14mm vs 18mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Sothai, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Sothai

    Sothai Guest

    Gents,

    Can someone explain to this newb the major differences between these 2 lenses.

    The prices are significantly different, so is that warranted?

    TIA!
     
  2. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    885
    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    Eric
    The major difference is the focal length - a 21mm equivalent field of view (FOV) is substantially wider than a 28mm equivalent FOV. Typically, making a wider lens like that requires a more complex optical formula to make sure optical distortions are correct and that the lens can deliver an image that is as sharp as possible across the frame. You'll see that for most systems wider fast aperture lenses (fast in this case being f2.8 or faster) are going to cost substantially more than more normal focal lengths with more modest apertures for the focal length as they require more complex lens designs and often more glass. In this case it may seem deceiving seeing as the 18mm has an f2 aperture whereas the 14mm is slower at f2.8, but if you look at the size of the lenses you can see that more materials were required to make the 14mm.
     
  3. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    The 14 is perhaps the sharpest lens fuji makes, and the 18 is the softest in the XF line by far.

    The 14 has (by some accounts) the fastest AF of all Fuji lenses, and the 18 is only better than the abysmal 60.

    The 14 has a push/pull manual focus clutch and marked depth of field markings, and the 18 has a tiny manual focus ring.


    They are very different designs. The 18 was supposed to be the second pancake alongside the 27, but there were some compromises that made it perform below the rest of the lineup. So optically the 14 is in a different world... much crisper, better colors and contrast, truly top-shelf glass. The 18 is ok, but only ok. It and the 60 seem to be the least-bought and least-loved of fuji's XF lenses.
     
  4. Sothai

    Sothai Guest

    Many, may thanks for the informative answer! It's people like you who give people like me hope.

    In summary, the expensive 14mm is worth it then?
     
  5. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    The difference in viewing angle makes them very different, so that depends. At 18, you only begin to get visible distortion at the very corners, so shooting people is pretty easy still. But at 14mm, you're getting face-bending distortion anywhere near the corners, meaning you have to frame faces much closer to the center (or live with the funhouse distortion). So do you shoot a lot of people? If so, be prepared (with the 14) to have to get the camera closer to them, and to keep them well centered.

    Quality-wise, yes, the 14 is worth the money over the 18. But don't think of them as two very similar lenses, because they really aren't.
     
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  6. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    524
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I agree with everything Kyle wrote here. Just a couple of added thoughts: I find 14mm (21mm equivalent) too wide for landscapes. It tends to push one's subject too far away. But I think 18mm (28mm equivalent) works just fine. Also, one needs to be careful when shooting people at 14mm. Kyle is quite right that you have to get close to them and keep them centered. And, even then, beware of giving them things like out-of-proportion noses. Yes, the 14mm is technically better than the 18mm and worth the money. But there are times when the 18mm will be more appropriate - and it's still not a slouch. Just the least-good of Fuji's XF lenses with the exception of the 60mm (unless you really need macro). And a rangefinder-style X-camera with the 27mm and 18mm pancake lenses makes for a nice, compact and light kit.
     
  7. Sothai

    Sothai Guest

    OK, well I'm confused/in 2 minds now.

    Are you saying that keeping people dead centre won't result in the Big Nose effect with the 14mm?

    I see that the 18 is significantly cheaper, but I'm after a lens that will do what I want. Among other things, I want to shoot Wats (temples) and castles when I'm back in the UK. I especially want to make the trip to Anglesea to shoot Beaumaris Castle. Look it up - you will want to too.
     
  8. Sothai

    Sothai Guest

    My confused mind is now asking if the 10-24 might be a better all-rounder for me then..?

    Any thoughts?
     
  9. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    885
    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    Eric
    I don't think there is a Fuji lens you can go wrong with so long as you understand what you're getting it for. The 10-24 is certainly going to be more versatile than either the 14 or the 18, but its larger and has a smaller/slower maximum aperture so you lose a stop of shutter speed/ISO and DOF control (compared to the 14mm and two stops compared to the 18mm).
     
  10. Sothai

    Sothai Guest

    OK, I'm decided then. I'll get the 10-24. I'm a wannabe David Bailey and my best (some have even been great) pics have usually been by accident, more than design, so I'll take flexibility over precision in this case. I can always get more precise if as and when I become a better player.

    Many thanks for your input!
     
  11. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    The 10-24 is an amazing lens, just a little slow. But it will do so much more than either the 14 or 18 alone can. The speed won't matter in the daytime, and the lens will absolutely shine. Nighttime with still subjects and a tripod, ditto... no real disadvantage there, and lots of advantages.
     
  12. Sothai

    Sothai Guest

    Excellent and thanks! I'll get the 10-24 then.

    I have an X100 for indoor evening stuff. I have a mate coming over from HK next month and he can get me one for about $800. The price here is $1055!