Why I use camera cases. I have always used Kaza brand cases with my Fuji X100 models. Some scorn using camera cases but for rangefinder style cameras that normally don’t have an ergonomic grip I prefer using one. I often have a few cameras and multiple lenses and other things in my chaotically stuffed camera bag. Inevitably from bag chatter or a clumsy lift, dings happen. Most importantly, I am hopelessly afflicted with the drops and a case has saved my heart from stopping on many occasions.
Drum roll….the box. The case comes in a nice box and is shrouded in a light bag. For un-boxing fans here is the box and the bag. No, I will not do an “unboxing” video. I have watched them and admit being mesmerized by the suspense when the multi-tool breaks the seal and the box is revealed and then the box is opened and the innards are there to behold. I’m over the high from unboxing videos.
Build Quality: The leather is nice if a bit stiff. From my experience it softens somewhat with use. I am a fanatic about treating leather and my favorite is Obenauf’s LP. Not only does it do a nice job, but it smells fantastic. It’s good for the photo mojo to have a pleasant aroma oozing from the camera. The fit is good and tight aside from a bit of lateral play on the left side, nothing to quibble about. The snaps that hold by looping around the strap are of good quality. All of the control cut-outs are in the right places and allow good access. The edges of the leather are finished nicely in black since my case is this color. The interior has a nice velvety material that will protect the camera’s finish.
The case has a small grip on the right side that does help with holding the camera steady, but I rely principally on the LensMate thumb grip for this. To me, this is a must-have for the X100 since it allows easy one hand use of the camera. The thumb grip has a hinge for accessing the rear control wheel that works for me.
Access to the Controls and Features. The battery door opens and closed without any contact with the case. The drive slider is easily accessed and the case does not get in the way. The body’s cutout for the articulating screen is not hindered by the case at all. The case comes with a tripod screw that sits flush with the bottom of the case so mounting on a tripod should be good with the case on. Time will tell on this. I don’t like putting a camera plate directly onto the metal bottom from inevitable scratches. Scratched cameras bother the hell out of me.
An aside, the Nisi cap. The image from the front of my camera shows it needs a cleaning. I butted the camera against the hull of a power boat last weekend to shoot the bow wave and there is some salt residue. I was ok with taking this risk because of the camera’s apparent “weather sealing” complemented by the third party Nisi hood. To contradict other opinions the OEM cap fits snugly on the Nisi hood. I like this rig a lot.
Bottom Attachment Point – Easy to Lose. The case is pretty well secured just by the two leather lash points that surround the lugs. There is a slot in the bottom of the case for a small 1/4″ screw for securing the case snugly to the base plate. The screw has a slot that will fit a coin. When removed, the screw is easily lost. I would like this better if the screw was integral to the case similar to the high quality Gariz cases. Without the screw attached, a tug on the case bottom means about a half inch of play stopped when the leather lashes hit the strap lugs. The case is snug enough to use without the screw, but having it tightly secured is an extra level of security in case the strap attachment comes undone accidentally.
Conclusion. I have several different cases for my rangefinders. My favorites are the Artisan and Artist cases. The A&A cases have very nice soft leather that molds to the camera with use and if one was available for the X100v I would purchase it and use it instead of the Kaza for its slimmer profile. Luigi cases are very nice quality but on my M10 case some of the stitching is coming undone. To me, the high expense of them is unjustified. The Kaza case is good quality and fits my need to protect the camera. In comparison to the A&A case, it is marginally more bulky – the leather is doubly thick, but this doesn’t impair X100v’s small form factor to any degree. If you are concerned about protecting your valuable X100v, the Kaza case is a good accessory to own.
Regarding the only real negative, the base plate attachment screw, there is really no need to take the case off since the battery compartment and all of the controls are readily accessible, so this is a minor niggle.
Kaza Case Straps. With my last Kaza case for the X100F (sold), I also purchased the complementary Kaza strap. It’s a very nice leather strap with good finish and adjustability, and snazzy waxed whipping at the connection points. I did not purchase one this time since I am using a simple Leica strap for my camera.