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Zone focus mode still too slow


ergoforce

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I tried the X100T hoping Fuji finally fixed the lag from pressing the shutter to the picture actually taken in zone focusing mode. A DSLR is still faster in this mode despite the flapping mirror!

But unfortunately still there is this lag similar to X100, X100S, X-Pro1. This causes missing shots in street photography.

High Performance Mode: ON

Histogram: NO

Only OVF

F/16

Shutter 1/250

AUTO ISO (same used in DSLR:s)

Manual focus: 3-4 meter to infinity

No Image Display after the shot

I don't mention other Fuji X-cameras with only EVF since they are even slower. XT1 felt as slow as X-Pro1 with the first firmware.

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This isn't something I've ever really noticed before, but after some experiments with my X-E1 there is definitely a lag between pressing the shutter and the image being recorded. I used the ticker on a news channel in this unscientific test. However I noticed as soon as I stopped looking through the viewfinder or using the rear screen and reacted only to what I was seeing with my own eyes, the lag vanished and the limitation only seemed to be my own reaction time. So I'm not sure why you're still experiencing the issue when using the OVF. Have you considered trying burst mode and hitting the shutter a little early where possible?

On an unrelated note F16 isn't really an optimal aperture for an APS-C camera and offers no real depth of field benefit when focusing at 3-4 meters, f5.6 or f8 at most is the sweet spot for sharpness and obviously you're letting a lot more light in with all the associated benefits.

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ergo, I just wanted to check that you find the auto focus too slow? By "zone focus" do you mean the wide area AF mode, where the camera selects the point of focus? Or do you mean the manual focus form of "zone focusing" setting a small aperture and a focus distance close to hyper focal?

I think you have previously discussed the issue of the aperture blades opening and closing when the shutter is half pressed, before the AF takes place. I know this also occurs in MF mode, creating a slight delay in the shutter release. It came up recently in another discussion of the X-T and focus delay, and I suggested it might be the same issue, though others seemed to think / suggest that this has been fixed in the X-T1. Personally, I'm not convinced this has been fixed (Rico suggested it could not be fixed due to the design of the camera), but as I don't have an X-T1 or X100t, I have no personal experience.

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This isn't something I've ever really noticed before, but after some experiments with my X-E1 there is definitely a lag between pressing the shutter and the image being recorded. I used the ticker on a news channel in this unscientific test. However I noticed as soon as I stopped looking through the viewfinder or using the rear screen and reacted only to what I was seeing with my own eyes, the lag vanished and the limitation only seemed to be my own reaction time. So I'm not sure why you're still experiencing the issue when using the OVF. Have you considered trying burst mode and hitting the shutter a little early where possible?

On an unrelated note F16 isn't really an optimal aperture for an APS-C camera and offers no real depth of field benefit when focusing at 3-4 meters, f5.6 or f8 at most is the sweet spot for sharpness and obviously you're letting a lot more light in with all the associated benefits.

What you describe is the lag in the EVF image. It seems worse in Fuji cameras, particularly the earlier models, as the X Trans sensor requires a lot of processing power to de-mosaic the data and turn it into a live view feed. Other brands of camera have suffered from EVF lag, but it did not seem as pronounced as with the X cameras.

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What you describe is the lag in the EVF image. It seems worse in Fuji cameras, particularly the earlier models, as the X Trans sensor requires a lot of processing power to de-mosaic the data and turn it into a live view feed. Other brands of camera have suffered from EVF lag, but it did not seem as pronounced as with the X cameras.

Yes that sounds like what I experienced, as I said I saw no perceptible lag when using the shutter and not using the EVF or rear screen to judge the timing. This differs from ergoforce who claims to be using the OVF and still seeing a lag however.

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What you describe is the lag in the EVF image. It seems worse in Fuji cameras, particularly the earlier models, as the X Trans sensor requires a lot of processing power to de-mosaic the data and turn it into a live view feed. Other brands of camera have suffered from EVF lag, but it did not seem as pronounced as with the X cameras.

Yes that sounds like what I experienced, as I said I saw no perceptible lag when using the shutter and not using the EVF or rear screen to judge the timing. This differs from ergoforce who claims to be using the OVF and still seeing a lag however.

The rear screen and EVF will show the same lag - the issue is the time it takes to read data off the sensor (at maybe 10-30fps) and process it for display.

