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Reflections on the XV


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The main issue when using the XV today is the perceived stigma that some on-line forum participators try to instill on the XV and its users.

 

In actual use its wonderful (depending on the relevance of the occasional erroneous green focus indicator to you) and the pictures are stunning. And non-forum addicts tend to think its quite cool

 

My main beef is not having a AEL button, although this could be addressed in a firmware update and is kind-of work-aroundable by using the manual dials.

 

The build, handling and operation is super. There is no APS-C zoom combination that gives the range of quality this camera does, certainly in this size. Any more light and the size would have shot up. FF competitors have much bigger lenses of variable quality.

 

In terms of innovation, despite the fixed fixed zoom nature I would say the manual focus implementation is really excellent and something other competitors should address.

The "virtually no" extension to the zoom is also excellent.

Lastly the truly silent shutter, shared only with the RX1 and G1X, is essential for many of the uses I put it to.

 

Of course you are paying for the Leica name, build, 2 years guarantee, 1 year passport (in UK), etc. but we all know that right.

 

Lastly, in terms of light, we of course would all wish for more. But its worth remembering that:

a. The sensor is fine to 3200, even 6400 is usable

b. At 28mm its f3.5. Which is only 1/2 a stop off the X1, X2, Ricoh, Coolpix and many other fixed APS-C compacts. And you get up to 70mm thrown in as well

 

best rgds

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The main issue when using the XV today is the perceived stigma that some on-line forum participators try to instill on the XV and its users.

 

In actual use its wonderful (depending on the relevance of the occasional erroneous green focus indicator to you) and the pictures are stunning. And non-forum addicts tend to think its quite cool

 

My main beef is not having a AEL button, although this could be addressed in a firmware update and is kind-of work-aroundable by using the manual dials.

 

The build, handling and operation is super. There is no APS-C zoom combination that gives the range of quality this camera does, certainly in this size. Any more light and the size would have shot up. FF competitors have much bigger lenses of variable quality.

 

In terms of innovation, despite the fixed fixed zoom nature I would say the manual focus implementation is really excellent and something other competitors should address.

The "virtually no" extension to the zoom is also excellent.

Lastly the truly silent shutter, shared only with the RX1 and G1X, is essential for many of the uses I put it to.

 

Of course you are paying for the Leica name, build, 2 years guarantee, 1 year passport (in UK), etc. but we all know that right.

 

Lastly, in terms of light, we of course would all wish for more. But its worth remembering that:

a. The sensor is fine to 3200, even 6400 is usable

b. At 28mm its f3.5. Which is only 1/2 a stop off the X1, X2, Ricoh, Coolpix and many other fixed APS-C compacts. And you get up to 70mm thrown in as well

 

best rgds

 

Succinctly stated. Thank u

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The main issue when using the XV today is the perceived stigma that some on-line forum participators try to instill on the XV and its users.

 

Thats the main issue by far.

 

Anyone that actually handled this camera, used it, and looked the results would find it difficult to give back.

 

I had to phone Leica this week for a replacement charger (which exploded.... and was replaced within a day) and took the opportunity to tell them as much. Unusual for me .... as a nascent grumpy old man ..... who is impressed by very little these days .....

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As DXO Mark just published, the sensor is excellent and many aspects including the lens are excellent in my view; however, as the images below illustrate, the AF issue is highly annoying and Leica's failure to fix this is inexcusable. The images below were taken seconds apart. One camera was the XV and the other was the XT-1 with kit lens. Both were hand held and shot when the green conformation showed and the camera beeped to indicate focus lock. One is a 100% comparison and the other at frame fill.

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Hi John,

 

you're really not having much luck with the AF on your camera. This is after it went back to Leica?

 

As you've posted a photo with the XT-1 what do you think of it?

 

Regards,

Mark

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As DXO Mark just published, the sensor is excellent and many aspects including the lens are excellent in my view; however, as the images below illustrate, the AF issue is highly annoying and Leica's failure to fix this is inexcusable. The images below were taken seconds apart. One camera was the XV and the other was the XT-1 with kit lens. Both were hand held and shot when the green conformation showed and the camera beeped to indicate focus lock. One is a 100% comparison and the other at frame fill.

