The sun was giving hints that it might come out this morning, but I wasn't sure. There might have been nice cloudscape shots, or there might be enough light to get a decent bird shot, assuming there were any birds to be found.

I thought I'd be clever and so I brought along the little XZ-2 stuffed into my vest pocket, with the OM-1 on the sling for birds.

As it happened, the clouds rolled in, but before they did there was an "interesting" shot on the street, with low-angled early morning light illuminating the front of the house and a large palm shadow cast on it as well, and a blowing American flag on another house in the left of the frame.

For the rest of the walk, I mainly shot with the XZ-2, doing closeups of mushrooms, playing with the Dramatic Tone filter and just looking for something to shoot.

When I got home, I worked on the house shot and noticed that the left side of the frame was very soft, to the point of being blurry. So I looked at a few other shots and seemed to detect the same thing on a couple of them. In the closeups, it wasn't really detectable since the subject was in the center of the frame and the depth of field was pretty thin.

Well, I wanted to know for sure so I set up a tripod in the library and shot some books. One thing leads to another, and I ended up testing the MX-1, the XZ-1 and both of the Stylus 1s cameras.

The good news is that all of the cameras but the XZ-2 were sharp corner to corner at all apertures from f1.8 (2.8 in the case of the Stylus 1s) to f4.

The bad news is the XZ-2 is pretty decentered. Both the left and right sides of the frame are soft, but the left side is just plain out of focus. I checked my library for my original XZ-2, and it was sharp corner to corner as well. This is just a bad specimen.

As a practical matter, it probably wouldn't affect 75% of the kinds of shots I take. If I wanted to take clinically sharp landscapes, architectural interiors, or some types of documentary work, it'd be a problem. Really, biggest problem is just knowing about it. On the one hand, it allows me to work around it a bit, or only use the camera for "fun" shots. On the other hand, knowing about it nags at me. I only paid $100 for the thing, which is about half what most of them go for on the auction site, so the price wasn't exactly unfair even with the optical defect.

That nagging feeling will probably pass. Most feelings do. I've just got to get comfortable with the idea of never relying on that camera for anything important, except insofar as having fun is important.

On the bright side, I am pleased that the MX-1 is very sharp, and the other Olys are sharp as well. And that Stylus 1s with the "stuck lens" was a real bargain.

Can't be lucky all the time!

Originally posted at Nice Marmot 13:08 Monday, 27 November 2023