest things. The little girl asked her dad why she couldn’t see the picture that had just been taken. Land thought, “Well, why can’t you?” Within an hour he had figured out the basic idea of how to accomplish this. In 1947 Land had invented a working instant film camera, and two years later Polaroid began selling the Model 95 instant film camera and Type 40 instant film to go with it.

Polaroid Colorpack II camera

Over the next decade Polaroid camera and film sales skyrocketed. Even Ansel Adams joined the instant film revolution, and, in 1963, published a book entitled Polaroid Land Photography. As demand increased, Polaroid struggled to keep up, so in the early 1960’s they contracted Kodak to manufactured their peel-apart packfilm. During that time Polaroid hired Fujifilm to assist with film improvements.

As instant film sales continued to rapidly grow throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, someone at Kodak got the bright idea that they should make their own cameras and film to compete against Polaroid. Using their experience producing film for Polaroid to design their own products, Kodak launched the EK4 and EK6 instant film cameras, as well as their PR10 instant film, in 1976. Polaroid immediately sued Kodak for patent violations, but it took a decade for the courts to make a ruling.

Fujifilm also wanted to get in on the instant film frenzy. They figured that Kodak would overtake Polaroid and become king of instant film, so Fujifilm closely modeled their instant film line after Kodak’s, and paid Kodak for the rights to do so. Fujifilm also approached Polaroid for permission, and Polaroid agreed just as long as Fujifilm shared some technology secrets with them and agreed not to sell their instant film cameras in North America. In 1981 Fujifilm launched the Fotorama instant film camera line, which was marketed only in Asia, and sold mostly in Japan. Instant film photography wasn’t nearly as popular in Asia as it was in America, but the Fotorama line sold well enough for Fujifilm to continue to sell it into the late-1990’s. Fujifilm also began selling instant film for Polaroid cameras during this time, although, again, largely for Asian markets.

Now back to that Kodak/Polaroid lawsuit. Polaroid won in 1986, and Kodak was ordered to stop selling their instant film cameras—they also had to financially compensate those who purchased them. The legal battle continued, and in 1990 Kodak was ordered to pay Polaroid almost a billion dollars in damages for copying seven patents. It was such a wild case that books have been written about it. One might think that Polaroid was the big winner and Kodak was the big loser, but Kodak made as much as 12 billion in profits off of their instant film line, so they still came out ahead, while the lengthly lawsuit apparently stifled Polaroid’s creativity and ability to innovate, right during a time when they desperately needed to innovate.

The 1990’s were not particularly good for Polaroid, and in 2001 they filed for bankruptcy. Polaroid was sold and then turned into a hollow shell, with the brand’s name and products licensed to other companies. Polaroid film was discontinued in 2008.

Fujifilm introduced the Instax line in 1998 with the Instax Mini 10 camera. Instax Wide came out a year later. While the size and shape was different, the film and technology was recycled from the Fotorama line. By this time Fujifilm was no longer obligated to remain outside of the U.S. market, but they continued to stay out, with the exception of the Mio camera in 2001, a Polaroid-brand model that shot Instax Mini film, which wasn’t especially successful. Fujifilm didn’t start selling Instax in America until after Polaroid announced it was discontinuing its instant film.

When Polaroid pulled out of instant film photography, Fujifilm seriously considered doing the same. Sales were sluggish, and largely declining. Instant film was nearly dead, and its demise was all but certain. The writing was on the wall.

In 2007 a South Korean television series called Coffee Prince was a huge success. It was especially popular with younger audiences, particularly teenagers. Prominently featured in the show was an Instax camera, and the demand for Instax in South Korea immediately skyrocketed. Then, in 2009, the South Korean series You’re Beautiful aired, which also prominently featured an Instax camera. While this show was only moderately successful on initial airing, it gained a large cult-like following in the years following, and it, too, boosted Instax sales. The popularity of Instax spread out from South Korea across Asia, then to the rest of the world, including America. Suddenly, more than a decade after it was released, Instax was an instant hit, with sales trending sharply up.

2004 was the slowest year for Instax, with about 100,000 cameras sold worldwide. In 2015, Fujifilm sold 5 million Instax cameras, and in 2019 they sold 10 million. Unsurprisingly, 2020 was a slow year, but in 2021 things picked up again, although I couldn’t find specific data on how many cameras were sold. Instax is Fujifilm’s top selling camera line, and it’s very profitable. Fujifilm has stated that some of those profits help fund developments within the X-series and GFX—even if you don’t own any Instax products, you can still be grateful that it’s so popular because it does indirectly affect you.

If Edwin Land hadn’t dropped out of college to pursue his polarizer idea, if his young daughter hadn’t asked why she couldn’t see the picture right away, if Kodak hadn’t ripped off Polaroid, if Fujifilm (like Kodak) hadn’t asked Polaroid for permission, if Polaroid hadn’t gone bankrupt, and if two South Korean television shows hadn’t used Instax as props—if any of these things hadn’t happened, Instax wouldn’t likely be around today. Through a series of twists and turns, Fujifilm created a product line that tens of millions of people worldwide use today. While Polaroid invented instant film photography, Fujifilm is currently king.

That’s the immensely interesting story of Instax!

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Instax Mini 40
Instax Mini 70
Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
Instax Mini 11
Instax SQ6

Instax Wide 300
Instax Mini Link Printer

Instax Link Wide Printer
Instax Mini Film
Instax Square Film
Instax Wide Film

So You Got A Fujifilm Camera For Christmas — Now What?

So you got a Fujifilm camera for Christmas—what a wonderful gift! You might be wondering, “Now what?” What things should you do or get? This article will hopefully provide a little clarity to these questions and more.

First, I always recommend reading the manual. They’re a little boring and overwhelming, so nobody wants to do that, but it’s important to know your gear inside and out, and the best place to begin is the user manual. Thankfully, Fujifilm has made their digital manuals easy to explore, so you can quickly and easily find the exact topic you’re searching for. I recommend spending a couple of hours reading the manual right after you’ve removed the camera from the box, and thereafter picking one topic to read each day for a month or more, just so you become very familiar with your new camera. If user manuals aren’t your thing, the alternative would be to go onto YouTube and search your camera with the words “setup guide” (or something similar) and you can watch someone explain it.

If you are new to photography, you should gain some basic knowledge. There are lots of articles and YouTube videos that explain the general principals of photography. A few years ago I published an article that you might find helpful (click here) on photography basics.

After that, you should download the Fuji X Weekly App onto your phone and/or tablet (click here for Android, and click here for iOS). The App is a library of over 200 Film Simulation Recipes (camera settings to achieve various looks straight-out-of-camera) for Fujifilm cameras. It’s free, and advanced features can be unlocked by becoming a Patron. This article (click here) briefly explains how to program these “recipes” into your camera. Also, the SOOC video series is an excellent resource that you should explore.

At this point you are ready to have lots and lots of fun with your new camera! But you still might have some questions, such as what accessories to buy next. I’ll answer that below, although it will depend on the exact model you have. Also, if you’re interested, read about my “ultimate” travel kit (click here).

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X100V

If your new Fujifilm camera is an X100V—or perhaps an older X100 model—there are a few accessories you should consider. You might not want or need them all, but you should look into these and determine what (if any) will be beneficial to you. Below is a list of recommended X100V accessories:

Fujifilm NP-126S Battery (you’ll want at least one spare)
SD Memory Card (I prefer to not skimp on quality)
Case, Neck Strap, or Wrist Strap (the strap Fujifilm provides is ok, but you’ll probably want something different)
Adapter Ring and Hood (so you can use filters and weather-seal the camera)
UV, Polarizer, Black Pro Mist, and/or CineBloom filters (you’ll want at least one)
Tele-Conversion Lens and/or Wide-Conversion Lens (to add versatility)
Tripod
Camera Bag

Fujifilm X-Pro3, X-T3, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-T30, or X-T30 II

If your new Fujifilm camera is an interchangeable-lens model—X-Pro3, X-T3, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, X-T30, X-T30 II or an older model—there are a few accessories you should consider. You might not want or need them all, but you should look into these and determine what (if any) will be beneficial to you. Below is a list of recommended Fujifilm interchangeable-lens-camera accessories:

Fujifilm NP-126S Battery or Fujifilm NP-235 Battery for X-T4 (you’ll want at least one spare)
SD Memory Card (I prefer to not skimp on quality)
Neck Strap or Wrist Strap (the strap Fujifilm provides is ok, but you’ll probably want something different)
Zoom Lens: 18-55mm, 16-55mm, 16-80mm, 10-24mm, 18-135mm, 50-140mm, or 55-200mm (consider upgrading the kit zoom)
Prime Lens: 18mm, 23mm, 35mm, 50mm, or 90mm (you’ll want at least one prime lens)
Flash
Tripod
Camera Bag

Obviously, you don’t need everything in these lists (and there are alternatives). Often less is more, so don’t worry about having everything, because photographic vision is much more important than photographic gear. You have a camera and a lens, and that’s really all that you need to capture great photographs, but it is nice to add a few tools to the toolbox. In this case, those “tools” might be gear, but they might be skills, so a book like The Art of Photography might be a worthwhile investment, as well as experiences (going places with your camera). As you gain more skills and experiences, you’ll have more clarity on what gear you actually need to better achieve your vision.

