Fuji X100T: How Matchtechnical's new ThumbsUp transforms handling and adds to stability
Last week my colleague Bill Palmer was bemoaning his difficulty in getting comfortable with the Fuji X100S he bought a few months ago. The difficulty of getting a good grip on his camera has persuaded him to abandon thoughts of buying the latest X100T. I agree with him that the X100 cameras are relatively difficult to hold steadily but I haven't given up on the X100T. Bill has tried thumb grips and the Fuji accessory grip in order to make the X100S a bit more steady in the hands. Taking his tip, I added an old ThumbsUp to the X100T which I am currently reviewing and find it does add to stability. I refuse to follow Bill's trail to the accessory grip because it spoils the essence of the X100. It is first and foremost a small, convenient fixed lens camera. If you really want a larger grip, better to buy an X-T1 in the first place.
A thumb grip is different matter. It adds nothing to bulk but quite clearly enhances stability. The only problem with my old ThumbsUp, which was designed for the X-E1, is that it covers the adjustment dial and partly obscures the drive button. Otherwise it did the job.
Tim Isaac of Matchtechnical in the USA has come to the rescue with his new grip made specially for the X100T. It has a narrower profile. It does exactly the same job as the X100S of X-E2 models but without covering any of the 100T's controls. As with the old X-E1 grip I tried, the new model dramatically improves the feel of the camera and makes it far more stable, especially in one-handed operation. The camera is definitely more comfortable when using a wrist strap. The right thumb curled round grip gives something to hang on to when dangling the device from the right hand.
Magically, too, the ThumbsUp helps prevent the ball of my right thumb from hitting the vulnerable D pad, with unpredictable results, as I described in a previous article. This alone is worth the investment.
Over the years I've tried a number of Tim Isaac's ThumbsUps and all have been perfectly matched to individual cameras and, above all, machined from brass to a very high standard. There are many copies to be found on the market, but if you want the best you need a genuine Matchtechnical ThumbsUp. Some of my earlier models, such as the one for the X-E1 and Leica M, are now nicely "brassed" as the underlying metal starts to show through the paint, just like a well-used Leica body.
The ThumbsUp EP-2T for Fuji X-100T comes in either black or silver to match your camera and costs $125.28. With shipping, the final bill in the UK is around £105, depending on currency fluctuations. Here is a direct link to the order page.