s9000 AF center-focus trouble?

Started Nov 24, 2005 | Discussions thread
Pete Holzmann
Regular MemberPosts: 335
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NEW lesson learned! Re: s9000 AF
In reply to Pete Holzmann, Nov 26, 2005

As always, everyone has been very very helpful! THANK YOU!!!

Here's an update with some things I've learned. Does your s9000 work like this?

(The branch fork really was close enough to the center(re). I could move around quite a large range and not get good auto focus.)

With more experimentation, it's clear the issue I've been seeing relates to AF modes and Macro modes.

Lesson learned: whether it is a bug or feature is a good subject for discussion... I think my s9000 has a strange definition both of "too close" and "macro mode."

My expectation:

  • "Macro" mode is a special optical configuration that makes closeup and enlarged photography possible.

  • The possible (manual or AF) focus range will be different when in macro or normal mode. Manually focusing to nearest-possible, then moving the camera, will produce the closest-possible focus in any given optical configuration.

  • Autofocus should work similarly ('regular' or 'one touch') in each optical configuration of the camera/lens.

Fuji's definition, as determined by experiment:

  • "Macro" mode changes the normal autofocus range of the camera. The optical configuration does not change at all. Manual focusing is not impacted by macro mode.

  • "Supermacro mode" fits my expectation to some extent: it is a special optical configuration. Unfortunately, one can only reach it using (regular or one-touch) AF. Using the manual focus ring at closest-focus will not get me to this true supermacro mode at all.

Practical impact:

  • If you use manual focus with or without 'one touch AF', then macro mode has no meaning at all, and at 28mm, supermacro is only needed when closer than 2 inches.

  • If you use normal AF, then you must change to 'macro' mode when closer than 6 feet (300mm); 'macro' will autofocus from 3 to 10 ft. At 28mm, supermacro is need for ultracloseups.

Gory details below for those who like to fall asleep reading numbers...

So, does your s9000 work like this? Does this sound like a bug or a feature?

I would hope Fuji would make the following firmware changes, to make AF work the way it does on other cameras:

  • (Goal: don't arbitrarily disable portions of AF for marketing reasons; do enable manual focusing over the full range possible.)

  • Enable regular AF to function the same way that one-touch AF does: over the full range. Apparently this means 'macro' mode goes away, which is fine. It doesn't actually do anything right now!

  • In supermacro mode, enable manual focusing (via the focus ring) to the full extent available. I.e., I should be able to manually focus a supermacro picture without use of one-touch AF.

======================
Gory Details:

  • Regular autofocus has three ranges, matching the spec:

-- hide signature --

At 300mm: normal ( 6 feet to infinity), 'macro' ( 33in 10ft), supermacro ( 0 to 3ft)

  • One-touch AF is capable of full-range autofocus at all times. It has the same range as the manual focus ring:

-- At 300mm: normal OR 'macro' will focus 33in to infinity. 'Macro' has no effect.

-- At 28mm: ANY mode (normal, macro,supermacro) will focus from 2 inches to infinity.

  • There is a beyond-normal focus range, only available in supermacro mode:

  • Go to supermacro mode

  • Get very close (e.g. less than 2 inches at 28mm)

  • In manual mode, you will not be able to turn the focus ring to achieve focus

  • AF will focus ok (at 1in for example)

  • One-touch AF button will likewise focus ok

  • Once One-touch AF is achieved, if you touch the focus ring at all, you will lose focus and not be able to return

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