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Thread: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

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    Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    The auto focus accuracy on my 645DF has always driven me crazy. In 2.5 years I've gotten better, but still I never know what's going to be tack sharp on my portrait shoots. How is the XF in this regard? I don't really care about focus speed, I just need predictable accuracy. Especially at wider apertures where focus location on the face is critical.

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Mgreer316 View Post
    The auto focus accuracy on my 645DF has always driven me crazy. In 2.5 years I've gotten better, but still I never know what's going to be tack sharp on my portrait shoots. How is the XF in this regard? I don't really care about focus speed, I just need predictable accuracy. Especially at wider apertures where focus location on the face is critical.
    The XF is, in every way, a large step up from the DF or DF+. It should be easy to get your hands on one for your own testing. We'd be glad to help with that of course.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    My impressions of autofocus and other matters interspersed throughout this thread:

    http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/...topic=110119.0
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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Chipcarterdc View Post
    My impressions of autofocus and other matters interspersed throughout this thread:

    http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/...topic=110119.0
    I read through the Luminous Landscape thread. Question, how big is the focus circle? If I'm shooting fairly tight and a wide aperture and want to nail focus on an eye, is the circle too big such that it might focus on something other than the eye? Or does it have a spot/dot instead of a circle? That's what I rarely need.

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Mgreer316 View Post
    I read through the Luminous Landscape thread. Question, how big is the focus circle? If I'm shooting fairly tight and a wide aperture and want to nail focus on an eye, is the circle too big such that it might focus on something other than the eye? Or does it have a spot/dot instead of a circle? That's what I rarely need.
    Itís actually a rectangle, and in spot mode itís pretty small ... in this thread if you scroll down a few replies you can see the two boxes that represent the two areas used with AutoFocus. Neither are large but the spot mode box seems like it would work pretty well.

    When you actually use the camera the size of the spot mode box visually appears smaller than the image in that link ... hard to describe.
    wayne
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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Mgreer316 View Post
    I read through the Luminous Landscape thread. Question, how big is the focus circle? If I'm shooting fairly tight and a wide aperture and want to nail focus on an eye, is the circle too big such that it might focus on something other than the eye? Or does it have a spot/dot instead of a circle? That's what I rarely need.
    The inside rectangle ("spot focus" mode) is very small and clearly marked. Easy to pick out something specific (even if it's quite small in the frame) to focus on.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Ok, so I read another thread in this forum about an XF focus screen that somebody bought. I saw a box and a center spot. I thought that was part of the purchased screen?

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    First XF cameras shipped with the old DF screen. Correct screen is shown in this link

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-f...n-install.html

    Paul C

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Yea, that's the picture I saw. So, is that the screen the XF ships with today?

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Mgreer316 View Post
    Yea, that's the picture I saw. So, is that the screen the XF ships with today?
    Yes they are shipping with that screen. They also are shipping with a new grip material ( I like it more!) than when they first came out.

    Cheers

    Don
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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Can u show me the new grip
    ? Photo and description will be helpful. My xf is on the way.

    Thanks

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    Senior Member aztwang's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Santoso View Post
    Can u show me the new grip
    ? Photo and description will be helpful. My xf is on the way.

    Thanks
    I am actually awaiting my XF, the original one had to be replaced due to an electrical malfunction. but the original grip material was a smooth black material that was still hard enough
    you could not dig your fingernail into it. The new material has a texture to it, more grippy and if my memory
    serves me right was a bit thicker. Best I can do at this point.

    Don

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    I had both and prefer the new a lot.

    Old:



    New:
    Attachment 118376
    Last edited by Christopher; 3rd May 2016 at 01:02.
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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Thanks. I got mine today. I like the new grip better, more premium and better feeling.

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    I've never used the old, only the new. It does indeed provide a very secure and comfortable gripping surface, one of the very best I've ever used.

    (Looking at the comparison pictures above, though, the old style seems to look sleeker/blacker. I'd obviously rather have a slightly more utilitarian look and a camera that still works because I didn't drop it! Just sayin'.)

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    I have demoed both the XF and the H5D and doing close headshots and half body my spot on AF was about 50% with the XF and 90% with the H5D.

    The XF consistently back focused when it missed, lighting conditions were "ok" but not more. I tried to chalk it off as bad focus-recompose technique, but even without true focus, the H5D had a much better hit rate. I even managed to get spot on focus with my 5 year old wide open with the 100mm f/2.2 - consistently.

    There were a few things that could contribute to this discrepancy:

    - LED light assist is slightly off to the right with XF so when you are close to your subject the assist light doesn't help (?). This is not the case with the H5D

    - Even with all the bells and whistles of a brand new XF CMOS AF sensor handles low light worse than H5D

    - The lens/body wasn't calibrated properly, didn't have time to do my own autofocus fine-tune

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by DrakeJ View Post
    I have demoed both the XF and the H5D and doing close headshots and half body my spot on AF was about 50% with the XF and 90% with the H5D.

    The XF consistently back focused when it missed, lighting conditions were "ok" but not more. I tried to chalk it off as bad focus-recompose technique, but even without true focus, the H5D had a much better hit rate. I even managed to get spot on focus with my 5 year old wide open with the 100mm f/2.2 - consistently.

