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Focusing issues with my X-T2

Discussion in 'Fuji X Newbies: If You're New To Fuji X Cameras' started by epv, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. epv

    epv New Member

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    Hello from a new forum member.

    I am a long time amateur photographer from Alberta, Canada. I've been shooting Canon gear since the AE-1 Program. My most recent Canon is the 50D. In April I took the plunge and bought an X-T2 with the 18-55 lens. I was excited about the size and having the exposure settings available using external dials. What I was really anticipating was sharp images with beautiful color like I'd seen in every review.

    The reality is I can't seem to get sharp images. I've tried:
    • single and continuous focus
    • spot, zone and wide focus modes
    • apertures ranging from wide open to f16
    • still and moving subjects
    • ISO from 100 to 3200.
    95% of my images look like they were shot through a slighty dirty window. As much as I love the camera, I'm considering a switch back to Canon.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Can anyone advise me on how I can improve my IQ with this camera?

    Eric
     
  2. gh8st

    gh8st Member

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    Did you buy brand new or used?

    I have tried taking a pic with either auto focus or manual focus?

    Hopefully it's just an issue with the settings.

    I made the same the switch and have not looked back. I get super sharp images as good if not better than Canon.

    Good luck
     
  3. Tilphot

    Tilphot Premium Member

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    Hmmm ... as an experienced photographer you should get sharp, crisp images from this combo. Have you tried a different lens? Stills shot from a tripod? Did you contact the dealer? And: Could you post a picture to illustrate your issue?
     
  4. Goldingd

    Goldingd Premium Member

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    Picture are worth a thousand words. On this and similar camera Blogs, a thousand words are often not worth a single picture.

    We need an example.

    Also
    Are we talking about a RAW or a JPEG or both
    Are you shooting RAW, JPEG, or RAW plus JPEG
    What is your Post Processing software.
    Do they look like crap in camera as well as post processing
    And from your heading I take it they look out of focus as if a dirty window was shoot thru and got focused on instead of the subject. Or is it they are in focus but looking muddy liak a filthy window was in the way? Example???

    And, P.S. have you tried resetting the camera to all defaults just in-case some setting has gone bonkers?

    Oh, and when posting an example, please remember to retain most of the Metadata (other than PII info) Some people go and post examples lacking any Metadata, so the Members that might view and respond who want to see what the various settings were,, cannot.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  5. Festus

    Festus Premium Member

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    Everyone has replied as if there may be a body issue. Try to use the lens on a different body. It may be the lens needs adjustment, or replacement.
     
  6. Aphotographer

    Aphotographer Premium Member

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    I just sent back an X Pro 2 because I wasn't happy with the IQ. Too much noise, particularly in the sky. If I didn't have the XP1 I might have been pleased with it but the images weren't enough better than the original camera to justify the price. That said, they were plenty sharp, just not clear. Make sense? I had all the lenses from the first camera so I know there wasn't a lens issue. Zooms can have more problems as they are a more complicated piece of equipment. Consult the dealer if you can.
     
  7. FMW

    FMW Premium Member

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    both the camera and lens are capable of razor sharp images. So something is wrong. I recommend you reset the camera settings to default, make some images outdoors using auto focus and post them here.
     
  8. epv

    epv New Member

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    Wow. I'm quite impressed with the response. Thank you.

    Some answers (in order):
    1. Camera is brand new (or was on April 22 when I purchased it)

    2. I have tried another copy of the 18-55, as well as had my 18-55 on another X-T2, at the camera store. Images were taken of a display at 10 ft using available light and were similar in all 4 configurations (both lenses on both bodies). Images were ok, but not great.

      One of my better images, taken on a tripod with controlled lighting. Detail on the dress is good, but I have problems with my daughter's skin tone.
      20170531-DSCF4213.jpg
    3. I'm shooting Raw + JPEG, but just using the raw, processed in Lightroom CC.
      They seem to look a little better in camera, but still not sharp.
      More like your second example, focus is on the subject, just not sharp.
      I have also tried a reset on the camera settings - twice.

