Fuji Need your opinions...

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Kyle
For me, the 18-55 is great enough that I neither need nor want the 18mm or the 60mm primes.

Of course, I still want that wicked 56mm.
Agree on the 18 and 60. The 18 is "1 stop faster," but without OIS that often means the zoom is "faster." Also the 18 is optically nowehere near as good as the kit. The 60 has those well-documented focus issues, so unless you're doing macro, the 56 sorta negates its reason for being. And ohhhh, that 56. Every bit as lovely as I thought it might be. Thing continues to amaze me. It will see heavy rotation for me these next 2 days, shooting indoor events at night.
 

BBW

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
Kyle, thanks for your "time machine" mode. As someone who has been sitting on the sidelines for a long time, it's good to read your reactions and see your photos. Rico has always written about the versatility of the Fuji zooms. I always thought the one that starts down at 16mm might be to my liking...but I digress.
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Kyle
Kyle, thanks for your "time machine" mode. As someone who has been sitting on the sidelines for a long time, it's good to read your reactions and see your photos. Rico has always written about the versatility of the Fuji zooms. I always thought the one that starts down at 16mm might be to my liking...but I digress.
(the 16 zoom) It's probably going to be a great lens, but they didn't put OIS on it, so that it wouldn't be even bigger (f2.8 constant means big glass), which for me means it's effectively "too slow" where the 18-55 OIS isn't. I take a lot of pictures while biking, and the OIS pays for itself in spades. Sigh.
 

Stephen S

Veteran
Feb 14, 2014
East Bay, Northern California
Stephen Scharf
Tough one. I personally feel the 23mm is one of the finest lenses I've ever used...from anyone. If you're okay with working at a single focal length and 35mm-equivalent field of view works for you, the 23 is one incredible lens, and I would get that over the 14mm.

I mean, just look at this image quality....it's crazy good. I particularly like shooting with it on my X-Pro1.





That being said, Rico is correct that the 18-55 is a VERY versatile lens, and it's image quality is VERY impressive, also. I'm always surprised as to just how good it is, but in an absolute sense, the primes outperform it a bit.

You'll eventually want to get all three. I also have the 14mm, and it is also a spectacular lens. What is surprising is how much I use it; probably about 40% of the time. Much more than I thought I would when I bought it.

But, if you want to start out with the one prime for X-T1, I would go with the 23mm.
 

flysurfer

Hall of Famer
Aug 31, 2011
As you know, I have all X camera models and all XC, XF and Touit lenses (and plenty of Fujifilm accessories), so I certainly don't have to be partial to one product or the other. Bur here's the thing: Which bodies/lenses am I actually taking most of my pictures with? How often do I actually use the lenses that I know offer the best quality?

The fact is: Most of my shots are made with zooms, simply for practical reasons. I can't schlepp around everything all the time, and "everything" becomes more and more every few months. I am currently in Santa Barbara, I left all three Touits at home, and I also didn't bring the X10, X20, X100, X100S, X-A1, X-M1, X-E1, X-Pro1, XF1 and XQ1. I also left many filters and all adapted lenses at home. Didn't bring the monopod, either, just a light carbon tripod. And yet, I still had to schlepp two large bags full of photographic equipment. That's still way too much to easily get around. So what will I take to the Death Valley on Tuesday? And what lenses will I actually USE there? I suspect that most of my photography here will be made with my X100T and an X-T1 with a 18-135mm zoom. The other stuff will probably mostly stay in the bag in the car.
 

marco67

Rookie
Jan 10, 2015
I am making the same single lens choice for my x -e2.
What about the 18/2,
wuoldn't you consider it?
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Kyle
Pros for the 18mm f2 lens:

- Size... Both this and the 27 f2.8 pancakes are nice and compact, and really make the camera disappear.
- f2... That's a pretty good max aperture, and will make some indoor things much easier. Even OIS cannot save you if your subject is moving too quickly... only bigger apertures and/or higher ISOs can get the shutter where it needs to be to stop action. So regarding lenses, aperture is king indoors at night.

