Fuji X100 / X100s / X100t Travel Kit

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I often get questions related to my travel photography, so I thought it’d be fun to share my Fuji X100 series Travel Kit.  While I now use the “T”, this would obviously apply to the original Fuji X100 and the X100s also.

It is always a tough thing for a photographer to decide what photographic gear to bring on vacation, with the two competing elements being size/weight versus image quality.  For those of us who love our images it is very difficult to compromise our gear choices, but carrying around a backpack full of DSLR gear, lenses, etc can also become VERY tiresome.

The picture above (white poster board + window lighting = poor man’s studio!) shows my current travel kit.  I have written extensively about the Fuji X100 series, so I won’t recap that here other than to say that they are the greatest cameras I have ever owned.  Some would argue that their one Achille’s Heel is the fixed 35mm lens, but I find the opposite to be true in that it forces me to work a scene more for my composition.

In addition to the camera you can see:

  • WCL-X100 wide angle conversion lens
  • TCL-X100 tele conversion lens
  • EF-X20 Flash
  • A Canon TTL cord
  • A Think Tank pouch holding a cleaning cloth, extra batteries, and extra SD cards

 FUJI CONVERSION LENSES:

The lens in the Fuji x100 series (x100 / x100s / x100t) is a 23mm f/2.0 lens (35mm DSLR equivalent on an APS-C chip).  35mm is the perfect walk round lens, good for environmental portraiture, street photography, etc.

While they don’t get used often, I got great pricing on these two conversion lenses and carry them for the following reasons:

  1. Wide Angle Shots.  Most of the time fitting everything in simply means taking a few steps back.  There are times, however, where this is not possible.  The WCL-X100 converts the Fuji’s 35mm field of view to a 28mm one, providing approximately 20% more coverage in the frame.
  2. Wide-ish angle lenses tend to distort people’s faces a little if not used properly.  The classic portrait lens tends to fall into the 50-135mm range.  The Fuji TCL-X100 converts the 35mm lens to a 50mm…. offering a more pleasing perspective when using this camera to make portraits.

These only leave my bag when I have a specific use for them, but to have 28mm, 35mm, and 50mm focal lengths can be very handy at times.

FUJI EF-X20 AND CANON TTL CABLE:

There are of course those times where you need to add a little light to a scene.  I will tell you right now I love lighting.  Love it.

Flash is not without its problems when traveling light: Lights can be big and heavy, and flash also look it’s worst when used directly on camera (You know those pictures of miners with the headlamp on the forehead? That’s usually the type of light created by on camera flash).

Fuji doesn’t offer a mature flash system yet in many people’s opinions, but the one they do offer that I love is the tiny little EF-X20 flash.  It is a bit overpriced in my opinion, but can be found on eBay for a reasonable amount.  It won’t push light out far, and only faces forward when mounted on the camera (no bounce).

This is where the “no name” eBay special Canon TTL cable comes into play.  Fuji uses the same pin layout as Canon, so the cable enables you to hold the flash in one hand off camera and still have TTL flash. The no name cables can be had for under $20, much better than the cost of a real Canon one.

Nice for those times you need it.

EXTRAS:

The Fuji X100 series had a reputation for poor battery life.  I averaged 200-300 images per battery at the most with the X100 and X100s, however with the X100t I am doing much better.   Having said that, extra batteries are very affordable so it isn’t really an issue.

In the little Think Tank pouch I keep 2 extra batters, 2 extra SD cards, and a cleaning cloth.

PACKING IT UP:

Here is where we really nerd out.  There is nothing photographers like better than camera bags.  Find any photography enthusiast with a little disposable income and you will often find they own more bags than cameras.  It is like crack for some of us.

All of the gear above fits beautifully in the tiny little Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 20:

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The two conversion lenses are stacked on the left, the Fuji X100t in the middle, and the flash equipment on the right.

In the front pocket you can see the batteries, cards, a polarizer filter, and extra AAA batteries for the flash.

When I say tiny, I mean really tiny:

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Compared to the days of hauling around a backpack full of DSLR gear and this is pure heaven!

TRIPODS:

There are of course times where I want to have a tripod with me.  For these times I use a tiny travel tripod by a company called FotoPro:

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Folded it is about 12″ in length, but it stands up to 5′ tall and is a pleasure to work with.

Packed up, the whole travel kit looks like this:

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That’s a whole lot of bang for your buck in terms of image quality and photographic options… all in a tiny package that only weighs a few pounds.

ARE THERE ANY DOWNFALLS?

I can’t see myself traveling with anything more than this, but I can see two main downfalls:

  1. No telephoto lens.  I was recently in San Francisco for a week of photography and only missed this once:  While the Blue Angels were practicing for Fleet Week over the Bay.  DAMN!!!!!  I mean, really?
  2. There is no backup camera.  Depending on where I am traveling this could be “a thing”.

IN SUMMARY:

Readers of this site will know that I strongly believe in sayings like “If you want to make better photographs, point your camera at more interesting things”….. or “if you want to have better images, have better experiences”…. or, “if your photos aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”.

This tiny little kit allows me to travel virtual unencumbered… while still carrying excellent gear.  It covers at least 95% of my needs as a photographer, letting me go almost anywhere knowing I can make the image I want.

Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with it.

 

 

51 thoughts on “Fuji X100 / X100s / X100t Travel Kit

  1. Alain ROLLAND says:

    Equipement parfait et discret mais je pense qu’effectivement en voyage, un télézoom est utile. J’adore les produits Fuji qu’on sent bien dans les mains. Je rentre d’un voyage au Maroc que j’ai couvert avec Xpro1+18-55mm: parfait pour moi.

