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X100 review and D700 comparison shots
Old 03-08-2011   #1
GarethO
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X100 review and D700 comparison shots

I just picked it up and I must say WOW. takes a bit of getting used to as it works very differently to my old powershot and new d700.
I got the black one.
first impressions.
-Now I know why everyone says it looks good. I didn't understand why everyone was going on about the looks, and I don't care that much. But it does look good and feels VERY nice.
-Very easy to adjust manual controls, though at first I wasn't sure where I had to look, I soon worked out how to switch between optical VF, digital VF and digital screen selection.
-With no card it takes a while to write the files. i really should have bought an SD card, but it's not my camera and we have some at work. So tomorrow we will see.
-playback is default to the VF, which is nice is daylight conditions which are hopeless for chimping shots.
-the scroll wheel can be used to over or under expose 2 steps (not full stops) from the shutter speed setting on the top of the camera, allowing minor adjustments without taking your eye off the VF.
- the little lever (yes it's a lever) above the scroll wheel can be used to do the same with aperture.
-macro mode defaults to digital VF, as the optical VF is not TTL (through the lens). it works very nicely.
-hold AE button and scrool to change metering mode.
-hold AF and scroll or press direction to change AF-S AF point. AF point can be made up to twice as large or half as small using the lttle lever. the AF point is clearly show on the rear screen when selecting and dimly in the VF, it's a bit hard to press the AF button when looking through the VF. you are more likely to select a point and then look through AF, though you can do both at the same time if you really want to.
-it seems as though AF-C can only be a central large plus in the middle and cannot be moved. this kind of sucks, but it does adjust constantly, even when shutter button is not pressed.
I just set display to the lcd screen instead of the default VF and that is most likely where it will stay for indoor shooting. the viewfinder is great, but as it is way off from the lens the framing in the optical VF is VERY different to the end result. you can use digital though, which frames the same as the shot. there is very little lag when using the rear screen to compose and shoot. I like it a lot.
The image quality, even at high iso and wide open is outstanding! I will do a comparison to my d700 with 35 1.4G when i get the chance.
overall.
THIS CAMERA IS A DREAM COME TRUE.
makes the pens look like a toy, makes the nex look like a gadget. full points fuji!
i really couldn't have hoped to get a better camera for school, the photos will be almost as good after i have left as they are now. they better be bloody greatful considering i fundraised for the camera by doing a lot of photos and processing and get nothing in return!
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Old 03-08-2011   #2
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this should be enough for people to judge. full size jpeg and RAW files from the X100 and the D700 with 35 1.4G at f/2 and f/4.
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=VAHUP5MU
I forgot to say the D700 was set to 12-bit RAW, as the X100 only does 12-bit.
The focus point on the D700 pics is the triangular roof up the top as that was the brightest point and easiest to manually focus on.
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Old 03-08-2011   #3
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I put those on megaupload as they are packed in a 350Mb zip file. it is not malware. others have opened them without issues. the zip also contains a txt file that says what the camera settings were.
as for point and shoots. we have three. they take horrible pictures. there are of course other cameras but the reason I went for the x100 rather than a dslr, is that it can fit in a teachers apron pocket (a major point in it being used), and the setting can pretty much be left on f/2 1/125 all of the time when inside. i know what you mean about AF speed, and it is wayyyyy slower than my dslrs. but it IS easier to use and it DOES take great picture.
The pictures out of the camera have less pop than my d300s, but much less noise, and the camera takes up less space. so i suppose it depends on whether the shoe fits.
your not gonna go out and take bird or soccer pictures with the x100 though.
atm you can only use the bundled software to edit RAWs. it is a fuji silkypix ap and I REALLY don't like it. it can't develope NEF so can't compare to d700 files, but these should give you a clue.
click through to my photobucket page to download in full size.