    There were a few things that could contribute to this discrepancy:

    - LED light assist is slightly off to the right with XF so when you are close to your subject the assist light doesn't help (?). This is not the case with the H5D

    - Even with all the bells and whistles of a brand new XF CMOS AF sensor handles low light worse than H5D

    - The lens/body wasn't calibrated properly, didn't have time to do my own autofocus fine-tune
    Was this comparison made before or after the XF 1.2 Feature Update which specifically improved handheld autofocus and lower light autofocus?

    Did the body have the older or newer focus screen?

    Where you using the normal or spot focus mode?
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Was this comparison made before or after the XF 1.2 Feature Update which specifically improved handheld autofocus and lower light autofocus?

    Did the body have the older or newer focus screen?

    Where you using the normal or spot focus mode?

    For me it sounds quite simple. The XF wasn't probably adjusted for the lens. ( in other words there was no fine tuning with focus trim.)

    Which on an official event is sad, but not spur surprising. I nearly have never seen any demo with adjustments, while I have nearly never seen a lens which does not need it.

    They might be fine for general use but for closeup it is really important that they are probably trimmed.

    Just my 5cent
    Last edited by Christopher; 3rd May 2016 at 15:15.
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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    For me it sounds quite simple. The XF wasn't probably adjusted for the lens. ( in other words there was fine tuning with focus trim.)

    Which on an official event is sad, but not spur surprising. I nearly have never seen any demo with adjustments, while I have nearly never seen a lens which does not need it.

    They might be fine for general use but for closeup it is really important that they are probably trimmed.

    Just my 5cent
    As I've said in another thread, ALL my lenses needed Focus Trim. Once tuned, focus at full aperture is right on.

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Doug, there was a fourth thing yes which was that the XF had the old focusing screen. I used both average and spot, both were not as reliable as I had hoped.

    It's possible that focus trim played a role, but focus was dead on when focusing in good light on static subjects. But there is a possibility that there was play in the pairing of lens/body which was amplified when doing focus recompose.

    Anyway, I was offered a new demo with the new focus screen and will do a proper focus fine tune this time.

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    When I made my decision to go with Phase, I did it because Hassey seemed like a closed system. But over the past year I started thinking I made a mistake strictly because of focus issues.

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    I never told anyone but that Don Libby guy----but I almost jumped over to the H4X, only because of the focus performance. (definitely stay Phase MFDB). It's not that I couldn't get the older generation Mamiya/Phase bodies to work--indeed I have experience with them since the original AF and film. But it was my feeling that at the time (pre-XF release announcement) that venerable H was ahead in focus performance. And yes, it drove me crazy to the point it could probably drive someone to say, temporarily kidnap a Phase One VP and demand that Denmark release the new camera body. (I like to think that the ploy worked)

    Had I jumped to the H4X, I would have taken a large financial loss swapping lenses. And I'm glad I didn't. The focus performance of the XF is all that I was asking for (and got). To me, everything else that the XF body provides is simply cream on top.

    Ken
    Last edited by kdphotography; 5th May 2016 at 16:27.

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    As I've said in another thread, ALL my lenses needed Focus Trim. Once tuned, focus at full aperture is right on.
    same here, all 5 lenses needed an adjustment, and all were a different amount.
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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    How easy/difficult is it to focus calibrate the XF? Also, when calibrating a zoom, do you do it for several points in the focal range? Lastly, when calibrating do you do it at the widest aperture?

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Definitely calibrate at full aperture. I don't use zooms, but I'd calibrate at the most used focal length. (Though one could argue for doing it at the longest focal length as there is the least amount of DOF present.)

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    DF was so bad really bad. XF is great

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    No comparison. It's like a DF/DF+ vs a Canon/Nikon DSLR. Dramatically better IMHO. Not anywhere near as sophisticated as a 35mm or even 4/3rds mirrorless DSLR but it's night and day vs the DF era of AF.

    Obviously it also depends on the level of reliance you have on the gear vs eye. There are no doubt millions of images taken with the DF series that are just perfect.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    DF was so bad really bad. XF is great
    As I have transitioned from DF to the XF, this is the most accurate statement.

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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Had an good opportunity to give the XF a good test in A/F performance. Brought 3 young ladies to the studio to create
    some images with different backgrounds to promote the studio to local Seniors, get them out of the 100 Phoenix heat.
    All together we shot 500 frames.I shot all day at F6.3-7.1 and several times wide open. The Primary lens was a
    Schneider 110LS.The girls were instructed to change posing slightly every flash pop so we kept moving at a good pace.
    After reviewing all images it safe to say that 90% + were tack sharp and I would say I would have to take responsibility ( Pilot error)of
    1/2 of those 10% that were soft. Overall a very successful shoot, I'm very pleased with the XF!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Summer Studio Session8539 1.jpg 
Views:	96 
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ID:	118960  
    Last edited by aztwang; 2nd June 2016 at 09:21.
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    Re: Phase One XF vs 645DF Auto Focus Performance

    Have to ask:

    Lovely shot and for this image--

    Did you use Spot focus and Spot exposure?
    Have you tried the AF Continuous?
    Was your 110 AF Tuned?
    Aboiut how far from subject was this taken?
    Were you hand holding?
    Tethered?
    ETC

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