    4. Done - see answer #2

    5. Sounds like a great idea. I will reset the camera again and go shoot a few images.
    More to follow soon. Thank you to everyone again for responding.
     
  9. Goldingd

    Goldingd Premium Member

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    OK, one of the common issues with the FujiFilm X non Bayer Sensors is , well:

    1) Adobe and others translation of the RAF file
    2) Adobe and others (actually Adobe LR) handling of sharpening.

    Now I am not a Sharpening Guru, or for that mater a sharpening fan. IMO many people go all gaga over sharpening. And while I do not see all the problems others see with Adobe's handling of RAF (at least in LR) I do like to avoid using the default LR default Camera Process and Profile. And I feel using a FujiFilm centric one (as provided by Adobe) improves the image, or at least my workflow into getting to where I want to end up.

    Now allot of issues people see with images right out of a camera might just relate to contrast, whit/Black points, and tonal curves, and a few steps could help allot.

    Ok, getting wordy. And I have no idea of your workflow, experience, capability, etc, But could you try a few things, perhaps to a virtual copy as to not undo all your work,

    In LR, either to your RAF or a virtual copy of the RAF, in the Develop module, bring that image up, and click on the Reset button as to do away with all previous edits, then in the Presets, find the Lightroom/General preset zeroed as to eliminate any LR defaults (sharpening for example)

    Go and set your WB (no, not as shot, I never trust myself on that)

    In Lens correction, ONLY check off Remove Chromatic Aberration (do not go anywhere near Enable Profile Corrections, DO NOT DO IT)

    All the way at bottom right, enter the Camera Calibration section. If the current process is "2012 current" that's OK, and probably desired (unless you like to work with older LR versions of various sections), and for Profile, change that Adobe Standard, to one of the Fuji ones (what you see is camera dependent), this will change how LR translates the RAF to something more akin to how your camera treats the image taken, you will probably be happier at this stage)

    Back up in Treatment/Tone, If for some reason the Tone was automatically set, undo that. Optional Shift double click on exposure (a well exposed image will not need that of course), AND shift/double click on Whites, and then on Blacks to set the White/Black point.



    Does this give you a better starting point??
     
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  10. epv

    epv New Member

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    Hello all,

    Goldingd, I would set my Lightroom skills at a 3-4 out of 10. I'm already doing pretty much everything you have suggested, though thanks for the input. My preferred profile is Classic Chrome, but I do use others.

    I took a walk around the block and got a handful of images to show. All of them were on single shot focusing, most on single point but some on zone. The photos were also shot using available light. I processed the raw photos in Lightroom but only did Sharpening and Noise Reduction. One curious thing is that there were no camera profiles for these images, only "Embedded". I'm not sure if this had anything to do with the fact that I did both a Shooting Menu Reset and a Set-Up Reset.

    The sharpness on these images seem better than when I photograph people. I am wondering if part of the problem is my wife and daughter are both blonde with very light skin color.


    1/125 sec. f/4 42.5mm
    ISO 800
    Focus was on dark patch of bark to the left of lower windshield edge.
    20170618-DSCF4405.jpg

    1/60 sec. f/5.6 55mm
    ISO 320
    Focus was on face of statue
    20170618-DSCF4413.jpg

    1/80 sec. f/2.8 18mm
    ISO 200
    Focus was on the rocks between foliage.

    20170618-DSCF4416.jpg

    1/60 sec. f/5 52.7mm
    ISO 800
    Focus was on rust hole area
    20170618-DSCF4418.jpg

    1/60 sec. f/5.6 55mm
    ISO 800
    Focus was on middle petal of closest metal flower (behind "stamen")
    20170618-DSCF4421.jpg
     
  11. Goldingd

    Goldingd Premium Member

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    The Embedded issue occurs if the file is not a RAW format, in this case, RAF or DNG (should you use a RAF to DNG translator). So, if you are looking at a JPEG, or a PSD, TIFF, etc, you would see Embedded.
     
