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New Thumbs Up for X-Pro - First Impressions


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#1 nat3970

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:42 PM

I recently contacted Tim Isaac from Match Technical just to reconfirm that a new Thumbs up model was coming for the X-Pro. One thing led to another and since weare both in the Seattle area Tim offered to get together over coffee so he could show me the final production prototype and get my feedback/impressions.

I spent a delightful hour with Tim and his wife talking about a variety of topics, sharing photos and of course trying out the new Thumbs-up, which model designation will be EP-7S. At my request and for comparison purposes Tim was also kind enough to bring along the CSEP-2 which was originally designed for theLeica X1 (and Fuji X-100) but which also works well on Fuji X-Pro. Photos onX-Pro can be seen at Match Technical’s website:

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Just as a quick overview of differences between the two models the CSEP-2 has a coldshoe and sticks up above the camera, whereas the new soon to be released EP-7S has no cold shoe and sits totally flush with the camera.

Before I share my impressions let me state my bias/priorities going in. In order to beeffective & useful I believe the Thumbs up needs to “feel” right in terms of balancing/holding the camera, but it must also allow easy access to the camera buttons that surround it and lastly because X-Pro has a design flaw (in my opinion) with regard to the location of the Q button, ideally the Thumbs up should help with the problem of mistakenly pressing this button (which happens far more often for my taste….)

After spending an hour trying out the new Thumbs up and comparing it back and forth with the CSEP-2, I’m pleased to report that both models meet my above-mentioned criteria.

Here are some additional impressions:

· Both Thumbs up work equally well on the X-Pro.

· While the CSEP-2 looks perfectly fine on X-Pro, the EP-7S is far more elegant and integrates better visually with the camera.That said, if one needs a cold shoe the CSEP-2 is a perfectly fine way to go.

· Both models have a progressive “relaxed” holding angle, which I find particularly important. Both provide good support without creating any finger strain.

· I found both models virtually solve the problem of accidentally pressing the Q button. I would go so far as to say that thisfact alone might prompt some users to buy the Thumbs up.

· Both models allow access to the command dial / thumb wheel. This is the one area that requires more time with the setup, but as best as I could tell the Thumbs up strikes a good balance between inadvertent button pressing while allowing easy access to buttons when needed.

· As expected the CSEP-2 sits higher on the camera than the new EP-7S. I didn’t feel that much difference between the two on this point. However, I have fairly large hands. I believe that anyone with smaller hands would be more comfortable with the new model (EP-7S)

· The EP-7S slides in and out of hot shoe beautifully. I was amazed by how smooth it felt. Tim must have done a lot of fine-tuning to get it to be this seamless. CSEP-2 is not quire as seamless andit lacks that perfect machined fit of the EP-7S

· Lastly the EP-7S has some built in bumpers on the back/side/bottom that are custom designed for this camera and they reallyhelp to create a very tight fit and also protect the camera finish. Tim was justifiably proud of some of the attention and work that went into getting those elements to work just right.

Personally I've decided to wait for the EP-7S. I don’t need the cold shoe and the new model is such a perfect fit for this camera that it’s worth the short wait. Tim indicated that the EP-7S is already in production and should become available in early June.

As a final comment I’d like to give a plug to Tim and his business. I was meeting him for the first time but I was very impressed with his commitment to building a quality product and how he goes out of his way to solicit feedback from his customers and dealers.

#2 Ario Arioldi

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:05 PM

Thanks, good news.
Ario

#3 mikeci

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:51 PM

I also contacted Tim yesterday about the new thumbs up for the X-Pro1. He got right back to me with my answers.Its also good to know that someone did a positive review on the preproduction EP-7s.
Thanks Much
Mike

#4 Mookie

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:26 AM

Great news,

I was concerned that the CSEP2 seemed to sit above where my thumb pad actually falls. I am very interested to see how he accommodates the View/Mode button, the indicator lamp and the command dial.

