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Zone focus mode still too slow


ergoforce

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Question for Fuji users of the 23mm and 14mm (I don't own either of these lenses, so have no hands-on experience with them), with their barrel DOF scale:

Do you find its barrel markings are more accurate than the electronic DOF scale in the finder/LCD, for zone focusing?

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b_w_red

Captured with the X-Pro1 using the XF 18mm. f8, 250th, zone focused.

Camera was on Manual Focus of course. Manual Exposure, ISO was fixed, OVF used for framing.

I think I had the LCD monitor on, although I generally use it only for its DOF scale and prefer to frame with the OVF.

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Interesting stuff

The term “Zone focus” is normally used to refer to the street photography practice of manually focussing a camera at 2-3m and stopping down to f/8 to f/11 so that the subject will be in acceptable focus regardless. I think in this discussion it's being used to refer to multi-point focussing.

The video does not accurately describe how the X100T works, although the tip about using manual focus with the auto-focus override is good and it's the way I use my DSLR.

However, the video states that AF-C causes the camera to burn the battery trying to stay in focus all the time. On the X100T that function is called 'pre-AF'; AF-C will only track when you half-press the shutter. And it does track focus. However it does so pretty slowly which is why I think the video chap thinks it doesn't do it at all. Or perhaps the X100S worked differently, or did at the time the video was made.

cheers

d.

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I just got my Dark MysTress tallest night. Excited..

My X100s was stolen last week, i was so upset...

Watch this, there's some really good tips here, it helped my shooting..

Nice video demo Shaheen, but in my opinion it fails to promote the X100s as a snappy focuser... almost everytime the shutter was pressed the focus would go the wrong way, then pull back in to focus... I don't see the Olympus or Panasonics doing that kind of dance... somebody somewhere said "its the lens motor" that causes the lag, well, I say, "step up to the plate Fuji"

FYI My X100s is up for sale (Canada) for that reason.

Cheers

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The impression that the zone focus is still as slow or just marginally faster than X100/X100S remains after trying again, now for a whole day.

Manual Focus, start from 3-4 meter

1/250 shutter speed

OVF only

Power Saving OFF

High Performance ON

Histogram OFF

F/16 (F/11 doesn't matter much)

Auto ISO On or Off doesn't matter. But yes, I want Auto ISO On

My impressions:

DSLR is faster and fast enough in zone focus mode than X100/X100S/X100T

DSLR speed is constant regardless of aperture

X100/X100S/X100T speed is dependent on the aperture.

Fast ast enough for wide open. Too slow for F/11, F/16 (even for F/8)

Autofocus is not much faster than X100 (and X100S)

The EVF information overlay is simpler, bigger and better in X100/X100S

The saving speed on memory card is more than twice as fast with X100T than with X100

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Yes I have. This is not about sporadic lag. This is about X100 not being fast enough in zone focus mode. Wide open, it is fast enough most of the times. Closed down aperture f/8 and onward, the shutter release speed is noticeably slower. It is constant regardless of the aperture with DSLR and for example with Leica M3 (and fast enough).

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Yes I have. This is not about sporadic lag. This is about X100 not being fast enough in zone focus mode. Wide open, it is fast enough most of the times. Closed down aperture f/8 and onward, the shutter release speed is noticeably slower.

Sounds like the same problem as the "sporadic lag" to me. There is a noticeable lag at small apertures. What makes this lag sporadic is that it seem to depend on which direction the manual focus was adjusted just before taking a shot and the lens.

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Yes, writing only JPEG cuts down the saving time a lot. Just writing RAW, not that much.

But it won't change the speed of the shutter response - which has nothing to do with card speeds and write times.

I still wonder if this is aperture dance, or simply because the aperture blades take a longer time to close (for whatever weird reason).

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Yes I have. This is not about sporadic lag. This is about X100 not being fast enough in zone focus mode. Wide open, it is fast enough most of the times. Closed down aperture f/8 and onward, the shutter release speed is noticeably slower.

Sounds like the same problem as the "sporadic lag" to me. There is a noticeable lag at small apertures. What makes this lag sporadic is that it seem to depend on which direction the manual focus was adjusted just before taking a shot and the lens.

I didn't say anything about which direction the manual focus was adjusted. It is not sporadic since the lag is constant and longer for small apertures and constant and smaller for open wide.

This sporadic lag reported in that thread does not include testing of X100 cameras but X cameras with interchangeable lenses. I try not to guess or assume.

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As the owner of a lowly X-M1 I haven't noticed shutter lag being a problem. I wouldn't trust is as an instantaneous nailed-on street tool - I wouldn't even trust my DSLR for that - but it's workable, and only takes a couple of seconds in low light, and that with a kit zoom.

It's difficult to decide whether the OP is asking too much, or Fuji aren't up to speed on AF compared to the best MFT cameras. If any lens is suitable for speed, surely a fixed 35mm f2 is it?

