Stealth Grip on the X100F using Leather Grip Tape

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I've always used thumb grips with the X100F (T,S,0) since it improves the grip tremendously. When I use the hotshoe however, the grip must be removed and once again I return to a hard to grip camera. When I was in Japan, I bought a sheet of camera leather tape in a hobby store.  I didn't think much of it then but it became useful very quickly as I started using it on many parts of the camera.

The X100F is a slippery camera, without any sort of place for leverage, I have to squeeze the camera really tight in order to maintain a tight grip.  Usually a thumb grip attached to the hotshoe will solve this problem, but a thumb grip presents several problems to me:

1. It prohibits the use of hotshoe (flashes and accessories)

2. When the camera is worn against body, the thumb grip will actively dig into my flesh

3. On certain occasions I have had the grip snag onto things..  which is very dangerous

When all pressure is on the hotshoe and it breaks, it will become a very expensive fix.

How to use grip tape

First, a video showing the grip in action:

Traditionally, one would use the tape to improve surface friction.  Here however, I am not using the grip tape to improve grip in the traditional sense:  The slight elevation of the grip tape at the edge gives the finger a place to grab onto.  After much trial and error, I have found 2 places that I've placed the vertical strips of tape at that will improve the grip of the camera:

First, next to the AEL/AFL button:  Placing a strip here gives me a place to rest the finger onto that is very close to the AEL/AFL button, great for those of us who uses back button focus.  The placement of this strip of tape is also out of the way of the Lensmate X100F thumb grip, so you can have the best of both worlds.

Second, above the D pad:  Placing it here gives a good place to balance the camera on, also its very easy to access the AF selection joystick.

If you want to remove the tape, simply just peel it off.  I've had it on for 2 months on one of the converter lenses and peeling it off left no residue.

What to do with leftover tape

I still had loads of tape left after doing the thumb grip mod, so I went to work.  One very useful way I've used the tape on is to add grip to the TCL and WCL converter lenses.  I switch converter lens a lot and this mods adds a lot of grip, improving upon the slippery aluminum surface.

I also added a strip to the exposure compensation dial.  I use the dial a lot, and having a horizontal strip makes it easy at an eyes glance to show if its leveled (in this case, leveled means it's zeroed out, meaning no exposure compensation is applied).

What else can you do with it?  Let us know in comment section below!

Categories: diy, equipment, fujifilm, projects, Tutorial

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