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Tell me why I should NOT...

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Isoterica, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Buy this.. Fujifilm Finepix X100 Limited Edition Digital Camera, Black 16207404

    I already have #1.. money, I will have to sell a lot and still haven't sold even my G12. So going from there.. what quirks, because I am not a know all photography genius, does this thing have as far as getting a good shot AND what recent known failures [shutter stick?]. Must.. not... :dash2: *Added note I will need a carry around, hoping not my little dslr, for anniversary vacation next year & my daughter will be taking my dslr this winter for class. So I will be left with film .. good reason not to buy more.. riiiighttt?
     
  2. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    The most important reason not to buy it is that you won't give it to me and that makes it a waste of money.

    It won't make you a better photographer but it could be very enjoyable to use. That's a reason for many of the things we buy.
     
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  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    The reason I give is that the market is flooded with like new ones that come with buckets full of accessories usually for around 50% the cost of that. I'm not dead set against buying new cameras, except when the tech is already 1 1/2 years old. Then if you find out it's not a match and you don't care for it, you take nearly a 0% depreciation hit.

    But I can't talk you out of it. I love the camera...it's one of my favorites. And I think it's a natural choice for someone like yourself who likes shooting film and naturally has a slower, more deliberate style.

    I think years from now, people will still be using them.
     
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  4. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    This makes a lot of sense and actually I was hovering over yours when it was up for sale but.. are there defects I would want a warranty for? What is the cost out of pocket if there are, is it a flat rate or does Fuji refuse non-warranty work? And you are supposed to be devils advocate and talk me out of it.
     
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Do you want the real deal or do you want to be talked out of it? Because there's 2 ways to do this. I'll be happy to give you either talk. :smile:
     
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  6. stanleyk

    stanleyk SC Top Veteran

    558
    May 23, 2011
    Taylor, Texas
    Buy it. You won't be disappointed. It's an awesome camera and that all black is stunning!! The two camera purchases I have never regretted for even one second are the X100 and the X Pro. I would get rid of my Nikon FF gear before I let them go.
     
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  7. donlaw

    donlaw SC All-Pro

    Sep 14, 2012
    Texas
    Don
    I remember when Contax came out with the 'limited' edition Black G2 set. After film and after Contax... It has no more value than the silver version unless it has been kept in a collectors horde in the boxes and rarely if ever used.
    To me you buy a camera to get results, so if you like the Fuji X100 pick up one of the silver models people or dumping for the latest tech.
    Just my 2¢...
     
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  8. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    386
    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    The cost for repairing the Sticky Aperture Blade issue, if Fujifilm doesn't cover it through warranty, has been quoted by many to range between 700 and 900 dollars. In other words, no one would go through with the repair.

    Apparently serial numbers starting with 21________ may be immune to the issue. Limited Edition Black cameras have been *rumoured* to have used a newer lens assembly that *may* be immune.

    It stands to reason that Fujifilm eventually sorted out the problem so if you can find a used one with a serial number of recent vintage (21__________ or greater... mine was 11____ or 12_____ can't remember exactly, would have to check) then may be you'd be ok.

    I found the X100 frustrating for me so I got rid of it. Mine had the SAB issue; I had it repaired under warranty and I gave the buyer I met via Craigslist my contact info and my word that I would always stand in for him if he needed warranty repairs done.

    On the X100 forum you'll find people who weren't so fortunate as to have a reliable seller that Fujifilm won't help unless 800$ is sent along with the camera. Personally I think this is ridiculous on Fujifilm's part given the issue is a design and manufacturing defect that they are well aware of and has impacted cameras around the world. Not all cameras, but enough to assert the problem is indeed theirs.

    In that light it would seem to me that Fujifilm ought to fix the issue regardless of who the owner is, at least for 3 years after the camera introduction.

    No doubt someone in "legal" decided how this should be handled to minimize exposure to risk, but I still don't agree with their policy on this.

    I do have to say that first owners are well looked after - they at least address the problem quickly and efficiently. A fairly small number reported having failures of "fixed" cameras but again newer lens assemblies should have addressed that.

