I might need a few more of these. I took this quick snap of my beer as I sat down with my photog friend Andy at Wahoo's on South Congress in Austin. We'd just finished a photo walk with our friend Tony and decided to grab a quick bite and beverage. I didn't know at the time that I'd be taking my last few shots with my Fujifilm X100 for a while!
The X100 had a few hiccups that night. I thought at first that maybe the metering was getting thrown a bit by the bright lights in the busy urban area where we were shooting during the evening hours. Intermittently, the exposures didn't match up with the meter reading. I was getting an occasional over-exposure and adjusted the shutter speed to speeds that didn't make sense in some cases. I didn't think much about it at the time. I was getting tired and thought maybe it was just me.
The next day, I did some searching online to see if anyone else with an X100 had a similar issue. I quickly discovered that a number of people talked about SAB (Sticking Aperture Blades) or, as I prefer, SAD (Sticking Aperture Disease.) I'd heard of this before when I was researching the X100 but the occurrences seemed low enough to not worry about and I figured the camera had been out long enough to work out the bugs. There was the initial feeling of dread as I read about this problem, kind of like the feeling you might get when you watch those drug commercials on TV and you start thinking, "Aw man, I've got those symptoms!" Things on the internet are usually blown out of proportion any way.
Unfortunately, my fears were warranted. I tested my camera by stepping through the aperture settings in manual mode and half-pressed the shutter to get the aperture to stop down. There was definitely a hesitation at the wider apertures and about half the time it failed to fully stop down at the smaller apertures. The more I played with it, the worse it got. My camera has SAD!
According to the reports I read online, Fujifilm has been attentive to the matter and is replacing the lens in a timely manner. Rather than dealing with them directly and wasting my time making arrangements and shipping the X100 in for service, I opted to put a call in to Precision Camera where it was purchased from. They said they'd be happy to handle this for me at no cost since I bought it less than 6 months ago. Cool. I dropped it off over lunch today and bid an almost tearful farewell.
Hopefully Fujifilm has whatever bug contributed to this problem under control. There are only rumors online of some hardware issues in the wake of damage sustained by their factory as a result of the Japan earthquake last year. Whatever the case may be, I'm sure Fujifilm will make it right. The X100 is out the door, on its way back to its maker. Fingers crossed, hoping for a speedy return.