Romance of the X100T

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by tkbslc, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    So about 2 years ago I was struggling with the will to bring my Canon SLR and 4 lenses with me and they were sitting unused a lot of the time. Maybe if I got a smaller camera everything would be better?

    So, I decided maybe m4/3 was the answer and I traded them in for a GX7 and a few lenses. Then I just started swapping and adding stuff like crazy. I have 8 lenses now and I've spent double what I had invested in my SLR kit.

    I am getting really great pictures with my m4/3 kit. I like everything about it. But I still struggle wanting to bring it everywhere. It sits home as much as my Canon did. Because, while it is smaller and lighter, it is still a bag and the hassle and stress of swapping lenses. I also struggle with what lenses to get, so it's always a temptation to swap and buy more. And then I stress over how many (or few) to take on trips or outings. Lately I haven't even really been using it at all.

    And then I read blog after blog talking of the romance and simplicity of the X100T:

    The Myth of More (Not Just Another Fuji X100T Review)
    Why I choose to shoot with a fixed lens camera like the Fuji X100T
    The Freedom Camera – A personal rant about the Fuji X100T
    The Fuji X100T — Tools and Toys

    It's all you need, they say. Having too much gear is a burden and a lens mount means always having to make decisions. Boiling it down to one lens stuck to a camera with simplifies and just forces and focuses creativity.

    Logically I want to disagree. I could just put a single prime on my GX7 and get the same thing. (Although we don't have a 17.5mm f1.5 pancake). But I know how I get obsessive and want to keep swapping lenses when they are available. I know how I stress when I am traveling and want to bring multiple lenses with me. The urge to maximize your system can be overwhelming. And why do I have a huge system anyway? As much as I fancy myself a "photographer", all I do is try to take nice pictures on vacations and of my family.

    I gotta say I am starting to think I should trade some (all?) gear for one. Those bloggers are pretty convincing.

    TL;DR - Is the X100T really the simple answer to gear stress and gear churn?
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  2. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    Another piece of equipment isn't the answer because the equipment isn't the problem.

    If you can't pick out one lens and one body now then you you won't be satisfied with the x100 either.

    The simple truth is you can't leave the house prepared to photograph everything unless you have everything with you. Accept this and you can lighten your load.

    I've finally gotten comfortable leaving the house with two lenses. One a little bit wide and one a little bit long. The Sigma 19/2.8 and Olympus 45/1.8. They cover almost everything for me. It might not be a good choice for you. If I expect a lot of lens swapping I bring two bodies. It's still a pretty light kit.

    I don't usually bring anything else unless I expect specific opportunities. Do I miss shots I might have gotten with more equipment. Yep. I just try to stretch out of my comfort zone.

    More equipment isn't the solution to carrying too much equipment.

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  3. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Real Name:
    I wish it was that simple! and perhaps for some people, like the bloggers you shared, it is. One camera and one lens- simplicity itself. It's like those one gear minimal bikes! Sounds ideal - but in reality it's great for certain situations but not for all. So, surely it depends on what you shoot. Does a this FOV fit for all that you shoot? Would you really be satisfied with just that? Maybe...For my family shots, I know I would find just a fixed lens camera too limiting.

    I have swapped and changed a lot over the years, both driven by GAS and by some process of working out what I like to shoot and was works for me. These days I have a minimal one lens set up - and a bigger bag for 3 when I know I am going to need a bit more. I rarely take it all out together. Why not minimise your kit and see how that is?

    And I have tried a few compacts to have a "carry around all time camera" and none have been that enjoyable to use and then sold. And wondered about the X100T. But I know it would be taken out as much as my single lens kit, no more or less.

    Minimalism and less choice can help with the creative process for sure, but are not the pay factors.

    If i am honest the best £150 i spent on photography was doing an evening course in creative photography! cheaper than most lens and massively boosted my creativity and enjoyment...

    A few thoughts.
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  4. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    The X100T doesn't offer anything concrete over your system in terms of usability. You're just responding to the choice m4/3 gives you in a less productive way. Gear will come and go, but acquisition doesn't equal pursuit of photography. Stick a 17mm lens on your GX7 and you'll essentially, photographically, have an X100T.

    Personally my GX85 with the Oly 25mm f1.8 is a great one camera, one lens solution and I have the options of going wider or longer with it as well.
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  5. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    The only real benefit of the X100T is if the interface works better for you. If that is more enjoyable to you, you'll probably use it more. Or like the look of Fuji over Olympus.

    I got a GR for a similar reason. Tiny, go anywhere. But it's still not pocketable for me. I need a bag. At that point, I might as well carry the E-M5+17 (it doesn't help that I just couldn't grow on 28mm and I just couldn't really jive with the UI for some reason, I dunno). Though, I will say the weight of the GR is amazing.
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  6. ddekadt

    ddekadt Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 30, 2013
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    Agreed with the above posters that an M4/3 body with a single lens will do anything an X100T can do. More gear is not the answer.

