Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions
Mr Gadget Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2

Comment?

What was your purpose creating this thread?

Do you own an X100 and are unhappy? or are just stirring the pot? The issue you raised has been well known since the X100 was introduced. As others have noted, the camera's long suit is not shooting wide open at close range.

Horses for courses...

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Conrad
---------------------------------------------------
Show Low, Arizona

Asylum Photo
Asylum Photo Senior Member • Posts: 1,277
Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2

Every Fuji release, there seems to be some "problem" that the forum goers latch onto.

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framus Contributing Member • Posts: 847
Re: Fundamental misunderstanding - X Series Required Reading
2

CraigArnold wrote:

Comment?

The X100 + X100S had their genesis in the love that many camera lovers and old style photographers had for the 35mm rangefinders of old.

Leicas, Konica Hexars, Contax/Zeiss, Canonet, Yashika, Minolta, Nikon M, Voigtlander, etc, etc. There were lots, mostly popular in the 60s, and mostly supplanted by the SLR with its many advantages. Many of these cameras had fixed 35mm or 40mm lenses.

But not everyone prefers SLRs for every situation or style of shooting. A surprising number people were and still are shooting 35mm film in the old rangefinder (or new rangefinder) film cameras. But there was no affordable digital option for people who loved the rangefinder style of shooting.

The X100 was made specifically with those people in mind. It's not a rangefinder, but it's a reboot of the concept, and struck peoples imagination as a digital version of the Konica Hexar or Contax G.

NOBODY. Was shooting MACRO with those cameras. The minimum focus distance was normally around 1m. ALMOST NOBODY was trying to use them as thin DOF portrait cameras, the few that were were doing if for special effect. No, they were documentary cameras. Favored by Magnum photographers and many professional photographers who used SLRs all day but wanted a high-quality PERSONAL camera to carry everywhere that was good enough to get the Pulitzer shot if they happened to stumble onto the right situation when on a night out.

So when the Fujifilm CEO commissioned this camera (the first X100 that rolled of the production line went straight to him) it was not for people who had grown up on digital P&S or DSLRs. They were not the target market. It was made for people who couldn't afford a digital Leica M.

But thousands of internet "experts" decided that an f2 lens and APS-C sensor (which were chosen to allow low-light documentary photography) would be good for Macro photography or portraits with shallow DOF. These people, needless to say, are completely and utterly clueless, but what can you do? It didn't stop them from buying the camera (good for Fuji and the rest of us) but when it didn't do what they want, instead of blaming themselves for buying the wrong camera they blamed Fujifilm for making a camera which didn't do what (in their ignorance) they thought they were buying.

The people who knew what the X100 was made for loved it from the start, and still love it today.

Remember almost everyone had abandoned the Rangefinder in favour of the SLR back in the film days. These cameras were designed for a specific group of people.

-- hide signature --

Blog ------------------------ http://craigspics.net/?tag=blog
X100 Blog ----------------- http://craigspics.net/?cat=6
X100 Quickstart Guide -- http://craigspics.net/?page_id=1345

This would be an excellent preface for this forum and could be required reading for folks considering an X100/X-Pro1.

 framus's gear list:framus's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Fujifilm X-T1
brudy Senior Member • Posts: 1,510
Re: Fundamental misunderstanding

dmaclau wrote:

well stated.  I do understand that there is a constant search by many for the perfect camera. Sample photos are just one (not very good) way to make decisions.

Even with the incredible capabilities of today's digital cameras practice is still required to get the most out of them.  Learn a tools strengths and if it fits your needs then use it for those strengths.  Macro or shallow DOF?  With a 23mm lens?  Seriously?  Not the correct tool.  I've found that macro work with under a 100mm equivalent is a study in frustration.  Most of my "experience" is in trying to keep the camera shadow out of the image.

although I've used many RF cameras over the years what I really loved was the bright optical finder.  I really could care less about how it focused.  The RF style has the added bonus of being quite a bit smaller.  Turns out that this is quite important in day to day use.  I purchased the X-100 because so many of my peers always seemed to have theirs with them.  Now, it's the camera that I almost always grab as I go out the door. That and my iPhone.  Each a remarkable imager.  One in my shirt pocket the other in a coat pocket.

The expectations of a perfect camera are made by people who were raised on p&s's and perhaps don't know any better. When it comes to cameras like rangefinders or the fujis, they require a different way of thinking (especially RF) and people need to realize they aren't a do-everything camera.

