I travelled over to Berlin for the first time in 2012 with my buddy Russell Evans. We had an awesome time and stayed at the super cool Michel Berger Hotel over in Warschauer Str. I remember getting to the city centre and knowing at an instant that this place might be the best city I ever visit so couldn’t wait to get back over to Berlin to do some street photography. With such a mix of art and culture, you roam the city with so much to look at; Walls beautifully decorated with colourful graffiti from some of the worlds most renowned artists along with a glorious mashup of hipster evolution, riddled with the history of the 2nd world war. However, I won’t claim to be a historian or a connoisseur of street art so I won’t elaborate on too much. But it’s hard to deny how cool Berlin is.
This particular visit had me over with some photography friends to explore, well mostly the beer selection, however I had a chance to steal away with my X100F to give it a run for it’s money out on the street. I’ll talk a little more about my thoughts on the camera at the end of the post, but my thought are mostly love for this beautifully compact camera.
For the photographers out there, here’s a little insight into the gear used for my Street Photography trip to Berlin. Since picking up a Fuji XT2 in 2016 I’ve been a little obsessed with Fuji gear. I love how light and small they are and have totally fallen for the look and feel of the pictures they make too. However I didn’t always like Fuji to start with when I first picked one up in 2015. I went out to treat myself to a small mirrorless and actually went with the Olympus EM10 (which I loved and still have a soft spot for but have now parted ways with). I found, at the time the X100S cumbersome in my hands. I hated the range finder setup and don’t even get me started on the menu system. I was so set in my Canon ways that anything less than a centrally located view finder had me stumped.
X100F. Was it love at first sight.
When I picked up an X100F it felt good. It felt lovely in my hands and it felt cool. The menu system now makes sense so having to deal with the range finder just isn’t so intimidating now. It’s like a gorgeous accessory and I feel like my street cred has increased by at least 10% (this is most certainly not the case I’m sure and my girlfriend continually tells me I’m not cool…but you can’t knock a guy for trying right).
The Xt2 has now become my full-time workhorse and a single body has increased to 2, along with 3 new lenses added to the arsenal (16mm, 23mm 1.4 and 56mm) and now I’ve become accustomed to the compact mirrorless bodies I felt I wanted something even smaller to carry around, EVERYDAY. So the X100F was the choice for me. Why? Well, firstly I wanted something that felt different from my work cameras. I want street photography to stay fun and I felt like a new setup would be better than perhaps going with the XT20. Secondly, I wanted the smallest 24MP that Fuji had to offer and this was the one.
Things I like about the X100F
So far I’m so impressed with how quickly it can focus (in daylight. Not so much in low light) and also how silent the leaf shutter is. Along with this, I find that people notice you way less. I held the camera up right next to someone and they totally ignored me. This was hard with the XT2 because it looks more “serious”. Of course, I did get shouted at a couple of times, as you do, but generally speaking, I went unnoticed.
Things I don’t like about the X100F
Things I’m not too sure about so far is the EVF isn’t as clear and accurate as the XT2. I wear glasses too, so it always makes it a little more of a challenge. Also, the f2 lens is a little hit and miss for me at the moment. It’s sharp, but it lacking a little something. I’m not entirely sure what it is but it’s not as sexy as the 23mm f1.4. It feels like it’s softer and the colours less vivid? It’s by no means a deal-breaker. Just something I’ve noticed when running the files through LR. But so far it’s a gem and I had a blast shooting with it.
Any questions about my setup please leave a comment and thanks for reading.