HORUSBENNU TG-1 Fuji X100 & X10 Thumb Grip Review
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,550
    The HORUSBENNU TG-1 thumb grip recently hit the market as a less expensive alternative to the well loved, if a bit expensive, Match Technical Thumbs Up grip. The TG-1 is a bit more 'generic' in design and ergonomics, suitable for an array of compact cameras, but it is a great match for the Fuji X100 and new X10. Best of all it's only $45 USD, well below the cost of a Thumbs Up.

    So what exactly are these thumb grips anyways? They're a simple metal accessory that inserts into the camera's hot shoe, extending a small 'hook' out to the right. This hook provides a comfortable place to position your thumb, while the hook opposes the camera's weight against your palm. As a result, your thumb holds the camera comfortably while requiring little to no gripping pressure. It's an improvement on the ergonomics of your camera that can also help you shoot at lower shutter speeds, since your hand will be more steady. This benefit is most notable when holding your camera with just one hand, common for street photographers and wrist strap users.

    Fuji X10 HorusBennu TG-1 thumb grip black


    On the Fujifilm X10, the TG-1 provides a great improvement to the cameras ergonomics. Photographers with larger hands may find the compact X10 more difficult to get a grip on, despite it's rubber thumb bumper, because it's simply a short camera. With the TG-1 on the X10, it's considerably easier to handle, and you don't feel like you have to squeeze it tight. The black finish on my TG-1 matches the X10 well, and its metal construction feels right at home. When it's in place, you can still easily access the mode dial by placing your thumb below the TG-1 and using your index finger to twist the dial. The secondary control wheel near the X10's built in grip is also easy to access while using the TG-1, simply rock your thumb downwards to access it.

    Fujifilm X10 HorusBennu TG-1 thumb grip back side view

    One thing to note, the TG-1 actually makes contact with the X10's mode dial if it's inserted completely into the hot shoe. You will need to angle it slightly away from the dial before tightening the retaining screw.

    Fuji X100 HorusBennu TG-1 thumb grip black

    On the Fujifilm X100 the TG-1 provides equally great ergonomics. Access to all controls are maintained, and it does not come in contact with the shutter speed dial. I do not have access to the silver version, but from what I've read it does not match the X100's silver exactly, but it's still an attractive combination.

    Fuji X100 HorusBennu TG-1 thumb grip back side view

    So how does this compare to the Thumbs Up EP-5S? Is the EP-5S worth the premium? The only honest answer is, it depends. While both thumb grips provide the same basic functionality, there are some considerable design differences.

    Fuji X100 HorusBennu TG-1 thumb grip back side view

    The Thumbs Up EP-5S was designed specifically for the X100, and coincidentally works well on the X10. It sits lower on the camera, never rising above the top of the camera like the TG-1 does. If you have smaller hands like I do, you may prefer the Thumbs Up EP-5S as it's more compact, on the X100 I found myself reaching for the controls a little bit with the TG-1. Conversely, if you have longer thumbs, you may well prefer the TG-1 overall on both cameras. The HorusBennu TG-1 is made of a light aluminum alloy called duralumin and weights very little, while the Thumbs Up EP-5S is machined from solid bass. They both feel nice in the hand and in use, but the EP-5S just feels sturdier.

    Bottom line, if you can afford the EP-5S for your camera, it's a great purchase. But if you cannot justify the cost, the HorusBennu TG-1 is going to provide the same functionality for less than half the price. If you have larger than average hands, the TG-1 is really your best bet all around. With smaller hands, the TG-1 still fits the X10 well, and is quite useable on the X100, if a bit less comfortable in comparison. Either way, both products will vastly improve the ergonomics of your X100 and X10!

    The HorusBennu is available on eBay in silver or black for $45.50 USD with free shipping. If you're curious about the Thumbs Up EP-5S, it's also available on eBay in silver or black for $118 USD.
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • Thanks Christopher!

    I have large hands and so this makes laying out my cold hard cash for the TG-1 a little easier. Besides, from the start I wanted a thumbs up, I just couldn't justify the price.
  • another review from clubsnap.
    (http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/fujifilm/1005576-horusbennu-thumb-grip-x10.html#post7580557)

    I've just gotten mine this afternoon for my x100.
    Here's my take.
    The rubber pad that is supposed to be protection at the bottom is insufficient.
    I learnt this the hard way when i tried to tighten it down. I didn't apply alot of pressure but half way through i heard a dreaded creek. Immediately i took it out and sure enough the screw went through the rubber pad and scratched my hotshoe and made a slight dent. Heart pain.
    Quickly tested it with a flash and thank God it still worked fine plus with the added protection.

