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Monday, 19 December 2016

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Just like speakers, everything is flat from 20Hz to 20Khz, so they all should sound identical. Right?

I have that same combination, chrome lens and all. Really amazing lens, the closest to Zeiss micro-contrast I ever seen in a non-zeiss lens.

But I'm selling it since I have a old 35mm f/1.4 that now focuses fast on newer cameras and the extra f-stop is useful for my night photography. I have to admit I'm secretly happy no one bought it yet, rationally I think it's redundant to have two normal primes, but I find myself struggling with the idea of letting it go.

Regarding the new 23mm f/2, for what I've seen it's very comparable to the one on the X100 cameras, which make it a excelent lens. But I ended choosing the 23mm f/1.4: even if it's bigger and more expensive it just has that extra special rendering, more full-frame like.

Great points about our pixel-peeping obsession. I'll stick with my Nikron 35 f/2 AF-D which sells new for less than half the Canon and Sigma lenses.

Just yesterday I was looking at some trees on the ground glass on a new-to-me camera. I thought to myself, really, that's more than good enough. The main thing I was conscious of was that the whole setup was impossible to handle for the kind of pictures I like to take. The lens was fine.

It was a rapid rectilinear from 1895. A re-labeled major manufacturer lens, no less.

Today, I'm reading about how nice certain narrow-normal lenses are - how well they resolve - with decent bokeh - just less hard sharp and contrasty than modern lenses. These were designed in the 1930s and 1940s, off a 1902 design, made by a film manufacturer in order to sell more sheet fim.

A week ago, I was looking at photos from a nice normal lens for a 35mm rangefinder. Great resolution, but a fair amount of SA, that gave a nice feel to otherwise high contrast subjects. (Great for sunny-16 weather on Kodachrome.) It's an ordinary double Gauss from 1952.

Last month I was looking at some that I took, using a budget Nikon 50mm lens. Likewise nice, though it definitely was outresolving the fast, grainy, color negative film I was using. New in 1978.

For the last four years I've been using a unit focus normal prime. Slow to focus and not considered "the best", yet I've had so much fun with my Panasonic 20mm/1.7, a quite recent lens from 2009.

I'm really happy for Fuji, and for everyone who gets to use their lenses. It sounds like you folks are having a great time, and that they've really nailed the really important factors for usability.

Am I mistaken, or is there a subtext in this post: Namely, that Fuji not only mimics the Leica M-rangefinder form factor, it also attracts people who obsess over Perfection in all its forms and nuances? If so, I would consider myself truly fortunate to have such problems. First, they would mean I could afford such excellent equipment; second, they would mean I was such a skilled photographer that any extra technical superiority would be visible only to the cognoscenti, if then. To my way of thinking, this is no different from telling me that as attractive and engaging as Jennifer Lawrence might be, I should think twice about dating her because she farts occasionally. My response: "Thanks. I'll keep that in mind."

Fuji is going in a somewhat different direction on the 'MF' front. [Digital MF is not close to film MF in terms of sensor/negative dimensions...but that's another story.]

In film days, it was the Mamiya 6/7 that was the "Texas Leica M". The forthcoming Fuji GFX, however, is more akin to a DSLR in form factor. That's still Leica-like given the DSLR-like Leica S.....but not like an M. The Hasselblad X1D body is geared more toward the M aficionado, at least in terms of size and shape.

I have the black version, and it is indeed a great lens. The critique of it being soft wide open when used for close focusing is true, but way overstated for real world use. I also have the 1.4 version, but prefer the f/2. It is on my Xpro2 most of the time. And, yes, this combination is the M for current times IMHO.

The other end of the spectrum, people ooh and aah over a Holga lens on a digital. And indeed, David Burnette has done some wonderful work with a 120n Holga. (In this case, 6X6 on 120 roll film)

Been on the lens bandwagon for many years. I remember comparing a Nikon process lens to my Cooke triple convertible (the modern one) the nikon was sharper, but that was all-there are a lot of image considerations that have little to do with sharpness. Problem is, one descends into opinions about pop, micro contrasts, etc etc, so referees are a dime a dozen.

