Focus Issue with Recent X Series Bodies, In Particular X-H1

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VinceC Senior Member • Posts: 1,127
Focus Issue with Recent X Series Bodies, In Particular X-H1

Background and Problem

I have posted several times on this issue before – and my apologies for a long post below. I had an issue with an X-H1 I bought in August 2018, blurred images in landscape type shots, all singly shot with “S” focus. Near distance shots of people, objects and street views were fine. The camera went back to Fuji twice – first time it got an “adjustment”, the second time they replaced the mother-board. On return it seemed no better, and in frustration I traded it with the company I had bought it from for an X-T3 - as this was claimed to have better autofocus.

The X-T3 was better, but still showed the effect, and I learned to check the focus distance indicator and switch to manual focus if it gave an odd reading.

I missed the X-H1, which is a lovely camera with IBIS. Last week I picked up a new one in a great deal and was really chuffed – until I had to focus on distant objects. It is very erratic – in the exactly the same way my previous model was. In the past, I have had an X-T1 and X-T2, and never noticed the issue. With all the cameras I have relied on the 18-135mm as my main lens, but have used others, including some primes.

My Present Situation

I’ve invested a lot in Fuji and like the other aspects of Fuji’s X series (size, feel, quality/price). I don’t want to jump ship – if I did it would probably be to Olympus and I know I’d pay a price in several aspects of IQ. With Fuji, I need to make sure I take time to check the focus distance indicator (which I now believe to be accurate), and if in doubt change to manual focus. I also want to get better at predicting the problem.

What I have Discovered

I’ve done lots of tests and been given lots of advice. Here is what I have found:

Definite correlations.

  • Can happen at any FL, but wide angle is much worse than normal or telephoto shots.
  • Target contrast and busyness have a major effect. Worst situation is with busy and high contrast areas (leaves against sky, distant detail in landscpaes), best situation is with close or near distance - people, objects, street views.
  • The green flash of the focus area outline and beep are meaningless – they don’t confirm the camera has focused correctly.
  • The distance scale is accurate.

Possible correlations.

  • Smaller apertures are worse than large apertures.
  • Zooms could be worse than primes.
  • Some very limited evidence that back button focus can reduce the problem, but not eliminate it.

After tests I can say that these factors do not affect the problem.

  • On/off (for focus); Shooting only: Continuous.
  • Shutter speed.
  • Focus spot position (on/off centre) and size.
  • Power mode – boost or normal.

Two Examples From Yesterday

In the first one I focused on the incoming train – focus is OK. In the second I focused on the waiting crowd, the camera confirmed focus, but nothing is sharp. I took several shots in each situation, they are all the same.

Focused on Engine

Focused on crowd

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Best regards
Vince C

 VinceC's gear list:VinceC's gear list
Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS +4 more
Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm X-T3
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