56 1.2 vs 16-55 2.8 - Send It Back?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Saibot, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. Saibot

    Saibot FujiXspot Rookie

    23
    May 9, 2014
    I've been using the 56 1.2 for a while and think it's the best Fuji lens to day when it comes to raw image quality. It's just amazing, even at wider apertures.
    I recently picked up the 16-55 2.8 after hearing about all of the great reviews about it's image quality and frankly, I'm not impressed. It's better than my 18-55, but not by much, and it's no where near the quality of my 56. So, is this just an unfair comparison or perhaps my copy of this lens has some issues?

    Thanks for any input!
     
  2. Luke

    Luke FujiXspot Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    855
    Jan 31, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    the blade on my Swiss Army knife is terrible compared to a dedicated knife. One is for a very specific use and is optimized to excel at that one very limited use. The other is designed to be as "less good" at the one very specific thing in exchange for the ability to more things well.

    Maybe you can share some images taken with it and share with us where you think it is lacking. It's possible you got a bad copy.
     
  3. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    ...What Luke said. You're in danger of comparing Jaguars and Land Rovers.
     
  4. Saibot

    Saibot FujiXspot Rookie

    23
    May 9, 2014
    I'll try to get some more technical images taken to share with you guys. I'll get some newspaper hung up and see if I can try to quantify what I'm seeing.
    I didn't expect the zoom to be the same quality as the 56, but I did expect it to be significantly better than my 18-55.
    Also just pinging the community to see if any comparison between these two lenses has already been done.
     
  5. Luke

    Luke FujiXspot Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    855
    Jan 31, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I did a little bit more reading and it appears that some feel that other than having f2.8 throughout the range and the weather sealing (and the extra 2mm on the wide end), that it isn't that MUCH greater than the 18-55.

    I haven't used both, but reading my synopsis of other people's user experiences reminds of a movie review I once read that said something along the lines of "If it had a better story, better actors and a decent director, it would have been a GREAT movie".

    So maybe if the weather sealing and the extra 2mm on the wide end and a constant f2.8 throughout the zoom range aren't important to you, you're better served with the cheaper 18-55. But then, I never found the 18-55 lacking in any way.
     
  6. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    I travel light more often than I stand out in the rain, therefore the 18-55 is better for me. Horses for courses, and all that.
     
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  7. Saibot

    Saibot FujiXspot Rookie

    23
    May 9, 2014
    I did some comparisons with the first one I tried out and the images from this one and it definitely has issues. Quite a bit softer and horrific chromatic aberration. Something is out of alignment perhaps?
    Back it goes....
     
  8. Saibot

    Saibot FujiXspot Rookie

    23
    May 9, 2014
    I thought I'd circle back and let you guys know I received the replacement 16-55 2.8 and it is much better! I setup a "lens testing area" and ran the 16-55 2.8, the 18-55 2.8-4, the 56 1.2, and the 27 2.8 through my setup and found some very interesting data. As expected, the 56 1.2 really blew the doors off everything else. The 16-55 2.8 had issues with softness on the right side and really bad chromatic aberration at a lot of places. The 18-55 "kit lens" really has some places that are shockingly good. The 27 2.8, is well, good for it's size.

    When I get a chance I'll do a full write up on it and make the images available if anyone cares. Here is a quick snapshot of the chart I put together:

    lens-test.

    Thanks for all of the suggestions and tips!
     
  9. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    Please please write this up fully - I own all but the 16-55 2.8, so I'm very curious.
     
  10. Saibot

    Saibot FujiXspot Rookie

    23
    May 9, 2014
    KillRamsey-
    Well, it depends. If I had it to do over again, would I buy it? Yep. But it meets my needs quite well. I shoot portraits. I live in 2.8 - 5.6. The 18-55 is really a great little lens that has a bit of a learning curve. It has some real "sweet spots" at different focal lengths and apertures. F4.0 is dang nice and F8.0 is pretty impressive. The 16-55 pretty much rocks everywhere I use it. It's super consistent where I use it, 2.8 is very sharp, and 5.6 is just money. I do use it in most cases within 20 feet so if you're into landscapes, you might look for a review where that was tested since I didn't shoot any. I know a lot of people are not happy that the 16-55 doesn't have OIS, but since I pretty much just shoot people, it's irrelevant since they move and are soft at slower shutter speeds.
    I'll try to get something written up, but it might take a while with my current schedule. Depending on what your requirements are, it may be the ticket for you.
     
