New to X series, low light question

Discussion in 'Fuji X-Mount Cameras' started by ManningT, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. ManningT

    ManningT FujiXspot Rookie

    14
    Sep 1, 2017
    USA
    Going to Disney and will be doing a lot of night shots, with no flash. I currently have an xt20 with a fuji 27mm lens. I'm looking for another lens preferably a prime lens that will be nice with low light. I'm thinking the 35mm f2 or 50mm f2. Or should I look at getting the kit lens 18-55mm. Any suggestions or opinions?
     
  2. bluzcity

    bluzcity FujiXspot Regular Subscribing Member

    163
    Jul 24, 2013
    Memphis, TN
    Brent
    23 1.4
     
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  3. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    Some thoughts, organized by theme:

    FOCAL LENGTH: You may well know, but the wider the lens, the easier it is to avoid camera shake's effect on the shot. So when looking at unstabilized lenses and thinking about shooting with slow shutter speeds, err on the side of wide. The Rokinon 12mm f2 I have is great for this. Side benefit of wider lenses is that the depth of field is greater, so more is in focus, which is going to make it easier to get that part right too.

    APERTURES: 2.8 isn't really too bad, and 27mm isn't so long that I'd stress much about camera shake. But yes, there are better lenses for that job. Question is, which of them can your wallet make magically appear in your hand before you go?

    LENS CHOICES:

    - The kit zoom 18-55 is a better night lens than the 27 pancake, because 18mm is wider than 27mm (see above), and because its OIS stabilization will kick in a few extra stops of light, as long as your subjects hold still (or you don't mind motion blur). It's also a great travel lens, period, so that's a solid choice.

    - The 23mm f1.4 lens is maybe the perfect all-around focal length and has 1.4 on tap, but it's heavy, big, and expensive. I also don't love its softness wide open, which is a rarity among Fuji lenses (but commonly accepted elsewhere). I own it, and I wish I had the f2 travel version instead. Still, if I were doing your trip, I'd take mine in a heartbeat, because I already own it. Just know that f1.4 unstablized isn't a WHOLE lot better in practice than stabilized f2.8.

    - The 23 f2 travel lens gets you a stop back, and widens a little, which helps with shake. It's a killer all-around lens, and the one I recommend most for anyone who Only Wants One Prime. But it's awfully close spec-wise to the 27 you already own, which means it's not the wisest choice, I think, unless you were planning to sell the 27, which I wouldn't - it's so tiny, I love mine.

    - The 35 f1.4 chitters and chatters as it focuses, the front element moves back and forth, and the focus is slower than newer lenses, but it has magical fairies living inside it. It's crazily sharp, renders colors like nothing else, is fast ENOUGH to focus, doesn't cost too much, has 1.4 on tap, is juuuust long enough to pull off nice portraits and bokeh, just barely wide enough to use as a walkaround (albeit in a limited way - you've gotta learn how to "see" through it)... This is the emotional crowd favorite for most of us old-timer Fuji X people. And it's first-generation X series tech, which is now pretty outdated, and yet we all still love it. The files it makes are just so, damned, good. So if you like that "nifty fifty" focal length, consider it.

    - Rokinon makes manual focus lenses that are generally f2, generally about $300, VERY sharp, and in a delightfully random grab bag of focal lengths Fuji doesn't make. If you've ever used MF lenses and are cool with it, it's worth a google.

    So I'd say the kit zoom, or one of the 1.4 primes, I guess.
     
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  4. ManningT

    ManningT FujiXspot Rookie

    14
    Sep 1, 2017
    USA
    Thank You for taking the time to write this. Why not the 35mm f2?
     
  5. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    I totally forgot it. :) It seems great - with that lens, you've got this "2 vs 1.4" thing to think out. On the one hand, you have...

    The f2 lens: MUCH newer = faster silent autfocus where front element stays put. Weather resistant, which may/not matter to you. Smaller, lighter, which is a universally good thing. Files are great, on par with 1.4 version, comparisons I've seen have them each with little tiny tradeoffs between them that you and I would never notice. Holy crap, I just googled it, these are $400 new vs $600 for the 1.4! So that's a big selling point.

    The f1.4 lens: Sure it's bigger, but not THAT much bigger. I still consider it a pretty small lens, even with the awesome square metal hood. You get an extra stop and more bokeh, if you're into that. They may release a new version someday (and I hope they do) with better focus speed and such, but it won't be optically better. I really don't think they can. This lens maxes out the sensor's capabilities, in my humble opinion. Costs $200 more, new. Maybe used?
     
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  6. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
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  7. rayvonn

    rayvonn FujiXspot Regular

    131
    Jan 6, 2016
    Tell me about it! These are low light pics from the F2, as you can see, it *can* do it.

    33543205352_05fe406374_b. Untitled by Otim, on Flickr

    33047813142_1f6611e88a_b. Untitled by Otim, on Flickr
     
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  8. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    I will always recommend the 16mm 1.4 if it is in your budget. Also, don't be afraid to push the ISO some with that sensor. It is quite capable.
     
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  9. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    Ohhhhh yeah I always forget about that lens. Because I want it, and cant afford it.
     
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  10. Bernie Gibson

    Bernie Gibson FujiXspot Regular

    127
    Jan 18, 2016
    Australia
    Bernie Gibson
    ,,,,,,or have a look at the Fuji 16-55mm 2.8,,,,,good all round travel lens....Push the ISO up on the XT-20, you will be surprised at how good the images are...
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
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  11. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    After the last week, I can attest to what Bernie is saying. One can do landscapes, portraits, and everything in between with the 16-55. And after shooting with it in a tropical storm/edge of a major hurricane, I can say how tough the 16-55 is. As well as how good the weather sealing is implemented.
     
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