    It is just not secure enough with the rubber pad alone. Later on i cut my Cathay movie stub into size (folded it) and slip it in between and it was so much better. You don't have to tighen the screw alot and it's secured quite firmly.

    End of the day i'm not really happy with the design. The angle of the thumbsup also wasn't that great i feel. It should be more slightly slant down because you're pressing it from a top to down and forward position. But if you're not picky like me, it does give you a better support.

    I'm letting go of mine.
  • jacjac
    Posts: 675
    Thanks for the review Chris. Does the right part of the TG-1 poke out your right eye?

    One other thing I noticed is does the Thumbs Up with its back cover design block the X10's green light? -- looks like it might!!
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,550
    @lsl7994 brings up a good point. I also put a small dent in the hot shoe of my X10 with the TG-1's screw, not enough to damage it, but just a little scar. I'd recommend using at least two rubber pads, or a bit of paper, and not over tightening it.

    @jac, good eye, the EP-5S does cover up the activity light on the X10, that's definitely a plus for the TG-1.
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • cosinaphilecosinaphile
    Posts: 1,063
    thanks for a nice review , and thanks to the users who reported the dangers of using it
    i shoot with the ricoh gxr and m mount module with adapted glass
    i shoot with the samsung ex1 and the ricoh gx 200
    i shoot with the ep1 and gf1 with adapted slr and rf glass
    i shoot with the x100 and the x10
  • Thank you very much for the detailed review, appreciate it!

    Sounds like this little adapter is exactly what I need to be a bit more comfortable with the camera. I do have long fingers, and my thumb felt somewhat out of place. This TG-1 would then be for me...

    Regards,
    D
  • Great review, however can anyone tell me if the HorusBennu TG-1 works with the Fuji X-10 leather case? What I mean is, can the case be opened and closed OK with the HorusBennu TG-1 in place?

    Thanks in advance
    Glyn
  • I just bought a used excellent condition X100 and love the camera! I would like to add the TG-1, but which looks better on the camera - black or silver? Also, does the mini release buttons help?
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,550
    @rrobinson it's really a personal preference, I tend to prefer silver accessories. Keep in mind that the silver TG-1 isn't a perfect match to the X100's silver, it is a little bit brighter. I'm a big fan of the mini soft releases, we have some discussions on them here in the forum.
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • cosinaphilecosinaphile
    Posts: 1,063
    rrobinson said:

    I just bought a used excellent condition X100 and love the camera! I would like to add the TG-1, but which looks better on the camera - black or silver? Also, does the mini release buttons help?



    just to gauge all things fuji x related may we know what the price was when the gavel fell?

    cheers and welcome , i love my x 100 too

    i shoot with the ricoh gxr and m mount module with adapted glass
    i shoot with the samsung ex1 and the ricoh gx 200
    i shoot with the ep1 and gf1 with adapted slr and rf glass
    i shoot with the x100 and the x10
  • WilzWorkz7WilzWorkz7
    Posts: 1,761
    rrobinson.

    Black because it is universally acceptable on most products. The silver isn't a perfect match.

    In the end it is a personal preference. Just have a look at the picture and then visualise it in black or silver. You'd get the idea.
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  • GreyelmGreyelm
    Posts: 209
    I took the TG-1 out today for the first time, the weather was cold and I was wearing gloves. I'm pleased to report that it worked a treat and made holding the X100 with gloves much easier.
  • Recently received my TG-1 too, an excellent addition to my X100.
    Vertical shooting just got much easier!

    However, when installing the TG-1 make sure you use 2 of the grip pads so you don't accidentally dent the hot shoe!

    The black one looks great on X100!


