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Unclear Photo issues: X-T1

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting' started by Marley Buffett, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Marley Buffett

    Marley Buffett New Member

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    Hello all,
    I am new here and I still feel new to my x-t1 after using it for a year. I am getting completely frustrated because I've taken hours of photos and spent hours reading on the internet about how to use this machine but I can't get clear photos. I shoot mostly with manual setting but sometimes I just give up and use auto everything. The result is always the same: the photos are just not as clear as I would expect on a Fujifilm camera. I usually shoot with both my Samsung note 5 and x-t1 and my Samsung wins in every situation for clarity.
    I need to know if there is a setting that I may have changed in the camera or if my lens or camera was bad from the factory.
    I only use the 18-55 lens that came from the factory. I haven't upgraded to a better lens but I should still get great photos in excellent light.
    If anyone has suggestions on what I can do to test the camera or what settings I can change, I would be ultimately grateful.
    I have included a few images for examples.
    Thank you for any help.
    Marley

    DSCF6870.JPG

    DSCF6804.JPG

    DSCF6537.JPG

    DSCF6993.JPG
     
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  2. NickMilner

    NickMilner Premium Member

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    Maybe it's slow shutter speed and camera shake? The last one looks like it could be the case and the second one looks like low-light. The first one looks noisy so is probably high-ISO - again, potential for camera shake at slow shutter speeds.

    Can you post the EXIF data?
     
  3. tijuana taxi

    tijuana taxi Premium Member

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    Second the request for Exif data, also the OIS can sometimes be troublesome and worth trying option 2 in the menu.
    Think its something like "when shooting" its under the IS Option, guessing you have "1 Continuous" selected

    Looks like a shutter speed, shake problem to me too.
    You might be best resetting the camera to factory default, that rules out any accidental settings issue
     
  4. Marley Buffett

    Marley Buffett New Member

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    I'll get the Exif data to the forum soon. Thank you both.
     
  5. Marley Buffett

    Marley Buffett New Member

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    OK the first photo is 1/2000 sec. F/8 37.4mm - ISO 25600
    second: 1/13 sec. f/10 18mm - ISO 1600
    Third: 1/1000 sec. f/3.2 28.9mm - ISO 800
    Fourth: 1/2000 sec. f/11 25.4mm - ISO 12800 (the focal point was the banner) there is a lot of noise in the shot.

    Thanks again.

    DSCF6993 (2).JPG
     
  6. GregWard

    GregWard Premium Member

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    Welcome to the forum. I'm not quite sure exactly what it is that's making you unhappy here? When you say you can't get "clear photos" what - exactly - is it that you mean?

    Is it that you don't think the images are properly focussed and/or sharp? Or do you mean they're a bit "dull" and lacking in contrast? To help you we would need to know more about the settings for each photo. That's what people mean by providing the EXIF data. The shutter speed, aperture and ISO used for example - but also whether you mean you are manually focussing or using autofocus? You say you've used "manual" and "auto everything" - but it's unclear whether you mean focus or exposure control etc? Also - are you shooting RAW or JPEG? If you are using RAW, for example, you have much more potential in your images but they will look "flat" compared to the images straight off your Smartphone. They need to be processed to get decent results. If you are using JPEG then you might have set something incorrectly.

    To get at the full EXIF data you would need an EXIF Editor (so you'd need to google for the operating system - Windows or MacOS - that you are using). They're pretty easy to find. Or, if you are using something like Lightroom (?), then the key data will be in there.
     
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  7. Arjay

    Arjay Admin Staff Member

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    Another question to the OP, especially regarding the images shot at very fast shutter speeds (1st, 3rd and 4th): Was the OIS image stabilizer on?
     
  8. Marley Buffett

    Marley Buffett New Member

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    I always keep it on.
     
  9. Arjay

    Arjay Admin Staff Member

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    That could explain why you find your shots dull. If you use OIS at shutter speeds faster than 3x the focal length (twice the 35mm equivalent focal length), OIS can in fact add a slight blur - enough to give you the impression your shots could be sharper.

    When I bought my first Fuji ILC, an X-Pro1 with the 18-55mm lens, I had similar problems like you: I always used the 18-55mm lens w/ active OIS, and the shots I got never were quite as sharp as those I achieved using any of my Fuji primes. It turned out that all shots I captured using the 18-55mm with active OIS at fast shutter speeds (as fast or faster than 1/250s) featured slightly reduced resolution. Only using OIS at shutter speeds 2/(focal length x 1.5) or slower cured the problem. OIS is only good for slow shutter speeds.

    However, if you want to achieve an image resolution on par w/ Fuji primes, then you should stay away from the 18-55mm lens. Up to now, I only found the Fuji XF 50-140mm to be as sharp as my primes.
     
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  10. Marley Buffett

    Marley Buffett New Member

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    Excellent information. I will work on it. I have to try to understand everything you said but I will figure it out this weekend. I didn't know that about the 18-55. Maybe it's time for an upgraded lens. $$$$
     
  11. jptsr1

    jptsr1 Well-Known Member

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    The shots don't look that bad to me. What about them displeases you? In general ISO 25600 is going to give you some grain, f3.2 may not give you the DOF you want even on a crop and 1/13 shutter speed can introduce some blur. Also image stabilization is not a replacement for good technique. When im trying to find out if its me or the camera I do two things. First I take some shots full auto to see how far the parameters I pick are away from what the camera thinks the numbers should be. If that doesn't help I get a tripod and set up in the camera/lens "sweet spot" to see if the images are better. 9 times out of 10 its me and not the camera. Put it on a solid tripod, Set it at f8, iso 200 and A for the shutter speed (speed wont matter if its on a solid pod). Shoot something stationary using the timer or remote and see what you get.
     
