Category Archives: X100V Diary

Summer in Vermont

We spent the first week of August in Burlington, VT for our family vacation. I was worried about the summer heat, but we got lucky and the weather was perfect. We spent our mornings hiking, kayaking, and biking, taking advantage of the cool lake breeze. Afternoons were spent having lunch outside, topped off with the occasional maple creemee and a well deserved pint for me.

On one of our slower days we took a trip to the Shelburne Museum which I highly recommend if you are in the area. The museum features many rescued relics from all over Vermont, including the Steamboat Ticonderoga, a covered bridge, and many historic buildings rescued and moved to the museum. One of my favorite exhibits was the General Store which was stocked to the brim with items you would see in a Sears Catalog from the 1800’s.

If you like beaches, you will enjoy North Beach Park. We rented our Kayaks there and explored the rocky shoreline around Lone Rock Point. If the kids were not with us, we probably would have spent a day at the beach relaxing.

The other big highlight of the trip was a 23 mile bike ride along the Burlington Greenway, across the Lake Champlain Causeway. We hopped on the Local Motion Bike Ferry to go to South Hero for lunch at The Hive Cafe. The rented bike I wound up with was not ideal, but there are only a few hills to navigate.

For photos, I brought along the Fujifilm X100V, Panasonic GX85 and the Fujifilm W3 3D. The X100V was a great camera for walking around with all day slung over my shoulder. I used the built in ND filter a few times, and later forgot that it was still on… I wish it turned off when the camera went to sleep.

The Panasonic GX85 is a great camera for action and telephoto shots. I used the 12-32mm pancake lens for shots like in the Kayak below. The woodpecker shot was taken with the Panasonic 100-300mm lens which has become my go-to lens for telephoto shots. I love the Micro 4/3rds system for the compact size and image stabilization… I just wish they would come out with a new updated bsi sensor with higher resolution.

Enjoy the photos and let me know if you have any questions! – Sean

Sunset on Lake Champlain, Fujifilm X100V
Sunset on Lake Champlain, Fujifilm X100V
Kayaking near North Beach Park, Panasonic GX85
Kayaking near North Beach Park, Panasonic GX85
Lake Champlain Navy Memorial, Fujifilm X100V
Lake Champlain Navy Memorial, Fujifilm X100V
Luggage aboard the Steamboat Ticonderoga at the Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Luggage aboard the Steamboat Ticonderoga at the Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Ticonderoga Life Preserver at the Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Ticonderoga Life Preserver at the Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Ye Olde Smokes, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Ye Olde Smokes, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Garden Statue, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Garden Statue, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Items at the General Store, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Items at the General Store, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
More Items at the General Store, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
More Items at the General Store, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Even More Items at the General Store, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Even More Items at the General Store, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Old Barn Door Latch, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Old Barn Door Latch, Shelburne Museum, Fujifilm X100V
Hummingbird Mural, Downtown Burlington, Fujifilm X100V
Hummingbird Mural, Downtown Burlington, Fujifilm X100V
Woodpecker at Red Rocks Park, Panasonic GX85
Woodpecker at Red Rocks Park, Panasonic GX85

FUJIFILM X100V – First Steps

It’s hard to talk about the X100V and other Fujifilm cameras, and not talk about film.

Essaouira, Morocco 2000
Essaouira, Morocco 2000. Taken with Nikon D60

Over the years in the 90’s and early 2000’s, I shot with various negative films from Kodak and Fujifilm, not really with any intention besides picking the ISO rating and color vs. B&W. I paid a local lab to develop it, and occasionally would get pictures blown up to hang on a wall.

The Yearling
The Yearling, Denver Library circa 2000. Taken with Nikon D60

While I love the images I took over the years, I don’t miss film one bit. On one trip, I used about 36 rolls of film. It probably cost over $400 to buy and process… almost $2 per click. My lightroom catalog has over 24000 images from my D200 ($1699 when released). That’s about .14 cents per image, not including the ones i deleted. Scanning film is a slow annoying process, and while I enjoy bringing my old photos alive digitally, I will never buy another roll of film.

Lightroom Catalog Counts for my Nikon SLRs

So that brings me to the X100V. It is a camera that oozes a retro vibe. It looks and feels like it could have been made in the 1970’s if you ignore the LCD on the back… you might think there is a roll of film inside of it. I would go as far to say that it is a camera with a soul. As I type this, it is sitting in front of me, begging me to pick it up, hold it, and shoot with it.

Poor man’s Leica? At $1399 it is not cheap. It is a luxury item that few people “need”

I will be honest, I don’t usually read the manuals when I buy a camera. But with Fujifilm, you find yourself looking at menu options like “Dynamic Range – DR100/DR200/DR400/DR Auto”. How does that affect raw photos, and what does it do? The manual is not very clear, so off to youtube.

