The reviewers got it wrong on the X100F

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John Crawley
John Crawley Senior Member • Posts: 1,229
The reviewers got it wrong on the X100F

I nearly missed a gem of a camera, because of some sloppy or deeply opinionated reviewers. Let me explain:

(This is going to start in the Leica camp, but stay with me, we’re coming to Fujifilm soon.)

Recently I purchased a used Leica Q on the web and settled in to enjoy it. A wonderful (and some-what expensive) piece of 28mm Summilux Leica glass resting atop a 20MP full-frame sensor, what could be better? Leica even offered me ( I have a dislike of prime only lenses) the option of 28/35/50 mm focal lengths at the push of a button. Sure it is a cropping system and you do lose some mega pixels, but the pictures were going to blow my sock off. Right? Not so fast.

The Q never felt right. I own an X Vario, which is one of my favorite all time cameras and a V Lux 114, a magnificent bridge camera. So it wasn’t the brand, it was the camera. For the money, the output didn’t knock me over. In fact, compared to the X Vario, it was rather pedestrian in my opinion. For that matter, the V Lux was as good if not better than the nearly four times more expensive Q. Hum? (If only they made an upgraded Digilux 2…oh well…another lifetime.)

I began to look around for a single, fixed lens camera that could replace the Q (as well as put some money back in my pocket upon selling it). It had to be light and sturdy for daily and travel use, while producing excellent photos. And I wanted the ability to have the digital zoom available. But the camera needed to be of a size that would travel well and not be bulky (another problem I found with the Q and that giant lens glued on to that sleek body).

And there it was. The Fujifilm X 100 F. But I almost missed it.

So here’s the rub. The majority of the reviewers of the X100F (this website excluded) either skipped the digital tele-converter all together, or poo-poo’d it as some gimmick they would never be caught dead using.

It is my opinion after using the X100F for some weeks, the digital converter or zoom or whatever you wish to call it, may be one of the cameras outstanding features ­– far more so than all the noise made about the multi-dimensional, ditsy-doodle , not-quite a rangefinder but damn near it viewfinder that goes from optical to electric and even to hybrid at the push of a button that nobody seems to be pushing on a regular use basis. Needless to say I am not as impressed with this piece of optical wonder that the world of journalism was falling over themselves about, as I am the digital stage converter, which through some damn good algorithms and electronics manages to salvage (extrapolates is the scientific term) quite a bit of your pixels when doing its cropping magic. Something the Leica Q could not do.

And yet, the reviewers pass over this as if it were a left over from Kodak Brownie days and the ancient past. To be sure it only does its extrapolating in JPEGs, but that’s what I shoot. Maybe Fuji can upgrade this to include Raw in the new X100V or X200…whatever.

I like zooms. I like the coverage they give me. In fact, the Fujifilm 18-55 is one of my favorite lenses in the world. Yes, it is a kit lens, but my God is it a good kit lens. No. It is just a good lens period. And it goes everywhere my X Pro1 goes. (No I haven’t upgraded to the X Pro 2 nor shall I to the 3 because there is something quite special about the 1’s sensor and that lens combination, which is almost magical. But that is for another time.)

The point is, a lot of people who want a second camera, or a street-shooting camera, or a travel camera, also want expanded coverage that a single-focal-length fixed lens can’t give. And they may be glossing over the X100F because it appears, thanks to the reviewers, on the surface to be just a 35mm equiv. F2 lens. Yet deep inside the menu options awaits both 50 mm and 70mm, as well – plenty of reach for expanding the range of this fine camera. (Hey, it’s more than the 18-55 on the long end!)

So if you’re looking for a 24+ MP camera with incredible output both in color and B&W and would like a bit more options than just 35mm, look at the X 100 F, even if the reviewers didn’t look into it…you should.

And yes…my Q is up for sale.

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John Crawley
“Let there be light.” It all began right there.
There are three kinds of people: those that are good at math and those that are not.

 John Crawley's gear list:John Crawley's gear list
Leica X Vario Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) Fujifilm X100F Fujifilm X-Pro1 Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X100F Leica X Vario
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