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after 6 months with the RFF community x100 ...
Old 04-29-2012   #1
paulfish4570
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after 6 months with the RFF community x100 ...

... i have come to some conclusions about digital photography and digital cameras:

(1) i love digital for color, and it is pretty good for black and white, too, now that i am gaining some understanding of BW PP.
(2) auto exposure is OK as long as i can set the aperture, as with the x100, and use an EV thumb wheel to go plus or minus, as with the x100. you know how i like to expose for highlights.
(3) i do not like auto-focus although i have, in general, got good results with the x100. i cannot imagine being totally happy with any auto-focus system, but then i have limited experience (x100, canon dslr, a couple of point-and-shoots, and a nikon film slr AF. you know i like to expose for highlights. i also like to open up and focus on small features to the left, right, top, bottom or in-between.
(4) the x100 is really, really good for birthday parties, weddings and other such family related gatherings. at night, set a high iso, f2, and go to shooting.
(5) all of which leads me to this: why can't there be a mid-price, compact dslr or "RF" with CMOS-size sensor that mounts plain ol' manual lenses, and auto-exposes via shutter?
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Old 04-29-2012   #2
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paul, i agree to a point on 'enjoying' AF, but it can be more effective for you. if you put the x100 in MF mode, you can lock the focus on anything by pressing the AFL button, then recompose for framing. half pressing the shutter in this setup will only lock exposure and will have no effect on focus. so in your 'ideal' scenario, center your 'off center' subject in vf, lock focus by pressing AFL button, meter by centering highlights in vf, lock the exposure by pressing shutter down halfway, recompose, finish firing shutter! viola! sounds much more cumbersome than it is, as this is how i often shoot the X.
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Old 04-29-2012   #3
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Your thoughts pretty well reflect mine Paul and on auto focus in particular ... I really don't like it much either. I can happily let a camera decide the exposure via it's AE system and the odd twiddle of the compensation dial but I'm not happy having control of focus taken away from me. No AF system can think ... it just picks the point it's programmed to respond to and away it goes!

As long as I can see effectively enough to focus an SLR or RF I will maintain control of this function because to me it's one of the most important parts of photography along with composition.

As much as I liked the X100 it never felt like a 'real' camera to me and I had no regrets in letting the little Fuji go to another home.
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Old 04-29-2012   #4
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that is the technique i use, so i get good results. it is matter of confidence, i reckon, to control the focus myself.
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Old 04-29-2012   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulfish4570 View Post
(5) all of which leads me to this: why can't there be a mid-price, compact dslr or "RF" with CMOS-size sensor that mounts plain ol' manual lenses, and auto-exposes via shutter?
because there is no money in it.

Companies make their money from the lenses and accessories, the cameras bodies (especially specialty cameras like the one you described) have a ton of R&D and manufacturing costs in them which take long to amortise. Particularly low volume/niche market cameras like the one you want.

So how are they gonna make money from lenses, if people mount their "plain ol' manual lenses" on it? They are not.

No money, no camera.
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Old 04-29-2012   #6
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it is very much a real camera to me because of results. but it certainly is different ...
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Old 04-29-2012   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulfish4570 View Post
it is very much a real camera to me because of results. but it certainly is different ...

I have the same issue with my D700 ... I was photographing some stuff the other night that was pretty mobile and decided to use my 24-120 AF zoom on the Nikon. I generally do all my gallery stuff with Zeiss primes and focus manually but would have had buckly's chance with this particular scenario. The experience of photographing this way was quite demeaning IMO ... the camera with it's excellent matrix AE and very rapid AF was taking me for the ride!
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Old 04-29-2012   #8
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Buy any of the cheaper Nikon DSLRs, get a Katzeye focus screen for it, and you have what you described. I use my D300 that way all of the time. A slip-on magnifier for the finder is a nice accessory.

Me, I like the AF on my D300, too, but I use it as people have mentioned, with one focus point locked on the center. Then I focus just like I used to with my M3: put the center on the focus point, lock in (press shutter release halfway) and then move to the composition I want. I've had it four years, and not once have I put it in any mode where it makes that type of choice for me.

But I have mostly manual focus lenses, with a few exceptions, notably wides, which are difficult for me to focus with ANY SLR.
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Old 04-29-2012   #9
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Paul,
Weird... I was thinking EXACTLY the same thing this morning. I like the X100 a lot for many of its features and its image quality in all kinds of light. But its just a step or two from the perfect digital camera. Sadly, I'm concerned that camera designers don't feel the need to take these steps. I'm going to stick with the X100 because I don't think anything better is going to come along, at least not in this price range.
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Old 04-29-2012   #10
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Quote:
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Buy any of the cheaper Nikon DSLRs, get a Katzeye focus screen for it, and you have what you described.
plus a bunch of circuits, motors, buttons, menus and battery capacity you dont need, plus an AF sensor which requires your mirror to be half-silvered (and therefore your viewfinder to be half bright)

still good enough I suppose, just not perfect.
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Old 04-29-2012   #11
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Originally Posted by paulfish4570
(5) all of which leads me to this: why can't there be a mid-price, compact dslr or "RF" with CMOS-size sensor that mounts plain ol' manual lenses, and auto-exposes via shutter?


