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My Heart Sank, But Then...


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Last weekend I was cleaning the little X100 and experimenting with some of the settings, specifically trying out the back button focus method. I must have done something else wrong because during the course of the week I was using the camera on a couple of lifestyle shoots for the real estate work I do and I was getting wildly off exposures. It would either be way over or way under. This was obviously quite distressing because I have (as you probably already know) become quite attached to this camera that Alan gifted me. 


I have read about the sticky aperture blades (SAB) problem that some early X100's had and my immediate thought was that somehow this had affected my X100, even though it is not in the serial range that apparently some of the affected units were in. This afternoon I thought I would check out what was going on, so I had the camera out and was checking all the settings. If I pointed the camera at a bright light source it would sometimes get the exposure right, but then in the next shot it would be off badly. This was happening at all apertures. At this point I was really despondent and I was almost certain that I had the dreaded SAB problem. 


I then had a look at the front of the lens to see what was going on and I could see that the aperture was definitely moving and it wasn't stuck, but it wasn't behaving normally at all. If I pointed the camera at a light source it would stop all the way down and then open up as I was moving it around. So definitely not sticky aperture blades. But then why was the exposure so erratic? And why did the aperture move even when I wasn't taking a shot?


Much head scratching. 


The only settings I had changed was the AF-S to M mode, which is a physical button, but something else must also be off. So I thought, let me try and see if the built-in flash would give me a decent exposure. Pushing on the flash activation part of the rear dial displayed a message, saying that I needed to turn off the silent mode (which I don't recall setting to on), so I did this and then took a few flash shots. No problems at all with exposure. 


As it turns out I had somehow put the camera into silent mode, which seems to invoke an electronic shutter that is only functional under certain settings. Normally I don't have any noises turned on, but the X100 would still use the mechanical leaf shutter.


Needless to say I am mightily relieved! And to celebrate I am having some SAB (South African Breweries) of my own. 




Photo with the X100, of course. 

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Fuji cameras are notorious for having seemingly random interactions between different settings that lead to erratic behaviour.  Everyone who has used a Fuji for any length of time will have a similar story to tell.  I had a problem at little while back where the flash refused to fire - turns out you need to go into the drive menu and have ‘still image’ selected and not continuous shooting.

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Yes, I remember Alan actually also bemoaning the way Fuji implemented some things on the X-Pro and X-T cameras that were seemingly illogical to everybody except Fujifilm. 


I just got back from a 3 hour Godox workshop where I also learned some things about the lowly TT600 flashes that I had no idea about before. Apparently they can be set into slave mode and will fire when another flash is detected. I have had these things for at least 3 years now and never knew that. Also, you can use the flash itself as a trigger too. Apart from those 2 things it was 3 hours of my life completely wasted... 


I am also going to a Fujifilm training session next week on an evening. 

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Ahhhh, "Silent Mode" -I remember being tripped up by that, I recon my complaint about this misleading setting is still somewhere in the archives! 😄


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