Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:
Part 46: The X-Pro2 Review: Gift Ideas for your Loved One!
After the 4 part instalment of the XF56 APD review, an expensive and specialist lens, loaned to me by Fujifilm… Well it’s time to come back down to earth with a bump and a budget!
As the year starts to end*, a great many people around the globe are indulging each other in the act of present giving!
(*As the header says – this is a blog serialisation of my main X-Pro content, so I originally wrote this for Christmas, I realise that if you’re following this via the blog then it’s actually spring now!!)
But what to get your camera?!!!!!!
Now I’ve written previously about accessories for the X-Pro1, and not surprisingly.. many of the things that fit and work well on the X-Pro1, also work well and fit on the X-Pro2.
But there’s a couple of products that I’ve bought and are personally (YMMV) happy with that I’d like to share with you.
But this does present me with a slight dilema…
You may have noticed that this site has so far been free of donate buttons, affiliate links and partner offers…
So I’m not sure how I feel about telling you where to spend your hard earned… I mean gez, I’m not even telling you to buy a Fuji, let alone telling you what things to accessorise it with.
But that said, I have accessorised my X-Pro2, so perhaps you’d be interested?
It seems to me… that there’s two areas of camera accessories where you can spend a fair bit, 2 items in particular that seem very popular amongst camera owners
Straps and Cases.
I have a strap and a case for my X-Pro2… but I’m not going to recommend them, but I’m not going to not recommend them either!!
At the end of the day, it’s not for me to tell you what to buy, but if I share info about something you may or may not find it useful.
So, let’s start off with the case.
Cases are something that you can spend a lot of money on… terms like real leather, handmade, ‘artisan’ etc
I don’t always have a case on my camera, for me (YMMV) a case is for the days when I take the camera with just one lens, sling it over my shoulder or in a bag with other stuff and maybe an extra battery in my pocket!
So I wasn’t interested in spending a fortune on one!
So I settled on one of those ‘generic’ cases that eBay/Amazon sell. Most likely originating from the Far East, available from many sellers, but most likely all the same product.
Now in many ways I would NOT recommend this product – it’s cheap and a bit nasty
But in many ways I would recommend this product – it’s cheap and not that nasty !!
It’s a 2 part case that also comes with a strap and a accessory pouch.
It’s a bit like the OEM case that Fuji offered with the X-Pro1. But no where near the quality!
So let’s take a look
Let’s get the nasty bits out of the way, shall we?
– Claims to be real leather… I’m deeply sceptical about this
– The various fixings (ie the strap attachment rings, the pouch attachment and the tripod screw) are, in my opinion, very cheap and nasty and immediately I decided not to use them!
– The hole in the bottom part of the case, isn’t 100% aligned with the tripod screw mount of the camera
– It took a while for the lining on the inside of the case to stop shedding little bits of fluff (which was actually my biggest annoyance!)
So if you’re considering this product, please consider the above.
Now let’s talk about what I do like about this case!
– It’s a 2 part case that covers the whole camera
– It’s “ever ready” in that the front bit folds down and you can shoot
– The front bit hasn’t fallen off and got lost yet (unlike my genuine Fuji X100 case)
– You can change the battery AND the SD cards without removing the case from the body (unlike the genuine Fuji X-Pro2 half case which blocks the SD card door – but not the battery door)
– The full case will close with the X-Pro2 even with the 18/27/35/35F2/56*/60* primes attached. *The 56/60 primes can’t wear their hoods whilst the case is closed, but the shorter primes can (unlike the genuine Fuji X-Pro1 case that couldn’t even close properly with the XF60 on or the XF35 with its hood)
– It still fits even with the thumbsup grip attached
– It cost about £40, for a full case! (Upon release the X-Pro1 genuine case cost over £150 and the genuine X-Pro2 HALF case costs about £70)
Now let me share with you how I modified the case!
– I didn’t use the cheap and untrustworthy fixings that were supplied.