    More philosophically, my personal view of this is that photographers often approach photography from a weird perspective: be prepared for it all so you don't "miss a shot". This assumes, of course, that there is a set of "shots" one "needs" to get on any photographic expedition. I don't like that perspective, and I think the assumption is false. If you only take an equiv 50mm only on a shoot, you will make a series of 50mm shots. You won't take any shots that are not equiv 50mm, by definition. Now, if you had a multi-lens kit that you were using, you would *necessarily* have "missed" some of those shots because you would have, at some point, had a different lens on the camera. Neither of those outcomes -- a series of 50mm shots vs. a collection of varied FL shots -- is "right" or "complete". They each stand on their owns merits, and the merits of the photographer. Shoot the FLs you like to shoot, to make images you like, not because you are worried about "missing a shot".

    When I leave the house I am focused on making a few good images that satisfy me. Those can be with an equiv 50mm POV, or a WA POV, or a 150mm POV, or whatever. I simply want to enjoy shooting and make some good images. The imaginary photographs ones I "missed" because I didn't have every focal length covered don't ever feature in my mind, because they would have displaced some of the ones I did take.

    In fact, I took a photographic trip to Namibia (one of the ultimate destinations for photographers), and took only an E-M5 and PL 25mm (50mm equiv). It was fulfilling and challenging and interesting, and I love the gallery I produced. I shot a small wedding with just two lenses (PL 25mm and mZ 75mm) and had the same experience.

    So if you want to experience it, just do it. Next time you go out photographing, just take one focal length (any one you like, I often just go out with the 75mm). See if you find it fulfilling.
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  7. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    My journey: compact -> super zoom compact -> film -> dslr -> serious compact -> m43.

    Lately, for a walk around in daylight, I often consider picking up the smaller LX-5 rather then the E-M10 with a small lens. But I rarely do (relearning the different interface is the biggest excuse I can think of). Often I pick up the E-M10 and I do not try even one shot. In practice they often just sit at home. Both. It's not about size, IQ or whatever: sometimes you just are not in the mood to take pictures.

    Sometimes I tell myself that it is because I do not have a 25mm and I never loved the 20mm I got, but honestly I think it's just BS.

    So if you are looking for more gear to reignite the photo spark you are looking in the wrong place. I do not what can do that, I suspect nobody does, but it's not gear. My best guess is some kind of change, to see things with different eyes. Or finding something that you want to tell/show beyond the "visually pleasant" part of the pictures.

    On a more practical side the X100T may be good for some kind of shots but not for many others.
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It's not even carrying too much equipment. I do sometimes do that, but not often. It's more the annoying decisions of what to bring and what to leave home. And the pile of lenses sitting on my shelf spread across 2 bags. Adding one, and losing several is not "more" equipment. But I get what you mean.

    That seems to align perfectly with the philosophy of the bloggers touting the X100T, doesn't it? "You have 35mm FOV, go make something happen and don't worry about what it can't do, only what it can"

    I already have the 15mm f1.7, so I am close. I know this and eluded to it above. Logically the X100T offers nothing and maybe even less. But emotionally it could be liberating. If the bloggers I linked to are to be believed.
  9. dalto

    dalto Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2016
    At least two of those bloggers also have ILC cameras for when it is more appropriately. In part it depends on why you have a camera in the first place and what you want to accomplish with it.

    How much experience do you have with only carrying a single prime lens? If you don't do that much I would recommend trying it out. Throw a prime on your existing camera and take the type of pictures you typically take or want to take, see how it works for you.

    I find that there are circumstances where I am totally satisfied with a prime lens in with a 35mm equivalent of ~30-40mm. There are many where I am not though.

    As an alternative solution to your problem have you tried leaving a single general purpose lens on your camera in a convenient place and putting the rest of your lenses somewhere else? That way you might be inclined to grab your camera on the way out the door without pondering too much over the ideal lens alternatives or walking around with an entire bag.
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  10. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    They're (the bloggers) way more emotionally validated by the X-trans cult that currently exists among sort of hipster, fashion conscious photographers than any sort of simplicity offered by the actual camera. Even the X100 series offers wide angle and standard lens converters to accessorize and further complicate

    X100T users simply have a large and avid club of like minded people. You'll still notice, however, that every time a new X100 model comes out, everyone upgrades.
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  11. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Real Name:
    I think they have a point. When I'm local I have my em5ii + 20mm + 45mm only. Just recently I'm shooting 35mm film and picked up a Olympus Stylus Epic. That thing has almost no manual functions, you accept it for what it is and shoot what you know works with it. It really does bring out another side in your photography. I could see me being able to take good pics with the X100T just the same

    When I travel it's a different story, I like my zooms.
  12. ddekadt

    ddekadt Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 30, 2013
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    Yes, I think that it does align well with their attitude, I just wanted to elucidate my perspective (for my own pleasure, I guess). I'm still struggling to understand, though, why you don't just lock your lenses in a box and strictly use the 15mm f1.7 for a month?
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  13. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Real Name:
    Ok. I Give you the solution. (im one of those who once sold all m43 for x100) but got back.

    I feel you completely.

    My trick is, to use one lens that u love 95 procent of the time. My G6 and my pl25 is my trick, and it gives me smooth files everyday.

