X100 tips (learned the hard way)

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by eric merrill, May 15, 2011.

  1. Wow...talk about a learning curve. The X100 seems as difficult to master as top of the line dSLRs with all sorts of bells and whistles.

    I think I have a good handle on mine now. So I figured I'd share some of my settings.

    Focus: manual focus. Then, I use the AFL/AEL button to focus. Sorta like using the * button on the back to focus my Canon. If I don't need to refocus, then I'm free to fire the shutter quickly to take more photos. I use the command control to zoom into the focus area. That works even using the optical view finder. It switches to EVF momentarily. I can confirm focus is where I want it, lightly tap the shutter, and I'm back to the OVF, and the shutter button is very responsive.

    I now keep the focus sensor in the center. I tried moving it around, but focusing with the magnified view in the center and then recomposing seems to be faster than trying to fiddle with the focus area. It's no worse than using a rangefinder.

    The added bonus besides the shutter button not re-focusing for me when I don't want it to is that I don't have to worry about going in or out of macro mode. The AFL/AEL button automatically focuses without regard to subject distance.

    My miss rate on focusing is due to subject movement and not due to problems with autofocus. Duct-taping my children's feet to the floor slows them down enough so I can capture them. [​IMG] It's very similar to using a rangefinder to focus and then recompose, and probably takes about the same amount of time. I used to use an M6 with a 35/2 to shoot my oldest kid when she was a baby and toddler. Using the X100 is not too dissimilar for shooting my youngest.

    Auto ISO: I've heard lots about how Fuji got this wrong, but I believe Fuji got this right. I set my max ISO to 3200, and my min shutter speed to 1/40. Then, I set the ISO to 200. (This last step is important.) The X100 uses the manually set ISO as a target. That means if I'm outside in bright light, even with auto ISO on, if I'm manually set to a higher ISO, the X100 will use a higher ISO. Seems so simple now that I understand this.

    I've turned off the power saving modes. I have a quicker startup time, and autofocus speed is faster.

    I'm really liking the X100. Hope the above benefits somebody else. I felt like a bit of an idiot when I first starting playing with the X100. It's definitely not intuitive. [​IMG]

    So far, one item I'd like to see changed would be having more than +/- 1 stop in autoexposure bracketing. Or allow more than three pictures. Ideally, I'd like to set at 2 stop increments and have a 5 image set.

    Additionally, I'd also like to be able to dial down the flash to less than -2/3 stop. My preferred setting in general is -1 2/3. I want just enough flash to start to fill some of the shadows.

    I can live with the above limitations, but I'm hoping a future firmware upgrade will take care of these, like Panasonic did with their LX3. (Fuji: hint, hint. If you're listening. [​IMG]


    Eric
     
  2. Auto ISO: I've heard lots about how Fuji got this wrong, but I believe Fuji got this right. I set my max ISO to 3200, and my min shutter speed to 1/40. Then, I set the ISO to 200. (This last step is important.) The X100 uses the manually set ISO as a target. That means if I'm outside in bright light, even with auto ISO on, if I'm manually set to a higher ISO, the X100 will use a higher ISO. Seems so simple now that I understand this.​
    This is exactly how Nikon implements their Auto ISO. When I discovered how useful it was, especially while walking around in a city, going inside and back out again, and not having to always reset the ISO setting every time, I immediately turned this setting on and forgot about it. It's a brilliant feature, even works in full manual mode. My P7000 also has this setting and can be set up the same way, incredible.
     
  3. I got my X100 about a week ago and still trying to figure it out and get things adjusted to the way I like it. Your tips are very helpful. I've noticed that I have to mentally adjusted to where the AF box has actually moved when shooting near the closest range available while using the OVF. What have you founds in regards to this?
     
  4. Thanks for the manual focus procedure! The Luminous Landscape blogger criticized the manual focus to the point of saying forget it.

    I've purchased cameras without trying them, except to be sure they can take a photo, and had good luck so far, but will not do that with the X100.
     
  5. Focus: manual focus. Then, I use the AFL/AEL button to focus.​
    Huh...how is pushing a button (the AFL button no less) to achieve focus considered manual focus?
     
  6. Jim, by using the command control to magnify the image inside the AF box, I know exactly what I'm focusing on, even when using the OVF. Even without doing this, it doesn't take long to account for parallax errors myself. Had to do this with film. With digital, the feedback is near instantaneous, so figuring out the issue is a lot easier.
    Sorry, Leslie, I was too concise.
    I set the camera on the manual focus setting. I then use the camera's autofocus by pressing the AFL/AEL button. I agree that manual focus by moving the lens to change the distance is lacking on the X100. I like the way that I can set the camera to manual focus, and then be in control of when it is focusing and when it isn't even though I'm using the camera's autofocus feature to do so. If I want to zone focus, I use the autofocus to focus where I want, and then adjust aperture to get my zone. In practice, it's about the same speed for me as using a rangefinder to do the same.
    Does that make more sense?
    Eric
     
  7. DPR's X100 long review up now. It has too many problematic quirks as confirmed by others especially at its current price. If you already spent the money, Eric, enjoy it...
     
  8. Most of the problems listed in the dpreview.com review could and should be addressed in a firmware upgrade. Here's hoping ...
     
  9. Good grief Leslie, give it up...we all know you don't like/understand the camera. You sound like the proverbial broken record.
     
  10. It took me a lot longer to master my first digital, a Nikon Coolpix 4500, which I still love after 7 years, and still use
    occasionally. I bought the X100 without hesitation, after a seeing the pictures and the discussions and ignoring the
    expected negativity. Apparently there is a firmware upgrade next week, although I have found little to complain about.
     

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