Question on sharpness between two camera bodies

I’ve been shooting with a Fuji X-T3 for the past couple of years. Up until about a month ago or so, I could count on getting very sharp images with the 100-400mm lens, even at long distances they’d be sharp enough to process. Around that time I did a firmware update. At some point I started noticing a lot of blurry photos - yesterday I took that camera and lens out in the morning and about 90% of my shots were out of focus. I was having a hard time focusing on a perching bird not that far away even with a single focus point.

Today I took my new X-T5 out - it is wonderful. The AF is about a million times better. When I imported these into Lightroom I was happy to see that maybe 75-80% are very sharp - this is how it used to be with the X-T3. I used the same exposure settings and same lens.

I’m wondering if I should do a complete reset of the X-T3 (now my backup camera) and start over? It seems like it may have been a problem with the firmware update, or maybe I accidentally changed something. Any help appreciated…

I dunno, but I don’t think you have much to lose by trying.

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I “dunno” either. Can you somehow return the camera to the time just before the update without doing a complete reset and see if it is better? That might help decide if it’s the update?

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This might be a long shot, but see if you accidentally bumped the “Diopter Dial.” I am not sure if you use AF or MF, but I have heard of instances where people accidentally bump this causing similar problems when using MF.

But if you mostly use AF, this won’t matter much :grimacing:

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@Jim_Gavin I’ll see if I can backtrack on the firmware. Not sure about that.

@Trevor_Vellinga I almost always use AF, so that’s probably not it. Thanks though.

@Matt_Payne I’ll probably wind up doing a full reset if a firmware rollback doesn’t help.

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Hi Debbie, I wonder if you accidentally moved the front lever to manual focus instead of autofocus…Also, if you’re using continuous focus check out the AF-C Custom Settings in the menu…They might have reset to default during a firmware upgrade. Still, the default settings should be fine…

Doing a full reset is probably the answer. Let us know how it goes.


I don’t know anything about Fuji, but in general it isn’t easy to return to a previous firmware version. You might need help from the Fuji service centre to solve your problem.

@David_Bostock No, it’s definitely not on MF. But I will check out the AF-C custom settings.

@Han_Schutten I’ll check with them if needed, I wasn’t sure if a factory reset would also affect the firmware.

So, I did a full/factory reset on my X-T3. I took it out the following day, and still the vast majority of my shots were soft, only a few relatively sharp ones. I’m wondering if it could be my 100-400mm lens finally having issues. I dropped it (attached to this camera body) when I tripped over a concrete barrier in the Tetons last June. They both seemed to be fine and my image quality didn’t change on that trip. But maybe over time something’s gotten loose/jostled?

And the X-T5 is better, but still not the quality I had a few months ago. That’s why I’m beginning to suspect the lens. This weekend I’ll take both bodies out with the Fuji 70-300 and see how the softness/keeper rate is… I’m shooting a lot more fast subjects in low light now than I ever have, and maybe these bodies are not the best for that. I just don’t know.

Field testing can introduce a lot of variables. You might first do some bench testing minimizing variables – tripod, fixed flat target, good light, remote release and compare both bodies with both lenses at different focal lengths. If it’s a lens damage issue that might show it.

I don’t know your lenses but the issue is possibly an older lens and/or body just not being up to your more recent shooting situations. Test that in the field by mixing in non-challenging subjects and see if they also have problems.

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@Diane_Miller I did some testing on a tripod inside this morning and it wasn’t very definitive. Then I looked through a number of Lightroom collections from 2023, and I definitely see that the number of very sharp images was much higher in May than in December. Now it’s reversed and most images are soft or mushy, I’d call it.

I’ll try some easy subjects in the field this weekend and see how that goes. I’m going to take the lens in to a local photography shop too.

I agree that it could be just not the right camera for what I’m shooting most now. Though the Fujinon XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM WR OIS is an outstanding one and has been amazing with everything I’ve thrown at it up until the last few months - I’d be happy if it turns out to be the lens and not my camera system, at least it’s insured…

It was the 100-400 lens - I sent it in to Fuji and they’re replacing two of the 14 lens groups. So happy that it wasn’t me!

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That’s great. I’m glad you resolved this issue. Sometimes things don’t get resolved. It’s a testament to your character that you got to the bottom of this.

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Great news!! Dealing with repair issues is sometimes less than a good experience.

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