Investigation into Manual Focus Variation in Lag Time - 100 to 500 ms for 56mm

Discussion in 'Fuji X-Mount Cameras' started by easycass, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. easycass

    easycass FujiXspot Rookie

    13
    Nov 26, 2014
    Currently Thailand
    <strong>Close Examination of Fuji X-Series Lag Time in Manual Focus</strong>
    Test Report by Cass

    <strong>Introduction</strong>

    The results below show the lag experienced when using certain Fuji X-Mount lenses with both the X-E1 and X-T1. <strong>This lag is defined in this case as the time from pressing the shutter-release button to the capture of the image in MANUAL FOCUS</strong>. This is not testing the AF system, as AF is not involved at all. Also note, these results are placed here for reference purposes, with no discussion on whether or not there are ways to bypass the issue, look at alternative shooting techniques or the reasons one might need to use this mode over another.

    These tests are to investigate why it appeared that while in manual focus mode, at some apertures, for some lenses, and after certain focus operations, there was an apparent variable lag in capturing images, sometimes as much as <strong>half a second</strong>.

    The results of these tests can hopefully be used by Fuji to investigate if there is some issue that can be overcome in the future by either design or software performance enhancements. The results of these tests, plus the observations and conclusions follow below.

    <strong>Test Procedure</strong>

    <ol>
    <li>X-T1 is set-up in front of a video monitor with test lens connected, in manual focus mode.</li>
    <li>The X-T1 is set for internal timer mode, set to fire every 6 seconds for 25 shots. In the case where the X-E1 was tested, shots are initiated via a remote release every few seconds instead of an internal time.</li>
    <li>Camera was set to automatic ISO, auto shutter speed, and manual aperture. Small jpegs were selected as output.</li>
    <li>An image preview is set to show for 0.5 seconds after the shot is captured.</li>
    <li>A running stop-watch timer is run on the video monitor, showing at least minutes, seconds, and down to 1000th of a second.</li>
    <li>A video camera is set-up behind the X-T1 test camera and the whole test videoed start to finish.</li>
    <li>When the 25-shot sequence is initiated, each time a single shot is initiated, the rear-panel live-view freezes momentarily, and once the camera fires, the resulting shot is shown. Using the video footage after the complete test sequence is completed, the difference between the timer on the frozen view and the timer on the post capture image is the time used to indicate lag for each shot.</li>
    <li>During the test, every five frames, a change is made, as follows: -
    <ol>
    <li>Frame 01 - Start with wide open aperture, with last turn of the lens focus anti-clockwise</li>
    <li>Frame 06 - Set stopped down aperture (likely F11, F16 or F22, depending on lens)</li>
    <li>Frame 11 - Adjust lens focus slightly clockwise</li>
    <li>Frame 16 - Adjust lens focus slightly anti-clockwise</li>
    <li>Frame 21 - Adjust lens focus slightly clockwise</li></ol></li></ol>
    <strong>Results - Lag time in ms (milliseconds)</strong>

    XE1 XT1 XT1 XT1 XT1
    56 - 35 - 56 - 60 - 18-55.mm
    F11 F16 F16 F16 F22
    ------------------------------
    Lag Lag Lag Lag Lag Frame/Comment
    101 099 100 067 056 01 Wide Open - Focus ACW
    100 068 100 101 100 02
    136 101 102 100 066 03
    101 099 102 101 100 04
    100 099 102 069 100 05
    468 199 235 233 200 06 Stopped Down
    500 198 202 201 168 07
    534 199 202 233 202 08
    468 199 202 201 200 09
    500 199 201 201 200 10
    233 266 468 335 201 11 Focus CW
    267 334 201 335 200 12
    267 300 434 334 200 13
    300 265 435 367 198 14
    332 266 464 333 202 15
    500 235 231 199 200 16 Focus ACW
    466 200 233 235 200 17
    500 164 168 199 201 18
    467 199 235 201 201 19
    534 199 201 199 201 20
    265 266 432 332 200 21 Focus CW
    333 233 466 334 200 22
    299 301 435 335 201 23
    299 267 433 333 200 24
    300 266 400 334 200 25