  12. Tilphot

    Tilphot Premium Member

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    Hey epv, I wouldn't say that your pictures look like shot through a "slightly dirty window" – they look okay to me.

    What I'm wondering from the remarks I quoted here, is if you fully know about the Fuji film simulations and how they're applied in camera (to the Jpeg) and in Lightroom (to the RAW).

    Also, you mentioned that you have a problem with skin tones, which might also be related to your choice of film simulations and/or Noise Reduction.

    As these are several issues, let's tackle them one by one:

    1. Film Simulations in general:
    - In case you don't really know what the film simulations do in detail, you may want to have a look at this site (which won't recommend Classic Chrome for your typical portrait of a little girl):
    Please login or register to view links

    2. Film sim application in camera/in Lightroom
    - For Jpegs, the camera will always apply one of the film simulations (that you chose previously) - if you open the Jpeg in Lightroom and go to the "camera calibration" panel, it will say "Embedded". To find out which one you applied, there's DIREXIF – an exif viewer developed by Macro here on the forum (you'll find it if you search for it here on the site)
    - RAW files, on the other hand, will usually open in Lightroom with the Standard Adobe profile applied – which is a bit flat and makes pictures indeed look a bit like shot "through a slightly dirty window"! To apply one of the Fuji film sims, chose the one you like in the "camera calibration panel"

    3. Skin tones/texture
    - Looking at your example picture of your (cute!) little girl, it seems to me that the skin is oversmoothed, which happens easily at higher ISO. This is also known as the "waxy skin issue" and can be resolved by setting Noise Reduction (NR) to -2 in the camera menu. For portraits of children, I also prefer Astia and Provia (or in some cases, either one of the Pro Neg. sims).

    4. Sharpness
    - Setting sharpness in camera to +1 will give you crisp, sharp JPEG images. I really like the outcome of Provia at sharpness +1, NR -2.
    Sharpening RAWs in Lightroom is a bit difficult for me (and many others), so I often leave it at the default and then apply some during export ("Standard" usually does it for me). If I want "tack sharp" I use the Nik collection Output Sharpener (usually at default), which gives my edited RAW files about the same level of sharpness as the Jpeg at +1 in camera.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  13. JimFenner

    JimFenner Member

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    +1 to all above

    I assume your monitor colour calibration and room lighting continue to make Canon look good and Fuji look not so good? (As opposed to everything suddenly looks off)

    Lots of people me included rave about Fuji colours but some people, Ken Rockwell for instance, prefer Canon colours for people as well as for landscapes. Your colour appreciation is expert, and might place you firmly in the Ken camp, if so, good on you. I'm pushing 64 and who knows maybe I'm getting cataracts so ... everyone to his own.

    If you have an hour to spare, you can download the free Fujifilm-badged SILKYPIX, import your RAW, and play with
    - film sims
    - sharpening
    - noise reduction

    Whatever you think of the interface (it does grow on you), one thing SILKYPIX can do is read a Fuji RAF thus bypassing any hidden ADOBE complications.

    For what it's worth I reckon my Fuji XF lenses are SO Much better than my Canon kit lenses that I set the in-Camera sharpening and NR to negative values and mostly use the JPEG out of camera.
    When I shoot portraits I am more fussy, hence my dip into SILKYPIX

    let us know how you go
    Jim
     
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  14. dko22

    dko22 Premium Member

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    I don't think I ever get the impression with Fuji that I'm shooting through a dirty window - at least in terms of actual image detail, but perhaps you mean the colour. I do find that in certain types of lighting that Fuji shots can be rather flat and don't seem to quite be able to bring out the full colour gamut in landscapes. In others though, they are excellent. Here I am trying to set aside the differences in raw processing and different film simulations where they exist and focus on what remains of the Fuji "look" which is in fact quite distinctive iwth a clear tendency towards rich, saturated greens for instance. I'm currently trying to compare with Nikon (the D600) to see if I might be missing something with the Fuji. If portraits are your main thing then the JPEG's should often give nice results but I would avoid them in high contrast situations because of the dynamic range limitations and also if you really want fine details to be clear -- when Lightroom smudges then the JPEG's are almost invariably worse.