I'm thinking this will be the perfect lens for what I hope will be the upcoming Fujifilm X-E3 camera. It seems to me that would be a great travel kit, similar to the various Fujifilm X100 cameras, but allowing for changing to other lenses when warranted. I am considering this combination or a Panasonic LX-100 (200?) as my next purchas(es) for situations when I am reluctant to schlep around my DSLR and it's array of heavier lenses.

You have successfully identified the first world problem of photography. And anyway, I would put the Fuji lenses for my X-pan or the large format Fuji lenses I used in the seventies up against any lens from anyone, Leica, Zeiss and others included. Let's go take pictures.

Personally, I really like what Fuji has been doing with its compact f/2 primes, designed primarily for the X-Pro2 without obstructing its optical viewfinder. The 23, 35, 50, etc, f/2s are very Leica-like in their range of focal lengths.

It is clear though, that the new 23 f/2, as appealing as it is, is not one of Fuji's sharper performers. Just last week, I read an extensive and thorough professional review comparing the new 23 f/2 prime to the older 23 f/1.4 as well as the 23 f/2 lens on the X100-series. The biggest surprise for me was that, on-center, the 23mm X100 lens clearly had higher resolution than the new Fuji f/2 prime up to f/5.6 and you did not have to pixel-peep to see the difference. It was pretty obvious. The X100 lens also had less vignetting at all apertures, but was let down by its performance in the corners (no pixel-peeping required here, either).

In some respects, this is consistent with my own experience. While I own and love the quality of the 23 f/1.4 prime, I find I actually don't use it very much because I *always* have my X100T with me and find its lens is more than up to the task.

Fuji is the new Leica?? More like the new Contax G2. The G2 was the first of the auto-focus faux-finder cameras. From my POV the new Leica is the Leica Typ 262 with no rear screen.

My favorite f/2 Leica lenses is a 'Mar. The slightly imperfect 5cm f/2 Summar has real character, unlike the overly sterile modern designs.

I was fortunate enough to get one of the earliest (OK, the first) 23mm f2 lenses to hit Denver. I've owned the much bigger 23mm f1.4 for some time, and the Leica analogy seems to hold up in a couple of other ways. 35mm f2 Summicrons, especially the 4th generation "bokeh king," and the later ASPH version, tended to be slightly sharper and much smaller than the contemporary Summilux f1.4s. The tendency was even more pronounced with 50mm lenses, but still. The 23 f2, in my experience - on two different X-T2 bodies - follows that historical trend pretty much exactly. To be fair, it should be mentioned that current aspherical Summiluxen have a better reputation for sharpness. Another professional commented to me that the 23mm f2 renders a more "Zeiss-like" image, the f1.4 more traditional "Leica-like."

Heck, the Fujicron would be just dandy on my X-Pro 1 too!

Back in the films days, as a working stiff, I used a lot of cameras. But my Leicas were my favorites. I was a little disturbed to see Leicas becoming conspicuous consumption items, available in special editions with colored leather and celebrities names engraved on them, worn like they were jewelry. But they did the job; they were rugged, portable and very high quality. And the bright frame finders that let you see what was outside the frame were great for a news photographer. But Leica’s first digital rangefinders disappointed me. I returned the first two because they didn’t work. The third one worked, but for the first time in my life I started looking outside of the Leica line up for that small camera that went everywhere with me.

It’s been a good many years since that search started, but for some while my “street” cameras have been X-Pro 2’s with the bright frame finder and little lenses and my “impress the client” big boy cameras have been the same Fujis with the TTL finders on and big lenses. I loved my Leicas, but I think Leitz has gone down the wrong path. I’m sure they would disagree with me. But I think Mike is right in calling Fuji “the Leica M of today.”

I have the 23mm f\2. I bought it to suppliment my 23mm f\1.4 for times when I wanted a smaller form factor. I sold my f\1.4 because the af improvements are worth the stop of light and tiny bit kess sharpness wude open.

Leica is still around. I think fuji is the new Contax.