    <strong>Statistics</strong>

    Avg Avg Avg Avg Avg
    108 093 101 088 084 - Wide Open
    290 276 417 337 200 - Stopped-Down - After Focus CW
    494 199 211 210 197 - Stopped-Down - After Focus ACW

    <strong>Observations</strong>

    In performing the tests, the following points were noted: -

    <ol>
    <li>The X-E1 and X-T1 show slightly different performance characteristics.</li>
    <li>All lenses showed an increased lag between shooting at a wide-open aperture versus a stopped-down aperture.</li>
    <li>Some lenses showed a greater lag than normal when a manual or AF-button activation slightly moved the focus of a lens.</li>
    <li>In general, all lenses were able to maintain a lag time of around 100ms when wide-open. This lag increased to approximately 200 to 250ms when lenses were used with a stopped-down aperture. A move of the focus of the lens in some of the lenses caused an increase in lag, in some cases to more than 500ms.</li>
    <li>You can see that for the X-E1, the tests for the 56mm showed an increased lag to about 400-500ms when the lens was slightly rotated in a anti-clockwise direction, where as with the same lens for the X-T1, the lag increased to when the lens was rotated clockwise. When the lens was rotated in the opposite direction, the lag on both cameras would drop back to the normal stopped-down lag of around 200-250ms.</li>
    <li>It can be seen that on the lag induced by focus change could cause an increase based on the direction the focus was moved, but this in itself was not entirely predictable, with a difference in the effect based on lens, aperture, focus distance and camera.</li>
    <li>On the X-E1, using the 56mm lens, it was difficult to find a pattern when adjusting focus at F16. At F11 however, it followed a similar pattern as the X-T1 at F16. In fact, both cameras have somewhat varying reactions to this focus adjustment depending on the actual aperture chosen, with F8 lag showing the least reaction to any focus adjustment, but F2.8-F5 and F11-F16, most lenses exhibited some change in lag due to focus change.</li>
    <li>Occasionally, the pattern of turning either clockwise or anti-clockwise to cause an increase or decrease in lag, was not predictable, and seemed itself to be influenced by the actual absolute focus distance that the changes were made. It was difficult in the short tests made to fully ascertain how to predict the exact pattern of lag-changes according to focus adjustment.</li>
    <li>When a lens has been had its focus adjusted, at a stopped down aperture, when the shutter-release button is half pressed, as the aperture blades are moved to the stopped-down position, the characteristics of the audible sound sourced from within the lens changes. This is best described as follows: 1) when the lag is within the 200ms range (normal), the sound is a definitive short 'click' at shutter-half press, and a longer click-motor sound when the shutter is unpressed. 2) When the lag is within the 300-500ms range (longer lag than normal), the sound sequence is reversed, with a longer click-motor sound at shutter-half press, and a definitive short 'click' sound when the shutter is unpressed.</li>
    <li>While the camera was set to automatic ISO, auto shutter speed, and manual aperture, many different settings were tried at various times prior to testing, and there were no discernible differences to the test results given changes to ISO mode, display on/off, histogram/NR/lens-modulation on/off etc. It is believed from this pre-testing of setting changes that the underlying issue being tested here is not associated with such digital setting refinements of the camera.</li>
    <li>Note that during the test, a clockwise-turn of the focus ring means to change focus to a point further away in front of the camera. In the X-T1 settings menu, the Focus Ring setting is set to 'clockwise'. When doing the test, a turn of the focus ring was about 60 degrees of rotation, enough to move the focus motors/elements in the lens in the appropriate direction, but not enough to take the video monitor stopwatch out of focus (the large DOF of the stopped-down tests helped in this regard).</li>
    <li>It is agreed that the method of testing the timing is rather crude, and unlikely to yield accurate absolute timing values, but since the method of timing is the same for all lens tests here, this allows some confidence in using the relative times between the various settings to be compared.</li>
    <li>While these tests were performed using one owner's equipment, it has been tested on a second X-T1, 56mm and 35mm lenses, yielding the same result. Therefore, while not conclusive, it can at least be established that the equipment set used in these tests is likely to be similar in performance to other sets out there.</li>
    <li>These tests were done with the latest firmware available at the time of writing: 25 Nov 2014.</li></ol>
    <strong>Lens Summary Results</strong>