Thanks for the good news,

Alex
"No photographer is as good as the simplest camera." - Steichen

#5 nat3970

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:33 AM

Great news,

I was concerned that the CSEP2 seemed to sit above where my thumb pad actually falls. I am very interested to see how he accommodates the View/Mode button, the indicator lamp and the command dial.

Thanks for the good news,

Alex


You bring up some excellent points. Those were precisely some of the issues I was wondering about myself...

1)The view/mode button is not an issue at all as it sits to the left of the thumb position well clear and yet should be readily accessible when needed.
2)The light also is to the left but I suppose depending on how one holds the camera & the size of one's thumb it could be partially obscured. Not quite as sure about this one as I wasn't that focused on the light.
3) The command dial is the one that I thought had the greatest potential for being an issue. This one may ultimately come down to personal preference between CSEP2 and EP-7S. Just based on the lower position of the new model the EP-7S does fall very close and almost above the command dial. I did not find it to be a problem with accidental pressing and yet was able to access the dial when I wanted. Some users may find its too close... If that becomes a big issue for anyone the CSEP2 has considerably more spacing between the thumb position and the dial so that would be the alternative. I do believe that most users will be ok with the position of the new EP-7S relative to the command dial.

Hope this helps.

#6 Mookie

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:39 AM

You bring up some excellent points. Those were precisely some of the issues I was wondering about myself...

1)The view/mode button is not an issue at all as it sits to the left of the thumb position well clear and yet should be readily accessible when needed.
2)The light also is to the left but I suppose depending on how one holds the camera & the size of one's thumb it could be partially obscured. Not quite as sure about this one as I wasn't that focused on the light.
3) The command dial is the one that I thought had the greatest potential for being an issue. This one may ultimately come down to personal preference between CSEP2 and EP-7S. Just based on the lower position of the new model the EP-7S does fall very close and almost above the command dial. I did not find it to be a problem with accidental pressing and yet was able to access the dial when I wanted. Some users may find its too close... If that becomes a big issue for anyone the CSEP2 has considerably more spacing between the thumb position and the dial so that would be the alternative. I do believe that most users will be ok with the position of the new EP-7S relative to the command dial.

Hope this helps.


Many thanks for the update. I have been a repeated customer of Match Technical for some number of years. Multiple Thumbs Up, E-Clypse, Boop, Lens Coder Kit, etc.

Every item I have purchased has been meticulously designed and crafted. I have never been less than delighted and their customer service is stellar. I had expected no less with their efforts on behalf of the X-Pro1.

Alex
"No photographer is as good as the simplest camera." - Steichen

#7 SausalitoDog

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 04:20 PM

Nat-

A Thumbs Up designed just for X-Pro1 is interesting - did it slide in like the x100 specific TU? Must have since you cite that it is more flat.

I've been using the cold shoe in mine to hold a level bubble - it's come in handy a number of times. Sounds like they are both going to get a lot of sales :-)

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cheers,

tom
Tom O'Connell

-- If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man. - Mark Twain

#8 Chris Werner

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:01 PM

A question - my CSEP-2 wiggles ever so slightly horizontally, like it's maybe 0.25-0.5mm too narrow for the shoe. Did you notice anything like that?

#9 nat3970

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:29 AM

Nat-

A Thumbs Up designed just for X-Pro1 is interesting - did it slide in like the x100 specific TU? Must have since you cite that it is more flat.

I've been using the cold shoe in mine to hold a level bubble - it's come in handy a number of times. Sounds like they are both going to get a lot of sales :-)

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Yes the EP-7S slides in as smoothly as you can possibly imagine. I was quite amazed by how tight the fit was and yet it was also very easy to take off and put back on. Its a very well machined part...

Nice idea of using the level bubble on the cold shoe....

#10 nat3970

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:33 AM

A question - my CSEP-2 wiggles ever so slightly horizontally, like it's maybe 0.25-0.5mm too narrow for the shoe. Did you notice anything like that?




