Disappointed - is it me?

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graytrekker
graytrekker Regular Member • Posts: 263
Disappointed - is it me?
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I am/was new to Fuji.  Based on posts I read here about the quality of 1) Fuji APS-C lenses (as opposed to what I have read about Sony APS-C lenses); b) Fuji build quality and C) image quality of the X-trans sensor, I bought an X-T2 with the 18-55 kit lens (on sale now).  I returned them this week.  Here are some of the reasons why.  Please don't turn this post into a war of words that Bob has to shut down like last time when I asked a "simple" question about post-processing RAFs.

First, let me just say that I was looking at the APS-C systems out there as an upgrade to my 1" sensor, Sony RX100, without going full frame - something in between, both in terms of IQ, as well as weight (12 oz vs 50 oz).  My intended use was travel and backpacking/landscapes.

1) lens:  As I said above, the great prevailing view on this forum is that the build quality (of lens and body) of Fuji is first class and a notch above the competition.  However, what I found with the 18-55 (more expensive than most kit lenses) was the opposite.  It was sharp in the center, but very soft on the edge/corners - to the point that the images from my RX100 were much better.  At first I thought this was "sample variation" (one reads a lot about this on the Sony APC-S forum) - but isn't Fuji's QC better than this?  Then I heard/read others have also not had the best experience with the 18-55.  This is not a cheap "kit" lens by any means ($500 - 600 on its own).  I tried several different f stops, but most often 5.6 - 8).

2) focus:  most of the photos I took with the AF (landscapes) were not in focus!  I even tried manual and it wasn't much better.  Maybe this is operator error, I don't know.  I admit I was just taking it out of the box and basically shooting with the default settings.  But then a google search turned up several posts where others had had this problem with Fujis and with this lens, in particular.

3) noise/grain:  Again - this could be operator error.  I shot at base ISO (200) using basic default camera settings.  I brought the RAFs into Lightroom (current subscription version) which appeared to work just fine.  But with just a little magnification, one could easily see noise/grain.  Again, my RX100 did better.  After my question on PP, I tried the free Iridient X-transformer.  I just used their default settings (as others never mentioned any particular setting for using this program) to generate the DNG - imported that into Lightroom and it was rather blurry - much worse than LR alone.  Not the performance of this greatly touted sensor that I was expecting.

Don't get me wrong here.  As far as handling, I loved the XT2 - the build quality, the fit, the WR, etc.  Almost like a little brother to my Nikon Df (but of course they are very different cameras).  The 18-55 felt solid - not plasticy like most lenses these days.  I really wanted this to work out.  But I only had the 30 day grace period to evaluate it, so I couldn't do endless experiments to confirm what was going on. And should I have to? - or should I expect some level of performance straight out of the box that can be later improved with system experience?

So, how common are these problems?  Did I get a "lemon".  Did I really not know what I was doing and screwed it up?  I would certainly be open to giving Fuji another try if I thought the outcome would be very different (before all the X-T2s disappear), as I did like the feel of it that much.

Thx in advance for your "civil" input - GT

 graytrekker's gear list:graytrekker's gear list
Sony RX100 II Nikon Df Sony Alpha a7R II Sony FE 24-105mm F4 +5 more
Fujifilm X-T2 Nikon Df Sony RX100
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