    <ul>
    <li>The 18-55mm and 18mm (not shown in tests) lenses exhibited almost zero change in lag due to the focus adjustments performed, at any aperture. This makes these two lenses the best performing in terms of predictable lag. They both showed a stable lag of around 100ms when wide open, and 200ms when stopped down to any aperture. These are the best performing lenses of the set tested.</li>
    <li>The 35mm lens exhibited some change in lag due to the focus adjustments performed, at most apertures. The lag was 100ms wide open, about 200ms when stopped down, and about 300ms when influenced by a focus adjustment.</li>
    <li>The 56mm lens exhibited a lot of change in lag due to the focus adjustments performed, at most apertures. The lag was 100ms wide open, about 200ms when stopped down, and about 400 to 500ms when influenced by a focus adjustment. This is the worst performing lens.</li>
    <li>The 60mm lens exhibited moderate change in lag due to the focus adjustments performed, at most apertures. The lag was 100ms wide open, about 200ms when stopped down, and about 330ms when influenced by a focus adjustment.</li></ul>
    <strong>Conclusions</strong>

    From these tests, one can conclude that the lag time, between firing the shutter and capturing the image, is variable between 100 and 500ms according to what camera and lens is being used, the aperture selected, the focal length of the lens, the focus distance and any adjustments in focus. Up to half a second lag, that is non-predictable, is likely considered poor for this caliber of system.

    It is clear, however, that most users of the system who use AF may not perceive this variable lag, since when AF is in use, the comparatively slower response of the AF compared to this lag will mask this issue entirely.

    Under test conditions it is possible sometimes to somewhat predict what might happen at a given aperture, with a given lens, at a certain focal length and focus distance, but in real-world shooting, especially in time-limited grab shots, the huge number of variations and combinations of these parameters will make it very difficult to come up with a general rule to allow one to predict the lag under these normal shooting conditions.

    It is unclear what is happening to cause this extra delay after a focus adjustment, but the audible noise that can be heard from the lenses give some clue that there is some extra mechanical activity taking place before exposure at the time the lag is greatest.

    Whether or not this lag variation can be resolved for the affected lenses, in this case the 35mm, 56mm and 60mm, through a firmware update is not clear. The internal design may actually make it necessary to have such variable delays. However, it seems possible that there may in fact be some way to improve the performance, eliminating the extra delay caused by focus adjustments, especially since this delay is not discernible in the 18mm and 18-55mm lenses.

    This whole issue may become mute if the next firmware available in December 2014 addresses the issue.

    <strong>Videos</strong>

    All tests can be viewed on YouTube here: -
    X-E1 56mm <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLf1rc8DjNk">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLf1rc8DjNk</a>
    X-T1 18-55mm <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHk0F-IlHRc">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHk0F-IlHRc</a>
    X-T1 35mm <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFb3CdVZKHA">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFb3CdVZKHA</a>
    X-T1 56mm <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC6yl7YA5jw">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC6yl7YA5jw</a>
    X-T1 60mm <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dErrEVMzS8">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dErrEVMzS8</a>
     
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  2. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Fascinating...

    But. Just a question or two, if I may...

    1) What was your sample size for this test? How many examples of each lens did you test, on how many bodies? Two? Do you think that statistically representative?
    2) How did you maintain a constant level of battery charge at all times?
    3) Was exposure and white balance set to manual?
    4) Have you communicated your results directly to Fuji? What did they say?
    5) Did you repeat the test with cameras from other manufacturers?

