How to improve the function buttons on the Fujifilm X-T1 with Sugru

Some may find it weird that I have to “fix” an already great camera. But everything comes down to personal taste, and I have yet to find a camera with perfect ergonomics and no issues. And sometimes it’s better to fix things than to be annoyed with them. But how?

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PS! 26. January 2015 I wrote a blogpost and published a YouTube video showing the complete Sugru process, and you can jump directly to that post by clicking here.

When I shoot, I move the focus point around a lot. So on the X-T1 I’ve assigned the function to activate focus point selection to the front custom button. Then I can press it with my middle finger, and move the focus point with my thumb on the four buttons around the OK button. But I want to do this without having to take the camera from my eye to see which button I’m pressing.

So to work more efficiently with the camera, I rolled thin stripes of Sugru and applied to all four buttons around the OK button. I also put a small dot of Sugru on the front function button, the Focus Assist button, and on the AF-L button. Why not the AE-L button you might wonder? Because with only a dot on one of those two, I immediately know where on the back of the camera my finger is without having to look. And I chose red because it looked color than black.

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Sugru is simply brilliant! Small packages with something like modelling clay you mold with your fingers before shaping it, and then let it set for 24 hours. And then it really sticks. To almost anything I’ve been told! Very cool and useful. I bought it at the local hardware store, but you can also get it online.

Did it work? Hell yeah! The X-T1 is even better to use now, and I can work it faster and more precise than ever, without having to take the camera from my eye. Simply a dream!

And for those wondering, yes, it is the Grip Strap GB-001 that is attached to the camera. The grip works really well, and when working a whole day with the camera, you don’t have to hold it tight in your hand when not shooting. You can actually let go of it, and it’s still hanging there, close to your hand. Great!

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11 thoughts on “How to improve the function buttons on the Fujifilm X-T1 with Sugru”

  1. Eivind,

    This is a great fix. I’ve used Sugru in the past but it never occurred to me to mod my X-T1 like this. Brilliant! Thanks for the great idea. Cheers,

    Ben

    1. Thanks Ben, glad you like it! Have used mine with Sugru for some weeks now, and it still works great. Like a brand new camera really.

      Cheer,
      Eivind

  2. I did this mod in black Sugru thanx to you !! Works awesome. I did my shutter button also, as I have rough skin and sometimes cannot feel it. Now I hit it perfectly all the time !

    1. That’s so great to hear Marc, and I’m happy my little Sugru-tip helped you out! I’ve started to use Sugru for a whole bunch of other things as well, both photography related and not, and it’s a really cool and exciting material.

      Cheers,
      Eivind

  3. How the heck did u get that so perfect! I used this product about six months ago and even though it helped it looked so ugly i removed it all.

    1. Well I’m glad you like it! Not sure if it’s perfect, but I’m a sucker for details, so I definetely set out to get it as good looking as I could.

      The “secret” was slowing down, and concentrating on Sugru’ing one button at a time. For the D-pad buttons, I took a tiny piece of Sugru, and I mean REAL tiny, rolled it into a small and even ball, then rolled that ball into a thin stripe between two fingers. The ball was probably less than 1mm in diameter before making a stripe out of it.

      The trick was to have as little Sugru as possible, and still get a thin, even stripe that was exactly long enough for one D-pad button. I gently put the stripe on one D-pad button, pressing very lightly down with my finger, careful not to squeeze it. Then I made the arc with my fingernail pressing against the inside arc of the Sugru stripe, and also using a wooden toothpick to gently press it in place all around so it would stick, and still keep its good look. Then repeat x 3.

      For the other buttons, I also made a tiny ball. It took a lot less Sugru than I had expected, so I kept pinching off tiny amounts until it was small enough for my taste. When I was happy, I just gently pushed it onto the button, trying to keep its shape and attach to the button.

      This all sounds like it took a very long time, but I Sugru’ed the whole camera in less than 10 minutes.

      I have thought about making a short video of it, but then I have to get my hands on another camera first… ;)

      1. Thank you very much for the detailed info! I’m going to go try it again!
        Best
        J

      2. Yeah do that. Good luck and let me know how it turns out this time!

        Cheers,
        Eivind

      3. Hi again! I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but I just published another Sugru blogpost with a YouTube video, showing in detail the things you asked about the Sugru process.

        Hope you enjoy it!

        Cheers,
        Eivind

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