Ergo I believe is experiencing the well known issue that affects most of the X cameras where the apertures "dance" on half pressing the shutter, before AF, including when in MF mode. There have also been other issues with MF where the focused distance will change on half pressing the shutter - I'm not clear which cameras it affects (all?) or whether firmware has been updated to fix it, but a recent thread I was reading suggested not.

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I'm not really sure what you mean by "zone focus mode" but you describe your method as being too slow for street photography.

I use the X100 exclusively for street photography and have no discernible shutter lag with the simple set up:

Optical viewfinder, manual focus set at about 11 ft, aperture priority mode, f/9, set iso manually as appropriate (to give a shutter speed of 1/250 or faster), click shutter.

In other words, almost as the old saying goes - "f/8 and be there".

(Yes, f/16 is overkill!)

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ergo, I just wanted to check that you find the auto focus too slow? By "zone focus" do you mean the wide area AF mode, where the camera selects the point of focus? Or do you mean the manual focus form of "zone focusing" setting a small aperture and a focus distance close to hyper focal?

.

What the OP described appears to me to be correct zone focusing. He is setting a small aperture with a manual focus point 3-4 metres from the camera which means that virtually everything from 2 metres or so to infinity will be in focus. In that respect the camera is doing nothing other than recording the image when the shutter is pressed so the only issue that the OP must be suffering is lag between shutter press and image record. The OP must have lighting fast reflexes or is unable to anticipate if the camera is not fast enough in that mode of operation.

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@Ergo I shoot zone focusing all the time with the XT1 and I am really happy with it.

I think that the main cause you experience a delay is the fact that you set "auto ISO".

Basically, the camera needs to think about the right exposure, so you are not fully manual and it requires a little bit of time. Try to set the ISO beforehand (I use 400 in full sun, 800 most of the time and 1600-3200 from dusk to night). In general I use a bigger f (mostly 8) and a faster shutter speed. By doing this, the camera only thinks about WB and it is really fast.

Hope it helps,

M

www.matteocapellini.com

Untitled"

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@Ergo I shoot zone focusing all the time with the XT1 and I am really happy with it.

I think that the main cause you experience a delay is the fact that you set "auto ISO".

Basically, the camera needs to think about the right exposure, so you are not fully manual and it requires a little bit of time. Try to set the ISO beforehand (I use 400 in full sun, 800 most of the time and 1600-3200 from dusk to night). In general I use a bigger f (mostly 8) and a faster shutter speed. By doing this, the camera only thinks about WB and it is really fast.

Hope it helps,

M

Has "aperture dance" been fixed then?

If you don't know what this is, set an aperture a few stops down from maximum on your lens (with the camera in Aperture priority mode, for example), point the camera at a fairly bright scene, and half press the shutter. On previous X cameras, this caused the aperture to open and close again before the camera then began the AF cycle. This also happened when the camera was in manual focus mode. The aperture blades could be heard and seen to open and close, and it caused a perceptible delay. It only occurred when a lens was stopped down and in certain lighting conditions, when the scene appeared bright (I first noticed it photographing a building that had a bright sky behind it).

It affected all X cameras from the X Pro 1 all the way to the X100s, as far as I am aware.

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I think it was solved with a firmware update (back when I owned an xpro1.

I recall hearing the blades adjusting all the time and than it was fixed.

Now with XT1, as pragmatic as I can be, I never experienced that in real shooting life :)

Best

M

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Auto ISO or not doesn't make much difference. But if it did, I would still want it on cause DSLR can handle it with ease and interesting things in street could occur in sunny scenes just as in the shadows.

X100, X100S, X100T and X-Pro1 are still too slow in street action than a DSLR in zone focusing mode. I have wondered why since X100 came out. Please make the Fuji X-cameras with OVF the greatest digital cameras ever for street shooting. I don't consider EVF only X-cameras as they inherently have a lag already built-in.

Diffraction or not, f/11 is the lowest I would go to get biggest DOF as possible. I prefer f/16 as the result is sharp enough. For older X-cameras I mentioned, the aperture blades stays wide open when the shutter is not pressed down. There is no aperture dance with latest firmware but there is still a lag when you press and until the blades closes down and the shot taken. X-Pro1 is slightly slower than X100 and the difference grows from XF 18mm to XF 35mm & XF 60mm.

In X100T, the aperture blades are closed down even when the shutter is not pressed down and when you press it, the blades opens up and then closes down again before the picture is taken. I would make a guess that X100T is even slower than X100 currently.

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Apparent DOF gets deeper at the same f-stop as one goes wider on interchangeable lens cameras. F8 or f11 with the 18mm is deeper than the 23mm. 14mm is deeper still, and so on.