    Aside from SAB, you'll never know if you get on with the camera unless you try it. Newer firmware releases address some of the issues that frustrated me. It would seem Fujifilm didn't get release quality software into the camera until a year and a half after introduction, which is a real shame.

    I really do like having a camera like the X100 with me all the time, so much so that I'm planning on purchasing a RX1. If an updated X100 were available (newer sensor and other refinements) I might even consider Fujifilm again instead of the RX1, but I can't bring myself to purchase an X100 again.
     
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  9. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    The sticky blade issue is one reason I really don't want to buy a used X100. However, after handling one (the camera, not a sticky blade) at B&H this past summer, I've decided I will own the X100. I'm just waiting for the next sale that brings the price of new examples under $1000. It's happened only once before to my knowledge.

    So Kristen, I say go for it if the spirit moves you and you can afford it. The great thing about buying an X100 is that it's not like buying a DSLR or most mirrorless cameras - you don't have to start buying a system of lenses. The X100 is a great and unusual camera that can be an interesting addition to any kit.
     
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  10. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    If you think you would use the accessories ($100 for case, $100 for Fuji adapter/hood), it seems like a good deal. Plus, I think the black looks fantastic. :biggrin:

    I know we all have different takes on buying used gear, but I figure if you are going to keep the camera for a long time, why not be the only owner? That way, you alone are responsible for any abuse, and you have the benefit of warranty coverage for the first year (plus, I bet Fuji would be more sympathetic to something like SAB after the one year, if you are the original owner).

    The only question I would have is whether there will be another discount on the standard X100 coming up? Think that was $999?
     
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  11. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Expensive, limited edition cameras, will make you a better photographer. Do it.

    Gary
     
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  12. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    386
    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    I choked on my beer laughing at that one Gary.

    Kristen, I may be overly critical at times about the X100. If you are going to be a first owner, you can probably ignore the SAB issue. If buying used, then take more care.

    What really matters about that camera is whether its sometimes quirky nature will get in your way or not. For many it works very well.
     
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  13. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    1. It won't make you a better photographer, though could be enjoyable to use -So True, AGREE
    2. Used ones with all the toys up to 50% cheaper and less depreciation if you sell, camera is already 1 1/2 years old design -Solid Advice, AGREE
    3. Or at least get a new silver, cheaper than black [though I will add the black had all the accessories making the entire package cheaper than getting a silver and each individual accessory -but I'd want a thumbs up and wide angle so.. MONEY]
    4. Mike's list, most excellent, makes it sound like a possible PitA (was your SAB the only reason it frustrated you or were there others? Define "quirky")
    5. Sticky blades, repeat warning

    *Kyle makes a good argument for being first and only owner to a camera you will keep.. which is why I was looking at new, however Luke made a good point about New Old Tech, silly to pay top dollar.

    **Gary, you push people to sin!

    Luke in answer to your question above, I really want people to legitimately tell me of the camera's downfalls so I am more informed. If those downfalls turn out too undesirable to me the GAS will be relieved. I prefer a more natural relief by virtue of the facts rather than "I shouldn't spend that' which has been on repeat for most of my life. You get to a point of 'who cares' but who cares can really leave you feeling defeated if the object of your desire turns out sour. I don't want to reward myself with angst. Likewise if no one could come up with reasons to persuade me not to buy then said object is probably suited to me. I've read elsewhere of course but I trust friends even more :) I'm thinking now that it is a sale induced type of GAS and is passing though I still have the urge to look at other stuff. Sometimes a new thing can spark creativity even if it doesn't make you a better photographer. If you desire to shoot with it more, your skills do grow.
     
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  14. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    $1399 buys an awful lot of film, a complete darkroom setup and a scanner ...
     
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  15. stanleyk

    stanleyk SC Top Veteran

    558
    May 23, 2011
    Taylor, Texas
    Mine had sticky aperture blades. I mailed to Fuji on a Monday and had it back on Friday. They called me twice to let me know they had received it and to let me know they were overnighting it back to me. I have nothing but good things to say about their repair facility here in the US. It didn't cost me anything. They were a lot more pleasant to deal with than Nikon..........
     
