Travels in China with the Fuji X100s

Finally! I get to go somewhere I can put the new camera through its paces. I experienced a lot of trepidation, as this was the first time in ages I’ve gotten on a plane without my main rig, a Nikon D800E and a few really nice lenses. I bit the bullet and just took my X100s, determined to put it through it’s paces.

First opportunity, a short visit to Mt. Emei south of Chengdu, Sichuan, China. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the spectacular vistas as the weather was completely socked in, to the point I barely saw the temple. I did get this shot that works well in monochrome.

Mt. Emei, Sichuan, China

I printed this out and it looks gorgeous on paper.

Because of the weather, I could only get detail shots. Clouds killed anything more than 6 ft away, but I enjoyed the visit and look for interesting stuff to snap. This first shot is of some calligraphy on the  side of the temple, very ornate and beautiful.

Temple Detail


Then there were these cool  prayer lanterns. I wanted to get a snap of the guy who was painting the lantern glass, but he was decidedly elusive.

Temple Lanterns


Moving on from Mt. Emei, I headed to the Giant Panda research base in Chengdu. THis is a wonderful place with lots of Panda’s of all ages. These buggers are so adorable, but this is not the best place for the X100s. Having a fixed focal length really bites in this space, cropping the only solution.

Panda Eating Bamboo


The image is slightly soft, which I suspect is the auto-focus not delivering. I need to work more with this camera to get the performance it’s capable of. Still, shove it on a tripod, add a couple of filters and it does deliver. These Koi in the pond at the Base were fun subjects and a cool effect with a really slow shutter speed. I was fighting the overhead light, but I think this works well.

Koi Pond


This was taken with a B&W circular polarizer and a 10 stop Heliopan  ND filter, which works really well.

This is just a small selection of the images I made with the Fuji X100s. This was the first time I really used it in anger and I love this camera more and more. What I do appreciate is that is a better camera than I am photographer. It makes me want to try harder and be better, and I’m grateful for that.

I really wish Fuji and Adobe would get their act together and sort out the raw processing! This is getting irritating!

More to come………

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  1. Hi Jason,

    Nice photos and congrats on being brave enough to bring just the X100S on such an adventurous trip. I agree with your last statement that these cameras make one a better photographer. That’s what has happened to me. It’s a painful process, but I’m better off for it. Anyway, thanks for sharing,


    • Thanks Seth,

      I love my Nikon gear, and when travelling for pleasure, I wouldn’t hesitate to drag that stuff along, but I’ve been on too many trips for the day job where I haven’t taken a single frame, after dragging that kit halfway around the world. This trip could easily have been one of those, so I took the risk, although I really don’t see it as a risk. I’ve been to China before, with the full kit, so knew what I was getting into. The Fuji makes me think, and try, much harder and for trips like this, it’s perfect.


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