Creative Collective 009: 36 Frames – Fujifilm X100V – Kodachrome 64 Recipe – All Manual

Red Freightliner – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Kodachrome 64 – Frame 05

Back in the film days, most of the cameras I had were fully manual. No auto or semi-auto modes. No autofocus. Manual everything. In the digital age, modern cameras are pretty good at taking care of some tasks for you. You can afford to be a little lazy and still get the shot with ease. It’s a marvel of modern camera technology!

Nowadays I mostly shoot in Aperture-Priority (with Shutter and ISO set to A), or occasionally Shutter-Priority (with Aperture and ISO set to A). Only on rare occasions do I manually select shutter, aperture, and ISO. It’s not uncommon that I manually focus, especially if I’m using a vintage lens, but most of the time I’m allowing the camera to autofocus for me. It’s just easier. But sometimes easier isn’t better. It’s good to stay in photographic shape, and to challenge yourself from time-to-time.

I decided to challenge myself yesterday to this: shoot 36 frames (like a roll of film) with the same film simulation recipe, using manual everything. Manual aperture. Manual shutter. Manual ISO. Manual focus. The camera I chose was the Fujifilm X100V, and I loaded it with my Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe. I headed out right at sunrise.

This was my experience.

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Poll Results: Which Cameras Do You Have?

First, I want to give a big “Thank You” to everyone who participated in yesterday’s survey! To say that I’ve been overwhelmed (in a good way) with the response is an understatement. You all really came through in a big way, so thanks!

Which Fujifilm camera sensor generation do most of you have? I was really surprised by the results. Let’s dive in!

1. 51% of you own an X-Trans IV model
– 19% own either on X-T3 or X-T30
– 17% own an X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, or X-T30 II
– 15% own an X-Pro3 or X100V
2. 22% of you own an X-Trans III model
– The X-H1 represents 20% of all X-Trans III cameras (there were six models)
3. 13% of you own an X-Trans II model
– Nearly 1/4 of those are models without Classic Chrome
4. 7% of you own an X-Trans I model
5. 5% of you own a Bayer model
– About 2/3 have a 24 MP camera
6. 2% of you own a GFX model
– About 2/3 own a newer model

What can be learned from all this data? Well, it’s easy to draw conclusions, but not necessarily easy to draw the correct conclusions. I think it demonstrates that Fujifilm has been growing in popularity over the years. Also, those with “newer” models (say, X-Trans III and X-Trans IV) are more likely to use film simulation recipes than those with older models (or Bayer or GFX), possibly because there are more JPEG options; however, that’s kind of a tricky statement, because there are more recipes for X-Trans III and newer, and less for the other models. If there were more recipes, more people would likely use them. So there’s a bit of truth on both sides of that coin. I think the most surprising statistic is that nearly 1/5 of you own either an X-T3 or X-T30—Fujifilm sold those two models like hotcakes! I didn’t realize that so many of you had one of those two models.

If you are looking at this and thinking, I have a low-percentage model, so I guess there’s no hope for new recipes—don’t despair! I plan to make new recipes for as many camera models as I can. With that said, 41% of you own either an X-Trans III or X-T3 or X-T30 camera, and that large segment hasn’t received nearly enough new recipes over the last year. There have been just nine new recipes in the last 12 months for the X-T3 and X-T30, six of which are also compatible with X-Trans III. Of those, two are Patron early-access recipes on the Fuji X Weekly App. So I definitely need to do a better job in the coming year of creating new recipes for the X-T3, X-T30 and X-Trans III.

Whatever you Fujifilm camera is, I hope to publish more film simulation recipes for you, so be on the lookout for those in the coming days, weeks, and months.

I Was Gifted A Fujifilm X-H1!

Fujifilm X-H1 w/Fujinon 35mm f/2 – captured with Fujifilm X-E4 w/Fujinon 90mm f/2Kodachrome 25 film simulation recipe

I got a big holiday surprise in the mail yesterday: a fan of this website gifted me a used Fujifilm X-H1 camera! Whoa. And thank you so very much!

He wanted me to have it because he knew that I didn’t currently own any X-Trans III cameras. This was such a generous (and thoughtful) gift. It most certainly made my Christmas merry!

I have already put it to use. The picture below was captured this morning using a new vintage-like film simulation recipe that I’m working on. I have to test it out more and maybe tweak it a little, but if all goes well it should be published sometime this month, so be on the lookout for it.

Early test shot on the X-H1 – upcoming X-Trans III Film Simulation Recipe

What do you think? Do you like the look of this picture? Is this a recipe that you’re excited for? Let me know int he comments!

Best Fujifilm Cameras For Beginners

If you are looking for your first Fujifilm camera, it can be difficult to know which one to buy. Perhaps this will be your first “serious” camera. Or maybe you’ve had a different brand of camera for awhile, but you don’t use it all of the time, and you’re not all that experienced with it. It could be that you’re interested in a Fujifilm camera because you want to try my film simulation recipes. This article is intended to help you with your buying decision.

I’m making a few assumptions with this post: you’re in the market for a new camera, you want a camera that’s easy-to-use yet you can grow with, and you’re on a limited budget. Maybe those assumptions are incorrect for you, but I bet they’re true for many of the people who this article was intended for. My hope is that this post will give you some clarity.

So let’s look at a few Fujifilm cameras!

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-S10

The X-S10 is a mid-range mirrorless offering from Fujifilm that’s great for both still photography and video. It doesn’t have all the typical retro stylings and controls that most Fujifilm cameras are known for, but if you have some experience (even if just a little) shooting DSLRs or mirrorless cameras from other brands, this camera will likely feel more natural to you, and the learning curve will be just a little easier. It’s an extraordinarily capable model, and will keep up with you as you become a better photographer. If you are looking for the best budget Fujifilm camera for video, look no further, as the video-centric X-S10 is well-regarded for it’s cinematic capabilities. The camera retails body-only for $1,000, or $1,500 bundled with the Fujinon 16-80mm lens.

I recommendation the Fujifilm X-S10 camera if:
– You have some experience with a different brand and want the easiest transition to Fujifilm.
– You will be doing a lot of videography.

I don’t recommend the Fujifilm X-S10 camera if:
– You want the full Fujifilm retro experience.
– You are on a tight budget.

Buy the Fujifilm X-S10 here:
B&H Amazon

Fujifilm X-T30

The Fujifilm X-T30 is a great retro-styled mid-range mirrorless camera, but it is a couple years old now. Despite having the same X-Trans IV sensor and processor as all of the other models in this list, it is more like a previous generation camera. Don’t get me wrong: the X-T30 is an excellent option. I have this camera and use it frequently (you can read my review of the X-T30 here). Of all the cameras in this list, the X-T30 is the one I recommend the least, but I do still recommend it. It’s a solid option for both stills and video, but it is beginning to feel slightly dated. The camera retails body-only for $900, or $1,300 bundled with the Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens or Fujinon 18-55mm lens; however, it might be possible to find it discounted.

I recommendation the Fujifilm X-T30 camera if:
– You like the retro-styling.
– You can find it on sale.

I don’t recommend the Fujifilm X-T30 camera if:
– Having the latest and greatest is important to you.
– You’ll be primarily using it for video.

Buy the Fujifilm X-T30 here:
B&H Amazon

Fujifilm X-T30 II

The Fujifilm X-T30 II is a minor update to the X-T30, but if you plan to use film simulation recipes and/or use the camera for video, the new model has some important features that make it worth choosing. The X-T30 and X-T30 II share the same sensor and processor, but are basically two different camera generations. Not surprising, the new version is better. The camera retails body-only for $900, or $1,000 bundled with the Fujinon 15-45mm lens, and $1,300 bundled with the Fujinon 18-55mm lens; however, the X-T30 II isn’t out just yet, but it is available for preorder.

I recommendation the Fujifilm X-T30 II camera if:
– You want the best mid-range retro-styled Fujifilm model.
– You will be doing both still photography and videography.

I don’t recommend the Fujifilm X-T30 II camera if:
– You need a camera right away.
– You can find the original X-T30 on sale for significantly cheaper.