Cons for the 18mm f2 lens:
- Weakest performer of all Fuji XF lenses, optically. I've seen plenty of shots that had no issues at all, but I've also seen some that had bad corners, or fringing, etc. Not a bad lens, and compared to anything but other Fuji XF glass, it's perfectly ok. But its siblings out-gun it by sometimes big margins.
- Price... costs too much for the performance. Compared to the 35 f1.4, which costs exactly as much, and is honestly maybe the best lens Fuji makes in real-world use (despite being an older design... HUGE compliment), it doesn't make sense that they charge six hundred dollars for the 18. It should be maybe half that.
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Kyle
The 18 has gotten a reputation for being "the dog of the Fuji lineup," and to a degree that's unfair. The internet always over-corrects. It's a perfectly ok lens. But for the same dough, you could have the 35, which has magical fairly-like creatures living inside it.
 

marco67

Rookie
Jan 10, 2015
thanks for your deep explanations! they are all very enlightening
I have adaptable 28 35 and upper lens,
so I' dwelling between 18 and 23 that would cost respectively 260 and 705 Euros...
it's an hard choice!
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Kyle
Optically the 23 destroys the 18. It also has the push/pull manual focus clutch and DOF markings engraved on it. And it's a stop faster.

If you really want that smaller size (compare them online on the same body... the 18 isn't as small as the 27 pancake, so the difference between the 18 and 23 isn't enormous), or REALLY cannot afford the 23, then get the 18 and don't look back. Often it is your internal doubts that will limit you, and not the lens's performance. So it's honestly probably just as important that you FEEL good about whichever you decide to go with.
 

marco67

Rookie
Jan 10, 2015
thanks also for your comments!
I feel that my effort is to choose the lens that will give me the best fuji experience,
it probably will fall between the 23 and 35.....
thanks!
 

edseiz

New Member
Nov 5, 2014
My first lens was the 18-55. I soon realized that I needed a wider aperture. The 23 was purchased with the trade in of my 18-55 and extra cash. I regretted a few months later and re-purchased the 18-55 used. The 23 is awesome. You will not have any regrets with either. Good luck and good shooting.
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
The 18 has gotten a reputation for being "the dog of the Fuji lineup," and to a degree that's unfair. The internet always over-corrects. It's a perfectly ok lens. But for the same dough, you could have the 35, which has magical fairly-like creatures living inside it.
Agreed on all points. But the 18mm was on sale for $349 this month so I picked it up once again. I regretted selling it off last year. So I have the 18 and the 27 again. I'll work on the 35 and maybe the 60mm macro before long. Yes, the 14, 23 and 56 are wonderful... but pricey. And I kind of have the 23 on my X100T.
 
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KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Kyle
The 35 is THE deal of the XF lineup right now. Nothing touches it for quality-per-dollar. And the focal length is so useful... Anyone who has a jones for primes, and is remotely price-sensitive, has really got to justify to themselves why it should NOT be the 35 they get first. It's fast, it's razor sharp, it has that awesome square metal hood, it's pretty small and light... even its flare is pretty. If I were limited to one lens, and had the entire lineup at my disposal, I think most days I'd go with the 35 and just not look back. It should cost twice what it does.
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
It should cost twice what it does.
SHHH!!! Don't give Fuji any ideas! But you're right, of course. So right that you just prompted me to order the 35 while it's still on sale. I'm sure the new 35mm with WR will be expensive enough. In fact, all of the new Fuji lenses sound great but I think I can get by with the original set of primes just fine.
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Kyle
I would be surprised if the OPTICS of the current-gen 35 could be improved upon in a way that I could ever notice in real life. Focusing speed, internal focusing instead of telescoping, focusing noise, weather resistance I suppose (don't care a lot about that)... those could all be a little better, but it doesn't matter if they aren't causing me problems now. Not really does it actually matter. That lens stands up and full-arm slaps me in the face on a regular basis when I get complacent and forget how good it is. I review the files and my jaw drops. And it's, what, $400? Get outta here.
 

Stephen S

Veteran
Feb 14, 2014
East Bay, Northern California
Stephen Scharf
The 35 is THE deal of the XF lineup right now. Nothing touches it for quality-per-dollar. And the focal length is so useful... Anyone who has a jones for primes, and is remotely price-sensitive, has really got to justify to themselves why it should NOT be the 35 they get first. It's fast, it's razor sharp, it has that awesome square metal hood, it's pretty small and light... even its flare is pretty. If I were limited to one lens, and had the entire lineup at my disposal, I think most days I'd go with the 35 and just not look back. It should cost twice what it does.
It might be a great deal, just to push back a bit (gently! ;)) but I almost never use my 35. I much more often use the 23, 14, or 18-55. Also, the AF motor on the lens is quite slow. Also, I prefer the quality of the 23 to the 35mm, both from a build quality and image quality perspective.
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
Kyle
I don't have the 23. It's really hard for me to justify buying it when I still have an X100... so I can't compare them. You may well be right. Some reasons why I have gravitated towards the 35, (which has been a complete surprise for me, by the way):

