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XE-1 and my struggles

Discussion in 'Fuji X Forum' started by retow, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    I have the XE-1 for almost a year but somehow don`t bond with. With all the enthusiastic user feedback I went back and forth on selling it and repeatedly tried to give it another chance. Looks, feel, manual controls, all great. But the IQ...., maybe its my lack of skills or patience in PP? However, yesterday I went for a road trip and packed the Ricoh GR with wide angle adapter, Sony RX1 and XE-1 with M adapter and the Summicron 90mm asph mounted. No surprise, the Sony files are in a league of its own. The Ricoh GR output is great and I`m happy with the results I got. The shots with the XE-1 and one of the best optics are sort of "meh" imo. Looking for your input and suggestions on PP. I shoot raw and use Aperture.





     
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  2. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    The photos look nice on the iPhone screen. I've never tried the 90 Cron as an adapted lens. And I have trouble focusing it on the M9. It's probably the least used lens I've ever bought. Is there much of a difference in shooting any X-trans camera in RAW vs JPG?
     
  3. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    Looking at your GR shot for comparison, these do seem rather flat looking. I've noticed that this happens sometimes with my XE 1 too especially now that the light has changed here in the UK. I gave up with raw shots eventually so can't help you there. With the advent of my latest acquisition I need to decide wether to keep the Fuji system or the Olympus EM5 and it's looking like the Olympus for it's all round use ability.
     
  4. porchard

    porchard SC Veteran

    343
    Feb 24, 2013
    Devon, UK
    The pictures look somehow over-processed to my eye - a little too much sharpening and/or clarity slider, possibly. In the first one, there's a dark outline along the edge of the mountains, and I seem to remember finding this some years ago when I over-used the clarity slider in ACR. I have never used Aperture, so I don't have any specific suggestions for that software.

    Separately from the PP matter, and simply by way of discussion, I have noticed with my x100 that landscape shots are rarely very satisfying, whilst architectural, cars/motorcycles, street, people shots, and most other types of shots, are very good. I have no explanation as to why this should be the case, but I would point out that I have seen some very good landscape shots by others who use the x100, so my sub-standard results are almost certainly due to user-error.:wink:

    Nice mountain shots, BTW!:smile:
     
  5. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Not having played with raw output of the X-Trans sensor other than of bland test scenes, the only thing that really strikes me as an easily diagnosed processing issue is that the first image appears over-sharpened, most obviously where the mountains meet the sky. I'm actually surprised that you've kept the camera for so long without liking what it gives you. My patience with cameras doesn't run anywhere that long. It seems to me that you have a few other screamingly good cameras that you can extract great images out of at will, so why persist with this one? Nice camera and all I'm sure, and I was quite interested when it first came out, but not everyone's going to love what it does.
     
  6. davidw

    davidw SC Regular

    42
    Aug 4, 2012
    Hi Retow: I recently just purchase a X-E1 with 18-55mm , and the 35mm 1.4 native fujinon lens. I find the color, jpep OOC is n par if not better
    then my Nikon D700.

    1) I am wondering if you have any native Fujinon lens , try that first. as I have also read on another forum people have color rendering issues with other brand lens.

    2) The other thing is what setting are you using ? Are you locking the ISO to 200 for example or are you using the auto DR setting?
     
  7. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Although you can use adapted glass on mirrorless cameras there is always the possibility for any or all of the following problems:

    • Using full frame lenses on crop sensors may not give you the optimum sharpness relative to the pixel size -- whereas it might look perfectly fine on a full frame sensor
    • Mirrorless sensors are optimized (I believe with the micro-lenses on the sensor) for a certain back distance and the angles of light they send to the sensor. Adapted lenses generally aren't ideal for that.
    • Some highly regarded lenses are regarded so for reasons other than sharpness
    • Manual focus with most mirrorless can be hit-or-miss despite focusing aids.
    That being said, some people love adapted glass, even with the limitations. My experience shooting adapted lenses on the NEX-3 and NEX-5 was very good, but on micro four thirds it was not at all good even with the same lenses. The lenses for the Fuji's are so good I'm not too hot on using adapted glass although I did get a Nikon adapter for it to mess around with my very old Nikon lenses. I think the recommendation to do some more shooting with native glass might be a good one just to see how much that is affecting you.

