Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tackling a New York dawn with the help of Fuji firmware update 4.0 and the X-T1

I photograph sunrises and sunsets a lot. One thing that has always irked me about the Fuji X cameras is that they could rarely achieve a focus on clouds. My work-around has been to grab focus on a contrast point on the horizon, and, while holding it with a half-way press of the AF-L button, re-composing the camera for the sky shot I want.

At dawn this morning, with the camera set to the new "Wide/Tracking" AF mode, I had little trouble achieving focus on just the clouds in the sky, even though they were extremely low in contrast. It was interesting to watch the focus points jumping around in the viewfinder as the camera gathered focusing information. Sure, it missed once in awhile, but so do my DSLR;s. For the vast majority of the shots I took the new firmware held the camera and 18-135mm zoom to a correct focus.

Score 1 for Fuji.

This scene was easy to focus, and the focus points immediately gathered about the area of the Empire State Building. The tower lights usually go out at 2AM, but this morning at 5:30AM, just before sunrise, they were still on and lent some extra definition to the building. 

This scene was much more difficult for the camera because of the soft transition of overall contrast. Even so, I could see the focus points in the viewfinder as the darted about the sky and finally settled in on the most likely areas where the edges of the clouds meet the sky. 

1 comment :

  1. Hey Tom
    It's interesting that you as well have noted difficulty using AF to focus on clouds using the X-T1. Next time I'm out I'll have to try using the new AF tracking and see how it performs. Thanks.

    Be Well