Saving face…. Cartagena with the Fuji X100

So the annual holiday came round quick this year, a much needed break from my part, as its been a strange year for me, some bad luck has fallen my way with redundancy early on in the year, but some good fortune too in other work areas. When it came to the family holiday we were all looking forward to a good time in the sun (I live in the UK so we don’t see much of the sun). We had planned a number days out about from the total 14 and away from the pool and the beach so see more of Spain and the Costa Blanca region. One of the planned days out was to visit the port city of Cartagena. It’s an hours drive south of where we were staying at Le Zenia.

So you may have heard of this place particularly if your into Submarines, as I now know Cartagena is famous for the invention of the submarine amongst other things. The sub used to be proudly displayed in the centre of the main harbour promenade, unfortunately a few weeks prior to our visit the sub had been removed from is stands and undergoing restoration. It used to be here (see below) you can just see the gun metal grey semi curved plinths where it should sit.


I chose to take my trusted Fuji X100. (It would have been the X100s is Fuji could lend me one) but I’m more than happy with the X100. You might wonder why not take my X-E1, well I bought the Fuji X-E1 as a replacement for my Pro Nikon Kit so I never really planned to take it for holiday snapping, holidays can be quite demanding on a camera, left in the sun, sun tan oils, sand, dust , it needs to live in the bottom of a beach bag and that can be a tough place to live for too weeks trust me if you have every seen the gear my family takes to the beach its a small miracle I can even find the camera in one piece and working. The Build of the X-E1 quality is fabulous but the X100 is even more robust and almost tank like and with the addition of the fixed lens over the removable lens on the X-E1 makes it the top performer for sand and dust worries to me rid from my mind! So the X100 was the sensible choice.
I have also recently given my X100 some “Roughing up” to make it look less attractive to potential thieves. A little bit of black gaffer tape to make it look broken and painting over with a black ink marker. Wiping the black maker leave a look like the paint has worn away. ( I can clean it up at any time with some cotton buds and spirit to remove back to good as new) I like the rough look though and the idea its a less desirable item to a keen thief.
So it was time to hit the streets shooting at the harbour starting with a huge surprise as we rose from the underground car park under the promenade. visit from the Cunard cruse ship Queen Victoria.



The harbour and Bay Area is really quite affluent and this can be seen in the architecture and front shopping and street area. The museums too are of interest and seems a busy little centre.




The day was clouding over and i really needed to make sure I was going to get plenty of detail in my shots as I prefer my street work to be detailed so I wanted to shoot at f/16-f/11 I desired to shot in aperture priority leaving the ISO to deal with the low light that would I would be getting in the narrow streets and cloud.





The wonderful architecture hides a surprise in many cases, the street front of the buildings are just that. All front. I have to admire the building commitment here. Seeing the effort being put in to retain this wonderful front to these building is really admirable. I applaud Cartagena’s desire to keep the old town where possible and probably at great cost. The Fuji performed as expected and brings out the detail in these structures just how I liked.







It’s clear to see as I roamed the back streets work is taking place to bring Cartagena forward to compete with the quality that is present in other parts of the city harbour and sea front. The plaza’s need work and the potential is massive to make this city truly wonderful. I took the walk up to the castle to find fabulous views over the bay. There at one time must have been a Resteraunt or shop overlooking the city and old roman ruins like the amphitheatre and must have been really stunning I hope the economy starts to help. Visiting again in a few years time will be most interesting. Highly recommended city to visit.








I really enjoy the way I can take the Fuji X100 street shooting for the day and provide images to tell a story, the colours and detail is excellent however I still prefer the IQ of the X-E1. The new Fuji X100s must be truly today’s top travel camera. I might just have to find some way of upgrading someday.
I took a huge number of images this holiday I may well be sharing a few more in future blogs. Hope you don’t mind.

8 thoughts on “Saving face…. Cartagena with the Fuji X100

  1. Really pretty pictures, clean and well lit.
    I am considering the X100 and wonder about the operational speed and how reliable is the AF.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi, I have covered this a number of times in other blog posts. It’s slower and less accurate in low light (marginally) than the similarly priced DSLR, if your a sports shooter the X100 should not be on your list. However for everything else I find it just fine.

      Sent from my iPad

  2. Great shots, Simon! Thanks of the tour of Cartagena. Your comments regarding your choice of camera for the trip have me thinking about a trip of my own next year. My wife and I are taking an extended vacation in Italy (Venice, Florence, Cinque Terra, Siena, Umbria and Rome). I would like to take both my X-E2 and X100S, using the X100S for casual street work and the X-E2 with 18-55mm for more serious work. However, I’ve been concerned about the possibility of theft and carrying both cameras all the time to protect them makes no sense. If I did that I may as well just take the X-E2 everywhere and leave the more portable and discrete X100S at home. Any advice you or other posters have would be much appreciated.

    1. Hi Hi John, To be honest I would leave the Xe1 at home, the X100s has the same sensor so why take both, the X100s is compact and will not stand out, You can always gorillafy your X100 to deter the interest, min works every time in tricking others into thinking its just an old school camera. As for the zoom, thats your feet my friend,

      Take the X100s and use it for everything. (get a lens protector for it and its bombproof in your day pack.

      Check out my Gorrila post The pen comes off and the tape is a great trick, it fools every non photographer i have shown it too.

      I look forward to your results sir.

      best regards have a great Christmas


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