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

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions
PhotonTrapper
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Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
Apr 14, 2013

When I first saw the only "close-up" pic in the sample gallery published with the X100s preview (Image DSCF0166), I thought they made a mistake, that they forgot to throw away the bad ones, that they just dumped the whole series there.

Now, after bumping into this article Fujifilm X100S: Macro mode soft, avoid wide apertures I suspect this blurry image in the preview gallery might not be an accident after all. It is probably  representative of the X100s capabilities at close range (far from being macro though) when the lens is fully open. And DPR staff had probably a good reason to publish it despite its low IQ: they could not get anything better at f/2 with that camera.

Now, close range + large aperture are technically challenging with a larger sensor and I suppose Fuji engineers know about that limitation but could not find a way to remedy it without compromising the whole design. But with that price tag attached to it, I am a bit surprised this machine can't even shoot at f/2 when the subject is at 1-2 feet.

Any comment?

Fujifilm X100S
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pavi1
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to PhotonTrapper, Apr 14, 2013

PhotonTrapper wrote:

When I first saw the only "close-up" pic in the sample gallery published with the X100s preview (Image DSCF0166), I thought they made a mistake, that they forgot to throw away the bad ones, that they just dumped the whole series there.

Now, after bumping into this article Fujifilm X100S: Macro mode soft, avoid wide apertures I suspect this blurry image in the preview gallery might not be an accident after all. It is probably  representative of the X100s capabilities at close range (far from being macro though) when the lens is fully open. And DPR staff had probably a good reason to publish it despite its low IQ: they could not get anything better at f/2 with that camera.

Now, close range + large aperture are technically challenging with a larger sensor and I suppose Fuji engineers know about that limitation but could not find a way to remedy it without compromising the whole design. But with that price tag attached to it, I am a bit surprised this machine can't even shoot at f/2 when the subject is at 1-2 feet.

Any comment?

I understand that is the way it is. Might even be in the manual. Wrong camera if you are looking to shoot 1foot at f2.

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echelon2004
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to PhotonTrapper, Apr 14, 2013

It's part of the lens design. The price we pay for such a compact design is residual spherical aberration. At f/4 it's pretty much gone and its not a problem at all at normal working distances. Same as the x100 of course.

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Raindown
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to PhotonTrapper, Apr 14, 2013

I too have noticeed less than stellar performance at f2 and close range (about 1-7 ft).  Its a limitation, I'm alright with it.

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jonnie burtoft
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to PhotonTrapper, Apr 14, 2013

Hi, unfotunately f2 at close range is not recommended for the x100/s, the lens optimum performance kicks in at f4, even then close up it lacks. Wrong camera for close ups im afraid. Cheers jon

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wchutt
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to PhotonTrapper, Apr 14, 2013

The performance is abysmal at close range and f2.

The Fuji lens designers actually state the lens should only be uses at  f4 or smaller aperture openings on the Fuji X100 web site.

Shame on Fuji for not making this design limitation perfectly clear in the manual.

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mr moonlight
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to wchutt, Apr 14, 2013

The performance is abysmal at close range and f2.

The Fuji lens designers actually state the lens should only be uses at  f4 or smaller aperture openings on the Fuji X100 web site.

Shame on Fuji for not making this design limitation perfectly clear in the manual.

It's clearly stated in the manual that shooting at small apertures at close range is not recommended. I've done it many times, but just for snapshots. Fine for web, but if you want something critically sharp at pixel level, stop it down to f4

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Activatedfx
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to PhotonTrapper, Apr 14, 2013

Or, you can embrace the softness for a more fine art look... both at f/2. These are X100 images, but same lens and same f/2 macro softness.

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cptrios
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to Activatedfx, Apr 14, 2013

Yeah...the X100/s lens performs poorly in that one specific situation. It makes up for it by being awesome in pretty much all others!

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ScottD1964
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to cptrios, Apr 14, 2013

cptrios wrote:

Yeah...the X100/s lens performs poorly in that one specific situation. It makes up for it by being awesome in pretty much all others!

Amen! While it's nice to have the macro mode on the X100/S, macro photography is not exactly a strong point of intended use for this camera sort of like the video mode.  It's there but I wouldn't want to use it for anything important.  Remember, right tool for the job.

