GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) can be a terrible affliction, I should know, I am still in recovery. So here is my all time top 10 list of gear for your Fuji camera that will satisfy your GAS on a budget.
1. The Soft Release Button
These things look gorgeous and really help you rock the vintage/retro/Leica vibe, believe it or not they actually really work too. Most but not all Fuji cameras can take these, check for a threaded hole in your shutter release button.
Previously I’ve had problems with them coming loose and was forever tightening it up and inadvertently turning the camera on and off. I would suggest you get the ones with a small washer around the screw thread. They are an inexpensive way to really improve the feel of your camera, try these from Amazon without breaking the bank.
2. X-100 Lens Hoods
Now there are several of these available and they all fit all of the X100 models, I have used the same hood on my X100, X100S and X100F. There is the original vented hood from Fuji and it’s very well made as you would expect but it’s also rather expensive, JJC make a copy that’s almost identical. The vents don’t quite line up with the OVF like the Fuji one does but you’d be really hard pressed to spot the difference. All the vented lens hoods are prone to causing a shadow from the on board flash, so bear that in mind if you use the on board flash a lot.
If the vented hoods don’t float your boat you can also get a closed design based on the hood for the Fujifilm X-70. These have the advantage of allowing you to keep using your Fuji lens cap and don’t protrude into the OVF so much. Personally, I think it provides a little more protection to the front of the lens too. Speaking of protection all the hoods listed here will also allow you to fit a filter to your lens.
3. X-T1/X-T2 Extended Eyecup
I kind of stumbled across this one by accident, I picked up a used X-T1 and it came with the Extended Eyecup and after trying it, I fell in love with it. Obviously your mileage may vary, but I use the EVF a LOT. The camera is steadier when you are holding to your face rather than at arms length, manual focus with adapted lenses is much easier too, I even use it when reviewing my images. All of those things are easier and more comfortable with the bigger eyecup, it blocks out more light and is just more comfortable. The original Fuji one is not expensive but again JJC make one that is practically identical.
4. Screen Protector
This one has to be a no brainer, screen protectors are cheap and do an excellent job of protecting one of the most vulnerable areas of your camera, they come in a wide variety of styles. Hardened glass ones, clear plastic and matt to reduce reflections. You aren’t going to be using the screen on the back of your camera for anything so critical that a protector will hamper you. Once the protector is on you can forget it is there, should you want to upgrade your camera and sell it on you can be reassured that the LCD screen is pristine.
5. Touch-Up Pen
I bet you weren’t expecting this one to appear. It is a sad fact of life that our beloved cameras can get scratched and dinged. I know a little brassing here and there gives your camera gravitas but if you do feel the need to apply a little touch up, this is just the job. I read about it on a forum many moons ago when my Nikon D7000 had an unfortunate meeting with a brick wall on the way back from a shoot. I was tired and not as careful as I should have been with the camera on a strap over my shoulder, afterwards I was also very upset. This touch up pen (I think they come in blue for guns too) did a lot to assuage my guilt. It is a budget item and about the only option I ever found to address that sort of damage.
How are we doing so far? Half way through the list and they are all budget prices but genuinely useful accessories. How’s your GAS?
Now this is an emotive one, everyone has opinion on camera straps, I am no different. On my X100’s I always go with a wrist strap, I get leather ones made by a very talented guy called Clive at Footprint Camera Straps I can’t recommend them highly enough. You can see one of my Footprint straps on my X100F above.
However, on my X-T1 with the battery grip and reasonable size lens, a wrist strap just won’t cut it. I used to be all over Black Rapid straps when I used DSLRs but somehow they just don’t feel right. My personal choice is the 1″ Domke Grippy strap. It’s cotton rather than nylon and has non slip rubber woven into the webbing so it stays put on your shoulder. Domke have been around for a very long time making quality straps and bags, this has the retro look we all love combined with excellent practicality, available with or without a swivel and for a budget price.
7. Budget Flash
OK so this one is slightly more expensive but it is definitely still budget. Recently Godox brought out a range of flashes and triggers for the Fuji X system and they are fantastic. I have owned professional flashguns made by Canon and Nikon and the build quality of these Godox units is right up there with them. In fact I would say my Godox TT685F is at least as good, if not better than my Nikon SB900 was (it certainly seems to stay cooler.) The products I want to focus on are the TT685F, TT350F and X1T-F. The TT685F is the larger and more powerful brother to the TT350F.
Both flashes offer full TTL functionality, HSS (High Speed Sync) up to 1/8000 of a second and contain a 2.4G radio transceivers. Yes, that means they have full TTL radio triggers built in AND either flash can be master or slave – that’s huge. The X1T-F is a wireless trigger that can control the other flashes individually or in groups, you can adjust them manually from the X1T-F or put it into TTL mode and let it work its magic for you. These things just work and they do so for a bargain price.
If you’re in the market for rechargeable AAs check out the LADDA 2450 batteries from Ikea, Eneloops for a fraction of the price.
OK so this isn’t a real ring-flash but we are talking budget here. It is actually a ring shaped soft box you attach to your flashgun and stick the lens of your camera through the middle. I can confirm it works brilliantly with Godox TT685F to give you very flattering shadowless light and distinctive circular catchlights in the eyes, just dial your flash exposure up half a notch to compensate for the soft box. Considering the cost of a dedicated ring-flash this a real bargain even when you factor in the cost of the flash too.
9. USB Battery Charger
I am not sure how much explanation this needs, USB is ubiquitous. The charger is really small and you can plug it in anywhere – top tip almost every TV in every hotel room has a USB port that you can use to charge your phone or with this little gadget to charge your camera batteries. I know that recent Fujifilm X cameras support charging the battery directly by plugging the camera into a USB source. I’ll do that if I have to, but I prefer to leave it as a last resort. You can’t do anything else with your camera if it’s charging a battery and you are subjecting the USB socket to more wear and tear than you have to, I prefer to use a card reader for similar reasons. While you’re at it, look for a budget deal that comes with a spare battery or two.
10. Lens Wipes
I maybe a little OCD about keeping my gear clean and I’ve tried lots of products, but these Zeiss wipes are the best I’ve used. They come in a big box which is useful because people will steal them to clean their glasses, phones etc. Individually wrapped lens wipes aren’t the greenest in the world but you can keep some in your bag without having to take them out if you are flying. Zeiss gear on list of budget accessories!