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AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF

  
 
Desmolicious
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


Hello!

I noticed that the AF with my Xpro3 is not as accurate using the optical VF vs using the EVF. With the EVF I can change the focus point size to a very small square, which allows me to very precisely direct it. But when I use the OVF, the AF patch is much bigger, and so sometimes even if I think I have it perfectly centered, it may focus on something behind it.
Now to be clear, if the patch in OVF completely covers what I am focusing on, no problem. But if it is something narrow that does not fill the large patch, no matter how carefully I center it, it most often misses.
Is there a way to make that focus patch smaller when using the OVF? Am I just missing a simple setting?
Thanks!



Nov 23, 2022 at 11:20 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


p.s. right now in situations like this I switch to EVF. but for me the whole point of getting the Xpro3 was for the OVF.


Nov 23, 2022 at 11:21 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


Desmolicious wrote:
Hello!

I noticed that the AF with my Xpro3 is not as accurate using the optical VF vs using the EVF. With the EVF I can change the focus point size to a very small square, which allows me to very precisely direct it. But when I use the OVF, the AF patch is much bigger, and so sometimes even if I think I have it perfectly centered, it may focus on something behind it.
Now to be clear, if the patch in OVF completely covers what I am focusing on, no problem. But if it is something narrow that does not
...Show more

Both the EVF and the OVF use the same AF system, and both rely on the electronic image as "seen" by the sensor.

I wonder if the minimum size of the OVF target cannot be as small due to parallax issues. What you see in the oVF does not quite line up with what the "camera sees" when it uses the sensor to acquire focus... and the indicated focus area in the OVF isn't necessarily what the camera focuses on. In other words, the framing and AF indicators in the OVF are only approximations.

This is one downside of the OVF.

(I wrote in another post on a related subject that while I originally relied on the OVF most of the time with my XPro2, over the years I've found myself trending more toward the EVF... to the extent that I'm staring to think that the OVF is not as attractive to me as it once was.)



Nov 23, 2022 at 12:18 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


gdanmitchell wrote:
Both the EVF and the OVF use the same AF system, and both rely on the electronic image as "seen" by the sensor.

I wonder if the minimum size of the OVF target cannot be as small due to parallax issues. What you see in the oVF does not quite line up with what the "camera sees" when it uses the sensor to acquire focus... and the indicated focus area in the OVF isn't necessarily what the camera focuses on. In other words, the framing and AF indicators in the OVF are only approximations.

This is one downside of the OVF.

(I
...Show more

The frame lines in OVF mode on the Xpro3 adjust to parallax. You can see them move when you focus near to far. And the framing in the actual image corresponds to the frame lines, at least to how it is centered. The issue is the focus point size in the OVF mode is much bigger than what you can choose for in the EVF mode.
I am trying to figure out if I can make it smaller in the OVF mode to match the EVF focus point size, but at the moment I do not seem to be able to do so.

The irony here is that I can manually focus my Leica M more accurately than the Fuji using AF in the OVF mode! And the whole reason I bought the Fuji was to have that OVF rangefinder experience but with AF.




Nov 23, 2022 at 12:49 PM
ottokbre
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


It's been a year since I had the XP3 but what I remember doing is:

OVF corrects the focus point parallax after AF is acquired. The AF point will jump and then I would re-acquire focus to be sure critical focus is acquired. Sort of a two-step AF process.

I don't ever recall re-sizing that AF point though. So maybe a helpless reply!



Nov 23, 2022 at 01:31 PM
CKrueger
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


Parallax correction requires you to aim the camera properly. I find this difficult, personally. I tend to avoid using single-point AF with the OVF.

Also, the OVF doesn’t do face-detection, which is a pretty significant handicap shooting candids. If we get an XPro4 with OVF face detection, my XPro2 will probably find a new home. I mostly use it for people these days, and I hate being forced to use the EVF to nail eyes at short DOF.



Nov 23, 2022 at 02:14 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


ottokbre wrote:
It's been a year since I had the XP3 but what I remember doing is:

OVF corrects the focus point parallax after AF is acquired. The AF point will jump and then I would re-acquire focus to be sure critical focus is acquired. Sort of a two-step AF process.

I don't ever recall re-sizing that AF point though. So maybe a helpless reply!