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www.flickr.com/photos/brudy

 brudy's gear list:brudy's gear list
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brudy Senior Member • Posts: 1,510
Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2

Rob13 wrote:

echelon2004 wrote:

It's part of the lens design. The price we pay for such a compact design is residual spherical aberration. At f/4 it's pretty much gone and its not a problem at all at normal working distances. Same as the x100 of course.

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Anders
'It is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice'

I agree 100%.  This lens is not designed to be sharp at f/2.  If it were, the lens would be a lot larger and much more expensive.  The X100s is about the same cost as a Zeiss Biogon (M mount) 35mm. The Biogon is  much sharper wide open at f/2, but then you still need to shell out for a body.

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Best,
Rob
------------------------------------
R3A M7 M9 X-Pro1 E-M5 X100 DP2

Sadly that is the case. I wish I could just mount a biogon to my forehead!

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 brudy's gear list:brudy's gear list
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JCP_76 Regular Member • Posts: 114
Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2
2

Asylum Photo wrote:

Every Fuji camera release, there seems to be some "problem" that the dpr forum goers latch onto.

-- hide signature --

Just corrected the above for you

Mr Gadget Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
How does the WCL-X100 do wide open?

I don't have any experience with the wide angle adapter WCL-X100, I have read that it performs excellently, perhaps even better than the 23mm lens alone. How does it do wide open at close focus? about the same? better or worse? I cant think of why I would use it that way, but it is somewhat interesting to hear if anyone has tried it in that fashion.

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Conrad
---------------------------------------------------
Show Low, Arizona

OP PhotonTrapper Regular Member • Posts: 112
Re: X100s abysmal wide open?

Dailypix wrote:

Abysmal= extremely bad no I do not think so.

The lens @ F 2.0 is very sharp. Try a shot on a tripod shooting words on a page.  It is great. The issue is depth of field.  I suspect the op needs to revisit lenses 101.  If you want a macro with a very wide dof you need to merge multiple exposures in photoshop.

Btw the X 100s does suck shooting at night @ ISO 200 stopped down to F16, handheld while riding a bike. It is almost useless in that situation. Until Fuji comes up with a firmware download to address the situation I would not recommend it.

...revisiting Lenses 101 uh?

The issue has nothing to do with depth of field at f2, but rather with very strong spherical aberration.

Something else, I specifically mentioned close range as opposed to macro in my OP. Again, check definitions in your lenses 101 text book.

As for the rest of you post, try "Being Funny for Dummies".

framus Contributing Member • Posts: 847
Re: X100s abysmal wide open?

PhotonTrapper wrote:

Dailypix wrote:

Abysmal= extremely bad no I do not think so.

The lens @ F 2.0 is very sharp. Try a shot on a tripod shooting words on a page.  It is great. The issue is depth of field.  I suspect the op needs to revisit lenses 101.  If you want a macro with a very wide dof you need to merge multiple exposures in photoshop.

Btw the X 100s does suck shooting at night @ ISO 200 stopped down to F16, handheld while riding a bike. It is almost useless in that situation. Until Fuji comes up with a firmware download to address the situation I would not recommend it.

...revisiting Lenses 101 uh?

The issue has nothing to do with depth of field at f2, but rather with very strong spherical aberration.

Something else, I specifically mentioned close range as opposed to macro in my OP. Again, check definitions in your lenses 101 text book.

As for the rest of you post, try "Being Funny for Dummies".

oh, oh PhotonTrapper is working on another of the infamous DP Review food fights!   Something certainly is 'Abysmal' but it might not be photographic.   

 framus's gear list:framus's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Fujifilm X-T1
OP PhotonTrapper Regular Member • Posts: 112
Re: Fundamental misunderstanding

CraigArnold wrote:

Comment?

The X100 + X100S had their genesis in the love that many camera lovers and old style photographers had for the 35mm rangefinders of old.

Leicas, Konica Hexars, Contax/Zeiss, Canonet, Yashika, Minolta, Nikon M, Voigtlander, etc, etc. There were lots, mostly popular in the 60s, and mostly supplanted by the SLR with its many advantages. Many of these cameras had fixed 35mm or 40mm lenses.

But not everyone prefers SLRs for every situation or style of shooting. A surprising number people were and still are shooting 35mm film in the old rangefinder (or new rangefinder) film cameras. But there was no affordable digital option for people who loved the rangefinder style of shooting.

The X100 was made specifically with those people in mind. It's not a rangefinder, but it's a reboot of the concept, and struck peoples imagination as a digital version of the Konica Hexar or Contax G.

