Deal: X100S Canada

While it’s unfortunate that Fuji has decided the X100S won’t receive any further firmware updates, it’s still an excellent camera that I keep in my Billingham as part of my daily carry.

For my Canadian readers, Aden camera have a killer deal on the X100S. Just $875. Compared that to a new X100T that goes for $1,499 CDN, the second generation X100 will save you a pretty big chunk of change after tax.

Come to think of it, that works out to just $665 in U.S. funds by today’s exchange rate; better than Amazon’s→ or B&H Photo’s→ prices, so U.S. readers might want to jump on it too. Just remember, you miss out on the warranty with cross-border shopping.

Artisan & Artist Silk Strap Review

Thanks to Canadian Artisan & Artist dealer Digitec Trading, I’ve spent the entire summer with two the best straps for hot, sweaty days, the Round ACAM-301, and Flat ACAM-310.

Artisan & Artist straps are quite coveted, but do come with a price tag to match their premium quality. Are they worth it? Find out in my extensive review.

Artisan & Artist ACAM-301, ACAM-310 Silk Strap Review

Fujifilm X-T1 IR (Infrared)

Fujifilm USA has announced the forthcoming availability of an Infrared (IR) version of the X-T1. I gotta say, this came out of nowhere, and is a surprising move in a way, but one need venture no further than Fuji’s other key areas of business to understand why they’d make a camera specific for “technical experts, law enforcement, medical research and scientific communities.” Fujifilm spends at least as much time blocking light rays as they do allowing us to capture them.

For $400 USD more, the X-T1 IR “adds advanced infrared technology to see light from the ultraviolet (UV), visible and infrared (IR) portions of the light spectrum (approximately 380nm – 1,000nm).”

One more body to consider in your purchase decisions come October. Hopefully this hints at the possibility of other niche cameras like perhaps a monochrome or astrophotography-specific version. Too bad Dexter is already over. Would have made for an awfully convenient product placement opportunity.

Inspiration: Thomas Menk

As a reader of this site, you almost certainly already know Thomas Menk as the hardest working guy in Fuji curation. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the appearance his work as a photographer in my Twitter feed even more.

While I’ve always enjoyed Thomas’ photography, I really like the the images he’s been posting from a recent workshop in Venice. The processing is sublime. There’s a feel to them that I haven’t seen from him before that stops me from scrolling, and compells me to just enjoy the image.

Check out more of Thomas’ work here.

Affinity Photo

If traffic stats are anything to go by, the majority of my readers are Mac users, so apologies in advance to my Windows visitors for this Mac-only post. Having written that, this could be another reason to consider a shift in desktop platform.

Affinity Photo→ has been available on the Mac App Store since July 9th. I was waiting for a trial like they have for Affinity Designer,→ but with the end of the launch sale fast approaching, I took the plunge and bought both apps without being able to test out Photo.

I’m only a day in, but so far I’m very impressed. These applications are super fast. On my Early 2013 Retina MacBook Pro, Affinity is opening PSDs and AI files (saved with PDF compatibility) faster than Photoshop and Illustrator respectively are. The “Edit in...” command from Lightroom is also significantly quicker when sending the file to Affinity Photo as compared to Photoshop.

It might be the initial excitment talking, but as it stands right now, I’m hopeful that what amounted to two months worth of Adobe’s Creative Cloud will allow me to cancel my discounted subscription when it comes up for renewal at the end of next month. The timing couldn’t be better. My current plan is to eventually purchase what I can only assume will be the last stand alone upgrade for Lightroom, and transition away from Adobe for home use entirely after that.

Now, you might be thinking, “That’s great and all, but what about my Photoshop plug-ins?”


Yep, Nik plug-ins work just fine with Affinity Photo. A quick work around as noted below is required.

Yep, Nik plug-ins work just fine with Affinity Photo. A quick work around as noted below is required.

Initially I had some trouble figuring out exactly how to set the Plugin search folders and Plugins support folders, but a quick tweet to @MacAffinity lead me to this forum post, and the settings below.

To get “/” you need to point Affinity Photo to your boot volume. Hit Command+Shift+C, then double click your start-up disk.

To get “/” you need to point Affinity Photo to your boot volume. Hit Command+Shift+C, then double click your start-up disk.

There’s lots more to consider, but pretty much all of the big holes I’ve been worried about so far have been satiated. Wacom support, check. Proper Curves adjustment? Yup. All the blend modes you can handle with live preview so you don’t have to use some weird key command to cycle through them? You betcha.

