manual focus

Fuji X-Pro1 Ver. 3.00

Fuji’s newest firmware for X-Pro1 and XF lenses is here and I downloaded it and tested shortly the new focus peaking feature. I used my Asahi Pentax Super-Takumar 55mm F1.8 lens for the test.

Few words about Fuji’s focus peaking implementation. You can now select focus peaking from the MF assist menu. It is possible to choose from high or low level of focus peaking but the color will always be a white one. From the same menu you can also choose the standard MF assist (which means magnification only without focus peaking). There is much faster way to change between focus peaking and standard MF assist though. If you apply a long push to the selection wheel on the back side of the camera you can nicely change back and worth between these two options. Shorter push will get you in a magnified view. You can scroll between 3x and 10x magnification by this same wheel and now it is working in both directions which I find a good thing.

My first impression of focus peaking was that I may start to use this feature. You read it right. I may. I didn’t find much difference between low and high setting of focus peaking. Maybe the high setting was little bit clearer. I feel that high setting could be even more prominent. White color of the focus peaking is problematic with certain subjects and that’s why I would really like to see some additional color options (e.g. red) in the future FWs. I found that for me it was easiest to use focus peaking with 3x magnification. Not too wobbly with the 55mm (83mm equiv.) focal length and I was able to see the focus peaking clearly.

As I have two manual-only focus lenses (55mm and 135mm) I am very happy to have the focus peaking feature. There are few points which should be improved but this certainly is already making manual focusing more pleasurable than before ver. 3.00.

Back to DSLR?

Here by the beautiful lake my thoughts are wandering around. In fact so much that I've been going through some DSLR option for myself! I have now the fantastic Ricoh GR which is so easy to take with me everywhere and it also has many cool features like TAv mode and snap focus system. Then I have of course my Fuji X-Pro1 which I also love – time to time. X-Pro1 produces wonderful shots if everything goes well. Focus is still hunting quite much in many instances. The only AF lens I have for it is Fujinon 35/1.4 R which of course is a fantastic piece of glass. The two other lenses I have for it are manual focus ones. I can decently focus by them but I've been graving for image stabilization so many times. It is quite a wobbly experience to use longer focal length MF lenses, like 135mm I have.

The GR comes for Pentax Ricoh group and I have thinking to get Pentax K-5 IIs for my DSLR to replace the X-Pro1. K-5 IIs has the TAv mode I love, nice in-body IS to stabilize the longer lenses, some nice MF focus aids, and of course nice set of physical buttons for adjustments. It is weather-sealed and still small in size. IIs variant is without antialiasing filter which is also nice feature. The K-5 IIs body is about 1200 euros and I would be able to purchase one in July. I would also buy an adapter for M42 screw mount lenses then and first test K-5 IIs with my manual focus Super-Takumars (which are Asahi Pentax lenses). Pentax has a very nice collection of prime lenses, e.g 77/1.8 which I would like to buy soon after selling my Fuji.

But. I am not sure yet about this. I mean not 100% sure. Only 95% sure.

It would be very nice to hear your opinions on this, dear readers.

X-Pro1 with Voigtländer 90mm F3.5 SL II (EF-mount)

I have tried to sell this fantastic Voigtländer lens for a some time now but nobody has been really interested in it. Quite funny because it is a stellar manual focus lens for Canon SLRs. I really enjoyed it with my 5D Mk II. Well, I still have it but no Canon cameras, so I decided to test it with my Fuji X-Pro1. I found a cheap adapter (EOS-FX) from Fotodiox. This adapter is a very basic one having no electronical contacts. This means that I am limited to widest aperture (F3.5) with this lens because it does not have an aperture ring even if it is a full manual focus lens. This is of course quite a big minus. But I decided to test it anyways.

Fotodiox EOS-FX adapter seems to be nicely manufactured and it fits very well on the camera body as well as on the lens. The Voigtländer is a very heavy lens as compared to Fuji's XF lenses and I felt that the balance between the camera body and the lens was not optimal. At least this caused some problems hand-holding the camera in a steady manner. I have to admit that I had quite big problems to focus the lens properly when hand-holding the camera. The 90mm focal length corresponds 135mm in 35mm format. I couldn't get a proper focus using 1x magnification so I had to use 3x magnification. I find 3x very nice with Fuji's XF lenses but with 90mm heavy Voigtländer it was a different story. Almost impossible to me by hand-holding. Remember that I was limited to F3.5. The DoF is not very broad with that aperture. Of course the situation is different when using a tripod. Even then it was best to shoot some still objects. I found shooting portraits quite difficult even with a tripod.

To summarize, I think it is better to use lenses which have the ability to adjust aperture. This was quite silly test I think but I still may find some use for this lens with X-Pro1. One thing I didn't test this time was to try out Voigtländer's close-up lens. I will try that out later on and maybe post some close-up shot taken with that combination. Of course the wide aperture may have limitations for that kind of use. Below are few shots from my testing:

X-Pro1 with Fotodiox adapter and the Voigtländer lens.


The only boy

Kaapo loves to dance. He has now been two years in a modern dance class and he really likes to perform this wonderful art. In addition to the artistic part dancing is very good physical exercise and improves a lot of coordination and balance. What I have been wondering about is the very low number of boys in these dancing classes. Do people still think that dancing is not enough “boyish” hobby? Anyways, Kaapo is the only boy in his dancing class. 



Little Dumbo

Little Dumbo, originally uploaded by Jonne Naarala.

Yeah, that’s our little Dumbo playing ball with his dad, Hiski. Alpo is very fast moving little fellow even if the lawn is quite high as you see.

It is so much fun to watch them play together but almost impossible to photograph because of their fast pace.

You can feel the quality

You can feel the quality, originally uploaded by Jonne Naarala.

My new Voigtländer Apo-Lanthar 90mm F3.5 SL II. Pre-Christmas present for myself. 😉

I really love all my Voigtländer lenses. I have now Color Skopar 20mm F3.5 SL II, Ultron 40mm F2 SL II, and this newest one, Apo-Lanthar 90mm F3.5 SL II. That’s a quite nice combo of manual focus lenses. All Voigtländers are built like a tank and their manual focusing is so extremely precise and all of them are very sharp lenses and they produce so pleasing bokeh. I actually am able to shoot sharper photos with these manual focus wonders than with my AF lenses (of course moving objects are a different story). It is a real joy to use lenses which have been manufactured so that you really can feel manufacturers’ love for photography.

I hope to write a short mini-review of all my Voigtländers in the near future, so stay tuned!

I would like to thank my Flickr friend Morten (Flickr name MoSHa*) for introducing this wonderful lens to me. Please, check his great photostream!