G5s with m43 lenses vs. Fuji X-E1 with adapted lenses?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by scott, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2010
    I'm really intrigued by the newish Fujifilm cameras with the X-Trans sensor. I also admit that a digital camera that works/feels like my old GW690 is something I've been wanting for years.

    However, the only way I could remotely afford to get an X-Trans camera would be to buy a used X-E1 and used adapted manual focus lenses (probably 24mm or 28mm). (That's not a problem--an X-E1 with a 28/3.5 would be a lot like the GW690 with the 90/3.5.)

    But I get the definite impression that the results with the Fujis will be less impressive with film-camera lenses, which aren't designed specifically for this system and which might be "out-resolved" by the X-Trans sensor--thus making it pointless to get the camera specifically for the sensor.

    So--does anyone know from experience or online comparisons (or a reasonably scientific wild guess :)  ) if an X-E1 (or X-Pro1) with adapted lenses would have significantly higher sharpness or resolution than, say, my G5 and 20/1.7?
  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    You can see some samples over on the related forum (the 'X' icon in the top right will take you there) -

    Adapted Lens Sample Image Archive

    Lots of familiar forum faces there too.
  3. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I don't have an X-series, but I think your worries about the sensor "out resolving" older lenses is not something to be concerned about. The fact is, there are many older lenses that are incredibly sharp and you will be using them more in their "sweet spot" since the X series are not full frame.

    Some lenses may in fact disappoint you -- but it's not going to be a general problem.
  4. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2010
    So if I'm likely to be able to find a good-enough MF lens--I'm still wondering how much better the Fuji output would be, and how I'm just being influenced by nostalgia/GAS. :)  Obviously high-ISO noise would be better, but that's not so critical with landscapes (I can always use a tripod in low light for those).
  5. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Well, I don't think anyone can tell you if you'll like it better really.

    Remember TANSTAAFL -- There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. What I mean by that is that there isn't a perfect digital imaging system. The Fuji X-trans system has it's warts with it's singular imaging pattern and those are fairly well documented. All the sensors that use something like a Bayer pattern can have image anomalies at the fine detail level.

    The closest thing to a "perfect" image sensor is probably the Sigma DP-x "Merrill" cameras but I know I couldn't handle the peculiarities of the camera itself, lol.

    My personal philosophy is that there is something to be said for figuring out the limitations of camera you have and how to get around them. There are two things that drive our GAS generally I think: the fun of having something new, and/or the thought that a better camera will improve our images.

    The first reason is something personal to be wrestled with, but the second is often bogus. Few of us -- and I include myself -- have ever learned to squeeze every drop of goodness out of a digital camera.

    So, I've personally gotten slightly older designs and spent more money on good lenses. That seems to suit me better right now.

    What's best for you though is hard to say and I hope you find what it is -- whether it's Fuji or something else -- without wasting as much money as I have over the years, lol.
  6. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    There's so much wisdom in that post John!
  7. TDP

    TDP Guest

  8. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2010
    Thanks, John--that's a really good point. I'm sure I could get more out of the G5s.

    FWIW, I know the Fuji won't make *me* any better--I'm just concerned about my ability to print and display landscape and travel pictures that don't look noisy/harsh. Probably I need to go play with my printer more to distract myself. :) 

    Thanks for posting -- those pictures look great (from both cameras)!
  9. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    You're welcome. I print fairly large (16x20 through 24x36) but I don't print at home. I send my stuff to Adorama or BayPhoto

    I use the upres/downres technique for smoothing the photo. What I do:

    • From Lightroom, click "Edit In" and select Photoshop Elements (all I have) and "Work with a copy with Lightroom adjustments" as a lossless TIFF. Make sure you haven't excessively sharpened. Your sharpening should be subtle before this step. If you don't have lightroom, you can do this with a copy right in photoshop or whatever you use.
    • In Photoshop in the Image menu use the resize the image option.
    • Now, set the DPI to 300, then resize the image to TWICE the width/height you want to print it. This will typically make the resolution VERY high.
    • Now save the image over the original TIFF Lightroom made.
    • Go back to Lightroom and do the export to the destination SIZE of the print (inches, not pixels) and again at 300dpi. Use the export sharpening to taste depending on your media and preference. Your printer may have higher DPI settings but they are mainly needed to create nice "dithers" to get the full color palette from the inks. You can experiment with higher DPI's from step one if you like, but as I said this works for me.
    This method both smooths the image and provides good edge sharpness on the rescaled image.

    I didn't invent this method, it's commonly used and you may find different "recipes" for doing it. This works nicely for me but experiment to find your bliss. You may like your landscape prints a bit more. I didn't always do this and my prints were fine -- but this method refines them noticeably.
  10. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2010
    Very interesting--it may be common, but it's the first I've heard of it. I'll give that a try and see what I end up with.
  11. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2010
    FWIW, I tried the upscale/downscale method (modified to work with Silkypix and GIMP), and here's what I got:

    View attachment 294877

    The modified version (on the right) does look a good bit smoother along the edges, but this is at pretty high magnification. It'd be interesting to see what difference this makes with prints.

    Now the only problem is that I don't understand *why* this works, which is going to bug me. :smile:
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