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This Sport Photographer Tested the XF33mmF1.4, Changed One Autofocus Tracking Setting and Suddenly Got 90%+ Tack Sharp Images

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Sport photographer Andrea Cimini sent me his video review about the brand new Fujinon XF33mm f/1.4 R LM WR. The review is in Italian, but I think I can do a better job than the automatic Google translation tool in bringing it to you in English. And yet, if you simply can’t tolerate my English skills, of course you can use the Google option instead ;)

Down below is the summary of the part where he talks about the autofocus tracking performance, as I think it contains an interesting tip.

Video Summary

Ok, the reason why I highlight this review in a dedicated article, is because of the his test of the autofocus.

Sure, the XF33mm f/1.4 has a linear motor, which technically allows for very fast and precise autofocus. However, a stellar lens needs a stellar camera with proper settings, otherwise you won’t get the best results possible.

The gear he used are of course the Fujinon XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR coupled with his Fujifilm X-T3.

Test scenario:

  1. biker suddenly appearing and jumping/landing up the hill
  2. biker suddenly appearing from behind the photographer and taking a sharp turn
  3. biker riding towards the camera

Since in the first scenario the biker was suddenly appearing from behind a hill, he picked the autofocus setting “suddenly appearing subjects“.  Makes sense, right?

Well, sadly, when used at f/1.4, the results were average, not to say disappointing. Stopped down at f/2.8, though, he got 10 out of 10 sharp images.

But he insisted, and wanted to get better performance also at f/1.4. So he switched to the one setting, that in his experience works usually best in every situation: “ignore obstacles“.

Well, with this simple change in the camera, he was able to get 10 out of 12 shots images tack sharp and in focus.

Using the same settings in the second scenario, he got 11 out of 12 images tack sharp, with one slightly out of focus. All shot at f/1.4. Great results also in the last scenario.

So guys, in case you don’t know which setting to go for, just set it to “ignore obstacles“. I’ll do the same from now on.

Conclusions:

  • absurd sharpness already at f/1.4
  • excellent flare control and creates interesting and pleasing sunstars
  • also good close focus performance
  • amazing optical performance
  • but also the older XF35mmF1.4 is a great lens
  • the XF33mmF1.4 is superior in autofocus and has weather sealing
  • getting consistently 90%+ of images in focus at f/1.4 of athletes suddenly appearing the the frame is amazing. He was expecting a hit rate of 50%.
  • the old XF35mmF1.4 gets maybe 2 out of 11 or 12 images in focus
  • he felt totally relaxed knowing he will get home with good sharp images
  • he recommends to buy the XF33mmF1.4 R LM WR over the XF35mmF1.4 R

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