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Gear & Apps

5 Must Have Accessories For Fujifilm X-Series Shooters

By Anthony Thurston on January 19th 2015

So, you are thinking about getting a Fuji, or you already have one and you want to know what sort of accessories you should be looking into. Great! I’ve got you covered.

fuji-xt-1

I recently found myself in a similar situation when I decided to jump head first into the Fujifilm world and purchase the venerable X-T1. As similar as Fuji mirrorless cameras are to any other camera you have ever used, there are some things to note, and they directly relate to the list of accessories that I recommend below.

[REWIND: FUJI X-T1 SILVER GRAPHITE: LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT OR JUST ANOTHER BAD DATE? INITIAL THOUGHTS]

Fuji X-Series cameras are mirrorless, and just as with other Mirrorless options on the market, they can struggle with battery life. I am lucky in that I don’t have to deal with this too much because I prefer to use old manual focus vintage lenses, and thus I don’t have OIS/AF sucking power from my camera battery. Which leads me into my list…

5 Must Have Accessories For Fujifilm X-Series Shooters

Just a note before I get too far into this. I own an X-T1 myself, so my perspective (and this list really) has a very X-T1 focus, that said, most of this list is applicable to many of the other X-Series cameras as well. 

1. Extra Batteries

As I mentioned above, Fuji is not exempt from the mirrorless system battery life issues that plague much of the market. That said, as far as mirrorless cameras go, the life is not terrible.

NP-W126-Batteries

Still, I recommend having at least 2-3 extra batteries available to you at all times. Coming from a DSLR world, this seems ludicrous; having just 1 extra battery there is more than enough, but being a mirrorless shooter is quite different.

There are many options out there for batteries. You can go with original Fuji NP-W126 batteries if you like, but I have found that these Watson NP-W126 batteries work great as well and save you some $$.

2. A Multi-Battery Charger

I probably could have lumped this in with the battery section, but I do feel like this is a different beast. Unlike the DSLR world, where you can survive with 2 batteries and the charger that came with your camera, in an X-Series multiple battery world, you really need to invest in a multi-battery charger.

watson_duo-charger

It would take forever to charge all your  batteries if you only did one at a time. I recently invested in the Watson ‘Duo Charger’ which is a great option. It comes with two slots so I can charge two batteries at a time, and it has an awesome LCD screen that tells me exactly what capacity my batteries are at when I place them on the charger.

watson-duo-charger-2

I love it because there can be no mistake the battery is at 100% when I take it off. I also like it because it is not limited to the Fuji batteries, you can buy different plates and charge the batteries from your other cameras – or your new camera system if you ended up switching from Fuji. For only $79.95, they aren’t that expensive either.

3. A Wired Cable Release

Yes, you read that right. A wired cable release. Surely, many of the X-Series cameras (my X-T1 included) have wonderful WiFi capabilities, but it has its limitations. For example, on my X-T1, if I wanted to shoot in BULB mode via the wireless, I am limited to up to 30 second exposures. If I wanted to shoot in true BULB mode, I would need to actually press the shutter down myself – which as you know is not a good idea when doing long exposures.

vello-cable-release

The good part is, no fancy cable release is needed, just something that you can plug-in and use when needed. You can get the official Fuji model for around $40, or in my case with the X-T1, I just use this Vello model that I got for under $10. It does its job and now I can do longer exposures than 30 seconds without risking camera shake from my hands bumping the camera.

4. Vertical Battery Grip or Extra Grip

I can not recommend the vertical battery grip for the X-T1 enough. Not only does it give you a little more surface area to hold onto if you have bigger hands (or longer fingers, like me), but it doubles your battery life.

fuji-x-t1-battery-grip

Just as with most vertical battery grips, the X-T1 grip allows for a second battery in addition to all the needed controls so you can shoot vertically without having to kink your wrist. Given all the talk above about needing multiple batteries, it should be no surprise that having the ability to power your camera with two batteries is a way better option than just one.

I actually have a pretty good system going. Two batteries in the camera, two batteries charging (or in my bag if they are already charged). This way I always have a full camera/grip if I find myself running out of power on a shoot.

If you don’t have the X-T1, then obviously a battery grip is not an option for you. But there are some other great grip options if you need some extra room for your big hands. They are Fuji made too, so they blend perfectly with your camera body, almost to the point that you don’t even notice they are added-on.

