miXed zone: X-settings, X-reviews, X20 promotional video… and Leica or Fuji?


FR-reader Thomas wrote me an email: “hi patrick, longtime fan of fujrumors! I’ve created a commercial set of lightroom presets at http://lightset.co based on x-trans raws […]. cheers, thomas”


$1,169 for the X-E1 kit at CameraLand (click here)


– Everyone has it’s own “best” settings. Here are those of Kevin Mullins. He shoots with the X-PRO1 over a year now and this is his configuration (click here). Just an example, here is his Menu 2: “WHITE BALANCE – AUTO.  Always for me.  If I was in a studio situation then I would set white balance manually of course but for documentary wedding photography the AWB does an amazing job out of the box. SHARPNESS – +1.  I like to work with the jpgs and I find the default sharpness to be a tiny bit plasticy. NOISE REDUCTION – -1.  Again, because I work with the JPGs I prefer the noise reduction to be slightly less than the default out of the camera.  The images at 6400ISO are mind blowing good and with that in mind, and the JPG configuration this seems to work best for me.”

How to set up your Fujifilm X100S for street photography? Mike Kobal reveals his settings: “Since I received my X100s I haven’t touched anything else. I know the camera pretty well by now, shooting everything except jobs with it. Here are my settings for street shooting: […]” Well, to see them, check out Mike Kobal’s page here. And for some actions shots click here. (Mike compared the AF speed of the X100S and the Nikon Coolpix A in this post here.)

image courtesy: Mike Kobal

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[shopcountry 10075]

– thephoblographer X100S review is online here. They also highly recommend this camera. Excellent sensor performance, quite good built quality, the AF could be better in low light. But overall a rather exceptional camera.

“This camera’s autofocusing is a mixed bag. First off, Fujifilm cameras let you enlarge or shrink the size of the autofocus point. The smaller the point, the more fine-tuned the focus will be and in turn the slower it will go. The larger the point, the less fine-tuned the focusing will be and the faster it will go. Switch the camera into EVF mode and it will focus significantly faster than it can in OVF mode. […] In all honesty, this camera’s RAW file performance had me looking at my Olympus OMD EM5 and thinking to myself that its raw files just weren’t up to standard. Indeed, the Sony sensor inside the OMD far outperformed by the X100s. Granted, that is a Micro Four Thirds sensor, but it is one of the best in the mirrorless camera segment. With that in mind, we’re bound to get questions of whether someone should get a mirrorless camera or the X100s–and this little camera is wiping the floor with Micro Four Thirds options right now in terms of sensor performance. […]“

– “To summarise – the X100s is not going to be perfect for every photographer but as an everyday, walk around camera I don’t think there’s anything out there that matches it in terms of it’s size and what it is capable of producing. Beg, borrow or steal one to have a play with and see if it’s for you!” Read lightstalking’s first impressions here.

– From FR-reader Robin: “Hey Patrick, first of all thank you for the good work you’re doing. I check fujirumors at least once a day! :) Yesterday I posted my review about the x100s on my blog and people seem to like it, despite the fact, that this is my first review I’ve ever did. Now I was wondering, if you could post it on fujirumors? That would be great! :) all the best, Robin” Sure Robin! Read his review here! Nice shots Robin.

“When you are in macro-mode and get very close, pictures will be significantly softer if you are shooting wide open. Stopping down to f/2.8 will increase sharpness dramatically and from f/4 onwards there is nothing left to worry about. Unless you want that dreamy look I wouldn’t recommend shooting at f/2. […] The Fuji x100s is exactly what I was looking for, it is compact, lightweight, looks gorgeous and is able to deliver breathtaking images. The focal length gives you enough flexibility for most occasions. I would use it for travelling, weddings, reportage, street and especially environmental portraits. The only thing it’s not perfectly suited for is close up head shots, but that’s something I can perfectly live with.  And in case you need something wider, you can pick up the wide angle adapter and convert the 35mm lens into a 28mm lens which should be wide enough for most usage.”


