I was a little frustrated with the exposure and focusing of the X100s, so I finally took the time to read online blogs and guidance and learned a few quirks, which required some workarounds.
First workaround: I’m now shooting RAW and processing in-camera as-needed.
Before, I was shooting RAW+jpeg and had different quick settings for ‘standard,’ ‘velvia,’ and ‘B&W with red filter’ – with each one having specific dynamic range settings. Unfortunately, the draw of increased dynamic range came at the cost of strange exposure values and ISO jumping to 800 even on a bright day. so, recommendation was to keep it at DR100 (100% dynamic range) – this resulted in behavior that I typically expected.
The added benefit is that I can edit the RAW in-camera and apply filters afterwards. The picture below was processed with ‘standard’ provia:
…and the picture below was processed with B&W+red filter:
Maybe my photographic tastes are maturing…but my preference for grainy B&W is now being surpassed by clean and contrasty B&W.
The downside – RAW files are freaking HUGE.
Second Workaround: stopping down the lens.
I read online that the lens needs to be stopped down a bit to achieve optimum sharpness between 1-7 ft. I guess my years of working with the small image circle of the 4/3 sensor size spoiled me with telecentric lenses that were sharp even wide open. So, I’m shooting f/2.8 indoors when sharpness matters and f/2.0 when exposure requires it. The below picture was shot in a very dim room while we drank smoothies and watched a movie indoors to escape the heat outside, so it was f/2.
I also tried the in-camera cropping just for s&g’s:
The focus point was my son’s left eye and glasses – so I think I got focus right where I wanted it.
The picture below was f/2.8:
Actually, at Internet sizes, the difference between both pictures is negligible. For macro-like shots though, I guess I’ll need to keep it no less than f/4 – this is due to the inherent limitations in the lens design.
Third Workaround: I’m using the rear LCD and the EVF more.
I just sucked it up and decided that the OVF, for my needs, is going to be used primarily for when I’m outside and it’s sunny. The EVF and rear LCD are just fine for composition and exposure management. It is quite nice to have both options – and for this advantage alone, I’d have a very difficult time going back to a camera without similar capability.