No two subjects are exactly the same, which is why we’ve made the focusing systems on X Series cameras so adaptable. Here’s a list of the more advanced options you might find in your camera’s AF/MF menu.
Some of the more advanced focusing features on your X Series camera can be found in the AF/MF Setting menu. Let’s see what they can do for your photography.
What matters to you most when you make a picture? Nailing perfect focus? Or capturing a specific moment no matter what? With the Release/Focus Priority setting, you can decide what is most important.
- RELEASE PRIORITY: the camera will release the shutter and make a picture as soon as you press the shutter release button, regardless of whether accurate focus has been achieved. This is ideal for framing a specific, fleeting moment in time.
- FOCUS PRIORITY: as you press the shutter release button, the camera will focus and won’t release the shutter to make a picture until accurate focus has been achieved. Ideal for when critical sharpness is the most important consideration.
You’ll find these options in the AF/MF SETTING > RELEASE/FOCUS PRIORITY menu, and you’ll notice there are two options: one for AF-S mode and one for AF-C mode. This is because many of the occasions where release priority is needed also require AF-C mode, and when focus priority is needed, it’s usually accompanied by AF-S focus mode.
Which of these modes is most suitable depends on the subject matter you’re framing. Street photographers, sports photographers, and anyone framing spontaneous moments may well prefer to make an image at a specific moment, even if – on close examination – it’s not in perfect focus. These users should set the Release/Focus option to Release.
On the other hand, when framing landscapes, macro, or portraits, timing might not be as important as image quality, so photographers should set the Release/Focus option to Focus.
© David Kingham
The digital depth-of-field scale in your X Series camera’s viewfinder is really useful for working out what is going to be in focus and what isn’t. You can activate it by pressing the MENU OK button, going to SET UP > SCREEN SET-UP > DISP. CUSTOM SETTING, and ticking AF DISTANCE INDICATOR (or MF DISTANCE INDICATOR if you are working in manual focus mode).
Half-press the shutter release button and a white bar on the scale will show the distance the camera has focused on. The blue zone around it shows the near and far limits, where things will still look sharp.
But what exactly do we mean by ‘looking sharp’? Well, if you are in the habit of inspecting your images on screen at 100% magnification, you will probably have higher standards than if you make prints for framing or see your images published in magazines. Thankfully, you can distinguish between these two extremes with the AF/MF SETTING > DEPTH-OF-FIELD SCALE options. Choose between PIXEL BASIS to see a stricter depth-of-field scale for on-screen inspection, or FILM FORMAT BASIS for a more generous depth-of-field scale that will suit those who like to make prints.
Interlock Spot AE & Focus Area
When using spot AE metering, the small spot area is in the middle of the screen, but with this option enabled, it is linked to the position of the active focusing point or area. Turn this on using the AF/MF SETTING > INTERLOCK SPOT AE & FOCUS AREA option.
Store AF Mode by Orientation
Imagine a situation where you have found the perfect focus-point position for making a portrait, with the active focusing point in the top-left portion of the screen. You are holding your camera horizontally, but want to turn it upright for a few frames. Now the focus point is in the wrong place, so you reset it. You go back to the horizontal orientation and the AF point is in the wrong point again, so you reset it once more.
And on it goes – every time you move the camera between horizontal and vertical, you need to move the focus point. Wouldn’t it be nice if the camera remembered where the focus point was in both positions, so you didn’t have to bother? Well, that’s exactly what the Store AF Mode By Orientation option does.
In fact, go to AF/MF SETTINGS > STORE AF MODE BY ORIENTATION and you see options for ON, OFF, and FOCUS AREA ONLY.
- Set this to ON – both the position of the focus point/area and the focus mode (single point or area) will be remembered separately for each orientation.
- Set this to FOCUS AREA ONLY – the position of the focus point/area will be remembered separately. The focus mode (single point/area) will be common to both orientations.
- Set this to OFF – the position and focus mode will be the same for both orientations.
Your Next Steps
- CHALLENGE The tips above are all about fine-tuning your focusing technique for different situations, so the challenge here is to go back to your favorite subjects and see if they help – we’re confident they will! Post your favorite image to social media using the hashtags #MyFujifilmLegacy and #focusing. You can also submit your work here for a chance to be featured on our social media channels.
Header image © Kara Mercer