    I only ask, you see, because I use MF quite often, and have not noticed any significant lag in real-world use, with 14, 18, 23, 27, 35, 56, 60, 18-55, 18-135 or 55-200mm lenses on my X-M1, X-E1, X-Pro1 or X-T1 bodies. I am, I should point out, quite sensitive to shutter responsiveness having spent the past twenty plus years manually focussing with Leica Ms.

    Just curious.
     
  3. easycass

    easycass FujiXspot Rookie

    13
    Nov 26, 2014
    Currently Thailand
    Hi there Bill,

    Thank you for your reply. I will try to answer...

    1) What was your sample size for this test? I repeated the tests several times, and found that because I could more or less induce the delay, only 25 shots per lens/camera combination was necessary to demonstrate the issue I am seeing. How many examples of each lens did you test, on how many bodies? Two? 2 x X-T1 body, 1 x X-E1, 1 x X-E2, 2 x 56mm, 2 x 35mm, 1 x 60mm, 1 x 18mm, 1 x 18-55mm. Do you think that statistically representative? Good enough to at least pose the question.
    2) How did you maintain a constant level of battery charge at all times? Lag times did not noticeably alter over the course of tests and through battery changes.
    3) Was exposure and white balance set to manual? I have tried changing these and numerous other settings in the camera prior to doing the final tests. It mattered not to the outcome of the results I got, so for the test they remained in auto.
    4) Have you communicated your results directly to Fuji? What did they say? I would dearly love someone to tell me how to effectively communicate with Fuji on this. I have written to Fujifilm Japan, Singapore and Australia via their website contact links, but have yet to receive any acknowledgement.
    5) Did you repeat the test with cameras from other manufacturers? I have no other mirrorless systems available, but can demonstrate no variation' in lag times when shooting with Nikon DSLRs under the same test conditions.

    So Bill, I realise you may not have seen any significant lag in the way you shoot, with your subject matter, your equipment, and your technique. In the course of the last few weeks of discussing such matters with many users of the x-series system, almost no one experiences it, but some have. For people that have not experienced it, trying to explain what I 'feel' when I shoot was almost an exercise of trying to convince people the moon is a cube, hence a more definitive test. What I have invited people to do, which seems to be to no avail, is, if they really want to pass comment, why not try to repeat the tests using their equipment, and then they will have valid information to add to the discussion. What we feel in terms of lag is rather subjective, where as test results add some value.

    Anyway, the report was posted here just to get a bit of exposure. If no one else experiences this issue, and/or no one else feels the issue is important, or if people wish instead to say how we can use certain techniques to bypass such issues, I am not here to convince them otherwise. I supply the information more for those that have experienced 'something' and need a pointer to what they too could try to test it should they wish to pursue it and compare results.

    If you are one of the latter people Bill, then please let me know what settings you have where you experience little in the way of lag. Since the 56mm is the worst performing lens, in terms of lag, certainly in what I have tested, should you also wish to repeat a similar set of tests, I would be most interested in your results.

    Cheers for your interest,
    Cass.
     
  4. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Thanks for taking the time to respond, Cass. I'll be clear. I won't be taking you up on your challenge to run my own version of your tests because I neither see nor feel the need. I subscribe to the school of thought that says a difference which makes no difference is no difference. I do not shoot brick walls, newspapers, or test charts, nor do I pixel peep, or concern myself overmuch with barrel or pincushion distortion because in real world use these things simply do not matter to me.

    I also firmly believe that, when all is said and done, the weakest link in any optical chain is the wetware - the nut that holds the camera - ie me. It was not always so, of course; back in the day, I had a Fuji digital bridge camera - I forget what, but it was about ten years ago - which suffered from lag so biblically bad that generations of mayflies passed between pressing the shutter release and it actually deigning to capture the image. Today's cameras are light years ahead in terms of responsiveness, and do not get in my way.