 

This isn't exactly an apples for apples comparison. Look at the shutter speed. You are shooting at 1/40th. What do you expect!

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This isn't exactly an apples for apples comparison. Look at the shutter speed. You are shooting at 1/40th. What do you expect!

 

 

Good point. John even mentioned it was hand-held.

 

John, is this still a problem with tripod and/or faster shutter speeds?

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As DXO Mark just published, the sensor is excellent and many aspects including the lens are excellent in my view; however, as the images below illustrate, the AF issue is highly annoying and Leica's failure to fix this is inexcusable. The images below were taken seconds apart. One camera was the XV and the other was the XT-1 with kit lens. Both were hand held and shot when the green conformation showed and the camera beeped to indicate focus lock. One is a 100% comparison and the other at frame fill.

 

This is camera shake.

 

Perhaps the default minimum shutter speeds on auto are an issue for this user....

 

I had exactly the same problem with the Sony A7r ....... in my hands I needed speeds of 2xf to avoid blurred images when zoomed in ......

 

I, and many others have had NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER with AF on the XV ......... this is a 100% crop .... 1/80 at 70mm at about 20cm ...... AF on the head and every shot spot on .......

Edited by thighslapper
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Here are two shots taken this morning. One on the left using AF and the one on the right using MF. Note the one on the left is at 1/100 and not zoomed as far. The one on the right is zoomed to 46mm and at 1/60.

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The AF was right on the center of the star. I was just illustrating that camera shake was not the likely culprit as the slower shutter speed and longer FL was shot by the same person seconds apart. The AF was at a shutter speed and FL that it should not have been an issue. The camera has to work the way I use it. I rarely use a tripod so that isn't meaningful to me. However, Gerd's examples were shot with a tripod and illustrate the issue with graphs to support the observed behavior.

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I never thought I would be in a Leica Forum having a cushion photographing competition .....

 

All on AF (MF results were the same)

My conservatory at night, rather dark, low contrast, wall lighting, nice crappy low contrast subject for AF to struggle with......

Took lots and all the same results ......

First pair 1/6 sec hand held iso 200 70mm, original plus 100% crop

Second pair 1/80 sec, auto iso at 2000, 70mm, original plus 100% crop

They are all in focus..... albeit a bit dark as I had somehow set the camera to -0.7ev ....

Have you managed to incur some terrible Leica curse or X Vario disease ?

 

I can see this running forever ......

Edited by thighslapper
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More Pillow Pictures ........

 

sounds like I'm peddling soft porn .....

 

Forgot the XV has an integral flash .......

 

These are 70mm pairs at 100 iso with flash and auto iso without flash ..... which barely manages 1/30 at iso 3200 because it was so dark....... still no problems with AF accuracy ...... although it is noticeably slower than at higher light levels ....

 

Try as I might .... and in increasingly difficult circumstances ... I cannot get AF to misbehave.....

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The camera has to work the way I use it. I rarely use a tripod so that isn't meaningful to me. .
That is nonsense. By the same argument I could demand that the M produce sharp images @ 1/30th and 400 mm handheld because want to use it that way, if needed I do, and sometimes it even works - but not often.

 

You don’t “test” a camera for sharpness by waving it around. That way you can never be sure that you have excluded motion blur. And you have not. The soft images you show have more blur in one direction than in another. There is no way to tell whether they are defocused or not. You may well have an AF issue on your camera despite us not being able to judge it on these shots but I would advise you to send it to Solms to sort it out.

 

As you can see by the other images in the thread it appears not to be typical of the camera

Edited by jaapv
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Just to give something different than a pillow. let's consider it a change of theme.

Edited by XVarior
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I have to say that the 'awful AF issue' seems to have been beaten to death .... and beyond

(ground to dust ?).

 

The majority (AF ok) will just have to agree to disagree with the minority (AF dodgy) and leave it at that.

 

Assuming that the AF deniers are sane and sensible (and there is no reason to suggest otherwise) then the inescapable conclusion is that they have faulty cameras .......

 

As I don't have a problem, I will just shut up about this topic in future ..... as further discussion is competely pointless.....

 

Like XVarior I'm off to take photos of something more rewarding than cushions in the dark ......

Edited by thighslapper
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