When Tim was putting on the CSEP-2 he tightened it down with some kind of allen wrench (no such tightening was required with the EP-7S).

That seemed to eliminate the play/wiggle that you mention. Have you tightened yours?

#11 SausalitoDog

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:45 PM

A question - my CSEP-2 wiggles ever so slightly horizontally, like it's maybe 0.25-0.5mm too narrow for the shoe. Did you notice anything like that?


You can stop the wiggle by tightening it in the hot shoe. This makes it impossible to remove without a tool (an tool comes with it) but that is the price of having it solid.

I've tightened mine down and store the tool with the fuji flash (in case I ever use it :-)... who needs it with 6400 ISO and 1.4 lenses :-) :-)

tom
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-- If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man. - Mark Twain

#12 Chris Werner

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:12 PM

When Tim was putting on the CSEP-2 he tightened it down with some kind of allen wrench (no such tightening was required with the EP-7S).

That seemed to eliminate the play/wiggle that you mention. Have you tightened yours?



You can stop the wiggle by tightening it in the hot shoe. This makes it impossible to remove without a tool (an tool comes with it) but that is the price of having it solid.

I've tightened mine down and store the tool with the fuji flash (in case I ever use it :-)... who needs it with 6400 ISO and 1.4 lenses :-) :-)

tom


Yeah, I actually did it a couple of times. Maybe I need to apply more torque.

#13 T. Storm Halvorsen

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:34 PM

A question - my CSEP-2 wiggles ever so slightly horizontally, like it's maybe 0.25-0.5mm too narrow for the shoe. Did you notice anything like that?


I had to tighten mine with more force than I was really comfortable using for it to stay still. Also I found that counter pressing it inwards on the thumb grip side while tightening the screw helped. If not the tightening turned the ThumbsUp askew to the other side so that it loosened again when pressing on it with the thumb when in use.

Anxious to see actual photos of the new one on an X-Pro1! I do like the cold shoe but the grip itself does ride a bit high. If the new one can be removed without bringing a toolbox it would be great even if it doesn't have the shoe on its back.

#14 Chris Werner

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:40 PM

I had to tighten mine with more force than I was really comfortable using for it to stay still. Also I found that counter pressing it inwards on the thumb grip side while tightening the screw helped. If not the tightening turned the ThumbsUp askew to the other side so that it loosened again when pressing on it with the thumb when in use.

Anxious to see actual photos of the new one on an X-Pro1! I do like the cold shoe but the grip itself does ride a bit high. If the new one can be removed without bringing a toolbox it would be great even if it doesn't have the shoe on its back.


Yep - applying more torque worked. I was afraid of over tightening the first couple of times, but once I examined the mechanism more closely I realized what was going on. Thanks guys. :)

#15 mikeci

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:07 PM

Nat-

A Thumbs Up designed just for X-Pro1 is interesting - did it slide in like the x100 specific TU? Must have since you cite that it is more flat.

I've been using the cold shoe in mine to hold a level bubble - it's come in handy a number of times. Sounds like they are both going to get a lot of sales :-)

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cheers,

tom

what is the name of that bubble level ? it looks great the one
I have is big and bulky

#16 T. Storm Halvorsen

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 02:42 AM

What benefits do you get from a bubble level that isn't covered by the electronic horizon? When I first saw one I thought that it looked pretty cool, but then I thought hang on, I don't need it for this camera. But apparently many people do?

#17 mikeci

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 04:10 AM

What benefits do you get from a bubble level that isn't covered by the electronic horizon? When I first saw one I thought that it looked pretty cool, but then I thought hang on, I don't need it for this camera. But apparently many people do?

I use my bulky 2axis bubble for waist shots and below where I don't look into the eyeview, I'm also waiting for a hinged mirror which may be better yet since w/ the level your just pointing the camera toward the subject. it's a crapshoot at best but at least the shot is level lol

#18 pavig

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 04:18 AM

what is the name of that bubble level ? it looks great the one
I have is big and bulky

Search "hot shoe bubble level" on ebay and you'll find many generics of this type. I got mine for around $2 delivered.