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  16. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I havent had the SAB, but I probably havent shot enough with mine to make it happen yet. Fingers crossed it never does, my serial number is within the range that gets affected.

    What I absolutely hate about mine... manual focus. It seems to spin and spin before it actually does anything. so I never ever use it. on the X100, AF only. Sometimes the AF is too slow. Don't plan to use this to shoot sports unless you are great at panning. Its fine for most purposes.

    Everything else, I really like. I love the hybrid viewfinder (mostly use optical, but with macro you have to use electronic, for obvious reasons)... I love the dials, particularly the aperture ring on the lens... I love that the shots you get are so damn sharp, that even if you cant get close to what you want to shoot, chances are it will crop beautifully and it wont matter.

    Its taken me nearly a year to decide I wont ever sell it. So now, on the hunt for a proper case, and all the extras :) Its a wonderful bit of kit, and its a keeper.
     
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  17. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    386
    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    Ok, let's see how much I can remember.

    First, the SAB issue, I have to dwell on it just a bit. Mine failed during a three week trip to Quebec. I did pack a backup camera but it was a big DSLR that I most certainly didn't want to walk around with for a long time. When mine failed the SAB issue was known but it wasn't quite as widely known as it would later become so I was at the time unaware it was failing. During the trip I started to notice erratic exposures that just didn't make sense. Eventually I figured out that the blades were not closing properly when stopped down. I was for a time able to force it to work with on-off recycling and half-shutter presses and a certain among of chanting and voodoo, but eventually it became a soft focus single lens single focal length single aperture (f/2) camera for the balance of the trip. This was a major PITA but at least I had a backup camera, although unlike the X100 the backup did not get carried everywhere.

    SAB affects cameras as they get used. If you have a camera with 5,000 exposures on it and no SAB, you might just have won the SAB lottery. 2,500 - 5000 with no problems? Chances are still high you've got a winner. If your camera has only 500-1000 exposures on it, and it has an early serial number, then you don't know if you've won or lost. Again apparently 21X series numbers are "OK". Yay.

    Ok, moving on, never to talk about SAB in this thread again... please remember that some of the issues I had with the camera may now be addressed by more recent firmware. Here's a list of changes:

    Firmware for FinePix X100 | Fujifilm Global

    1. Auto-ISO was buried in a submenu not accessible directly as part of the ISO menu; switching between the two necessitated menu diving, or assigning the function to a user definable function button/

    2. Max shutter speed of 1/1000 when aperture is wide open means you often need to access the built in neutral density filter. This requires menu diving or assigning the toggle to a user definable function button.

    3. Until V1.20, there was only one user definable function button.

    - segue -

    While in Quebec I was shooting in and out of doors all the time. When entering a historic building I'd often need to disable the ND filter and sometimes enable Auto ISO. When outdoors usually I'd be at base ISO.

    Walking in and out of churches and other historic buildings I found it a bit maddening how much menu diving I had to do in order to simply ready the camera for current conditions. It seemed like I was always moving from bright exterior to dim interiors and back and it felt like I was doing lot of menu diving.

    While it is easy to assign a function to a button, there was at the time only one user definable function button, but a quite useless "RAW" button on the back panel that we users implored Fujifilm to allow us to re-define. This was *finally* provided for in V1.20 of the firmware, long after I sold my camera.

    Two user definable function buttons might be enough for many; one certainly was not.

    4. Autofocus - relatively slow but not unusable. Depends on subject. When it works it is accurate. When it doesn't it is maddening, leading to...

    5. Manual focus - long time users who get the camera often will say that if you use the camera as it is intended - as an autofocus camera - you'll get more joy out of it. I agree with that... provided what one shoots is suitable for the X100's autofocus, it works very very well. Manual focus was provided as something of an afterthought, I believe. The fly by wire focus was interminably slow, requiring so much focus ring turning that it just wasn't practical.

