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Fashion show shot with X-T2 not nearly as sharp as 5DIII. What to do?

Discussion in 'X-T2, X-T1, X-T20, X-T10' started by cathy, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. GregWard

    GregWard Premium Member

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    It strikes me (reading this thread) that you might be better off starting with some basic / "should be predictable" tests just so as to eliminate any issues with the camera or lens. I'm talking about boring things completely unrelated to a fashion shoot - such as putting the camera on a Tripod in front of a brick wall you know is (say) 10 feet in front of you and taking a photo with the camera as close to parallel to the wall as you can make it. That should test that the camera/lens are focussing correctly and that the lens is capable of being acceptably sharp across the full image. To test the exposure you would ideally have a second camera or exposure meter. Without either then I guess you would need to shoot with auto exposure and then try a set of manual exposures so we can see if the AE version looks sensible.

    The point being to not beat yourself up about it being "your fault" or differences between DSLR and Mirrorless etc until you are totally sure there isn't an obvious fault with the hardware.

    If the hardware does pass some obvious tests then - at least - we'd know (in the nicest possible way!) that it is your technique that you need to refine in the mirrorless world. From a focussing pov the most obvious point of difference is that your Fuji will use Contrast Detect AF whenever lighting conditions are poor (so probably during a fashion shoot). CDAF works very very differently to Phase Detect AF. Within the confines of the AF "box" it cycles through the focus range looking for the point where the contrast is at its most extreme. Imagine shooting a black and white chess board. When hopelessly out of focus this would look like a grey blur. As focus was obtained you (and the AF system) would see clearly delineated black and white squares. If you looked at the exposure histogram (both in focus and out) you would see very clear differences. In essence that's what CDAF is doing (looking for the "right" histogram). Critically you need the focus square to be big enough (to give the camera something to "bite on") but not too big (as it's then easy to get more contrast from the background). In a sense CDAF is pretty dumb - so it can be harder to use.

    There's no doubt there are different skills involved for this. So it easily could be new things for you to learn. But I'd eliminate the hardware issues first as no amount of learning will compensate for faulty hardware if that should happen to be what you have.
     
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  2. bobbyzfx

    bobbyzfx Premium Member

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    Any nice fashion show will have good lighting IMHO. Look at the exif she had, Fuji: 1/125 sec at f/2.8 ISO 800. That is no low light. I shoot with XT1, 50-140mm f2.8. Mostly ISO3200 or 6400 and it works fine. Typically fashion shows mean 70-200mm f2.8 if you don't have bigger guns like the 200mm f1.8/f2. 16-55m is too short IMHO. Pick higher ss than 1/125 which is low IMHO. No pre-focus. Use AF-C if you have to. Post shots with exif and camera settings. Folks want to help but honestly some of the things being asked sound like basics. Doesn't matter how long one is shooting. I am really sorry for seeming being harsh but am trying to help.

    When I started shooting baseball with XT1, 55-200mm, it was total fiasco for me and I am used to shooting sports, mostly 1 series and 300mm f2.8 IS. Moving to XT1, it was bad bad bad. Then I moved to 50-140mm and understood how AF-C on XT1 works and now I can nail lot more shots. I just wish Fuji had 300mm f2.8 so I could sell my 5dmk3.

    Check this link for someone I know from another forum who shoots this kind of events. Canon 200mm f1.8.:). Mostly < ISO800, ss > 1/500, f2 or under.
    Air Butchie Photography
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  3. GregWard

    GregWard Premium Member

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    Do you know exactly when the X-T2 shifts to CDAF? I'm afraid I don't and I don't believe there's any way of telling?
     
  4. bobbyzfx

    bobbyzfx Premium Member

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    I don't know. But I would make sure I have selected PDAF points, MS shutter and no face detect. Right now (correct me if I am wrong) we don't know what size AF point OP is using. Her settings, shots from this shoot she did after the original shoot, examples from her previous shoots where Canon used to work fine and so on.
     
  5. cathy

    cathy Member

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    Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. I'm in India and posting here by phone so at the moment I am unable to post much as far as camera settings etc. I tried letting the camera make all choices to see if it would do a better job than I am doing. It selected ISO 3200 1/100th sec at 2.8. I believe I set exposure compensation to -1 for those shots. The shots looked as bad or worse than mine I've started shooting iPhone videos for lack of anything else to do! I have switched between spot and regular metering. Others are shooting at 800 1000 2000 ISO max. Everyone using in camera metering.
     
