X-E1 Trouble Holding MF Position?

Started Jan 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
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umanemo
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X-E1 Trouble Holding MF Position?
Jan 31, 2013

Sorry everyone but once again I need someone to throw me a lifeline to help me over another wide gap in my already vertical learning curve! I know this is a very esoteric realm but hope there are some X-E1 users out there that have or are toying with the quest of “Hyper Focal” Images using the currently available focus stacking software(s).

I am having both hardware (X-E1's "Fly-by-Wire" focusing), and various software issues including .RAF conversion complications. I will address the software and .RAF conversion issues separately in another thread. Here I just want to address the issue of Fuji's "Fly-by-Wire" focusing system.

(Here's the steep learning curve part)

"Focus Stacking" (FS) requires that multiple images are captured at even intervals, "stepping" the lens’s "Hyper Focal Plane” (HFP) from the nearest object of the composition to the most distant object of interest. (Sorry for all of these acronyms but it gets very wordy and redundant otherwise, please bear with me.) Optimally, each successive HFP step (an Image or Capture for the set.) falls at an incremental distance from the last HFP setting of the lens but nominally falling within the depth of field margin in which the direction of the steps are proceeding. Typically I take my HFP sequences starting from my near limit object progressing out to the object I wish to have in the ultimate far limit of my composition or infinity. (Whew, I think I got that across even better than I understood it!)

(Here's the wide gap in my vertical learning curve)

So herein lies the problem I am having with the X-E1; Because it is a "Fly-by-Wire" manual focusing system, I am noticing, while stepping through my image set captures, that the focus command from the focus ring is sending some confusing servo signals to the moving (focusing) lens inside the XF 18-55 f/2.8 lens. Observing the "Focal Distance Scale" (FDS) on the camera's electronic viewing screens (both EVF and LCD) I watch the Red Focus Distance Indicator (RFDI) on the FDS carefully as it is necessary for the reasons I have hopefully explained above. But when I move the focus ring a given increment say 1/20th of a turn I get no response shown by the RFDI on the FDS! If the step is too small then the servo returns the RFDI right back to where it was before I moved it with the focus ring further out on the FDS! I think I should reliably be able to change my focus 1mm and have it stay where I have set it right? or am I wrong to assume this from a "Fly-by-Wire" system? Is it my X-E1 or the XF 18-55? I would be very grateful if someone else would prove my system inaccurate but I am afraid this is the best it gets for the technology.

(Here's the Challenge)

If someone could please try this on their camera; set AF selector to M, manually set aperture to f/8, manual shutter speed to 1/250 and ISO 200/100%HDR, zoom the lens all the way out to 18mm, (If someone could try this on a Prime I would like to know if they may suffer the same symptoms too?) Now start at a focus of 5 feet, then turn the focus ring until the RFDI just steps one jump on the FDS... now, press the shutter halfway to confirm focus. Does the RFDI step back to the original focus position? It may not, as it does step 60% of the time, a miserable average, but try it again all the way across the FDS and you too may experience the frustration! You may not? I hope it is only my set up! (This may not be limited to Fuji X, it would be interesting to hear of the results from other systems with Fly-by-Wire focusing?)

[SIDEBAR: This anomaly may also lend explanation to the various issues many are having with their X's - AF "Hunting" and "Missing Focus" but that is just food for thought here.]

I hope that I havn't not wasted too much of your valuable creative time, I just wish that someone could please tell me that my X-E1/18-55 is out of whack or in the worst case scenario commiserate with me and let me know what the work-around is?

Thank you, Thank you and Thank you!

Fujifilm X-E1
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