X100 f4 ISO1600 JPG

X100 f4 ISO1600 JPG from RAW

X100 f/2 ISO1600 JPG
X100 f/2 ISO1600 JPG from RAW

X100 f/2 ISO1250 JPG

X100 f/2 ISO1250 JPG from RAW

X100 f/8 ISO500 JPG, tripod

X100 f/8 ISO500 JPG from RAW, tripod

X100 f/4 ISO 400 JPG, handheld

X100 f/4 ISO 400 JPG from RAW, handheld

Last edited by GarethO : 03-08-2011 at 16:50.
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Old 03-08-2011   #4
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the jpegs are out of camera. the RAWs were edited in order to show what could be achieved over the out of camera jpegs.
The d700 files are far superior in terms of detail and i didn't even shoot in 14-bit which I almost always do.
after a few days of shooting it my final conclusions are.
1. for the most part it's very easy to use.
2. it's small and nicely balanced, unlike a NEX
3. image quality in terms of pop, in jpeg standard settings is slightly better than EP-1
4. high ISO performance is very usable, 1600 no trouble, 3200 if you want to.
4. adjusting most settings is one click.
5. it works nicely with my sb-700 in manual mode on a sc-29. the camera has a commander option, setting this and the sb-700 to commander does NOT enable triggering remotes.
6. the auto ISO works well, but is buried on page 3 of the settings menu.
7. the auto focus is slow compared to dslrs, i hope they update this in firmware like the PENs did.
8. the write speeds are very slow. even jpeg fine takes a while. I bought an extreme pro card and it only made a little difference over a class 4 card. i hope this gets a firmware update too. the buffer does however hold 10 jpeg or 9 RAW. you can keep shooting while the previous burst is processing up to the buffer full point.
9. you get software. i suggest cancelling the first fuji ap (when it asks for language) and then installing only the RAF helper (installs after first ap) and silkypix until lightroom etc. do an update.
10. not cheap, and realistically, for most people, not worth 2 PENs or even a NEX and a PEN. extremely niche market at this price. it will need to drop down to $700-800 pretty fast to stay in the game.
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Old 03-08-2011   #5
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Gareth,

Thanks for your impressions. I have a D700 and a Powershot G10 too, and 35mm is my favorite focal length. So I'm intrigued as to whether this will be the super-duper travel camera for me.

Please keep us updated.

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Old 03-08-2011   #6
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"7. the auto focus is slow compared to dslrs,"

This is always the deal breaker for me with these cameras. Thanks for the review.
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Old 03-08-2011   #7
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You mention you "...got the black one" ? I didn't realise they were being released in black. Are you able to post a shot of the actual camera ?
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Old 03-08-2011   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickett Wilson View Post
"7. the auto focus is slow compared to dslrs,"

This is always the deal breaker for me with these cameras. Thanks for the review.
Same here +1 on above.

But, much faster than my rangefinder and SLR manual focus.

So, keep it a secret, but I ordered one through Robert. So, unless I hear that autofocus is on par with the X1, I'll go through with the order.
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Old 03-08-2011   #9
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Can you confirm if the OVF Power Saving Mode is on or off in the menu. Fuji claims AF speed is twice as fast when off but battery is twice as long when On. Curious if that would make a difference in AF speed.
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Old 03-08-2011   #10
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I'm also curious about black ... there's been no mention of black being available that I can remember?
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Old 03-08-2011   #11
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No offence, but between the random forum links and the anonymous ZIP/image hosting this looks really spammy.
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Old 03-08-2011   #12
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Originally Posted by tapesonthefloor View Post
No offence, but between the random forum links and the anonymous ZIP/image hosting this looks really spammy.
I have to agree. With all the hype around this camera, I think that an available black version would be common knowledge.

Also why are there no d700 pictures in the thread? Almost seems like a way to entice people to download the megaupload link.

Honestly I would not click that link. Sorry to the OP if you are genuine but it just seems fishy at this point.
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Old 03-08-2011   #13
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These were his 1st 4 posts... hmmm.
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Old 03-08-2011   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tapesonthefloor View Post
No offence, but between the random forum links and the anonymous ZIP/image hosting this looks really spammy.
This is apparently a 1:1 repost of several posts on the X100 threads at Nikon Rumors, hence the random forum links. The poster is apparently something of a more regular poster there, with ~300 posts. The images there are linked to larger versions on Photobucket.

I can download the ZIP file and it looks all right (no malware warning on my PC, and it contains only JPEG, NEF and one text file so there isn't really much where malware could be hiding). I get some CRC errors though that result in damage to some of the JPEGs.
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Old 03-08-2011   #15
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If you don'T want to download it just do do it. it's no skin off my nose.

some quick and nasty shots for the naysayers



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Old 03-08-2011   #16
GarethO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quash View Post
Can you confirm if the OVF Power Saving Mode is on or off in the menu. Fuji claims AF speed is twice as fast when off but battery is twice as long when On. Curious if that would make a difference in AF speed.
Default is off and I haven't changed it. didn't realise fuji said that. battery life with it off however, is very good.
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Old 03-08-2011   #17
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Thanks for posting the pictures and your impressions of the X100, GarethO.

When you had said you had got the black one of the X100, we all thought you had something like this:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...1&postcount=10

Which was why everyone was so excited.