    Didn't read all the replies, but I guess I'd have to ask about which version of Aperture you're using and so forth. Third party RAW converters generally aren't up to the internal converter's standards, but that's not necessarily always true. I've done some RAW work in Lightroom and find it satisfactory -- though mostly I shoot the X-E1 and X100S in JPG and make use of the dynamic range, shadow and highlight controls in the camera to get the result I want.

    I do think the X-Trans files are different and the learning curve to get the files looking right in RAW is a little different than what I went through with my Bayer sensors. Not entirely sure exactly how to qualify that but I definitely don't sharpen the RAW's from the X-Trans as much for instance, and other settings I might have made by default have changed. It may well be that you need to relearn RAW processing for this sensor as I did. It is decidedly a different animal though one I personally like a lot.

    Maybe you just need some more time to get your head wrapped around it therefore. The X-Trans just doesn't work like anything else I've shot in RAW. For me the revelation is that mostly I don't NEED to shoot it in RAW. I never thought I'd feel that way about a camera but this one I usually do.
     
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  8. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    i totally agree with a couple points here: first and foremost i think there is an issue with raw conversion. esp if you dont like PP, which is abslutely necessary with raw, theres no reaon not to try jpeg. youre paying for the jpeg engineering, try it out.

    second, some cams just dont jive with certain adapted lenses. thats why ricoh and leica have very spevifically engineered their micro lenses to jive with a certain class of lens.

    i will add that i am an x100 user. i shoot jpegs and love them. ive never never not had enough 'headroom' to recover anything i think 'recoverable' or adjust WB, even at 3200. apart from this, and i think more importantly, i decidedly am not as enamored with the output ive seen from the x100s. i dont want to start an argument or insult 100s lovers. its stated as an opinion not a fact, but i see a difference in rendering and i prefer the 100. similarly ive seen a difference between the xp1 and xe1 and i prefer the xp.

    so in the end, no youre not crazy. i hope some of the ideas here help you out.
     
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  9. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Agree there's a huge different between X100 and X100S -- and it's a matter of personal need/preference with neither one objectively "better". I've owned both of those and liked both for their respective strengths.

    But between X-PRO1 and X-E1 I just don't see any difference at all I'm afraid. At least not in any shots I've seen. I'd need shoot both to really know and I only have the X-E1. What do you think you're seeing in those two?

     
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  10. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Advent of latest acquisition? Pray do tell!!
     
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  11. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    hi john
    to my eye i feel the difference in xp1/xe1 is similar to the x100/100s difference i see. to my eye there is something about the depth and framewide clarity of the x100/xp1 that i dont see in their counterparts. its hard to put ones finger on, but its kind of like comparing the results from the gxr m mount against wide angle m lenses on the xp1, theres a clarity, perhaps more technically, a 'microcontrast' that provides real depth and overall sharpness to the gxr that the fuji, with wide m mount lenses, just doesnt achieve.

    again, i state this as opinion, not fact. i'm tone deaf and when my grandfather, who had perfect pitch, used to play guitar with me he would wince, saying over and over 'cant you hear that'? i couldnt! and similarly images just hit different folks differently. to be clear i'm not saying these cams cant produce great images, and i'm not trying to convince anyone of my opinion, i,m just trying to identify with OPs OT.
     
  12. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    The first photo is so over-sharpened, it kind of looks like a photo of a photo that was cut out of a book and pasted onto a background.

    I agree with Tony, there looks to be a lack of either microcontrast or some post-processing analogue, like the Clarity slider in Adobe.
     
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  13. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Oh, I'm sure you're seeing something but it may be peoples processing of the images. Since the X-PRO1 and X-E1 use exactly the same sensor and processing engine it's hard to see how they could differ much or at all. Most of the folks who have tested them with charts and all say they are in fact so exactly the same they can't see the differences with the same lens. Which makes me wonder how much of it was lenses as well? Don't know what you compared so it's hard to say.

