What is this waxy look people are talking about?

Started May 12, 2017 | Discussions thread
Vincent AF
Vincent AF Regular Member • Posts: 351
Re: What is this waxy look people are talking about?

Threaded wrote:

Vincent AF wrote:

herc182 wrote:

Vincent AF wrote:

Haikoman wrote:

It has more to do with any of the 16mp X-trans 2 cameras. Not x-trans 1 and 3. If you use the search engine you'll find enough threads about it to have to clear your schedule for the next week.

Basically it was over-aggressive noise reduction on the jpegs specifically, once you started to go higher in iso and with no option of switching it off. It did not affect Raw files.

The xt20 is x-trans 3 I believe so it shouldn't have that problem.

I disagree, I have seen this problem with alle three generations and there are reports it has to do with the x-trans sensor layout. It seems that at high iso's the waxy look is more pronounced, but I notice it also at low iso's. I am, besides Fujifilm, a Nikon user and an ex Olympus 4/3 user and I can say the Olympus was best at rendering realistic skin tones, the Nikons second and the Fuji third. Of course, it is also a matter of taste. I know some of my photography friends agree that the Fuji has a waxi look, but they like it, because it doesn't show all skin imperfections as much. For true portrait photography, I myself choose my Nikons though. It seems that at high iso's the waxy look is more pronounced, but I notice it also at low iso's.

Do you have an example? Thanks

I am on my cell phone now, but look at this kid's portrait from the Ken Rockwell review of the X-T2.


Looking at it on a cell phone I can kind of imagine why you might think it's an example of waxy skin. Zoom in on a bigger screen though and actually you'll see lots of fine detail in the skin, no "wax" at all.

I also have an X-Pro1 and an XT1 (I've also owned the XE2 in the past) - I know waxy skin and I've yet to see it in any X-Trans III camera's sample.

Also it's worth pointing out that "waxy skin" is often used interchangeabley to describe two different phenomena in Fuji land. The first, which I think is what you're getting at, can happen in any light and particularly strong light, where some colour information is lost and skin/facial features take on a uniform hue. The worst cases are often characterised by "flesh coloured eyes", where the whites of the eyes are also lost and replaced by the same approximated skin tone. This is most obvious on the second gen cameras, but can sometimes be seen to a lesser extent in jpegs from the first gen (e.g. XP1).

The second type of "waxy skin" is the weird smoothing effect you see in jpegs taken at high ISO (above 1600) on X-Trans II cameras. This for me is much more offensive, and is caused by some deliberate portrait enhancement algorithm deliberately baked into the jpeg engine. This ONLY occurs on the second gen cameras (e.g. XE2, XT1, xt10) and is simply not present on either the first or third gen, which take much better high ISO JPEGs as a result.

I saw this picture before on a large screen, that's why I remebered it as an example of the waxy skin look. And even though there is a lot of detail in the skin when looked at closely, the overall look to me is waxy. You me be right there is more than one cause for it, but the look is there for me. I also know about the 'bleeding' of colors. Maybe on a micro level, it's still there and with high iso Just more pronounced.

 Vincent AF's gear list:Vincent AF's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon D800 Nikon D610 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-T10 +15 more
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