As I had discussed in my last post, I was very keen to test the Fuji's closeup capabilities. Most compact cameras come into their own when in macro mode/ closeup. The best thing about getting close with the X70 lies in the fact that you don't need to switch to Macro mode. The camera automatically adjusts focus up to about 10cm from the object. In the event that even spot focus will not work, Fuji cameras allow for manual focus and this is really well implemented, allowing you both the highlight and the split image option.
Here are a few examples of the images created close-up a few days ago when I happened to visit the local botanical garden. No surprises here: they are mostly of flowers. But I find shooting flowers a great way to test sharpness and colour accuracy ... and the ultimate way to test the macro capabilities of a lens.
Lack of IS coupled with the fact that the camera has no VF can make handheld macro shots difficult. Having said that, being able to set the minimum shutter speed to 1/500 sec and being able to tilt the LCD does help as far as framing and stabilizing the shot are concerned. While these shots are very pleasing and prove the capabilities of the lens, I still prefer the bokeh of the GR. And I still believe the GR has an edge when it comes to sharpness ... if ever so slightly. I would love to get my hands on the new GM-1 macro converter and test it on the GR. If it is as capable as Ricoh claims it is, it will probably make the GR a macro champion in its class.
As the elusive 21mm WCL-X70 wide angle adaptor lens is still not available I decided to try my trusty old Ricoh GW-3 on the X70. Luckily it screws on perfectly and allows one to shoot without switching to the "converter lens" option in the Fuji menu system. What amazed me was that this lens worked better on the X70 than either the WCL-100 or the TCL-100 options. In both of the latter cases there were major issues with vignetting and edge distortion. The GW-3 on the other hand provides an image almost as sharp in the centre and almost as acceptably sharp at the edges as you would get when it is screwed on to the Ricoh GR.
With touchscreen shooting, it was possible to enjoy the wider angle and the ability to quickly place focus at the bottom left hand corner and capture the image all at once. Despite the added bulk, because this is essentially a camera with an articulating LCD that needs to be operated with both hands, it provides more stability in my opinion.
Finally the GW-3 lets you get both wide and close as the following shots demonstrate. The minimum focal length with the wide angle adaptor lens attached (I believe) shrank from 10cm to about 6cm. Since centre sharpness is really the most important thing here I believe that the lens performed admirably with the X-70. I am now curious to see how well Fuji's own wide angle adapter lens performs!