I have both the 23 and 35mm Fujicrons. I also have the original 14, 27, 35 and 60mm Fuji primes. Alas, I must still make do with my X-Pro 1 and X-T10. What a hardship, right? Maybe next Christmas for the X-Pro 2.

Mike,

While I have always shot a 35mm lens on my M as my normal, there is actually a good reason why the 23mm is not really optimal on the Fuji X-Pro2.

Because of the way that the Fuji's sliding viewfinder magnification works, I believe that the view (and framelines) through the optical viewfinder for the 35mm is actually LARGER than the view for the 23mm, the opposite of what Leica M users would expect.

I've shot with the XPro2 and 23mm f/2, and it all handles wonderfully. But with the 23mm, the framelines are actually smaller (as the camera shifts to the wider angle viewfinder), so not optimal. For that, I couldn't get along as well with the 23mm, despite having a strong preference for the 35mm focal length.

So it's only the upcoming X100F that will really satisfy those Fuji shooters looking for a rangefinder with 35mm equivalent optimised viewfinder.....

Best Regards,

ACG

My favorite photoblogs are talking about gear these days, and of course the gear posts get the most comments. Is December a ratings "sweeps" period for photobloggers? Show me the pictas!

But more seriously, since when is 35mm 'normal'?"

When it's sitting on top of an ASPC sensor ?

I'm sticking with the Fujilux (f/1.4) options. Why would you not want the extra stop of light?

I'm probably in a minority but I find my home focal length to be around 28-30 mm probably because I used a 20 mm lens on an aps-c camera for some 8 years. (I didnt start using my phone fof photography until well after that.) I'm happy with the 18 mm f2, then again happy over 40 mm on aps-c. The wife's 23 mm on her Fuji x100s is just all wrong for me.

Maybe it's just me, but I think the "silver-lens-on-black-body classic look" is a bit meh. Lenses look best in black, even on a silver body, right?

Yeah, it probably is just me.

Even though the 23/2 is the lens many folks including myself have been waiting for since the X-Pro1 hit the shelves, I bought an 23/1.4 and an X100T in the meantime and stick with those two alternatives or the great and more flexible 1855 when I need that FOV. To my surprise though I'm using Fuji's 'weakest' lens, the 18mm/f2 more than any other Fujinon or the X100T these days and it's this lens and the increasing neurotic obsession with technical 'perfection' that seems to motivate the majority of our discussions nowadays that remind me of something Arik Brauer, an Austrian painter said many years ago: "If you get lost in the details, you've lost the art". (To which one feels like adding: IF you've ever found it in the first place.)

@Ken N, there *are no* speakers that are flat from 20-20k. So why should they sound the same?

As for the image, no, the silver lens isn't doing it for me. Black on black this time.

Love the images I get from 23/1.4 on the x-pro2. I do find it's intrusion into the window finder to be a distraction but I'm thinking a new lens hood would help (of course going without the hood is always an option). But I admit it will never look as cool on the x-pro2 as its f2 sibling.

Damn! I just got a gift card from BH. Easy come, easy go. I shot for years with an M6 + 35/2 and M4 + 21/2.8. Use my XP1 with the M adapter and Leica glass.

Have the Fuji 23/1.4, and really don't need the 23/2. Thanks for nuttin'. 😈

"Fuji is the new Leica?? More like the new Contax G2. The G2 was the first of the auto-focus faux-finder cameras."

Is Don Hinds in the house?

[Very few people will get that reference, but, made me laugh. Bless Don H. wherever he is. --Mike]

While I have always shot a 35mm lens on my M as my normal, there is actually a good reason why the 23mm is not really optimal on the Fuji X-Pro2.

Because of the way that the Fuji's sliding viewfinder magnification works, I believe that the view (and framelines) through the optical viewfinder for the 35mm are actually LARGER than the view for the 23mm, the opposite of what Leica M users would expect.

I've shot with the XPro2 and 23mm f/2, and it all handles wonderfully. But I couldn't get along as well with the 23mm, despite having a strong preference for the 35mm equivalent focal length.