    As photographers we become familiar with the nuances of our cameras and learn to get the best from them. If they do not come up to scratch, we move on to something better. There is nothing in the performance of the X-Series that I have encountered in the past two years that leads me to think there is an issue of the nature you have uncovered, that does or will matter to me.

    A final word. Here are a few images where timing was essential:
    16077745.382012ad.1024.
    Decisive Challenge 1 par Lightmancer, on ipernity
    18928855.052fc37b.1024.
    Venice Naval Officer par Lightmancer, on ipernity
    35248901.914faf2e.1024.
    Shadow X-M1 27mm 1 mono par Lightmancer, on ipernity
    34659639.70eb38ed.1024.
    Wings and Wheels Dunsfold August 2014 X-T1 Spitfire Mk IXB Mustang P51D 6 par Lightmancer, on ipernity
    29176519.aee7abab.1024.
    Rome Honeymoon Fuji XE-1 Palatine Hill 24 mono par Lightmancer, on ipernity

    The first was taken with an 80-year-old Leica IID. The second with a cheapo telezoom compact Panasonic TZ-6, the third with an X-M1, the fourth with an X-T1 and the last with an X-E1. All are exemplars of what I mean by real-world results. Some are AF, some MF, but all rely more on my sense of timing and my ability than upon the camera I happen to be using at the time.

    Thanks for taking the time to conduct your tests and share the results, but I cannot help but feel that this is something over which I shall not lose sleep.
     
  5. easycass

    easycass FujiXspot Rookie

    13
    Nov 26, 2014
    Currently Thailand
    No worries Bill, thank you also for a kindly response.

    I totally agree that this issue may not affect 99% of users. It does effect some of what I shoot, but I know in many cases I still get quality shots, similar to the lovely examples you posted. I have been doing a project in the tribal valleys of northern Vietnam, where dimly-lit village huts is where the AF really struggles, where zone focusing, somewhere around F4 preset at close-distance is the best approach, all manual for supposed quickest response, and where the local people don't mind photographers but are shy as all hell and turn away if one holds the camera up too long to the eye. Tricky conditions. Last time I didn't take my Nikons, just the Fujis, and for the first time in three years, I missed shots, missed moments. I too have been shooting for rather many years, and tried so many tried and trusted ways of priming the lens etc, anticipating moments, and found some workarounds. But the variability of the lag meant prediction remained a problem for me...

    Anyway, the test remains there for someone's information, should they also experience something similar.

    Cheers,
    Cass.
     
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  6. easycass

    easycass FujiXspot Rookie

    13
    Nov 26, 2014
    Currently Thailand
    Update: X-Pro1 Test - 35mm and 56mm

    In case anyone is interested...

    Just had a chance to do a quick and dirty test in the local camera store with a brand new X-Pro1, 35mm and 56mm lenses (armed with stop-watch!). Results show as follows: -

    35mm
    1. Wide Open: 90-100ms
    2. Stopped Down F16: 190-210ms
    3. Stopped Down with Focus Adjust Causing Lag: 240-280ms

    56mm
    1. Wide Open: 60-110ms
    2. Stopped Down F16: 200-240ms
    3. Stopped Down with Focus Adjust Causing Lag: 400-520ms

    For me, that about seals it that this is a system issue. Now I know more or less how to induce the extra lag in step 3, I get the same sound differences in the lens between steps 2 and 3, and get similar lag to the X-E1 and X-T1. It was quick and dirty, only about 3 or 4 exposures for each test step, but the lag was very perceptible to me, especially with the longer EVF freeze during step 3.

    While in the shop, I did a quick reality check with the Nikon D7100 and D810 they had there, not a full timing test as I was using the optical finders, just shooting stopped down, and man, shooting the Fuji side by side, sorry to sound like a broken record, but honestly with the X-Pro1, the delay as seen through the frozen EVF felt like an eternity... Press the shutter on the Nikons, and it was like a hair-trigger, just happens instantly, with or without AF...