Buy the Fujifilm X-T30 II here:
B&H Amazon

Fujifilm X-E4

Fujifilm doesn’t currently have any low-budget entry-level models—the Bayer-sensor cameras, which serve this purpose, have all been discontinued, at least for now—so the X-E4 currently sits at the bottom of the roster, but, make no mistake, this is a mid-tier camera, similar to the ones above, and not low-end. While the X-E4 sits at the bottom, it is actually my top recommendation, with one exceptions: If you will be doing a lot of video, the X-E4 has some limitations that the X-T30 II and (especially) the X-S10 do not. Otherwise, my best suggestion for those in the market for their first Fujifilm camera is the X-E4. The camera isn’t perfect (you can read my review of the X-E4 here), and perhaps Fujifilm went slightly too minimalistic with it, but it is a pretty darn good option, and an excellent choice for someone wanting an uncomplicated camera that will grow with them as they become better and more experienced. The X-E4 retails body-only for $850, or $1,050 when bundled with the Fujinon 27mm lens.

I recommendation the Fujifilm X-E4 camera if:
– You want the cheapest mid-range retro-styled Fujifilm model.
– You want an uncomplicated option.

I don’t recommend the Fujifilm X-E4 camera if:
– You will be primarily using it for video.
– You think you’ll want a lot of programable buttons and dials.

Buy the Fujifilm X-E4 here:
B&H Amazon

Additional Thoughts

Obviously, if this will be your first Fujifilm camera and you are on a tight budget, you are going to need a lens—a body-only option won’t likely be your best bet, as you will want a lens bundle. Unfortunately, the X-T30 II bundled with the 15-45mm is the only option if you don’t want to spend more than $1,000. The 15-45mm lens is decent enough for a cheap zoom, but there’s a reason it only costs $100 (when bundled). Also, the X-T30 II isn’t out yet, although you can preorder it if you don’t mind waiting. Your next best bet is the X-E4 bundled with the (excellent) 27mm f/2.8, which is $1,050. The rest of the bundles are $1,300-$1,500, which very well might be above your budget.

If these prices are outside of what you can afford, you might consider a used camera, perhaps an X-Trans II or X-Trans III model. Something like the X-T1, X100F, X-E3, X-T20, or a number of other older cameras are good options. The used route is a good way to get into the system without breaking the bank.

If, by chance, you can afford a $1,400 camera, I have one more recommendation for you.

Fujifilm X100V

The Fujifilm X100V is my “desert island” model—if I could only have one camera, it would be this! I love mine (you can read my review of the X100V here), as it’s such an excellent camera. The X100V has a fixed lens, so you don’t need to go out and buy one, although the lack of interchangeable capability is a limitation you’ll have to consider carefully. Of all of the cameras in this list, the X100V would be considered the most “premium” of the group. The camera retails for $1,400.

I recommendation the Fujifilm X100V camera if:
– You want the most enjoyable Fujifilm experience.
– You want a compact option.

I don’t recommend the Fujifilm X100V camera if:
– You have a limited budget.
– You don’t think you’d like the limitation of a fixed lens.

Buy the Fujifilm X100V here:
B&H Amazon

Should Fujifilm Make One Body with Multiple Sensors?

Fujirumors suggested that Fujifilm is making a mistake by using the same sensor in multiple bodies, instead of what Sony does and offer multiple sensor options in one body. For example, Sony has the A7, A7S, A7R, which have nearly identical bodies, but each with a different sensor inside. Fujifilm does the opposite, and includes the same sensor inside a bunch of different bodies. For Sony, the differences between camera models is closely tied with the sensors inside, while the differences between Fujifilm models are largely external.

I think the reason this topic came up is that there are supposedly going to be two different X-H2 cameras coming out next year. It’s possible that it will be the same exact body for both, but two different sensors inside. Could Fujifilm be taking a similar approach to Sony? Nobody (outside of Fujifilm) knows.

If Fujifilm does this, I think it would make sense to have three options: a high resolution 40-megapixel sensor capable of 8K video, a 26 to 30-megapixel sensor that is the “all-around” option, and a lower resolution 16 to 20-megapixel sensor that maximizes high-ISO, dynamic range, and speed. Honestly, though, I hope that Fujifilm doesn’t do this, although admittedly I do like the idea of a lower resolution option to maximize high-ISO, dynamic range, and speed.

What I do appreciate about Fujifilm’s current approach is that, no matter the camera you have, if it has the same sensor, it will have the same image quality. You can have an X-T1, X100T, and X-T10, and the image quality will be identical between these models. You can have an X-Pro3, X-S10, and X-E4, and the image quality will be identical. The advantage of this uniformity cannot be understated! This is ideal for those wanting consistency across their kit.

On Sony models, image quality is certainly similar between the three nearly identical options, but definitely different. If you have an A7R IV and an A7S III and captured the same scene with identical settings, you’d be able to tell that two different cameras captured the pictures, if you compared them closely. If you did that same experiment with an X-T3 and X-T30, the pictures would look identical.

I’m sure that Fujifilm watches closely what Sony is doing, looking at both what is working and what isn’t. They’d be wise to find lessons that can be applied to their own products. With that said, Fujifilm should not lose sight of what makes their brand special, and why their current customers chose them. They can learn a lot from themselves. I can’t tell Fujifilm what to do, and I’m certainly not an expert at camera marketing, but I think they’d do better to differentiate themselves from the competition, and not copy what Sony is doing. Sony is Sony, and Fujifilm is Fujifilm. If someone wants a Sony camera, they’re not going to buy a Fujifilm camera. If someone wants a Fujifilm camera, they’re not going to buy a Sony. Fujifilm should do more to convince potential customers that they should want a Fujifilm camera, which means highlighting what makes them unique, and why that uniqueness might be better for one’s photography. This blog does a pretty good job of doing that on Fujifilm’s behalf—not because I’m paid to (I’m not), but because of how I feel about their products, and what their cameras mean to my photography. I hope that Fujifilm doesn’t lose sight of their uniqueness, and doesn’t try to copy what other brands are doing—that just doesn’t seem like the right move to me.

Rumor: New Fujifilm X Camera Coming Soon

According to Fujirumors, Fujifilm will release a new X-series camera in 2021. It was previously reported that the X-E4 was the last with the X-Trans IV sensor and the upcoming X-H2, to be released sometime in early 2022, will have a new sensor (X-Trans V, most likely). So what is this new mystery camera?

Back in May I said, “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fujifilm release a Bayer camera later this year, maybe an X-A8 or (less likely) an X-T300 or (even less likely) an XF20. If it does happen, you heard it here first, but if it doesn’t happen, well, don’t be surprised, because it probably won’t. It might, though.” Well, it looks like maybe I was right, assuming that it ends up being a Bayer sensor X-series camera. Personally, I’m hoping for an XF20. We’ll see.

Of course, what would be amazing is a Monochrome-only camera! Technically speaking, this wouldn’t be X-Trans, because it wouldn’t have a color filter array. While this is certainly a possibility, it seems highly unlikely, which is unfortunate, because I’d be much more excited for a black-and-white camera than a Bayer model.

I don’t have any inside information, so I can only speculate. Logically speaking, unless Fujifilm changed their minds and they produce one more X-Trans IV camera (X80?), or they introduce the new sensor with a camera other than the X-H2 (X-T40?), then it makes sense that it’ll be a Bayer or Monochrome model, with Bayer the most likely (by far) option. I wonder if Fujifilm will announce this camera on September 2nd during the X Summit, or if they’ll wait for another date? I suppose we’ll know soon enough.

Fuji Features: Fujifilm X-Pro1 in 2021?

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 is nine-years-old. It was the very first interchangeable-lens X camera and also the first to have an X-Trans sensor. If it failed, this website and film simulation recipes probably wouldn’t exist. Thankfully, despite its shortcomings, people could see the potential, and the X-Pro1 was an instant hit.

My Fujifilm journey began with an X-E1, the X-Pro1’s little brother. I briefly shot with an X-Pro2, a camera that I loved. I never had an X-Pro1, but it’s a well-regarded camera, even today. The last Fuji Features article was entitled Fujifilm X-Pro3 in 2021, so I decided this week to find articles and videos about using the X-Pro1 in 2021.

Hopefully, you’ll find this post interesting, and it will help you get through another Hump Day. Maybe it will inspire you to add an old X-Pro1 to your camera collection. I did. More on that later.

The Phoblographer

The Inspired Eye

Daniel Ian

Fuji Features: Fujifilm X-Pro3 in 2021

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 was released in late-November 2019, with much fanfare and much controversy. It was the first of the second-era of X-Trans IV, and is unique with its backwards-mounted rear screen. So much has been said, both good and bad, but now that we’re a year-and-a-half later I thought it would be fun to revisit the X-Pro3 for this week’s Fuji Features article. I didn’t want to share all of the old reviews, but only the ones that have been published this year, just to keep things fresh.

The X-Pro3 is a camera that I would love to own, and maybe someday I will, but it’s just not in the cards for me at the moment. I did shoot with an Fujifilm X-Pro2 that I absolutely loved a few years back, but I didn’t really own it, and unfortunately had to part with it (long story). The X-Pro line (along with the X100 and X-E lines) is beautifully designed, and better looking than most cameras made today.

