X100T At Highfields Park

University of Nottingham Trent Building over Highfields Lake.
Clock tower of the Trent Building, University of Nottingham, viewed across Highfields Lake.

With a daughter studying at University of Nottingham I do often find myself visiting that city, often at short notice. Such an occasion occurred last Friday. I had recently had quite an extensive photo walk around this area lugging my full Fuji X kit with me. This time I just tucked my little X100T in my satchel for a less encumbered experience.

Tree sculpture by Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva at Highfields Park, Nottingham.
One of the two “golden trees” by Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva near Lakeside Arts at Highfields Park, Nottingham.

I’ve been a fan of the X100 series of cameras since the original model was released back in 2010. I still have my original X100 but I did “upgrade” to the X100T a few years later and I still use that model.

I love this little camera for several reasons. It has a fixed 35mm equivalent f2 lens. The viewfinder is unique to the X100 and XPro lines, a hybrid optical / electronic viewfinder, flick a lever on the front of the camera to switch between the two. There’s an integrated ND filter (which I didn’t use on this trip) and the fantastically quiet, very nearly silent, leaf shutter. There is also the option to use an electronic shutter which can be handy when shooting at f2 in bright conditions (as can that built in ND filter).

Small boats at the bank of Highfields Lake, Nottingham viewed through railings.
Boats waiting to be taken out on the lake viewed through the railings at f2.8 .

What I love most about it is the fact that it is compact and self contained. I can just sling it in a bag (or a coat pocket) and always have it with me. I have a wrist strap for this camera so when I’m out shooting with it I often have it constantly in my hand with my finger on the shutter release, ready to go.

Using this camera makes me shoot in a different way. I feel liberated. With any interchangeable lens camera there are all the options for lenses to consider. With the X100 series you have what you have and you shoot to try to take best  advantage of that. It simplifies the experience which I find refreshing.

Chinese lion sculpture viewed through the legs of a companion lion sculpture. Highfields Park, Nottingham.I remember back in 2012 I visited Rome with my family and I had the option of taking my Canon EOS kit but I decided to just take my X100 (the original model) and I thoroughly enjoyed my shooting experience. Of course, you can rule out any telephoto shots – no zooming in to statues up high on top of a roof etc. Having said that Fuji do have a couple of add on lenses for the X100, the TCL-X100 resulting in a moderate telephoto angle of view equivalent to 50mm and the WCL-X100 which results in a wider angle, 28mm equivalent. I don’t own either of these conversion lenses, they simply screw into the filter thread of the fixed lens so they’re simple to add but for me it would take me back towards shooting with one of my system cameras – adding more options and more kit to carry about.

I’ve resolved to get out and about more with my X100T. It is ideal for street / city photography and also for taking along on a hike in the countryside. The 35mm angle of view is pretty good for both environments. Hopefully I’ll take it along on a photo walk around Leicester soon.

Small boats tied up ready for use at the bank of Highfields Lake, Nottingham.
Boats tied up ready to be taken out on the lake, Highfields Park, Nottingham.
Life jackets tied on to railings by the side of Highfields Lake, Nottingham.
Life jackets draped on the railings ready for use on the lake. Highfields Park, Nottingham.