Correct, it is a two step process. Initial focus attempt moves the frame lines and AF box, then need to focus again to make sure it is correct. This of course is in OVF mode.



Nov 23, 2022 at 02:25 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


CKrueger wrote:
Parallax correction requires you to aim the camera properly. I find this difficult, personally. I tend to avoid using single-point AF with the OVF.

Also, the OVF doesn’t do face-detection, which is a pretty significant handicap shooting candids. If we get an XPro4 with OVF face detection, my XPro2 will probably find a new home. I mostly use it for people these days, and I hate being forced to use the EVF to nail eyes at short DOF.


Actually I tested it, and face detection DOES work in OVF. You just don't see it work until you view the capture.



Nov 23, 2022 at 02:26 PM
whiteonline
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


For your original question:
I usually flip the Viewfinder Selector Lever the opposite direction (push) to bring up the mini LCD screen on the bottom right. It can be used to verify what is in the focus box.



Nov 23, 2022 at 08:21 PM
 


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Desmolicious
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


whiteonline wrote:
For your original question:
I usually flip the Viewfinder Selector Lever the opposite direction (push) to bring up the mini LCD screen on the bottom right. It can be used to verify what is in the focus box.


Nice idea, thanks! I tried it and unfortunately no difference w AF accuracy in OVF mode. But the difference this time is I can see that it missed focus! It is an excellent way of using manual focus though, as the only bit that is evf is that little mini screen.
Fyi the object that I tried to focus on was my Rocket Blower - the thin red nozzle part. Something that I can focus extremely easily on with any manual focus only camera (Leica M, Nikon film slr etc) but it completely flumoxes the Xpro3 in AF ovf mode. Which is a big bummer as it seems an easy target, and now makes me second guess the AF focus accuracy in the OVF mode for other subject matter. I guess I need to use the EVF for higher AF hit rates.



Nov 23, 2022 at 09:54 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


P.s I am using the Fuji 27mm v2 lens. Perhaps it would be better w a different lens.


Nov 23, 2022 at 09:55 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


Desmolicious wrote:
The frame lines in OVF mode on the Xpro3 adjust to parallax. You can see them move when you focus near to far. And the framing in the actual image corresponds to the frame lines, at least to how it is centered. The issue is the focus point size in the OVF mode is much bigger than what you can choose for in the EVF mode.
I am trying to figure out if I can make it smaller in the OVF mode to match the EVF focus point size, but at the moment I do not seem to be able to
...Show more

Yes, the frame lines do change as the camera tries to approximate the actual boundaries, but this does not work as accurately as the actual image on the sensor.

What I'm guessing — and I'll need to go check it on my XPro2 — is that because the OVF display is an inexact approximation of the position of things that it may be the the smallest AF box is too small for the margin of error.

I'm not at all a fan of manually focusing the Fujifilm lenses, at least not for things like street photography, which is where I'm most likely to use the OVF. (The potential advantage of OVF in this situation is that you can see outside the frame lines, potentially spotting things that are moving into the frame or that you may want to reframe for. To me the immediacy of the OVF, while a factor, is much less important that it was when I started using the camera.)

In general, AF is both faster and more accurate than manual focus in this kind of situation. I say this as a person who has been a photographer for sufficient decades to have successfully used a range of manual focus cameras.

Also, it may seem counterintuitive, but often using a smaller AF "point" turns out to be less accurate and slower than expanding the AF zone a bit. The camera is getting information from more focus points with a larger zone.

And... why are you using OVF mode to photograph a small thing like a rocket blower? I'd certainly go ahead and use the EVF for that kind of thing.

Dan


Edited on Nov 24, 2022 at 08:54 AM · View previous versions



Nov 23, 2022 at 10:30 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


@dan the only reason I was taking pics of the rocket blower was to test the camera.


Nov 23, 2022 at 10:54 PM
whiteonline
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


Desmolicious wrote:
Nice idea, thanks! I tried it and unfortunately no difference w AF accuracy in OVF mode. But the difference this time is I can see that it missed focus! It is an excellent way of using manual focus though, as the only bit that is evf is that little mini screen.
Fyi the object that I tried to focus on was my Rocket Blower - the thin red nozzle part. Something that I can focus extremely easily on with any manual focus only camera (Leica M, Nikon film slr etc) but it completely flumoxes the Xpro3 in AF ovf mode. Which
...Show more

There are three magnification levels you can choose for the small EVF. Press the rear thumbwheel to cycle through.

