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treepilot

Fuji X100 Photos Blurry / Soft?

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treepilot

Hello everyone -- I bought my Fuji X100 about almost a month ago and I love it. But the more I shoot with it the more I realize my pictures are not near as sharp as other Fuji X100 shots I've seen.

I.E. Photo #1: Sofitel Moorea

Photo #2: Tahitian Flower

I have set my settings to that of Ken Rockwell's, and have shot in low light, day light, and inside. All types of situations and yet my photos have soft and slightly fuzzy. I have my shutter set to auto, Auto ISO, Sharpness to high, and auto WB. I have also tried other combinations.

I'm not new to photography so I know my way around a camera. I'm just curious if I could have a manufacture defect in the lens? I have uploaded a few photos to my Flickr for you all to look at and offer your opinion.

BUT, some photos may not appear fuzzy on Flickr, the original resolutions when zoomed in slightly do not hold any crispness. The quality degrades considerably and softness of edges is quite apparent.

Am I just too much of a perfectionist or do you see it too?

Thanks in advance everyone!

Photo #1: Napa Pizza in South Wedge -- Rochester, NY

Photo #2: Boulder Coffee in South Wedge -- Rochester, NY

Photo #3: 20110827-DSCF0338

Photo #4: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stefantrego/6157222009/in/photostream/lightbox/

Photo #5: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stefantrego/6157222111/in/photostream/lightbox/

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gasman

You are too much of a perfectionist - in a sense.

What we perceive as "sharpness" is created largely in the brain, not the camera, and actually has more to do with contrast, brightness, and even composition - rather than lines per inch. If the photos 1-5 at the bottom of the post are yours - and I presume they are - the perceived lack of sharpness has more to do with focussing, lighting and contrast than anything else. The lens is fine.

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adanac

Other factors affecting perceived and real sharpness include lens aperture and shutter speed. I noted in a few of your shots the EXIF data indicates slow shutter speeds and/or the lens is wide open or close to it; the lens will not perform as sharply at f/2,0 as it will at f/5.6. For macro work you might even experiment with f/11. Slow shutter speeds, when the camera is handheld, are very likely to affect overall sharpness.

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mattmaber

3 4 5 look fine, do you have a UV filter on it which could be causing some of the apparent softness in 1 2 ?

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brkl

Your Flickr is set so we can only see pictures 1024px wide, so it's impossible for us to judge sharpness of your photos.

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treepilot

@mattmaber -- I do not have a UV filter on, just raw lens.

I uploaded a couple to imgur so you can get a better idea of the softness I am getting:

Photo #1:

i4LGe.jpg

Photo #2:

Vo4ef.jpg

This photo had a lot of available light, with macro, auto ISO, auto shutter.

Photo #3:

DyGik.jpg

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brkl

Looks like #1 and #3 are misfocused. #2 is perfectly sharp where it's focused, near the spider. If you look at the web, parts of it are sharp.

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ur2funky

Hi Treepilot,

I am with you. My X100 is not capable of the sharp photos I have seen from other examples (the hairs on Ken Rockwell's daughter's face for example). I even bought a second one to see if mine was damaged in shipping. They performed identically to each other. My Nikon D5100 with a f1.8 lens gives a noticeably sharper image in the same conditions, set to the same settings. I've struggled to get a really sharp image with the X100 and can't do it. I don't even have to try with my Nikon...it's just there.

I've a firm believer that all these X100's aren't made the same. The two I tried are not capable of the images I've seen from others.

And yes, I've tried different f stops and I know my way around a camera.

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muzzy

Hi - not sure if this helps but check that your browser is not zoomed in and is showing images at 100%. I had this problem a while back and all my flickr photos looked fuzzy.

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treepilot

@ur2funky I may have a solution! What I did was turn down the "Noise Reduction" setting to the lowest possible setting, enable ND Filter (Neutral Density Filter), and I also cleaned the lens with a micro fiber cloth -- which works wonders on removing oil from fingers, smudging, etc.. Then I took a series of photos at different f-stops and so on and obtained substantially better results (according to my visual acuity).

