X100 AF techniques and tips

Started Jan 26, 2012 | Discussions
Jeff Charles
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,486Gear list
X100 AF techniques and tips
Jan 26, 2012

Given the many complaints about the X100's AF, I thought it would be useful to start a thread about AF techniques and tips. The ones I've listed below are those that I use, and I rarely get OOF photos with my X100. The X100's AF is quirky, but it can be used reliably.

  1. When the AF box extends past the edge of the subject, the camera may focus on the background, if the background is higher contrast. Reduce the size of the box to avoid this problem.

  2. In low light, AF-C locks focus more reliably than AF-S.

  3. The AF system prefers vertical lines (in landscape orientation). In fact, it will not focus on a horizontal line.

  4. Using the AFL AEL button to auto focus in MF mode allows very close focus, without having to switch to macro. (I don't use this method frequently myself, but it does seem to work well.)

  5. Since FW 1.11, AF-S will focus closer than 80cm, but it is not as reliable as AF with macro set.

  6. Two quick taps on the macro button turn macro on or off.

  7. In bright light, aperture movement adds lag which can be mistaken for slow AF.

  8. When using the OVF with close subjects, there can be significant AF parallax offset between the focus box and what the TTL AF is actually focusing on. The Corrected AF Frame on page 6 of the SET-UP menu can help with this.

  9. In AF-S mode, the AFL AEL button does not work the way similar buttons work on most DSLRs. You first have to acquire focus by half pressing the shutter button and then press the AFL AEL button to hold that focus. Also, after acquiring focus, you do not have to keep the shutter button half pressed before pressing the AFL AEL button.

  10. You do not need to wait for focus confirmation (beep and/or green focus box) before taking a shot. The camera will almost always acquire accurate focus if you just aim and shoot, assuming a decent target. This technique is slightly less reliable than waiting for confirmation, but it does work most of the time. I do not hesitate to use it when I have not had time to prefocus. (I was skeptical about this technique until I tried it.)

I hope that others who are getting good AF results with their X100's can add to the list.

My cat, who likes to sprawl on my keyboard, gets the credit for anything I write that makes sense.

 Jeff Charles's gear list:Jeff Charles's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro +1 more
Fujifilm FinePix X100
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Regular MemberPosts: 102Gear list
Re: X100 AF techniques and tips
In reply to Jeff Charles, Jan 26, 2012
  1. In low light, AF-C locks focus more reliably than AF-S.

This seems to work! When using AF-S it also seems to help, if the previous focus distance has been close to the next one. If the focus won't lock, finding a better lit up target close to the intended one, focusing on that, and then refocusing on the original target, suddenly makes the focus lock just fine...

Also one thing that helps with close-ups:

It seems to be very hard to get the focus to lock under 80 cm in OVF mode. Switching to EVF makes this distance drop close to 40 cm.


 laurihoefs's gear list:laurihoefs's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sony Alpha NEX-5N
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Forum ProPosts: 11,538
Thanks Jeff and Lauri
In reply to laurihoefs, Jan 26, 2012
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Trevor Kloeden
Contributing MemberPosts: 940Gear list
Re: X100 AF techniques and tips
In reply to laurihoefs, Jan 26, 2012

I concur.....

You guys have pretty much covered it very nicely. Thanks for sharing.

The X100 is like any other camera, you need to learn how it works for you.

My old G9 also had a few focus "quirks" but once understood the focus was fine.

All camera's will focus and take great pics. We just need to learn how....

Trevor Kloeden
Aussie retired in the Philippines

 Trevor Kloeden's gear list:Trevor Kloeden's gear list
Canon PowerShot G7 Nikon Coolpix 990 Fujifilm FinePix X100 Nikon D100 Fujifilm X-T1 +4 more
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