One Frame – My last outing with the X100s
Fuji X100s vs Fuji X100T (Almost)
Well I’ve been shooting with the Fuji X100T since I could get my hands on one, but I originally decided to keep the X100s. Why? I knew that I probably wouldn’t use it again – my usual setup is an X-T1 with an X100 hanging off my belt, so I didn’t need two of the X100s – as my mum used to plead; “I’ve only got one pair of hands!”
No, the reason that I wanted to hang on to the X100s was, it turns out, a personal issue with attachment to camera gear. I’ve enjoyed using the X100s so much that I didn’t want to let it go. We’ve, um, been through so much together….
A sad tale, I’m sure you’d agree. And I’d be with you on that, but it’s actually a new experience for me to feel something about camera gear. When I dumped the Nikon DSLRs early on it was literally that – I got rid of the fantastic D800s without batting an eyelid. I ploughed the lenses onto eBay without registering any emotion, and got rid of them with a click of the mouse.
Photographers like to talk about how equipment doesn’t matter, and to a large degree it really doesn’t. Tools of the trade, and so on. Historically I’ve generally been on board with this. I loved my first film cameras – I’ve referred back to my Nikon FM as “The Key” before now. But I guess working in the fashion industry, working in studios, I soon got to understand that cameras and lighting quickly become rented tools for the job at hand, whatever the current shoot is at the time. And nobody owns this stuff. Phase one digital backs costing £20K/£30K are empty shells hired in to get the shot, then collected at the end of the day. Keeping track on camera equipment can soon become akin to train spotting.
Actually, I think wedding photographers LOVE their gear. We spend all day long holding on to our cameras, maybe one for a certain lens, and another body with a wide stuck on the front. Another in the bag as a backUp – I rely on my cameras and trust them so owning camera [and not renting them] obviously gives me the security of knowing the stresses and quirks and setups and shortcuts of individual cameras. The Nikons were great for this, once set up, and produced consistently great results. It was easy to fall in love with DSLRs of this standard but really the love affair was over when I started using the original X100 in 2010.
Finally a fun (if extremely quirky) camera that helped me re-engage with photography on a much more visceral and connected level. The Nikons were boring me to tears by now, and the gear did matter. The X100 gave me a chance to re-fresh my perspective and I’ve been shooting Fuji X cameras exclusively since, at least for weddings.
So the X100 series has meant a lot to me. The X100s, I thought, was the perfect camera, so I’ve been reluctant to just get rid of it. The X100T improves on the X100s enough for me to have now run off with it, leaving the X100s behind to find someone new to have a relationship with: An ex X. It’s up for sale if you want it.
Before selling the X100s I wanted to take it out for a final spin to make sure everything was still good and also just for one final fling. I had a couple of Together Shoots to get into this week and one of them was for a really old friend who’s getting married next month. We worked out that it’s been 12 years since we hung out and it somehow fit to take the X100s – old friends and all. I was going to show you a whole load of pics, but actually came across this one. A happy accident that reminds me of perhaps an Anton Corbijn style of shooting portraits. When I was first starting out with that Nikon FM, Anton Corbijn was one of the photographers that first excited me about how I could photograph people. He would go against the grain, photograph people squinting in full sun, or blurred out of focus in front of a busy backdrop. Break some rules, think, be creative.
Something that the X100 series has enabled me to re-connect with over the last 5 or so years.
Camera gear’s not important? Let me know what you think.