There is a confusing interaction (in my opinion) between the top dials, and the front and rear dials that took me a while to figure out. The way I shoot, I basically set the ISO and Shutter to (A)uto, and I use the exposure compensation and aperture ring manually. If you want to use the front and real dials set the top dials/aperture ring to (C)ornfused, and then you can use the menus to set up the front and rear dials for those functions… off to youtube!

Next, we have the (Q)uick menu. Take the time to set that up with the commands you want to use often… Help me Youtuuuube!!!

Finally, there is the viewfinder. You can configure the display in both optical and evf mode. Hitting the “Disp Back” will declutter the displays with a single click. When you use the finder in optical mode, AF functionality changes… eye af does not work (i think?). Hmmmm… maybe Youtube can simplify things.

Ok… now you can start taking some pictures. Do you want Classic Chrome with large film grain, and extra strong or weak chrome effect? Or Acros with a yellow or blue filter effect? Lets see what JayRegular on Youtube has to say.

Ok… now I can take a photo….

Wooden Figure, Fujifilm X100V, Eterna Bleach Bypass
Wooden Figure, Fujifilm X100V, Eterna Bleach Bypass
Cherry Blossoms, X100V, Velvia
Cherry Blossoms, X100V, Velvia
A Gathering of George, X100V, Classic Negative
A Gathering of George, X100V, Classic Negative
Toys by Window, X100V, Classic Chrome
Toys by Window, X100V, Classic Chrome

Most X100V people on the internet will tell you “I now only shoot jpegs with the X100V”. I am going to go against the grain. I only shoot raw, and I use the Lightroom camera profiles for these images. There are some differences to the in-camera profiles, but not enough for me to care.

If you like this website, and are thinking about buying this camera from Amazon… click here : Fujifilm X100V Digital Camera – Black and support the site!

– Sean

Fujifilm X100V – The camera that took 24 Years to find Me

I purchased my first digital camera 24 years ago in 1997. It was a Sony Mavica FD7, a horrible camera, with floppy discs for recording 640×480 pixel jpegs, and an uncontrollable flash that ruined every photo if you tried to use it.

The Empire State Building in fog. Taken with the awful Sony Mavica FD-7 on 1/6/1997… click to expand to its full 640×480 resolution!!!

I continued to shoot 35mm film into the early 2000’s, and every year or so I would upgrade to a new digital camera. At various points in time, I owned a Nikon Coolpix 880, Olympus E-10, Canon GX9, Panasonic FZ200, GF1, Nikon D100, D200, D800, Coolpix A … on and on. In the early years, upgrading delivered big gains. The manufactures were churning out higher resolution cameras every year, full frame sensors became affordable, and the forums debated if the latest cameras image quality was “better than 35mm”. For me, I crossed the line with the D100 in 2002 and never shot a roll of film again.

In 2012 I purchased a Nikon D800. I still have it, and I’ll probably keep it until it stops working. It’s a big, and heavy camera though. Lately when I travel or go to family events, I would take my Coolpix A or Panasonic GX85. The D800 goes out less and less, even though the image quality still beats my other cameras. The Coolpix A was an APS-C camera you really could put in a coat pocket, and have with you all of the time. I really liked the Coolpix A… but it was slow to focus, had no viewfinder and the 28mm lens was just a little too wide for me.

My well used Coolpix A, with Aki-Asahi Skin Goodbye my little friend… I will miss you…maybe?

Over the last few years, most of my photography was for family and vacation photos. I wasn’t going out with the sole purpose of just taking photos for myself. During the past year, I focused on scanning my personal negatives, and my mothers shoebox of 1000 family slides…

My mother at Jones Beach, Long Island (late 1950’s/early 1960’s)

So around comes 2021. Covid seems to be getting under control… I start thinking about going on an actual trip. What better way could someone that loves photography celebrate life returning to normal than buying a new camera? In April, I got an email from BestBuy… 10% of any item for your birthday! Which camera should I get…

Nikon Z6 ii / Z7 ii ? I’d have to sell my D800 and not all of my lenses would work, even with that adapter thing… wallet says no.

Ricoh GRIII ?? Nice sensor, image stabilization, pocketable… but 28mm, no flash, and like my Coolpix A, no viewfinder.

Fujifilm X100V ??? Searching youtube, reading reviews… what’s all the hype about? Lots of people are gushing over it… it even has film simulations (Note to Fujifilm… please please please release the “50 year old slide with mold” simulation!). It looks really nice in silver… hipster drool worthy. Ugh… out of stock at BestBuy… my 10% off is only good until April 30th… refresh, refresh, refresh…. finally on April 28th… success!

On delivery day, I managed to hide the box from wife… she wouldn’t appreciate the fine build quality, machined dials, and that very delicate, extremely expensive hybrid viewfinder… or the credit card charge. She notices me boxing up the Coolpix A for an eBay buyer… I think she knows something is up.

My new X100V with my old Nikon FTn… it’s the new good old days again!

So… how does it shoot? Do you like it? Did your wife find out?

Photo of wife after she found out I purchased a new camera, taken with Fujifilm X100V Eterna Bleach Bypass

To be continued…..