Back to the Future – from the X100F to X100


In recent posts we shared our thoughts and imagery shot exclusively with the brand new X100F. There is no question that the X100F is a major update to the last iteration, the X100T. In fact, we like the X100F so much we ordered the camera for ourselves.

When working on our review of the X100F (you can read it here) we had a chance to shoot all previous generations of this camera. It was just at that point, when I was holding the original X100 in my hands, that I got sentimental. Looking back I realized that  the original X100 was a truly revolutionary product for so many reasons.

It was not a DeLorean but it was the camera that started the X-series line and put Fujifilm back on the serious, digital photography map. The fusion of classic design, manual controls, a brand new hybrid viewfinder, totally silent shutter, small size and superb image quality made this camera a classic. The X100 became such a success that it was almost impossible to get one the first year after release.

Was it a perfect camera? Of course not. Along with new, fresh and exciting aspects, the original X100 was slow, buggy and frustrating at times. The subsequent firmware updates solved many of the problems and the next iterations of the X100-line further polished the product.

Over the years, the X100-line (S/T/F) has become THE camera for many photographers, including me. I don’t leave home without it and there is no other camera that gives me so much freedom, joy and satisfaction. If I had to own just one camera – the X100T/F would be the one. There is no question that the latest X100F offers the majority of photographers a tool that goes well beyond what they need in terms of speed, functionality and, above all, image quality.   

That said, I still come across some comments online saying that even the latest X100-line cameras are slow, the focus is not on a par with “I want to shoot a hummingbird racing a Formula 1 car” type of nonsense. There is always “this one thing” that prevents some people from shooting and enjoying great visuals. It is always the camera’s fault.

Well, given my pernickety personality, I decided to take the original X100 out and stroll the streets. On top of my twisted rationale to do just that, I felt the need to reconnect with the X100 – as some sort of accolade to the camera that has changed so much for so many people.   

Of course, going back to the X100 after years of shooting with newer X-series cameras was not an easy task, especially with a totally different layout and menu. My fingers had to remember their old habits. Another problem was that my two favourite Fujifilm simulations for street photography, Classic Chrome (CC) and Acros (A), are not available for the original X100. Did I mention that I had only one battery available for this particular shoot?

Despite these “inconveniences” I decided to venture out on the streets of Vancouver with the X100. Here are the results (all images straight-out-of-the-camera JPEGs, Astia (S).














What is your point, Olaf? Sounds pretty heavy!

Stop worrying about your cameras, software, autofocus, etc.,– just go out and shoot. Remember it is 95% your seeing and 5% your gear (I am being generous here). Even with a six-year-old camera, you can create some great imagery! So to all students of photography, new and aspiring photographers, here’s a message from the past: stop wasting your money on expensive SLRs and backpacks of useless lenses! Buy a used X100/S/T and learn photography the right way.* There are lots of starry-eyed people (including me) who are now selling truly great cameras because they need the money for the latest model. It’s too bad they don’t know that “the latest” won’t make them better photographers!

Rant Over! Go out and shoot!          


*and subscribe to Simplicity-In-Seeing and learn what is really important in photography! #olafstoppushingitsomuch





2017 © Olafphoto. All rights reserved.

22 thoughts on “Back to the Future – from the X100F to X100

  1. Hello,
    thank you for publishing your great photos.
    I apologize for my poor english.
    So I have a doubt: because I’m going to buy an used X100 (without S or T…), and I’m going to buy it because its price is good, and I want to take good photos of my little child, do you thing it’s already a good camera? Manual focus are improved with firmware updates?
    Best regards,

    1. Andrea,

      No worries, your English is great! An original X100 may not be the best choice for photographing your child since its AF is quite slow and there are no longer software updates. You may want to consider the X-A3 or X30. Please let me know if you need any other help. Are you here in North America?



      1. Hello Olaf,
        thank you for your clear answering.
        I’m writing from North Italy (Europe), near Venice.

        Please, let me know just few last things: I can read on web that the first sensor of X100 (12 Mpx) was more “soft”, and give more beautiful photos, even if with less pixels and more noise at high ISO.
        Is it a sort of “sentimentalism” (I don’t want to hurt anybody: I am a real sentimental man…), and by choosing the right filters built on recent cameras I can get the same effects, or there is something real, that only the old original X100 can get?

        Very last, before I choose between X100 (hoping to make the business of my life) and X100T:
        If I use X100 with manual focus, I can use it like an old analogic camera, or there are still differences and problems?

        Thank you,
        and best regards.

  2. do u mind to share what metering mode that u using during take all this photo? thanks in advance 🙂

  3. The X100 is my first and only digital camera (bought it 3 years ago) and I still enjoy using it. What are your jpeg settings here as it reminds me of Classic Chrome jpegs I’ve seen? I’m guessing colour +2 and shadow hard? I wish the camera had face detection auto focus as I mainly take photos of family and they’re never standing still so focus and recompose works most but not all of the time. And a 50mm perspective would be nice (I can get the teleconverter I know) as I sometimes like taking food photos and don’t like the rendering of closer elements in the frame with the 35mm fov. But otherwise it’s a fine camera and takes some lovely shots…honestly, I have more problems finding good light and getting exposure bang on than I do with any supposed drawbacks of the camera! Nice photos and good write up 🙂

    1. Frank,

      Thank you for sharing you thoughts. I was working with my friend’s camera and some things were not working properly for example his EVF was broken. I was shooting Astia, colour +1, shadow hard, all autofocus. Despite all the problems, I had such a good time shooting with this camera.
      All the best,


  4. Wow! You published this on the same day I got my X100s. It is a superb camera. From the first test shots, I find it’s a very pleasant experience to shoot with it. I can’t wait to fully test it during the weekend.

  5. So true!! Very nice images here!! And right, for creating great images you don’t need the latest or greatest gear, only when there are very specific needs for the type of subject, the harshness of the location or the type of work you focus on the gear could make a difference.

  6. No truer words “Stop worrying about your cameras, software, autofocus, etc.,– just go out and shoot. Remember it is 95% your seeing and 5% your gear ”

    My least favorite part of reading reviews are the highly technical critiques of x, y, or z. I have seen beautiful photos taken with many so called, lesser cameras. Today, it seems virtually every camera is capable of taking beautiful images. When I view a photo and something about the image captures me, the thing I never do is look at pixels

  7. Thank you for saying so well what I’ve mumbled about for years. It’s tedious and sometimes infuriating to read comments on articles and posts in forums nitpicking over gear features that really make no difference when it comes to shooting pictures. I tend to forget that for some camera owners it’s the camera they own that’s important rather than the pictures they make with it.

    I’ve enjoyed your website immensely, having gone back and read posts from the beginning. Your style of photography is not always to my personal taste but it shows an educated eye for visual interest. I applaud you for having one of the more mature sites I’ve encountered online.

  8. Stop worrying about your cameras, software, autofocus, etc.,– just go out and shoot. Remember it is 95% your seeing and 5% your gear (I am being generous here.

    Well said. I am so tired of being on forums where gear heads do nothing about talk about switching systems because the the camera they own just isn’t cable of photographing unicorns moving at light speed.

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