Below are the Fujifilm X-Pro3 reviews from 2021 that I found on the web.

The Phoblographer

5050 Travelog

India Today

Below are the Fujifilm X-Pro3 reviews from 2021 that I found on YouTube.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-Pro3 Dura Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-Pro3 Dura Black   Amazon   B&H

Fuji Features: A Roundup of Fujifilm X-E4 Reviews

There doesn’t appear to be one place on the web to get your full Fujifilm fix. You might frequently visit a handful of websites, and the Fuji X Weekly blog is hopefully one of those websites. I have a few regular daily stops, plus a few that I visit less often. I realized recently that I’m missing a lot of great content that’s out on the web regarding Fujifilm, and perhaps you are, too. If there was a frequently visited website that gathered these articles and put them into one place, that would be very convenient. Seeing a need and wanting to fill it, I’m creating a new series called Fuji Features, which will have links to recent Fujifilm related articles. My intention is that each of these posts will have a theme, and the theme for this very first one is Fujifilm X-E4 reviews.

I searched the web and found a whole bunch of Fujifilm X-E4 reviews. I’m not including all of the reviews that I found, only those that were published over the last few weeks—if they’re older than that, it’s more likely that you’ve already seen them, so I didn’t include those in this article. I’m sure that I missed a few, so if you know of one that should have been included, don’t be afraid to add it via the comments section. Of course, I have my own Fujifilm X-E4 review, and I invite you to view it if you haven’t already. If you are considering purchasing an X-E4, my hope is that this post will be useful to you.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Black + 27mm f/2.8    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver + 27mm f/2.8   Amazon   B&H

Below are the recent Fujifilm X-E4 reviews that I found on the web.

5050 Travelog

Digital Camera World

ShotKit

The Phoblographer

Pocket-lint

Shutterbug

Photo Review

Amateur Photographer

SGEEK

Plus some videos! Lots and lots of videos….

Hopefully you found this this post helpful or interesting. I plan to do more articles in this series, although the exact format might vary from post-to-post. I’m not certain how frequent these will come out, but my plan right now is weekly, but we’ll see how that goes. If you found one of these articles or videos especially helpful to you, let me know in the comments!

Review: Fujifilm X-E4 — The Little Camera That Can

The X-E1 was my introduction to the world of Fujifilm cameras. I love the X-E line—the nearly perfect combination of form, function, size and price—it’s easy to understand why people are passionate about it. Fujifilm just released the latest model in this series: the X-E4. This new iteration has received plenty of praise and criticism. Fujifilm made some significant changes to this model, but do they equate to a better camera?

The Fujifilm X-E4, which retails for $850 for the body or $1,050 when combined with the new 27mm f/2.8 lens, is the fifth X-E camera. Fifth? Isn’t the X-E4 the fourth? In 2012 Fujifilm released the X-E1 (X-Trans I), a year later the X-E2 (X-Trans II), in 2016 the X-E2s (also X-Trans II), in 2017 the X-E3 (X-Trans III), and now in 2021 we have the X-E4 (X-Trans IV). Beginning with the X-E2s, this series marks the end of a sensor generation, and most likely the X-E4 will be the last camera with the X-Trans IV sensor.

Fujifilm knows how to make a beautiful camera, and the X-E line is one of their best looking. The X100, X-Pro and X-E series are the epitome of modern-retro fusion camera styling. People will mistake it for a vintage film camera. The X-E4 is indeed one of the loveliest cameras made today! The X100 and X-Pro lines are more premium, while X-E is more mid-level. This camera is not weather-sealed, and there’s no IBIS, which will certainly cause complaints, yet the X-E4 is a wonderful camera that is well-built and well-designed—a solid offering by Fujifilm, no doubt—but it’s not a premium model, so expectations should be kept reasonable.

The X-E4 is Fujifilm’s smallest interchangeable-lens camera with a viewfinder. It’s tiny! Really, though, it’s not all that much more compact than the X-T30 or especially the X-E3, but it is slightly smaller nonetheless. It’s pretty darn lightweight, too. This is why I bought the camera: I wanted a smaller and lighter option for travel, and the X-E4 fulfills that nicely.

Fujifilm’s promotional slogan for this camera is “Make more with less.” It’s clear that the design philosophy for the X-E4 was minimalism, something that I appreciate. They attempted to “achieve simplicity” with it, and indeed they did! But did they go too far? There are a number of buttons, switches, and wheels that have been removed from the camera body. Aside from the Shutter Speed and Exposure Compensation knobs and the On-Off/Shutter-Release switch/button, there are now just seven buttons, a joystick, and the front wheel—and that’s it! I wish that the M/C/S focus selector switch had not been axed (probably the most controversial decision), but I’m alright with all of the other design choices. It would have been a nice touch if Fujifilm had included an ISO ring around the shutter knob, but it’s not a big deal that they didn’t.

The X-E4 has an X-Trans IV sensor, which has been around for about two-and-a-half years now; however, Fujifilm has refreshed the firmware in new models, so this camera feels like a different generation than the X-T3 and X-T30. It’s more similar to the X-Pro3, X100V, and especially the X-T4, yet Fujifilm tweaked it a little, so it’s not exactly the same as those cameras, either. One difference is that literally everything in the menu can be (or, really, must be) set in the custom presets. There are some advantages and disadvantages to this, and it definitely takes longer to set up (there are a couple of new tools to potentially help with this); overall I feel like this was a good change that I hope Fujifilm carries forward into future models.

One positive side effect of this firmware change is that it’s now possible to program eight film simulation recipes into the camera. Yes, eight! There’s still the C1-C7 custom presets that can be accessed through the Q Menu, but whatever is programmed into the IQ Menu is remembered separately from the custom presets. As you scroll through the C1-C7 presets in the Q Menu, you additionally have the IQ Menu settings, which are designated by a P, A, S or M, (depending on the shooting mode you are in) in the Q Menu. This eighth “custom preset” cannot be named, but it’s nice to be able to store another recipe in-camera. Also, the very confusing “Base” designation is now gone.

One negative side effect of the firmware change is that the focus mode, whether Manual, Continuous or Single, must be set from within the menu, and must be programmed with each custom preset. I shoot in Single-AF 80% of the time, so that’s what I have it set to, and most of the time this works well. But, when I need to change it (I have a button programmed to quickly access this), it’s not remembered by the camera, so when I adjust to a different custom preset it’s back to Single-AF, when maybe I want Continuous or Manual instead. When I’m shooting in something other than Single-AF, I find myself having to sometimes reset it to the focus mode that I want to use, which can be a little inconvenient and a bit frustrating. The X-E4 does have the ability to automatically save changes to presets, which is a potential solution, but I can foresee some possible problems with that, so I haven’t tried it. I’m hoping that I’m just overlooking some simple solution to the problem, and this will be a complete nonissue once I figure it out. This curious design choice might be the biggest reason why people don’t buy the X-E4, and the inclusion of a M/C/S focus selector switch would have avoided it altogether. It’s just unfortunate, but it’s not a deal-breaker for me because most of the time the camera operates just as I want it to. It’s only a problem every once in awhile.

The X-E4 has a flat design with no bulges for grips. You can buy an aftermarket grip and thumb rest, which is supposed to help with holding the camera, yet adds a little girth and weight. I have had no issues holding the camera, so I have no plans to use those. I might be in the minority with this opinion, but I actually prefer the flat design; however, some people won’t like it, and this might be a reason to avoid the X-E4, depending on your preferences.

The electronic viewfinder is plenty good enough for me—I believe it’s the same one found in the X-T30. The rear screen is a touch-flip. I actually have the touch capability disabled because accidentally touching it, which happens often, does annoying things. The flip ability is nice, but I have never moved it to the “selfie” position—only 90° for waist-level shooting. Maybe someday the full flip will come in handy.

Image quality on the X-E4, like all X-Trans IV cameras, is outstanding. I said about the X100V, and it’s just as true (if not more true) with the X-E4, is that it’s like shooting with an endless roll of film. Actually, it’s like shooting with up to eight endless rolls of film. You can capture as many frames as you wish on each roll, and change the film anytime you want. Amazing!

The video specs are pretty darn good on the X-E4. I’ve not used the camera much for video yet, but I have no doubts that it would be plenty good enough for most people and most purposes. Most likely it has a similar overheating issue as the X100V, but I’ve not heard any reports or experienced overheating myself. Plan to keep clips under five minutes in length, and give the camera a break every now and then, and it should not be a problem at all. If you are serious about video, I don’t think you’d want the X-E4 as your primary cinema camera, but I believe that it would make a solid second body.

With product reviews, people often look for recommendations. Should I upgrade from the X-E3? Should I choose the X-T30 or X-S10 instead of the X-E4? What should I buy? I can’t tell you what decisions you should make, but, for me, I really like the X-E4 as an interchangeable-lens companion to the X100V for travel. That’s where this camera makes the most sense to me, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if it makes sense for you and how you might want to use it.

