Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
motobloat
Regular MemberPosts: 497
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to PhotonTrapper, Apr 16, 2013

I am surprised no one mentioned the change in MFD.

Fuji X100 -> X100s changes include:

  • Minimum shooting distance (MFD) using OVF reduced to 50cm (was 80cm on X100)
  • Minimum focus distance (MFD) in normal shooting reduced to 21cm (was 40cm on X100)

So the MFD was cut by almost 50% (40cm to 21cm).  Unless the lens was redesigned, which it wasn't, this means that performance is going to be worse at the new MFD.

The reason lens manufacturers enforce a MFD is because most lenses are designed to have optimal performance in a certain range of focus distances.  For macro lenses, this is usually close in (most have poor performance wide open at infinity), for wide angles, this is usually far away (many have poor performance wide open up close), and for wedding/event lenses, this is usually in the middle (many "24-70" type lenses have poor performance wide open at infinity).

So no, the X100s lens isn't any worse than the X100 lens.  FujiFilm just gave you more range of focus distance if you want to use it.  It is telling, however, that on the original X100 they were more conservative with MFD.  Usually lens MFD is set at a point just before image quality noticeably starts to degrade - hence the X100 setting of 40cm.  Maybe on the X100s the MFD change to only 21cm was a bit too aggressive.

But no one is making you use that extra 19cm of focus travel, and if you're shooting macro anyway, you should know that depth of field becomes thinner the closer you get to the subject, and that you need to stop down to compensate.  Most photos with my Nikon macro setup are taken at f/11 to f/16 (diffraction be damned, DOF is more important).

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