Fuji Large MHG-XT for Fuji X-T1

For any of you trying to customize your Fuji X-T1 to fit your hand, here is my saga so far.

Keep in mind:

  • The other camera I often use is a Canon 7D (which fits my hand perfectly),
  • But I also cut my teeth on a Nikon FM2 which had a similar body design to the Fuji X-T1,
  • And I have long fingers, so my experience might not match with yours.

20151020 191122 IMG_9641 t2i flipped leveled_Crop_DCE

Out of the box – doable with two hands, but not great for carrying around with one hand.

It feels like I’m trying to keep hold of a heavy book by pinching it with three fingertips (pinky hangs off and index finger is busy).

Fuji X-T1 Thumbrest by Lensmate

With Lensmate Thumbrest – fantastic for for short shoots, but after a while I notice that this is still not as secure as I would like when carrying around the camera with one hand (especially with heavier lenses).

20150929 220626 IMG_9683 G15 DPP_Crop_DCE

With Fuji Base Plate – gave my pinky a place to grip which made a surprising difference. Nice! but still leaves me wanting more. (Now I feel like I’m pinching a heavy book with four fingertips.)

generic Meike Neewer Fuji X-T1 battery grip

With generic battery grip – great for vertical hold, but for horizontal hold, it doesn’t give a better grip than using the Fuji Base Plate since it doesn’t change the grip (plus adds significant size and weight)

Non-Fuji hand grips

Since only Fuji hand grips have flat bottoms for my Peak Design plates, I did not consider 3rd party grips.

MHG-XT hand grip (2 models)

So, which Fuji hand grip should I get? I ended up with the Large, but here is the research I did to compare the two Fuji hand grips (standard/regular and large) to my Canon 7D. I know that the scales aren’t perfect, but it’s the best that I could find.

Top View

Canon 7D vs Fuji MHG-XT

The Large MHG-XT was closer to my Canon 7D, so that is what I chose to get.

(Notice that the X-T1’s shutter button is positioned further back than the 7D. This plays into some design considerations you can see in the side view section below.)

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Front View

Canon 7D vs Fuji MHG-XT

My 7D has a nice ledge below the shutter button to stop the middle finger from sliding. My X-T1 only has an indentation for just the tip of the middle finger. The standard/regular doesn’t add anything for the middle finger, but the Large has a nice ledge for the ring finger, and the middle finger now wraps around the top of the hand grip (which is surprisingly natural).

20151020 192000 IMG_9647 t2i flipped_Crop_DCE 20151020 191122 IMG_9641 t2i flipped leveled_Crop_DCE Fuji MHG-XT Large
Canon 7D ….. Fuji X-T1 ….. Fuji X-T1 with MHG-XT Large

(Why do the fingers curl downward on the X-T1 but not on the 7D? Look at the index finger which takes the lead.)

.

Side view

Canon 7D vs Fuji MHG-XT

(The top of the orange outline protrudes a little because the image wasn’t taken at the same angle as the others, but is close enough to compare the grips.)

Why doesn’t the Fuji hand grip go all the way up to the shutter button? Because that would make the index finger stretch uncomfortably. Instead, the grip creates an angled transition from the index finger on the shutter button down to the pinky with a ledge for the ring finger.

Fuji MHG-XT Large 71QLrjc3Z6L._SX425_

It is not obvious, but actually quite a natural position once you hold it. The ledge between the middle and ring finger acts like a lock, and the whole setup feels like holding a squishy putty stress toy like this that you can buy off Amazon or make yourself with flour and a balloon.

(Note: Now that the ring and pinky are further away from the body, your hand/palm also rotates so that the thumb rests further down and the wrist is now more forward.)

20151020 192122 IMG_9649 t2i flipped_Crop_DCE 20151020 191243 IMG_9642 t2i flipped straightened_Crop_DCE Fuji MHG-XT Large
Canon 7D ….. Fuji X-T1 ….. Fuji X-T1 with MHG-XT Large

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Back view

Canon 7D vs Fuji MHG-XT

Now what about your thumb? With the MHG in place, my thumb is somewhat comfortable in the default thumb position, but doesn’t feel as secure as on my 7D. I believe it is because it is not angled to fit the natural contour of my thumb, but I could be wrong.

Moreover, my Lensmate Thumbrest now feels uncomfortably high as the added grip rotated my hand so my thumb now wants to be in the default thumb position (instead of higher), so I removed the Thumbrest. This is a boon for me as I now don’t have to remove my Thumbrest to use a flash or wireless flash trigger.

Here are the views again

Canon 7D vs Fuji MHG-XTCanon 7D vs Fuji MHG-XTCanon 7D vs Fuji MHG-XTCanon 7D vs Fuji MHG-XT

20151020 192000 IMG_9647 t2i flipped_Crop_DCE 20151020 191122 IMG_9641 t2i flipped leveled_Crop_DCE Fuji MHG-XT Large
20151020 192122 IMG_9649 t2i flipped_Crop_DCE 20151020 191243 IMG_9642 t2i flipped straightened_Crop_DCE Fuji MHG-XT Large
Canon 7D ….. Fuji X-T1 ….. Fuji X-T1 with MHG-XT Large

Grip material is just like the rubber on the X-T1 body. There is no significant give, and, for me, it doesn’t add significant weight. I still can’t relax my fingers like I can with my 7D and hand strap*, but this is much closer to the 7D grip.

*fortunately or unfortunately, mirrorless cameras are not designed for hand straps.

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2 thoughts on “Fuji Large MHG-XT for Fuji X-T1

  1. Thanks for this very detailed report! You obviously put a lot of effort in this. Helped me decide about getting the MHG-XT or not. I decided to get one myself and I like it a lot.

    Like

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