Fujifilm X-Pro1 — Same Artifacts from the Funky Sensor Design
The Leica 135/3.4 APO delivers a high contrast image, pin-sharp with rich color saturation, but requires considerable care to focus accurately (just about impossible to focus accurately on the Leica M9 without focus bracketing, which I did, and I will show the results soon).
With Live View, focus still requires care with the 135/3.4 APO, but one is assured of correct focus in so doing. In this regard, I found the Fujifilm X-Pro1 the easiest to focus, as compared to the Sony NEX-7 and Olympus E-M5. But the Fuji frustrated me with its Live View arbitrary inability to move around the frame— center only.
The Fujifilm X-Pro1 produced a RAF (RAW) file that with Adobe Camera RAW looked fantastic at reduced size, but the digital artifacts in the 1-4 pixel clump range make the results look like the image was scaled up using fractals. The effect varies by subject matter; some areas look sort of OK (at least at first glance), but textures like conifer bark are resoundingly “digital” (artificial looking) in appearance, which I find quite unatttractive. I previously documented several examples of these articles in my in depth review.
Fujifilm cannot be taken seriously as a player until and unless they work with Adobe and get the Fuji RAF files to convert properly. The reality is that Photoshop and Lightroom dominate the market, it’s gotta work well, really well, with ACR.
I think this is a real shame— the X-Pro1 sensor is lovely in every other way. But the fractal-looking image structure is just too digital looking for my taste, going way beyond spurious resolution to tread in whole new green fields of weird visual effects.
In the crop below, the orange wood looks reasonable at first (less so with further inspection, it starts to “chunk” to my eyes), but the way the bark is rendered looks like a heavily processed digital effect, a sort of semi-tessellation.
The frame from which the above crop was taken: