Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Super Macro Mode … can you leave it on?

Apparently, some Fuji X10 shooters leave Super Macro Mode (SMM) on all the time, because they say it just works. Interesting, as the Fuji manual is quite clear that it is used at full wide angle and that there is a limit to the focus distance of 3.2 feet:


The X-S1 manual has similar information:


The X-S1 does not even mention the telephoto ranges. This is a case of Fuji abdicating responsibility for their specifications. Users are left to experiment. So here is a simple experiment … four 100% crops of images shot at full zoom then 200mm with the X-S1. One image at each EFL with SMM on and then off. Simple …



AF not achieved at full zoom with SMM on. Not even close.

AF achieved regardless of SMM setting at 200mm, but the SMM on setting seems to produce less sharp images. However, that could also be a statistical anomaly.

Obviously, an even shorter zoom lens, like that in the X10, will likely perform even better than this. Perhaps images will even be sharp every time. Assuming that they would have been in the first place.

So … should you leave SMM on all the time? I wouldn’t, as the camera is definitely “thinking” more when it is on, and why inject that into an already complex process? But of course it’s your call. The X10 might handle it ok (it’s been said) … but the X-S1 does not if you ever zoom it.