The X100S - A State Of Mind

The post title really should have a question mark at the end of it. A quick note and an excuse for not working on my upcoming X100S eBook. I was supposed to be on my way to teach a speedlight workshop today but the weather forecast last night suggested that we reschedule due to imminent snow storm omens. This should have given me some free time to make progress but as usual I tend to procrastinate when I get to the stage I'm at now. Raw material dumped onto the page and the hard part staring me down – the edit. I 'm great at dumping a lot of stuff really fast after having thought about it. Horrible at refinement.

I know I've posted some snarky stuff of late regarding cameras, brands, seemingly conflicting choices people make. Winter does that to me. I had a brief friendly exchange sparked by a snarky comment I made on twitter today in response to an X100 add-on product. I am not naive nor narcissistic enough to believe my way is the only way or in any way the right way. I share my thoughts in hope that others will benefit for things they haven't sorted out or landed on yet. No matter if their bent is in the same direction as mine or completely opposite. I think debate and confrontation of thought is a good and healthy thing for everyone that doesn't suffer from some debilitating ego issue.

On that note, with a minimum of snarky-ness let's talk Fuji X100S. This camera has a unique combination of characteristics that hits a lot of notes for me. One of those notes is related to it's size or lack of size. An extremely related characteristic is the elimination of lens choice. With the Fuji there's no decisions to make in terms of "what lenses should I bring". I love this. The what else to bring conundrum is a slippery slope that starts it's steep downward grade with a camera bag. Once you start down that camera bag slope you are at big and heavy and complicated to one degree or another.

I've written before that the X100 allows me a camera bag free photography experience. Something I have grown to relish. The Fuji always comes with, bag or no bag, but often it's no bag. It's from the no camera bag point of view that I am writing my highly opinionated Fuji X100S guide. The X100S and nothing else experience. It's why I don't write about stupid speedlight pet-tricks with triggers, and lights, and stands, and gear. It's why I don't write about 30 second exposures in broad daylight on tripods with big ND filter and grad rigs. For me the X100S is about dispensing with all that. As soon as you add all the other shit the camera body size and weight are a nit. Who cares if it's an X100S or a Hasselblad H5D you have all of this detritus chained to your ankles. You have to carry stuff.

I am a very all or nothing kind of guy. Which is one of the reasons I like the Fuji X System and particularly the X100 but poke fun at all the big grips, and RRS L brackets, and big square filter rigs, and tripods, and the up-comming pro-zooms for the system. Who cares? As soon as you go down that road where are you? How far are you from the small, simple kit that brought you to the Fuji in the first place? You get all the compromises, lack of refinement, shitty EVF, slow, unresponsive, horrid battery life, quirky stuff and you are somewhere in the same neighborhood as why you left DSLR-land in the first place. I have mentioned previously the bag I use for my D600 and small prime kit is the same bag I used for my X-Pro-1 small prime kit which is why I ditched the X-Pro-1. It's not the body size that kills you. It's all the other shit and the complexity of having all that shit.

Your take may be different but let me just point out that if you are ditching all your big camera stuff only to build a system from scratch that's going to be just about as big I would think twice about this. Maybe you are just bored. Maybe you are a champion backpacker where every ounce counts? Who knows. My own personal point of view when I see all the add-on's and grips and L-brackets, and tripods hooked up to the X100S is that it looks a whole lot like that morons with the 300mm full-frame tele that's hooked up to the front of their iPhone. Somewhere the mission got corrupted or on a more insidious note… Maybe it's just internet jerkoffs that want to get attention doing stupid pet tricks that has nothing to do with your photography or your enjoyment of the endeavor.

RB

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