Fujifilm X100V + TCL X100II: in anycase and....anywhere

Categoria: English Pubblicato: Giovedì, 21 Gennaio 2021 Scritto da Max Angeloni

Translated by Pietro Todaro

Roman letter "V" ... or rather a Roman numeral. Five.
Fifth-generation of the camera that marked the beginning of a new era for Fujifilm.
I will not dwell on the chronology of the releases, on features, updates, and various harangues that, model after model, have followed one another until today.
When the X100 came out the Fujifilm X system still did not exist, much less the XPhotographer. To be honest, no one believed in a prominent future for this brand in the then Nikon and Canon dominated photographic landscape. 

Thus... we were only a handful of people who glimpsed the potential of a "different" photographic future. Those were bygone days... and the multitude of knowledgeable and wise who today do their utmost to release comments and pseudo-reviews without rhyme or reason, were largely the same who looked at you with a hint of scorn from the top of the "traditional" photographic monolith that they wore around their neck. But this is another story.

 

Florence - June 2011, my first shot with Fujifim X100 published in a magazine. 
Fujifilm X100 - Iso 200, f/5, 1/250

Fifth generation ... therefore?
As per tradition, do not expect numbers, schemes, comparative tables, and so on. I gladly leave these to those who need something to fill the space of an article.
On these pages, we use the space to insert as many photographic examples as possible that were shot while working.
So ... we were saying?
Ah yes. Summarizing.
The innovations of the X100V are basically two. The upgrade of the lens and a level of weather sealing that is finally worthy of a professional camera.

 

Fujifilm X100V + TCL X100II - Iso 160, f/2.2, 1/1400

 

The Super EBC 23mm II has not changed externally. It remains small and compact. It was precisely the compactness that had certainly imposed some compromises in terms of overall yield.
Minimal compromises of course, but with the increase in resolution, this lens began to show some limits.
A new internal design and, above all, the addition of an aspherical lens, has allowed this lens not only to handle higher resolution very well but also to perform better over the entire area of the frame straight off from maximum aperture.


 

x100T

The old version of the lens, wirh wide open aperture and with a particular incidence of artificial lights, could create these annoying light streaks. In the new version even this problem seems to be solved.
Fujifilm X100T - Iso 3200, f/2, 1/60

 

As far as weather sealing is concerned, the solution that has been adopted needs some precautions to be complete. In fact, while for the body normal solutions have been applied as done on other types of cameras, the mechanics of the incorporated lens did not allow any solution. If you carefully look at the lens you will find that the optical unit moves inside the barrel and there is a space between these two elements. Therefore, in order to isolate this "gap" from the outside, we must either mount a filter or an additional lens such as the TCL or WCL using an adapter (which is the same as the lens hood).
Some have pulled a face to this solution, some even speak about partial or fake weather sealing.
Here we go again, too many people talk without having a minimum of competence to do so.
Let's just all think of weather-sealed cameras with interchangeable lenses. If these cameras are not coupled with weather-sealed lenses, this characteristic is lost.

 

Fujifilm X100V - Iso 160, f/3.6, 1/320

 

Regarding the rest, what differences are there between the X100V compared to the X100F?
Everything we usually expect to find on a new model.
Better electronics, better viewfinder and screen, optimized buttons and dials, and so on.

 

Fujifilm X100V - Iso 160, f/2, 1/500

 

On the field.
The Fujifilm X100 is the perfect camera only for reportage photography.
How many times have we read or heard such a peremptory statement?
This is yet another mediatic nonsense.
The X100 is a perfect camera for taking pictures of whatever you want.
Obviously; compactness, the position of the viewfinder, discretion, and performance make it a tool designed primarily for reportage. However, a mini photographic system has actually been built around the X100, that allows this "little one" to be fully at ease in many other common photographic situations.
Naturally, you cannot deal with some photographic genres, even if you have the TCL or the WCL. But then again this also applies to 99% of the photographic equipment possessed by photography enthusiasts around the world.

In any case, if you are one of those who think that a camera and any zoom lens are enough to take pictures on the edge of a race track, or take still life pictures with a tripod and a 50mm or, even worse, a mobile phone to take architectural photographs, well in this case... I can't do anything about it to convince you otherwise.

 

Fujifilm X100V + TCL X100II - Iso 160, f/8, 1/1600

 

Fujifilm X100V + TCL X100II - Iso 160, f/2, 1/1000

 

Fujifilm X100V + TCL X100II - Iso 160, f/2.8, 1/500

 

Where were we...
During these 8 months, I pushed the X100V a bit on all terrains. By terrains, I mean both photographic and earthly such as dust, rain, sand, and sea spray. When the environmental situations required it I mounted a good UV filter (Hoya Pro1 Digital) or the TCL X100 II.
You can judge the results for yourself from the published photographs.

 

Fujifilm X100V - Iso 160, f/4, 1/1500

 

Once again some will pull a face thinking about additional lenses like the TCL X100II.
While some will think that if you have to carry an additional lens with you, you might as well use a camera with interchangeable lenses.
I'm sorry… but once again it's not like that.
On the X100V there is no need to disassemble one lens to mount another one. The additional lens screws directly onto the built-in lens.
All this translates into greater ease of use, greater space, and the cleanliness of the sensor that will never be exposed. And we talk about dust, sea spray, or whatever else, this is not an aspect that should be overlooked.
Of course, I'm not saying that the X100V is the complete and perfect photographic tool for everyone and all situations.
It goes without saying, for example, that for portraits X-T3 and Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R or GFX 50s and Fujinon GF 110mm F2 R LM WR offer much, much more. But it is also true that we do not always need such performance and such dimensions.

 

Fujifilm X100V - Iso 10000, f/2, 1/125

 

Fujifilm X100V - Iso 160, f/2, 1/500

 

Fujifilm X100V - Iso 12800, f/2, 1/100

 

Fujifilm X100V - Iso 160, f/2.8, 1/640

 

Fujifilm X100V - Iso 160, f/2, 1/8000

 

Fujifilm X100V + TCL X100II - Iso 160, f/5.6, 1/900

 

Conclusions
In conclusion, the X100V is part of that category of cameras that, either we can't do without it, or we don't know what to do with it.
Issues like judging speed, autofocus, or overall performance are aspects that concern the past.
These cameras, although always perfectible, are now generally free of macroscopic defects.
In the abundance of choice that the vast panorama of cameras that the market offers us, it's mainly a matter of the sensations that a photographic medium can offer to our way of taking pictures.

 

Fujifilm X100V + TCL X100II - Iso 160, f/2, 1/420

 

For me, the X100 represents my first professional machine on Fujifilm's new path. I've always had it and I could never do without it.
But I repeat… in this case… it's all a question of personal sensations that only this machine has been able to offer me over the years, whether for work or pleasure, in anycase and anywhere.

 

 

Acknowledgements

A big thanks to : Adele Brandaglia, Agnese Marucelli, Mariapia Aricò, Francesca Polverini, Ema Kovac, Cesare Veneziani.