For travel photography, I’m trying to go smaller, lighter, and simpler, and a key component to that is the Fujifilm X-E4. I really appreciate the redesign. It’s not perfect—no camera is—but it’s pretty darn close to perfect for what I want it use it for. The X-E4, along with a handful of compact lenses, such as the new 27mm f/2.8 that came with it, fits nicely into a small camera bag, right next to the X100V. The X-E4 really is the little camera that can, and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Black + 27mm f/2.8    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver + 27mm f/2.8   Amazon   B&H

I captured the photographs below using my Fujifilm X-E4 on a recent trip to Arizona:

Sitting Above Horseshoe Bend – Glen Canyon Nat. Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pergear 10mm
Three Palms – Sun City West, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
That Way – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
SS At 35th – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm
Old Cars & Tires – Kamas, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Trash Cart – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
American Motorcycle – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm
Spring Seeding – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pentax-110 50mm
Lemon Tree – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm
Blossoming Red – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Dark Blossoms – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & 7artisans 50mm
Hanging Light Bulb – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 35mm
Roundabout – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm
Coffee – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm
Two Thirty – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 27mm

See also: My Fujifilm Gear Page

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Review: Fujifilm GFX-50S + Fujinon GF 23mm F/4

Fujifilm recently sent me a GFX-50S and Fujinon 23mm f/4 lens to borrow for a few weeks. I’ve been wanting to try GFX ever since it came out, but it’s expensive and well outside of my budget, so I never had the chance. Now, thanks to Fujifilm North America, I was able to give the GFX-50S a try—a dream come true! It was very difficult to mail the camera and lens back because I really wanted to keep it.

The Fujifilm GFX-50S is not a new camera. In fact, it’s four-years-old now. The model sent to me has been circulated to many other photographers and countless reviewers, and you’ve likely seen this exact camera before. So much has already been said about it. I want this review to be different than all the others, which will be a difficult accomplishment; I won’t go into all the technical details that are easily found online. Also, with the release of the GFX100S, I believe that the GFX-50S will likely be discontinued soon.

My perspective for this review is that I’m a JPEG-shooter who uses Fujifilm’s APS-C X-series cameras, something regular readers of this blog are well aware of. Shooting JPEGs on GFX might seem strange, but you might be surprised by the number of people who are doing just that. I’m quite happy by the image quality produced by Fujifilm’s smaller sensors, but I’ve been fascinated by Fujifilm’s medium-format line since this camera was announced. I was curious what the differences are between Fujifilm X and GFX, and whether the advantages are worth the significantly steeper sticker price that comes with the larger sensor.

In this review I want to cover are some myths regarding medium-format photography. There are some things circulating around the internet that are not true or are only partially true, so I think it’s important to discuss these and set the record straight.

Myth #1: You get a much more shallow depth-of-field with medium-format than APS-C. There actually is some truth to this myth, but it’s not completely correct. It’s a mathematical calculation related to crop factor, but essentially, all things being, um, equivalently equal, medium-format will have a more shallow depth-of-field than APS-C with the same aperture. But things aren’t always equal. Lets look at a couple examples. The GF 80mm f/1.7, which is full-frame equivalent to 63mm, cannot produce quite as small of a depth-of-field as the XF 50mm f/1, which is full-frame equivalent to 75mm; but if you compare that same GF 80mm lens to the XF 35mm f/1.4, which is full-frame equivalent to 52mm, the GF lens is capable of a smaller depth-of-field. So, yes, it is possible to achieve a more shallow depth-of-field with GFX, and, yes, it is possible to achieve a more shallow depth-of-field with X-Trans, just depending on the lenses being used; however, most GF lenses have a maximum aperture of f/2.8, f/3.5 or f/4, so if you’re trying to take advantage of the potential shallow depth-of-field advantage of medium-format, your lens choices are the GF 80mm f/1.7 or the GF 110mm f/2. I think, otherwise, the advantage disappears because there are number of XF lenses that have larger maximum apertures than their GFX counterparts, and can produce a similar or even sometimes smaller depth-of-field.

Myth #2: GFX is better for low-light photography. There definitely is a clear high-ISO advantage that the GFX-50S has over X-Trans. It’s at least one stop, probably more. But, as was discussed in Myth #1, GF lenses often have smaller maximum apertures than XF lenses, which means that you’re often going to be using higher ISOs with GFX cameras than X-Trans cameras in the same situation. In other words, it’s a good thing that high-ISO is better, because you’re going to need it.

Myth #3: The resolution advantage of GFX over X-Trans is massive. I’ve never used either of the 100MP cameras; however, the 50MP sensor on the GFX-50S is fantastic—full of fine, crisp details—and is basically double the resolution of X-Trans III and IV. It’s a pixel-peeper’s dream! But is there a practical advantage to all that resolution? I printed some pictures captured with the GFX-50S and some identical pictures captured with an X-T30 to see what differences there might be. What I discovered is that you need to print 24” x 36” to really notice, and even then it’s not a night-and-day difference, and without closely comparing the prints side-by-side it’s not obvious, as the X-T30 images held up pretty well. If you aren’t printing at least that big, or cropping deeply, the resolution advantage is essentially meaningless. Those who need 50MP know who they are, so if you’re not sure, it most likely means that you don’t.

This isn’t a myth, but worth noting nonetheless: the GFX-50S isn’t quick. There’s a pause, similar to using Clarity on newer X-Trans IV cameras, after capturing an exposure. It takes a moment for the camera to write an image to the card. The GFX-50S is a camera to take your time with. Despite the pause similar to using Clarity, the JPEG options on this camera are more similar to the X-T3 and X-T30, except that it does have the Classic Negative film simulation.

Something that I did really appreciate about the GFX-50S is the dynamic range. Highlights don’t look much different than X-Trans, but there’s a noticeable difference in the shadows. Shadows in X-Trans JPEGs are a little more like slide film, while shadows in GFX-50S JPEGs are a little more like print film. I very much enjoyed how the GFX camera renders pictures, even though it’s only subtly different than X-Trans.

I did mention that this was a review of both the GFX-50S camera and the GF 23mm F/4 R LM WR lens. This lens is ultra-wide, with a full-frame equivalent focal-length of 18mm. There’s some distortion, so don’t expect straight lines to be straight, especially toward the edges of the frame. It’s super sharp, as you’d expect it to be, and a great option for dramatic landscapes. I don’t imagine that this would be very many people’s choice for a first lens, but it definitely would be an excellent addition to the landscape photographer’s bag.

The GFX-50S is an excellent camera that I would love to own. The body retails for $5,500, and the 23mm lens retails for $2,600, bringing the total for this kit to $8,100, which is a lot. That’s well outside of my budget. If I often made large prints and my income came from those prints, this would likely be money well spent. Otherwise, my opinion is that the GFX-50S is overkill for most people and most purposes. Those who would benefit from this camera already know who they are. If I had thousands of dollars in my pocket to spend on gear and affording the GFX-50S was no problem, I still wouldn’t buy it, because I’d rather use that money on experiences than cameras. But if I did own the GFX-50S, I’d be very happy with it, because the images that it produces are so nice. I’m grateful that Fujifilm loaned me the camera and lens, and, while it was difficult to send back because I enjoyed it so much, it did make me appreciate even more just how good X-Trans cameras are. GFX is capable of better image quality, no doubt, but Fujifilm X is still quite excellent—almost as good as the GFX-50S—which is nothing short of amazing.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm GFX-50S  Amazon  B&H
Fujinon GF 23mm f/4  Amazon  B&H

Example photographs, captured with the Fujifilm GFX-50S and Fujinon GF 23mm F/4 R LM WR lens:

Lake Ripples – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Uncertain Road – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
The Causeway Road – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Tiny Niagara – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Reeds & Birds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Brown Among Green – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
January Forest – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Forest Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Creekside Trail – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Backlit – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Flasher – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Tunnel Silhouette – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Frozen Marsh Water – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Ice Tracks in the Reeds – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Marsh Ice Tracks – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Lookout Tower – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Marsh Boardwalk – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Reeds & Grass – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Winter Marsh – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Twisted – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Sky Railing – Layton, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm
Big Sky Over Yellow House – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm GFX-50S & Fujinon 23mm

See also: GFX Film Simulation Recipes

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Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Fujifilm GFX100S

Fujifilm recently announced the 102-megapixel medium-format GFX100S. This camera is already making big waves because of the the high-resolution sensor and because of the “small” price-tag of “only” $6,000 (body only). A lot of people are talking about this upcoming camera—in fact, I visited a local camera store, and the GFX100S was a hot topic that was being discussed by those in the store.

Back in June I published an article, Shrinking Camera Market: What Fujifilm Should Do In 2021 & Beyond, and I suggested that Fujifilm should make a camera like the GFX100S (although I said it should be rangefinder-styled). I think it’s a good move for Fujifilm, and this camera will be highly successful. Already preorders have apparently exceeded expectations, and you might have to exercise some patience if you want to get your hands on one and you didn’t preorder on the day it was announced.

