Review of the LensMate thumb grip for the Fuji X100

by Ian Hamilton – Bournemouth wedding photographer

Review of the LensMate thumb grip for the Fuji X100

My little Fuji X100’s been working hard recently, no more so than at the recent wedding of Paula-Marie and Dan at Cafe Shore in Sandbanks. As a complement to my full frame Nikons this little camera’s a gem, handling low-light without any problems and creating really nice images – where I find it really useful is in capturing informal shots of the bridal party enjoying themselves, and because it’s so small it doesn’t intimidate people in the same way that DSLRs can! I even got asked whether it was a film camera!

Great as it is, one of the minor problems I’ve found is getting a good grip on it when shooting, so I was keen to look at the options available in after-markets accessories. Fuji don’t offer anything themselves but there are several grips on the market (amongst them cheap copies from the Far East, which although they might be good, I stayed clear of) and probably the best known is Thumbs Up. True to my star sign I tend to investigate things thoroughly before buying (although I’ve been known to act on impulse on the odd occasion!) so I checked out reviews and posts on some of the Fuji users’ forums …. although the Thumbs Up had great reviews I wasn’t sure whether I liked the look of it (I know … shouldn’t make a decision based on what it looks like) so I checked out the LensMate instead – now this little baby I did like!

It’s beautifully engineered out of high grade alloy with a finish that works nicely with the finish of the Fuji itself. It slips neatly into the hot-shoe and is secured by a small channel that fits over the EV compensation dial marker. The thumb grip works really well and the way it’s been designed has an additional benefit in that it protects the EV dial from being moved accidentally. With the grip in place it’s a lot easier to hold the camera one-handed in-between shots, and it also gives more stability whilst hand-holding at slower shutter speeds.

All in all, a really worthwhile purchase and I can highly recommend it to X100 users. Lensmate also do similar grips for the X-Pro 1, so check out their website for details.

Photo showing the Lensmate grip for the Fuji X100 attached to the camera hot-shoe by Dorset wedding photographer

The grip slots neatly into the camera hot-shoe

Photo of the Lensmate grip for the Fujifilm X100 camera by Dorset wedding photographer

View of the top-plate of the Fuji X100, showing how the Lensmate provides protection for the EV dial

Here’s the technical bit from the Lensmate website …..

Available now is the Fujifilm X100 Thumbrest+ in silver and black. Engineered specifically for the Fujifilm X100, it provides an ergonomic thumbrest while protecting the freely turning EV dial from unwanted changes. The sculpted thumbrest relaxes the grip on the camera, reducing camera shake allowing slower shutter speeds. The bead blasted finish is as touch friendly as it is attractive. Easily attached via the hot shoe, it is held securely by a small channel which fits over the EV dial index marker locating it precisely. Removed just as easily.

Milled from a block of 6061 T6 alloy, bead-blasted and anodized, it has an OEM look with a fit and finish the equal of the camera itself. Made in the USA to high tolerances for a slop free, exacting fit in an ISO 9001:2008 certified facility that makes aerospace parts.

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