23mm f2 first impressions

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by BobbyT, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    I came home from seeing Star Wars The Last Jedi yesterday afternoon to find the 23mm f2 I had bought from a guy on FredMiranda had arrived early. So naturally, I had to unbox it and chase my family around the house trying it out. The 23mm is exactly what you would expect. A very well built, solid, lightweight lens. Fuji did an excellent job with it's f2 trio. My only complaint at this point is that I wish Fuji would have made the filter thread size on the 50mm f2 the same as on the 23 and 35. But nothing a $2 step up ring can't fix. Still, it would be nice to just have the same filters, front lens cap, and aftermarket square hood work on all three lenses.

    The autofocus on the 35mm and 50mm f2 lenses is very very fast. Which gave me high expectations for the 23. And it did not disappoint. The 23mm is quick to lock focus in low light. In bright light it is as fast, if not faster, to lock focus than you can think of where to focus at. Totally silent, like it's siblings. It makes me think that a Fuji mad scientist took everything great about the 90mm, then shrunk it into a three lens package designed not to interfere with the X-pro1/2's optical viewfinder. Image quality, sharpness, color rendering, etc. are everything you would expect from a top level Fuji lens. Which this is not as much as it is.

    One thing I would like to point out, is that I read in several reviews that if you want to do portraits then the 23mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4, and 56mm 1.2 are the better options. And that the f2 trio is better suited to street candids and portraits. Those three lenses, the 1.4 and 1.2 variants, are amazing. I've owned all three and can attest to their capabilities. But, this type of thinking is the exact kind of things which tries to put limits on photographers, shooting styles, and gear. The f2 trio is perfectly capable of amazing portraits. One should decide on which lens to choose based on personal preference, shooting style, wants/needs, and of course budget.

    i-2nBRqmq-L.
    i-TmQfxBc-L.
    i-zFjqRqw-L.
    i-dsXQF5N-L.
    i-TGVvvTq-L.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  2. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley FujiXspot All-Pro

    May 2, 2016
    Tony
    Dude, I've gotten some good results with my 23mm WR, but your examples knock it out of the park. Dang!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  3. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    Thank you very much @TonyTurley@TonyTurley! That means a lot. I really enjoy your work with the 23mm f2. It was one of my deciding factors to buy this lens.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  4. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Bobby, this lens clearly suits you. You are absolutely right of course; pigeonholing lenses as "portrait" or "street" is constraining and unhelpful. There's no doubt, of course that a 56 1.2 is better suited to throwing backgrounds out of focus and shooting in low light but that doesn't mean you cannot do those things with a 50mm 2.0 - the techniques and approach the photographer uses just have to be amended - "ride what ya brung" as the biker fraternity says!.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  5. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    The 23mm f2 is giving me the close up intimacy I like from the 16mm. But the compositions are coming more naturally and easily. I'm looking forward to working with the f2 trilogy +1.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Anthony Wilkins

    Anthony Wilkins FujiXspot Regular

    40
    Jun 2, 2016
    Anthony Wilkins
    I want going to get the 23f2 since I have and love an X100f but since it’s coming for Christmas in the box with my XP2 then I’ll guess I’ll see :)

    I’m surprised just how useful this fov is from the X100F coming from a 50mm film mindset.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. mikEm13

    mikEm13 FujiXspot Regular

    187
    Feb 7, 2017
    When you say yours is coming boxed with the X-P2 does that mean the color is Graphite?
     
  8. Anthony Wilkins

    Anthony Wilkins FujiXspot Regular

    40
    Jun 2, 2016
    Anthony Wilkins
    Yep. Couldn’t resist. And it’s been hard to keep it in the closet until Christmas.
     
  9. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    35-85-135 was the standard event/wedding kit when I shot Canon. The 35mm fov works really well.
     
  10. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Twilli53 Subscribing Member

    230
    May 31, 2017
    Central Florida, USA
    Tim Williams
    Great work Bobby. I guess I've been a Rouge with my lens. If it works for me I use it. The 23/2 is next for me if the plan stays in place. But then I just bought a $12.00 Tamron 60-300 to try out, so who knows. I love to find cheap bargains. Thank god for focus peaking.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    Thank you, Tim.
     
