Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:
Part 113: Explained! The X-Pro2 and the Story of the Missing Eye Cups
I can’t believe that it’s 21 months now since I got my X-Pro2. Time really flies!
I’ve used it a lot and I have to say that by and large it’s performed flawlessly.
Sure, there’s some scratches here and there that come with using (not abusing) cameras.
But bar one thing, I haven’t really had any cause for complaint.
But that one thing, well I have to say it’s been a big complaint.
I (like many of you) found that my rubber eye cup became detached from the camera.
Now I know for a fact that this happened to many X-Pro2s, sadly this was a very consistent failure
But what was not so consistent was Fujifilm’s initial way of resolving the problem.
It seemed that for certain territories, Fujifilm simply sent out a replacement eyecup.
While for others, they asked that camera was returned to them for repair.
This inconsistency was quickly identified and discussed, after all there’s a colossal online community around the Fujifilm brand, and we all talk to each other (usually nicely too 🙂 )
A typical online discussion about this would go something like this:
Aw man, my eyecup feel off and Fujifilm are telling me I need to send the camera in. I wonder how long it’ll take to be repaired?
Which was often countered with
Yeah mine fell off too, but Fujifilm just sent me one in the mail. The new one just pushes in
Which predictably enough led to a retort such as
That’s not fair, why do I have to send my camera in and be without it, whilst you just get a new part send to you? If it’s simply a little rubber ring that anyone can fit, why is my Fujifilm service centre asking for the whole camera?
All understandable enough.
To further muddy the waters. Third party aftermarket accessory company JJC, started selling third party aftermarket accessory eyecups! Not only in the standard X-Pro2 size, but also in a deeper variant that should work better for wearers of glasses. (A deeper eye cup would have been a good, good thing Fuji… A good thing)
It seemed that the message was clear, these rubber eyecups are designed to pop on and are easy for the home user to replace.
If the eyecup waters weren’t muddy enough, we also had quite different testimonies from people who’d retro fitted either OEM Fujifilm or JJC eyecups.
Some said well I fitted the new eyecup, and three hours later it was lost again for others, there was no problem: new eyecup well and truly in place, thanks Fuji!
So mixed messages. Do Fujifilm have to fit eyecups or can we do it ourselves?
The answer is that Fujifilm have to do it.
The eyecup needs to be bonded on.
The reason that some people had greater success with replacing their own eyecup depends on environmental factors such as does the camera rub on your chest when you’re carrying it, and how tight is the camera in your camera bag; but also very much on how the old one came out.
If the old one came out cleanly, leaving no residue or bits of rubber behind, then there was far more chance that the new one would seat properly and stay put (especially if the camera was a loose fit in your bag and you carry your camera with a wrist strap)
By simply sending out a new eyecup, Fujifilm had no way of determining the cleanliness of the mating surface on the camera, so they had no way of knowing if a replacement eyecup would stay put.
Those of us who send their cameras back to Fujifilm didn’t just get a new eyecup.
We got a whole new eyecup housing. A replacement of the complete part on which the eyecup sits. Along with (I BELIEVE) a superior bonding process.
I hope I’m not jinxing my camera when I say that it’s been 10 months now, and my eye cup is still there!
Whatever the problem was with the original assembly process for the eyecup/eyecup housing, it was never going to be resolved by simply replacing a like-for-like part.
After all if you repeat a process you repeat the result.
Here is the complete eyecup assembly that Fujifilm replace when you send the camera to them
This is the key component that requires replacement, and the one they won’t send you in the post! (I suspect the whole top plate might need to come off to get to this..)
That’s what that looks like from the underside – the ribbon cable is for the eye sensor, the clear plastic sprigot type thingamy controls the dioptre setting.
If you look closely you can see that the original eyecup doesn’t cleanly pop out, it can leave fragments behind and this is what makes refitting your own eyecup a lottery
The complete eyecup assembly
The JJC ‘extended’ eyecup. This really would be nicer than the original design. Shame it doesn’t stay put.
So there you have it! That’s why we had different experiences to the eyecup problem (should I call it eyecupgate 🙂 ) and why the true fix for the problem is to send your camera in to Fujifilm so that they can do a proper repair. I suspect that the Fujifilm territories that sent out new eyecups were commendably doing their best to keep the customer happy and to keep the customer in possession of their camera.
I’ve had not heard of anyone having this problem for a while, so I assume that everyone’s now had their camera fixed by Fujifilm and that newer build X-Pro2s come out of the factory with a better bonded eyecup
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this explanation and a small chance to see behind the scenes of your X-Pro2?
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