Photo #1 -- The focus is on the fire alarm:

SzeLm.jpg

Photo #2 -- The index card corners are VERY SHARP!:

AAKD1.jpg

Photo #3 -- The glass edges are very sharp and the background has great blur:

lukYF.jpg

Photo #4 -- The black outlines on the lamp appear sharper and crisp:

T7lcf.jpg

Summary:

- Lower Noise Reduction Setting to LOWEST possible

- Enable Neutral Density Filter (ND Filter)

- Make sure your lens is crystal clear!

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brkl

Putting more glass in front of the lens (ND filter) can only degrade image quality. The noise reduction is a good point. Also, make sure you don't shoot close focused photos at f2 or f2.8, the lens isn't designed for macro. Always bump aperture down to at least f4 for macro.

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flapshots

Now imagine how sharp things would be if you shot things outside where there's good natural lighting which would help shoot at ISO 200.

Most of the shots you've shown here are inside where lighting is bad (two lamps isn't plenty of light for a camera) or outside in a corridor shooting at yet another fake lightsource.

If you're looking to get things sharp like what's in Steve Huff's post, you'll need to shoot at lower ISO and get good light.

Nothing beats good light.

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MountFuji

Hi,

I know this is an old thread but I'm seeing similiar issues with my new x100.

What are the optimal settings for OOC jpg shooting?

Those who shoot raw, are you doing some sharpening, if so, how much to produce those tack sharp 3d look?

I have tried various settings and also with tripod.

thx

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lemons

I am shooting ooc jpegs with almost default settings (usually I use Astia film sim) and I find my results very sharp. A lot sharper than my old Canon 550d dslr at least.

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MountFuji

Thanks Lemons. Makes me really wonder if it's defective. Mine is set on sharpness to Hard, max setting.

It's not an out of focus issue, just overall rendering at normal view.

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chrism_scotland

I've noticed some issues with sharpness on mine but I think thats more to do with me adjusting to a camera without IBIS, always had a Sony, Olympus or Pentax before which has IS, but I'm sure I'll get there with it!

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MountFuji

I've tried it with a tripod to rule out handshake. I'm also not pixel peeping but normal view. I shipped it back for an exchange.

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JeremyDMeier

@treepilot : Actually, the ND filter in the X100 is a physical glass element built into the lens that drops into the center of the lens when activated. You can physically see it pop into view when you press the shutter button 1/2 way. It sits in front of the aperture blades. Quite a cool design if you ask me!

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mattmaber

@JeremyDMeier oh yea! cool, never noticed that. Id assumed it was software.

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steve1401

The ND is one of the key (but there are many) reasons I would never give up my X100, even if the XP1 produced a 23mm lens.

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steve1401

@treepilot - the ND filter is great, but by its very nature it is designed to slow the lens down. In this case by 3 stops! So a hand-held picture with the ND filter on is going to be difficult unless it is very sunny. As a rule of thumb, the X100 should have a shutter speed of about 1/125s to get good sharp hand-held pictures.

You don't mention how and where you are focusing and at what aperture. If you focus on a near object at say f2, then the background and most of the foreground will quite likely be very soft. That's expected. Search for Depth of Field to get an understanding of this.

The ND filter is useful in very bright conditions when you want to use a wide aperture, say f2 or 2.8. This is because the shutter on the X100 cannot correctly expose above 1/1000s. So, 1/2000s at f2 is not possible and you would therefor drop the ND filter down.

Also, @muzzy said about not viewing at 100% in the browser. All images should be inspected at this zoom level as this is the 'actual' size of the image (spark technical debate there lol) and if you have correctly exposed and focused you should see the image fine at 100%.

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RainyDayInterns

After two months of continuous shooting with the Fujifilm X100S, we have been completely smitten with this camera. Fuji’s newly announced X-M1 may be more versatile in some respects, but it will be a while before we will be tempted to trade in the X100S.

Here are a few pics of our recent experiences with the X100S in Macro Mode:

http://www.rainydaymagazine.com/RDM2013/Home/June/Week3/RDMHomeJun2113.htm#FujifilmX100s_MacroMode

Click on any of the images for a larger version.

We were particularly impressed with some of the insect shots we were able to pull off. Our next project will be to see if we can get some trickier shots…bees in flight and such.

moth closeup

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