Need your opinions...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by duns, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. duns

    duns FujiXspot Regular

    47
    Nov 16, 2014
    West Bend, WI.
    Erik
    I'm ready to hit the purchase my cart button. In my cart I show a Fujifilm XT1,VG-XTI Vertical Battery Grip, an extra NP-W126 Battery. Also... in my cart is a XF-23mm f1.4 lens. Its all ready to go.. BUT, need some friendly knowledgeable advice choosing between the latter and the XF-14mm f2.8.
    I want capture images, street photography journalistic retro style as well as environmental portraiture outdoors as well as indoors in ambient light were their is more objects and backround surrounding my subject i will be capturing so that a story is told with the image taken.
    So with that in mind, I need to choose only 1 from the 2 xf lenses mentioned above. I like the look of a wide portrait with my human subject surrounded by objects and colors. Feel free to chime in. Looking foreword to your knowledge and opinions, advice.

    Thank You
     
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  2. Luke

    Luke FujiXspot Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    855
    Jan 31, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I can't IMAGINE using ONLY the 14mm lens. For me, that would just be too wide. I have used an X100 with its' 23mm lens as my lone camera on and off for a few years. There have been times when I also owned other cameras, but I have been with the X100 as my only choice for times and rarely felt I was limited. Having only the 14mm lens would leave me frustrated. I'd feel too far away most of the time.

    Of course, you are buying an interchangeable lens camera. So maybe I'm putting too much emphasis on only having one lens. I assume you will be adding to your arsenal (otherwise you should just buy an X100t). Even assuming you will buy something else in addition, I think the 23mm lens is the best choice for what you are calling your enviromental portraits, but a lot of that comes down to how far you are from your subject and what focal length you prefer.
     
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  3. duns

    duns FujiXspot Regular

    47
    Nov 16, 2014
    West Bend, WI.
    Erik
    Thanks Luke.
    Your advice and opinion will be considered in my final decision.
     
  4. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    525
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I could see either the 23mm or 35mm as your only lens for a while. Given a choice, I'd go for the 23mm first. But it seems the 14mm would be a bit too wide as one's only lens - unless you were a specialty shooter. If you can add it later, of course, by all means do so. Good luck with your purchase, BTW.
     
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  5. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    No question, it's the 23. With the 14, you have to get CLOSE, and you also simply can't have peoples' faces anywhere near the corners. The 14 can do good people shots, but you've got no choice BUT to have them centered and be standing within 5 feet of them. I think I was standing at conversational distance to Jess and Alana here, with the 14 on...

    15020900934_98bd990846_c. KBRX7989 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    If I had been any farther away, they would be pretty small pretty quick. And I couldn't opt to frame them off-center, because their heads would've gone "fun house" in a hurry as they approached the corners. If the 23 were the slower lens (by 2 stops!) then there could be some room for argument, but given it's the other way around, the 23 is the tool for the job.
     
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  6. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    I would always buy a kit with a zoom like the 18-55mm (it's a bargain) and add fast primes as necessary.
     
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  7. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    Meanwhile the 23mm lens (as seen here via the X100) grabs plenty of "environment" in with a people shot, to give context, and to tell a story, while still staying true in the corners out to the very end. Wide *enough*, but not limitingly wide...

    8112752347_c1e8fcab42_c. DSCF0299 by gordopuggy, on Flickr
     
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  8. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    And finally,



    ...this. I didn't and I wish I had. After getting the 14, 35, 56, and 27 primes, the 18-55 is now the thing I find I need most. It is fantastically good, flexible as hell, and a ridiculous bargain.
     
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  9. duns

    duns FujiXspot Regular

    47
    Nov 16, 2014
    West Bend, WI.
    Erik
    Thank you everyone here for your time and excellent advice. Your opinions and knowledge is helping tremendously! :)
    I am getting closer...
    I think i would like to stay with primes for now. Smaller and faster....
    Thank you!
     
  10. duns

    duns FujiXspot Regular

    47
    Nov 16, 2014
    West Bend, WI.
    Erik
    Hi flysurfer!
    Yeah, I have considered the zooms. I just don't like when they protrude out when zooming.
     
