Fully Loaded Fujifilm X10 – Classically Pimped To The Max!
The Fujifilm X10 is one of those cameras.. it just seems to have something you can’t quite put your finger on. The X100 is another. Both produce image files that are just very pleasing and many prefer the look and feel of their images over their updated siblings like the X30 or X100T. I’m one of those photographers who sold my X30 travel/EDC camera and replaced it with the older and slightly smaller X10. Once done, it wasn’t long before I yearned to pimp it as I’ve always done with all my Fujis and Leicas.
The first thing any respectable camera (that even remotely resembles a rangefinder) needs is a leather half case. These help protect your little investment, make carrying it easier and they look superb if you get the right one. Cases made specifically for the X10, however, are getting scarce as the camera is obviously long since discontinued. I’d used a Gariz half case on my X30 and for my Leicas and larger Fujis I’d always dug deep into the depths of my wallet and ordered one from Luigi at LeicaTimes (be prepared for the most annoyingly 80s website you’ve recently encountered). This time, however, I was trying to maintain a sensible budget commensurate with the fairly meagre sum I’d paid for the X10 on the used market, so I spent some time searching and eventually that paid off. I stumbled across a seller who had two Gariz XS-CHX10S. You’ll notice that the designation is slightly different to that of the standard Gariz X10 case and with good reason. This one was a limited edition using a much better hide and one which actually showed the grain. These used to be mega bucks but I now had the chance to get one for $80. My Paypal account quickly took a hit and the case was on it’s way. When it finally arrived from across the Atlantic it was certainly a stunner. The only things I didn’t like was the hue of the leather. It’s was a light colour, bordering on grey, so I got out my shoe cleaning box and a little black wax later all was right with the world.
Next came the soft release. On black cameras there is only one soft release I ever use and it’s again from Gariz. It’s the gun-metal version of their gnarly edged release and I think it looks superb on a black camera. I love “Leica red” buttons on a silver camera but on a black I think they look a tad garish and prefer a more toned down colour. The Gariz also feels good quality and attaches firmly to the shutter release button on the X10. Now here’s a tip!!! It would seem that, despite their multitude of product codes that seem to suggest each button is specifically designed for a certain brand and model, the screw buttons are actually all the same. This kind of makes sense as it’s unlikely that any manufacturer would produced a proprietary thread for their shutter release buttons. So, not yet armed with this certainty, I took a chance on my hunch and ordered an XA-SB4S, which is sold as a Sony RX1 button. It worked beautifully and the only difference I noticed between it and my previous X30 button was the lack of the little red O ring that was so useful for ensuring that the button didn’t vibrate loose. Being anal I spent a load of time finding a company that sold those exact little red O rings and purchased a pack. Yeah.. I know.. leave me alone!
Right, next up we needed a thumb rest. Now there are plenty of these available ranging from incredibly cheap ($2) to absurdly expensive ($150-200). First off, paying more than the camera is worth for a thumb rest doesn’t make sense to me, period and quite how the manufacturers thought that would be a big seller is anyone’s guess. The cheap eBay jobbies are fine except they’re generic and quite short so if you pop one on an X10 or X30 your access to the main dial is very effectively blocked.. not great. The brand I tend to use is LensMate. I find their quality to be top notch, their designs are camera specific and take into consideration the fact that I do want to actually use the camera once the thumb rest is installed and their prices, whilst not cheap, are mid-range (about $65). Add the fact that their thumb rest for the X10/X20 is now discounted to $35 and you have yourself a winner.
Onto the screen. I don’t like a camera with a scratched rear screen so I always protect that with a screen protector. Again there are many on the market but not all advertised as fitting the X10 actually do. I normally use a GGS but the 4:3 3″ screen I received was a tad too big (the X10 screen is 2.7″) so it could not properly adhere. I eventually ordered a Brando Tempered Glass protector and this one fit like a glove. It wasn’t cheap at £17.99 GBP but the quality seems commensurate with the price.
Straps are subjective and we all have different tastes. However, the only straps I ever use on any of my cameras come from Clive at FootPrints Straps. His work is top notch and his passion for his products shows. Price-wise, however, they’re very reasonable and he sells a width that works beautifully with smaller camera bodies. A total no brainer for me.
With one of my ultra expensive Luigi half cases I also purchased a custom battery/card case that slotted onto the strap and was extremely useful as it meant that whenever I grabbed my camera I automatically had with a couple of spare batteries and two SD cards. Second tip of the day!! A vintage leather Zippo case has the exact dimensions you need and will also slot nicely onto your strap with zero modification required!
Lens protection, filters and hoods. I love the look of a lens hood on the little X10, aesthetically it just looks the part. However, it doubles the overall depth of the camera and turns something eminently pocketable into a mini beast that needs to be in a case. I found that to be a hindrance and it effectively voided what I wanted this camera to be: a pocket/EDC camera. As such, I binned the idea of a hood, having made that mistake with the X30 already, and instead went for a simple 40mm filter and 40.5mm pinch cap. The filter I chose was the NiSi MC UV Ultra Thin with 12 layers of AR coating and it does the job admirably.
And that’s my guide to classically pimping and protecting a Fujifilm X10!