Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed

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fuji P
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Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
6 months ago

Sorry - but this really "Gets my Goat".

People keep posting about focusing speed - this camera is faster than that camera - with this lens - with that lens - with this turned on - with that turned off!!!!!

When you take a picture, you think about the finished scene / subject and how you want the photo to look, you compose the scene, check your settings, check 100 other things then - focus. The focusing is the least time consuming part of the process and in my view, unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical.

If anyone can provide an image where a shot was ruined due to focusing speed being a nano second slower than expected or can tell a story where they missed a once in a lifetime shot because of  "slow" focusing - I would like to hear it.

Awaiting the flood.

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smatty
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Exactly! And...
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

if people would have basic photography skills many of the focusing "issues" can be overcome, too. People took great pictures long before there was AF.

My Fuji AF Tips have been read more than 100.000 times. I think that it's worth reading and trying out for ppl who have AF issues coming from a DSLR:

http://fujixfiles.blogspot.de/2012/08/fuji-x-pro-1-af-autofocus-speed-and.html

Cheers,
Smatty
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WT Jones
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

Apparently you missed the point of the DPR Fourums 

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Warren

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Daniel Lauring
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

Indoors, photographing people, kids, the X-E1 was terrible.  Missed shot after shot unless I stood there and manually focused and manual focus assist wasn't great.  Sat on the shelf till eventual firmware update made it useable.

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Birddogman
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

fuji P wrote:

The focusing is the least time consuming part of the process and in my view, unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical.

So, how was the rest of your day, Mrs. Kennedy?

Of course, focusing speed isn't important for landscapes, portraits and many other types of photography. It is, however, critical for fast moving subjects.

I shoot a lot of pics of FAST running dogs. With a retrieve, for example, I kill the bird in the air and the dog is on it almost before the sound of the shot fades. The dog snatches up the bird and races back to me at full tilt carrying the bird. There is no time to do anything but safe the gun, break it open over my shoulder, point the camera at the subject and start shooting in burst mode, while trying to track the lightening fast subject. If I don't have my camera turned on and properly pre-set for settings I guessed ahead of time would be appropriate to the situation, chances of more than one usable capture are small.  Both fast focusing and god focus tracking is needed for these kinds of photos.

Here, for example, is a set of pics shot on Tuesday. They aren't very good because I was playing with the Velvia setting, which turned out garish colors and lost shadow and highlight detail, but they do serve to illustrate my point above. Snatching the downed bird up off the ground:

Running to me with the bird:

Delivering it to into my hand (all of this took only a few seconds):

Another example of where fast focusing is critical is photographing a point. Here, the dog has tracked the bird down by scent and suddenly slams into statue like stillness. The dogs gets just close enough to the bird (without ever actually seeing it) so that the bird is afraid to move, but not so close that the bird is scared into flushing. It's a quivering Mexican stand-off that can last for minutes (until I walk in and flush the bird) or only a second if the wary wild bird gets too nervous and thunders into the air. If you want to get a photo of the point AND have some hope of killing the hard-earned bird when it flushes, you'd better have your camera readily accessible and the camera must be able to turn on and focus very quickly indeed. I've lost many birds that have flushed from a point while I had the gun on the ground and the camera in hand. That's a price I am willing to pay to capture some good upland action images, but I'd rather not pay that price too often due to a slow camera. Here's a typical point - the bird is hidden a few yards in the thick cover:

If there are two dogs, the other dog slams a stop and turns to stone honoring the point of the first dog. Now you've got three quivering hair-trigger critters with life and death action about to explode in front of you at any second.  If you want to get the photo and the bird, your camera better be quick:

So far, I am happy with the new XT1's much improved focusing speed and focus tracking as compared to the XP1 that I used for a year or two before getting the XT1 recently.  Also, I like the XT1's weatherproof body and its analog controls that are even better sorted out than those on the XP1.  With the XP1, I had to use a fairly high ISO in order to both stop action and to be able to use an aperture small enough to create a large DOF so that my subject would have a better chance of being in focus despite the XP1's very poor focus speed.  With the XT1, I no longer need to do that.

So, both focus speed and focus tracking are VERY important to me - and I'm sure to many others.

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John Carson
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

fuji P wrote:

Sorry - but this really "Gets my Goat".

People keep posting about focusing speed - this camera is faster than that camera - with this lens - with that lens - with this turned on - with that turned off!!!!!

When you take a picture, you think about the finished scene / subject and how you want the photo to look, you compose the scene, check your settings, check 100 other things then - focus. The focusing is the least time consuming part of the process and in my view, unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical.

If anyone can provide an image where a shot was ruined due to focusing speed being a nano second slower than expected or can tell a story where they missed a once in a lifetime shot because of "slow" focusing - I would like to hear it.

