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Old Nov 13, 2003, 10:57 PM   #1
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Default Focusing the S2

After shooting with the Nikon 5700 for a year, I finally decided to splurge and buy what I really wanted all along: a digital SLR. I have had my Fuji S2 for about 3 weeks now. I love it. However, my pictures all seem a little softer than I am used to. Had I not shot with the Nikon 5700 previously, I would not even notice this issue with the S2. The pictures with the S2 look good, but there is a certain crispness that is lacking. I have locked the autofocus to the center grid and insure that I have confirmation of focus lock. I called Fuji and they told me to disable Closest Subject AF (CSM menu item 7). I did that and I thought it helped with the couple of test shots I immediately did, but it's still not up to par with my 5700. It pains me to think that I just spent close to $2000 to UPGRADE my equipment and I can't get the sharpness I had with the less expensive camera! Has anyone had similar problems, and if so, what did you do to fix it?
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Old Nov 16, 2003, 1:38 AM   #2
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From reading your comments, I am not really sure whether you have a camera focus issue, or an image sharpness issue. Two different things.

The S2 is capable of producing some great images. Did you shoot in RAW mode or JPG?

If you shoot in RAW, use the Fuji RAW Convertor EX 2.0 and play around with the controls. I think you might find a significant improvement in the resultant images.

On the other hand, if it is a camera focus issue, then there are other things to try.

First: make sure your CR123's are very fresh. These power the AF and low batteries can cause all sorts of AF issues.

Second: try switching the AF actuation from the shutter release button to the AF/AE Lock button (one of the CSM settings).

One or both of these should solve your camera focus problem.

Declan
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 8:14 AM   #3
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Whether or not this has a bearing, the depth of field on your Nikon will be much greater than on your Fuji. Remember you have a true "tiny" focal length on the digicam makeing things both close and far appear in focus. This means you can effectively "miss" you focus and still have a "sharp" image.

With your S2, depending on lens, aperture, subject distance, etc., you will have a much more narrow depth of field.... Just possibly the difference..

Lin
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 9:42 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips. Declan, I did change my focus button to be the AF-AE Lock button. It seems to help a little, but it's still not perfect. I really want to figure this issue out because I LOVE THIS CAMERA! It is miles above my Nikon 5700 in all ways but this focusing problem.

Regarding the CR123 comment: Do you change the CR123's based upon the battery level indicator on the camera, or just always put fresh ones in for a shoot? I am doing kids portraiture and have 2-3 shoots per week. It seems silly to go through 3 sets of CR123's a week, doesn't it?
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 9:43 AM   #5
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I forgot to add that I am shooting in Jpeg mode.
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 7:03 PM   #6
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I dumped the CR123's a long time ago. Instead I use the Nikon MB16 battery pack. This way I can use rechargeable NiMH AA's in place of the 123's. Now, using only NiMH rechargeables, I don't need to worry about the power level of the 123's and I head out with a freshly charged set of batteries every time.

If I might suggest, give RAW a try. You might also try increasing the in camera sharpness level on your JPG's too, to see if that helps.

RAW will always give you the best possible image available from the camera. The JPG, while I admit is good, is not as good as the RAW.

The downside to RAW, is that you must generate TIFF before going to JPG (at least with the Fuji convertor). There are other convertors available (Qimage, Bibble), but I have found I get the best results, by far, with the Fuji EX convertor. I process my RAW into TIFF, which I then process into JPG, deleting the TIFF when the JPG conversion is complete. I then archive the RAW, with the JPG, onto DVD-R.

It sounds time consuming, but it really isn't, thanks to batch processing. You can go do something else with the batch is being processed.

Declan
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Old Nov 20, 2003, 8:28 PM   #7
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You haven't said what lens your using. The S2 is picky about good glass.
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Old Nov 20, 2003, 8:41 PM   #8
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Also, a great place to get CR 123s is http://www.botachtactical.com/botach/

My last shipment were TOSHIBA's, fresh and great price. US $1.25 ea.
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Old Dec 19, 2003, 9:47 AM   #9
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Sorry so long to get back to this topic. I am shooting with two different lenses. I have a Nikon 85mm 1.8 and a Tamron 24-70mm 3.3. Are these not considered "good glass"? Sorry if that sounds dumb. I am not a total newbie but not quite as experienced as the rest of you guys. Thanks!
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Old Dec 23, 2003, 11:23 PM   #10
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Gee, the 85, 1.8 is supposed to be a great lens and should be great for kid pictures, the other I don' know anything about.
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