  2. marlo williamson says:

    Ian:

    Do you have any favorite settings for Color shooting and for Black and White shooting on your X100s?

    Keep up the great work,
    Marlo

  3. Matt M says:

    I’d like to see what’s inside of the Think Tank card holder. How many batteries can you fit? The version I’ve seen is meant for memory cards or batteries; not both.

  4. James Bannon says:

    Ian, having used both the WCL & TCL I am wondering do you have any thoughts on the image quality of either? Any issues with them? I am thinking of the TCL for my X100 but have found slight criticisms at times in various reviews. Any advice appreciated. i recently traveled, Vietnam & Australia with only the X100, great experience. J

    • Ian says:

      I find no difference in the image quality with either converter to be honest. Fuji has done a remarkable job with them. The WCL is quite small, takes the same lens hood, and honestly you don’t even really notice it once it is on. The TCL is definitely larger and heavier. It changes the feel of carrying the camera a bit, but the image quality is spot on in my opinion.

  5. James Bannon says:

    Thanks for that Ian. Overall I found the 100 very slow for a face paced place like Hanoi, missed lots of shots and the 35mm equivalent lens can, add a slight distortion to faces so I am thinking of maybe upgrading to the 100T if I thought it would be quicker at the focussing. Reading as many reviews as I can. A faster focussing x100 (whatever) and the TCL and I would be sorted. Cheers, J

  6. jypfoto says:

    Looks great, I’m getting my x100t soon and needed some ideas on the type of bag setup to carry. Had a full m4/3 Kit but even with the tiny lenses I would overpack, carrying 4-6 lenses at a time and probably spent more time swapping lenses than shooting.

    Didn’t look at the Mirrorless mover bag line myself, but instead picked up the Retrospective 5. Had it before with other Mirrorless setups, and I tried it in the store with the x100t and the Instax share and just fit right. Picked up a Manfrotto mini tripod as well.

  7. Justin says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I did 4 months travel in North America just over a year ago and I only took the X100 and a Manfrotto Befree tripod. I think I used the tripod twice… Some of my best images I’ve ever made were on that trip. Sure I missed a couple of long lens shots but the X100 covered 99% of situations. Best decision I made was to leave the DSLR kit at home. Only having that one focal length to work with forced me into becoming more creative and actually made me get closer and more immersed in situations I would have previously shot from far away.

  8. c1asia says:

    wow, thanks for sharing! i did not know that Canon flash cables work with Fuji for taking a flash off-camera. makes a world of difference. i use an X-T1. cable should work for that model as well, yes?

  9. Chris Tan says:

    Hey Ian,

    I’m about to head of my my x100t travel adventure and just looking for a home for all my bits and bobs. Which think tank pouch do you have there.

    Cheers
    Chris

    • Ian says:

      Hey Rob!

      I am a big fan of the black rapid straps. If you go to my review on the X100t and X100s (under “Gear I Love”) you’ll see the accessories I use.

      Recently I started using wrist straps more and more too. For those I love the Gordy’s wrist strap.

      • Rob Mason says:

        Thanks for the quick reply. I too like the black rapid straps and use the metro with my XT1. As I have the medium handgrip on it (XT1) the fastener doesn’t get in the way of the battery access door. But on the X100T, I don’t much care for the grip and thus the fastener has to be removed whenever I need to access the battery or sd card. Are you, or anyone on this list aware of a smaller fastener to attach to the tripod socket of the X100/s/t that would not block access to the battery door? Does the FastenR “Hitch” have a smaller diameter, allowing access to the compartment when mounted? Or are some simply attaching the carabiner to one of the strap loops?

  10. Earl Dunbar (@earldunbar) says:

    I will be getting an X100T in the near future (I’m a long time OM/Oly RF/Leica/4×5 shooter) as my entry into digital, so in my mind I have been trying to put together an optimal travel kit. This post is the best of all I’ve read – neat, clean, concise. I may eventually get an X-PRO so as to use some of my other glass, but that’s another story.

    Thanks.

  11. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve been looking into purchasing the x100T for at least a year now purely for a lighter set up to travel with! You’ve sold me. So neat and simple yet great image quality! I am very excited

  12. Richard Burn says:

    I’m heading to Paris for a few days in 10 days time and am undecided between my X100T and XT-10 + 35mm f/2. They’re both great outfits but I want to travel light and can’t take both. I’ll have the X70 with me whatever!

    • Ian says:

      If you have the X70 with you that gives you a bit of a wide angle. With that in mind, I’d go with the X-T10 and the 35mm.

      If you are only taking one, X100t for sure!

    • Rob says:

      If you want to have 35mm in addition to the 23mm of the X100T, perhaps you could consider the TCL for your X100 instead of a 3rd body. I don’t own one but if space is a concern the TCL would smaller than another body and lens. This would give you 18, 23 and 35 in APS-C terms.

  13. Peter says:

    Just curious, would you still (it’s now 2 1/2 years after you wrote the article) choose the EF-X20 flash? Or go for a Nissin i40 instead (of something else entirely)?

    • Ian says:

      Hey Peter!

      For the X100 series I would, yes. I only use flash with that camera as fill outdoors usually so I don’t need bounce, and more importantly the leaf shutter lens on the X100 series lets me sync at incredibly fast speeds, so I don’t need a lot of power.

      I also have the Nissin for when I am shooting weddings, etc.

      Cheers,

      Ian

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