fujifilm x100t photo review after one year of use

One year (and a bit more) with Fuji X100T. A personal diary using the camera.

Photographers are lot of the times not only obsessed about the quality of the pictures but also about the tools they are using. We’re considering the cameras as our tool to get the job done, but it’s not a mystery that lot of the time, we’re looking to an item that can give us satisfaction and not frustration when we are shooting.

I remember my first class of photography I took around 14 years ago: at the time (the year 2002) the digital reflex where kind of expensive and limited in the quality of images recorded. There was the big debate about analogue vs digital and who was the best one. In those years there was no mach: analogue photography was still an edge over the digital world.
I remember, during that first class, that I was so impressed about the sharpness and the colors of the slides that where projected from the teacher in the room: you could see in that dark room a picture that was so vivid and so crisp. I was in love with those colors! Those slides where shoot with a Fujifilm Velvia slide. So my begin in the path of photography was with the Fujifilm slide: first using the inexpensive Sensia, then starting to use the Velvia and Provia. I remember my trip to the Greek island of Santorini when I took some vivid images using those films. Unluckily now I can’t find back all of those slide, only some, but this is another story…

Greece 2003, the legendary analogue colors taken with Fujifilm Velvia Slide.

Greece 2003, the legendary analogue colors taken with Fujifilm Velvia Slide.

Greece 2003, the legendary analogue colors taken with Fujifilm Provia Slide.

Greece 2003, the legendary analogue colors taken with Fujifilm Provia Slide.

Greece 2003, the legendary analogue colors taken with Fujifilm Velvia Slide.

Greece 2003, the legendary analogue colors taken with Fujifilm Velvia Slide.

Greece 2003, the legendary analogue colors taken with Fujifilm Velvia Slide.

Greece 2003, the legendary analogue colors taken with Fujifilm Velvia Slide.

Why this long intro to my Fuji X100T impressions after an year of usage?
Simply ‘cause I found back with the Fuji digital camera that kind of color I could achieve when shooting with Fujifilm analogue slide.

I remember the first X100. I was at the 2010’s Photokina in Koln, Germany, when they present it. Everyone was falling in love with that camera only looking at the item itself: the camera looks like an old rangefinder camera but still very very portable thanks to the integrated and fixed lens.
I was testing and using the first X100 and I wasn’t finding it so amazing. The picture quality was good but I was struggling with the slow focus and the gimmick of the interface. At the time my mirrorless to go was the Samsung Nx100 and Nx200, I think the most underestimate system in the photography history. (you can read my impression here)
When the second iteration – the X100S – come out I was able to try it in different situations and it was already a big different story: the new x-trans sensor gives what we were missing on the first camera: the unique Fuji colors. I was amazed about them especially at the high iso range. (you can read my test of the X100s here)
But at the time I decided to wait a bit more. Until the X100t. Yes that was finally the camera to buy.

After one year of usage I still consider the X100T not an easy camera for everyone: if you want to master at the best the camera you have really to study the user manual to understand how to set all the features.
An example: in the beginning is not easy (without reading the manual) to understand that when you are shooting at full aperture (f/2.0) you can’t use the mechanical shutter speed over the 1/1000th of second (’cause of the plane focal shutter leaf shutter). You have to set integrated ND filter on or use the electornic shutter. This is just an example, over some difficulties I’ve found with this camera.
I would say that it took to me some weeks to get used how the X100T works. But after you master all these details you can’t turn back anymore.

The camera is very small, portable, and still it deliver amazing picture quality.
I’ve to say that in a lot of professional shootings, I was going to prefer the output of the X100T over the Canon 5d Mk2. For me there’s no challenge, especially when you are dealing with high iso and shadows recovery: the Canon files get noisy and difficult to manage. I found instead the Fuji file to hold more information and be more flexible to work with the post editing in Lightroom.

Let’s talk about the raw output vs jpg out of the box.
Lot of photographer are extremely happy about the jpg ootc (out of the camera) and I’ve to agree with them but… for me the raw post processing is so important cause it gives to the photographer the ability to show the unique and personal vision, in the same way the photographers could get unique prints in the dark room.
The jpg from the Fuji X100t are nice but with the extra editing you can do with the .raw files in Lightroom give enormous opportunity to the photographers.

I’m just not so happy (and I know that I’m not the only one) about the demosaicing algorithm with the fuji raw in Lightroom. I know there’s the Iridient Developer as alternative and I’ve tested this summer for some weeks Capture One too. The latter gives nice results with the fuji raw at cost of slow down with the workflow (at least in my opinion). Honestly I had difficulties to adapt myself to Capture One after I’m using Lightroom from the first open beta of 2006. I’m just so used about the Adobe software and it’s much quicker especially when dealing with a big library of more than 200.000 photos.
So my decision is to stay stick with Lightroom and I’ve started to learn how to process better the Fuji’s raw file: for example I’ve create a template that compensate for the excessive contrast and dark tone of the “Classic Chrome” simulation profile in Lightroom. Doing so, the match with the jpgs are much more close.

