Fuji The X100-S

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
anyhoo, I think I've managed to take this thread completely off track, for which I apologise.
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
I'll bring the thread back full cirlce..... If Fuji would build the X-100S or something similar to what Boid has lain out here, we would see the prices for the Epson RD-1 fall back to more sane levels.

It's chic in certain circles because it fills a niche.
 

Boid

All-Pro
Dec 15, 2011
Bangalore, India
Rajiv
well, the camera doesn't force you to fiddle with it!
My E-P2 is permanently in Aperture priority; The only things I ever change are the lens (!), the ISO if it starts to get a bit dim, and the metering occasionally ... mind you most of my pictures still turn out to be snaps but I don;t think if I changed lots of camera options while I was shooting it would turn me into Kertesz ... (unfortunately)
This video explains it my concerns rather well. I saw this a while ago and agreed with his point of view. Most times having extra stuff on the camera is that many more things to ignore. All this is adding up to me getting the next Leica RF unfortunately. Understanding the Appeal of the Leica M9 - YouTube
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
Try an M8. Prices are down, more on the market with the M9M and M9P out. Prices are about the same as the RD-1. Longer-baselength viewfinder, 1.3x crop versus 1.5x, and 10MPixels vs 6. The RD-1 CCD is the same used in the Nikon D100.

You do not need to spend a fortune to get good lenses in Leica mount.





My M8 with a $55 Jupiter-12 on it. I did shim the lens custom for Leica.

and I do prefer manual focus. If AF, autoexposure, digital cameras were invented last year and there were no alternatives- I would be hacking the firmware to give me more control.



With the M8 and C-Sonnar 50/1.5: I do not have to hack software.
 

Boid

All-Pro
Dec 15, 2011
Bangalore, India
Rajiv
Thanks Brian. I was seriously considering picking up the M8.2 but kept holding back on the decision because it just would not be able to produce usable images in bad light. Like this one here I shot at my birthday party in extremely poor light, handheld f2, 1/5, ISO3200. In fact the X100 saw a lot more than I did in those conditions. The only problem I had was to keep my friend amused and interested while the camera hunted around to lock AF.

 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
Leica M8, Jupiter-3 wide-open at F1.5, ISO 1250.

Lightroom 3 straight convesions from DNG to JPEG. No other processing.



ISO 2500

 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
Melbourne, Australia
I was seriously considering picking up the M8.2 but kept holding back on the decision because it just would not be able to produce usable images in bad light.
It's probably not as bad as you think though. Some of my low to extreme low light shots (some of these are much lower in light than what turned out in the photos), some of the darkest shots were best converted to black & white:







































 

Boid

All-Pro
Dec 15, 2011
Bangalore, India
Rajiv
These are beautiful pictures James! Also the second picture is a great example of the limitations of AF. I don't think that particular shot would have been possible using a camera without manual focus. Thanks for sharing these images, much food for thought for me.
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Jul 15, 2010
SoCal
Bob
Sorry, I still do not see the point of why do I want to manually focus a modern digital camera. I manually focused for years, it does not make me feel all warm and fuzzy to still do it today. Now if we are talking about shooting with a vintage camera or a view camera I understand it is part of the experience of using one. All sorts of camera companies have tried to make manual focus rangefinders but other than Leica and maybe the Bessa no one has been able to continue making them without losing money.
It fascinates me all the comments from people about this or that camera’s slow AF, who then want the solution to be manual focus. For all the manual focus experts out there I guarantee that most cannot get a high rate of in focus images in low light of a moving subject.

Also on a side note, another famous European brand of camera was almost dead until they partnered with Fuji to make and design their lenses and body. So for anything other than the funky look one gets when shooting with an uncoated vintage lens, I also do not have any desire to shoot “Legacy Glass” on a modern camera either. That is why I still have my old film cameras, too use those lenses on the cameras they were designed for.
 

Boid

All-Pro
Dec 15, 2011
Bangalore, India
Rajiv
Sorry, I still do not see the point of why do I want to manually focus a modern digital camera. I manually focused for years, it does not make me feel all warm and fuzzy to still do it today. Now if we are talking about shooting with a vintage camera or a view camera I understand it is part of the experience of using one. All sorts of camera companies have tried to make manual focus rangefinders but other than Leica and maybe the Bessa no one has been able to continue making them without losing money.
It fascinates me all the comments from people about this or that camera’s slow AF, who then want the solution to be manual focus. For all the manual focus experts out there I guarantee that most cannot get a high rate of in focus images in low light of a moving subject.

Also on a side note, another famous European brand of camera was almost dead until they partnered with Fuji to make and design their lenses and body. So for anything other than the funky look one gets when shooting with an uncoated vintage lens, I also do not have any desire to shoot “Legacy Glass” on a modern camera either. That is why I still have my old film cameras, too use those lenses on the cameras they were designed for.
I appreciate the point you're making. But I'd much rather miss a shot due to my shortcomings than the camera's. There's a greater chance of getting a shot in low light through a fast manual focus lens, than a useless AF. Especially when it comes to this particular camera, making a switch to MF with a proper rangefinder would improve the experience hugely and would probably result in fewer missed shots. Its quite frustrating to wait around for the camera to play catch up while taking portraits. I wouldn't assume for a second that MF is usable for any action photography. None of the Leicas seem to be either. But then I wouldn't take the X100 with it's fixed 35mm out birding or to the stadium. So for what it was designed to do, it fails to deliver, because of it's AF. And that's the change I would love to see addressed.
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Jul 15, 2010
SoCal
Bob
I think more often than not, the problem with AF especially with the OVF in the Fuji's is one is not sure if it locked on properly until you look at the image, the rangefinder spot on the other hand gives you the idea that it was right on, still can miss but the miss could be closer. I have very little problems getting either my XPro1 or X100 to hook up when I am using the corrected AF setting. Also are you using the latest firmware AF speed especially up close has improved.
Try picking up a vintage Leica M 2,3 or 4 and see how quick and accurate your results are, there is certainly no better rangefinders than them. I think you will be surprised. I grew up using manual focus SLRs and even at my advanced years they feel more natural to use to me. Every time I use a true rangefinder it takes awhile to get the hang of focus, recompose shoot. Two avoid one of those steps, is why most rangefinder street shooters focus by zone, if you set the X100 to manual you can do that too

