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Fujifilm Tethering Workarounds for Lightroom Classic and Capture One

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I was so excited about doing tethered shooting in my new studio & classroom. Letting clients see how their photos look during the shoot is a great way to keep them excited about the session!

But when Fujifilm tethering in Lightroom & Capture One doesn’t work half the time, it’s frustrating for everyone.

Fujifilm Tethering Problems with Lightroom Classic and Capture One

Lightroom worked great tethered with my Fujifilm cameras…when it worked. Sometimes it’d take a few restarts of both Lightroom and my camera to get the two to talk to each other. Then Lightroom updated to version 10, and the Fujifilm tether plugin became irrelevant because it was no longer supported (as of yet).

fujifilm tethering lightroom
Seen this problem before? If you’ve ever used tethered shooting with Lightroom, I’m confident to say you have.

So I went back to Capture One Fujifilm for tethered shooting. Again, this worked great…when it worked. With Capture One, it’d import a couple of photos but then stopped. I’d have to restart the camera and hope I’d get a few more photos before it quit again.

This is unacceptable when you have a paying client in your studio. If you are going to shoot tethered with Fujifilm, you need a solution that works 100% of the time.


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So here’s a workaround to still be able to use tethered shooting with Lightroom or Capture One with your Fujifilm camera.

How to Tether your Fujifilm X with Lightroom Classic and Capture One

We’re going to add one extra step in the tethering process to make sure it works 100% of the time. And that’s using Fujifilm’s proprietary tethering software, FUJIFILM X Acquire.

I believe that the instability is not in the physical connection to the computer, but to Lightroom and Capture One’s interface with the camera.

The physical connection is important, and you’ll need a reliable tethering cable. Tether Tools makes great cables to shoot tethered with your Fujifilm (be sure to get the correct cable type for your camera & computer).

tethering cable
Tether Tools tethering cable (USB-C to USB-C for an X-T4 with a Macbook Pro)

The Fujifilm software creates a robust connection between the camera and the computer.

We’re then going to set up a “hot import” folder in our processing software to automatically import new photos. Each new image that is pulled from the camera to your computer (via FUJIFILM X Acquire) will be automatically imported into Lightroom or Capture One.

Setting up Fujifilm X Acquire

  1. Download & install FUJIFILM X Acquire from the Fujifilm website.
  2. Go into your camera’s SET UP -> CONNECTION SETTING and set the connection mode to USB TETHER SHOOTING AUTO. Turn the camera off.
  3. Connect your camera to your computer using the tether cable. Turn the camera on.
  4. Open FUJIFILM X Acquire and go to Specify Destination Folder…
  5. Set up a folder on your desktop that you can find easily. I just call it Sessions. This is for temporary storage; the images are moved to a working folder and backed up right after the session.
  6. In FUJIFILM X Acquire’s Preferences, be sure that you’re also saving the files to the camera’s memory card as a backup.
fujifilm tether menu
1. Set your Fujifilm’s PC CONNECTION MODE or CONNECTION SETTING to USB TETHER SHOOTING AUTO (not available for all Fujifilm cameras)
fujifilm acquire
2. Go into the Fujifilm X Acquire menu and set your import folder in Specify Destination Folder…

Setting Up Auto Import in Lightroom Classic

We’re going to set up an Auto Import folder that automatically imports photos into Lightroom from our Sessions folder as soon as they’re transferred from the camera.

  1. Open up Lightroom and whichever catalog you want to work in.
  2. Go to File -> Auto Import -> Auto Import Settings.
  3. Go to Watched Folder and choose your FUJIFILM X Acquire Destinations folder.
  4. Check Enable Auto Import.
  5. Lightroom is going to want to move those files to a new folder instead of just leave them there ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Name a folder for the imports.
  6. Set File Naming if desired.
  7. Set a Develop Preset if you have one; you can also use Camera Settings to have Lightroom’s version of your Film Simulation applied on import.
  8. Add a metadata preset & keywords if you want to.
lightroom auto import tether menu
You need to set your Watched Folder before you can enable Auto Import

Once you capture your first photo, Lightroom will create the destination folder and move that photo into it. You can then navigate to that folder in the Library module. All subsequent photos will pop up in that folder for your review!

Setting Up Hot Capture in Capture One

We’re going to set up a Hot Capture folder that automatically imports our tethered photos from that Sessions folder as soon as they’re added.

First, you’ll need to go to Capture One’s Preferences, go to Capture, and uncheck Fujifilm.

capture one fujifilm tether menu
Ensure Fujifilm is unchecked under Providers if you need to use this workaround method
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If using a Capture One Catalog:

  1. Open up your working catalog in Capture One.
  2. Go to Camera -> Select Hot Folder and select the FUJIFILM X Acquire Destinations folder.
  3. Enable Hot Folder in the same menu.
capture one tether hot folder
Set your Hot Folder to the same you set in the Fujifilm Acquire software, then enable Hot Folder Enabled

If using Capture One Sessions:

  1. Set up your Session in Capture One.
  2. Go back to FUJIFILM X Acquire and Specify Destination Folder as your session’s Capture folder.

I’m not a big fan of doing this with Sessions. The idea of “Sessions” is to have a completely different Catalog-type setup for each shoot, which means you’ll have to reset the FUJIFILM X Acquire Destination folder for each session…which you may be okay with.