    I just so hope we can get Fuji to look at this, as I really think there is something inherently wrong somewhere...
    Cass
     
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  7. Luke

    Luke FujiXspot Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    855
    Jan 31, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I haven't tried this kind of testing because that tiny lag means nothing to me. But from reading through your testing I am guessing that the camera is adjusting the aperture blades to give you a decent exposure in your viewfinder. I wonder how things would be different using a lens with no electrical communication with the body. Like any old dumb manual focus lens with an adapter. I would presume with no communication that the shutter release is direct and instantaneous (maybe I'll test this when I have more time, but not likely).

    I don't know if it's possible, but is there a setting on the camera to "shoot without lens" or something like tricking the camera into thinking you are not using a Fuji lens to remove and delay of communication and adjusting aperture blades? Of course, than one may need to deal with a darkened viewfinder depending on the amount of light one has to work with.
     
  8. easycass

    easycass FujiXspot Rookie

    13
    Nov 26, 2014
    Currently Thailand
    Hi Luke,

    Thanks for your comment. You can actually do this test very quickly should you like to give it a go. There may be an issue with aperture blades for sure, but this may be a separate issue. The most important part of the finding here is that a change in delay for the next shot, when stopped down, certainly with the 56mm, can be induced by a short throw of the focus ring. There is nothing that I can think of that should mean the delay induced goes from 0.2 seconds to 0.5 seconds for such an action as moving the focus ring one way or the other. Moving the other way resets back to 0.2 seconds.

    To many who have looked closely at the results it is looking like a design limitation or firmware bug. But whether it actually affects too many people or not, a variation of between 0.2 and half a second delay in MF on a camera of this caliber and price would seem rather poor...

    Cheers for your comments,
    Cass.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. AJ37

    AJ37 FujiXspot Rookie

    15
    Dec 31, 2014
    Glad to know this is real

    Thank you for conducting this testing. Until I stumbled across your post, I thought I was imagining this problem!

    This past Saturday I did a photo shoot with some dancers to publicize an upcoming concert. Normally I would have used my Olympus camera, but this time decided to try my X-Pro 1 and 56mm lens. I was using manual focus mode and apertures in the f/6.3 range, with studio electronic flash.

    Even though I have quite a lot of experience with this kind of photography, I had tremendous difficulty anticipating action with the X-Pro 1. I was trying to catch one dancer at the peak of a jump, something that's no problem when using the Olympus. Yet in my X-Pro photos I would sometimes catch her on the way up, sometimes on the way down, and in a few cases not until she had touched the ground again! I could feel clearly that the camera's lag time was varying, but could not understand why -- I thought possibly the position of my finger on the release button had something to do with it, or whether the LCD was on or not, or some other unknown thing.

    As a result of your tests I can see that this variable lag is a known issue and that there would have been no way to eliminate it. (I also can see that I had not noticed the effect when photographing stage performances because in those cases I am using autofocus.) I would be curious to see whether the lag also occurs when using a completely manual lens (such as an adapted Leica M-mount lens) vs. a Fuji X lens in manual focus mode.

    Anyway, contrary to the thoughts of others who have posted here, this variable lag is a very significant problem for me in trying to use the Fuji for studio photography. It took us two hours (and a lot of jumps from the poor girl who had to repeat them over and over) before we got some usable results.

    I am disappointed to note from your tests that the variable lag seems to affect even Fuji's most current camera, the X-T 1.

    My question for you: Do you suppose Fuji is aware of this issue? Should I be complaining directly to some Fuji support resource, rather than simply posting on an independent forum? If so, what? (I live in the USA.) This is a very major issue for the types of photography I do, and has caused me to re-evaluate my plans for expanding my Fuji system.

    Again, thanks for your hard work on this.

