30 Days with the Fuji X100F: Day 8

Chicago, 2017; Fuji X100F; 1/125s; f/16; ISO 1250

My natural inclination when traveling is to bring all the cameras and all the lenses. The thought of coming across a great scene and having the wrong camera/focal length stresses me out. I’m planning trips to Iceland and New Zealand later this year, and I’ll no doubt spend an absurd amount of time considering what cameras, lenses, films, tripods, filters, etc. to pack.

Things are a little different when the trip isn’t specifically for photography, though. It also helps when you’re visiting a place you know really well. Both were the case with this weekend trip to Chicago, but I nevertheless figured I’d be missing gear at various points throughout the weekend.

This X100F is such a versatile tool, though, and the only pieces of gear I missed over the weekend were a tripod and a neutral density filter (I had an idea to do a long exposure of the green river). I’ve noticed that if I am only carrying one camera with a fixed focal length, I start “seeing” the world accordingly. Looking back on the weekend, I don’t feel like I really missed any shots. If I were carrying a telephoto lens on my X-T2 rather than the X100F I’d no doubt come away with a very different set of pictures and also feel like I didn’t miss any shots. When your tools are constrained, it establishes a set of creative constraints.

I honestly think I could get away with only using the X100 series for the rest of my photographic career and be happy with the results. That’s how versatile these cameras are. And this makes them incredible travel cameras. As much as I love shooting medium format film and playing around with super wide lenses for astrophotography, these niche interests aren’t really suitable for general purpose travel photography. The X100F is, and the fact that it fits in your coat pocket pretty much erases any excuse for not bringing it on your next trip.

    1. Hi Aaron! Since it was broad daylight and I would have wanted to completely smooth out the ripples on the river, I probably would have needed more than just a 3-stop ND filter. I may have been able to get the river smooth enough with the built-in 3-stop ND filter, aperture set to f/16, and ISO set to L…but I still would have needed a tripod.


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