    My brother used to shoot Canon and I always liked his colours (though the Tamron superzoom was terrible). He's quite happy with my X-E1 now, though! There's no doubt that the lenses are of a consistently high standard and any problems are likely to be sensor or AF related, or with the 18-55, the occasional IS misfire. But the examples you've posted don't seem bad.
     
  15. FMW

    FMW Premium Member

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    EPV, the portrait of the girl on the chair is charming but focused improperly. It should have been focused on the girl's eyes. Instead it is focused on the back of the chair. This not an equipment problem but a camera operation issue.
     
  16. epv

    epv New Member

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    I have to say I wasn't expecting a learning curve when I bought my X-T2.

    I have made some mistakes in starting this thread:
    1. Describing my focus issues as shooting through a dirty window. All I was trying to say was focus on my camera is a little off, just not quite as good as I was expecting.
    2. Putting one of my better images of an example of bad focus.
    3. Forgetting to enable RAW when I reset my camera. The camera seems to do good JPEG conversions, but my problem is in trying to process RAW photos to a level I find acceptable. What was simple in Canon RAW files I can't seem to get in Fuji RAW.
    Son of a gun. I checked Lightroom and all the images from my walkabout were jpegs.
    When I reset my camera, I forgot to go back and set to record RAW.

    Tilphot, thanks for the tips on settings for in-camera jpegs. I haven't really tried using jpegs straight from the camera, trying to concentrate on working the raw files. I will try your recommendations.

    One other thing, the picture of my daughter was shot at -- 1/3o sec, f/8, ISO 400 (not sure why all the metadata was stripped from the images I downloaded). My point is, it's not exactly a high ISO. Meaning I still need to figure out a lot in post.

    Hi Jim
    I have actually downloaded and installed Silkypix. Haven't used it enough to learn much. I'm a little hung up on Lighroom's Catalog. I also installed Iridient X-Transformer for windows. I don't notice much difference in the transformed raw files though.

    It didn't help that the images I shot to illustrate my point were already converted to jpeg in-camera. I have already deleted a lot of the bad images taken over the last couple of months.

    FMW, that image was shot on a tripod, focused on her face, at f/8 and a 35mm focal length. The detail in her dress is quite good, at least as good as the back of the chair.
     
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  17. Michael Kerouac

    Michael Kerouac Member

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    Looks like you have made a lot of progress. Placing your skin tone concerns on the back burner, I have a theory regarding the image of your daughter. You locked the camera on a tripod, shot at f8 and a low (dish) ISO. The chair is sharp, parts of the dress are sharp. But her face and hands are soft. I'm guessing that she moved slightly as you snapped the shutter. 1/30th of a second is not fast enough for people pictures, even on a tripod. The camera is rock solid, but people posing aren't.

    Now for the skin tones, every camera manufacturer has their own interpretation of skin tones. I am a long time Nikon shooter. I am very used to processing Nikon skin tones in LR. They are rarely great in RAW, I always adjust them a certain way. Nikon skin tones pop red if you add saturation. Then I started shooting Hasselblad too. Totally different look. Hasselblad is warmer but with a bit of green. From my limited experience with Fuji it's a bit cooler. Maybe a slight violet tint. What does this mean? It simply means that every time we switch brands or add another brand to our kit, we need to adjust our post processing to suit.
     
  18. epv

    epv New Member

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    Hi Michael, thanks for your response.

    You may very well be right about motion as I took the shot. I was relying on short flash duration to freeze any movement, but I didn't take into account the amount of ambient light.

    You are so right about skin tones (and colour management in general) between camera brands. I'm getting a lot better at editing the Fuji images, but still have a way to go.

    Practice practice practice.

    --
    Eric
     
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