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[shopcountry 10267]

I suppose I don’t have to tell you who riflessifotografici are. I’ve found some of my favorite X-series reviews (and other brands too) on their website. Therefore I think Fujifilm Global made a good choice to take one of the riflessifotografici-guys for the X20 promotional video. Donato Chirulli talks on the new compact camera walking through the fascinating streets of Venice. You can see a sample shot and go to the video here at riflessifotografici.

[I’d like to remember you that Massimiliano Angeloni and Donato Chirulli will run the first events in Naples (13 April) and Rome (14 April) of the eXperience tour, the photographic roadshow (only in Italy) organized by Fujifilm. You can test Fuji’s X-series cameras, make some studio shots (with a model) and participate to the street photography workshop all for free. Just reserve your place at the event you want to participate, and enjoy your Fuji-day at the eXperience tour (click here).]

image courtesy: riflessifotografici (Donato Chirulli/X20 Jpeg OOC Toy Camera Effect)

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FR-reader Jonas wrote an X20 review on his blog. I’m glad to share it with you (click here). “I would NOT go above ISO 1600 with this camera, regardless of what PR reps, salesmen, and the likes tell you. Compare this to other 2/3′s and the x20 is a MUCH better performer. Compare it to the Sony RX100…. not so much!SOME PROS: Really sturdy build quality – It’s FAST! Fast AF, fast menus, fast write times. – OVF Overlay – The noise in high ISO’s is VERY good looking. Almost film-like. SOME CONS: Not the ISO performer its made out to be. The sensor size shows here! – Battery life is ridiculous. – No ND filter built in, like the x100/x100s.

image courtesy: Jonas

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Leica or Fuji?

Leica or Fuji? That is the question! Everyone has its own answer. You can read the point of view of nicole-struppert here:

“I will stick with Fuji! They make a brilliant job! Using the xpro1, x100 etc. is fun, it is light, fantastic lenses and the IQ is awesome […] I am looking forward to I stick with Fuji – for two reasons: First of all they make fantastic cameras and lenses and secondly they hear what customers say! They improved the X100 after getting feedback from Pro photographers and customers and worked together with Adobe to solve the RAW Processing problem. I just purchased the new x100S and I’m very curious to find out about the faster AF and improvements! […] Is Fuji the new Leica? In my opinion, NO – Leica will always be Leica. These are 2 different camera systems and brands… Owning a Leica is much more than owning a camera or a tool to take pictures with. You’ll get a hand crafted camera with soul. It is a lifestyle and everyone who ever owned a Leica knows what I try to say. “

Oh, and don’t forget the price difference. (check the Leica M9 price and specs: [shopcountry 10090]


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X20 in stock at AmazonUS and UK



X20: One X20 (in silver) is right now in stock at AmazonUS, sold by third party reseller for the normal price of $600 (click here). The black version will be in stock on April 7 (click here)

As I told you yesterday, BHphoto has both, the black and silver version in stock.

There are some X20 available at ebay, for example here ($598) here ($600) or here ($567). Look for more via slidoo.

X100S: Still to wait for the X100S. It’s available at ebay, but you have to pay more. See the X100S available via slidoo here.


X100S: There is an auction on a used X100S. The seller says the camera is too small for his big hands (he is 1,98 high). See this auction here.

X20: It’s available at AmazonDE here. And also at ebay has some here (€545), here (€549) and here (€530). Check more via slidoo.


X100S: There is a used one for £1050 over here at ebayUK.

X20: Available at AmazonUK in black here and one in silver here (third party) and at ebay here.

Your country

X100S: For any other country, just click here to check your Amazon, or click here to check your ebay.
X20: For any other country, just click here to check your Amazon, or click here to check your ebay.

X100S: BHphoto / AdoramaAmazonUS / AmazonDEAmazonUK / AmazonITA / DigitalRev / your ebay / your Amazon
X20:  BHphoto (blacksilver) / Adorama (blacksilver) / AmazonUS (blacksilver) / AmazonUK (blacksilver) / AmazonDE / AmazonITA / DigitalRev / your ebay / your Amazon


[UPDATE: with Speed Booster] Adapting Third-Party Lenses


by Rico Pfirstinger

Talk to Rico (questions & feedback)X-E1 sample images set X-Pro1 sample images set

Last week, we had a very interesting article by Jan Vogelaar about the performance of Carl Zeiss and Leica M lenses on a X-Pro1. So I guess it makes sense to cover some practical aspects of adapting vintage lenses to your X-Mount camera in today’s X-PERT CORNER column.