  12. Adam Bonn

    Adam Bonn FujiXspot Veteran

    325
    Jan 13, 2016
    Porto
    Adam Bonn
    Beautiful images Bobby,

    #2 is especially praise worthy.

    We'll all know this, but I'll "mansplain" it anyway :D Most lenses can turn their hand to most things... DOF is more of a by product of subject distance and FL than aperture (but obviously can be controlled with aperture)

    IIRC... in my XF23/2 review I wrote something like the xf23/2 is the AF benchmark by which all Fuji glass will be judged

    The AF speed absolutely superlative (in context with the other XF lenses, NOT a cross manufacturer comparison)

    And finally, congrats Bobby, you seem very happy with it
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  13. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    Thank you so very much, Adam. Your review and comparison to the 1.4 was also a huge influence on my final decision.

    I find that I am really liking the DOF from the Fujicrons. Blurred not obliterated. Sounds like a James Bond quote. With me doing me environmental portraits and candids, I like being able to see what the background is. But, as you say, I can manipulate the background level through composition if/when I need to.

    I agree that the 23mm f2 is a benchmark for AF speed. Now that I have spent a couple of days with it, the 23mm f2 has proven to be the fastest AF lens I have shot with in the Fuji system.

    Something happened in my brain over the last year and a half which has given me a better understanding of where you are coming from in your recent review of the 16mm, Adam. In that time frame I had been shooting with the 2.8 zooms. Before that, from the day it was released I had a 16mm 1.4. And even further back before I made the switch to Fuji, I had three 24mm lenses simultaneously in my Canon FF kit. In my time shooting with the zooms, something changed in the way I compose my photos. To the point that when I retired, sold the zooms to go back to primes, and acquired a 16mm again, compositions were not coming naturally. I was forcing things and no longer clicking with the 24mm FOV. Which lead me to 23mm, 35mm FOV. Which I shot years ago with the standard 35/85/135 kit most Canon prime shooters worked with. Loosing my groove with the 16mm also gave me a better understand and new appreciation for your 16mm review.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Adam Bonn

    Adam Bonn FujiXspot Veteran

    325
    Jan 13, 2016
    Porto
    Adam Bonn
    Thanks Bobby,

    I’m certainly pleased to have been helpful

    Your points about DOF are very true, there’s always a hint of something in the background (well as long there’s physically something there) and there’s no harm in using it to add context

    The 16 is wide, tall and deep (and I don’t just mean the physical size of the lens!) so a lot of frame discipline is needed to balance the frame, especially for someone like me far more likely to be somewhere urban than I am out in the wilderness

    The small size of the “F2”s is very welcome, when Fuji lent me them I actually thought that I’d lost one, but found it in the pocket of my combat pants, (or cargo trousers or whatever the kidz call them these days) - my relief was palatable I can tell you!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. mikEm13

    mikEm13 FujiXspot Regular

    187
    Feb 7, 2017
    Nice pictures Bobby. Ive been staying away from the 23 f2 but I keep seeing the great results from this lens, imo and reading all the praise from you all which is making me start looking for a good used one. Next you'll start talking about the Graphite X-P2 and that slippery slope will loom dangerously close. People like Anthony Wilkins do not help my cause either. :biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Anthony Wilkins

    Anthony Wilkins FujiXspot Regular

    40
    Jun 2, 2016
    Anthony Wilkins
    Bwahahaha

    And I blame @Adam Bonn@Adam Bonn for my purchase.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  17. mikEm13

    mikEm13 FujiXspot Regular

    187
    Feb 7, 2017
    LOL If I fall Im not taking the blame I will tell my wife the truth, It was Adam, Bobby, Anthony, etc, honey honest.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  18. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    @Adam Bonn@Adam Bonn That's hilarious that you "lost" one in a pocket.

    @mikEm13@mikEm13 Thank you. You're safe for now from a graphite Pro2 review. I'm trying to hold off on another body till the next model in the X-Pro line is released.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Anthony Wilkins

    Anthony Wilkins FujiXspot Regular

    40
    Jun 2, 2016
    Anthony Wilkins
    So I guess I’ll have to write a review to get you in trouble.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  20. mikEm13

    mikEm13 FujiXspot Regular

    187
    Feb 7, 2017
    You can't convince me Im a strong person so don't write the review ok?
     
    • Funny Funny x 1