How to shoot fast with a slow camera

Started Aug 1, 2014 | Discussions thread
Joachim Gerstl
OP Joachim Gerstl Veteran Member • Posts: 7,677
Re: Joachim Gerstls: the distance scale on the XF 23mm is just a Fujifilm gimmick

Miki Nemeth wrote:

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

Hi Joachim,

I was nearly on the point of buying my first XF lens, when I read what you wrote.

"In my case the [distance scale ]marks [on the XF 23mm lens] do not correspond with reality. But you can easily test it out. I just “auto-focused” on a subject about 1 meter in front of me and than switched back the clutch. The scale showed 2 meters instead of 1 meter. On my first trip I ended up with a lot of miss focused shots especially in cases where I wasn’t able to stop down a lot because the light. You always should test your gear and never trust anything! Zone focus is the fastest way to take a picture. Short lenses like the XF14 from Fuji work best."

I read earlier some comments from the brilliant Nathan Wright ( he posted on Chad Hardy's facebook group:

"I won't even get into the XF lens design, which apart from good to great optics, has no universal operational method, and is actually more fractured than any modern lens system. …

My biggest complaint, however, is the lenses. They produce great images, but are slaved to a 100% electronic system, and each lens has a different haptic interface. Labels, no labels, stops, no stops, infinite rotation vs metered rotations, clutch and no clutch. It is ridiculously divided."

I am new to Fujifilm, just a learner collecting information. After reading these comments I start to form the conclusion that the Fujifilm native lens collection is just a gimmick, and I better stay away from buying these really expensive Fuji-only (smelling-dead-end) gizmos? I am not sure, hmm.

The reason I am terribly afraid of buying native lenses for niche systems is that when I started photography I bought into Nikon V1, a brilliant AF wizard camera anyway (so far so good), and them a herd of native lenses (I shouldn't have done so). Your published experience just enforces my feeling that: no more native lenses for a niche system. Why shall I buy a 700-euro lens for zone focusing, which is very poor for manual focusing as well as unusable for auto-focusing? To paraphrase the child's observation from the famous Grimm fairy tale: Is the King naked?

I tend to regard (especially after reading the story of a number of experienced photographers here) buying lenses is long-term investment, buying camera bodies (consumer electronics) is not: cameras come and go (mostly go), lenses (should) remain. Therefore, instead of native Fujifilm lenses, I am inclined to buy used reasonably priced Nikon AF-D or AF-G (no one can convince me that Fuji lenses are any (significantly) better than Nikons) lenses, since they can be used on any camera ever made and will ever be made on Earth. The native Fuji lenses are anyway useless for AF, after I've learned from your post.

However sorry I am that I have bought into native Nikon 1 (CX) lenses, at least they are excellent in AF.

Zone focusing with an FD 24mm outside Keleti in Budapest. Unfortunately, I was not careful enough to frame the group properly.

Take care, Miki

AF is not useless on Fuji lenses but, as with every camera, AF introduces some delay. This delay can be crucial sometimes. The XF14mm is one of the best lenses I have ever used. The 23 and the 56 seems to be fantastic lenses too. The Fuji kit zoom is better than other kit zooms.

For APS-C Fuji is offering the best lens selection and they continue to extend it. I think it is clearly the best system available today and it can be an alternative to a full frame DSLR especially if coupled with their fast primes like 14, 23, 35 and 56.

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 Joachim Gerstl's gear list:Joachim Gerstl's gear list
Canon PowerShot G7 X Fujifilm X100F Fujifilm X-Pro2 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R +8 more
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