All the Best!
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Old 03-09-2011   #18
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How is manual focus in efv mode? What about in ovf?
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Old 03-09-2011   #19
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Thanks for your X100 report, GarethO.

Don't know if you're familiar with rangefinders, but the difference in view between OVF / EVF is the price to pay to get the advantages of the OVF. That is normal for me. You have to practice a bit and this won't be a limit any more.

Sad however that the AF point in AF-C mode can only be the center of the picture... may be a future firmware improvment target ?
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Old 03-09-2011   #20
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I have no experience with rangefinders, hense I am new to this forum. I have a d700 and a d300s.

manual focus is actually really nice.

it apparently is not mechanical, however it is extremely long throw compared to my AF-S G Nikon lenses. I mean you really have to crank on that thing a few turns to see it move at close focus distances. this is great for macro. bad for macro is the fact that the EVF doesn't zoom for better focussing.

the major limiting factor to manual focus in any mode is the super shallow focus ring. it was made shallow so as the lens is shallow, but it is hard to grip without bumping something.

The AF-C point is in the middle, but you can easily recompose as the depth of field of a 24mm lens on a crop sensor is what you would expect.
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Old 03-09-2011   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarethO View Post
I have no experience with rangefinders, hense I am new to this forum.
First thing you should know about this forum is that colour is a very important issue, people have spent sleepless nights dreaming of black cameras, worrying if the camera they sent to Japan to have repainted will ever return and discussing what is the best method for removing chrome. So fess up, what is that black version you mentioned at the start??

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Old 03-09-2011   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarethO View Post
I have no experience with rangefinders, hense I am new to this forum. I have a d700 and a d300s.

manual focus is actually really nice.

it apparently is not mechanical, however it is extremely long throw compared to my AF-S G Nikon lenses. I mean you really have to crank on that thing a few turns to see it move at close focus distances. this is great for macro. bad for macro is the fact that the EVF doesn't zoom for better focussing.

the major limiting factor to manual focus in any mode is the super shallow focus ring. it was made shallow so as the lens is shallow, but it is hard to grip without bumping something.

The AF-C point is in the middle, but you can easily recompose as the depth of field of a 24mm lens on a crop sensor is what you would expect.
i'm sorry, i haven't understood. Is it accurate? is it fast?. I am very concearned of the acuracy in manual focus and in autofocus if you can cycle easily through af points. From what you said, you must press AF and "left, right, up, down" to do that? (I'm sorry, i am from Romania and this camera will be on the market here only on the 1st of may, so i have to wait longer to test it)
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Old 03-09-2011   #23
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i'm sorry, i haven't understood. Is it accurate? is it fast?. I am very concearned of the acuracy in manual focus and in autofocus if you can cycle easily through af points. From what you said, you must press AF and "left, right, up, down" to do that? (I'm sorry, i am from Romania and this camera will be on the market here only on the 1st of may, so i have to wait longer to test it)
You're probably lucky because many of the questions you're concerned with will be tried and posted about by early adopters elsewhere around the globe, without you having to splunk down $1200 yourself upfront.
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Old 03-09-2011   #24
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You're probably lucky because many of the questions you're concerned with will be tried and posted about by early adopters elsewhere around the globe, without you having to splunk down $1200 yourself upfront.
True and optimistic ! I wouldn't give $1200 if i had doubts about the camera, it figures. I always test what i buy, i read, i compare, so i know what to expect from it (also i wouldn't afford to just give that money away for something that doesn't suit my needs). Of course, i will be reading owner opinions like crazy (only the pertinent ones).
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Old 03-09-2011   #25
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Hi GarethO,
thanks a lot for the review!
One thing I'm curious about this camera is the depth of field issue.
I like taking "environmental portraits" usually with 50mm or 40mm on film. Usually shooting from a distance of about one meter, with a wide aperture in order to blur the background. I'd like to see such shots from the X100.

Roughly, calculations show that the depth of field on the 23/2 lens is something like 35/2.8 on full frame. However, in all the test shots I saw for the X100, it looks less.
Can you try doing a favor and take such a shot? A person from about a meter away, wide open?

