Fuji focus tweaks

The X-Pro1 at work

60mm f2.8 ISO 800
60mm f2.8 ISO 800

While shooting at a recent press conference, I realized that I have made some adjustments to how I focus the X-P1. So, along with adding the latest firmware updates to my Fuji X-Pro1 and XF lenses, I have also updated my focusing technique slightly to speed up automated Manual Focus.

35mm f2 ISO 2500
35mm f2 ISO 2500

Update: B.C. Government just posted a gallery of these photos on FB.

Normally while shooting in MF, I use the AF-L button to quickly focus on the subject and then hit the command dial to zoom in on the focus area. In this view, I adjust the focus by manually rotating the lens focus ring. This works well enough, but I have found with the 60mm lens in particular, the initial attempt to focus, especially using the OVF, can take longer than I would like.

35mm f2 ISO 200
35mm f2 ISO 200

A faster way to use this technique seems to be to reverse the focusing operation. First I hit the command dial for the zoomed preview of the area I want to be in focus and then I hit the AF-L button. The camera, again particularly with the longer focal length of the 60mm lens, snaps onto focus quickly and consistently. Then I can half-press the shutter release or hit the command dial to return to the normal view for composing and shooting.

60mm f4 ISO 3200
60mm f4 ISO 3200

I was also using the X-100 during the event and this technique worked with it as well.

35mm f1.4 ISO 3200
35mm f1.4 ISO 3200

Great to have both Fuji cameras to shoot work events, particularly with available light. Thank you Fuji for producing such great, fast lenses. But don’t you think it’s time to release the 23mm and long zoom? I do!!!


  1. Thanks again…
    First, sorry for my English (I’m French) : I have a question, but not about focusing.
    I’ve learned you have a thumbs up with your XPro : it’s very expensive.
    But what is it ? How it works ? Is it a real benefit ?
    And the soft button ?

    Thank you again Don,


    1. Robin
      Your English is perfect.

      Actually, I don’t use either the thumps-up or a soft release with the XP1. I have used them with my old Leica M9.

      The thumps-up slides into the hotshoe and provides a place to hook your right thump. It gives a very secure way to hold the camera, but with the XP1 I use that thump to press the AF-L button and the command dial, so I don’t want to restrict my thumb’s movement by using a thumbs-up. I am happy with the grip on the camera and don’t feel that I need the extra help.

      The soft-release is a button that screws into the shutter release. It changes the feel and responsiveness of the release. I have not tried it yet on the XP1.

  2. Robin and Andy, glad you like the tip. I didn’t realize that I had made this shift until the other day. Seems to work well with all three lenses, it’s just a more noticeable improvement with the 60mm.

    Of course, with all three lenses, choosing a high contrast area speeds up auto focus the most, so learning to look for those areas, zoomed in or not, really makes a difference.

  3. Quality tip! 35mm here too. I like your method a lot (X-E1, same same). Thanks, that’s a massive plus for an already awesome camera; icing / cake.

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