Fuji XF 14mm f/2.8 - A full workout...

Discussion in 'Front Page News, Rumors, Reviews, and Articles' started by Ray Sachs, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran Subscribing Member

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    I've been on the fence about the new Fuji 14mm - I was pretty sure I was going to return it at first. I'm still not totally sure I'll keep it, but after a full day of shooting with it, I'm leaning that way. No question about the quality of the lens - it's excellent to say the least - but just whether I'll use it enough to justify. I spent yesterday in Philly, doing a combination of street shooting and scenic/architectural shooting. My shooting in the various underground rail stations and related tunnels actually drew the attention and a brief interview with the good folks from Homeland Security. I won't get into a discussion about rights - I had no problem with their concern - but if I suddenly disappear.... Anyway, first some scenics:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8475203655/" title="Corner Examples by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="683" alt="Corner Examples"></a>

    And to do something I NEVER do, here are a couple of corner crops to show the sharpness and lack of CA (although these are jpegs and the shot is at f8, so its not exactly a stress test). The bottom corners are pretty close and slightly OOF, but these upper corners give you some idea...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8476292082/" title="Upper Left by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="800" alt="Upper Left"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8475203673/" title="Upper Right by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="800" alt="Upper Right"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8475202693/" title="Philly Valentines Day-595 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="683" alt="Philly Valentines Day-595"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8475199723/" title="Philly Valentines Day-415-Edit-2 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="Philly Valentines Day-415-Edit-2"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8476290686/" title="Philly Valentines Day-48-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="683" alt="Philly Valentines Day-48-Edit"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8476291822/" title="Philly Valentines Day-488-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"683" height="1024" alt="Philly Valentines Day-488-Edit"></a>

    And some street shooting:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8476289720/" title="Philly Valentines Day-108-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="Philly Valentines Day-108-Edit"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8476289948/" title="Philly Valentines Day-621-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="800" alt="Philly Valentines Day-621-Edit"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8476290120/" title="Philly Valentines Day-89-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="683" alt="Philly Valentines Day-89-Edit"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8476289258/" title="Philly Valentines Day-138-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="683" alt="Philly Valentines Day-138-Edit"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8475200687/" title="Philly Valentines Day-143-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="683" alt="Philly Valentines Day-143-Edit"></a>

    One thing this lens is REALLY good for is low light street shooting. The DOF is so deep on this lens that you can zone focus with it really easily at f4 and even wide open at f2.8. With the X-Trans' excellent high ISO quality, this opens up a lot of possibilities, which I explored somewhat yesterday:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8475201875/" title="Philly Valentines Day-68-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="1024" alt="Philly Valentines Day-68-Edit"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8475202409/" title="Philly Valentines Day-552-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="800" alt="Philly Valentines Day-552-Edit"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8475203097/" title="Philly Valentines Day-494-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="800" alt="Philly Valentines Day-494-Edit"></a>

    Peeking, but not a duck:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8475202983/" title="Philly Valentines Day-503-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="Philly Valentines Day-503-Edit"></a>

    I very rarely shoot the homeless and use anything I get even less, but this guy's look is hard to ignore:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8476292806/" title="Philly Valentines Day-155-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="683" alt="Philly Valentines Day-155-Edit"></a>

    So, there's no doubt in my mind that the 14mm is an excellent lens in any respect that matters. My only hesitance is still based on a combination of price and wondering if I'll use it enough to justify it. The other lenses I have similar costs into are the Olympus 12 and 75. The 12 is probably my most-used lens, so no question there. The 75 I don't use that much, but I can do things with it I can't do with ANY other lens and I value those things. This lens is a great wide lens, but I have the focal length well covered with the Olympus 9-18 and so its main "unique" capability is being able to zone focus with it in pretty low light. And I really love the manual focus "snap" ring that this lens shares with the Olympus 12 and 17, although Fuji's implementation is slightly different. As of today, it stays, but I've gone back and forth on this and I can't promise I won't again...

    -Ray
     
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  2. Tdp

    Tdp Guest

    Looks like you found a winner.

    Homeland Security got mad at you for taking photos from public ground? I thought if you were standing on public ground you could shoot anything you wanted.....
     
  3. carlb

    carlb FujiXspot Veteran

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    Great work-out for the lens, and great photos, Ray. Thanks for your (wide) perspectives. ;^) This works out to about a 10.5 mm on a m43, so wider than the Oly 12mm, but not quite as wide as the 9mm end of the 9-18mm Oly. (Not too surprisingly, I no longer compare lenses to full-frame, I compare them to m43 focals.)

