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X-T1 focusing issue with Zone Focusing


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with half a year of practice on focusing with the X-T1 I keep having this issue:

the camera will often focus on the background using zone focus method. I would like it to focus on the nearest occupied point, but to no success.


The following picture (resized, not cropped) gives a good example. This happens roughly in the majority of all cases. It seems especially with trees / bushes in the background this is particularly the case.


Some information: 

- I read the manual

- I read Rico's book. 

- AF-S selected

- No Pre-AF activated

- High Performance in Power Management is turned on

- Face detection OFF, especially in the example picture.

- I know that single point focus would be much better, however many times I have a group of people like the elder couple and a youngster running in between them. Finally zone focusing would be much easier to use when several people are moving through the frame. 

Besides, even with single point -> when the size of single point is too big, and the person is half crossing the single point focusing square, many times it will also focus on the background. 


Now, my questions:

- What might I still do wrong? Although many people say you just need to practice more, after several thousand pictures there seems to be no improving on this.

- Is zone focusing not suitable to focus on people at all? If your answer will be "It is suitable", please explain how your practice differs from mine.

- Any other idea? Because this is getting annoying.


Thank you



Edited by andy_m
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Use a smaller zone, like 3x3 is sufficient for most things for AF-S. The zone focus works a lot better for AF-C where you have something to track or things that move kind of fast.


But if you have a busy background where the focus could be grabbing it, it's better to use single point.


Personally I switch between 3x3 for all purpose shooting, single point when I need precision (cranked up 2 slot from smaller point) and 5x3 for AF-C for movement tracking.


It's not perfect, I don't ever think it would be but once you know how each AF work, it's a lot easier to figure out why it's behaving in such a way.

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My X-PRO2 does exactly the same so consider it a Fuji camera feature that may or may not be fixed in the future. I guess X-T2 will be doing the same thing.


Not exactly what I was hoping for, but thank you all for the feedback. That is rather unfortunate. My 10-year old Canon 5D was always able to focus on the nearest object (on any of those 9 focusing fields). But the Fuji gives a much more pleasing picture. So let's hope Fuji ups the focus ante soon.

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Personally I switch between 3x3 for all purpose shooting, single point when I need precision (cranked up 2 slot from smaller point) and 5x3 for AF-C for movement tracking.



I would like to try this, so a little info please.

How is the camera setup to switch between focus methods? Have you a custom menu for this?


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When you change AF, the camera will remember the last setting it was used, for example if you have set a 5x3 zone for AF-C, it will switch to that zone whenever you use the mode.


As for setting them up, you move the af point around, you change the size with the thumb wheel. If you want to change the type (single point, zone,...) you will need to have a Fn button assigned to it.


I used the up arrow button on the cross pad on the back of my X-T1 for that purpose and used the front Fn button move the af point.


All this can be found in deeper details on the online manual, since it changed a lot since the actual make manual got printed.

Edited by darknj
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