I don’t have a lot of experience with GFX cameras. Fujifilm recently loaned me a GFX-50S, which is four-years-old now and surely about to be discontinued. I’m grateful to have been give the opportunity to briefly try a GFX camera—a dream come true, really! For the most part the benefit of medium format is only truly realized if you crop really deeply or print very large. Still, I hope to one day try the GFX100S myself, although it won’t likely be anytime soon, and will likely only happen if Fujifilm lets me borrow one for a few weeks. The GFX100S, even though priced very low for what it is, is still significantly outside of my budget. I’m sure many of you can relate.

The GFX-50S that Fujifilm sent me has been used by so many other photographers. If you’ve read reviews of this camera or watched YouTube videos about it, you’ve probably seen this exact camera before. It’s difficult to know precisely who has used it—there are a lot of people who have reviewed it and probably a couple different bodies floating around—but I know for certain that Julien Jarry is one because he put a sticker on the bottom. Well played!

Julien is a talented photographer and videographer, and a friend of mine. I had the pleasure to photograph with him this last summer out at Antelope Island State Park, and you’ll notice him in a couple of pictures in the Kodak Portra 400 v2 film simulation recipe. It’s an honor to use the same gear that Julien used.

If someday Fujifilm loans me a GFX100S, you know that I’ll publish several articles about it on the Fuji X Weekly blog, and create some film simulation recipes, too! It might be a long time before that happens, if it ever happens. I hope it does, and I will be grateful for the opportunity, because I’m certain that the GFX100S is an amazing camera.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm GFX100S B&H

Fujifilm X-E4 Thoughts….

I wasn’t intending to write this article. I had other things that I wanted to talk about. There are a couple new film simulation recipes I’ve created that I plan to share. I want to give my thoughts on the new GFX100S. I want to talk more about the GFX-50S that Fujifilm sent me to use. There are a couple of lens reviews that I’ve been procrastinating on. The Android version of the Fuji X Weekly App is edging closer to being finished. But, the upcoming Fujifilm X-E4 has been turning inside my brain all day, so that’s why I’m writing about it instead.

I think a lot of people had high hopes and expectations for the Fujifilm X-E4, and nobody really predicted what it ended up being. It’s like when the X-Pro3 was announced, and everyone was scratching their heads. With the X-Pro3, even though so many didn’t understand it, I think there was a pretty large curiosity towards it, and a lot of people came around to it after awhile. The X-E4 has a similar lack of understanding surrounding it, but it doesn’t carry that same curiosity, so it will likely be fairly ignored. It’s already been overshadowed by other gear announcements.

There was a post I published back in July called Shrinking Camera Market: What Fujifilm Should Do in 2021 & Beyond. I suggested that Fujifilm should make a less-expensive 100MP GFX camera. Guess what? They did! Another thing I suggested is that Fujifilm should do more to differentiate the X-E4 from the X-T30 (and the eventual X-T40) because the X-E3 and the X-T20 were so very similar (aside from camera shape). Well, it looks like they did that, too. My apologies.

The question is: what was Fujifilm thinking when they designed the X-E4? What was their vision? That’s tough to know until the tell us, if they tell us, as they might not. Until then, we’re left guessing, and most of the guesses seems to be along the lines of, “They cheapened the X-E line.” I really don’t believe that was their intention.

As I’ve thought about this, I believe the X-E4 is intended to be a minimalist’s “just shoot” camera. Looking at all of the aspects of an X-E3, the designers asked themselves, “Is this necessary?” If the answer was yes, it stayed, perhaps repositioned or redesigned. If the answer was no, to the chopping block it went! I question if the rear wheel and focus-type-selector were really unnecessary, because I think they’re both quite handy. But someone obviously didn’t think so. An ISO dial on the shutter knob (like the X100V) would have been a great addition, but that didn’t happen, unfortunately. I do believe the design of the X-E4 was very intentional, and there was a purpose to the decisions, even if I don’t fully understand them myself.

Besides being a “just shoot” camera, I think the X-E4 was intended to be a smaller pocketable-ish camera, like the X100V or the X70. Remember the X70? It was the short-lived baby-brother to the X100T, with an 18.5mm fixed-lens. Sony suddenly stopped production of the X-Trans II sensor, which the X70 used, and that killed the camera. The X-Trans III sensor was too hot to place inside the small X70 body, so an X80 never happened. Is the X-E4 actually an interchangeable-lens X80? Maybe. Attach one of Fujifilm’s pancake lenses—the 18mm f/2 or 27mm f/2.8—to the X-E4 and it could pass as an X70 successor. It wasn’t very long ago that Fujifilm said there would be no X-E4, that the X-E3 was the end of the line, so maybe the initial vision of this camera wasn’t X-E at all. Just a thought.

Where I think the Fujifilm X-E4 makes the most sense is as a lightweight, compact, carry-everywhere camera. It could nicely complement the X100V. It might be a good option to replace an aging X70. Or, if you never purchased an X70 but always wanted to, this might be a solid alternative. Maybe the XF10 never interested you because of its sluggish performance, Bayer sensor, and PASM dial, but you’d love a compact X-Trans option. Well, now you have one.

My opinion is that if you can make peace with the minimalistic redesign, and you get yourself the 18mm f/2 and/or the 27mm f/2.8—maybe even use a wrist strap instead of a neck strap—this camera could be a very nice travel/street/have-with-you-wherever-you-go option. Is it perfect? No, but what camera is?

Like a lot of you, I’m disappointed that the Fujifilm X-E4 isn’t the camera that many of us thought it could or should be, but as I’ve pondered what it is exactly that Fujifilm created, I can see its place and it does make some sort of sense. If you embrace it for what it is, and perhaps think of it more as an interchangeable-lens X80 than an X-E camera, than I think the X-E4 could actually be a wonderful and fun option.

I say all of this, but I’ve never used or even held an X-E4, so this rant should be taken with a grain of salt. I was initially bummed by the camera because my expectations were off, but now that I’ve had time to dwell on it I’m actually beginning to warm up to it. I think the X-E4, like many of the X-E cameras that came before, will go under the radar and will be under appreciated, but for those who own one, it will be a joy to use.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 (Body Only)   Amazon  B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 (w/27mm f/2.8)   Amazon  B&H

New: Fujifilm X-E4

Fujifilm just announced the brand-new X-E4. This will be the smallest interchangeable-lens camera in the X series, and comes in at a modest $849 (body only) price tag. Plenty has been said about it, and I wanted to add my own quick opinions.

The X-E4 is a camera that I am excited for. Why? Because my Fujifilm journey began with the X-E1, and I love the X-E line. I appreciate the size and design. The X-E4 is the X-Pro3’s and X100V’s little brother; sometimes little brothers get overlooked. I could be wrong, but I bet this will be last camera with the X-Trans IV sensor, and the next Fujifilm X camera will feature a new X-Trans V sensor.

This latest version of the X-E camera, which will be released on March 11, is the smallest. It’s also the first with a tilting screen. There are some curious design choices. I’m not surprised that the D-Pad was removed, but I am surprised that the back wheel and some other buttons have been taken away. Fujifilm really embraced a minimalist camera back, which I suppose fits a philosophy that helps to separate this camera from the X-T30 and X-S10, but I wonder if that was actually a good idea. I’m personally disappointed the shutter speed knob doesn’t have an ISO dial like the X100V. It’s still such a beautiful camera body!

The GFX100S, which was announced the same day and really has received most of the attention online, and perhaps deservedly so, was given a new film simulation, called Nostalgic Negative. Strangely, the X-E4 won’t have this new film simulation (but it will have Classic Negative and Eterna Bleach Bypass). This puzzles me because 1) my assumption is that the majority of GFX users shoot RAW and not JPEG (although there are certainly many who do) and 2) this could have been a selling point for the X-E4 and would have generated more excitement for the camera. It would have made more sense to me to have included this film simulation on both cameras, or if it was going to be on only one it should have been the X-E4. My guess is that we’ll start seeing Nostalgic Negative on whatever X series camera comes after the X-E4.

I haven’t preordered the X-E4, but I’m considering selling my X-T30 and replacing it with the X-E4. I don’t think that’s necessarily an upgrade (maybe arguably in some sense, and maybe arguably a downgrade in some other sense, but mostly roughly a lateral move overall), but I just love the X-E line. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do.

The X-E4 is a compact, lightweight Fujifilm X camera that embraces minimalism, simplicity and retro goodness. It seems like such a fun camera that’s especially great for travel or street photography. Introduced at the same time is the new 27mm f/2.8 pancake. This one is weather sealed (the X-E4 isn’t) and has an aperture ring (both are great upgrades!) yet with the same great image quality, so it’s a lens that I hope to add to my collection someday. You can buy the X-E4 bundled with the Fujinon 27mm pancake lens for $1,050.

