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Gear & Apps

Fujifilm Quietly ‘Fixes’ Continuous AF on X-T1?

By Anthony Thurston on December 28th 2014

While I was out testing the new Fujifilm 50-140mm F/2.8 yesterday while shooting some wildlife, I noticed an interesting change in the continuous AF mode of my X-T1 since updating to Firmware 3.0 last week.

IMG_9790
If you have come to Fuji from the DSLR world, and happened to put your X-T1 into continuous focus mode, chances are you thought your camera was going nuts. The focus would constantly change, to the point that it seemed as if your camera couldn’t achieve a lock. This was different from Continuous AF on a Canon DSLR for example, which would focus and lock and then track fairly seamlessly.

The difference I noticed with my X-T1 yesterday was that rather than going berzerk in continuous mode like I was used to seeing, the AF was much more controlled, to the point that I had to check and make sure I was actually in continuous AF mode.  It was wonderful, and still really accurate.

IMG_9788[REWIND: Initial Thoughts on Fuji’s New 50-140mm]

I went back and checked through the Firmware 3.0 updates and did not notice anything referring to the continuous focus mode, but I did not change any of my AF settings either. So my only thought here is that Fuji quietly ‘fixed’ the continuous AF mode.

Initially, I was thinking maybe it was the 50-140mm lens itself, somehow working better with the Continuous AF, but when I put my 18-55mm kit lens on there it was still performing much better.

DSCF0694Possibly, I am just getting used to the AF on the X-T1 and am using it better, and thus getting better results. But I really don’t feel like I would see this dramatic of a difference without something being updated. I mean really, in continuous mode, my X-T1 hardly ‘hunts’ at all anymore, where as before the update, all it would do is hunt in that mode.

If Fujifilm did quietly ‘fix’ this, THANK YOU! I can actually use my X-T1 in continuous mode with confidence now. I am curious if any of you other X-T1 owners have noticed this?

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. David DeRosa

    These are heart breakers. There is something wrong with the X-E1 and the X-T1. I politely asked the Fujifilm guy at the big NY photo expo if they had fixed the autofocus problem. He snapped at me “you mean the operator error problem.” then he backed off — told me he knew about the X-E1 problem and assured me it was fixed with the release of the X-T1. So I bought the X-T1. The problems are not fixed.

    I have spent a lot of time and money on the X-E1 and X-T1. Finally returned the X-T1. These cameras have enormous promise but there is something random going on with respect to the focusing. You may get a drop-dead beautiful photo or you may get something that is strangely out of focus. Roll of the dice. Same problem with both the X-E1 and X-T1. The autofocus issue is known. And probably still not totally fixed.

    I think I may know why this is happening. It has to do with how the lens and camera meet up. When you change lenses you may think you are ok. the lens clicks in place. Then, for reasons unknown you may get blurry pictures. The mystery may be solved if you get an F0 message (for aperture). That means the lens is not correctly seated.

    On at least one blog a person wrote that no matter what he does he cannot make the F0 go away. This means there is an engineering defect in the design of the camera body.

    But — I believe — the lens might not be correctly seated sufficiently for you to get the F0. You would think that if you put the lens on the camera, twist until you hear the click, you are ok. Maybe not.

    So I think the issue is more than the autofocus problem .

    If that isn’t it, then I don’t know what it is that makes these cameras so frustratingly unreliable.

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  2. T Y

    I tried this with 56mm and 18-135mm lens but felt the same slowness as before.
    Besides, I don’t see any merits for Fuji fixing this “quietly”…

    BTW, do you usually set “PRE-AF ON” in the continuous AF mode??
    I would like your entire settings for the continuous AF mode. Thanks.

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  3. Chris Kwock

    Oh I have to test this out! I tried it once on my 56mm and it just went nuts! It never stopped moving and I just chalked it up to it being at 1.2 and shooting something farther away with low contrast and never touched it again. Now I need to check because this would be awesome to be able to use it for events now.

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  4. Douglas Gehlsen

    I updated to 3.0 and found the same, AF-C did not seem to hunt as it did before, however I have not tried it out sufficiently to see if there is an improvement.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Awesome, I hadn’t seen any other sites talking about this… part of me wondered if I was going crazy.

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  5. Steven Pellegrino

    I don’t have any comments about the camera, but I love the photo with the deer. Good catch!

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Thanks! I have been interacting with this same group of does for the last couple of weekends. They seem to have gotten fairly comfortable with me as they allow me to walk up fairly close to them.

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    • Steven Pellegrino

      Anthony,

      Just like any other form of photography, you gotta have access! If you’re touring with a rock band, they have to trust you to allow you to shoot the candid pics. I guess the same goes for wildlife.

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