Fuji Travel Photography Kit - 10-24mm or 14mm?

Crsnydertx

Top Veteran
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
Chuck
My wife and I are planning a trip late this summer to a part of North America with great natural scenery. My intention is to go "light" on the cameras and lenses, with the X-E1 and a small selection of zooms and primes as the primary kit.

My dilemma is this: I don't have a lens that goes wider than 18mm, and I'm quite confident that I'll want more angle than that for the vistas we're sure to experience. But I only can add one more lens at this point. The choice comes down to the Fuji 10-24mm zoom or 14mm prime. So which way to go...?

My first inclination is to go with the zoom, as I really like the convenience - especially since I find changing lenses on the X-E1 to be a PITA because the lens release button is on the "wrong" side (my DSLRs have been Canon). The range appears to be really good for scenic photography, and the 24mm end is close enough to a normal lens that I might not have to change to the 18-55 very often. I do wonder about how much correction in PP I might need to make for images shot at the 10mm range; my framing carpenter mentality (everything level, plumb and square) causes me to recoil in horror when I see buildings leaning in. Another advantage of the zoom is not having to change position; zooming with one's feet may not be an option in certain scenic overlooks.

On the other hand, the 14mm may be wide enough for most purposes. Does it have noticeably better image quality? Any other advantages?

Anyway, I don't expect any magic answers or even a consensus. I'd just appreciate any advice you might have on factors I haven't considered in choosing between these two excellent offerings.

Thanks!
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Real Name
bart
In terms of vistas, i think 21mm equivalent is usually wide enough. Wider than that, you'll often get better result getting up close to stuff and having a dramatic perspective, rather than having a whole lot of very small scenery in the frame.
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Location
SoCal
Real Name
Bob
`I think the 10-24 will be more versatile, but the 14 is much smaller. Case in point on my present trip I had to go to a bigger bag in order to take the 10-24. On the other hand the 14 is a great lens and is probably more than wide enough for your trip, where are you traveling to in North America
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
Hi Chuck,

I'd say if you can use it as intended, the 10-24 is a good choice because of the versatility for probably most of the scenic stuff you'll be shooting. Great lens without much downside other than the size. If you're like me, OTOH, and would almost always tend to use the widest option available at the moment, the 10-24 becomes the 10 and is far less versatile! I've also found, somewhat to my surprise, that I never feel the need for anything wider when I've got the 14 on the camera.

For scenic shots I don't think I'd want to go wider than 14 - I tend to find the wider stuff fun for interesting and odd compositions (with, yeah, leaning buildings!), but probably not for scenic shots like you'll be finding in Banff and Lake Louise. So if you don't want to get into ultra wide shooting, which is a somewhat different animal, you might be every bit as happy with the 14mm.

It's a gorgeous area - it'll be hard to take a bad photo regardless of which you choose.

-Ray
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Location
SoCal
Real Name
Bob
Actually you may find a short tele might work out well up there, as well. Sometimes going too wide might shrink those majestic mountains too much.

Beautiful part of the world, by the way Banff has one of the stranger restaurants I have been to, exotic meat fondue
 

KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Location
Hood River, OR
Real Name
Kyle
I will second the "14 is about as wide as you want to go for scenery" thought. I have it, I love it, but I often find it a touch TOO wide, bordering on distortion. It is incredibly crisp, focuses so well, and is a manageable size... I suspect you might be happiest with it.
 

jloden

All-Pro
Real Name
Jay
Late to the party I know but I've been slow to catch up on my forum threads.

I guess I'll have to be the odd man out on this one Chuck and say I'd probably go for the 10-24mm myself. I've shot the 14mm for a couple trips with good scenery (Hawaii and Banff/Jasper National Parks in the Canadian Rockies) so far, and it just wasn't wide enough for me - neither was the 12mm Zeiss for that matter. Generally once I make the decision to go wide angle with a scene, I want as wide as I can get :)

Having been on a number of trips with landscape opportunities, I know from experience I really like something 14-16mm FF equivalent FOV, like the 10-24mm lens. In addition, the 10-24mm is a fantastic focal length range for every day shooting, so it's a great pairing with a fast prime or two and then the 55-200mm for tele needs. The 10-24mm does also have OIS which is a nice plus for doing handheld shots.

Optically both wide lenses are fantastic so I wouldn't be concerned about an edge for either lens, and I'd be strictly looking at FOV and other features. Having said all that, there are a points in favor of the 14mm that may outweigh FOV for you:

* The snap focus ring is very nice if you like to use zone focusing or manual focus.
* It's somewhat smaller and easier to pack
* The extra stop of aperture is helpful if you're doing low light or something like astrophotography
* 58mm filter threads, which can be shared with the 18-55 and easily adapted to the 35mm with a 52-58mm step-up ring
* The hood can be shared between the 14 and the 18-55 lenses, so you only have to carry one hood
 

dmward

Regular
As a way to help you decide, here is what happened to me on a trip to Panama in January.
I took 18-55, 55-200, 18, 35, 60 along. I also had X Pro1 and X E2. I shot 95% of the images with 18-55. Sure primes are nice, but the Fujinon Zooms are sharp and easy to use. Perfect to travel when you may be tight on time and not able to spend time getting everything perfectly setup.

The 18-55 and 55-200 are perfect if you're going to be doing most of our shooting outside where large aperture isn't required, or possible.

If you want to see the results, go to davidmward.photography/ and select the Panama gallery.
 

cwolffensperger

Regular
Location
Iceland
Real Name
Chris Wolffensperger
I agree with the above; I actually got both (started with the 14 when the 10-24 wasn't out), and since I have the 10-24 it's my standard lens. Very versatile, but you gotta have the discipline to use other FL than the 10 ;-). But it's a beautiful versatile sharp lens, and as a travel lens it is a lot in one! Landscapes, street shooting, all... So I got the luxury of having both, but with the 10-24 you don't need to bring a 14 and a 18, which also saves a lot of space. But both are very good! Succes on the decision!
 

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