Fuji Showcase 50-140

Lensflare

Regular
Aug 6, 2017
18
Having used Nikon for so many years I am still trying to get to terms with the XT2and lenses. These the D4s would have nailed with the 70-200 (same lens equivalent) at this shutter speed. I am not sure what I did wrong, the shutter was well in range for the focal length and I have only been doing these shots for my bread and butter for the last 30 years.

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If you enlarge them you will see the boat is ghosted and there is no sharpness to it. I am really disappointed if the truth be known, the photo boat wasn't rocking much at all and it should have been an absolute formality. Race boats at 100+ mph you can see the individual screw heads they are so sharp, but the Fuji I haven't got it right yet and it is very frustrating.

Any helpful ideas very welcome - no, not faster shutter speed, becuse that is the shutter I would have used at 200mm on 35mm frame, so should be a straight transfer. I use the focal length of full frame to go by, not the Fuji length, which is misrepresentative because it doesn't take into account the crop. eg if Fuji tells me it is at 70mm, then I would work as if it was 105mm.
 

Covey22

Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
124
Fuji AF tracking (at least at XT-1/XT-10 level) is not up to par with Nikon, I'm sorry to say. I've seen some really good results, but even at just a D7000 level, that body could blow away the XT-1. I confirmed that during a very tough shoot at Westfield Air Show 2017 this past summer, and again with a Renaissance Faire where the Joust's relative speeds were much lower, but a little more unpredictable. :cool:

That being said, the book solution is to be in AF-C and Zone Focusing, using all the points on the focus array. That's from the Fuji Special Site on AF Systems.

What I have experienced is - for most mirrorless, the problem isn't so much the tracking - some do it really quite well, like the Sony A7III - but in the initial lock-on and the focus confirmation. The last two factors are intertwined IMO, the focus tracking needs a confirmation - and the phase detect systems that are on-sensor will tend to use a contrast detect step as a last checkpoint. But if you're in Continuous AF, you're in Release Priority, so focus lock takes a second seat to allowing shutter release. I have many shots from the Air Show similar to yours - when looking through the EVF, the tracking seemed to be working, but when I examine the photo even with an appropriate amount of shutter speed - it's just off-focus. Grr. Also, I saw many instances of where Focus Tracking just gave up the ghost, either right at initial lock-on (and never achieved it at all) or during panning where I had one or more tracking boxes across a good contrasty portion of the subject and you'd see the focus shudder back and forth, and the lens would just keep racking and racking trying to keep up.

Truth be told, when Air Show season starts up again, I'll have to make a decision - rebuild my Nikon kit for good daylight telephoto only (body + lens) or make an upgrade decision on getting a body with better tracking. Given your experience with the XT-2, I think the pendulum is swinging towards rebuilding my Nikon kit. Ugh.

Edited to add: Why did I move from Nikon to Fuji? Because I was tired of having to worry about AF fine-tuning. Every time I upgraded to a new body or lens, I'd have to exhaustively re-test all my lens and body combinations to make sure they were sharply focusing. Hence the Ugh in the above. It's really painful. The first time I saw how easily sharp the focus was to move any of my Fuji lenses from XE-1 to XT-10 and vice-versa, I was sold. But the Focus Tracking is a problem. I care enough about the system to point out it's weaknesses and where it should get better. That, and battery life are my two big pain points.
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
I'll add this...

My experience with pretty much all things AF-C on the XT1 has been sub-par. I never, ever use it. A few times a year I think "hey maybe X/Y/Z combination of settings would work here - give it another shot!" and I try again, and it never lasts. The only thing that does work for me, well enough to get the job done, is the "single shutter press in AFS" method. Specifically, I try to do this:

1. Set to AFS.
2. Get the focus box placed where I want it in the frame, and sized as small as I possibly can, to be as specific as I can about where it's focused on. Larger = faster focus time, but smaller = finer placement of course.
3. This part is key... turn the camera on as the object approaches, and pre-focus it out about the right distance. Get it close, in other words. This can be done really quickly, often by focusing on something in the object's path.
4. Now that the lens is out at near the right distance, I start single-press shooting as it approaches. From one shot to the next, the difference in how far away it is now usually isn't huge, and even the cheap XC 50-230 can usually pop right onto it.

Doing this, I can shoot about 1 a second, over and over. When that's not fast enough, 8fs is good, but the focus won't track throughout the burst, so if the thing really is moving closer / farther from me, only some of those shots will be in focus. Generally speaking, the single-press AFS method works best / frustrates the least.

A Goose In Flight
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Brooklyn At Night
by gordopuggy, on Flickr
 

Lensflare

Regular
Aug 6, 2017
18
Thanks for the video by Fuji Boys, but that just showed the same thing as I have used, perhaps it is the boats motion that the Fuji can't cope with as well as the Nikon - nikon VR has both axis movement, or single plane movement, you choose according to the situation. For running fast alongside, where the photoboat is alos leaving the water and you are dancing on your toes as well as the target boat is moving up and down, I use the 'Action VR' or whatever it is called. For the situation I was in for the RIB, photoboat is drifting (underway but stopped) and the target boat is making runs past us - for that I use standard VR. The Fuji didn't cut it - those were the best two out of about 2 dozen shots. 3 or 4 shots per pass - machine gunning is no good, you have ot choose the background and follow the boat in before shooting. It was grey, dull and 'orrid so the light was flat - easier then!
 

Lensflare

Regular
Aug 6, 2017
18
Been doing some static dogs with the 50-140 at wide open, or between wide open and f4....I can't remember!

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Lensflare

Regular
Aug 6, 2017
18
Some bokeh playing with the 50-140 handheld. Nice smooth circles of confusion, mostly cider induced.

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This is what the above lights were on. It is our bird table with some fairy lights strung over it for the Christmas festivities. All shot from the same position. Just altered the aperture and focussing.

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Lensflare

Regular
Aug 6, 2017
18
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50-140 at f22 I think it was...I wanted as much depth as I could get anyway, so whatever it was stopped down to. Being over my head with the tripod on a table it wass all I could do to press the tit !
 

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