Thanks a lot
Assaf
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Old 03-09-2011   #26
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Lucky me, I dont need reviews, I'm happy just with what is on the specsheet: it has a viewfinder, it has no mirror, it has 35 f2 and a leaf shutter. I cant go wrong.
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Old 03-09-2011   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by special.foto View Post
i'm sorry, i haven't understood. Is it accurate? is it fast?. I am very concearned of the acuracy in manual focus and in autofocus if you can cycle easily through af points. From what you said, you must press AF and "left, right, up, down" to do that? (I'm sorry, i am from Romania and this camera will be on the market here only on the 1st of may, so i have to wait longer to test it)
if you are wanting to manually focus accurately on a moving subject i'de say you will have problems. the focus ring is hard to grip and requires a lot of turning to adjust focus, ie; it's not fast to manually focus.

the AF-C only has one point that you cannot adjust right in the middle. it does track the subject, but you cannot see the focus "star" move.

the points i referred to are for AF-S focussing only.

I imagine you will not find the camera suitable.
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Old 03-09-2011   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Assaf View Post
Hi GarethO,
thanks a lot for the review!
One thing I'm curious about this camera is the depth of field issue.
I like taking "environmental portraits" usually with 50mm or 40mm on film. Usually shooting from a distance of about one meter, with a wide aperture in order to blur the background. I'd like to see such shots from the X100.

Roughly, calculations show that the depth of field on the 23/2 lens is something like 35/2.8 on full frame. However, in all the test shots I saw for the X100, it looks less.
Can you try doing a favor and take such a shot? A person from about a meter away, wide open?

Thanks a lot
Assaf
the lady you see is about a metre away. the depth of field is not shallow. that is a big reason why you need f/2, not slower like competing brands lenses.

think of it like this.

frame a nice headshot with a full frame camera using a 24mm at f/2.

now frame the same photograph using a 24mm lens on a crop at f/2. you will need to increase your subject to camera distance by 1.5, which increases your depth of field by 1.5.

therefore a crop sensor has less depth of field that a full frame (i know people will go on about this, but whatever)

a 24 (or 23mm lens) is a 24mm lens on all cameras.

i shoot nikon so lets think about the 24 1.4G.

if i frame a shot on my d700 at f/2 i will not get a particularly shallow depth of field. on my d700.

now, if i frame the same shot on my d300s using the same lens at f/2 I will need to step back a bit. increasing the subject to camera distance by 1.5 in order to frame the same shot will increase the depth of field by 1.5.

now if the depth of field of the 24 1.4 at f/2 is not that shallow on a full frame, it is less shallow on a crop sensor, and this is exactly what you have in the X100.

I have the 35 1.4G for environmental portraits on my d700 and it can blur the background very nicely if you don't mind a bit of barrel distortion. it is still no match for a 2 or 2.8 super tele though.
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Old 03-09-2011   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarethO View Post
(...)

The AF-C point is in the middle, but you can easily recompose as the depth of field of a 24mm lens on a crop sensor is what you would expect.
I agree on the larger DOF, but @f2/1meter, that's still not a lot if you've a capricious target .

However, the centered AF-C captor maybe a false problem.

I need to start AF-C on my picture target on the center of the frame, and then recompose. The camera will still lock focus on the target, and even if the target move afterwards. AS long as I can keep my decentered framing on the capricious subject, the subject will still be in focus

Let me know if you can confirm. That would be great . Thanks !!!

Last edited by cjcm : 03-09-2011 at 09:17.
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Old 03-09-2011   #30
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Quote:
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I agree on the larger DOF, but @f2/1meter, that's still not a lot if you've a capricious target .

However, the centered AF-C captor maybe a false problem.

I need to start AF-C on my picture target on the center of the frame, and then recompose. The camera will still lock focus on the target, and even if the target move afterwards. AS long as I can keep my decentered framing on the capricious subject, the subject will still be in focus

Let me know if you can confirm. That would be great . Thanks !!!
yes, this is how it works. how accurate it is if the target moves considerably I am not too sure.
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Old 03-09-2011   #31
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Let's act like gentlemen. Posts with personal attacks were deleted.

The way I read it is that Gareth is expressing his personal opinion based on his experience with this camera.

