Fuji XT-1 Setup

I get more than a few questions via email on this project specific micro-site. There are a couple that prompt a post. Other's not so much. I got two in the same number of days which are general enough for a post. First up is an easy one — My specific Fuji XT-1 setup in terms of settings and what not. I'll cover that in about 10 seconds. The other one was my processing work-flow for black and white. I answered that second one in excruciating detail that included a ton of philosophical opinion privately I'll try to get to that as well but both are sure to be a disappointment due to how basic, sloppy, and non-magical both answers are.

Simple Is Good

For my purposes the simpler the better. I tend not to want too much on my mind when using a camera. Out of the 48,000 features on digital cameras including the XT-1 I use about three. I'll point out the critical stuff for me and then explicitly talk about what I don't use nor plan to use.


Base Features

I like just about everything as a discrete one control does one thing. The important stuff is already there in most of the Fuji cameras including the XT-1. ISO, Shutter speed, aperture. Quite obvious but also because I am in manual exposure mode 99.2584028% of the time. I spend far less time in my particular circumstances by setting exposure and forgetting it rather than messing with compensating to keep my exposure the same??? Changing light? Well I can see when the light changes or when I change it on purpose it's a known thing. Compensating based on composition etc makes no sense to me and my working conditions.

Focus? I'm about 50/50 in terms of using AF vs manual focus. When I'm manually focusing I use back-button focus where one hits a button on the back of the camera to do a one off auto-focus at the selected point and then I do it again when I need to. As in either I or the subject moves towards or away from the camera. That brings us to the setup specific stuff…


Here's the disappointing part. I don't have a list that's three miles long in terms of settings. Just a couple.

  • AE and AF lock buttons. I switch those so they do the opposite of what the button says on the outside of the camera. Why? As mentioned I rarely use auto exposure and use AF-lock as an AF-on button far more. Fuji really screwed the pooch on placement of the button labeled AF-lock. Useless and cumbersome placed behind the thumb rest.

  • For the few occasions I might use auto exposure I have the AE lock set to press and hold. Mostly useless due to my lack of using autoexposure.

  • Focus points, mode, etc. usually I use single point and vary the size of that point between really small and a click or two larger depending on subject, distance, and conditions. Occasionally I will use that mode where it picks from 9 in an area. Ninety percent of the time I use single AF, every once in a while I will use continuous/tracking but I don't trust it at all. Don't really care about the 35 other ways to use it.

  • I have the D-pad set up to move the focus points rather than double up as function buttons. I am a one control does one thing kinda shooter. Having it the other way just causes shit to happen I don't want to happen most of the time.

  • The front function button is set to bring up the little menu that allows you to turn off exposure and WB preview for when I am shooting with strobes.

That's pretty much it. I don't mess with all the C1/C2/C3 etc as most of it is JPEG crap which I don't need to do on the fly. I go into the Q menu only for focus mode and WB. Simple is good.