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23mm F1.4 question

Discussion in 'Fuji X-Mount Lens Forum' started by changareth, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. changareth

    changareth New Member

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    Hi I recently picked up my Fuji XT-2 with a 23mm f1.4 & 56mm f1.2 lens.

    Ive read a lot of reviews before getting the 23mm f1.4 and yeah i got a 2nd hand one which was in pretty good condition.

    Ive read this lens is pretty decent in taking sharp images but this is the problem I'm having. I feel like a lot of times the image is not sharp and to some what looks a tiny out of focus which I gotta do some post sharpening. Also the 'bokeh' seems a bit somewhat unnatural or looks like a motion blur more than a nice bokeh.

    But once I change to my 56mm f1.2 these problems are completely gone. My 56mm is much sharper and everything just looks really nice on it.

    I was just wondering what could the problem be or if anyone had similar case or is this just the nature of the lens?

    Here are some samples of my 23mm f1.4

    Their all taken with auto focus on.

    [​IMG]
    (the bokeh especially the part with the person behind doesnt look as natural)

    [​IMG]
    (subject doesnt look sharp)

    [​IMG]
    (subject is a bit blurry *out of focus* the bokeh behind especially the 2 person behind looks a bit unnatural kinda like with a motion blur to it)

    Here are samples of my 56mm f1.2 which you can tell is obviously a lot better and sharper under same conditions and the bokeh is much more natural and nicer.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hoping someone can point me into the right direction. Coz I did think about selling the 23mm back out too..

    the 56mm is awesome but sometimes when I wanna take closer shots I gotta stand far haha and I thought the 23mm could help me with that.
     
  2. pfogle

    pfogle Puzzled

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    I don't have the 23, but even on my small tablet those shots look like there's something wrong with that lens. It looks like an element has been knocked out of alignment. If possible, I'd return it.
     
  3. DMACKUK

    DMACKUK Active Member

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    I used to have this lens and if it had produced images like you have shown on here I would have returned it.

    The 23mm f1.4 is incredibly sharp normally, and your 56mm appears to produce sharp images which would imply that this is not a camera / focussing issue. Your copy of the lens must be faulty in some way as per "pfogle's" comment above.
     
  4. mrblah

    mrblah Active Member

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    The third one isn't sharp because of motion blur. It would help if we saw the exifs.
     
    Fujica and charlie3 like this.
  5. pandoraefretum

    pandoraefretum Premium Member

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    Hi have the 23 f/1.4 and initially I reacted like you :I sent it back to Fuji to be checked out... and they reported it was within specs
    Well, I still think it's not as amazing a copy as everyone else's ; but how much is user error?
    To test your lens once and for all: Try photographing a newspaper with camera on tripod.... then we can talk.

    Lastly, I'd like to add (inserted an edit here) that I recently photographed using a tripod some newspaper covers with all 9 XF lenses I own, and found they were all sharp (excepting corner softness wide open, and known issues, such as some distortion in the 35 F/2). My conclusion is user error was to blame for my initial assessment ; camera shake, slow shutter speeds, unrealistic expectations etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  6. George Komiotis

    George Komiotis AKA Photogeo180

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    It seems that this lens is not an easy one to manufacture and there are bad copies of it.
    For instance, I had to return two in order to end with a good one (actually superb).
     
  7. Bolts

    Bolts Well-Known Member

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    Looks horrible but still, take a few tripod shots, then you know for sure - hard to know from here the variables at play.
     
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  8. Jackson

    Jackson Active Member

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    Interesting thread and thanks for starting it. I am too looking at perhaps a copy of the 23mm 1.4 or an F2. Interesting to know this lens has a history.
     
  9. robert

    robert Administrator Staff Member

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    First pic, subject is sharp, person in the background appears to be moving.

    Second pic, subject is sharp.

    Third pic, looks like camera shake.

    I don't see anything here that would indicate a lens fault.

    Not related, but they are overexposed and too blue.
     
  10. Mistik-ka

    Mistik-ka Member

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    Whew, what a relief! I thought my eyes must be failing when I couldn't see what the other commenters were seeing. If my vision is failing, at least I'm in good company.
     
    trainer likes this.
  11. beakhammer

    beakhammer Premium Member

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    I agree with Robert. These pictures don't tell us enough to blame your copy of the lens. Motion blur looks like the main problem.

    To tell you more we would need to know at least the aperture and shutter speed for each image. Are these Jpegs straight from the camera? Tell us more about your procedures.

    I have a used copy of the 23mm/1.4, and it is superb. When comparing the Bokeh of the 23mm to the 56mm, keep in mind that the depth of field and bokeh qualities of the wide angle lens are not going to look the same for optical reasons; the 23mm won't produce the very dramatic blur you can get with the 56mm, except perhaps with extreme close-ups, though I have never seen the 23mm produce ugly background blur.