– I replaced the tripod socket mounting screw with a better one from a camera shop (cost €3)
– I replaced the fixing of the accessory pouch with one from an old key ring (zero cost, but wouldn’t be expensive)
– I didn’t use the strap
– Using a needle file (the case has an internal plate in the bottom bit) and a hobby knife, I elongated the hole, so that it aligned with the tripod mount on the camera body
– I paid attention to the inaugural fluff deposits and cleaned my camera regularly, especially before a lens change (hot tip: do this any way 🙂 )
Now obviously you may not want a case that you have to modify as I’ve detailed above… But equally, if you’re comfortable with doing it, then you end up with a functional product for a very little outlay
And that was very much my personal take on the need for a case – my camera doesn’t wear a case often, so I didn’t need the most expensive one. (By comparison my LX100 ALWAYS wears a case and I have the official Lumix one)
Access to the SD Cards, OK some will quite correctly argue that the camera could still get banged and clonked here, because the case doesn’t cover it. But in my opinion some protection is better than none, and not having to take it off every time I need to get to the SD card(s) is very handy.
Access to the battery is pretty similar to the official Fujifilm products. You need to remove the front flap (or partially remove it at least), but better than having to take the whole case off
You can see the mounting screw I’ve used, which unlike the supplied one, is not cheap and soft metal, if you look closely you can see how I’ve had to modify the case to get a better alignment between the mounting hole and the tripod thread
This is the accessory pouch that comes with the case. You can see the key ring attachment that I’ve added. I don’t use this much… and when I do it’s to attach to my camera bag rather than the camera.
The next accessory I’m going to talk about is the strap I bought.
Straps must be big business!
Loads of places make and sell them. They often cost more than (say) a leather handbag, and most sellers seem to have compelling reasons why their strap is the best strap.
I knew what I wanted from a strap, so for me (YMMV) it was about finding a product that ticked the most (ideally all) boxes
I wanted a strap that:
– Was a uniform width along its length
– Was 120cm long
– Was as wide as possible
– Made of real leather
– Had a comfortable lining (as to not chaff and/or irritate the neck)
– Wasn’t easily twisted
– Didn’t cost the earth! (after all it’s only a fraction of the size of a belt and they’re cheap enough for an adequate one!!)
I settled on one from a Portuguese company called Nucis.
It was in special offer 🙂 and my only reservation was the colour!
The colour actually works ok! (IMO / YMMV)
When I first opened the parcel, I was slightly (and I mean SLIGHTLY) disappointed…
I’d hoped it was a bit thicker (ie more padded) and it was quite stiff – this stiffness was most evident in the way that I tend to drape the strap between my index and middle finger when I press the shutter.
However, after a short period of use (about 2 days); the strap softened up nicely, is comfortable to wear, doesn’t chaff, seems well enough made and doesn’t easily twist. Perfect.
The only modification I made to it, was to place some electrical heat shrink tubing around the attachment rings, so that there’s less chance of them sliding off the strap.
If you’re of the school of thought that a gentleman should colour match his shoes, belt and wristwatch strap, then you’ve probably just involuntarily shuddered 🙂 Equally if brown shoes and black trousers holds no fear for you, then you can possibly make a saving by buying a less popular colour!
That’s not electrical tape or gaffer tape folks, that’s electrical heat shrink tubing. Hopefully it’ll stop the split ring working loose and also shields the sharp metal edge of the ring from the leather strap…. But I’ll be keeping an eye on it.
And that folks, is what I neither recommend NOR advise against, in terms of a strap and case!
But these things are personal choices and I’m sure you’ll have your own opinions, not to mention your own budgets!
But for what I’ve spent and what (little) effort I’ve put into modifying these products, I’m personally pleased with the functionality/expenditure relationship, but as ever – I’m seeking to share, not to dictate and I’m sure you’ll have your own parameters that decide the products you buy
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