continuous focus on Xe1
Old 08-23-2014   #1
darya151
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continuous focus on Xe1

I am seriously considering an XE1 - but am concerned about slow focus. I do a lot of documentary work. I've been looking at all kinds of images from the XE1, Xpro, and Xt1 - I really like the richness of images from the XE1 and Xpro - There are also wonderful images from other models, and the XT1 looks great, but I keep noticing a tendency towards blown out highlights. It's also more than I can afford. So, here I am considering an XE1. Prices are really good right now. Have any of you used continuous auto focus on the XE1, does it help the AF. Opinions and insights please!
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Darya
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Old 08-23-2014   #2
elshaneo
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I used to own the Fuji X-E1 but sold it when I got the Fuji X-T1, anyway, for documentary work, I'm pretty sure you'll be fine with the X-E1, it's more than fast enough unless you want to shoot sports photography, then the Fuji X-T1 would be the better camera in autofocus performance.

I actually used the Fuji X-E1 to shoot horse racing photography with the Fuji XF 55-200mm telephoto zoom lens, I have to admit that I was quite disappointed with the continuous autofocus performance, although I did manage to get some pretty decent shots...
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Old 08-23-2014   #3
konicaman
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In good to average light the single shot AF will surely be fast enough for documentary work. In low light I have found that the continuous AF helps to obtain focus, but I can see no advantage in using it under normal circumstances.
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Old 08-24-2014   #4
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eeThe XE-1 is an extremely cost effective way to enjoy the quality of the XF lenses in a compact format. The XE-1 signal-to-noise ratio and DR is at least as good as The D700s I owned.

On the XE-1 continuous focus just means the AF is always on. It does not track automatically. It does not refocus in-between exposures during bursts.

You have to keep the focus-region box on the focus subject and you have to hope that if the focus object happens to move near another object with higher contrast, the AF doesn't jump to the higher contrast object.

Based on my experience with the X100 and X-Pro 1, I would say the XE-1 continuos focus mode is not useful. And, it significantly reduces battery life.

I am a bit puzzled about your comment that the XT-1 overexposes. Exposure is the responsibility of the photographer, not the camera or metering system.

If you use shutter or aperture priority you can just set the EC dial to achieve the same results as the XE-1. In manual mode you can do the same thing by watching the meter.

It is true raw images from the X100S, XE-2 nd XT-1 with XTrans II sensor can recover more highlights than the original XTrans bodies. However the second generation cameras' data stream seems to compress the shadows more. In any case raw or JPEGS from both generations can be manipulated to achieve whatever luminance response you need. I use different selective luminance parameters (Highlight, White, Shadow and Black) for the XT-1 raw compared to the X-Pro 1 raw.

I often must take photos outdoors where the scene's DR exceeds the DR of any digital camera. With the XT-1 I bracket raw exposures in 1/3 stops and pick one where the blue channel is clipped the least. Then I improve the sky color using the Hue and Luminosity controls in LR. Sometimes the Gradient Tool works well too. I also hold a 66 X 100 mm 3X graduated ND filter over the the lens (the camera's on a tripod of course). I slide the filter up and down until the filter gradient matched the scene. But using a grad ND is not required because the XT0-1 overexposes. People have used these for decades.
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Old 08-24-2014   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post

It is true raw images from the X100S, XE-2 nd XT-1 with XTrans II sensor can recover more highlights than the original XTrans bodies. However the second generation cameras' data stream seems to compress the shadows more. In any case raw or JPEGS from both generations can be manipulated to achieve whatever luminance response you need. I use different selective luminance parameters (Highlight, White, Shadow and Black) for the XT-1 raw compared to the X-Pro 1 raw.
Interesting comment. Is there any real world difference in the final output between Xtrans 1 and 2 ?
Viewing images it does not appear so to me. I've never used a V2 model (x100s,x\e2, xt1) only the Xpro1.
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Old 08-24-2014   #6
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Comments very helpful. Thanks, Willie for advice when scene exceeds dynamic range. Many of the photos I've seen look blown out. You are correct, that is up to the photographer. Can you explain what you mean by shadow compression? How to correct for that?
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Darya
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Old 08-25-2014   #7
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In general my XTrans II raw files require larger parameter values for these selective adjustments (see below) for the left side of the histogram compared to my XTrans I raw files.

In the case of raw files, the default rendering for XTrans II appears to result in a more non-linear luminance response. The information in highlight regions is easy to manipulate compared to shadow regions.

I find the Camera Pro Negative Hi and Standard Camera Calibration Profiles are the most linear and I apply the Pro Negative Standard calibration automaticaly upon import.

A half day spent photographing test charts/panels for the purpose of making a custom Tone Curve preset would let one automatically linearize the luminance of the initial rendering upon import. I don't do this because in practice the contrast and exposure of each scene is different. So I just quickly optimize each image as needed.


o If the image is underexposed (histogram has zero luminance on the far right) I increase the Exposure parameter just below the clipping point of highlights I care about. I intentionally clip unneeded highlights.

Or

o If the image is overexposed (histogram is clipped upon import) I use the Highlight parameter to to eliminate or minimize the clipping. Occasionally I use the Exposure parameter as well.

Then

o I use the Shadows parameter to selectively increase (push) the shadow regions' luminance.

o When needed I also increase the Blacks parameter to push the darkest regions. Then I use the Contrast parameter to reduce the flatness of the rendering. These are the most difficult adjustments. These two steps are rarely required for my XTrans I raw files and when they are useful the adjustments are easier.

These steps make full use of the information on the left side of the histogram.

I used a different method for X100 raw as the initial rendering seems to have a more linear luminance response.

When skies or other bright regions are over exposed they will render with innacurate color because, in the case of skies, the blue channel is clipped more than the other two. When one channel is clipped more than the others I affect a more appropriate color rendering for those regions using the Luminance and Hue parameters in the HSL Panel. Small changes in the WB parameters can have a big effect as well. These corrections become less effective as the clipping becomes more severe.
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Old 08-25-2014   #8
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Thanks, again.
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