One highlight of the X-Pro1 and X-E1 is undoubtedly the small flange-back distance of the X-Mount lens connector at only 17.7mm. This means you can attach practically any third-party lens from other camera systems—with the appropriate adapters—to your X-Mount camera. Manufacturers like Kipon have already announced X-Mount-compatible adapters for more than 40 third-party systems, and the high-quality German manufacturer Novoflex has also dutifully added X-Mount adapters for some 13 established third-party mounts.

The X-Pro1 is not a rangefinder camera. It’s a pure-bred autofocus camera and as such—despite its hybrid viewfinder—it is only marginally equipped to work in combination with manual focus lenses. Currently, the only tool that the X-Pro1 and X-E1 feature to assist with manual focusing is a magnified digital viewfinder. The camera also offers some kind of focus peaking when you magnify the viewfinder image: It will enhance contrasty edges, indicating that they are in-focus.

Unfortunately, there are a few further aspects that render the X-Pro1 and X-E1 not yet perfectly equipped for working with third-party lenses: When a lens is attached to the X-Pro1 via an adapter, Auto-ISO operates with a minimum shutter speed of 1/30 second—independently of the actual focal length that was set in the adapter menu. 1/30s may be too fast for many wide-angle lenses and too slow for most standard and telephoto lenses. The cameras also set the minimum flash sync speed at a fixed 1/15 second when a third-party lens is attached, which is largely useless for lenses with larger focal lengths. In other words, the cameras “know” exactly what the current focal length is, but doesn’t use this information to the benefit of the photographer.

Fuji’s own Leica M mount adapter (pictured above) includes X-Mount signal contacts as well as a function button on the adapter ring that brings up the adapter menu on the monitor or in the viewfinder. Furthermore, this adapter unlocks extra camera functions that allow you to correct several optical errors such as vignetting, distortions, or color shifts at the borders of an image. However, due to these extra contacts occupying extra space, Fuji’s own adapter is not compatible with all M lenses. Fuji maintains a compatibility chart showing which lens will fit and which will not. The adapter also comes with a gauge that will tell you if a particular lens that’s not on the chart will fit.

In the X-Pro1, the display frame for the OVF uses the selected focal length setting from the adapter menu (SHOOTING MENU > MOUNT ADAPTER SETTINGS), as long as it’s between 18 and 60 millimeters. Focal lengths less than 18mm are indicated in the optical viewfinder with yellow arrows in the corners, and focal lengths of greater than 60mm, with a red frame calibrated to 60mm.

Within the acceptable range of focal lengths for the OVF—18mm to 60mm—two frame indicators will appear in the viewfinder: one white, one blue. The white frame is corrected for parallax for objects at infinity and the blue frame, for objects at a distance of about two yards.

Third-party lenses that are attached to the X-Pro1 or X-E1 over an adapter can only be focused manually. The only exposure modes that are available are the aperture-priority (A) and manual exposure (M) modes. Other functions such as auto ISO, TTL flash, and DR extension, however, are still available.

Connecting and Recognizing Third-Party Lenses

After you have mechanically attached a third-party lens to your camera via an adapter, you should first make sure that SHOOTING MENU > SHOOT WITHOUT LENS > ON is selected—otherwise your X-Pro1 won’t take any pictures. Using Fuji’s own M adapter will automatically enable and grey-out this option for you.

Next go to SHOOTING MENU > MOUNT ADAPTER SETTINGS. Here you will have six lens settings to choose from: four focal length presets (21mm, 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm) as well as LENS 5 and LENS 6—two focal lengths that you can set manually.

If you happen to be using an M-adapter from FUJIFILM, you will also have a number of correction settings available, which I’ll cover in part two of this article.

Focusing with Third-Party Lenses

The only way to focus precisely when using a third-party lens is to use the magnified display of the electronic viewfinder (EVF) or the LCD monitor. Your camera will need to be in manual focus (MF) mode, so turn the focus mode selector on the front of the camera to M. As usual, you can magnify the digital displays by pressing the command dial.