Scott

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CraigArnold
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Fundamental misunderstanding
In reply to PhotonTrapper, Apr 15, 2013

Comment?

The X100 + X100S had their genesis in the love that many camera lovers and old style photographers had for the 35mm rangefinders of old.

Leicas, Konica Hexars, Contax/Zeiss, Canonet, Yashika, Minolta, Nikon M, Voigtlander, etc, etc. There were lots, mostly popular in the 60s, and mostly supplanted by the SLR with its many advantages. Many of these cameras had fixed 35mm or 40mm lenses.

But not everyone prefers SLRs for every situation or style of shooting. A surprising number people were and still are shooting 35mm film in the old rangefinder (or new rangefinder) film cameras. But there was no affordable digital option for people who loved the rangefinder style of shooting.

The X100 was made specifically with those people in mind. It's not a rangefinder, but it's a reboot of the concept, and struck peoples imagination as a digital version of the Konica Hexar or Contax G.

NOBODY. Was shooting MACRO with those cameras. The minimum focus distance was normally around 1m. ALMOST NOBODY was trying to use them as thin DOF portrait cameras, the few that were were doing if for special effect. No, they were documentary cameras. Favored by Magnum photographers and many professional photographers who used SLRs all day but wanted a high-quality PERSONAL camera to carry everywhere that was good enough to get the Pulitzer shot if they happened to stumble onto the right situation when on a night out.

So when the Fujifilm CEO commissioned this camera (the first X100 that rolled of the production line went straight to him) it was not for people who had grown up on digital P&S or DSLRs. They were not the target market. It was made for people who couldn't afford a digital Leica M.

But thousands of internet "experts" decided that an f2 lens and APS-C sensor (which were chosen to allow low-light documentary photography) would be good for Macro photography or portraits with shallow DOF. These people, needless to say, are completely and utterly clueless, but what can you do? It didn't stop them from buying the camera (good for Fuji and the rest of us) but when it didn't do what they want, instead of blaming themselves for buying the wrong camera they blamed Fujifilm for making a camera which didn't do what (in their ignorance) they thought they were buying.

The people who knew what the X100 was made for loved it from the start, and still love it today.

Remember almost everyone had abandoned the Rangefinder in favour of the SLR back in the film days. These cameras were designed for a specific group of people.

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Dailypix
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X100s abysmal wide open?
In reply to CraigArnold, Apr 15, 2013

Abysmal= extremely bad no I do not think so.

The lens @ F 2.0 is very sharp. Try a shot on a tripod shooting words on a page.  It is great. The issue is depth of field.  I suspect the op needs to revisit lenses 101.  If you want a macro with a very wide dof you need to merge multiple exposures in photoshop.

Btw the X 100s does suck shooting at night @ ISO 200 stopped down to F16, handheld while riding a bike. It is almost useless in that situation. Until Fuji comes up with a firmware download to address the situation I would not recommend it.

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JCP_76
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to PhotonTrapper, Apr 15, 2013

It's also useless when submerged in water.

Which incidentally is another thing Fuji doesn't advise.

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NorthPentax
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Re: Fundamental misunderstanding
In reply to CraigArnold, Apr 15, 2013

CraigArnold
Great post!

I love it when people bought their X100 with that fast og bright f/2 lens so they could get shallow DoF, hehe .... 23mm is far from the ideal focal lenght for bokeh/shallow DoF.

23mm macro... Macro@f/2... Hehe...
People are funny and funny people should stick to Canon entry-level dSLR's.

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ScottD1964
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Re: Fundamental misunderstanding
In reply to CraigArnold, Apr 15, 2013

CraigArnold wrote:

Comment?

The X100 + X100S had their genesis in the love that many camera lovers and old style photographers had for the 35mm rangefinders of old.

Leicas, Konica Hexars, Contax/Zeiss, Canonet, Yashika, Minolta, Nikon M, Voigtlander, etc, etc. There were lots, mostly popular in the 60s, and mostly supplanted by the SLR with its many advantages. Many of these cameras had fixed 35mm or 40mm lenses.

But not everyone prefers SLRs for every situation or style of shooting. A surprising number people were and still are shooting 35mm film in the old rangefinder (or new rangefinder) film cameras. But there was no affordable digital option for people who loved the rangefinder style of shooting.

The X100 was made specifically with those people in mind. It's not a rangefinder, but it's a reboot of the concept, and struck peoples imagination as a digital version of the Konica Hexar or Contax G.