NOBODY. Was shooting MACRO with those cameras. The minimum focus distance was normally around 1m. ALMOST NOBODY was trying to use them as thin DOF portrait cameras, the few that were were doing if for special effect. No, they were documentary cameras. Favored by Magnum photographers and many professional photographers who used SLRs all day but wanted a high-quality PERSONAL camera to carry everywhere that was good enough to get the Pulitzer shot if they happened to stumble onto the right situation when on a night out.

So when the Fujifilm CEO commissioned this camera (the first X100 that rolled of the production line went straight to him) it was not for people who had grown up on digital P&S or DSLRs. They were not the target market. It was made for people who couldn't afford a digital Leica M.

But thousands of internet "experts" decided that an f2 lens and APS-C sensor (which were chosen to allow low-light documentary photography) would be good for Macro photography or portraits with shallow DOF. These people, needless to say, are completely and utterly clueless, but what can you do? It didn't stop them from buying the camera (good for Fuji and the rest of us) but when it didn't do what they want, instead of blaming themselves for buying the wrong camera they blamed Fujifilm for making a camera which didn't do what (in their ignorance) they thought they were buying.

The people who knew what the X100 was made for loved it from the start, and still love it today.

Remember almost everyone had abandoned the Rangefinder in favour of the SLR back in the film days. These cameras were designed for a specific group of people.

-- hide signature --

Blog ------------------------ http://craigspics.net/?tag=blog
X100 Blog ----------------- http://craigspics.net/?cat=6
X100 Quickstart Guide -- http://craigspics.net/?page_id=1345

I understand your point regarding specific market segment. The problem is that we are not talking about anything resembling "macro macro photography" here (and by the way, I am not an "internet expert"). The specs "Macro focus range - 10 cm (3.94)" is misleading because the camera does not offer real "macro" anyway. Furthermore, at 10 cm, you may have to stop down even beyond f4 to get any reasonable sharpness.

That's fine if you are aware of this limitation before buying. I just think it should be made a bit more clear instead of making claims that are somewhat misleading.  I do a lot of handheld close-up photography (not macro) in low light and maxing out the light is an important factor for me. That's why I got interested in this (I believe) otherwise excellent camera. I believe it's high ISO capabilities probably allows for smaller apertures at close range without major IQ toxicity.

OP PhotonTrapper Regular Member • Posts: 112
Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2

Thanks all who made constructive and insightful comments. I am sorry to have seemingly offended others by pointing out a limitation of this otherwise excellent camera, that some other ignorant of my sort may not have been aware of. Have all a great day.

Asylum Photo
Asylum Photo Senior Member • Posts: 1,277
Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2

JCP_76 wrote:

Asylum Photo wrote:

Every Fuji camera release, there seems to be some "problem" that the dpr forum goers latch onto.

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Just corrected the above for you

I humbly stand corrected.

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ahuyevshi Contributing Member • Posts: 926
MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE POST EVER ON DPREVIEW!

You are absolutely correct. DPReview seems to be the place for all internet complaints.

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Fujifilm X-Pro2
Dailypix Contributing Member • Posts: 637
Re: X100s abysmal wide open?

PhotonTrapper wrote:

Dailypix wrote:

Abysmal= extremely bad no I do not think so.

The lens @ F 2.0 is very sharp. Try a shot on a tripod shooting words on a page.  It is great. The issue is depth of field.  I suspect the op needs to revisit lenses 101.  If you want a macro with a very wide dof you need to merge multiple exposures in photoshop.

...revisiting Lenses 101 uh?

The issue has nothing to do with depth of field at f2, but rather with very strong spherical aberration.

Something else, I specifically mentioned close range as opposed to macro in my OP. Again, check definitions in your lenses 101 text book.

As for the rest of you post, try "Being Funny for Dummies".

Oh. Mine is very good. No spherical aberration whatsoever that I can see. Shooting those flat words on a page was not meant to demonstrate its macro abilities it was to how that at F 2.0 the lens can be very very sharp it is just that at close range the dof is narrow. If you do that and see  spherical distortions at the edges bring the camera back.

Please post a sample of the spherical aberration or a link to the tester who discovered that. It might be a faulty camera. I've had the X100 for two years and now just upgraded to the 100s both are very fine tools even at close Range. Not my choice for macro either but I have the Canon 100mm macro mounted to my X Pro 1.

Beat Traveller Contributing Member • Posts: 744
Re: Fundamental misunderstanding

PhotonTrapper wrote:

I just think it should be made a bit more clear instead of making claims that are somewhat misleading.  I do a lot of handheld close-up photography (not macro) in low light and maxing out the light is an important factor for me. That's why I got interested in this (I believe) otherwise excellent camera. I believe it's high ISO capabilities probably allows for smaller apertures at close range without major IQ toxicity.