    (The attachment shows the poster design using the photo we FINALLY got! You can see why timing is important here: lag can be compensated for as long as it's consistent, but a randomly varying lag makes for random results!)

    image.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. easycass

    easycass FujiXspot Rookie

    13
    Nov 26, 2014
    Currently Thailand
    Hi there, thank you for your detailed post. Yes, I know exactly what you were trying to achieve in your photoshoot, and really understand the frustration. And you are correct, there are so many people that even refused to eitehr believe there is this variable lag, or they say it does not affect them. But for me, I just need the camera to fire when I expect it to, not when it feels good and ready!

    I have posted this topic on a number of different forums. I wish you could post on them, as the frustration in just getting people to see this as a real system issue is pretty tough. But anyway, I have now managed to get this information through to Fuji in Singapore and Australia, who tell me they will pass the information on to Fuji Japan. Also, one Fuji photographer said he managed to duplicate it, and will also be feeding it back to Fuji. A few other sources also 'in the works' through other forum members. However, I think that Fuji needs to understand how this affects us, and if you can also relay your comments to them in the USA, I see that as being extra fuel to push them into doing something.

    I have now see this on all cameras, the X-E1, X-Pro 1 and X-T1, so I think we can say it is likely a firmware issue that has been inherent from the birth of the system. While the issue may not have surfaced before (mainly because people generally use AF rather than MF, and the AF is slo slow as to hide any other variation in shooting speed such as this lag), one has to wonder why the Fuji engineers have not spotted it before. And if they have, why they would not fix such a reproducable and obvious fault? My fear is that there is something inherent in the system, since I can duplicate it in many of the lenses. It is just the 56mm is the worst. Maybe something about the way they use the servos/motors in the lens design...

    My desicription of the issue can now be summed up so simply for teh 56mm: lag of ~100ms wide open, ~200ms stopped down, and ~500ms stopped down and after a manual focus change one way or the other prior to shooting. The possibility of lag anywhere from 0.1 to half a second in MF is just ridiculous.

    If it is the case that there is nothing that can be done, I will have to sell my Fuji gear. I bought the system for light weight, but if I also have to take my Nikons along so that I can handle the fast-response situations, then that won't work.

    We'll see if anything surfaces in the next few months, but I will certainly not be investing any more in the system for now.

    Thanks again, and anything you can do to raise the exposure of the issue at your end will definitely help.

    Cheers,
    Cass.

    Ps...

    If you wish to repost your great post to any of the oterh forums, here are teh links below. I hope you do, your explanation of why it is important and your fabulous final picture is a great way to let people know that it is something that affects working pros...

    http://www.fujix-forum.com/index.php/topic/31478-delay-due-to-aperture-blades-stopping-down-performance-question/page-12

    http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54805611

    http://www.fujixseries.com/discussion/8006/equipment-report-investigation-into-sporadic-lag-issues-of-x-series-system/p1
     
  11. Semion

    Semion FujiXspot Regular

    99
    Aug 11, 2014
    Have you tested 3d party lenses?
     
  12. easycass

    easycass FujiXspot Rookie

    13
    Nov 26, 2014
    Currently Thailand
    I have not personally tested any, but I have seen a few reports from other owners where it appears to be that 3rd party lenses, while they generally have some lag in the same 100-200ms range, do not exhibit the variable lag up to 500ms issue...
     
  13. alans

    alans FujiXspot Regular

    74
    Oct 31, 2013
    Yes, this is an issue that has also created problems for me in the real photography world. I shoot sports and events for colleges and I've used Fuji's as a 2nd and 3rd camera to my Canon's. This past fall I tried a main two XT-1 setup and I lost shots that I could not believe! And that's even with the world's fastest AF of the 14mm! The lag time of the Fuji is enough to throw off my regular timing with DSLR's that I have been accustomed to for 30 years.

    With that said, the Fuji's, from XE-1 to XE-2 to XT-1 have been my personal cameras of choice for a lot of my personal work. I haven't given up yet. In a week I'll I have a low light assignment where I'll be shooting 3200 wide open for a couple of hours. I'll be trying out the XT-1/56 and 23 to see if I can get it to work after I get the main shots with the DSLR.

