Enough With The Descriptions, Already - Let Me At It - Fujifilm

on March 07, 2017

First task for the new Fujifilm X100F - in conjunction with the control X100 - was in the model car studio. Well, that's me and you know it already. But take what I have found and use it for product shooting, closeup work, flowers, fabrics, jewellery, etc. That's your fun.

The basic focal length of X100 lenses has always been 23mm with a range of apertures from f:2 to f:16. The thing will focus down to less than four inches from the subject, but if you are going to use the on-board flash to help out you need to be back about a foot to avoid a black shadow at the bottom of the picture. Sorry to say, closeup at f:2 is not terribly sharp...but if you stop to f:4 or better it all gets good - or if you move back a bit it all gets better.

The AF on the new camera doesn't need to be shifted to macro manually - it does the trick all by itself. It still takes a bit of time to swim into focus, but it does seem a little faster than the X100.

The good news is that joystick for the positioning of the AF point - it is a real encouragement to set the thing to single-point and just steer it about. As you move it the AF comes into play and you can be much more precise than just sticking it on area and hoping. The camera does have 94 AF points if you are out and about but in and concentrating means using the single point. I think Fujifilm would be wise to incorporate this joystick feature into all future X series cameras - it is a deal-maker.

The contest between the old X100 and the new X100F was a little lopsided - the new camera can only supply JPEG images to my system at present while the older one is RAW integrated into both PE14 and Lightroom. I compromised by setting the X100F to Large/Fine JPEG and the X100 to RAW. Likewise, the X100 has no provision for ProNeg Hi - my favourite film simulation. I set it for Provia. There is a little tonal differentiation in the results, but not too much in the studio - it widens out in open-air shooting.

Remember that the X100F also gives you ProNeg S, Classic Chrome, and a number of Acros selections to play with. I am not a great monochrome shooter but others are.

Here are four images from the product table - the model is the yellow Duesenberg that stood in for a Rolls Royce in the recent remake of " The Great Gatsby". It's by Greenlight and is every bit as gorgeous as it looks. The problem is the length - it generally goes way past the limits of depth of field when on is using a 35mm lens on APS-C sensors. Of course there is focus stacking, but...

The 23mm Fujinon lens, however, does have just enough reach under the lowest aperture to do it. Either camera will do the basic shot but notice something about the older X100 - it has a considerable amount of vignetting in the image. This is taken care of in Lightroom with a JPEG correction - as is any distortion - but this file went through PE14 and it is still there. Not a bad pictorial feature, but you may not want it.

The X100F files come off with no vignetting. I am willing to bet that the processor inside is washing them out before the file is ready to see.

Also note the immaculate detail of the X100F files. They add up to twice the amount of information ( and twice the amount of memory used ) compared to the initial camera so if you are going to print bigger, this is the camera for you - if you are going to reduce the image there will also be a little more visible detail in it compared to the 12.3 mega pixel one. But it may not be enough to justify you spending the extra money. If you have an X100S or X100T you are half-way between these two results and the question becomes even closer.

If I were to assess my experience with the two in the studio, I would say that the X100F at JPEG is as good, if not a bit better, than the X100 in output on a RAW setting. Once you crank in RAW processing later the gap would widen considerably. It certainly would be far superior in workability if one were focus bracketing - and the electric release is actually a great assistance.

So...score one to the newer camera.