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Hello boulevardier;

I think you make a good point about expectation. When it comes to response, I don't expect any setup to be faster than my ancient Leica M film rangefinder. Their response from shutter release to capture is incredible.

On the other hand, those old Leica M film cameras are not as versatile as the least expensive Fuji X interchangeable lens camera. Plus they don't have the option of TTL viewing (ignoring the clunky Visoflex attachment). Plus they don't have the option of AF or AE. And they don't have give you the option to review your images immediately. Plus they don't have...etc, etc.

I think you're right, it's a matter of expectation. I never expected my Fuji X cameras (especially my old X-Pro 1 bodies) to match DSLR AF speeds, for example. But I think of all of the advantages the Fuji X has over my old equipment, and it possesses pretty amazing capabilities.

With all of that said: I was pushing one of the Fuji Guys about when tethering was a possibility with the X system! It's the last missing feature that keeps holding back the X system from my daily studio work :)

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Shooting the Fuji under grey winter skies this morning, I was surprised to find with the aperture set at f7, and shutter at a mere 1/60, the auto ISO gave 1600, including -1/3 compensation!

I love film, but it's easy to forget its limitations, and film speed was a killer. On the other hand there are few things more frustrating in photography than a shutter release that catches the aftermath of a good picture. One day the two will catch up, but it ain't here yet.

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Agreed about film speed in the old days.

I'm constantly amazed at how high the ISO we can reach with contemporary sensors. Back in the film days, I would consider myself lucky to be able to shoot at a true ISO 200, let alone anything higher. Of course, there was always pushing or TMAX 3200 (which was better at 1600 or even 800), but then grain and reduced shadow detail would set it....

These days of genuinely clean, noise-free ISO 800 (or higher) speeds is a minor miracle!

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Agreed about film speed in the old days.

Still, where there's a will there's a way, even if contrast and grain were the first victims of the big push. Nice article about a master printer, and the difficulty of printing Koudelka and HC-B's work:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/08/voya-mitrovic-part-i.html

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/08/voja-mitrovic-part-ii.html

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Hey boulevardier;

Great article! I think you and I have discussed this before (re - Magnum: Contact Sheets book) - Koudelka, along with HCB, were my big heroes back in high school and college. I think I mentioned I had two, totally chance meetings with Koudelka.

The second one was exactly how the article you posted, described: I met Koudelka again, at the Luxembourg Gardens, while I was there with my girlfriend, way back in '88. He was using a battered black paint M4 with a first gen 35mm Summilux, an equally battered Olympus OM SLR, and a Fuji 6x17 panoramic camera slung on his back!

To this day, I have a huge respect for the man.

And he seems to be a Fuji user. There are photos of him from a couple of years ago, at a Magnum meeting, using a Fuji X100 :)

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Yes, Koudelka is totally committed to his art. He seems to have lead a peripatetic lifestyle since the 1960s chasing the next great image. Which reminds me, I must buy the new edition of Koudelka's Exiles.

Edit: ordered!

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Agreed about film speed in the old days.

I'm constantly amazed at how high the ISO we can reach with contemporary sensors. Back in the film days, I would consider myself lucky to be able to shoot at a true ISO 200, let alone anything higher. Of course, there was always pushing or TMAX 3200 (which was better at 1600 or even 800), but then grain and reduced shadow detail would set it....

These days of genuinely clean, noise-free ISO 800 (or higher) speeds is a minor miracle!

Really? I regularly used to shoot film up to ISO800, where modern films showed very fine grain and good contrast/dynamic range. ISO1600 was always a bit of an ask, but Fuji Natura 1600 was surprisingly. Obviously, I wan't making A0 gallery prints - though I did have ISO800 printed up to about A3 on occasion and it looked pretty good.

Agree with your comments about digital though - last night I was working on some raw files from APS-C taken at ISO3200, and at sensible sizes (e.g. A4 rather than 100% on screen), they were pretty good.

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I think it may depend on your uses. The zero-noise digital seems a bit of a digital fetish to me. Some noise is pretty nice and softens the image, also digital noise is a different beast to film grain - especially black and white where film grain can be pretty lovely.

Also my first roll back from my Yashica 124G TLR was expired Fuji Neopan 100 (B&W) and that had as far as I could see effectivly zero grain. Even the Ilford ISO400 I've just got back is not majorly grainy.

My point being that film and digital are often for different use cases and a bit of grain genearlly doesnt seem to be a bad thing in film. If it is then you probably should switch to digital.

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Obviously, I wan't making A0 gallery prints - though I did have ISO800 printed up to about A3 on occasion and it looked pretty good.

How high quality was printing back then though? It seems to me now that the resolution of large scale printing these days is so high that it is prone to show up the slightest amount of grain. Whereas, back in the day, poster printing was at a lower quality and often if grain was visible, it could be attributed to the printing process.

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