Because the market has passed us by. People who would value such a camera are a tiny fraction of the market. There are not enough of us.

As was posted earlier... it's not economically viable.
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Old 04-29-2012   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I have the same issue with my D700 ... I was photographing some stuff the other night that was pretty mobile and decided to use my 24-120 AF zoom on the Nikon. I generally do all my gallery stuff with Zeiss primes and focus manually but would have had buckly's chance with this particular scenario. The experience of photographing this way was quite demeaning IMO ... the camera with it's excellent matrix AE and very rapid AF was taking me for the ride!
So what. You got the photos. That's all that matters you used the right tool to get he job done. The most skilled airline pilots responsible for hundreds of lives use autopilot. They don't use it because they're lazy. They use it because the autopilot is safer at crushing altitudes where the air is thin. At least that's what a retired international long-distance airline captain told me.
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Old 04-29-2012   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
Originally Posted by paulfish4570
(5) all of which leads me to this: why can't there be a mid-price, compact dslr or "RF" with CMOS-size sensor that mounts plain ol' manual lenses, and auto-exposes via shutter?


Because the market has passed us by. People who would value such a camera are a tiny fraction of the market. There are not enough of us.

As was posted earlier... it's not economically viable.

I think the OM-D is on the right track and I'll be curiousto pick one up one day and check out the EVF ... the X100's was godawful!

The way LCD technology bounds along it's only a matter of time before manufacturers can give us EVF's that actually match what we were accustomed to in a good SLR like an F3 or OM. That will keep them and us happy!
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Old 04-29-2012   #14
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[quote=mdarnton;1868510]....

Me, I like the AF on my D300, too, but I use it as people have mentioned, with one focus point locked on the center. Then I focus just like I used to with my M3: put the center on the focus point, lock in (press shutter release halfway) and then move to the composition I want. I've had it four years, and not once have I put it in any mode where it makes that type of choice for me.

.../QUOTE]

Exactly! I've used AF manually for 90% of my photos for the past 4 years or so. The rest of the time (action) I use Nikon's AF tracking to get the results I need.
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Old 04-29-2012   #15
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I disagree. The X100 EVF is very useful. I do like having the option to use the OVF when it is more appropriate.

At any rate, EVFs will get better and better each year.
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Old 04-29-2012   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
I disagree. The X100 EVF is very useful. I do like having the option to use the OVF when it is more appropriate.

At any rate, EVFs will get better and better each year.

I think the X100's EVF is only useful because it doesn't really have anything it has to keep up with. Focusing the X100 manually is an exercise in patience and the AF certainly doesn't break any speed limits!

But as you say ... EVF's will keep getting better incrementally.
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Old 04-29-2012   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulfish4570 View Post
(5) all of which leads me to this: why can't there be a mid-price, compact dslr or "RF" with CMOS-size sensor that mounts plain ol' manual lenses, and auto-exposes via shutter?
I use a Ricoh GXR with M module and a NEX 5n with Hawk's adapter and M mount lenses. Does either of these fit you request?
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Old 04-30-2012   #18
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No experience with the X100 but some with AF cameras. I do not feel that I am giving control to the camera by using AF. Like others I use the central AF point, focus, recompose and shoot. I give in a little and use focus tracking on fast moving subjects. The only difference from the way other posters in this tread do it is that I have both my D300 and D700 set to focus via the rear AF/AE lock button set to focus only and the shutter button only locks exposure and is set to shooting priority and will fire the camera anytime focused or not. Took a bit of getting used to but works fine. Used with aperture priority mode mostly and shutter priority the rest of the time when I need a certain shutter speed as in shooting propeller driven aircraft. I just don't feel I am giving up too much control to the camera.

I would buy a digital version of the FM2n but those that would are such a small percentage of shooters that no manufacturer would consider doing so.

Bob
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Old 04-30-2012   #19
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I think AF/MF preference is largely dependent on what kind of photography you do. Lately I've been using point and shoots a lot and LOVING it, because I focus wholly on subjects rather than twiddling exposure settings and focusing rings and zooms etc. I'm using a contax g1 and the x100 which are so similar it's eerie, and I really appreciate the simple autofocus systems on them, without 51 flashing dots indicating focus point through the VF like the canon/nikon DSLRs, and without needing to think about af mode or anything like that.

One of the big things about x100 MF mode is that it really isn't meant to be used like an SLR - through the EVF - I can't imagine how annoying this must be. I've literally never tried it. I only use it for scale focussing - set the cam to f8 or f11, set the focus on the scale (which I've programmed to come up in the OVF or rear lcd with 1 press of the DISP button), and forget it. The recent firmware updates increased manual focus speed, which made it much more useable. For this purpose it works extremely well.
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Old 04-30-2012   #20
Nikon Bob
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I only have multiple flashing AF points on Nikon DSLRs if I use one of the area AF modes. In single point AF only one point, that I choose, is illuminated and I use that the most.

Bob
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