    But I have the O45 on the shelf, when I miss some nice portraits in my lightroom catalog.
    Step 2 is, stop reading blogs and sites about gear. Be happy with ur one lens,

    But... And I say but, if x100 where really comfy to hold which it is not, it would be one great solution. But its a slippery bastard.
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  14. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    That's good advice. Find the lens that you like for a majority of your photography, use that the majority of the time, but have other options for when you need them. Like i said, I use the 25mm most of the time. I have the 17mm pancake as well (if I had the dough I'd switch it for the 15mm f1.7, but I'm also thinking of just getting the 14mm pancake as a more versatile wide option) and Sigma 60mm for the long end. But most of the time? I only take the body with the 25mm.

    Like I said, emotionally the Fuji's offer a lot of cool factor because they're the cameras so many have glommed onto. I am a big fan of the Street Focus podcast, but the host and almost all of her guests use Fuji. You're constantly getting validation because so many see Fuji and Sony as the only mirrorless out there. None of that means they're better cameras FOR YOU.
  15. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I go at it a little differently. I only have a few native lenses (14, 75, 14-150II) but a cadre of adapted lenses. If I am going with family, traveling, I stick with the 14-150II. It is versatile and covers just about everything (especially with the MCON).

    Otherwise I decide which lens I want to play with and take that. I might add in the 14 just to have something AF and quality, but it is tiny. Today it was the Leica Elmarit-R 28. I wanted something as close to 50mm equivalent. It limited what I could do, but since it was all I had I was forced to go with it.

    I guess my advice is, today just pick something and use it. Tomorrow you can pick something else.
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  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I should do that more.

    That's probably a better solution. Thanks.

    I don't think it really had anything to do with the brand. It was more the "purity" of the old fixed lens rangefinder mentality. It's a modern day Canonet or Konica 7s. It's probably B.S., but it was sounding really good the more I read! :)

    That's what I probably should do. But after reading all those blogs I linked to it just thought there was something "romantic" about just dumping everything and starting over with a single camera with no lenses to worry about (other than what is bolted on). Going for a "pure" experience. Hence the thread title.
  17. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    It's not the Fuji brand per se, but their design philosophy just took off. Fuji is firmly fixed in the minds of so many photographers now.
  18. ddekadt

    ddekadt Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 30, 2013
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    Understood. And you don't think there's something sufficiently romantic about shooting with a single leica lens? ;). To be honest, I definitely found something romantic about the 3 years I spent with just the E-M5 and the PL 25mm.

    Get out the lock box, and go shooting! :)
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  19. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    There are as many good answers here as there are viewpoints.

    I'll give you mine for what it's worth:

    If you must shoot with a viewfinder:
    - GM5 with a 12-32mm. Smaller than the X100t even, more versatile, superb picture quality.
    - LX100 or Typ 109. More versatile yet, still smaller than the X100t, superb picture quality (even some bokeh).

    If you don't need a viewfinder:
    - Coolpix A. Slim, superb sensor and lens, great to shoot with, slim enough for a shirt pocket. (X100t will never do that.)
    - Ricoh GR. Same as above, lens even a wee bit sharper and slimmer.
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  20. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    You forgot the Fuji X70. :) Another 28e APS-C fixed-lens compact. Slightly smaller than an LX-100.

    For me it wasn't µ4/3 or an X100T. It was µ4/3 AND an X100T (and Canon gear, actually). I don't switch; I accumulate.

    GAS is GAS. Only to be relieved by TUMS (Time to Unload My Stuff). :D We all change over time, our needs change, so our gear changes, too. Get new things you think you'll use a lot. Sell the stuff you realize you're not using any more to help fund the new stuff.

    I use µ4/3 when I need more lens versatility. If I need to shoot fisheye, ultrawide, portrait prime, or telephoto, I pack the GX-7 in a bag with the requisite lenses and I'm happy. If I want to go super-light, and would have just screwed the 20/1.7 onto my GX-7 wrapped them up and shoved them in my purse, I take the X100T, instead.

    And just as µ4/3 surprised me in taking up most of the space my Canons used to fill than I expected, the X100T has surprised me by taking up more of the space my µ4/3 gear used to fill than I expected. And I don't plan on switching to the Fuji X interchangeable lens system any time soon, because I like having a small light bag and that means small lenses. APS-C lenses are roughly the same size whether they're for dSLRs or for mirrorless cameras.

    But. The "magic" to an X100T isn't so much about the fixed prime. If that's all that it was, I'd still be perfectly happy screwing my 20/1.7 onto the front of my GX-7. For me, it's the Leica-inspired design think, the colors of the Fuji engine, the hybrid viewfinder, and the ability to print directly from the camera to the Instax SP-1 in my purse :). None of these can be found in µ4/3. I don't have to have these things to make me happy, any more than I need to eat ice cream every day. But sometimes there are days when ice cream's really gonna hit the spot. I don't eat the same thing every day. I don't wear the same thing every day. I don't watch or write or photograph the same thing every day. Why should I use the same camera every day if I can afford others?

    Loyalty to a brand or system is kind of nuts, if more than one brand/system is going to fulfill your varying needs. People change over time. Enjoy what comes along, and don't assume that switching completely is the only answer.
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