The Optical Viewfinder (OVF) and the EVF

Discussion in 'Fuji X100 Forum' started by Ray Sachs, May 13, 2011.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    You really shouldn't use the OVF inside of about 3 feet unless you know how its focussing and where to aim the focus box. Some people see this as a bug, but its really just that the EVF is a huge FEATURE because pretty much all cameras with offset OVF's have the same issue, but most don't have an EVF to let you overcome it. The OVF is offset about an inch and a half above and to the left of the lens - and the FOCUS target will also actually be offset by about an inch and a half. When you're inside of a couple of feet, there's NO overlap between the focus box you see with the OVF and the actual focus area the sensor is focussing on. Once you're at about 5-6 feet, there's about 80-90% overlap, so its almost a non-issue, and beyond that you can't see the difference enough to even have to think about it. Do an experiment to illustrate this to yourself. Put the camera in OVF mode and line up the upper left corner of the focus box with a picture frame, computer monitor, TV set - anything with a hard corner. Start off about 10 feet away. Hold it as steady as you can and switch over to EVF and you'll barely see ANY difference in the location of the focus box relative to the corner of the picture frame. And any small difference there is will be wiped out by any small amount of camera shake while you're holding the camera. Then get progressively closer to the frame and keep switching between the OVF and the EVF and you'll see that the focus box moves slightly down and to the right with the EVF. At about 5 feet it will be obvious, but you'll see there's still so much overlap its almost never gonna be an issue in real world use - if you have a really small focal point in real world use, just try to line it up somewhere other than the extreme upper left hand corner of the focus box. But as you get closer and closer from five feet down to the 2-3 foot range, you'll see the box jump by larger and larger increments to the point where its covering a completely different area in the OVF than the EVF - down somewhere in that range, you're just gonna be better off using the EVF to know that you're focussing on the right point. Or just get very good at estimating where the actual box is from doing this experiment if you insist on using the OVF up close. I personally use the OVF about 95% of the time - only using the EVF if I'm pretty close or if its REALLY dark, at which point the OVF shows just how dark it is but the EVF gains up quite a bit. You'll be amazed at how little light you need to get a decent photograph with this camera.

    The macro thing varies. Its technically supposed to be used for anything inside of about 80cm, which is about 2.5 feet, but you can often focus a good deal closer than that just using the evf in standard mode - I think it depends on the contrast and lighting and stuff. But, yeah, there's a point at which you have to go into macro mode to focus properly. I didn't buy this camera for close up photography (I do almost none of it to begin with and would use my LX5 for it I think - that thing'll focus CRAZY close) and have only used the macro once or twice just to see where it kicks in. There's a shortcut (I'm not sure how short it is) to get to macro mode - flip the focus switch to MF and then hit the AEL/AFL button and it should focus down in the macro range. Which is handy if you use MF a lot anyway. If you don't, I don't see that this is any shorter of a cut than just hitting the macro button on the left side of the four way controller twice and then half pressing the shutter button to get it to kick in.

    This camera takes a little learning, but once you get your head around it, its an awful lot of fun to shoot with.

    -Ray
     
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  2. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    I've copied Ray's post from Armanius's thread "X100 is here!!! Woohoo!!!" because, it is extremely detailed and helpful. Thought it would be a handy touch stone for those who are learning the ropes, and that others might share their experiences, observations and questions.

    Thank you Ray!
     
  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Excellent post Ray. Thanks for the info. I guess it never occurred to me that the OVF does not give me a view through the lens, and hence the image is always in focus. Totally forgot that the OVF in the X100 is sort of like a rangefinder's OVF, but without a rangefinder coupling for manual focus.
     
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  4. jonoslack

    jonoslack SC Veteran

    203
    May 6, 2011
    HI Armando
    That only dawned on me yesterday as well . . . . focus confirmation doesn't really tell you exactly what's in focus! (just that something is).
    Good information with respect to manual focus and the AE/AF lock button - it even works if you've set it to AE lock only (which then presumably doesn't work in Manual mode).

    One other thing I've found very useful (especially for close up) is to make the AF point smaller (press the AF button on the left, and then press the command control lever to the left).

    all the best
     
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  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Armando, you make me chuckle.
    It's like the M9 but with info and AF.
    I find the framelines as accurate as any Leica M.
    What's your opinion?
     
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Jono, that AF target size only works in the EVF, or does it?
     
  7. jonoslack

    jonoslack SC Veteran

    203
    May 6, 2011
    That's right - and, I think, only out of macro mode.

    As for the frame lines being as accurate as any leica - much more so I'd say, but then it's much easier if you only have one lens to cater for!
    But I take his point, in the Leica Viewfinder you can see WHAT is in focus, whereas, in the X100 you can only see that SOMETHING is in focus!
     
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  8. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    I've never used a "real" Leica so don't know what I'm missing re their optical viewfinders. However, I will say that this X100 OVF is lightyears ahead of the Leica X1's, that is for sure. So I'm quite enjoying it. I also do like switching between the two if I am in a difficult lighting situation, granted I'm still very much in the learning "how to" mode.
     
  9. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    This is true for sure Jono. The RF patch helps in that respect.
    I wish that we could make a smaller AF target box in the OVF.
    It would be very helpful.
     
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  10. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
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    Jack
    Don, see Jono's comment below about making AF box smaller.

     
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    The smaller focus box only works in the EVF and its not sticky - every time you go to review mode or anything else it jumps back to full size. I don't think you'd want the smaller focus box in the OVF, given its tenuous relationship to the ACTUAL focus box. My guess is that if you take the really tiny focus box you can get it down to in the EVF mode, it would probably always be within the larger focus box shown in the OVF. Since focus in the OVF is a bit of a moving target depending on your distance from the subject, probably better to have a larger area and just understand that the closer to the subject you are, the more you should keep your target toward the bottom right corner of the focus box. Since there's a bit of guesswork involved, probably better not to make it LOOK more precise than it is, lest someone be fooled into thinking it was a precision operation.

    -Ray
     
  12. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Ray,
    I have set the smaller box in the EVF and it's always there. It doesn't change even after power off.
    I use that for my garden stuff....
     
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    Really? Maybe that changed with the firmware, because that was a big initial complaint. ...

    Just tried it. You're right.... BUT.... switch to the OVF and then when you come back to the EVF, its big again. So, pretty useful for long stretches of using the EVF only, but I haven't had one of those yet.

    -Ray
     
  14. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Ray, ya just turned my X100 into an LX5.
     
  15. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    :frown: Is it true? I was hoping it wasn't.
     
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    Darn!! Take a letter everyone and write to Fuji. That's too bad. It's not as bad for me as it is for you, Don....because the box is pretty small, but I know why you're upset.
     
  17. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Nah not upset.... I only use the EVF for the garden stuff....
     
  18. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    Good, I'm relieved. :biggrin:
     
  19. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Bubble bursting is all part of it...
    In EVF it's great for macro with the small box.
    Seems like a minor firmware fix that won't really happen...
    Tuff luck I guess....
     
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  20. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Sorry Don - hate to be the bad guy!

    It bothered me less than you on the LX5, and not at all on this camera, given the limited role I give the evf. I spose I'd like a small box in the OVF IF I had any faith in its location. Given the relationship of the OVF focus box to reality, however, I think its probably better left large...

    -Ray