Secondly like I said before talk on these forums does not make for a large market to sell cameras to. Many manufactures have made modern film rangefinders like your example of the Fuji 670, or the Fuji 690s, some even with interchangeable lenses like the Mamiya 6 and 7, they just did not sell. Most love them until they forget about the parallax issues or become frustrated with the viewfinder with longer lenses or having to use an external viewfinder for wide lenses. They are niche cameras, with a small audience, compare the number of Mamiya RZs sold to the Mamiya 6s. Versatility usually wins out in the end even if people do use all that the system slrs provide. They might not do bird photos, but they like now they can.
The Fuji rangefinders were made to be modern cameras that bring up some hints of the past, I like the body form but yes they are not true rangefinders.

Lastly I am driving a manual shifting performance car again, for many it makes them feel more connected to the driving experience, but in all honesty my last car had a DSG transmission and I miss it and my next will have DSG again. The DSG is faster, one still has to shift but with an auto clutch you can be smoother and concentrate on the rest of the car's controls, I bring this up because for me, AF accomplishes the same thing, the manual art of focusing does not help me to slow down or think more or be more creative or even shoot less to make a better image, all manual focus is for me is an extra step in the way of shooting. To each his own.
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
Bob, I think your example of a manual shift car is perfect. I do really enjoy a manual shift car (when I really want to enjoy the driving experience and feel connected to the machine and the road and all that jazz). But awhile ago, I decided that 95% of the time, I just want to go and do as little work as possible. In photography, I'd like to be connected a little more than 5% of the time.....but maybe not enough to part with my hard earned for this make-believe priced-out-of-my-reach-anyways rangefinder camera.

I guess I have 2 old film rangefinders when I want to play "old-timey" photographer.
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Jul 15, 2010
SoCal
Bob
This video reminds of the misguided logic that Hasselblad used to speak about at their seminars, defending the 500 series by spinning tales about how much more freedom and creativity the square 6X6 format gave one to capture an image over the ill conceived 6X4.5 or the real trouble maker 6X7. At the time Hasselblad was about to become irrelevant, as almost everybody had switched to 6X7 Mamiya RZs and Pentax 6X7. The best part of the story is the thing that saved Hasselblad was the eventual intro of the H series a 6x4.5 camera system made by Fuji.
Back to basics gear sounds great, it is also a great justification for buying some very expensive tools, something I know all too well.
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
Melbourne, Australia
Sorry, I still do not see the point of why do I want to manually focus a modern digital camera. I manually focused for years, it does not make me feel all warm and fuzzy to still do it today.
I would have missed quite a number of the shots I posted in this thread if I didn't have manual focus because it was dark and the subject was probably moving so the AF would've struggled to even 'see' what I'm trying to photograph. It's not just manual focusing, it's also the rangefinder focusing method itself that makes it happen.

For example, probably the hardest things to photograph are fast moving animals in the dark. Here's a shot where I missed focus but it happened so fast that I know an AF camera would have absolutely missed it completely:



Another example of a photo I took that has questionable quality but again it would've been impossible to take with an AF camera:



Here's the original photo showing why it would never have happened with an AF camera:
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Jul 15, 2010
SoCal
Bob
Your images are cool but the amount of times I would want to shoot images in that manner would be very rare and if need be I would zone focus it and hope for the best. So to have a camera that I can guess focus in complete darkness with but have to give up other functionality still does not make any sense to me.
 

retow

All-Pro
Jul 24, 2010
AF or MF, an interesting discussion in the context of compact, mirrorless cameras and systems.
In a perfect world, one would think AF wins. However, reality is that the existing AF solutions are not "good enough" (yet), to reliably beat MF. More recent mfts' or Nikon N1s' AF is fast and accurate in good light, but not there yet in low light or under low contrast conditions. And to my knowledge, none of today's mirrorless aps-c cameras' AF performance is something to write home about. Now everything would only be half as bad if all these cameras MF implementation was better, and camera makers who embrace the retro design so much (Hi, Fuji) would remember that lens barrels with distance scales were not only invented for their good looks. There is hope that at least focus peaking a la Sony NEX or Ricoh GXR will become the new standard. Based on my own experiences in good or reasonable light AF has its advantages as it allows the photographer to concentrate more on his surroundings, framing etc. Under low contrast/low light conditions, MF is still the more reliable and predictable solution as the system does not develop a life of its own and get into ones way, but will do exactly what the photographer is capable of. So for me the real world comparison is: Best in class MF implementation with RF and M lenses versus not yet satisfactory AF technology coupled with crippled MF implementations. When shooting with the M9, I know exactly what I'll get. Speed or lack thereof and mis focused shots are my responsibility. For some, MF still wins, others prefer one of the existing AF solutions. In my opinion, there is no obvious winner yet. Had the X Pro-1 faster AF and much better MF implementation it would be my clear pick.
 

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