Awaiting the flood.

Utter rubbish. Like so many, you can't see something as an issue unless it affects you personally.

Just the simple task of taking shots at a social gathering can make speed important. You might wish to photograph two people before a third wanders into view and blocks the shot or the two move apart or one of them turns their head away or...

Personally, I'm not particularly bothered by the focusing speed of my X-E2, but there are certainly times when the shutter isn't clicked because the moment passes before the subject is in focus.

The fact is that autofocus speed is the number one issue keeping people from moving to mirrorless from DSLRs. You apparently "know" that most of these people are worrying about nothing. I think they know what they are doing.

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zenpmd
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to John Carson, 6 months ago

The issue is that if the subject is showing slight movement of the head, for example, if the AF is slow, it just cannot lock on. Thats the real issue. The 35mm 1.4 exhibits this in anything less that good light.

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David McGaughey
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In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

fuji P wrote:

Sorry - but this really "Gets my Goat".

People keep posting about focusing speed - this camera is faster than that camera - with this lens - with that lens - with this turned on - with that turned off!!!!!

When you take a picture, you think about the finished scene / subject and how you want the photo to look, you compose the scene, check your settings, check 100 other things then - focus. The focusing is the least time consuming part of the process and in my view, unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical.

If anyone can provide an image where a shot was ruined due to focusing speed being a nano second slower than expected or can tell a story where they missed a once in a lifetime shot because of "slow" focusing - I would like to hear it.

Awaiting the flood.

So it doesn't bother you, so it's not an issue. Obviously the decades Canon/Nikon have spent tweaking and improving their AF systems were a total waste. They should have just given up when the camera could focus in less than a second.

I guess you don't shoot kids (or if you do, you only shoot them when you are posing them?). Or sports. Or any dynamic scene. A lot can happen in 0.2 seconds.

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MoreorLess
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

fuji P wrote:

unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical.

What if you are shooting shoot, wildlife and fast moving subjects? these areas are hardly tiny niche's for photography.

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Richard Thornton
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

fuji P wrote:

Sorry - but this really "Gets my Goat".

People keep posting about focusing speed - this camera is faster than that camera - with this lens - with that lens - with this turned on - with that turned off!!!!!

When you take a picture, you think about the finished scene / subject and how you want the photo to look, you compose the scene, check your settings, check 100 other things then - focus. The focusing is the least time consuming part of the process and in my view, unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical.

If anyone can provide an image where a shot was ruined due to focusing speed being a nano second slower than expected or can tell a story where they missed a once in a lifetime shot because of "slow" focusing - I would like to hear it.

Awaiting the flood.

Well, now you've done it! Everybody knows certain subjects are very sensitive and important to some: raw v. jpeg, politics, bokeh, religion and focusing speed.

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to Richard Thornton, 6 months ago

I know what you are saying and to some degree its true but when you use a camera with an excellent AF system then focusing gets out of the way. Its particularly tricky photographing a less than 2 year old. A good AF really makes that a lot easier.

Greg.

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chuck12
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

fuji P wrote:

Sorry - but this really "Gets my Goat".

People keep posting about focusing speed - this camera is faster than that camera - with this lens - with that lens - with this turned on - with that turned off!!!!!

When you take a picture, you think about the finished scene / subject and how you want the photo to look, you compose the scene, check your settings, check 100 other things then - focus. The focusing is the least time consuming part of the process and

in my view, unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical.

You are really discounting many genres of photography here.

Any photography that requires capturing an spontaneous moment in time is when focus matters, A LOT.

So

  • Wedding Photography
  • War Photography
  • Street Photography
  • People Photography

The list is endless.

If anyone can provide an image where a shot was ruined due to focusing speed being a nano second slower than expected or can tell a story where they missed a once in a lifetime shot because of "slow" focusing - I would like to hear it.

Awaiting the flood.

I don't think "ruined" is the word here, but opportunities missed are obviously higher with Fuji cameras right now compared to something such as a DSLR. So it's hard to "prove" by showing you photos.

Special moments will be missed, especially indoors or in low light where it can sometimes take an age to lock focus. Even in bright light it can sometimes be unreliable if the subject is moving.

Not everyone wants posed, structured, setup photos.

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Joytx4u
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to Birddogman, 6 months ago

Birdmandog: regardless what film you were shooting in such as the velvia, I must say your pictures are really pleasant to look at, I'm impressed with the way you handled your  photo action in getting these shots. Coming from a hunting family, I know this is not an easy as it looks. Thank you for sharing your pictures of your beautiful dogs.

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Les Lammers
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

fuji P wrote:

Sorry - but this really "Gets my Goat".