    My work around was to use the AFL button to use AF to manually focus on a spot, much like I often use the same feature on a DSLR to pick a focus spot and re-compose. This worked fairly well except that the focus area got larger rather than smaller and sometimes this led to focus errors. I'm not sure if this has been fixed.

    Once you've got the lens to focus on the area of interest with AFL - Manual Focus on, if you have time to tweak the focus ring could be used; there are no focus aides other than magnification though, so you need to switch to the EVF and hope that the magnified view is enough. I found this not to be the case often enough as the EVF is not up to the current state of the art and for that matter I think all EVF cameras ought to implement focus peaking as an additional aide as I find peaking very helpful.

    6. Like many I shoot aperture priority much of the time. While I like the on-lens aperture ring, the design of it makes it more difficult to operate than virtually any other camera I own. Maybe it is just my hands - too big or too small, not sure. The ring sits very close to the body and has protrusions. I wish it sat out a bit and was easier to turn. A small flaw although it sticks in my mind so maybe not so small for some.

    7. The firmware / camera is a bit sluggish. Trying to access the menu while the camera is writing to the card can sometimes result in a locked up camera - popping the battery is the solution to this. Card write times are nothing to write home about.

    Spray and pray shooters - this isn't the camera for you!

    8. Optical / Electronic Hybrid finder - I like this quite a bit and the OVF was one reason I bought the camera... in fact waited for a maker (other than Leica) to produce such a camera - one with a larger sensor and high IQ.

    In practice I found I used the EVF more often than not simply because the framing is accurate as opposed to the OVF where framing is always approximate and quite loose depending on where the subject is. Still it is nice to have the choice and an OVF is very handy for shooting subjects as they enter the frame whereas the EVF doesn't offer any advance warning help there. If you can shoot such a camera with your right eye, then you have options. I can't... I'm doomed to be a left eye shooter forever.

    The EVF/OVF has a built in diopter adjustment. Yay.

    The EVF gets very noisy as light levels go down. Still usable, but not usable in my experience for manual focus. The EVF suffers from lag.

    9. Lag - some of this has been addressed by firmware, and some of this can be worked around.

    The lens did (has this fully been addressed in recent firmware?) something affectionately (or not) known as the Happy Aperture Dance. While you are using the camera the aperture blades are in constant motion or at least are as you move the aim point over your subject. This affects the WYSIWYG view through the EVF of course because... the aperture isn't necessarily at the currently set shooting aperture.

    The work around: half shutter press stops the dance and if i recall correctly gives you the WYSIWYG view as far as depth of field. Half shutter press reduces what would be significant lag-to-exposure to near no lag as it should be.

    10. Only full stops on aperture ring. Yes I'm a creature of habit. While there is a work around using the command dial, to me this made the aperture ring a little less useful. Why not do it right and allow at least 1/2 stops if not 1/3 be selected on the ring as they should be? A small annoyance in practice. But. Still.

    11. Flare. I don't want to make a big deal of this other than to implore you to get a hood, and if you do use a filter up front, make sure it's a really good multicoated type.

    It seems not all are bothered by flare on the X100 but I found the my X100's Fujinon lens to be more susceptible to veiling flare during the day. A hood is necessary. It may be that the lens is more susceptible to flare when the neutral density filter is engaged, but I never specifically tested that having only realized this might be a factor afterwards.

    Others report night time point light flare oddities. Your mileage may vary.

    A great many others report no flare problems at all. I don't know what to make of that - it could be my copy was bad, although the replacement lens assembly did nothing to change how my camera acted in this regard.

    It could also be my expectations were higher based on experience with other lenses. My more modern Zeiss lenses mostly handle flare prone situations with ease and they are known for this.

    I'd be very interested in the opinions of active shooters here since this is much less of a gear forum where people beat their chest over "their" brand. I'm prepared to accept that I might have had a bad copy X2 of the lens.