So it's only the upcoming X100F that will really satisfy those Fuji shooters looking for a rangefinder with 35mm equivalent optimised viewfinder.....

Best Regards,

aaron c greenman

There are huge amount of excellent lenses.
... and there are more than huge amount of users who just don`t know how good their lenses actually are.

Sorry ;)

I really wish Fuji would do a "cron" version of their 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens (and include an aperture ring this time).

"But more seriously, since when is 35mm 'normal'?"

When it's sitting on top of an ASPC sensor ?

It's a 23mm lens... 35mm takes the sensor into account already.

Dear Mike,
A fun read, light entertainment to those of us who have seen the myriad offerings from manufacturers attract the kind of devoted following that Fuji has recently acquired.
I love the way folk zealously try to get endorsement for their choice of camera, both on your site and the VSL.
I still use the best little camera Fuji has made to date; my ST901 is somewhat battered now, but it functions and I have great fun in using the almost primitive 50mm f1,8 EBC lens.
A wonderful combination, though I don't ever remember it attracting such a devoted following for the Fuji brand.
Regards,
David

Why, oh why, didn't Fuji make that camera back in the film days? I would have been all over it like a rash. As for the 35mm being "standard" on the 35mm camera -- yes, it really was, for me on a Canon 7s rangefinder. But when I switched to SLR, my preference was the shorter 28mm.

Cheers, Geoff

One of my Twitter contacts (Mike Fraser, aka @mfphotograph http://www.mfphotography.ca) recently assembled an all-Cron kit for his M-E. In the thread I posted a photo I made over 30 years ago, using a pre-Asph 90 Summicron on FP4. It's a photo I like a lot, and the response from Mike was about the character of the "vintage" 90 Cron. (I could say similar things about the Dual Range Summicron - I loved that lens!)

While I know longer have my Summicrons, one of the lenses I love right now is the humble Zuiko 28/2.8, especially when mounted on my X-Pro1. With an effective field of view of a 42mm lens on APS-C (the perfect normal,) its rendering is somehow magical to me. Along with the Zuiko 21/2, I'm going to send away it away for CLA for another 25 years or so of happy shooting.

I too have grown really, really tired of the pixel peeping, the pursuit of some definition of technical "perfection" that almost never has a material impact on the "goodness" of a photo. But I wouldn't mind the Fuji 23 on a brand new X-Pro2 ... Santa.

"But more seriously, when is 35mm normal?"

I agree with Harry's response about a 35mm lens giving a 53mm field of view on an APS-C sensor. However, I would also humbly point out that, even on full-frame cameras, 35mm can be considered "normal" - even if on the wide end of that range.

Determination of what is considered a "normal" lens (as many of us already know) came from measuring the diagonal of a 35mm film frame. That number comes to 43mm - the "perfect" normal view for full-frame (and why Pentax makes a 43mm Limited prime). Lensmakers rounded that up to 50mm, which is fine. But 35mm is about the same distance from 43mm - only in the other direction.

But, for APS-C, wouldn't 27 or 28mm be the true "normal?" Someone set me straight here.

Very, very tempting.

Until the new M comes out, which might (just might!) be thinner and (even more just) have some focus assistance in the viewfinder....

Jokes apart, Fuji is bu a mile or two the greatest game changer in the industry's recent history. So long, Canikon...

Happy holidays to all and especially to the master of the TOP HQs!

@ Steve Biro - yes, 28mm is, as I mentioned, the "true normal" for APS-C. This, of course, brings up the subject of aspect ratio of the sensor. (I'm disregarding cameras that have the choice of multiple choices of aspect ratio "capture".) 2:3 works for me since I cut my teeth on 35mm film. I might feel differently about µ43; I know a 150 "normal" on 4x5 is "meh" for me, though I have adapted.

This was very slightly cropped on the right, but it gives an idea of 28mm on APS-C

https://www.flickr.com/photos/edunbar/31676115781/

I have a preference for 28mm over 35mm (EFL), and I wish Fuji would make a WR version of their little 18.

Otherwise, I Leica my Fuji very much (groan).

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