5. Vintage Lens Adapters

Ok, this one may not be for everyone, but I have a reason for adding it to this list. First of all, they are super cheap. You can get virtually any vintage lens mount adapter for your X-Series camera for about $10-12. Once you do this, you can use almost literally any manual focus vintage lens you could ever want to use, and most of those are pretty inexpensive as well.

fotasy-lens-adapters

This allows you to experiment, try new focal lengths, or styles of shooting that you are not usually into. It has gotten to the point with me that I actually prefer to manual focus in most situations, with exception to fast action (for obvious reasons). It also saves my batteries so I don’t have to worry about that as much as people who use the latest and greatest Fuji lenses (not that there is anything wrong with those amazing lenses, but not having to worry about battery life is a nice side benefit to playing with vintage lenses).

You can find some more expensive (higher end) adapters over on B&H here. I, being a major cheapo, just went to Amazon and bought the $12 ‘dumb’ adapters and they work wonderfully for my purposes.

Bonus Accessory: A Nice Leather/Vintage Camera Strap

You spend all this money on a killer vintage-styled Fuji camera, why not go the rest of the way and get a nice strap as well? Surely something like a Black Rapid strap will work on your Fuji, but there is something that just doesn’t look right with such a modern strap.

a7-morgan-strap

For me, I can’t recommend the A7 ‘Morgan’ strap enough; it is super comfortable, and the leather is a great quality. It looks pretty sweet when paired with the X-T1 as well. Their ‘Broadway’ is also a great strap for smaller cameras like the X100 series.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, this list has helped you with some options for accessories to think about for your X-Series camera. They may not truly be ‘must have’ for everyone, but they are great to have nonetheless.

If you are an X-Series shooter and have more suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear about some awesome accessories that I may not already know about!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Eric van Dorst

    I love the genuine Italian leather straps bij Angelo Pelle.

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  2. Hannu Siika-aho

    Since my post in January I have upgraded the X-A1 to X-M1. I bought a third party hand grip for it. It’s Fotga branded and cost only €24 on Amazon.de. The grip adds to the weight and size of the camera but improves handling and makes the camera a bit more stable.

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  3. Daniel Fuenzalida

    I bought this camera with the 35 mm 1.4 lens and it’s AMAZING! I also follow your advice and bought an extra battery. But I was wondering if there are any battery cases? Or do you just drop your batteries in a pocket in your bag?

    Nice article! :)

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  4. Austin Swenson

    I love the idea of the battery charger, and I would say that I think mirrorless camera shooters would probably need to carry around a total of 5 batteries and just keep rapid charging them if you shoot a lot of images in one day, batteries go in a snap for me that way

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  5. Daniel Jester

    Battery and multi charger for sure. My wife also got me a custom leather strap which is a really nice addition. I do own the vertical battery grip, and I think I’ve made the decision to sell it and get the additional hand grip. I love the feel of the vertical grip, but i hardly use it. I don’t love that you block off the in-camera battery, and I don’t love the way it “transitions” from the internal battery to the grip battery. Also I feel like I prefer to keep the compact size with just that little bit of extra grip that the Fuji hand grip will add. I have yet to play with any vintage lenses, but its a fun idea.

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  6. Hannu Siika-aho

    I’m using a thumb grip on X-A1. For one hand holding Fuji cams they don’t have too deep grip for hand so the thumb grip helps a lot.

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  7. aaron febbo

    Ill happily trade you jobs Anthony Thurston if you ever get tired of reviewing cameras ;)

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  8. Steven Pellegrino

    I love that battery charger! Extra batteries are a non-negotiable accessory for these cameras. I typically have three with me, one in the camera and two spares. I’ve never needed more than that for a day of shooting.

    For my X-E1 I have a grip and would never use it without one. It makes all the difference in the world. I also use a thumb grip or thumb rest on both my X100 and X-E1.

    For the X100 cameras I would also recommend a lens hood (I just bought an off brand from Amazon) and a B+W skylight filter. These two items will help protect your lens and eliminate the need for the lens cap that comes with it. I’m not a fan of the lens cap.

    The other thing I would recommend is a Think Tank Photo Camera Strap V2.0. I have one on both of my Fuji cameras. These straps have a non-slip material on both sides and I can hang the cameras off my shoulder and not worry about them falling off. One of the best straps I’ve ever owned.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Yeah, I always have one in the camera, one in the grip, and then two fully charged extra’s in my bag. I rarely even use up the whole battery in the grip, but its nice to have them if needed.

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  9. aaron febbo

    The more i see this camera the more i want to get one but with so many cameras flooding the market these days its kinda hard to choose just one when you find yourself wanting them all !

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Being a camera reviewer makes it even harder man. I always get to check out the newest stuff, so hard to settle on what to buy for my own.

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