  • ravducravduc
    Posts: 12
    Well I got mine today (black) for my X100, and I just think this thing is great. It's much smaller than it actually looks in the pictures and very well finished. I only used one red pad and made sure not to overtighten. I tried two pads but the thumb grip would not slide in without pushing on one of the pads. What hasn't been mentioned about this accessory is how it makes it so much easier to hand hold the camera when taking vertical shots. My thumb just seems to rest perfectly on the thumb grip. Without the grip, holding the camera vertically was much more difficult and ackward.
  • mattmabermattmaber
    Posts: 3,992
    i cut up a business card and put a couple of pieces under it.
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  • WilzWorkz7WilzWorkz7
    Posts: 1,761
    I replaceed the two stickers with the flurry part of the velcro. Cut it to size and squeeze it in then screw in finger tight.
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  • zehrhzehrh
    Posts: 12
    I received my x10 today. The reason that it's easy to over tighten is that it goes into the flash shoe so far that to avoid it hitting the dial, you have to move it back some and hold it in place with tension. Here's what I have done. 1) Filed off the sharp end of the set screw. 2) Instead of using the grip pads, I cut a piece of thin, tough plastic from a butter dish top, sized to fit inside the grove in the underside of the TG-1, keeping it in place with double-stick tape. 3) I carefully put a dab of epoxy on each side of the TG-1, at the back of the tracks, to keep the TG-1 from sliding in all the way. Now the TG-1 should stay in place without much tension on the screw. Since I don't have to tighten the set screw very tight and since it's protected by the tough plastic and the smooth end of the set screw, there's less chance of damage.
    A link to photos of the modification may be found in the discussion below.
  • zehrhzehrh
    Posts: 12
    About the leather case: I have a clone that looks similar to the legitimate Fuji one and no, I don't think it will work with the case.
  • pcgpcg
    Posts: 1,770
    Zehrh,
    It's essential that the thump grip come out easily and quickly for an actual flash. I use the EF-42 frequently. Does your approach work for that purpose? Sounds pretty semi-permanent from the description.
    http://www.garnerimages.com
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/phototropolis/
    Fuji X10 (2011-2012)
    Fuji X100 (2012-2013)
    Fuji X100S w/ 28mm Fuji conversion lens
  • zehrhzehrh
    Posts: 12
    It's just held in by the set screw, as designed. The screw just doesn't have to be so tight, and it doesn't have to be positioned so carefully when putting it on the camera. So it'a actually quicker.
    This is about the x10, by the way - I forgot to mention that.

  • pcgpcg
    Posts: 1,770
    Thanks. My interest is the X10!
    http://www.garnerimages.com
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/phototropolis/
    Fuji X10 (2011-2012)
    Fuji X100 (2012-2013)
    Fuji X100S w/ 28mm Fuji conversion lens
  • zehrhzehrh
    Posts: 12
    Photos to go with the description of my modification above can be found here:
    Your text to link...

  • pcgpcg
    Posts: 1,770
    Just received my Horusbennu grip and I'm pleased to note that it does not conflict with the Ciesta half-case.There's a good 1/3-inch separation between the two.

    The grip really does add substantially to the ability to "grip" the camera body. A tremendous addition. Three stars.
    http://www.garnerimages.com
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/phototropolis/
    Fuji X10 (2011-2012)
    Fuji X100 (2012-2013)
    Fuji X100S w/ 28mm Fuji conversion lens
  • artmartm
    Posts: 134
    Folks, have you seen this thread:

    http://www.fujixseries.com/discussion/850/another-thumbs-up-competitor#Item_20

    I contacted the company and was told that one for the X10 is in the works.

    I'm waiting for that one for my X10.
  • Hi Christopher,

    I've only just seen this post so I hope you will still receive my question...

    What's that nice strap you have on the X100 in these photos, please? The 3rd and 4th photos showing the X100 with the strap with the pinkish-red inner side. My Contax G1 came with a very similar strap that I've always liked, so I think my X100 could do with a strap like that :-)

    Thanks!
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,550
    @The_Old_Man, I believe it is this Rainbow Imaging strap: http://www.rainbowimaging.biz/shop/product.php?id_product=341

    Welcome to the community!
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • Thank you! And for once it's cheap! In which case, I should ask... does it feel cheap? Thanks for your quick reply Christopher.
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,550
    I suppose the construction could be a little nicer, but it's not a premium product. I wouldn't say that it feels cheap.
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • it does not feel cheap though I would advise to have some thick to be stuck on top of the contact points for the hotshoe before attempting to tighten the screw (not too tight please)
  • Thanks Christopher. I'm assuming you're talking about the strap, when you say the construction could be a little nicer. It doesn't cost much so it's worth a try.

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