Using corrected framelines in the X100 / X-Pro OVF

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Ray Sachs, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran

    485
    Feb 1, 2013
    Near Philadephila
    With the release of the X100s, we're sure to see another epidemic of those new to the offset OVF getting confused by the way the OVF handles parallax and complaining about the camera primarily because they don't understand what's going on. To help new users understand what's going on with the focus point(s) as viewed through the OVF, Fuji added a menu item that allows the user to turn "corrected framelines" on. The original X100 didn't have this option until it was added via firmware sometime after the camera's release. It can be confusing for someone who's never used a rangefinder type OVF to figure it out with the corrected framelines - it was a whole lot more confusing before Fuji thought to include them. So, for those about to embark on an OVF journey of their own, here is how the OVF and this corrected frameline feature works.

    The camera only has one one actual focus box, but it will show up at a different location within the OVF depending on how far away your subject is. The two initial boxes that show up define the range of where it could be depending on whether your subject is near or far. Once you half press to AF, the camera calculates the distance of the subject and then shows you the third green box, which is the actual box. The upper left box is where the OVF would naturally think the focus point is - remember that the OVF is a couple of inches above and to the left of the center of the lens and so the point it sees as the focus point is also a couple of inches above and to the left of the actual point the lens is focussing on. When you focus on a distant object, that couple of inches is meaningless and the focus point for the lens is indistinguishable from the focus point perceived by the OVF. So when you focus on something in the distance, the actual focus point that is drawn is more or less identical to that upper left box. Because at that distance, the lens and the OVF perceive the same center focus point.

    As your focus point moves closer and closer to the camera, however, that couple of inches between the OVF and the lens starts to matter more and more in terms of the perceived focus box. So the lower right box in the OVF is what the lens is perceiving as the focus box for the closest subjects the camera can focus on before hitting the macro range. So, for a subject 15 feet away, the actual focus box is basically the same as the upper left box. For subjects 2-3 feet away, the actual focus box is basically the same as the lower right box and when you focus on something close, that's where the green box appears. And for subjects in that middle range, the actual focus box shows up at the appropriate spot between the two initial boxes.

    So that third box is the real box. With some experience, it becomes second nature to know about where that actual box is going to appear based on the subjects distance from you. You learn quickly to anticipate where tha actual point is, and then the third green box just confirms your judgement. This is what parallax is. It's also why the camera forces you to use the EVF at macro distances because the OVF simply isn't precise enough at those close distances. It's why true rangefinders don't do close up work well at all.

    So once you understand it and work with it a little while, it'll become second nature and you'll barely need the second box as a guide.

    -Ray
     
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  2. Livnius

    Livnius FujiXspot Regular

    26
    Feb 5, 2013
    That's probably the best explanation I've read, and timely for me too.
    Thanks Ray.
     
  3. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    885
    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    Eric
    Very clearly presented - much appreciated!
     
  4. taz98spin

    taz98spin FujiXspot Top Veteran

    523
    Feb 1, 2013
    New York, NY
    TAZ
    Wow, thank you! Maybe I will finally try using the OVF again!
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran

    485
    Feb 1, 2013
    Near Philadephila
    You know, there was a rash of complaints about Fuji's lousy focussing with the OVF when the X100 arrived, and many returns followed. Then that joined the list of early "flaws" that became accepted wisdom. Then a year later when the X-Pro showed up, it happened again. And it just seems inevitable that its gonna happen each time they release a new model with the hybrid viewfinder. Hopefully in decreasing numbers as a reasonable percentage of those who are interested in such a camera must already be in the fold. But of course this was never a flaw, just a lack of basic understanding. I remember working this out with the corner of a picture frame and switching between the OVF and EVF in the earliest days of the X100, before Fuji kindly added the "corrected framelines" option to the menu. And I'm not sure how many times I tried to explain it to folks in the past couple of years. I just did it again on the NexTalk forum yesterday, and Amin asked me to post it here. So maybe I'll bookmark this thread and refer the new X100s users to this.

    It's one of those things that's impossible until you get it, and then it's the simplest thing in the world.

    -Ray
     
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  6. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. FujiXspot Veteran

    409
    Jan 31, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    Excellent explanation. There's nothing quite as frustrating as seeing a good piece of equipment trashed because the person doing the trashing just does not understand how to use it. You'll help many to use there camera with enjoyment instead of frustration.
     
  7. ggweci

    ggweci FujiXspot Rookie

    Thank you very much for the write up Ray.

    This is excellent info and perfect for someone like me who has an X100S on pre-order. It'll be my first hybrid-viewfinder camera (first Fuji actually). I currently use a DSLR, so the OVF is TTL, therefore no parallax issues.
     
  8. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    518
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    A lot of those early complaints about the X100 were another example of why I rarely look to the Internet for user reviews of most items - unless I am already familiar with the reviewer, trust that he or she is a person with knowledge and experience, and feel that the reviewer shares at least approximately my own priorities. This goes for almost anything: consumer electronics, cars, whatever.
     
  9. CallMeDave

    CallMeDave New to FujiXspot

    1
    Mar 10, 2016
    Adding 3 years later, the X100T displays the "lower right box" as just four corners that define the square. I've never looked through an X100(s) to compare, but this "ghost" range box seems smarter than their original implementation sounds.
    Thanks for making it crystal clear!