#19 T. Storm Halvorsen

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:43 AM

I use my bulky 2axis bubble for waist shots and below where I don't look into the eyeview, I'm also waiting for a hinged mirror which may be better yet since w/ the level your just pointing the camera toward the subject. it's a crapshoot at best but at least the shot is level lol


OK, I thought about waist shots but figured that if I can sort of see the LCD for rough composition then I can also see the horizon line turn green. :) I agree that the mirror is interesting, if it can be attached and removed repeatedly and quickly that is.

#20 mikeci

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:50 AM

OK, I thought about waist shots but figured that if I can sort of see the LCD for rough composition then I can also see the horizon line turn green. :) I agree that the mirror is interesting, if it can be attached and removed repeatedly and quickly that is.

no, from what I saw on the website it attaches with 3M adhesive

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It looks like it goes on once and it stays on. That's something that I'm not sure I going to like either.

#21 Yunalaska

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 07:23 AM

CSEP-2 on X-Pro1

Posted Image

#22 Randy

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:35 PM

My Thumbs up was a bit loose as well, and I put a small piece of black electrical tape on the bottom of it up around the edges and then slid it in and that fixed the problem completely.

RR

#23 mabelsound

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 07:48 PM

CSEP-2 on X-Pro1

Posted Image


Why the accessory finder when you have the OVF? Looks nice though

#24 Yunalaska

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:55 AM

The frame line isn't very accurate from the viewfinder.
So, yeah, it's mainly for the look. :D

Why the accessory finder when you have the OVF? Looks nice though



#25 EJZ

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:24 AM

Perhaps a Leica 21/24/28 optical view finder looks even better...........I just ordered a Ricoh GV 1 VF, a cheaper option, hope it looks good on X-Pro1 too.

#26 PraxisPictures

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 08:24 PM

any word on when these will be available? OP says early june...
thanks

#27 T. Storm Halvorsen

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:43 PM

I too am wondering if the new one will appear soon.

While I like the old one, I need to use a flash tomorrow and since the tightening screw of the Csep-2 is so bad, I know I won't be able to remove the Thumbs Up and reattach it again more than maybe twice more before it is ruined. Fastening it the first and second time really rounded off the edges of the screw hole. So the new one which supposedly doesn't require an umbraco key tightening would be interesting.

BTW if someone could recommend a separate hotshoe and (short) cord that goes with the X-Pro1 I would be grateful. Apparently nothing is sold here that I can use to carry the Elinchrome transmitter in the ThumbsUp faux hotshoe and then connect it with a cable into the camera. So another online purchase it is, but I don't know what to get. Never used these Ranger Quadra flashes before. Have had them standing in a corner unused for almost a year now.

#28 nat3970

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:00 PM

any word on when these will be available? OP says early june...
thanks


It appears that the new Thumbs up for X-Pro1 will be available in approximately 2 weeks...It took a little longer than originally anticipated, but from what I saw of the production prototype I think its going to be worth the wait.

#29 nat3970

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 03:36 PM

The Thumbs Up EP-7S for the Fuji X-Pro has now been released. I just received mine yesterday.

As expected the production copy is identical to the pre production prototype that I reviewed back in early May.The fit and finish is absolutely perfect. When combined with the Fuji X-Pro grip, the Gordy leather strap, match technical soft release it really makes for the perfect camera "handling" package. I'm definitely glad I waited for this item to be released...

I've also found Tim Isaac's responsiveness and the overall level of customer service to be first rate. Tim really "listens" to his customers....

Here is the link to more information about the new Thumbs up for the X-Pro1:

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#30 tom in mpls

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:19 PM

I am impressed with the TU. Carefully designed not to interfere with any of the controls, and perfectly shaped. My thumb falls naturally into the angled curve. The increased ability to grip the camera securely is enormous. I am not using the grip; keeping it small is still a priority.

2 thumbs up for the Thumbs Up.




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