Buying a Used X100 – How to Avoid Sticky Aperture Blade

Avoiding Sticky Aperture Blade on the X100As I mentioned earlier, the X100 is the best travel camera I have ever owned. I bought mine used and got a great deal on it. However in doing my research prior to buying, I came across the Sticky Aperture Blade (SAB) problem, a condition that a few of early model X100’s had.

While Fuji would fix the issue, they required proof of purchase in order to perform the repair – an issue for those, like myself, buying their camera used. What is it and how can you avoid it? Follow this guide!

What is Sticky Aperture Blade

SAB is a condition where aperture blades lock up and freeze, leading to overexposure or underexposure of images. This happens when shifting to one aperture stop after taking a picture in a prior setting.

How Can I Avoid Buying a Used X100 with Sticky Aperture Blade?

SAB is a tricky animal to avoid. Some early models exhibited it and some did not.  Fuji also recognized and fixed the problem in later models.

Has the owner Experienced this Before?

If buying used I’d ask the owner if they’ve had the problem before and if so was it fixed?  If they haven’t I’d ask them to provide you a proof of purchase (email etc) in case the issue arises later on.

With the proof of purchase you should not have any problems having this fixed under warranty from Fuji.  Some users have reported sending in their Amazon Market Place receipt from buying it used on Amazon as enough proof.

Serial Numbers to Avoid for Sticky Aperture Blade

Avoid Sticky Aperture - Look at the SerialAnother way to avoid SAB is to look at the serial number (or request it from the owner) before buying.  While not a definitive proof, it’s a good guideline to follow.  Look at the first two digits of the serial number, they relate to what quarter the camera was made in.

The problems seem to be with 12A, 13A, and a very few 14A series cameras.  None, according to a Fuji Service Technician, seem to have been reported with SAB with S/N 21A or later.  While there are 12, 13 etc cameras that do not have issues (supposedly only 2% of the affected serial numbers have the problem, so it’s not wide-spread), it’s still not worth the risk (Unless of course you get a proof of purchase) if you are buying used.

What Does This All Mean?

Nothing really, Sticky Aperture Blade only affects a small portion of X100’s and it’s easy to avoid.  So in short here is how to avoid buying a used Fuji X100 with Sticky Aperture Blade:

  • Ask the owner if it the camera has experienced it before and if so, has it been fixed?
    • If not, can you provide an original receipt or copy of one?
  • What’s the serial number?  SAB was fixed for 21A X100s and later

Hopefully you too well find my guide useful and purchase an excellent travel camera.  I wouldn’t leave home without it.

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4 Responses to Buying a Used X100 – How to Avoid Sticky Aperture Blade

  1. Joesh says:

    Do you know what the letter stand for in the serial numbers – ex: 12axxx? I’ve seen a 12mxxxxxx, which I hesitated over, but decided against (I hadn’t seen it, I had to ask questions over the phone), is that a different series, or maybe you don’t know?

    • Ben says:

      I think the letter might be based on geographic area of distribution. I’d steer clear of that early of number unless the seller can state it either doesn’t effect it (and they know what that means) or they’ve had it repaired.

      • Joesh says:

        Actually its funny you mention that. Someone just offered me one (to buy) that has been repaired under warranty. However, he hasn’t used it much since it was repaired. I’m wondering whether to take the risk (300€).

  2. BR says:

    Fujifilm definitely did not fix this SAB problem. I bought a new x100F in 2018 and the blades stuck after 1 year of use. It was out of warranty and Fujifilm customer service is terrible about fixing the problem. It would have cost $600+ repair + shipping. I couldn’t be more disappointed with Fujifilm.

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