    The fringing doesn't look to bad at the corners, I'd say less than the Oly 12mm, although differing aperture could affect that.

    Are you taking an m43 out also when shooting the Fuji?
     
  4. carlb

    carlb FujiXspot Veteran

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    Sounds like a safe bet, but I'm also guessing HS can say, "Hi!" for just about anything they want. No arrest, no stopping of the activity, just, "Hey, how's it going?" ;^)
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran Subscribing Member

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    I usually just take one or the other, but I've occasionally taken both, with complimentary lenses. But I usually end up shooting with one camera and one or two lenses no matter what I'm carrying, so I'm learning not to prepare for the worst because my shoulder pays...

    -Ray
     
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  6. afkenner

    afkenner FujiXspot Regular

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    Love that wide perspective! I'm addicted to the WCL on the X100, but this 21mm equivalent really pushes me toward getting an X-Pro1. Also, hooray for the Reading Terminal Market! One of my favorite places to shoot in Philly, and you got some terrific shots in there. Peking Duck and Bee Natural Amish are magnificent street shots. 30th St Station is epic, great angle and great color. The geometry and tonal range in Market/Broad is stunning. I could look at your shots all day.
     
  7. landshark

    landshark Fujiman Subscribing Member

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    love these, you know my vote I am keeping mine for sure
     
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran Subscribing Member

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    He wasn't mad or discourteous at all. As the guy explained, the foundations for many of Philly's largest buildings are down there, so they're covering all bases. He just asked me a few questions and took down some information, which he told me I didn't have to offer up, but I have nothing to hide from those guys, just the occasional lens receipt to hide from my wife... :cool:

    Hell, if they can find anything dubious in my past, I'd like to know about it!

    -Ray
     
  9. Steve B.

    Steve B. FujiXspot Regular

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    Those are really great Ray. The one with the guy looking at the bas relief is fantastic! I a cop one time in downtown Dallas tell me I couldn't take pictures of a building because I could be a terrorist. No kidding. I argued with him about it. He wasn't real happy with me.
     
  10. WT21

    WT21 FujiXspot Regular

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    Also, if the officers are the same ones, and if you frequent the location enough, they'll get used to you, and could even open up doors for other locations for shooting (that is, taking pictures -- caveat put in for HS automated internet text snooping mechanisms)
     
  11. Armanius

    Armanius FujiXspot Top Veteran

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    Ray, if you disappear, can I have your X gear? :) I'll send you a thank you (or missing you) card to Janet Napolitano's address.

    I take it that you cropped a number of the street shots right? As much as people including myself like to rage about shallow DOF, I am starting to get enamored with more DOF instead of less.

    Nicely done!
     
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  12. Tdp

    Tdp Guest

    That is a shame. I might be in DC for a few days next month, I guess I should leave my camera at home.
     
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran Subscribing Member

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    The square ones are obviously cropped, but a few of the others are as well. And some aren't. I'm not a purist about this stuff. I like deep DOF for some uses and shallow for others - both are great options!

    And here's the deal - you can have my Fuji gear if I disappear as long as I get the M9 and lenses if you turn up missing. Actually, for an m9, I might be able to make that happen! :cool:

    -Ray
     
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  14. Tdp

    Tdp Guest

    Thanks for the post Ray, I think a lot of folks are on the fence with this lens and it is GREAT to see a good combo of shots with it like you just posted.
     
  15. capodave

    capodave FujiXspot Veteran Subscribing Member

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    Wonderful Photos Ray.
    I think you need to keep it.
     
  16. Pelao

    Pelao FujiXspot Regular

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    I agree. Some good shots here which really show what the lens is capable of for urban shooting. I was kind of hanging on in the hope of grabbing Ray's when he sells it. Looks like I am out of luck :(
     
  17. BBW

    BBW   Super Moderator Subscribing Member

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    Thanks Ray, you've just made me put on yet another "drool bib"!

    I'm in awe of your Valentine's Day image 48 Edit! Not that I don't like the others but I'm running out the door and just had to say :bravo-009::th_salute:
     
  18. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer FujiXspot Regular

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    Great series, Ray. Very impressed with the lens, those corner crops are amazing... how sharp is that! I'm with BB. Drool bib on!
     
  19. lainer

    lainer FujiXspot Rookie

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    Use it for landscape or architecture, besides street. You'll keep it then.
     
  20. Thinh L.

    Thinh L. FujiXspot Rookie

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    Love the B&W work.