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Default sharpness

Discussion in 'Fuji X100 Forum' started by nippa, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    Given all the positive feedback on the Fuji X100 I post this with some trepidation.......

    I bought my X100 at the start of April having agonized about it for a year.
    When the prices started to drop , with firmware 1.21 looking good and Fuji announcing a proper fix for their X10 ( which I love and introduced me to Fuji colours) I thought it was time.

    From the outset I loved using it but was never impressed with the images : they were too soft and those X10 colours never looked as good on my X100.
    Using the X100 alongside my Canon G1X and Leica X1 it began to dawn on me that despite the hype this wasn't in the same league as those two.
    Surely I must have a defective unit.

    This morning I decided to change the camera for one with a late serial number i.e. post SAB aperture mechanism.
    The result is that my images seem no better.
    Am I expecting too much to look for parity with the Canon G1X or Leica X1?

    Sure I can sharpen the images up and desaturate a little if I must but I rather expected OOC shots to look great.
    Every time I read a review it describes image quality as very high but for a prime lens it's not impressing me - I do stop down to achieve better resolution with macro at F2.0 being stupidly soft.

    How does default resolution compare to your DSLRs?
    Do you guys always heavily sharpen your X100 images?

    POSTSCIPT

    Just loaded FW1.30 on to the new camera and back into the garden for some test shots. This straight from the camera actually looks sharper than the same shot yesterday.
    Maybe the old camera was a poor sample after all.

    DSCF0002.
     
  2. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    No X100 expert here, but I'm wondering, since you mention having to desaturate images - which film setting do you use?
     
  3. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    Normally standard.
    I shoot JPEG+RAW and then use the in-camera converter if I want Velvia.

    I know things are soft at f2 and that's why I usually stop down.
    The first images I took with the new camera were no better than the old one ( and the new camera refused to start until I'd reformatted the card! ) but perhaps I'll give it more time as the shot of the rose came out better than I'd expected ; not sure if FW 1.30 did something :)
     
  4. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    Hi nippa, from the exif, this image was taken at a 2.0 with the ISO at 800. In this light you might get a better result with a lower ISO. It also says that the default sharpening was set to "hard". I have found the Fuji in-camera sharpness to be a bit erratic, I've set the sharpness to "medium soft" and add sharpness in post if necessary. Here are my settings on the camera, which works fine for me and I don't have any issues of mis-colored images, in fact the Fuji rendering is rather wonderful -
    https://www.photographerslounge.org/f86/x100-user-setup-preferences-2207/index6.html
     
  5. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    Thanks Boid
    I'd actually set the sharpness to Hard after installing the FW although in the previous camera you couldn't tell hard from medium.
    The camera was set to ISO 200 auto and it's actually shot at f5.0 not f2.0 so the increase in ISO was DR Auto/minimum shutter speed ; at least I think that's what was happening :)

    I'm going to stick with this new X100 for a while as I'm a little more optimistic than I was 2 hours ago.
    Dark and Rainy here today but off to Italy in two weeks where I'll give it a proper workout.

    LATER
    And now after a workout between rain showers it's becoming clear that my first X100 was softer than this copy.
    It still can't match the G!X for resolution but things look a lot better.

    DSCF0021.
     
  6. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    Finally I understand why the X100 hasn't impressed me..it's for use at f4 and f5.6
    Fuji Quote..
    Therefore, in designing the lens, we put a priority on capturing superior quality photos with exceptional expression of detail in the aperture range of F4 to F5.6.
    http://www.finepix-x100.com/en/story/
    So the advantage of the Leica X1 is that it's sharp wide open.
     
  7. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I don;t think anyone will accuse of the X100 of being razor sharp, but I don't think it's a slouch either. I shoot it wide open pretty often. One thing it DOES do when you're shooting close-up and wide open is show if your focus is slightly off. Because the DOF is pretty shallow when wide open and the subject is close-up. If your subject is one foot away and you're shooting at f2, the total DOF where everything will be in sharp focus is less than a half an inch......and you may even be closer than one to that rose. So sometimes if it seems soft, it might just be that there's so little in focus because of a shallow DOF.

    here's a depth of field calculator that's fun to play around with and what effects changing aperture and subject distance will have (and forgive me if I'm "teaching" you something you already know)....... Online Depth of Field Calculator
     
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  8. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    I think that I notice softness more than most because resolution is my first priority and I'm using lenses that deliver that (eg Zeiss 16-80 , Lumix 14-45 , Lumix 20mm f1.7 , Lumix 100-300 , LeicaX1 ,Canon G1X and Dlux4).
    It took me ages to realise why I've never liked the LX5 and then it dawned on me that the lens was softer than its predecessor.
    Oddly the resolution of the X10 isn't even as good as the LX5 but for some reason I love that camera and its colours.

    I can live with the X100 at f4 now that I understand its weakness but I'm keeping my old Leica X1.
     
  9. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia SC Veteran

    242
    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I've read that macros or close subjects can be soft with the x100 when shot wide open, so your example may be a worst case scenario of how the lens performs.

    I've seen plenty of other wide open shots at further distance that look pretty sharp.

    If that's the case, I think it's okay as with macro you will often want to stop down a bit just to get adequate DOF (depending on subject).