  11. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 8, 2013
    NW corner of CT
    BB
    Have you looked through your XT-1 with these lenses? I can't comment from personal experience since I have only owned the X100 Fuji and the X20 and the XF1...however, I prefer a wider angle lens than the X100 - though I do love my X100. If you can possibly go to a "bricks and mortar" store and physically try out these lenses, I would highly recommend doing so. In addition, the Fuji zooms are nothing to be overlooked from everything I've seen and read. If you can't "go to" a store,why not purchase one or two from someplace like B&H where they expect you to try out your lenses, etc., and you can return them within a very fair window of time without a restocking fee? You also might want to check out the photographs taken with these various lenses... Rico AKA flysurfer has quite a few examples as do others....
     
  12. croutt

    croutt FujiXspot Rookie

    16
    Apr 25, 2014
    Baltimore MD
    Chip
    Hi and welcome...I sold all my Nikon and bought the xt1. I now have 4 lenses 14, 35, 18-55, 55-200. Although it is not my favorite of the bunch, if I could only have 1 lens for an extended period of time it would have to be the 18-55. Since I am fortunate enough to own these 4, my order of wow factor is 35, 14, 55-200, 18-55. That being said, the image quality and physical quality of the 18-55 along with it being the most versatile focal length range for most types of general photography, make it the lens I would keep if I could only have 1. It is also a very small lens.
     
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  13. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    The 18-55 really is pretty small. Smaller than the 56, and close enough to the 35 (with its lens hood on) that it doesn't matter.
     
  14. duns

    duns FujiXspot Regular

    47
    Nov 16, 2014
    West Bend, WI.
    Erik
    Could you explain the 2.8-f4 aperture on the 18-55mm? When is it 2.8 and when is it f4...?
     
  15. croutt

    croutt FujiXspot Rookie

    16
    Apr 25, 2014
    Baltimore MD
    Chip
    2.8@18 varies to 4.0@55
     
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  16. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    "2.8 to 4" means that as you zoom from 18mm out to 55, your maximum aperture gets slightly smaller. Wide open at 18mm, you'll have f2.8 to use. But zoomed all the way out to 55, you'll only have f4 to use. Some key points to keep in mind as you mull that over:

    1. For a "kit" zoom, that's exceptional. Most start at 3.5 (or worse), and quickly max out at f5.6 (or worse) at the long end of the zoom.

    2. Optical Image Stabilization on the lens means that shooting hand-held in low light, you can eliminate the camera shake that would stop you from going below, say 1/30 of a second, and shoot comfortably down to 1/8, maybe even 1/4, and not have camera shake. It won't help if you're shooting something that's moving around quickly (people dancing in a dim ballroom), but YOUR motion holding the camera is effectively gone. So compared to the 14mm f2.8 which does NOT have OIS, you can hand-hold in dim light much, much easier with the kit zoom.

    3. f4 out at 55mm is enough to get decent bokeh and snappy shutter speeds to stop action. So you can have decent blur in your backgrounds for portrait-style shots, if that's a concern.
     
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  17. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    18-55 hand held at night in Vancouver, 1/20th of a second, ISO 6400, and no camera shake at all.

    15150282902_88d0898ccb_c. KBRX2889 by gordopuggy, on Flickr
     
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  18. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    18-55 zoomed out to 35.8mm (so a little longer than 50mm in full frame terms), and maxed out at f3.6 (biggest aperture available at that length), there's bokeh. The bird on my handlebars on Martha's Vineyard is decently isolated from the background, and yet the feathers / claws / etc on him are nice and crisp. This was the first shot that, upon review, gave me serious, serious pause on my stance that I "didn't need" to buy an 18-55 -- that I was a primes-only kind of shooter.

    14414797176_3fdc70d0d5_c. KBRX4613 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    I've borrowed this lens twice from a friend, and when I went through the files afterwards each time, there were only a few shots where I could tell when I'd switched to one of the amazing primes. And in the meantime, I'd rattled off hundreds and hundreds of shots effortlessly, at all focal lengths between "pretty wide" and "portrait" without ever changing the lenses and exposing the sensor to dust. When I NEED f1.4 or f1.2, or when I know ahead of time it's going to be only 1 or 2 focal lengths, I'll take a handful of primes. But for a single-lens solution, the 18-55 is the reigning champ, unless you KNOW you have one set focal length you ever want to shoot in.
     
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  19. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    Forgive the hard sell. I don't want to convince you of anything you're not open to. Probably just pretending I have a time machine, and talking to myself 12 months ago. :)
     
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  20. Luke

    Luke FujiXspot Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    855
    Jan 31, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    For me, the 18-55 is great enough that I neither need nor want the 18mm or the 60mm primes.

    Of course, I still want that wicked 56mm.
     
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