    I think you are using shutter speeds that are too slow for your personal hand-steadiness. These high resolution digital cameras need higher shutter speeds than the traditional guidelines suggest. With film cameras I used to use a minimum shutter speed that matched the lens focal length (no lower than 1/50 with a 50mm lens, etc.). I think you need to consider using faster shutter speeds, by a stop or two, with your X-T2. Since the 23mm is a 35mm "equivalent" you could theoretically get away with a minimum shutter speed of 1/40 but I try to keep the shutter speed higher for hand-held shots, using 1/60 or even 1/125, depending on how steady I am feeling. The grip you use on the camera is an important factor as well. Of course, with moving subjects you may have to use even higher shutter speeds.

    You might want to go over all the settings you are using. The X-T2 is set up differently than my cameras, but from the little time I spent with an X-T2 I could see that there were some settings that work better than others. The blue color of your images suggests that something is less than ideal in the way you have things set up.
     
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  12. beakhammer

    beakhammer Premium Member

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    When you say you have auto focus "on", do you have the camera set to "AF ON" as well as having set the focus clutch on the lens to The AF position as well? The camera switch should be set to "AF ON" and the focus clutch on the 23mm/1.4 should be pushed forward into the locked "AF ON" position as well.
     
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  13. changareth

    changareth New Member

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    Thank you for all the replies. You guys are awesome and I really appreciate all the care and help!

    I will definitely try it on a tripod to show you guys. For the first picture the guy behind wasn't moving much, he was just on his phone. I never set my shutter speed lower than 1/60. I usually have it above 1/80. In terms of aperture, because of what I'm getting from this lens I usually set it to f2 or above. Hardly even use 1.4. I keep my ISO setting usually within 100-800.
    I'm shooting the images with "FINE" image quality in my XT-2. I always thought if it's my handshake that's causing the problem or my noobness but with the 56mm it's instantly gone the problem so I actually let my friend who is a professional cinematographer to try it out and he himself is getting the same results. Most of his images the subject isn't sharp as well. He didn't know what it was and he told me maybe that's the lens character or I'm lucky to get a faulty one. But I know it isn't as I did a lot of research on this lens and saw spectacular images produced from it before purchasing it.
     
  14. beakhammer

    beakhammer Premium Member

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    Try the tripod test. Use the time-delay or a shutter cable, or just use a high shutter speed. Maybe there is something out of whack with your copy of the lens.

    It is still possible that you are not using the focus clutch correctly, or that your focus settings are not matched right, and your cinematographer friend may not know about that issue either. very few modern lenses have a focus clutch. Do you know what I mean about the focus clutch?

    The 56mm lens does not have a focus clutch, but the 23mm/1.4 does have one. In general, with Fuji lenses that have a focus clutch, you should leave the camera set to AF all the time and switch between manual focus and auto focus by pushing the focus ring forward to lock it into AF and pulling it backward to unlock the ring for manual focus. The clutch will click in and out of AF with a solid click, and the ring can only be turned when it is pulled back into the manual focus position. If the focus clutch is set for manual focusing that could be your problem. In addition there are settings in the menus that have an impact on how lenses with a focus clutch function. There are other possible configurations for the focus settings on these lenses, but this basic approach is the best place to start.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  15. beakhammer

    beakhammer Premium Member

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    Try using manual focus only as well, to see if that helps, and use even faster shutter speeds. If you shoot at 1/250 or higher then you can be fairly sure motion isn't an issue.

    The 23mm/1.4 should be sharp at f 1.4.
     
  16. Ruckis

    Ruckis Member

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    It looks like you have a bad copy of the lens. I've had this lens twice, the first time I hated it because it took pics like the one's you've posted and are describing.

    I ended up with a second copy of the lens eventually and it was tack sharp. I loved it.
     
  17. robert

    robert Administrator Staff Member

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    Picture 1: the person in the background wasn't moving much, but he was clearly moving enough to be slightly blurred. He's also not the focus point and not the subject, which is sharp.

    I don't see any problem with picture 2, the subject is in focus and sharp.

    Picture 3 is simply camera shake.

    Unless I am completely missing something, there is nothing here that would point to any lens fault. If you have other examples, please show them. If there really is a lens problem, pic 1 and pic 2 would be as blurred as pic 3.
     
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  18. visorvet

    visorvet Premium Member

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    To me it looks like this is more than a technique issue, and obviously the ones with the 56mm look much better. PhotoZone, the lens testing site, reports that problems with the Fuji lenses ("bad copies") are not all that uncommon. This may also be the case with other manufacturers - I've certainly had a few bad copies of Canon and Tamron lenses in the past. At any rate, I am always careful to test the new Fuji lenses I buy immediately after purchase so that any problems are identified within the return/exchange period.
     
  19. mikegee

    mikegee Premium Member

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    Sometime using the smallest focus point can result in out of focus results. try using the 2nd smallest size focus point that may correct the problem.
     
  20. beakhammer

    beakhammer Premium Member

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    I always use the largest possible focus point, usually the largest one, but missed-focus doesn't explain the stuff that looks like motion blur in some of the shots.
     

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