Talking about the ergonomics of the camera, I love to have all the main controls under my thumbs: aperture, time exposure and compensation (when working with aperture priority mode). I found also the electronic viewfinder to be quite good (obviusly not as good as the one on the X-T1) and honestly I use more this one that the optical one, even if I’ve the option of the hybrid system.

For me an extra plus of the system is the opportunity to add the teleconverter. When i bought the X100T I got immediately the TCL-X100 to get an equivalent 50mm. I’ve used this combination to take the fashion portraits at Pitti Uomo in Florence (you can see the pictures here and here).

I leave you with the images I took with the Fuji X100T during this last year. All of them where recorded in .raw and processed in Lightroom. I’ve added on the right of the images some notes. Mainly I’m using the  Classic Chrome and Camera Pro Neg Standard profiles while developing in Lightroom. I’ve noticed that Classic Chrome works very good when you have a landscape with lot of green tones. Instead when I want more punch for the colors (for that kind of pictures the Classic Chrome isn’t so great) I use the Velvia simulation and I start to fell back as the days of my first photography class. 🙂

Note: Click on the photo to see it full screen also on mobile device, you can scroll swiping the images ]

For this picture I've used the Velvia color profile

For this picture I’ve used the Velvia color profile

For this picture I've used the Camera Pro Neg. Std profile color

For this picture I’ve used the Camera Pro Neg. Std profile color

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The weakest point of this camera is the backlight flare. I can't say i like it so much...

The weakest point of this camera is the backlight flare. I can’t say i like it so much…

Florence by night, a great test for colors quality on the night shoots

Florence by night, a great test for colors quality on the night shoots

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Love the colors in the skin tones

Love the colors in the skin tones

Love the red tone and the detial of this picture!

Love the red tone and the detial of this picture!

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Velvia color profile

Velvia color profile

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Classic Chrome color profile

Classic Chrome color profile

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Night street photography. For this image i've rised up the Iso to 5000, the colors are still very good!

Night street photography. For this image i’ve rised up the Iso to 5000, the colors are still very good!

The old Pentax 67 seen through the big viewfinder!

The old Pentax 67 seen through the big viewfinder!

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Sara, photographed during the summer workshop of photography in Croatia

Sara, photographed during the summer workshop of photography in Croatia

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This is one of my favorite picture taken with the Fuji X100T. I love the tones and the landscape aroud the model.

This is one of my favorite picture taken with the Fuji X100T. I love the tones and the landscape aroud the model.

Waiting for the fashion show

Waiting for the fashion show

Models taking a selfie

Models taking a selfie

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The devil's bridge close to Lucca in Tuscany

The devil’s bridge close to Lucca in Tuscany

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Tuscany's landscape

Tuscany’s landscape

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Nice colors for the street photography

Nice colors for the street photography

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Yellow buses in Calgary, Canada

Yellow buses in Calgary, Canada

One of the picture I've took during the ending night ad the Calgary Film Festival

One of the picture I’ve took during the ending night ad the Calgary Film Festival

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My friend Igor and his beautiful family in Calgary.

My friend Igor and his beautiful family in Calgary.

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Olya and her new Lomo insta camera!

Olya and her new Lomo insta camera!

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Street photography in Rome

Street photography in Rome

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A sunny day with Olya and Alena at the Tuscany sea coast.

A sunny day with Olya and Alena at the Tuscany sea coast.

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With my students during the portait class in the studio

With my students during the portait class in the studio

Ferrari. Pure passion and pure color!

Ferrari. Pure passion and pure color!

The hero of the day! :D

The hero of the day! 😀

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Final World Cup Ferrari at Mugello Circuit

Final World Cup Ferrari at Mugello Circuit

The Mugello Circuit at sunset

The Mugello Circuit at sunset

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Yes, this is a result of a strange lunch with the friends

Yes, this is a result of a strange lunch with the friends

Firenze, Piazza Santa Croce

Firenze, Piazza Santa Croce

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Firenze, Close to Ponte Vecchio

Firenze, Close to Ponte Vecchio

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Firenze, Piazza Signoria

Firenze, Piazza Signoria

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Trieste, Parco di Miramare

Trieste, Parco di Miramare

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One of my favorite portrait of Olya taken in Florence. For this photo i've used the Camera Pro Neg. Std and worked with the tone curve to get the contrast I was looking for.

One of my favorite portrait of Olya taken in Florence. For this photo i’ve used the Camera Pro Neg. Std and worked with the tone curve to get the contrast I was looking for.

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At Pitti Uomo, Florence

At Pitti Uomo, Florence

Trieste by Night, Iso 4000

Trieste by Night, Iso 4000

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17 Comments
  • Eric (Japan)
    Posted at 13:50h, 01 March Reply

    Superb gallery, not sure I’m in love of your pictures quality or Italy… Or both 🙂

    • Alessandro Michelazzi
      Posted at 11:09h, 02 March Reply

      Thanks Eric! Ah, I think is a combination of all the aspects! 🙂 Have a nice day!