- Bokeh. The slightly longer focal length of the 35 vs the 23 (or certainly the wider lenses) means I can blur that background whenever I want to, more easily than the wider 23 can do it. This is one reason I couldn't get decent portraits out of the X100 very often. I had to get so close to get a properly shallow depth of field, when that was wanted.

- Flatter perspective. I'm discovering how to use those longer focal lengths, how to stack things up on top of each other like a paper collage with mid-small apertures, and how to have a nice flat portrait. The 35 isn't AS good as the 56 at this, but it's close. This is the other reason I struggled with portraits on the X100... peoples faces warped a little.

- The lack of a push/pull clutch. Believe it or not, I've discovered that I don't prefer them now that we have the AF+MF option. It didn't work on my 14 f2.8 lens because you can't turn the focus ring unless you've pulled it into MF already, which sorta defeats the purpose. With the 35 it works perfectly. You're in auto focus, you half press, and then begin turning and POP, the 100% crop comes up, you fix the focus and finish the shutter press. It's so slick and intuitive.

- The 23 costs $250 more than the 35 right now. That's a cheap shot - it wouldn't matter once I'd bought them, but I think it matters to people who are considering buying both.

Let me be totally clear, though... I would LOVE to have the 23. I think it's worth what it costs, and then some. I suspect it's an amazing lens. But those little tidbits above, combined with $250 back in your pocket make the 35 the clear choice if I were buying today. NONE of this matters if you just prefer the 23's field of view, or if you really need the clutch, or you find the 35's AF too slow. It's so subjective...
 

Stephen S

Veteran
Feb 14, 2014
East Bay, Northern California
Stephen Scharf
I don't have the 23. It's really hard for me to justify buying it when I still have an X100... so I can't compare them. You may well be right. Some reasons why I have gravitated towards the 35, (which has been a complete surprise for me, by the way):

- Bokeh. The slightly longer focal length of the 35 vs the 23 (or certainly the wider lenses) means I can blur that background whenever I want to, more easily than the wider 23 can do it. This is one reason I couldn't get decent portraits out of the X100 very often. I had to get so close to get a properly shallow depth of field, when that was wanted.

- Flatter perspective. I'm discovering how to use those longer focal lengths, how to stack things up on top of each other like a paper collage with mid-small apertures, and how to have a nice flat portrait. The 35 isn't AS good as the 56 at this, but it's close. This is the other reason I struggled with portraits on the X100... peoples faces warped a little.

- The lack of a push/pull clutch. Believe it or not, I've discovered that I don't prefer them now that we have the AF+MF option. It didn't work on my 14 f2.8 lens because you can't turn the focus ring unless you've pulled it into MF already, which sorta defeats the purpose. With the 35 it works perfectly. You're in auto focus, you half press, and then begin turning and POP, the 100% crop comes up, you fix the focus and finish the shutter press. It's so slick and intuitive.

- The 23 costs $250 more than the 35 right now. That's a cheap shot - it wouldn't matter once I'd bought them, but I think it matters to people who are considering buying both.

Let me be totally clear, though... I would LOVE to have the 23. I think it's worth what it costs, and then some. I suspect it's an amazing lens. But those little tidbits above, combined with $250 back in your pocket make the 35 the clear choice if I were buying today. NONE of this matters if you just prefer the 23's field of view, or if you really need the clutch, or you find the 35's AF too slow. It's so subjective...
I'm not so sure that it's subjective so much as it's just a different set of requirements for different folks.I find that I shoot my Fujis a bit wider than I did my DSLRs for some reason. I use the 14 about 40% of the time, for example. Anyhow, I have both the 23 and the X100T, and while the lens on the X100T is excellent, the 23 is spectacular. One of the finest optics I've ever used. If I were doing a lot portraiture, then I'd be using the 56mm, which has surprisingly zippy AF.

I dunno, the 35 is as excellent optically as you say, for sure, but I often find it too tight for most of my photography, and I never bonded with as I did with the 14, 23, or even the 18-55.
 

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