The sample shot above was taken with a (probably) at least 20 years old Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 180mmF2.8 MM-G C/Y lens and a no-name C/Y > XF adapter. It’s an OOC JPEG shot with an X-E1 (using the internal RAW converter as described here) and post-processed with Apple Aperture. To preserve and enhance the pleasing vintage look, colors and gradation of such “analog” lenses, I often use film simulations from VSCO (available for Lightroom, Photoshop and Aperture) as starting points. I took the picture at open (or almost open) aperture and focused with the 3x magnifier tool. Click on the image for a higher-res view and more exposure parameters.

To focus as exactly as possible, you’ll want to open the aperture as wide as possible. The reduced depth of field will help you to find the correct focus point. After you’ve found it, you can then close the aperture to your desired setting. The focus point should not move, but the depth of field should become larger. You can observe this effect in the EVF. The viewfinder’s distance and depth of field indicators will be nonfunctional. Of course, you need be careful with this method when using a lens that shifts its focus plane on changing the aperture. This often occurs in spherically under-corrected lenses that feature nice background bokeh (and harsh/swirling foreground bokeh). With such lenses, you may be better off focusing with the actual working aperture of your shot.

To refine your focus at any time you can always reactivate the magnified digital display. Well, almost at any time: the magnified display will not be available while the camera is transferring data from the buffer memory to the memory card. As soon as that finishes, you can activate it again. Let’s hope that Fuji takes care of this annoying quirk in future firmware updates. In the meantime you can make do with a bit of patience and a super-fast memory card.


The image above is a sample shot with a [shoplink 8026 ebay]Voigtländer Heliar F1.8/75mm[/shoplink] with M Adapter. It was shot with a Kipon M adapter and developed from the RAW in Silkypix 5, no further post-processing and no VSCO Film. Click on the image for larger views and more exposure parameters. Here’s another sample with the Voigtländer, shot at f/2.8 with a single studio flash from above:


Exposing Correctly with Third-Party Lenses

** CLICK HERE to Read the Rest of the Article **

The 70 X100S improvements over the X100 (51of the X20 over X10) or “what can happen when a camera company listens to photographers”


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[The X20 is in stock at BHphoto: blacksilver]

Here’s a complete list of all 70 improvements the X100S has over the X100 according to Fujifilm. Read them all here! (or click here for the X20 list).

Here is how the X100S list begins:

1. 16-megapixel sensor, up from 12-megapixel
2. X-Trans CMOS II sensor eliminates need for Optical Low Pass Filter
2. The resolution has improved to match Full Frame domain sensors
3. The Signal to Noise ratio improved to be on a par with Full Frame domain sensors
4. Phase detection pixels allow 0.07 sec Auto focus
6. 1080p 60fps full HD movie
7. Improved start-up time. From 2.0sec to 0.9sec

The X20 list starts with:

1. 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor without optical low pass filters improves resolution to as much as a 4/3″ sensor.
2. S/N ratio improved to level similar to Full frame sensors.
3. Phase detection AF allows for AF speeds as low as 0.04secs (compared to X10 0.16secs).

Read them all and feel free to leave a comment and discuss the list, for example: “The resolution has improved to match Full Frame domain sensors“.

Check out also this article here at photographytalk (What Can Happen When a Camera Company Listens to Photographers) They say that “the people at Fujifilm obviously took the comments and advice from users and reviewers seriously. The new X100S includes 70 upgrades, both major and minor, creating a precise photographic instrument that appears to be the right choice for a second camera.” The X100S isa wonderful example of what can happen when a camera company pays attention to its loyal customers and the larger photography market.”

Click the links below to check availability. Click on your ebay or your Amazon to see the in stock status in your country.

X100S: BHphoto / AdoramaAmazonUS / AmazonDEAmazonUK / AmazonITA / DigitalRev / your ebay / your Amazon
X20:  BHphoto (blacksilver) / Adorama (blacksilver) / AmazonUS (blacksilver) / AmazonUK (blacksilver) / AmazonDE / AmazonITA / DigitalRev / your ebay / your Amazon