  • GambaJo
    Posted at 10:14h, 02 March Reply

    Nice pics.
    But most of them are made with crazy settings like f/2, 1/9000, ISO 400. Why do you use so often f/2, when it’s not necessary?

    • Alessandro Michelazzi
      Posted at 11:14h, 02 March Reply

      Ciao Gambajo and thanks for your question. They are not crazy settings, it depends of what you are looking for. As you may know, Depth of fields is reduced when you are you shooting with open Aperture. For this reason I’m using a lot the maximum aperture f/2 on the Fuji X100T to get small depth of field. About the overall sharpness I have to say that I notice only small increment shooting at f/4.0 or above. There’s some picture where I’ve used f/4 as the intro picture since I want to get more Depth of field to show the landscape too (but I had to fight with low light available).
      Hope this clear your doubt! 🙂

  • Fabrizio
    Posted at 06:51h, 03 March Reply

    Ciao Alessandro , veramente una bellissima galleria . Da appassionato Fuji mi sono piaciuti molto i sett aggi colore che hai dato alle foto . Sono rimasto piacevolmente colpito dalla foto che hai fatto a quella ragazza con i capelli ricci molto particolari al Mercato di S. Lorenzo a Firenze , perché ne ero rimasto colpito anche io vedendola ma non ho avuto il coraggio di fargli una foto , prima o poi glielo chiederò .
    Un saluto

    • Alessandro Michelazzi
      Posted at 23:41h, 05 March Reply

      Grazie mille Fabrizio! Ti ringrazio per i tuoi commenti! Aspetto allora di vedere la tua foto alla ragazza! Un caro saluto, A.

  • Luca
    Posted at 17:41h, 07 April Reply

    Il posto con le cascate e il fiume è in Italia? Dov’è di bello? Grazie mille, foto meravigliose.

    • Alessandro Michelazzi
      Posted at 22:16h, 07 April Reply

      Ciao Luca, innanzitutto grazie per i complimenti.
      Il posto con il fiume si trova in Slovenia, per la precisione a Kobarid, la nostra ex Caporetto, quindi ex ex territorio Italiano prima della grande Guerra.

  • Cinq1
    Posted at 15:31h, 02 May Reply

    Great review, but i don’t understand the story about F2 1/1000 and “plane focal shutter” while the X100T has leaf shutter ?

    Thank you.

    • Alessandro Michelazzi
      Posted at 17:01h, 08 May Reply

      Ciao Cinq1, yes sorry, was my mistake that now I’ve correct, I want to write leaf shutter and i’ve wrote something else. The problem about leaf shutter is that these types of shutters have to travel more distance (as apertures increase) and this limits max. shutter speed.

  • Matthias
    Posted at 08:12h, 20 August Reply

    Hey! Great Post!! Thank you! Did you use Any post procecession Filters, like VSCO? Or did you use luminanze Red, orange to better the skin tones? Thank you!

    • Alessandro Michelazzi
      Posted at 13:33h, 06 October Reply

      Thank you Matthias for your comment! Well, I’m trying to stick only to basic post-production with Lightroom since I love the fact to have sincornized the settings with Lightroom mobile too. I’ve to say that sometimes I use the Vsco color camera profile setting for some pictures but they tend to give a bit too much oversaturated skin tones…

  • Fabio
    Posted at 12:13h, 30 October Reply

    ottima recensione e ottimo gusto fotografico
    …ho anche io la x100t e mi trovo benissimo

    potresti condividere il tuo template per migliorare il filtro classic chrome su lightroom…lo trovo anche io troppo scuro.

    ciao e grazie in anticipo

    • Alessandro Michelazzi
      Posted at 10:36h, 02 November Reply

      Ciao Fabio, ti ringrazio per il tuo feedback e per i complimenti che fanno sempre piacere!
      Per il template in realtà è davvero molto semplice: assegnando il profilo Classic Chrome di solito aumento un poco le ombre e alzo la saturazione di +5 per riportare un po di colore sui rossi. That’s it! 🙂

  • Sven
    Posted at 13:13h, 25 November Reply

    Your photography is absolutely mind blowing. One of the best x100 albums I have seen so far, if not the best. I have an x100t for about two years now and I love it. It’s the only product I ever bought and after buying still read reviews on it because I love to see how this camera inspires people which then again inspires me and makes me love the fuji even more. I like the colours straight out of the camera too, still what you seem to do in lightroom (even if it’s just minuscule adjustments) brings the color and the feel of the images on another level as far as I can tell. Would love to see what you’re doing in post 😉

    Greetings from Switzerland

    Sven

    • Alessandro Michelazzi
      Posted at 22:11h, 29 November Reply

      Thank you Steven! Your comment is so much appreciated and give me strenght to go on and doing more and better. About the post I’m doing, I’m thinking to create a new section about it on my youtube channel! So keep following it! 🙂 Thanks again!

  • Alessandro Michelazzi
    Posted at 16:34h, 01 March Reply

    Just a quick update to let you know that I’ve set up a newsletter if you want to keep in touch with my work and with my future reviews! 😀

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