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  12. Arjay

    Arjay Admin Staff Member

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    ... and if using a tripod, disable OIS!
     
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  13. Greybeard Photography

    Greybeard Photography Premium Member

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    Do you have any evidence for this? Or is this your personal rule-of-thumb?
     
  14. jptsr1

    jptsr1 Well-Known Member

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    Intelligent modern image stabilization should recognize both a tripod and when it is not needed due to shutter speed. I am new to Fuji but I will be very disappointed to find out this is not the case with their OIS.
     
  15. tijuana taxi

    tijuana taxi Premium Member

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    Prepared to be disappointed then

    Not so sure about all that ois and the fast shutter speed thing, but to the OP it looks like all ok.

    Your third photo where I would say you had a nice combination of SS and ISO looks pretty good.
    Only get a narrow dof at f/3.2 so some areas will appear oof, whereabouts are you based?
    Maybe some kind Fuji photographer could give you a few pointers in person, anywhere near Cambridge, UK and i'll do the honours
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  16. DougMac

    DougMac Premium Member

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    I'm looking at the images and trying to understand your choices. I'm going to go through and offer alternative settings for each:
    1. 1/2000 sec. F/8 37.4mm - ISO 25600 - If you want to stay at f8, you could have taken this stationary object with OIS on at 1/60 or even 1/30 with ISO either ISO 800 or ISO 400. You could then have shot at f5.6 at either 400 or 200 ISO. How did you choose your aperture? Was it a conscious choice? You want to keep ISO as low as possible.
    2. 1/13 sec. f/10 18mm - ISO 1600 - This is primarily a 2 dimensional object. I don't see a need to shoot at that aperture. If you had photographed it at f5.6, you could have bumped your shutter speed to 1/25 and lowered your ISO to 800 both would be better settings for this image.
    3. 1/1000 sec. f/3.2 28.9mm - ISO 800 - This is a static photo, no one is moving appreciably, therefore there's no need to shoot at such a high shutter speed. You would have gotten the same exposure at ~ 1/250, f 5.6 ISO 400.
    4. 1/2000 sec. f/11 25.4mm - ISO 12800 (the focal point was the banner) there is a lot of noise in the shot - Again, I'm bewildered at your ISO choice. Of course there's a lot of noise. That's the penalty of choosing high ISO, which for me is anything over ISO 800. I can sort of justify the small f11 aperture here to give you a lot of DOF, but such a high shutter speed is unnecessary. A shutter speed of 1/125 would give you a much more realistic ISO of 800. I might have considered opening up to f8, then either shooting at 1/250 @iso 800 or 1/125 @iso 400.

    I think you need to learn more about the exposure triangle (shutter speed, aperture, ISO). Keep your ISO as low as possible. Try to never use anything higher than ISO 800 unless absolutely necessary. Use OIS when needed, but turn it off for normal circumstances. If you are shooting wide, 27mm or wider, turn it on at 1/60 or slower. If you are shooting long, 35 - 55, then turn it on for 1/125 or slower. Test the limits of the OIS and your steadiness and find the lowest shutter speed at different focal lengths that give acceptably sharp results. Do a series of tests, preferably later in the day and using a tripod. Start with ISO 200, shutter speed of 1/30 or 1/60 and whatever aperture gives proper exposure. Shoot aperture priority. Then adjust the ISO up the ladder to 25600. Study the increase in noise level and decide the highest ISO with a noise level you can accept.
     
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  17. DougMac

    DougMac Premium Member

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    Intelligent modern photographers should recognize when they have mounted their camera on a tripod and adjust accordingly.
     
  18. jptsr1

    jptsr1 Well-Known Member

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    "Touché, Pussy Cat!" -(Tuffy,1954)
     
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  19. Demoz

    Demoz Premium Member

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    You need to keep your ISO down and your speed up. High ISO causes noise and loss of detail, slow shutterspeed causes blur from camera shake and motion blur from moving objects. When I look at your EXIF, many settings do not make sense.

    Shot 1: You do not need 1/2000 for a stationary object, 1/200 would have been more than safe. That would have reduced your ISO to 3000. If you would have chosen f4, ISO would be around 800 and you would have had a shallow and creamy depth of field. Shot 2: You don´t need f10 to shoot a flat object, f4 would have done the trick easily. Your speed would have gone up from 1/13 to 1/100. Shot 3: 1/200 would have been safe to avoid motion blur and camera shake, your ISO would be at 200. Possibly the OIS is causing a slight blur. Shot 4: again, 1/200 would have been fast enough and your ISO would be at 1200 or so.

    In order to avoid changing the settings for every single shot manually, I usually shoot in Aperture priority: I choose the aperture and the camera calculates the shutter speed and ISO. In the ISO menu I choose max ISO 12800 and min shutter speed 1/200. The shutter speed dial is set to A. I only set the aperture on the lens: For portraits I open up the aperture to f2.8 or f4 for a shallow depth of field, meaning the object is in focus and the background blurred. For street shots like the demonstration or the street vendor I would choose f8 or so.

    I would use the OIS only in low light conditions and keep it off in normal light.

    Try that and see if it works out for you. Happy shooting!
     
  20. Marley Buffett

    Marley Buffett New Member

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    Even in a situation where the people are moving and there are flags waving like in this photo in Catalonia? It's a protest so people don't stay still. I though faster shutter speed was better to capture a microsecond of time. I feel a bit stupid with this camera sometimes.
     

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