Two questions:

a) Why are you looking at a 35mm equivalent for macro work?

b) If you are planning to use a smaller aperture at close range, why are you complaining about it not being sharp wide open?

 Beat Traveller's gear list:Beat Traveller's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon D60 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro
Pelao Junior Member • Posts: 44
Re: Fundamental misunderstanding

CraigArnold wrote:

Comment?

The X100 + X100S had their genesis in the love that many camera lovers and old style photographers had for the 35mm rangefinders of old.

Leicas, Konica Hexars, Contax/Zeiss, Canonet, Yashika, Minolta, Nikon M, Voigtlander, etc, etc. There were lots, mostly popular in the 60s, and mostly supplanted by the SLR with its many advantages. Many of these cameras had fixed 35mm or 40mm lenses.

But not everyone prefers SLRs for every situation or style of shooting. A surprising number people were and still are shooting 35mm film in the old rangefinder (or new rangefinder) film cameras. But there was no affordable digital option for people who loved the rangefinder style of shooting.

The X100 was made specifically with those people in mind. It's not a rangefinder, but it's a reboot of the concept, and struck peoples imagination as a digital version of the Konica Hexar or Contax G.

NOBODY. Was shooting MACRO with those cameras. The minimum focus distance was normally around 1m. ALMOST NOBODY was trying to use them as thin DOF portrait cameras, the few that were were doing if for special effect. No, they were documentary cameras. Favored by Magnum photographers and many professional photographers who used SLRs all day but wanted a high-quality PERSONAL camera to carry everywhere that was good enough to get the Pulitzer shot if they happened to stumble onto the right situation when on a night out.

So when the Fujifilm CEO commissioned this camera (the first X100 that rolled of the production line went straight to him) it was not for people who had grown up on digital P&S or DSLRs. They were not the target market. It was made for people who couldn't afford a digital Leica M.

But thousands of internet "experts" decided that an f2 lens and APS-C sensor (which were chosen to allow low-light documentary photography) would be good for Macro photography or portraits with shallow DOF. These people, needless to say, are completely and utterly clueless, but what can you do? It didn't stop them from buying the camera (good for Fuji and the rest of us) but when it didn't do what they want, instead of blaming themselves for buying the wrong camera they blamed Fujifilm for making a camera which didn't do what (in their ignorance) they thought they were buying.

The people who knew what the X100 was made for loved it from the start, and still love it today.

Remember almost everyone had abandoned the Rangefinder in favour of the SLR back in the film days. These cameras were designed for a specific group of people.

-- hide signature --

Blog ------------------------ http://craigspics.net/?tag=blog
X100 Blog ----------------- http://craigspics.net/?cat=6
X100 Quickstart Guide -- http://craigspics.net/?page_id=1345

Well what a great post. Saved me a pile of typing.

LAbrewin
LAbrewin Regular Member • Posts: 332
Re: Fundamental misunderstanding

Pelao wrote:

CraigArnold wrote:

Comment?

The X100 + X100S had their genesis in the love that many camera lovers and old style photographers had for the 35mm rangefinders of old.

Leicas, Konica Hexars, Contax/Zeiss, Canonet, Yashika, Minolta, Nikon M, Voigtlander, etc, etc. There were lots, mostly popular in the 60s, and mostly supplanted by the SLR with its many advantages. Many of these cameras had fixed 35mm or 40mm lenses.

But not everyone prefers SLRs for every situation or style of shooting. A surprising number people were and still are shooting 35mm film in the old rangefinder (or new rangefinder) film cameras. But there was no affordable digital option for people who loved the rangefinder style of shooting.

The X100 was made specifically with those people in mind. It's not a rangefinder, but it's a reboot of the concept, and struck peoples imagination as a digital version of the Konica Hexar or Contax G.

NOBODY. Was shooting MACRO with those cameras. The minimum focus distance was normally around 1m. ALMOST NOBODY was trying to use them as thin DOF portrait cameras, the few that were were doing if for special effect. No, they were documentary cameras. Favored by Magnum photographers and many professional photographers who used SLRs all day but wanted a high-quality PERSONAL camera to carry everywhere that was good enough to get the Pulitzer shot if they happened to stumble onto the right situation when on a night out.

So when the Fujifilm CEO commissioned this camera (the first X100 that rolled of the production line went straight to him) it was not for people who had grown up on digital P&S or DSLRs. They were not the target market. It was made for people who couldn't afford a digital Leica M.