He thinks people will have difficulty focusing on moving subjects, and he thinks the camera may not be suitable for this.
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Old 03-09-2011   #32
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just like an slr you cannot adjust many settings after going into movie mode. you must focus manually (or automatically and "lock" into manual, or hold AFL) and then go into the drive menu and select movie.

if you select AF-S in shooting mode movie mode is still AF-C.
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Old 03-09-2011   #33
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the lady you see is about a metre away. the depth of field is not shallow. that is a big reason why you need f/2, not slower like competing brands lenses.

think of it like this.

frame a nice headshot with a full frame camera using a 24mm at f/2.

now frame the same photograph using a 24mm lens on a crop at f/2. you will need to increase your subject to camera distance by 1.5, which increases your depth of field by 1.5.

therefore a crop sensor has less depth of field that a full frame (i know people will go on about this, but whatever)

a 24 (or 23mm lens) is a 24mm lens on all cameras.

i shoot nikon so lets think about the 24 1.4G.

if i frame a shot on my d700 at f/2 i will not get a particularly shallow depth of field. on my d700.

now, if i frame the same shot on my d300s using the same lens at f/2 I will need to step back a bit. increasing the subject to camera distance by 1.5 in order to frame the same shot will increase the depth of field by 1.5.

now if the depth of field of the 24 1.4 at f/2 is not that shallow on a full frame, it is less shallow on a crop sensor, and this is exactly what you have in the X100.

I have the 35 1.4G for environmental portraits on my d700 and it can blur the background very nicely if you don't mind a bit of barrel distortion. it is still no match for a 2 or 2.8 super tele though.
Thanks Gareth!
I also looked in an on line depth of field calculator, and played with it a little.
If I use this calculator
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html
I see that the depth of field of 23/2 on crop 1.6 is rougly like 35/2.8 on full frame.

However, when I use 35/2.8 or mostly 40 at f4 (I use it a lot lately on Leica CL with summicron 40) I get a superb focus deparation. On the X100 examples, it doesn't look this way. Maybe because the lens is not very sharp at f2, so the focus difference is less apparent? I don't know
Anyway, I'd like to see more examples
Thanks a lot and have fun with the new camera (I envy you....)
Assaf
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Old 03-09-2011   #34
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for some reason I cannot get that calculator to work as I think it should.

X100 w/ 23mm at f/2 and 100mm distance from subject = 14.9cm total DOF
D700 w/ 23mm at f/2 and 82mm distance from subject = 14.9 total DOF

the X100 is sharp at f/2 and this has nothing to do with the huge depth of field of crop sensors and wide lenses.

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Old 03-09-2011   #35
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No the subject distance would be the same. The 'croped sensor' is compensated for by the shorter focal length lens.

Going to bed, it's late, but I think that's correct...
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Old 03-10-2011   #36
GarethO
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yes, you are right. i realised when i was cooking dinner.

i will edit the post

OK, as I have never really been so anal as to actually calculate the DOF rather than just guess I have never realised that DOF is not a factor of 1.5 when comparing crop to 35mm sensors.

the formulas are here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_o...d#DOF_formulas

as any sane person is not going to use those every time they take a pic I will try to post some samples of what you are looking for.

how much of a body would you like in the shot? I generally shoot 1/3 or more at 35mm. the X100 has very little distortion and would be fine closer IMO.

Last edited by GarethO : 03-10-2011 at 00:47.
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Old 03-10-2011   #37
cjcm
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yes, this is how it works. how accurate it is if the target moves considerably I am not too sure.
Thanks a lot GarethO
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Old 03-10-2011   #38
ChrisN
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Let's act like gentlemen. Posts with personal attacks were deleted. ...
Bravo!

I've seen a few mentions of the very long throw required for manual focusing. Now I've read in the manual that when the camera is set for manual focus, you can make it auto-focus by pushing the "AFL/AEL" button to get you into approximately correct focus, then fine-tune with the manual focus ring. It sounds like the designers have decided upon an "assisted" manual focus approach. I'm not sure how this would work for me as I hate having to find a button with my thumb while I'm composing. Pentax allow a similar function with some dSLR lenses that allow a manual adjustment after the auto-focus has locked.
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Old 03-10-2011   #39
monochromeimages
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I just set display to the lcd screen instead of the default VF and that is most likely where it will stay for indoor shooting. the viewfinder is great, but as it is way off from the lens the framing in the optical VF is VERY different to the end result.
This doesn't sound good. The hybrid VF is supposed to be one of the great new features of this camera and for me (and I suspect many others) the proper optical VF is possibly the most appealing feature. How far out is it ? Is it reasonably accurate for 'normal' outdoor shots at longer distances ?

I remember years ago a friend and I both bought Fuji Finepix 6800s. The optical VFs of both were WAY out - so far that they were totally unacceptable. More worrying was that the error on both was identical. I hope Fuji have learned something since then.
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Old 03-10-2011   #40
Pickett Wilson
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Smaller sensors exhibit more apparent DOF than larger ones with a lens giving an equivalent focal length. The X100 will have more apparent DOF with its 35mm equivalent lens than the D700 with a 35mm lens when focused on an object at the same distance.
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