  11. Stephen S

    Stephen S FujiXspot Veteran

    351
    Feb 14, 2014
    East Bay, Northern California
    Stephen Scharf
    Thanks for the info; I think I will be keeping my 18-55 for the time being as it is nice and compact. Interestingly, the two apertures I shoot with it most are f/4.0 and f/8.0. I've gotten some very good quality images with it. I think the lens I am most interested in presently is the 10-24 f/4.

    Be interesting to see how the 23 f/1.4 would stack up in your lens test chart eval; I think it's one of the best optics I've ever used.

    BTW, I have the 55-140, and it is AMAZING.
     
  12. Saibot

    Saibot FujiXspot Rookie

    23
    May 9, 2014
    Steven-
    Ya, I wouldn't consider the 16-55 2.8 then unless you run into a lot of low light situations.

    I'm going to borrow a 55-140 next weekend and I can't wait. Everyone echos your sentiments, so I'm chomping at the bit to use it.
     
  13. Stephen S

    Stephen S FujiXspot Veteran

    351
    Feb 14, 2014
    East Bay, Northern California
    Stephen Scharf
    I don't run into many low light situations, and when I do, I use this magical device called a "tripod".
    An 18-55 shot taken a little over a year ago. Don't ask where I took this from, or I'd have to...well, you know...
    Bay-Bridge-3%20copy.


    You will not be disappointed. If you want to try it out on some fast-moving stuff with it, I can provide the settings I use for motorsports stuff.
     
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  14. Saibot

    Saibot FujiXspot Rookie

    23
    May 9, 2014

    Hahah! What sort of sorcery is this "tripod" you speak of? (I just about spit coffee on my keyboard)
    Years ago I heard a quote from Ansel Adams about tripods, stating that there were two kinds of tripods; heavy and useful, and light and useless. Of course he was speaking from the perspective of a 8x10 f64 field camera, but who am I to argue with Ansel? Anyway, I bought a monster Monfroto and lugged that damn thing all over the back country of Colorado and Utah. My back hurts just looking at the thing now. However I do, on very rare occasions, use it. It's quite funny to see my X-E2 atop of it, especially when using the 27mm pancake lens. Fortunately, most of the picture I take these days are of people so I'll take the speed and lighter kit (and wallet) and leave the tripod, collecting dust and webs, in the garage.

    I'd love to know your settings for the 55-140! Thank you for offering!!

    BTW, gorgeous picture! Brooklyn Bridge, right?
    ;)
     
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  15. Stephen S

    Stephen S FujiXspot Veteran

    351
    Feb 14, 2014
    East Bay, Northern California
    Stephen Scharf
    When it comes to tripods, carbon fiber is a wonderful thing. The key to tripods is not so much weight (heavy), but stiffness. I use a Feisol CF tripod with a Markins Q-ball head and RRS clamp. Recently bought a very compact, light and stiff CF Manfrotto that is perfect for hiking around. It will get a RRS clamp as I have RRS L-plates for the X-Pro1 and X-T1 (which stay on at all times).

    Actually, it's the Bay Bridge from Treasure Island looking to The City (you can also call it San Francisco, but never refer to it as San Fran or 'Frisco 'round these parts).

    Settings for 50-140: Drive selection: Continuous High (or Low) on X-T1 dial under ISO dial, Continuous Focus on the switch on the front of the camera, AF-C in the Instant AF menu selection, Pre-AF "ON" and Power Management: High Performance ON.
     
  16. Saibot

    Saibot FujiXspot Rookie

    23
    May 9, 2014
    Steve, again, great shot of the bridge! All kidding aside, it's fantastic. I'm down in the bay pretty often and used to just "photowalk" around the area to take pictures of all the interesting people. I once ducked down an alley and found myself in the middle of the Urban Iditarod rally point. I had no idea what it was but jumped in and filled a flash card.

    Thanks for the settings! I'll keep an eye out for a 50-140 X-T1 wielding photographers next time I'm in the area.