Thursday, May 1, 2014

REVIEW: Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS & XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens with Real World Sample Images

The cool thing about my semi-retirement from blogging has been that I’ve got the luxury to be more selective about what I blog about. Recently I finally broke down and bought a Fujifilm X-E2, so I decided it would be fun to try out the hot new 56mm & 10-24mm lenses which recently hit the market. It turns out I was right, it was fun because they are both outstanding lenses!

What follows are unedited casual shots taken during everyday life with these great lenses, and I must say I’m very happy with the results! Now I have to figure out how in the hell I’m going to afford these now that I no longer make much money from the blog anymore!

Smile with tongue out 

Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens

Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens
Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens

This lens effectively becomes a 85mm f/1.2 when you consider the crop factor, so it provides the Fujifilm X series users with the equivalent of the amazing Canon 85mm f/1.2L. In my experience using it, I’d say it’s probably sharper than that lens – and definitely faster focusing, but being a cropped sensor you aren’t going to get that same bokeh you’d get from a full-frame. However, I never found myself disappointed with this lens in any way – it was simply incredible and a joy to use!

Real World Sample Images – 56mm Prime

Click here to see a gallery of more images and download the full-size in-camera original JPEG’s (except for the two watermarked images). These images were shot mostly with camera defaults and noise reduction set to –2 on a Fujifilm X-E2. They have not be edited, cropped, or any way modified from their in-camera original (except for the watermarks added only to the first two).

Please click all but the watermarked images to see their full-size original JPEG image as it came out of the camera.

FUJIFILM X-E2, f/1.2 @ 56 mm, 1/300, ISO 400, No Flash
FUJIFILM X-E2, f/1.2 @ 56 mm, 1/300, ISO 400, No Flash
This is the shot that made me lust for this lens. Thus far, the only lens I’ve tested that has been this sharp is the Zeiss Otus 55m f/1.4 which makes this lens look like a screaming deal!

FUJIFILM X-E2, f/3.2 @ 56 mm, 1/70, ISO 400, No Flash
FUJIFILM X-E2, f/3.2 @ 56 mm, 1/70, ISO 400, No Flash
This great lens made a special moment even more special by only keeping what was important in focus. The bokeh of this lens is simply awesome!


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/3.2 @ 56 mm, 1/60, ISO 250, No Flash

I saw this shot and felt like I could reach out and at that sandwich again – I LOVE this lens!


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/1.4 @ 56 mm, 1/850, ISO 400, No Flash

Boring background become beautiful neutrals with a splash of color with this killer lens


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/2.8 @ 56 mm, 1/60, ISO 320, No Flash, Velvia Film Simulation

Even at f/2.8 there’s plenty of gorgeous bokeh and a hint of what’s going on in the background


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/1.2 @ 56 mm, 1/200, ISO 400, No Flash

I’ll admit, I did have a love affair with f/1.2 with this lens!


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/14 @ 56 mm, 1/60, ISO 6400, No Flash

Sometimes you want to keep the backgrounds in the scene, and often times that means high ISO’s when you stop down to a large f-stop number. All things consider, I thought it did a great job at f/14 – I’d have no fear of using smaller apertures if I needed it on a paid shoot.

Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS Lens

Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS Lens
Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS Lens

The 56mm was so good that I almost forgot to shoot with the 10-24mm, and honestly, I was starting to become afraid to shoot with it. I thought for sure after using the awesome 56mm I was going to be very disappointed, but I wasn’t – in fact, I ended up shooting over 25% more photos with this lens than the 56mm because Ioved it so much!

This 15-36mm equivalent lens hits the sweet spot that I love when using my Canon full-frame cameras. I’m a big fan of Canon’s 16-35mm, so I felt right at home with this lens. This one has the added benefit of image stabilization and it focused very quickly with a very shallow 9.4” minimum focus distance, so it was an absolute delight to use. If you enjoy shooting wide, I’d highly recommend this lens! 

Real World Sample Images – 10-24mm Zoom

Click here to see a gallery of more images and download the full-size in-camera original JPEG’s. These images were shot mostly with camera defaults and noise reduction set to –2 on a Fujifilm X-E2. They have not be edited, cropped, or any way modified from their in-camera original.


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/4 @ 17.4 mm, 1/750, ISO 800, No Flash

I always had the focal length I needed for the shot when I was out with this lens this day


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/9 @ 24 mm, 1/70, ISO 800, No Flash

You can get in close with 24mm, yet still capture big objects…


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/4 @ 10 mm, 1/350, ISO 800, No Flash

… or you can zoom out to 10mm and capture a whole new world!


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/9 @ 13.8 mm, 1/350, ISO 400, No Flash

The distortion wasn’t horrible either, so I was very satisfied with this lens
(Note, that pole on the right side of the frame does in fact lean backwards like that in real life)


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/4 @ 22.9 mm, 1/180, ISO 400, No Flash

f/4 is going to keep a lot of the background, but a little bit of nice bokeh was still there to help make it clear to your viewer what the subject of your shot really was!


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/10 @ 11 mm, 1/60, ISO 1600, No Flash

If you aren’t on the same plane with your subject you’ll get distortion the wider you go.
Here my short wife gets long legs thanks to this reality, but it can be a positive thing too as she always wanted longer, thinner legs – ha, ha!


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/4 @ 24 mm, 1/350, ISO 400, No Flash

At 24mm head on there was no issue with distortion so I felt very comfortable using this as a portrait lens – something many photographers are afraid to do with their wide angle zooms


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/9 @ 10 mm, 1/70, ISO 400, No Flash

If you go wide you do get some distortion, but much of it occurs as you get closer to the lens. The background actually wasn’t too bad.


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/4 @ 24 mm, 1/400, ISO 400, No Flash

Generally flare can be a problem with wide angle lens, but it was mostly at bay during my testing…


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/4 @ 24 mm, 1/350, ISO 400, No Flash

… I had issues with a few times, as shown here, but I was easily able to adjust my position to make it go away as shown in the previous shot


FUJIFILM X-E2, f/10 @ 24 mm, 1/60, ISO 1000, No Flash

f/10, ISO 1000, no problem – still plenty of super sharp detail and dynamic range from the X-E2 with this zoom, so this is a lens I definitely wish I could add to my camera bag permanently!

Conclusion

I was very happy with these lenses when I was using them, but I do have one regret – I now lust for both so I almost wish I didn’t try them out because now I know what I am missing! I wish I could afford them both, but alas I can’t. If I had to choose between the two, I’d probably end up going with the 10-24mm simply for its versatility, but I adored the 56mm that I’d probably buy both on Bill Me Later at B&H and figure out how to pay them both off before the interest kicked in – ha, ha!

Seriously, you can’t go wrong with either lens. I really loved the outstanding color, contrast, and sharpness I got out of these lenses. Both were very usable, felt as solid as a high quality Zeiss or Canon L lens, and never let me down. I HIGHLY recommend both to Fujifilm X Series users as these are in the same league as the Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R Lens, but both are significantly more useful given what I enjoy shooting. I’d easily take either of these over the 23mm!

Where to order

Click here to learn more or order Fujifilm XF lenses on the B&H web site.

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