Received the Fujifilm EF-X20 today – short review

Today I received the Fujifilm EF-X20 flash for my Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera. I really love this little flash unit which has a guide number of 20 and a built-in diffusor that makes it work with wide-angle lenses down to 20mm (in 35mm format). It is made from premium metal materials and the finish really complement the metal finish on the X-Pro1 and X100 cameras.

The unit has an external exposure setting dial for TTL Auto -1/+1 exposure compensation adjustments in 1/3 increments and also manual control from 1/1 to 1/64, as well as a flap to enable or disable the diffusor (which is internal in the unit). There’s also a switch for the two slave modes which it supports, as well as an on/off switch, test switch and a push-button to unlock the flash unit from the shoe mount.
The unit has a IR receiver so it can be triggered by any other flash and be used as a slave.

The flash uses 2x AAA batteries. Personally I’m using the Sanyo Eneloop batteries and the recharge speed is very quick. Much quicker than the time quoted by Fujifilm. The Eneloop batteries really make a big difference here.

The only downside to this flash unit is due to it’s compact size – it does not feature any tilt and/or swivel support. But you can easily use the flash off-camera with full TTL support with a Canon OC-E3 compatible cord, so bouncing at any angle is therefore not a problem.

The main reason I got this flash (and this kit) is that it is so portable and light so I’ll always have it with me. The flash is small enough to fit in the outer pockets of my Billingham Hadley Small bag, and the flash comes with a nice pleather pouch and a tripod mount as well.

Well, it’s time to start playing with the flash. My initial use will be with the 35mm (50mm equalent in 35mm format) at f/1.4 with a 3-stop ND filter so that I can achieve the 1/180th sync speed which this flash unit supports. I performed some tests with 1/250 sync speed as well and it seems to work OK. I haven’t seen any artifacts due to bumping the sync speed to 1/250 yet. Time will tell.

Recommended for any X100 or X-Pro1 owner. You’ll always have a decently powered TTL flash with you due to the small size.

11 thoughts on “Received the Fujifilm EF-X20 today – short review

  1. Hi Borge. I have always preferred a wrist strap, but have struggled to find one I trusted. Would you mind telling me where you found yours, it looks beautiful and very well made!

  2. I have now received a second flash unit from my dealer. Same problem. Loose fit in hot shoe and unpredictable exposure. Why hasn’t Fuji been made aware of this?

  3. I just received my EF-X20 and have had exactly the same problem described by Vitus. Based on Borge’s response, I assume that there is just a run of poorly fitting units. I’m going to exchange mine. I hope I get a better fit this time.

  4. I’ve had problems with my flash, because of loose fit in the hot shoe. Even with two other EF-X20 flashes and another x-pro camera (from my photo store) there was not a solid connection between the bodies and the flashes, yielding overexposed (full power) flash pictures every once in a while. Pressing the flash downwards towards the hot shoe contacts seems to resolve this problem, but obviously not a practical solution for me, so i gave the flash back. Is your combo shaky too?

    1. My flash fits very nicely in the hot-shoe. If anything, it is difficult to get off because of the tight fit. So I might have the opposite experience! I have to pull it off to get it off the camera body.

  5. There are reports of successful 1/400th syncs with the three Fuji flashes after upgrading to 1.11. At 1/500th, the shutter image begins to clip.

    Nice write up. I picked the EF-X20 for the exact same reasons.

    1. Hi Alan. That’s great news, I’ll definately do some tests on even faster shutter speeds then. I previously read that 1/250 was stretching it.

      Thanks for the info!

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