MUDDY BUDDY JEEP JAM ’18 AND THE FUJI X100F

When I set off to any event, I bring a camera I can trust, one that I’ve extensively used in the field and know is reliable. I’ve never used the Fuji X100F in the field as a primary, actually I’ve never done anything more than shoot a few photos and toss it back in my bag. It’s the only digital camera I took with me to cover the Muddy Buddy Jeep Jam 2018.

Another weekend, another Jeep event. The Muddy Buddy Jeep Jam featured off-road courses, car shows, a small but excellent Jeep museum, and off fairground trail runs. The show and shine event had a decent turn out, with some really clean restores, including CJ-5’s, a Jeepster, a fully restored Scrambler and more. Even an old worn out Levis Edition that was hardly recognizable showed up to the event. I even joined Muddy Buddies while at the event, as did my family. The few Muddy Buddies I spoke with were very friendly and left me with a good impression, as did the overall scope of the event. There’s a lot of potential here and with some hard work and more careful planning, I think this will become a great event for Ohio Jeepers.

Having used the X-T1 & 2 and X-Pro 1 & 2 extensively, I was nervous about capturing all the fun with a camera system that burnt through batteries so fast. Surprisingly I was able to keep shooting all day, stretching out the battery life much further than I had expected. With the Fuji boot time being so short, it’s easy to manage battery life on a long day. Flipping the camera on and off saves juice for when you really need to capture the next image. After a full day of shooting, I only had used about 45% of the battery. That means the Fuji X100F manages power better than the X-Pro 2 in similar situations.

As it turned out, for a day on the town, the X100F is perfect. Fast focusing in multiple lighting situations and a fast maximum aperture of ƒ2 as left me wondering how many times I brought a kit when all I would’ve needed was this one powerful tool. Metering had a tendency to blow the highlights in the hot midday summer sun, but the Fuji sensor gets so much information even the more extreme cases were easy to correct in post.

Here we can see the overexposed highlights from the mid day sun, I also had the electronic shutter turned off, so I was only using the in camera leaf shutter.
Here you can see the recovery effort made in post. There’s plenty of room to save a photo that was potentially blown.

“Having used the X-T1 & 2 and X-Pro 1 & 2 extensively, I was nervous about capturing all the fun with a camera system that burnt through batteries so fast. Surprisingly I was able to keep shooting all day…”

I’m very impressed. I always have a great time around vintage Jeeps, and there were plenty of them here. The close min focus distance of the X100F allowed me to photograph them any way I wanted. And that fast ƒ2 lens let me keep things interesting. I found the X100F to be fast, very silent compared to the X-T2 and X-Pro 2, as well as the Hassie X1D. My only real complaint is the hood design is still a specialty item. Fuji should really redesign this to accept standard filters and hoods. Another smaller issue others have had is the various buttons and the control stick. I don’t find this to be an issue, it lets you set up the camera however you want, as simple or complicated as you’d like. While I’ll have the full report on the Fuji X100F up in a few days, I can safely say now that it was the perfect camera for an event like this where I didn’t need anything but a 35mm lens. And I’m looking forward to seeing this Jeep event grow. FP

Leave a Reply