    Easycass, thanks for the testing. These mere fractions of a second can make or break the shot.
     
  14. easycass

    easycass FujiXspot Rookie

    13
    Nov 26, 2014
    Currently Thailand
    Hi there Alan,

    Thanks for the feedback. It will be interesting to see how you go with your low-light assignment.

    As you likely are aware, the latest firmware updates have helped a little with AF speed I think, and with slightly less hunting, so you might be able to get away with it just in single-point AF mode. But if that struggles in low-light, then if in MF, that variable lag is still there. I think it is fine if you have time to half-press the shutter and wait for the shot, but if it is grab-shots, difficult to get the moment if you happen to 'snag' one of the long shutter lag times of half-a-second. It is either the length of time or the variation in timing that causes those missed moments; as you say, those couple of hundreths of milliseconds really count at times for sure...

    Do report back if you have time. Good luck and cheers for your comments, Cass.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. AJ37

    AJ37 FujiXspot Rookie

    15
    Dec 31, 2014
    To clarify, I think the issue is not that there's shutter lag per se; any camera will have that. Sports photographers of the 1930s were able to get good action photos using large-format Graflex SLRs on which the lag (flipping a 5-inch reflex mirror!) must have been titanic!

    As long as it's fairly consistent, it's possible to deal with any reasonable amount of lag by learning to anticipate your shot, just as you learn to anticipate your swing when playing softball or tennis.

    The problem we seem to be uncovering with Fuji is that under some conditions (manual focus with changing aperture or focus position) the lag is NOT consistent, making it impossible to get "into the groove" when trying to time peak action.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    885
    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    Eric
    I'd be interested to know if this is also present in the Fuji fixed lens cameras like the X100/S/T. I've used my X100S to shoot cyclocross racing and have resorted to manual focus since the AF system of the camera isn't up to the task in many scenarios. However, even with MF I too have had trouble anticipating the timing of my shots - something I haven't had issue with using my m43 cameras or DLSR in the past.
     
  17. easycass

    easycass FujiXspot Rookie

    13
    Nov 26, 2014
    Currently Thailand
    Yes, for sure the biggest problem is inconsistant timing, making it difficult to predict when the shutter will actually fire.

    I have to say though, in my case, I also find the actual length of time to be quite frustrating too. Any time lost at all in a grab shot, when added to one's reaction time, lifting the camera to the eyes, pressing the shutter, plus 0.5 second lag all adds up. Reducing what delays we can all helps. And the half second EVF freeze, plus after-shot black-out time really messes with any chance of fluid shooting, where seeing one's subject all the time is a real necessity. But hopefully if Fuji fixed the inconsistancy issue, then we'll be shooting all shots with ~100-200ms lag at most, which fixes both inconsistency and the rather long-time-lag for me...
     
  18. easycass

    easycass FujiXspot Rookie

    13
    Nov 26, 2014
    Currently Thailand
    I am not sure, as I do not have any of the X100/S/T models. I just can't imagine that their fixed lens camera system has the same design/limitation/bug, as the whole mechanics must be so different from the interchangeable lens system (but wouldn't rule it out of course!). Interesting though. To be very honest, I just don't quite get it with these Fuji's. I know most people just don't notice the timing issues, which is fine for them, but for me, always just wanting sometimes to shoot without the camera getting in the way, I am at a loss. As a long time photographer where I normally switch my Nikons to MF for maximum and absoluelty instantaneous response, why are the Fuji's sooooo slow in this MF mode. Ahhh, technological progress is a wonderful thing...

    Possibly someone else with the X100 camera model can confirm the same issue?
     
  19. LCT

    LCT New to FujiXspot

    6
    Jul 4, 2014
    100-300ms with M lenses depending on the speedness of the photographer (X-E2).
     
  20. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther FujiXspot Veteran

    461
    Feb 2, 2013
    Texas
    There is a bit of MF lag on my X100 when I compare shooting MF with my Nikon Df....