If you’d like to preorder the camera, you can use the links below:

Fujifilm X-E4 (Body Only) Amazon B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 (w/27mm f/2.8) Amazon B&H

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

New: Fujifilm X-S10

It seems like everyone is talking about the newly announced Fujifilm X-S10, an upcoming mid-range interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera with in-body image stabilization (IBIS). This new camera will be released on November 19 for $1,000 for the body-only.

The X-S10 is a new line, not just a new camera. Fujifilm obviously didn’t listen to my advice (I highly doubt they ever saw it). Really, Fujifilm should have added IBIS to the X-T30 and called it the X-T40, at least that’s what I suggested. Instead they made a new camera from scratch (is that what the “S” stands for?). Internally, the X-S10 is an X-T4 (Fujifilm’s high-end model). Externally, this is an X-T200 (Fujifilm’s low-end model) with a grip (I assume the grip is for heat dispersion more than anything). It seems like they put a Porsche engine inside a VW Bug.

The X-S10 is the X-T4, except smaller, lighter, not weather sealed, with only one memory card slot, and in a body similar to the X-T200 (but with a hand-grip). You get a pretty darn solid camera for a pretty decent price. But, you also get a PASM dial instead of the shutter and ISO dials. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? On the inside the X-S10 is a great camera, no doubt about it!

I don’t like the name, though. Did Fujifilm put their hand in a Scrabble bag and pull out an S? What does the S stand for? When I think of S10, I think of cheap Chevy trucks with questionable reliability and presumably lots of rust. That’s not a good association! Of course, if you say the full name, it sounds like “Excess 10” which perhaps is appropriate but not necessarily great from a marketing point-of-view. Maybe the S stands for Sony-killer, which is what I think Fujifilm hopes that this camera becomes. It seems pretty obvious that the Fujifilm X-S10 and the Sony A6500 will be direct competitors. The A6500 is aesthetically uninspiring, so despite my misgivings about the X-S10’s body design, it still wins hands down over the Sony model, in my opinion. Most likely, the S stands for stabilized, as this camera joins a small list of Fujifilm cameras that have IBIS.

Interestingly, Fujifilm also announced a new 10-24mm f/4 lens, which is simply an update to a lens they’ve had for awhile. The new version is weather-sealed. There are a few other small improvements, but weather sealing is the big one. Apparently at some point you’ll be able to buy the X-S10 bundled with the new 10-24mm lens, but the X-S10 isn’t weather sealed, so you might be better off buying the old version of the lens instead, if you plan to use it with that camera.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-S10 Amazon B&H

Fujifilm X100V New Feature: Clarity

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The Fujifilm X100V has a new feature called Clarity. It actually first appeared on the X-Pro3, and it’s also on the new X-T4, but the X100V is the first camera that I’ve used with it. I’m always very happy whenever Fujifilm gives us new JPEG options, as it allows me to  more accurately achieve the look that I’m after in-camera. I can create better film simulation recipes when I’m given more tools, and the X100V indeed has some new tools.

If you’ve ever done RAW processing, you’ve probably seen a Clarity tool within your software of choice. Maybe you use it all of the time, maybe you’ve never touched it. What exactly Clarity does with each software is slightly different, but the gist of it is that it increases mid-tone contrast, while (mostly) leaving the highlights and shadows untouched. This makes the image appear more contrasty while not blocking up shadows or blowing out highlights. Because Clarity often adds micro-contrast (contrast to fine lines), it can make an image appear to be sharper and more finely detailed than it actually is. Some software programs include sharpening within Clarity. Too much Clarity can often make a picture look unnatural and “over baked”.

I like the idea of having a Clarity option on my Fujifilm camera, but I was really unsure of how it would look. Is it actually a good tool? Does it produce pleasing results? Where should I set it on my camera?

In the manual Fujifilm states that Clarity increases or decreases “definition” while minimally altering highlights and shadows. The camera has the options of -5 to +5, with 0 being the default setting. Let’s take a look at some examples to see what exactly this new feature does to photographs.

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Clarity -5

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +5

You can see from the photographs above that there’s a noticeable difference between Clarity set at -5, 0 and +5. There’s a significant contrast difference between the three pictures. Even highlights and shadows are affected. The first picture looks “soft” while the third picture boarders being “over-baked” with too much definition. Let’s take a closer look at some crops, and add -2 and +2 while we’re at it.

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -2

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +2

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Clarity +5

When you look closely, you can appreciate using minus Clarity for softening skin. At -2 there’s a small difference, but by -5 there’s a big difference. The X100V has a new lens, and it’s sharper, especially when wide open. Some people (myself included) appreciated the softness of f/2 on the old X100 series lens for artistic effect, but the X100V is tack sharp across the board at all apertures. However, -5 Clarity will give a similar softness at any aperture as the old X100 lens does at f/2. Portrait photographers might especially appreciate selecting a minus Clarity option, and somewhere in the range of -2 to -5 seems to be nice.

On the other side, +5 Clarity is definitely too much for some circumstances, particularly portraits. Even +2 might be pushing it in this case, although the results are acceptable in my book. I find that minus Clarity is better when skin is involved, but you can use plus Clarity for more dramatic portraits, although I’d limit it to no higher than +3, unless you’re trying to accentuate something like wrinkled skin and a greying beard, in which case up to +5 might be acceptable. Outside of portraits, I like adding Clarity, and I find that +2 or +3 is a good range for me.

Here are some more examples:

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -3

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +3

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Clarity +5

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -3

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +3

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Clarity +5

The difference between -5 and +5 Clarity is pretty significant, but the in-between differences aren’t huge. It’s difficult to notice a plus or minus one difference. Going up or down two spots is a bit more obvious, although if you’re not closely comparing side-by-side examples you might not pick up on it. I think you’re perfectly fine selecting any of the Clarity options, but for portraits I’d consider using minus Clarity, unless you’re want a dramatic portrait look. For everything else adding a little Clarity helps the picture to pop more. I personally like Clarity set at +2.

Because Clarity adds contrast and does affect highlights and shadows, if you go higher than +3 Clarity, consider decreasing Highlight and Shadow by one to compensate. Also, if you go lower than -3 Clarity, consider increasing Highlight and Shadow by one to compensate. The X-T4 can do .5 Highlight and Shadow adjustments (please, Fujifilm, update the X100V to allow this, too), and that’s probably closer to what you need to compensate for the increased or decreased contrast due to selecting the far ends of Clarity. Just be aware that when you change the Clarity setting, you are changing the picture’s contrast.

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+3 Clarity

Something that I need to point out is that when Clarity is set to anything other than 0, it takes the camera longer to save the file. Fujifilm actually recommends setting Clarity to 0 and adding it later by reprocessing the RAW files in-camera. If you need to shoot quickly, this might be a good option, but if you’re not in a hurry, I’d just set it to what you want it to be so that you don’t have to change it later. Yes, it does slow you down, but if you’re not in a hurry, it’s not a big deal.

In my opinion Fujifilm did a good job of implementing Clarity on the X100V. It’s a useful tool. Those who appreciated the softness of f/2 on the older models will appreciate using minus Clarity on the new model. Those who want to add just a little more punch to their pictures will like using plus Clarity. Each situation might benefit from a Clarity adjustment, and you’ll have to decide which setting is the best for the scene. Whether it’s adding or subtracting Clarity, this is a feature you’ll find me using often. Fujifilm’s inclusion of Clarity on the X100V is something that I’m extremely happy with.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H

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World’s Smallest SLR: Pentax Auto 110 + Adapting Tiny Lenses to Fujifilm X Cameras

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The Pentax Auto 110 is the smallest interchangeable-lens single-lens-reflex camera ever produced. Never heard of it? That’s OK, I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago. This little camera was introduced in 1978, and the Pentax Auto 110 system was manufactured until the mid-1980’s. In all, there were two SLRs and six lenses made by Pentax, plus several accessories, so this was indeed a complete camera system.

The Pentax Auto 110 camera is extraordinarily tiny! It fits into the palm of my hand, and looks more like a toy than a real camera. You might think that it was intended for kids, but it wasn’t. What allows this camera to be so small is that it uses 110 film, which is quite a bit smaller than 35mm film. In fact, the frame is similar in size to a Micro 4/3 sensor. If you aren’t familiar, 110 film comes in a cartridge that’s easy to load and unload, designed for the novice. The tiny film allowed Pentax to design an extraordinarily small camera system.

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Kodak introduced 110 film in the early 1970’s. They didn’t intend for it to be for serious photographers, and only made cheap entry-level point-and-shoot cameras for it. Kodak never figured that anyone who had more than a basic understanding of photography would ever be interested in using 110 film. It was great for those who knew very little about photography, those who valued simplicity over quality. Pentax, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to create a miniature interchangeable-lens camera aimed at a more advanced user. Perhaps the compact size of the gear would be enough for photographers to overlook the inferior film format.

