Fuji X-E1 and manual focusing - Is it worth it? - Part 2




In my last post on this I talked about the pros and cons of using manually focused lenses on the X-E1 and did a few test shots around the garden. Yesterday I went out 'for real' with my Nikon 28mm f/1.8G and 85mm f/1.8G lenses. If I wasn't sure what the answer to the question posed in the headline was before, yesterday I came back with the answer YES IT IS very much in my head. 

There are obvious advantages to using these lenses. Firstly I already own them, Secondly they aren't available in the current Fuji X lens lineup and Thirdly they are very fast, high quality lenses. The results I got yesterday were simply superb. Very sharp indeed, in fact as I've written before, these two lenses give me the sharpest results I've ever got from a Fuji X camera, and that includes the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 and 60mm f/2.4. The focus peaking worked very well, now I've got used to it and aren't expecting it to work in the same way as the Sony NEX system. It doesn't have that colour shimmering effect that the Sonys have a lot of the time, but what it does have is a high-contrast exaggeration of the image that shows quite clearly when the image is in sharp focus. Its hard to explain, but I've learned to recognise the look in the viewfinder that indicates accurate focus. I also found that it worked pretty quickly too and also without having to stare intently through the viewfinder all the time. The Nikon lenses have the advantage that they have fixed length focusing rings, no focus by wire here and the play in the rings is just about perfect. I can't tell you exactly what apertures I was using because of the nature of the Kipon adapter but I think was using quite narrow apertures, around f/8 to f/11. Even with the adapter set to these it was easy to see the point of focus. In spite of my earlier misgivings this may well turn out to be the easiest and quickest method for manual focus I've used.

If you are planning to try this but haven't yet, I would once again make the point that if you are used to other systems, you may have to re-adjust what you've been doing to get the best out of this. All I would say in conclusion is that I enjoyed the whole exercise, and I got a 100% success rate.