X100s - soft, or is it user error?

Discussion in 'Fuji' started by Hyubie, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Hyubie

    Hyubie Top Veteran

    Jun 8, 2011
    (I've posted this over at FujiXSpot, but just in case some knowledgeable members are not active over there. :smile:)

    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:


    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.

    My settings are +1 Color, +1 Sharpness, -1 Highlight, -1 Shadow, 0 NR.
  2. nippa

    nippa Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    That's what you get when you shoot at F2 , the X100 is just the same but with a little less detail. There is a soft glow about the image which may be good for portraits/flowers etc but I don't like it.
    F2.8 is much better but really you need F4-F11 with the X100s to see the best and only F4 and F5.6 with the X100.

    Since 2010 I kept reading how fantastic that lens is at F2 so , when I got results like yours from my first camera , it went back to the dealer.
    My second X100 was the same as was my third ( don't ask! )
    The X100S resolution makes F2 a little better than before but the glow is still there although possibly improved by the new lens coating.

    If I remember I try to make f2.8 my maximum aperture and macros at F8.

    read section 2 for the explanation BTW the camera had been out for several months before Fuji wrote this.
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  3. Hyubie

    Hyubie Top Veteran

    Jun 8, 2011
    Hmmm... not a fan of "glow" unfortunately.

    But you are right - and I guess this is true of any lens. I tried it this morning @f/5.6 and MAN OH MAN:

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  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    it will be a bit soft wide open, but you may be seeing a couple of other things here (although I am no expert). In your first shot, if it grabbed focus on the fence, the decoration may not be entirely on the same focal plane (the DOF will be pretty shallow this close). Also if you are shooting without the lens hood and into the sun, you will get less contrast which will also make it appear less sharp.

    I shoot my old X100 wide open fairly often because I often shoot in poor light. I'm perfectly fine with the performance. It's my understanding that most people who are unhappy with it's sharpness wide open are most unhappy with its' performance when focusing a little closer (not necessarily just at macro distances). And when your subject is closer, the DOF is naturally shallower anyways, so if you are using a wide aperture for shallow DOF, it isn't as necessary. And with the way that camera handles high ISO, one really needn't use f2 for light gathering ability.

    It may seem like I'm trying to put lipstick on a pig. I'm not apologizing for the Fuji, just explaining that it doesn't do EVERYthing perfect.....just most things. :biggrin: Most learn to live with it's limitations and work around them. The results more than make up for the few "shortcomings".
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  5. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Herb, I just pixel peeped your first image at 100%, and it doesn't look all that soft to me. The texture of the scarecrow is all there as far as I can tell. Like Luke wrote, the focus plane may have been a bit off. The biggest downer on the first image is the lack of contrast (as Luke also pointed out), which makes a photo look less sharp. On the other hand, I love the less contrast look! It makes a photo more film-like, IMO.
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  6. Hyubie

    Hyubie Top Veteran

    Jun 8, 2011
    Thanks Jack! I've been playing around the image, and I think indeed I am mistaking sharpness for contrast. When I pumped up the contrast just to see what will happen, the image came closer to what I was used to seeing. I will be playing around a bit more. And boy what a nice toy to play with! Sexy with a capital X. :wink:
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