Fujifilm Makes a Case For Retro Cameras [Review]

Fujifilm Makes a Case For Retro Cameras [Review]

Leather. Lovely long-lasting leather.

LC-X100S by Fujifilm
Category: Cases
Works With: Fujifilm X100 and X100S
Price: $100+

This is a review of a camera case. And not just any old multi-user camera case: this one only fits two specific cameras – the Fujifilm X100 and the X100S. However, I’m reviewing it anyway because when I was buying one I couldn’t find any useful information about it. Also, there are builders in my apartment and everything is sealed down behind plastic sheeting, so I couldn’t review anything else even if I wanted to (I promise the Lumopro LP180 review will be ready on Friday).

The case is Fujifilm’s own LC-X100S.

Fujifilm Makes a Case For Retro Cameras [Review]

It fits like a glove. A lovely leather glove.

The S in LC-X100S doesn’t mean it’s for the X100S only. In fact, it still says X100 on top. But it has one major improvement over the original LC-X100 case, and that’s a small flap on the bottom to access the battery and SD card door on the camera.

But let’s back up. The LC-X100S is a leather ever-ready-style case in two parts. The bottom half can be left on the camera at all times, and is held in place by two leather strips with press-studs that loop over the top of the camera’s strap on either side. Some people prefer a case which screws into the camera’s tripod socket, but this usually means you have a knurled knob poking out the bottom, which in turn means the camera won’t sit flat when you put it down.

The top half is held on by two more press-studs on the bottom of the edge, and then it wraps up and around the camera to end in a small flap with a magnet which also stick to the bottom edge. This means that you have three flat panels on the bottom of the case which makes for a steady base.

Undo the magnetic clasp and pull up the front/top case over the lens and off. It will dangle safely under the camera and give you access to the screen and all buttons, or you can just grab it and yank it off. Fujifilm has picked press-studs which are secure but easy to detach and reattach, so you never find yourself worrying about them yanking a hoe in the leather itself.

The Good

The case is light and tough. I can’t tell you how light, as my kitchen scale died due to a coffee overdose a few days ago and is still drying out, but it’s surprisingly light, and if I remember correctly it’s way under 200 grams (the camera is about half a kilo, or a “pound”). You can use this case all day and never notice the extra weight.

Fujifilm Makes a Case For Retro Cameras [Review]

You never need to take this case off — everything is accessible.

It’s also tough. The leather is thick and lined with microfiber, and covers all corners. And there’s a little space in front of the lens to avoid bumping it directly. You might also like the fat that the case makes the camera way easier to hold, with the front edge peeling away slightly to make a great little handle for the fingers of your right hand.

In use, it’s easy to just flip the front open, take a few shots and close it up again. I carry my camera over my shoulder almost all the time thanks to the protection and old-school anonymity this case provides (it looks like a film camera, and those aren’t attractive to thieves it seems). And because the case was made to fit the camera exactly, it is snug without ever requiring that you tug or pull to get it to work. There’s even a small cut-out so you can get to the focus election slider on the left side (as you hold it to your eye) of the body.

The Hatch
Fujifilm Makes a Case For Retro Cameras [Review]

The hatch!

The most useful part of the case might be the little hatch, which has been added to this version without increasing bulk. If you took the old LC-X100 case, sliced the stitching that secures the bottom left part of the base (looking at it from the front) and added a small strap and press stud, you’d have an LC-X100S. The flap is essential. Not for SD-card access (I shoot JPGs onto 8GB cards so they last quite a while) but for swapping batteries. The X100S eats the things. You have to carry a few spares in your pocket whenever you go out, and now you can quickly change the battery with the camera still slung around your neck.

If you already own the old case, you might still consider buying this one for the new door alone.

The Bad

There’s very little not to like here. The case comes with a leather strap, which is too short (I’m tall and wear the camera slung across my chest, so I bought the absurdly expensive – and absurdly good – Leica M strap).

The case also lacks a tripod mount. I actually consider this a good thing as it cuts down on bulk, and if I’m going to use a tripod I probably don’t need the case anyway, but some people don’t appreciate the compromises needed for good design and want the kitchen sink thrown in. This case isn’t for you.

A more pressing problem (literally) is the lack of room on the front for a filter. The X100/S comes without a threaded filter ring. To get one, you need to buy the lens hood kit. Then you remove the ring from the front of the lens and screw the hood mount on instead. This adds a bayonet for the hood, and an internal thread for filters.

The LC-X100S case fits fine with the hood mount attached, but if you add a protective filter then it won’t close. Even with just the hood mount the case scrapes a little as it goes on and off, although you quickly get used to it.

On the one hand, if you use this case then you don;t need a filter. On the other hand, I like to drop the top part of the case into my bag as I walk the streets and keep a filter on the lens for protection. It’s a pain to keep removing the filter, and adds one more place to gather dust.

The other thing that annoys me is the right back edge of the lower case, which comes across just a little too far and gets in the way of the control dial. Then again, this shape also means that the rear edge makes a good grip for your thumb.

The Verdict

As ever, I went through a bunch of cheaper cases before I got to this one, when I should have just spent my €90+ and shut up. In combination with the long Leica strap it makes an almost perfect package, marrying protection with convenience. It also looks damn cool (although I would prefer a lighter tan color).

Sure, it’s pricy for a case, coming in at anywhere between $100 and $150 (if you can find one), but if you sprung for a $1,200 camera that’s designed to just work, and to disappear in your hands, then you may as well buy a case that does the same. Highly recommended.

Fujifilm Makes a Case For Retro Cameras [Review]
Product Name: : LC-X100SThe Good: Tough, light, good looking. Adds functionality as well as protection.

The Bad: No space for a filter on the lens.

The Verdict A great case for a great camera.

Buy from: Fujifilm

Cult of Mac rating: Excellent

Related
  • patrickahles

    Charlie,

    While I’m very into photography, what for Pete’s sake is this review doing here? Since when is this a photography site? Have you noticed the disclaimer at the bottom right of this page? It says: “Cult of Mac is a daily news site that follows everything Apple.” Apple!

  • JohnDSchmitt

    Charlie,
    While your review is thoughtful and well written, it does not belong here.

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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