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  6. cathy

    cathy Member

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    ps I am using the smallest or second smaller AF point
     
  7. Dirk Offringa

    Dirk Offringa Premium Member

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    Don't set exposure compensation. Use raw+fine and switch off auto-DR, because it will interfere with ISO settings and you don't need that here even for SOOC jpegs. Use a bigger AF point. I wouldn't use the smallest one , nor the next. At least one step up. Set up as many manual parameters as you can so the camera needs to do as few calculations as possible. If possible full manual except AF: those catwalk shots are a controlled environment, WB, exposure, ISO can be set to manual. When troubleshooting, start from default settings (reset) then build up one setting at a time, not trying various cmplex combinations and approaches. Start experimenting in a relaxed environment, not under stress.
    Both tools and craft need LOTS of studying/experimenting/learning. One of the advantages of digital is that you can take LOTS of test shots without breaking the bank or wasting a lot of time.

    I am currently experimenting with adapted lenses. The first batches of shots with an unstabilized, fully manual and handheld 135mm lens were awful. I started training and training and training and am starting to get a decent amount of keepers. That's the way to go, IMHO.

    If I look at great pictures, be it from the masters of the film era or modern artists including (quite!) a few fellow Fuji users over here, I can see they master their craft. It's obvious there's a lot of experience involved in all those GREAT pictures....

    Good luck

    PS unless your camera is defective but that would be easy to check, just ask a camera shop to allow you to make a couple of compairison shots.
     
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  8. jknights

    jknights Moderator Staff Member

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    In my experience spot metering in similar situations is a disaster as exposure is way out. Take a meter reading off the palm of your hand at the point where the subject will be standing. Open up 1/2-1 stop. Set you ISO to 2000 and shoot at this setting.
    Use manual exposure so AF is the only worry, you need to then use the joystick to get the AF spot in the frame onto the person's face when they are in the intended location. Once the AF spot is correctly located in frame as long as you put the AF spot on their face when you take the image you should get correctly exposed (more or less) and sharp images.
     
  9. bobbyzfx

    bobbyzfx Premium Member

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    Agree with folks above. Use manual exposure. You can watch your EVF/LCD to get the ball park exposure in 10 seconds. I don't get much issues with 2nd to smallest AF frame but you can always play with bigger size as suggested.

    I also suggest shooting from more distance but with longer lens. 50-140mm is the ideal lens for this. If you have 90mm f2, you can try that also.

    I wish Fuji X-T2 had AF point customization like my 5dmk3. Fuji has used a lot of AF-C settings like 5dmk3 but no orientation based AF points which is so easy to do with FW. On Canon I can use top AF point in say landscape mode, top group of points in portrait mode, press a button and track in AI servo using center AF point instead of the selected AF point while in any orientation.
     
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  10. bobbyzfx

    bobbyzfx Premium Member

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    One thing I wanted to add, just make sure "Preview WB and Exposure" option is enabled. On my XT1 since I shoot inside studio with strobes and have to disable it, it drives me nuts when I try shooting ambient light only and adjusting aperture, ISO etc doesn't change my exposure in the EVF or the LCD when composing a shot.
     
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  11. Dirk Offringa

    Dirk Offringa Premium Member

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    I have that menu item assigned to a FN button. Time-saver!
     
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  12. bobbyzfx

    bobbyzfx Premium Member

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    I finally did it but eats another one of the Fn buttons. X-T2 is better as one can use joystick and don't need to waste 4 buttons just to move the AF point.
     
  13. Dirk Offringa

    Dirk Offringa Premium Member

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    I assigned to the red "video" button, I never shoot video.... You're right about the joystick, that's a major improvement.
     
  14. ToneXA1

    ToneXA1 Well-Known Member

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    I try to follow this interesting discussion and possibly learn but I would need some help.

    Can somebody define/explain two terms mentioned along in the posts that are obscure to me:
    - what does "OP" stand for?
    - what does "back-button focusing" mean?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  15. Dirk Offringa

    Dirk Offringa Premium Member

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    OP = Original Poster (the one who started the thread)
    Backbutton focussing = focus using one of the buttons on the back of the camera (eg AF-L) instead of half-pressing the shutter button: done in manual mode. There's more to it, but that's basicaly it: you dissociate the focus function from the shutter release function
     
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  16. ToneXA1

    ToneXA1 Well-Known Member

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    Dirk Offringa, thank you very much! Things in the discussion should appear more clear to me now.

    I have an X-T2 for months now but still when it comes to take a shot of a moving object I'm not confident in what I'm doing. X-T2 in my hands appears not to be so huge advantage over my first Fuji, the X-A1. The results are not predictable and I'm rarely able to define what exactly went wrong. I'm seeking for a practice that would be simple enough to allow me having sharp shooting under control in spite of the tight timing. Now my sharp shooting it's a kind of lottery and I feel like a living proof that camera does not make a photographer....
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  17. cathy

    cathy Member

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    Yes, I have it enabled. Thanks for mentioning this.
     
  18. cathy

    cathy Member

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    Thanks. I turned exposure compensation back to 0 and went with third smallest AF point. That seems to help a little bit.
    What is Auto DR?

    Thank goodness the fashion show is over so I am no longer under any stress and can work on my technique one step at a time.