NOBODY. Was shooting MACRO with those cameras. The minimum focus distance was normally around 1m. ALMOST NOBODY was trying to use them as thin DOF portrait cameras, the few that were were doing if for special effect. No, they were documentary cameras. Favored by Magnum photographers and many professional photographers who used SLRs all day but wanted a high-quality PERSONAL camera to carry everywhere that was good enough to get the Pulitzer shot if they happened to stumble onto the right situation when on a night out.

So when the Fujifilm CEO commissioned this camera (the first X100 that rolled of the production line went straight to him) it was not for people who had grown up on digital P&S or DSLRs. They were not the target market. It was made for people who couldn't afford a digital Leica M.

But thousands of internet "experts" decided that an f2 lens and APS-C sensor (which were chosen to allow low-light documentary photography) would be good for Macro photography or portraits with shallow DOF. These people, needless to say, are completely and utterly clueless, but what can you do? It didn't stop them from buying the camera (good for Fuji and the rest of us) but when it didn't do what they want, instead of blaming themselves for buying the wrong camera they blamed Fujifilm for making a camera which didn't do what (in their ignorance) they thought they were buying.

The people who knew what the X100 was made for loved it from the start, and still love it today.

Remember almost everyone had abandoned the Rangefinder in favour of the SLR back in the film days. These cameras were designed for a specific group of people.

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Well and perfectly stated.

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max metz
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to PhotonTrapper, Apr 15, 2013

I am with Activatedfx on this, embrace the softness or stop down - the so called soft frame in the dpreview examples that so many diss'ed was very much one of my favorites. I think the x100s is a very high quality tight package, unmatched by anything else and that close/f2 characteristic is but one part of that. For my money, the x100s runs rings around a Leica x2 and I don't like the output or the feel of the bigger Sony.

What I don't do is go to the Sony forum or the Leica forum and air that view, that would be silly and unwarranted in my humble view. Guess my value system is different.

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dmaclau
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Re: Fundamental misunderstanding
In reply to CraigArnold, Apr 15, 2013

well stated.  I do understand that there is a constant search by many for the perfect camera. Sample photos are just one (not very good) way to make decisions.

Even with the incredible capabilities of today's digital cameras practice is still required to get the most out of them.  Learn a tools strengths and if it fits your needs then use it for those strengths.  Macro or shallow DOF?  With a 23mm lens?  Seriously?  Not the correct tool.  I've found that macro work with under a 100mm equivalent is a study in frustration.  Most of my "experience" is in trying to keep the camera shadow out of the image.

although I've used many RF cameras over the years what I really loved was the bright optical finder.  I really could care less about how it focused.  The RF style has the added bonus of being quite a bit smaller.  Turns out that this is quite important in day to day use.  I purchased the X-100 because so many of my peers always seemed to have theirs with them.  Now, it's the camera that I almost always grab as I go out the door. That and my iPhone.  Each a remarkable imager.  One in my shirt pocket the other in a coat pocket.

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Rob13
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Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
In reply to echelon2004, Apr 15, 2013

echelon2004 wrote:

It's part of the lens design. The price we pay for such a compact design is residual spherical aberration. At f/4 it's pretty much gone and its not a problem at all at normal working distances. Same as the x100 of course.

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Anders
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I agree 100%.  This lens is not designed to be sharp at f/2.  If it were, the lens would be a lot larger and much more expensive.  The X100s is about the same cost as a Zeiss Biogon (M mount) 35mm. The Biogon is  much sharper wide open at f/2, but then you still need to shell out for a body.

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viking79
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Buy an X20
In reply to PhotonTrapper, Apr 15, 2013

If you want macro, buy the X20.  It is pretty decent for macro at 7.1mm and f/2.

Eric

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JSTB
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Re: Fundamental misunderstanding
In reply to CraigArnold, Apr 15, 2013

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!  I don't come here often but from what I usually read most of the complainers here really need a DSLR.  Nothing wrong with that.  I have a Nikon FF for things that aren't suited for the X100S or X Pro.  If you can only have one camera and need it to do a wide variety of things you are better suited with a DSLR or something like an OMD, which is a really good camera, than something like the X100 or S.  The X100S is the best camera I have ever owned.  I could not be happier with it.

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