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Thread: Observing X-trans idiosyncrasies (Update: plan has changed)

  1. #1
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    Observing X-trans idiosyncrasies (Update: plan has changed)

    and I realize I am very very late to this "party" so maybe this has been talked to utter death already. But something was bugging me every so often about the images I was getting on the X-E1 in terms of understanding how the X-trans works on the image and wanted to itemize it.

    Anyhow, after more shooting experience, looking here and there and talking to some very knowledgeable peopleTM it seems the X-trans boils down to the following set of trade offs.

    As we know, we have traditional Bayer has more blue/red and a bit less green, while X-trans has more green than red/blue. While Fuji claims color reproduction is better because every line has a red or blue, it's also true the distance between some red and blue data is sometimes a bit much (over Bayer).

    Something's gotta give.

    Fuji says they went X-Trans to eliminate or reduce color moiré, while taking out the AA to make for more sharpness. We get that sharpness in luminance but in color- not quite. Some shots with reds and blue do indeed suffer a bit, and the JPEG engine tries to sometimes deal with it by making the colors a bit more desaturated than they should.

    Looking at the image in reasonable sizes (i.e. not walls, not pixel peeping) you get awesome tonality. Part X-trans, part un-undoubtly the lens. I still really think something like an AA-less Bayer will do overall colors better except for the moiré when it happens.

    X-trans gets some of the "crisp" you expect from not having the AA filter but a bit of de-sat or smear in some color in some more rare situations. Capture One 7 seems to handle this overall good.

    Is it a better trade off? I think it is an interesting one. I shot something that would have given an AA-less Bayer (and even AA bayers) a bit of a nightmare, and the X-trans did rather well.

    Itemized to me this looks like:

    X-trans pros:
    - superb B&W
    - excellent luminance detail
    - some of the "zip" and micro contrast expected from removing the AA filter
    - highly resistance to color moiré
    - Great DR, tonality and ISO non pixel peeped

    - red and blue color resolution is less than what 16MP would suggest. More like 10-12
    - Color shots have a combination of detail and less than expected detail in some areas
    - Color tonality sometimes seem flatter when look at at 100% (side effect of point #1)

    Bottom line good news: Sensor and Lenses work really well together.

    I am going to do later an experiment that it seems far fetched but may be more common than people may think in a real life situation. I will buy a something like a blue gift paper roll and a red ribbon, then make the red ribbon go in spiral along the tube and take a shot of that when red ribbon is small on the shot.

    That should be an X-trans worst case.

    - Raist
    Last edited by raist3d; 4th May 2013 at 16:45.

  2. #2
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    Re: Observing X-trans idiosyncrasies

    Change of plan - I don't think I am going to pursue this much and post shots. Just the observations should do - pick a raw converter you find renders the detail you want.

    Some cords and small lines of color with another as a background will get smeared or blurred with the JPEG engine and raw converter- this is rather a more of a rare case.

    Basically do not go just by pixel peeping (Fuji wasn't really about pixel peeping usually- SuperCCD gives more apparent resolution in prints than 100% on a screen), and go. I am saying this because some of the shots I have taken, and some of the shots I see around quite frankly look amazing, so why bother?

    So as a rule of thumb - do you need really high color resolution, more than usual? consider something else then. Do you need high resolution B&W? Xtrans delivers. Do you need overall great color/tonality when you do a print, when you resize a shot for the web? Xtrans overall delivers. The system is flanked by great lenses that draw light very well and operate in a wide range of situations and ISO.

    Maybe I'll bother posting a couple of things but other than that, I think I am going to pass and look to post photographs.

    - Raist
    Last edited by raist3d; 5th May 2013 at 10:02.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Observing X-trans idiosyncrasies (Update: plan has changed)

    Great points. I've been playing around with X-Trans files for a long time, and I started shooting an X100s last month. As should be expected with a new CFA, I've never seen a raw file behave so differently when processed with different converters. It's basically a pick your poison situation.

    I've found that Aperture, which recently started supporting X-trans, is the best by far at rendering detail. There is none of the smoothing that you see with LR, jpegs, etc. The trade off is that you occasionally get purple/green chroma issues in very fine detail, but I don't see it with the same frequency that I do the overly smooth areas when using LR. Aperture is currently the trade off that I feel most confident in, and the detail coming from that is close to what I'd expect from an AA-less camera. I actually switched my workflow from LR to Aperture, because I like the Aperture rendering so much better.

    BTW, I'm not sure that shooting B&W gets rid of the smoothing, since you're still using the color channels, right?

  4. #4
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Observing X-trans idiosyncrasies (Update: plan has changed)

    I found Aperture to be the best RAW converter for X-trans as well - at least for my taste. It delivers by far the highest detail and wonderful contrast which comes very close to the reality as I see it.

    LR is much weaker and I can smoothen images in Aperture anytime to male them look like coming out of LR, but I have lost details with LR from the beginning.

    As I am using both LR and Aperture in parallel for different purposes (and cameras) this is not an issue as I am importing into both (usually first in AP and then in LR) - both are using the same real image database I have built and build their own DB on top of it. BTW Aperture gives far more possibilities than LR WRT handling images.

    Finally the XPro1 in combination with LR gives me the RAW images OOC as I always was looking for but never got. Again this for sure also is for my personal taste.

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