The Pentax Auto 110 was only moderately successful. It sold enough copies for Pentax to continue to market the system for seven or eight years. The first camera, the Auto 110, was replaced by the slightly improved Auto 110 Super in 1982. Initially Pentax made three lenses for the camera, all very tiny, and in the early 1980’s they introduced three additional small lenses. As the name implies, the camera was fully automatic, except for focus, which was manual. Around 1985 the system was discontinued, and not long afterwards forgotten.

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Two things gave the Pentax Auto 110 camera new life in recent years: the lomography movement and the ability to use old lenses on new cameras via adapters. As 110 film became less and less popular, it was discontinued altogether by major manufacturers. Around 10 years ago Lomography stepped in and began selling it, making 110 film somewhat trendy, which increased the popularity of cameras like the Pentax Auto 110. Because 110 film is similar in size to Micro 4/3 sensors, the Asahi lenses made for the Pentax 110 Auto became in-demand for use with Olympus and Panasonic MFT cameras.

When I saw the little lenses, I wondered if they could be adapted to Fujifilm X cameras. Could I even mount these tiny lenses to my X-T30 and X-T1? A quick search revealed that Fotasy makes an inexpensive Pentax 110 to Fujifilm X adapter. But would it work? Would the lenses cover the frame? After all, APS-C sensors are larger than a 110 film frame. Are the lenses any good? I wasn’t sure the answer to these questions, but I gave it a shot and purchased an adapter and a Pentax Auto 110 camera with three lenses.

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These three lenses, which are 18mm, 24mm and 50mm, all have an aperture fixed at f/2.8. You cannot stop down. It’s f/2.8 and be there! They are manual focus only. They’re pretty darn small, much smaller than any APS-C or full-frame lens that I’ve ever used! If you want something small and lightweight, these are the lenses for you! They’re absurdly and almost comically small when mounted to a Fujifilm X camera. The smallest of the three is the 24mm, which is likely the littlest lens in the world that you can attach to a Fujifilm camera.

I gave these lenses a chance. I attached them to my Fujifilm camera and went out to shoot. I wanted to put them to the test. One thing that stood out to me is that these lenses make the camera feel lighter and smaller, because it is! Even the largest, the 50mm, is smaller than other lenses I’ve used before. You can have one lens on the camera, plus two in a snack-size ziplock bag in your pocket, and you’ve got a three-lens kit. This setup is good for travel because it is out of the way, with the two spare lenses taking up almost no space in your pocket.

18mm

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The Asahi Pentax 110 18mm f/2.8 was the lens that I was most excited about. I thought, of them all, this one has the most potential to be useful. Because of the fixed aperture, I knew that depth-of-field would be narrow on all of the lenses, but it would be largest on this lens because of its wide focal-length, which is full-frame equivalent to 27mm on Fujifilm X cameras. The further towards infinity that you focus, the larger the depth-of-field becomes. When focused at the close end, depth-of-field is indeed small, and I was shocked by just how good bokeh (the quality of the out-of-focus portion of the image) is on this lens.

Surprisingly, this 18mm has good coverage on the APS-C sensor. There’s some pronounced vignetting and corner softness, which you can easily crop out or leave for artistic effect. Sharpness is good at the center, but the lens becomes less sharp as you move away from the center. There’s some obvious chromatic aberrations and highlights tend to have an Orton-ish glow. This lens might be good for “dreamy” pictures. Overall, I didn’t like the 18mm nearly as much as I thought I might, and I didn’t use it as often as the other two lenses.

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Trees by a Lake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Seed Pods – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Blooms on a Branch – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Tree Branch Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Countryside – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Mountain, Trees & Meadow – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Trail & Tall Trees – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Boys on Scooters – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Big Leaf – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

24mm

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The Asahi Pentax 110 24mm f/2.8 is the smallest of the three lenses, and the smallest interchangeable lens that I’ve ever used. It’s unbelievably tiny! I doubt that you’ll find a smaller lens that can be attached to your Fujifilm camera. Because of the focal length, which is full-frame equivalent to 36mm, this lens has a narrow depth-of-field, especially when focused at the near end. Bokeh is great!

Like the 18mm, this lens covers the frame, but there’s some obvious vignetting and corner softness. Center sharpness is good, but the lens becomes less sharp as you move away from the center of the frame. There are some chromatic aberrations and highlights tend to glow, but neither are as pronounced as the 18mm. Overall I liked the 24mm lens more than the 18mm, but it didn’t impress me enough to want to use it all of the time.

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Rural Roofline – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Coca-Cola Machine – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Mini Mart – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Corner Building – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Trail Parking – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Barbed Wire Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Country Thistle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Ball Flower in a Garden – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Lit Leaf – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f.2.8

50mm

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The Asahi Pentax 110 50mm f/2.8 is the lens that I thought I’d like the least. Why? Because I already have several great 50mm (or near 50mm) lenses that I really like. Because of the focal length, which is full-frame equivalent to 75mm on Fujifilm X cameras, this lens has the most narrow depth-of-field of the three, especially when focused towards the near end, where it’s very thin. Once again, bokeh is great. Lens flare, if you like lens flare, can be downright amazing!

While there is some light falloff near the corners, this lens definitely has 100% coverage on APS-C sensors. It’s sharp in the center, and becomes less sharp towards the corners, although not quite as bad as the other two lenses. I did find some chromatic aberrations, but it’s pretty minor, especially when compared to the others. The 50mm lens was the most difficult of the three to use, but the results were the most rewarding. This was my favorite, and the one that I used most often. Of the three, this lens is the one that I can see using again and again. There’s something special about it.

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Ray – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Girl in Yellow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Boy & Lens Flare – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 100 50mm f/2.8

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Rainbow Flare & Kids – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Rainbow in the Woods – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Tree Flowers in a Forest – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Reeds by the Woods – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Large Rocks & Yellow Flowers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Rushing Waterfall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

Conclusion

The lens that I thought I’d like the most is the one that I liked the least, and the one that I thought I’d like the least is the one that I liked the most. The 18mm and 24mm lenses are certainly usable, but they have some serious flaws, and you’ll have to consider how to artistically use those flaws to your advantage. Because of the narrow depth-of-field, the 50mm lens was the most difficult to use, but it produced my favorite pictures.

While using these tiny lenses on my Fujifilm cameras was a bit strange, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I’ll definitely do this again sometime. I also plan to use the Pentax Auto 110, as I purchased three 110 film cartridges to use in it, and I’ll share the results when I do. I’m not afraid to do unusual things sometimes, like sandpapering a camera or taping cardboard to the front of a lens, and using little lenses intended for another camera is certainly unusual. If you’re looking to try something different, attaching Asahi Pentax 110 lenses to your Fujifilm camera is just that. For me it was a great experience, and these little lenses provided me with big fun!

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Analog Color Film Simulation Recipe


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Pentax – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Analog Color”

Sometimes accidents are happy, such as with this film simulation recipe, which I call Analog Color. I was attempting to make a recipe that mimics the looks of Kodak Portra 400 that’s been overexposed, but I was unsuccessful (at least for now); however, in the process I accidentally created this one. It was a mistake, but I liked how it looked, so I shot a bunch of pictures with it. This recipe reminds me of Fujicolor C200 or Agfa Vista 200, or perhaps even Kodak Gold 200. It’s in the neighborhood of ColorPlus 200, as well. But, it doesn’t exactly resemble any of those films perfectly. What I appreciate about this Analog Color film simulation is that it has a film-like quality to it, with a real color negative aesthetic, even if it’s not an exact match to any film that I’m aware of.

How this film simulation recipe looks depends on the light. This is true of all the recipes that don’t use auto white balance, but it seems especially so with this particular recipe. It can have a warm cast sometimes and cool cast other times, or even occasionally both a cool and warm cast within the same image. Perhaps this is one of the things that make it appear film-like. I do think that there’s something special about this recipe.

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Route Running – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Analog Color”

I like Color set to -1, but feel free to play around with that. If you want something more saturated, increase Color to 0 or +1. If you don’t like grain, set it to Weak or off. If you like lots of grain, keep the ISO high, perhaps no lower than ISO 1600. I think that this recipe will pair well with vintage lenses, and that’s something else you can experiment with.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +0
Color: -1
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Grain: Strong
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 1
White Balance: Daylight, -3 Red & +1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-T30 Analog Color film simulation recipe:

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Red Window – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cut Strawberries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Joshua Smiling – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Girl in a Blue Sweater – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Living Room Bass Pro – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Backlit Jon – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Succulent on a Shelf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Time’s Fun When You’re Having Flies – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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46 Minutes to Ogden – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Empty Seats – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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The Bags We Carry – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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No Storage – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rain God Mesa – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tree In The Dirt – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Monument Valley Afternoon – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Monument Valley After Sunset – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00