    The X100S does use a slightly different sensor than X-PRO1 and X-E1 so there could be some differences I suppose.

    Generally speaking, camera differences have much less impact on IQ than the differences in lenses and processing, all things being equal.

    I'm not challenging though that you saw something, just disputing that it could come from the bodies. The case of X-PRO1 vs. X-E1 is very unlike than the huge difference between the X100 and X100S.

     
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  14. flash

    flash SC Veteran

    372
    May 6, 2011
    Gordon
    If you don't bond with a camera, you don't bond with it. Dump that sucker and move on.

    I'd love to have a look at a raw file and see what's going on. Maybe a processing challenge?

    Gordon
     
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  15. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    This is the best advice yet. Not everything is for everyone. I couldn't get on with the X100, although my prior "form" suggested I should.

    Sent from another Galaxy
     
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  16. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Thanks for all your input, I appreciate it. Some asked questions or had comments concerning native lenses or made technical remarks. I try to address all here: The camera was set to iso 200, AWB, aperture f8 and f11, infinity focus. I have three Fuji primes and the 18-55mm. A few months back I used the 18-55mm in Thailand and the colors were more accurate than with the Summicron. However, whilst the IQ was nice, in direct comparison it lacked the quality I got from the Nikon A. Recently I posted a few air show shots taken with a loaner OMD. And whilst the OMD showed more grainy noise even in daylight already at iso 400 I somehow prefer its "more predictable" output. Maybe that is the better tool for my needs when versatility is necessary, as some suggested. So following the advice of some of you to move on if I don`t bond with it sounds right. Based on your suggestions, I tried the first one with almost no sharpening and it looks more pleasing and natural with better colors. But I miss the micro contrast and "bite" (not artificial sharpness) I get from a Sigma DPM, M9, RX1, AA free aps-c sensor Coolpix A and GRD.



    And a version with Color Effex
     
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  17. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    many suggestions made. most pertinent imo is to try jpeg and see is that makes a difference.

    btw the omd has an AA filter. personally, i had the exact same IQ issue with the omd that i see with your xe1: no pop, lack of depth and microcontrast. but 'seeing' is subjective, so if you like the rendering better, go for it. but remember, that leica 90 becomes a much less useable 180mm with m4/3!

    i still think if you find jpegs dont work for you, try getting a loaner xp1.
     
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  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Owning an XE1, a Coolpix A, an RX1, and having shot quite a bit with a DPR1M and GR, I'd agree that the X-Trans Fujis don't have the BITE of the other cameras you mention. I personally love the Fuji look and always want to have a Fuji camera in the stable, because it does have its own look that I don't get with any other camera. But it absolutely has more of a smooth and creamy look (for lack of a more technical description) rather than a super sharp look. For me, its usually sharp enough - once I print something, the intense sharpness and detail that I get with the Sigma and, to a slightly lesser extent with the RX1 and Nikon A really doesn't come through anyway and its down to the less quantifiable aspects of IQ and I think the Fuji holds up really well in the context of most web images and normal sized prints. I like the Fuji look as much as the others, but I don't expect the same thing from it. If you DON'T like the look as much, then there's not a lot of point in fighting with it to get it to be something it's not. The X-Trans has its own set of strengths and weaknesses and if it's not your cup of tea, no reason not to move on from it. I've certainly done that with some objectively damn fine cameras that just didn't have a look I particularly liked...

    -Ray
     
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  19. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I think that removing the sharpening has had a positive effect but I do take what you mean about it appearing flat, although the colour of the sky seems to indicate that the lighting wasn't ideal. I feel that you would still have a lot of processing room to move with it.

     
  20. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I also like that "sharp" look, whether it's acutance or microcontrast or whatever you call it. I have found that it's really hit or miss with legacy lenses on digital bodies, I've not used Leica lenses, but most old glass I've used gives a smooth rather than punchy look.