    A couple of things I'm wondering about:
    If I have been able to take decent shots in "higher" light why am I having so much difficulty in low light?
    Shouldn't it be the same process to set ISO, exposure and aperture in all lighting conditions?

    I agree with what you are saying about mastering craft. After owning the Canon 5D, 5DII and 5DIII I never had to think about my camera.
    I didn't have to post questions on forums or practice to get good shots.
    To be perfectly honest with you...I am an extremely hard worker but I am wondering WHY I need to put myself thought this learning curve in order to master the X-T2.
    What's so great about it that I need to replace the tool I was perfectly comfortable with? So far I'm not convinced it's worth the effort.
    At this point I am definitely regretting selling my Canon gear and considering switching back to Canon.
    Of course I am not giving up but I would love to be reminded of WHY it's worthwhile to give up a perfectly good dependable work horse for the X-T2
    I read a lot of articles about photographers who rediscovered the joy in photography when they switched to Fuji.
    At this point all I have is headaches :(
    I don't mean to be a Fuji basher but I am feel like I have opened a can of worms that I didn't need to open

    I just spent the past few days with a few hundred photographers who are all shooting with Canon and Nikon and getting great shots
    I finally met a guy last night who has an XT1 and got all excited when he saw my camera, telling me how "cool" it is.
    Instead of feeling "cool" I felt like the least cool of all because I was the only one having problems getting great shots.
    If my camera can't get the job done how cool is it?
    To clarify: I understand the problems are probably due to me and not the camera but again I just wonder why it's worthwhile to leave behind a perfectly good tool I was able to create exactly the images I wanted with. Are all of you so much happier with Fuji that you're glad you switched?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  19. GregWard

    GregWard Premium Member

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    If it can't get the job done - whether that be "its fault" or you (the user) - then it's clearly of zero value. So it seems like now would be a good time for you to take stock. Firstly, as I said earlier, do a few tests to clearly eliminate any issues to do with the camera being at fault. It's unusual, but not impossible, to have serious faults in a new camera but you should clarify (to yourself as much as anybody else) that the camera is operating as it should be doing when used in perfect/simple circumstances.

    Secondly go back and ask yourself why - exactly - it was that you made the switch? Good reasons for switching would include the lighter/less bulky amount of kit to carry around (APS-C vs your full frame Canons) and the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) electronic viewfinder. In addition the smaller sensor means that very high quality lenses can be made and sold cheaper than for full frame. So that trio of advantages is worth enduring a substantial amount of learning curve for many people. Is this still true for you?

    If so - then thirdly don't underestimate the amount of learning curve that you do need to go through. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones as I've always used different systems and seem to adapt quite quickly/naturally. Other people - particularly those like you that have clearly embedded yourself in one system over a long period (3x different 5D's) find the "conversion" much more difficult. Buttons are in different places, menus work differently etc - you probably just don't feel as comfortable and as "at home" with the Fuji just yet. Plus the AF system does, as I also said earlier, take some getting used to in comparison to a DSLR. Just recognise that this is a new tool and one you need to practise|practise|practise until you get it right. Don't beat yourself up over this - you are far from being the first to struggle with a completely new system and you really won't be the last. I forecast you replying to another new user in a few months time on this very forum - assuring them that this is a process they will get through!

    It sounds like you have made your life a bit more complicated though. Maybe you might have been better keeping the Canon kit for a while so that you could get familiar with the Fuji kit in your own time. I realise not everyone can afford to do that. But you asked about other people and I think you'll find many have eased into Fuji rather than made a total change. Either way - you are where you are. So I'd say it was critical to recognise that you have a learning curve to get yourself through. Put some serious time aside and set yourself some challenges. How easily others made the switch is - bluntly - irrelevant. It's only you that matters here. It seems to me that you need to work your way through from dead easy photographic situations to more challenging ones. There's no point in throwing yourself into tricky situations and getting depressed - you're just setting yourself up to fail. Rest assured that your Fuji (assuming it is functioning normally of course) is more than capable of being used in this sort of situation - but you may need to build up to it.

    But do those basic tests first - just to be sure the camera and/or lens isn't at fault all along.

    Good luck - and don't forget this forum is here to support you.
     
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  20. jamie allan

    jamie allan Premium Member

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    I think Greg's post immediately above this is spot on.
    I'm just an amateur enthusiast so don't rely on my camera for my income. I moved to Fuji from Pentax and had previously had Olympus 4/3 E-series DSLRs. I moved after having the chance to try out an X-E2 that my son-in-law had purchased. I was really impressed with the quality of image straight from the camera. I initially found difficulty mastering the camera in certain situations - particularly low light and fast moving actions. What I've found is that the Fuji has made me slow down and think far more about the technical aspects of the camera before pressing the shutter button. I pay far more attention to the camera settings in the viewfinder than I did before - a bit like I had to in the '70s with the Konica and Olympus SLRs I was lucky to be able to use then.
     
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