But thousands of internet "experts" decided that an f2 lens and APS-C sensor (which were chosen to allow low-light documentary photography) would be good for Macro photography or portraits with shallow DOF. These people, needless to say, are completely and utterly clueless, but what can you do? It didn't stop them from buying the camera (good for Fuji and the rest of us) but when it didn't do what they want, instead of blaming themselves for buying the wrong camera they blamed Fujifilm for making a camera which didn't do what (in their ignorance) they thought they were buying.

The people who knew what the X100 was made for loved it from the start, and still love it today.

Remember almost everyone had abandoned the Rangefinder in favour of the SLR back in the film days. These cameras were designed for a specific group of people.

-- hide signature --

Blog ------------------------ http://craigspics.net/?tag=blog
X100 Blog ----------------- http://craigspics.net/?cat=6
X100 Quickstart Guide -- http://craigspics.net/?page_id=1345

Well what a great post. Saved me a pile of typing.

Agreed. Should be required reading for people buying any mirrorless system. There's tradeoffs for every camera.

Sebit Regular Member • Posts: 241
Nonsense.
2

PhotonTrapper wrote:

But with that price tag attached to it, I am a bit surprised this machine can't even shoot at f/2 when the subject is at 1-2 feet.

Nonsense. The abberation at f2 appears between 1/3 and 1 feet. At 1-2 feet it's very low, at 2 feet it's gone. Saying that it "can't shoot" it's just unwise. You could jokingly say, perhaps, that for extreme close-ups it's equipped with a softar filter, but for me it's a good thing for portraits. And even when it's stopped down to f4 (to get rid of abberations) the depth of field is still paper-thin for these distances.

-- hide signature --

seb

LaFonte Senior Member • Posts: 2,763
Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2

PhotonTrapper wrote:

When I first saw the only "close-up" pic in the sample gallery published with the X100s preview (Image DSCF0166), I thought they made a mistake, that they forgot to throw away the bad ones, that they just dumped the whole series there.

Now, after bumping into this article Fujifilm X100S: Macro mode soft, avoid wide apertures I suspect this blurry image in the preview gallery might not be an accident after all. It is probably  representative of the X100s capabilities at close range (far from being macro though) when the lens is fully open. And DPR staff had probably a good reason to publish it despite its low IQ: they could not get anything better at f/2 with that camera.

Now, close range + large aperture are technically challenging with a larger sensor and I suppose Fuji engineers know about that limitation but could not find a way to remedy it without compromising the whole design. But with that price tag attached to it, I am a bit surprised this machine can't even shoot at f/2 when the subject is at 1-2 feet.

Any comment?

Don't we have Xpro1 with its macro 60mm lens for precisely that? It is not f/2 but perfectly suited for what you are describing here. That type of  lens on x100 would never be able or be designed to do that it is all around documentary lens.

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Fujifilm FinePix X100 Panasonic FZ1000 Fujifilm X-Pro1 +2 more
motobloat Regular Member • Posts: 497
Re: Fuji X100s seems to have abyssal IQ at close range and f2

I am surprised no one mentioned the change in MFD.

Fuji X100 -> X100s changes include:

  • Minimum shooting distance (MFD) using OVF reduced to 50cm (was 80cm on X100)
  • Minimum focus distance (MFD) in normal shooting reduced to 21cm (was 40cm on X100)

So the MFD was cut by almost 50% (40cm to 21cm).  Unless the lens was redesigned, which it wasn't, this means that performance is going to be worse at the new MFD.

The reason lens manufacturers enforce a MFD is because most lenses are designed to have optimal performance in a certain range of focus distances.  For macro lenses, this is usually close in (most have poor performance wide open at infinity), for wide angles, this is usually far away (many have poor performance wide open up close), and for wedding/event lenses, this is usually in the middle (many "24-70" type lenses have poor performance wide open at infinity).

So no, the X100s lens isn't any worse than the X100 lens.  FujiFilm just gave you more range of focus distance if you want to use it.  It is telling, however, that on the original X100 they were more conservative with MFD.  Usually lens MFD is set at a point just before image quality noticeably starts to degrade - hence the X100 setting of 40cm.  Maybe on the X100s the MFD change to only 21cm was a bit too aggressive.

But no one is making you use that extra 19cm of focus travel, and if you're shooting macro anyway, you should know that depth of field becomes thinner the closer you get to the subject, and that you need to stop down to compensate.  Most photos with my Nikon macro setup are taken at f/11 to f/16 (diffraction be damned, DOF is more important).

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