I’m really just scratching the surface here, but I’ll continue to compare and contrast Affinity Photos with Photoshop over the next little while. If you’re on a Mac, and looking for a way to ditch the subscription, Affinity might be your way out. Creative Cloud offers many more applications, of course, but as a photographer, art director, and designer, I mostly work with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. With Affinity, I’ve got the first two replaced, and InDesign has been the least-used of the three for some time now. It would be fantastic if Affinity’s next project was a serious page layout application.


Deal: X-Pro1 Bundle

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to buy an interchangeable X-Series body, now might be the time. This X-Pro1 bundle from B&H including two lenses, the XF 27mm f/2.8 and XF 35mm f/1.4 saves you $900. It’s like buying two lenses and getting a camera for free.

The aging X-Pro1 isn’t my top choice for X-Series bodies these days, but for OVF fans, it’s still the only interchangeable option.

Fujifilm Filter Threads

If there’s one thing Fuji doesn’t make easy, it’s keeping the number of filters sizes you need to a minimum. I’ve had a write-up on filter threads in my drafts folder for months now, but Marco Larousse’s rant on episode 3 of the WeShootFuji podcast motivated me to not only get it finished, but to really hone the fancy new chart I had planned, which started out as a basic HTML table.

For a detailed visualization of Fuji’s filter thread diversity, and some strategies on lens kits that optimize for the number of filter sizes needed, check out my latest Extras piece, Fuji Filter Thread Sizes.

And if you’re reading this site, and don’t listen to the WeShootFuji podcast, you should give it a shot. Scott and Marco come from opposite, and outer-most edges of the photography spectrum, so they bring very different insights to all things Fuji from hardcore street, to landscape and nature photography.

Inspiration: Valérie Jardin

Of the 385 or so “Official X Photographers” Fuji have, only about 30 are women. That’s a mere 7%. Happily, another woman has joined their ranks, and for good reason. Valérie not only has a wonderful eye for clean, minimalist images, she’s also able to capture slices of life and moments of subtle brilliance. To pay small tribute to her well earned induction, Valérie is the perfect choice for a bit of inspiration. You can see much more of Valérie’s work on her website, or hear her on her podcast, Street Focus.

It’s great to see more gender variety added to an already culturally-diverse roster of photographers. Let’s hope the trend continues and that percentage cracks double digits soon.

As a reminder for Fujifilm UK, my very first Inspiration piece was on Verity E. Milligan, another perfect candidate for X Photographer status.

Man, I need to find some photographers who like colour a bit more!

Fujifilm Blog; Interview with Takashi Ueno

Fantastic interview with X-Series product planner, and certified photo master expert, a moniker that makes the fact this interview was conducted in Japanese gloriously obvious. Mr. Takashi Ueno reveals more on why Fujifilm opted for APS-C instead of full frame, and their lens strategies. Here are some highlights.

We have official confirmation on the red badge:

Yes, the red badge series are the zoom lenses intended for the professionals.

Regarding the XF 56mm f/1.2:

If the minimum working distance had been 40cm with the compromise on the image quality on the peripheral parts, then we had to extend the focus lens movable range. And as a result, the lens will be bigger and autofocus speed will be slower.

Our priority was to create a lens that has high resolution from corner to corner and that has adequately fast autofocus, so the minimum working distance became 70cm, which is enough for portrait photography – its presumed purpose.

I personally haven’t heard any complaints about the minimum focusing distance of the XF 56mm f/1.2, and in fact, it’s 15cm closer than an 85mm lens from Nikon. The impact on AF pace with closer focusing distances is interesting though, and explains the the necessity of a quad-linear motor in the XF 90mm f/2, which focuses as close as 60cm.

And Ueno’s recommend first lens for photographers new the X-Series?

I would recommend the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 as the gateway to the X series. As I said earlier, although the lens is a kit lens for starting out, it doesn’t mean that the image quality has been compromised.

While the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 is nowhere to be found in my Recommended Kits, I can certainly vouch for its quality. The image used in my masthead1 is a panoramic captured with the first interchangeable Fuji kit I owned, the X-E1 and XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens. You could do a lot worse that this kit lens. →

  1. I’ve attempted to update this image on a number of occassions, but I’m always unsatisfied with anything else I place there. I love the fact it came from my first interchangeable Fuji, and is a testament to what the first generation of X-Series is capable of.