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How close do you have to be till the 23mm f2 go soft?

Discussion in 'Native X-Mount Lens Forum' started by randomshotsfired, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. randomshotsfired

    randomshotsfired Member

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    Ive been really torn whether to get this lens, but the amount of reviews regarding the 23mm f2 lens being soft upclose wideopen has me hesitating. I like to shoot street photography and i love shooting at night and also getting up close to my subject as much as possible (2-3 feet).

    For those that own this lens, whats the optimum distance on how close you can get to the subject before the lens turn soft?
     
  2. FMW

    FMW Premium Member

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    The minimum focus distance is 22cm. A subject closer than that will be rendered out of focus. Subjects that are further will be sharp as long as the lens is properly focused. As you get closer with any lens the depth of field will decrease. That isn't a matter of softness or sharpness, only how much of the subject from front to back is in acceptable focus. It is simply the way camera optics work.

    I hope I have interpreted your question correctly. Subject distance doesn't affect softness or sharpness. It affects depth of field. Do some reading on the subject of depth of field.
     
    lawsofphysics, CWRailman and jknights like this.
  3. FORUM USER

    FORUM USER Premium Member

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    The lens on the X100 series is very much dependant on closeness. Open wide and go close the image is soft. Close to f2.8, same distance, and the image sharpens. It's not as you say.
    The OP is talking about this aspect of lenses.
     
  4. Hal P Anderson

    Hal P Anderson Member

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    The way I read the reviews, the lens is only soft wide open at very close distances. For Street work, that isn't likely to be a problem.
    Hal
     
  5. FMW

    FMW Premium Member

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    Subject distance has no effect on image sharpness. What you are saying is that the lens isn't acceptably sharp at f2.8 but sharpens up when stopped down. Most lenses are a little soft at maximum aperture, particularly at the edges of the frame. To say that the lens is soft wide open is pretty normal. To say that its closeness to the subject affects sharpness is incorrect. Distance only affects depth of field - a function of focus, not sharpness.

    Another characteristic of lenses is flatness of field. Since front lens elements are curved, there can be a difference of focus from center to edge when used very close to the subject. This is normal and affects all lenses - even the flat field macro lenses. Assigning that characteristic to the X100 would be perfectly accurate but, again, it s a function of focus, not sharpness.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  6. FORUM USER

    FORUM USER Premium Member

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    We're talking about different things. I'm talking about the well known halo/soft/call it what you will effect that the X100 lens exhibits at f2 at close distances. It doesn't exhibit the same halo effect at the same distance at f2.8.

    What you describe is correct but a different circumstance
     
    natal likes this.
  7. JonPB

    JonPB Premium Member

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    Pictures help discussions like this.

    From Please login or register to view links --

    Stick the lens so close to a plate that it is likely to steam up the front element and I see a substantial drop in resolution, and not just due to depth of field: Please login or register to view links and Please login or register to view links

    But, take close photos of people and the lens shows lots of strengths: Please login or register to view links and Please login or register to view links

    Only you can say for yourself whether that behavior is desirable, tolerable, or worth avoiding.
     
  8. CWRailman

    CWRailman Premium Member

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    The OP is not talking about the X100 series. Please stay on topic.
     
  9. FORUM USER

    FORUM USER Premium Member

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    Yes, steam on the front element certainly won't help !!
     
  10. watertight

    watertight Premium Member

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    Purchased the lens 10 months ago after reading the chatter about the reviews and reported softness. It's a nifty lens, nicely priced, lightweight, and I've never found it "soft" under any conditions. Hey, it's a Fujicron! :)
     
  11. FORUM USER

    FORUM USER Premium Member

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    I was addressing the topic brought up by the second poster in the thread. Kindly follow the entire post :)
     
  12. FORUM USER

    FORUM USER Premium Member

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    I have the 23mm and would agree.
     
  13. CWRailman

    CWRailman Premium Member

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    I did and again NOBODY is talking about the X100 series. That lens is totally different so why bring it up? The discussion is about the Fuji 23 f2. The lens on your X100 series has different characteristics which have been discussed in numerous other threads.
     
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  14. FORUM USER

    FORUM USER Premium Member

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    I don't have the X100 and wasn't discussing the X100 per se. I was addressing the second poster who was mentioning characteristics of lenses that I disagreed with. I mentioned the X100 as this highlighted an aspect of a lens that backed up my argument.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  15. ReporterMike

    ReporterMike Premium Member

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    I don't consider my 23mm f2 "soft" at any distance, or even any aperture. It's a great little lens.
     
  16. A C Skinner

    A C Skinner Member

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    My understanding is that as lenses become more asymmetrical in design they become more dependent on a chosen subject distance for their best overall corrections. Hence macro lenses are designed to be well corrected at close focal distances and until recently this meant they were less well corrected for distance subject. Nikon's 55mm micro-Nikkors show this and only the more recent ones were well corrected at both close and distant focus. This is why some lenses perform well at a distance but on extension tubes for close focus perform badly. Blanket replies that sharpness is not related to subject distance are not correct, depending on the lens. Faster, wider, very retrofocal designs are in theory more likely to show this, but it is on a lens by lens basis.

    I am not a user of the 23/f2 but less good correction at close focus is reported and it will of course be most visible at wider apertures.
     
  17. lawsofphysics

    lawsofphysics Premium Member

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    X100 23/2 - will always be soft for close up work below f 4. I never checked at the minimum practical distance where f 2 sharpness becomes acceptable.

    In general, perceived sharpness at all subject differences is often lower below f 4 because the lens contrast rendering is lower below f 4. This behavior is not unique to the X100 lens design. I owned a Zeiss 50/1.5 ZF M mount lens and an ancient Nippon Kogaku Nikon 50mm f/1.4 non-AI manual focus lens with similar properties.

    The 23/2 XF WR lens is very sharp at all apertures and distances. I find the contrast rendering to be essentially constant as a function of aperture.

    As others mentioned, close up work is difficult with all types of cameras and lenses. But when you figure it out, the results are rewarding.

    As far as I know. Macro Mode can not change any lens' optical performance. Instead, Macro Mode uses AF firmware algorithms designed to find estimate critical focus at the expense of speed.
     
  18. Finder

    Finder Premium Member

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    The 23mm f/2 seems sharps to me at close focus.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Finder

    Finder Premium Member

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    While lenses designed for normal focusing distances do not preform well at close distances, the converse is not true. Marco lenses tend to perform as well or better than their normal counter parts. My sharpest landscape lens is a macro lens. The reason is simple, normal lenses don't need to be made to such close tolerances, where macro lenses do.
     
  20. gyoung

    gyoung Premium Member

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    It depends on the lens, I know the Nikon mf 55mm Macros well for close work, have used both 3.5 and 2.8. The 2.8 is considered good for infinity work, probably because it's a floating element design ('CRC'). I always use a normal 50mm lens for distant work though rather than my 3.5 Micro Nikkor. Horses for Courses.

    Gerry
     

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