I think expecting precision focus using the OVF is a tall ask (and is exactly why Fuji offers the EVF).



Nov 24, 2022 at 07:15 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


Desmolicious wrote:
@dan@ the only reason I was taking pics of the rocket blower was to test the camera.


Ah! I wondered about that. Now it makes sense.

I think this test may help explain why the OVF view option probably isn't the best choice when you need to AF a very small target.

whiteonline wrote:
I think expecting precision focus using the OVF is a tall ask (and is exactly why Fuji offers the EVF).


That's a very important point, and it goes precisely to why the camera has a hybrid system that provides both EVF and OVF. In some cases the OVF can be advantageous, but the EVF is there because in other cases it is simply the better option.

As one example, I do urban street photography at night with my XPro2. For this I use the EVF almost exclusively, since it uses exposure simulation to make very dark scenes brighter in the viewfinder, and this lets me see what I'm photographing more clearly than when I use the OVF. The EVF also provides a very precise view of the frame edges, while the OVF does not.

In this case, if it focuses more accurately in with the EVF when the smallest possible AF "point" is desired... that's a signal to use the EVF! :-)

If the OVF were always a better choice, there would be no reason for the hybrid viewfinder design. Fujifilm could simply offer just the OVF view. While the OVF is one attraction of the camera for many users... having the option to switch makes the camera even more powerful.

I've always felt that the great strength of the XPro line wasn't just that it provides a OVF. Rather, it is that it is a "best of both worlds" camera that gives the user far more options than the alternatives. You can put mid-range, small aperture primes on the thing and shoot it with the OVF much as we used to shoot old-school rangefinder cameras... but with the advantages of automated exposure and focus. Or you can stick any only big lens on the thing and switch to EVF mode and shoot it more or less as you might shoot a XT model.

Dan



Nov 24, 2022 at 08:59 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


whiteonline wrote:
There are three magnification levels you can choose for the small EVF. Press the rear thumbwheel to cycle through.

I think expecting precision focus using the OVF is a tall ask (and is exactly why Fuji offers the EVF).


I know, I use the greatest magnification.

You're right about the OVF, I have re-adjusted my expectations! Still a great camera, I just have learned a little bit more about how to use it.



Nov 24, 2022 at 11:40 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · AF with the Xpro3 - optical VF vs EVF


Desmolicious wrote:
You're right about the OVF, I have re-adjusted my expectations! Still a great camera, I just have learned a little bit more about how to use it.


From the get-go I felt that the XPro concept represented the very best that Fujifilm had to offer. It is a remarkably flexible and adaptable concept. Just considering my own use as a street photography camera, being able to go from the OVF and small aperture primes in the daytime to large, bulky big-aperture primes and the EVF at might is quite remarkable. I can put zooms on the thing and shoot events, and I love using it to photograph macro subjects with the 80mm macro lens.

It is a unique concept among digital cameras, it was originally marketed as the flagship camera (anyone else remember that?), and it did more things well than any other camera in the line-up. It was arguably the ideal street photography camera, but I can put a zoom, a big aperture prime, or a macro on it and do pretty much anything that contemporary cameras from Fujifilm would do.

To muse a bit more... I hope, perhaps in vain, that Fujifilm will again see the XPro line this way — as the most flexible and powerful camera that they make. That will require Fujifilm to reconsider the more recent direction with this line, in which they instead tried (inexplicably!) to narrow its appeal.

The reason I wrote "perhaps in vain" is that recent directions in the overall Fujifilm line-up may not, I fear, leave space for that kind of future for a potential XPro4. If I recall correctly, the earlier XPro models were introduced at price points very close to that of the XT models and perhaps a bit more expensive — to account for that greater flexibility inherent in the hybrid design and to recognize the legacy as the flagship.

But now Fujifilm has apparently identified the XH2/XH2s bodies as the flagships. With those two models plus the XT5 in the high-end price range, I'm concerned that there may no longer be room for a "flagship level" XPro in that price range — too many bodies competing for buyers at that level.

I hope there is a XPro4 and that it continues with the legacy of the earliest XPro models, but I think there are reason to be concerned.



Nov 24, 2022 at 12:07 PM







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