Applying Develop Settings to New Photos

Unfortunately, you can’t have any develop settings applied automatically to new photos as they come in, except:

  • A predefined Preset in Lightroom,
  • Lightroom’s rendition of Film Simulations if Camera Setting is selected,
  • Film Simulation in Capture One (actual Fujifilm simulation used in your camera).

But you may not want to use the same preset for each shoot, and you might want more than just the Film Simulation applied to see how the photos are coming out.

After the first few test shots, you can set your crop, tone curve, color tweaks, etc. Copy those settings then manually. Take several captures with your subject. Go back to the computer and apply those settings to the new photos for review.

This method for tethering your Fujifilm to work with Lightroom or Capture One isn’t perfect, and you lose some extra capability, especially in Capture One. But it’s reliable, which can’t be said when using the built-in tethering interface with those programs.

And with clients, reliability is key.

Brett

Saturday 3rd of April 2021

I'm revisiting Capture One tethering. I hope you'll excuse the length of the post. The summary is - I suspect multiple potential signal issues could impact on tethering causing the problems - which I hope to avoid and aim to retry tethering in a studio scenario.

Lot's of detail here, in case any of it resonates with other people's experiences.

I noticed an article for C1 that talked of using an "active" cable or self-powered usb hub. I have just tried an inexpensive 5m active cable from my local electronics store (jaycar.com.au) with my XT-4 into C1. While I initially hit a snag (point 2 below), I have been banging away on the camera at home with single fire, and burst fire and everything is working properly and reliably. Next step is to try a studio situation and see how long it works for.

The potential issues:

1) Weak USB port. The capture one article mentioned ports on some Apple computers are deficient in power - hence the suggestion of adding a powered active cable or powered hub. The active cable I bought has a socket for power, but I'm not using that (it's incoveniently positioned on the female/camera end)

2) USB port becoming unresponsive. Microsoft says usb ports can become unresponsive if devices are plugged in and removed and re-plugged in quickly. I found this - I had to restart my Windows laptop to get the port working again. It occurs to me that turning the camera off and on quickly could have that effect. It is something I do by habit with my older XT-2 to save battery. Therefore I should give the computer time to respond to the camera being turned on or off (wait a couple of seconds after the sound confirmation), better yet try to leave camera on during the session.

3) Type of cable. Apparently USB is notoriously unreliable over a 1.8m length. It is best to have an "active" cable for longer USB cables. Active cables have circuitry to maintain the signal over the length. I tried a 10m active cable, but the camera wasn't recognised at all with that.

The fault could be in the fujifilm software kit supplied to Adobe and Phase one which would be why X-Acquire works fine, however because the tethering would be a far more complex communications protocol, it would be also be far more sensitive to any signal glitch. And/or it could be that the camera firmware can't cope with a loss of communications putting into it a wait state, locking up the camera.

What I have right now that appears to be working. A short usb-c to type-a cable, plugged into an active 5m cable, plugged into a bus-powered usb hub, plugged into the laptop. In theory, I don't need the hub since it is not powered anyway, but I'm experimenting.

I did notice a web article by a photographer who tethers apparently without problem, but he is using a short usb cable, with the laptop on a stand attached to his tripod...

George Flanagan

Saturday 20th of February 2021

John, is there a current plugin that would enable me to tether my Fuji XT3 to Lightroom Classic and fire the camera within LR. I am starting to digitize old negatives and slides. I am working in a MacBook Pro using the Big Sur OS. Thank you.

John Peltier

Saturday 20th of February 2021

I'm not aware of any George. There was one for LR but last I checked it's no longer supported.

Kalen

Monday 8th of February 2021

The manual for the X-T4 says to make sure you don’t use a cable longer than 4.9 ft for tethering since it is usb-c. I find this unrealistic for tethered shooting since most of us need to move the camera a lot. Do you think the length of your tether cable might be causing the problems? Are you using the15 ft Tether Pro usb-c to usb-c, or a shorter version? I’m on the fence on whether to get one or not. Thanks!

dearnold

Saturday 3rd of April 2021

I'm using the Tether Tools 15' cable also. I'm quite sure that's not the problem. Sure is frustrating that FUJI isn't truly supporting tethering with the x-t4 just the GFX. I'm using the X-Aquire process and it works when it gets set up in exactly the right order. Sort of a PITA!!

John Peltier

Tuesday 9th of February 2021

Yeah who uses a tether cable less than 5'?!?! I am using the Tether Tools 15' USB-C to USB-C. I don't have any problems at all when using Fujifilm X Acquire - it's lightning-fast and without any burps at all. I think it's just instability within the programs. It's been a couple months since I've tried it directly, maybe I'll try again.

Andy

Sunday 24th of January 2021

Hi John, that is a really helpful thank you. I have an XT3 and I use Capture one for Fujifilm on my desktop Mac. I want to tether to my Mac book air laptop but I only have the free version of Capture one on that laptop. I have heard that you cannot tether to the free version of Capture one. Is that correct? and if it is, do you have any work around to make it work? Thanks Andy

John Peltier

Sunday 24th of January 2021

Hi Andy, as far as I know, that is correct. But I can't even properly tether my Fujifilm with the paid version of Capture One without it being buggy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It should work using the workaround I describe in this article using the "Hot Capture" folder feature in Capture One, along with Fujifilm X ACQUIRE.

Karl

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

Will this work around enable tethering with and XT30?

John Peltier

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

Hi Karl, unfortunately it will only work on cameras that have a "TETHER SHOOTING" option in the Connection Settings. As far as I know there's no workaround for tethered shooting on the cameras that don't support that feature.