In practical terms, I personally can't control anything wider than a 24mm-e or 25mm-e full frame, hand-held on the street, without things going wild if I get the horizon off even slightly. The 18mm/28mm-e is a good balance for me, in that it's wide with good DOF at f8 or f11, but it doesn't end up looking wonky.

Ironically, I regularly use 10mm/15mm-e on the Fuji X for my real estate and architecture work. But that's on a tripod, everything is carefully leveled, I take my time, etc.

There are plenty of shooters who can shoot super-wide hand-held, though. Petrus on this forum shoots with the 14mm/21mm-e as if it wasn't a super-wide. He really knows how to control it.

Patrick @ findingrange.com regularly shoots cityscapes with an 18mm on his FF Leica M or the Zeiss 12mm Touit (also an 18mm-e) on his Fuji XE2, and his shots don't have that crazy-wide look.

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That seems a bit contradictory, if f11 is the lowest you'd go for DOF, I don't understand why you'd use f16, you're just needlessly limiting the light coming into the camera which will push the ISO up and you're making the aperture close further before you can get your shot which isn't going to help your perceived lag issue.

Honestly I find it hard to imagine that the tiny fraction of a second it takes between hitting the shutter and the image being captured makes a big difference most of the time unless you're reacting late to what you're seeing anyway. When I did my test with the older X-E1 paired with the slowpoke 60mm at f5.6, I saw no noticeable lag when not using the EVF for timing, that couldn't be explained by my own reaction speed.

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Untitled"

Matteo - I really like your street shot. Shooting up close, and in front of the subjects - that's excellent. The one on the left has a mysterious, slightly haunted look which is interesting.

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@Cardiobikeracer thank you. I think she does the shot actually.

Getting back to the subject of the discussion, I would have never got this shot without zone focusing. Check my website out for more :)

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Exactly - that image is a perfect example of the technique!

I also like how the left subject, either through her speed or closeness to your camera, is getting a touch soft or out of focus. That happens to my shots as well, and I like how it adds to the randomness and chaos of a street scene. Makes it look alive

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I think it was solved with a firmware update (back when I owned an xpro1.

I recall hearing the blades adjusting all the time and than it was fixed.

Now with XT1, as pragmatic as I can be, I never experienced that in real shooting life :)

Best

M

No, that was "aperture chatter", where the blades constantly adjusted during live view. It was "fixed" by making them move more slowly, which meant that the live view then accommodated changes in scene brightness very slowly. I'm not aware "aperture dance" on half pressing the shutter on the X Pro was ever fixed to my knowledge - which is why I am asking anyone with an X-T1 who understand the problem if they can confirm or not. From ergos comments it sounds like the X100t may still have it.

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In X100T, the aperture blades are closed down even when the shutter is not pressed down and when you press it, the blades opens up and then closes down again before the picture is taken. I would make a guess that X100T is even slower than X100 currently.

What you describe is aperture dance, and my X Pro 1 exhibited exactly the same behaviour on all firmware excluding the very latest release a few months ago. It was a quite clearly perceptible delay from pressing the shutter to it firing, made all the more ridiculous that it happened in when shooting in manual focus mode (where one would expect the shutter response to be instant).

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Still shooting the X100 (not one of the later ones) and I haven't had any lag issues since the 3.0/01 firmware upgrade, which took care of the aperture dance problem. Using a set-up very close to the one Paul Russell describes (hey Paul, 6' here) I'm getting shots off at the button press - believe me, I'm very picky about this and would spot any delay instantly.

Could be the OP's problem may be with the calc. time using auto-ISO takes; I adjust ISO manually to conditions so that's not a factor.

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Could be the OP's problem may be with the calc. time using auto-ISO takes; I adjust ISO manually to conditions so that's not a factor.

If the program code for the cameras exposure program takes a discernable amount of time to select an ISO from the look up table of apertures, shutter speeds and ISO values, then the camera has some significant software or hardware engineering problems. (The demosaicing of the X Trans raw files requires millions and millions of calculations that the camera needs to perform).

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All I can say is there must be something screwy in the OP's set-up because the post-3.0 FW updated X100 is dead quick on the draw, and that's coming from an old leica shooter. I doubt the X100T would take a step back from that performance.

Worst-case scenario is a defective unit.

(interestingly enough, the FW for the x100 that fixed the aperture dance problem preceded the update which did the same for the X100s - for several months there you were better off with the older camera)

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