People keep posting about focusing speed - this camera is faster than that camera - with this lens - with that lens - with this turned on - with that turned off!!!!!

When you take a picture, you think about the finished scene / subject and how you want the photo to look, you compose the scene, check your settings, check 100 other things then - focus. The focusing is the least time consuming part of the process and in my view, unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical.

If anyone can provide an image where a shot was ruined due to focusing speed being a nano second slower than expected or can tell a story where they missed a once in a lifetime shot because of "slow" focusing - I would like to hear it.

Awaiting the flood.

+1

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fuji P
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to Les Lammers, 6 months ago

Some have not read all of my post and have jumped to respond. I did include in my post - "unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical".

One guy on here who has been critical of the Fuji`s speed capabilities (A Sony fan) where a particular Sony focuses in 0.06sec. and the X-T1 in 0.08sec. So What!

If not happy - go buy a big DSLR with massive speed (and massive sized body to match).

Give me strength!

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John Motts
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

fuji P wrote:

Sorry - but this really "Gets my Goat".

People keep posting about focusing speed - this camera is faster than that camera - with this lens - with that lens - with this turned on - with that turned off!!!!!

When you take a picture, you think about the finished scene / subject and how you want the photo to look, you compose the scene, check your settings, check 100 other things then - focus. The focusing is the least time consuming part of the process and in my view, unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical.

If anyone can provide an image where a shot was ruined due to focusing speed being a nano second slower than expected or can tell a story where they missed a once in a lifetime shot because of "slow" focusing - I would like to hear it.

Awaiting the flood.

So all those pros buying Nikon D4s are wasting their money?

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John Gellings
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

fuji P wrote:

Sorry - but this really "Gets my Goat".

People keep posting about focusing speed - this camera is faster than that camera - with this lens - with that lens - with this turned on - with that turned off!!!!!

When you take a picture, you think about the finished scene / subject and how you want the photo to look, you compose the scene, check your settings, check 100 other things then - focus. The focusing is the least time consuming part of the process and in my view, unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical.

If anyone can provide an image where a shot was ruined due to focusing speed being a nano second slower than expected or can tell a story where they missed a once in a lifetime shot because of "slow" focusing - I would like to hear it.

Awaiting the flood.

The problem here is that you assume we all photograph / use our camera the same way... when nothing could be further from the truth.  Just go photograph people on the street and you will miss at times.

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nixda
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to fuji P, 6 months ago

fuji P wrote:

Sorry - but this really "Gets my Goat".

People keep posting about focusing speed - this camera is faster than that camera - with this lens - with that lens - with this turned on - with that turned off!!!!!

When you take a picture, you think about the finished scene / subject and how you want the photo to look, you compose the scene, check your settings, check 100 other things then - focus. The focusing is the least time consuming part of the process and in my view, unless you are shooting sport, moving wildlife, fast moving subjects etc. the time it takes is not critical.

But isn't that precisely what fast-focusing capabilities are about? Fast moving subjects!

Anyway, you are obviously proficient enough in photography to realize yourself when fast AF is desirable, or needed in fact, and when not.

Basically, the chances to 'miss shots' increase when scenes change faster than one can adjust shooting parameters. Many of the '100 other things' you've mentioned can be dialed in before ever putting the camera up to one's eye. Often, the only thing that's left is to focus and push the shutter release. It is under these circumstances that fast focusing becomes the limiting factor.

Others have listed enough important types of photography where fast focusing is crucial. If one doesn't engage in such photography, prefers to work with huge depths of field, or waits until something interesting moves into the area one has pre-focused on, then it's all fine. But others may want to be able to react to scene changes in real time.

If anyone can provide an image where a shot was ruined due to focusing speed being a nano second slower than expected or can tell a story where they missed a once in a lifetime shot because of "slow" focusing - I would like to hear it.

Awaiting the flood.

I can't even begin to count the instances of half-closed eyes and half-turned heads of people that surely everyone has encountered. You too.

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fuji P
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Re: Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed
In reply to John Motts, 6 months ago

For anything slower than a moving bullet....

When you start talking about professionals you are talking of a different league.

I love my Fuji and the Fuji system but you wont see many Fuji`s behind a football goal on remote or used for taking pictures of F1 cars in action, close up shots of African Lions chasing a zebra - that's where (in my humble view) a DSLR wins but for the non-professionals like me who take family shots, landscapes, ducks in the park architecture and street scenes - speed is not an issue.

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Conrad567
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Re: Exactly! And...
In reply to smatty, 6 months ago

I don't have an example because I have to delete the worthless shots that I miss, but the X-Pro1, although a delight to use, has let me down at least a thousand times with the AF speed.  Just last night I missed a gorgeous shot of my daughter smiling up at her mother.  The X-T1 would have nailed it!

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