X100s - soft, or is it user error?

Discussion in 'Fuji X100, X100S, and X100T' started by Hyubie, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Hyubie

    Hyubie FujiXspot Veteran

    206
    Feb 4, 2013
    Weymouth, MA
    I finally got an X100s (thanks again to a fellow member here!), and I must say it is one good-looking sonufagun. However, I was taken aback when I tried to shoot wide-open. I know coming in that there were issues with softness when macro is on, but I didn't turn macro on. See shot below:

    10555496264_20d9a2c033_b.

    This is the first time I've really realized what "smeared with Vaseline" looks like. :biggrin: (OK - maybe that is too strong, but that was what leaped to my mind immediately.) Maybe I was too spoiled with the X-E1 + 35mm wide-open? I had thought that the lens on this sexy beast was up to par with that combo -- again only issue I've read about is macro, which was fine by me.

    There are a lot of nice things going on with this camera, but this one sticks out like a sore thumb for me. Not a deal-breaker for now, but just curious if there's something I can do to address it, or if this is inherent.
     
  2. Gary

    Gary FujiXspot Top Veteran

    698
    Feb 15, 2013
    SoCal
    Gary
    My X100s wide open seems sharper.

    DSCF3277.

    DSCF3290-XL.
     
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  3. Hyubie

    Hyubie FujiXspot Veteran

    206
    Feb 4, 2013
    Weymouth, MA
    Thanks, Gary. I'm not sure if it's unsharp, or it lacks contrast. I'm getting a third party hood - you guys think that should help? I'm thinking it will, but not sure by how much.
     
  4. Gary

    Gary FujiXspot Top Veteran

    698
    Feb 15, 2013
    SoCal
    Gary
    PS- Check your NR settings. Most Fuji owners I know use -1 or -2. The above were at 0.

    G
     
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  5. Hyubie

    Hyubie FujiXspot Veteran

    206
    Feb 4, 2013
    Weymouth, MA
    I will try -1. My settings are +1 Color, +1 Sharpness, -1 Highlight, -1 Shadow, 0 NR.
     
  6. SimpleGus

    SimpleGus FujiXspot Regular

    59
    Sep 26, 2013
    Try spot metering with -1 at the exposure comp.
     
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  7. drewbot

    drewbot FujiXspot Regular

    138
    Feb 1, 2013
    Toronto
    Also note it is a bit softer at shorter focus distances.
     
  8. Disaster

    Disaster FujiXspot Rookie

    12
    Oct 21, 2013
    Motown
    Doesn't look "unsharp" at all to me. I can see the lower contrast. Sometimes the DR400 can make things a little flat, which can happen in strong backlighting with DRauto selected. You can always massage the curves in post.
     
  9. juangrande

    juangrande FujiXspot Regular

    I am the person who traded to him the x100s. That being said, in this photo, the black bar on the left (the side) seems to be the most in focus. I think it's an issue of wide open depth of focus. AF on the fujis do seek that point of extreme contrast. Also the strand of straw in the top right ( of the scarecrow ) and another in the mid-bottom right ( which seem to be in the same plane as the bar) seem pretty sharp. It's difficult to tell w/o the ability to zoom 100%.
     
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  10. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I looked at that photo at 100% on Flickr - it is most definitely sharp, just lacking contrast. Take a look at the loose straw fibers in the hat, and for that matter the material of the scarecrow itself. You can make out individual fibers with ease, and each individual thread is visible to the point you could count them if you had nothing better to do and lots of time on your hands ;)

    I do see some CA, which will make it look softer; you might try a little bit of removal in post. Stopping down would also probably clear that up nicely.

    However, there's also a very distinct lack of contrast in this photo. I think that more than anything is what leads to the 'soft' reaction - if you dialed up the contrast in post this would look very crisp. My immediate reaction is that this looks like it's being shot through a piece of glass... you don't by any chance have a filter on your lens, do you? Other than that all I can think of to suggest is cleaning your lens. I'm not sure where your light source was exactly in this shot but could be you had some veiling flare also. Maybe try some test shots where you can eliminate flare as a possibility.
     
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  11. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Hyubie, hope you don't mind my doing so but just to give an idea, here's the image with some PP tweaks to show what I mean about the contrast - this is without adding any sharpening, just contrast and color. You'll note it looks a lot sharper to the eye simply because of the added contrast.

    scarecrow.
     
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  12. Hyubie

    Hyubie FujiXspot Veteran

    206
    Feb 4, 2013
    Weymouth, MA
    Thanks for all the reply. Jack over at SC (Armanius) did point out that contrast seems to be the problem, not sharpness. I played around with the image too and when I slid the contrast all the way up, the image indeed appeared to be closer to what I expect. I think I mistook lack of contrast for sharpness. All is well in my Fuji paradise. :)


    Sent from my iPad
     
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  13. chipbutty

    chipbutty FujiXspot Regular

    90
    Aug 3, 2013
    Sheffield, UK
    I have the X100. This lens is undoubtedly softer wide open at f2. Fuji themselves talk about that on their web site. It's not 'soft' though, just softer than f4 and higher. But I agree with the other comments, that shot just needed more contrast.
     
  14. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Yeah, I still think it looks odd though... even wide open the X100 should have more contrast than that. I'd still say either filter on the lens or some veiling flare involved there because it looks like a blue-gray wash over the whole image which isn't my experience with the X100/X100S in normal circumstances.
     
  15. Hyubie

    Hyubie FujiXspot Veteran

    206
    Feb 4, 2013
    Weymouth, MA
    True about the haze. There were no filters, and if I remember correctly I was on the shady part of my front yard. I'll do some more shots similar to the light and settings - although I haven't noticed it on some indoor shots with less light. Those shots were pretty much spot on.


    Sent from my iPad
     
  16. gidal

    gidal FujiXspot Rookie

    24
    Oct 11, 2013
    USA
    I noticed some softness from using mine in macro mode as well, but not this bad. This looks like it was taken behind a glass window..
    Is it possible, one of the film simulation mode was selected?
     
  17. Hyubie

    Hyubie FujiXspot Veteran

    206
    Feb 4, 2013
    Weymouth, MA
    Pro Neg Hi. But I don't think that's it though.
     
  18. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    oh. Actually that could be a factor, I found sometimes the film simulations reduce contrast in the tone curve and add a blueish tint to the color balance. I didn't even think to ask about film simulation settings.