    Summary

    I waited for a camera like the X100 to appear before diving into digital in a significant way. Before I was mostly shooting film. What I've learned is that what I thought would be most important to me - an optical finder - has turned out not to be as important as I thought. Since selling the X100 I've owned two different electronic finder only cameras, the NEX-5N and the GXR, so apparently for me - a long time film shooter who thought optical finders were the only way to go - an EVF is just fine.

    IQ of the X100, when not suffering from SAB problems, is great. Files are nice to work with. The sensor is a bit dated now... an X200 with a 16MP sensor would be nice. Noise performance is very good - I wish the GXR/M were as good. I miss the NEX-5N in that regard just a little bit more.

    Most of the issues I had with the camera were with the user interface when I wanted to work quickly in changing conditions. Some of the firmware improvements go a long way to addressing those issues. I really wish I'd had the latest firmware when I bought mine... who knows, I might have still been using the camera today.

    As for a fixed lens fixed focal length camera - I did not find this to be a problem at all. My 35mm film camera almost always had a 35mm lens mounted. Thanks to Lightroom and data gleaned from the last two years of images, I've come to realize through statistics that most of my lenses sit idle. What gets used the most - 90% of the time - is my Zeiss 25mm that I use on APS-C cameras like NEX and GXR.

    This bit of data has helped me come to a conclusion - I'm trimming way back.

    I've also found that I miss having autofocus on a camera I always have with me.

    I wish Fujifilm had announced an update to the X100 with the same field of view, or a 35mm full frame version like the Sony RX1. I do believe I'd give Fujifilm another try if they do either.
     
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  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    If you're really interested in the X100 and the whole hybrid viewfinder thing, the only reason not to buy a new one (so you don't have to worry about SAB) is if you'd prefer interchangeable lenses and can spring for the X-Pro. The X-Pro is an improvement but its also bigger and more complex and just has a somewhat more "serious" vibe to it - this is nothing I can quantify but I feel it and is one of the reasons it took me a while to decide to sell the X100 after I got the X-Pro. Its a really unique shooting experience in this day and age and it'll either fit you or it won't but you'll never know until you spend some time with it. Of the issues Mike raises above, the only ones that bothered me were the buried Auto ISO menu and the aperture dance/lag. The auto ISO thing was a real pain in the butt for the way I shoot and its been fixed in all subsequent X cameras but there must be something about the software architecture of the X-100 that prevents a fix, or they'd have surely done it by now. The aperture dance has been fixed in the X-Pro with the latest firmware. I've heard that it may have been in the X-100 but I dont know that for sure. If you're regularly using a half press AF technique, its a non-issue, but if you're using manual focus and trying to nail the moment with a quick shutter press, it can be a real pain in bright light, which is the only time it happens. But if its fixed, no worries.

    I personally like the silver and black better than all black but that's obviously a matter of taste. If you want the case and hood and stuff, this looks like a reasonably good deal. If not, the silver is a couple hundred dollars cheaper. The hood is nice to have but you can buy a JJC version that's just as nice for a LOT less than the Fuji version.

    Sounds like you have the itch and should buy it. Or something very nearly the same (ie, either silver X100 or X-Pro).

    -Ray
     
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  19. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    386
    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    One comment I must share lest my compilation of warts give the wrong idea -- when I told my wife that I had sold the X100 she was shocked... "but you love that camera".

    And it's true, I did. But most of all I loved the freedom it opened up to me, and it also opened my eyes to what was was possible to achieve with a very small but still very capable camera.

    Some of the warts definitely got in my way while others I know I could live with.

    I may have used what did bother me to justify experimenting with the NEX-5N that followed the X100. The 5N I'd always intended to be a short term camera as I bought it when the Thailand flooding pushed NEX-7 deliveries back. The 5N has different warts. It is gone too. :)

    I really do like the X100 idea and *almost* could bring myself to buy one again but I would rather wait to see what supersedes it. A few more megapixels and other improvements wouldn't be a bad thing for a camera I'd want to keep and keep using for a good handful of years.
     
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  20. jim_khoo

    jim_khoo SC Veteran

    499
    Jul 11, 2010
    Kuala Lumpur
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