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Thursday, 21 May 2015


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>my choice of a tele in this system is going to be surprising

So the tele would be 35/2 for a small unassuming profile in social environment or a 100-400 zoom just because.

Great priorities! Got your coffee makings at hand, little else. Very tidy house btw.

I have the Fuji 14mm too. Wonderful lens. I don't really see a need for the 16mm, but I'm sure some people will prefer it. I wish Fuji would fill out the longer end of the range, though. The roadmap shows a 90mm f/2 coming out this year and a 120mm f/2.8 next year, along with a 100-400mm lens (speed not specified). I'll be looking forward to those.

One thing that has annoyed me with Olympus, and has a lot to do with why I dumped M4/3 for Fuji, is that Olympus seems to think that since you can correct geometric distortion in software, therefore distortion doesn't matter. Most of their lenses have a lot more distortion than anyone would have considered acceptable in the film era. But I don't like having to use software to correct for the deficiencies of my lenses. Some of Fuji's lenses also have more distortion than I'd like, but the best ones, including the 14mm, 23mm, and 60mm (the three primes I currently have, in addition to the 18-55mm kit lens, which is surprisingly good for what it is) are really well-corrected.

This is a great little lens. I feel that the size is just right - any bigger and you start to defeat the purpose of a smaller mirrorless camera. (In my opinion.) Build is great, optics are great, what's not to like?

I really wanted to follow your lead and go for the Fuji X-T1, but finances, Thom Hogan and Kirk Tuck and finances made me go for Olympus. I just got my new OM-D E-M10 Tuesday. $500. Nice intro to that system. It is small, but so far so good. I have always used Nikons. As per the post, my first lens will be the 17mm, I think the 2.8, same thinking as you.

Lenses, schmenses... I love that kitchen!

I have the thermostatted version of that electric kettle, and it's fantastic! I can set the temperature just right for whatever coffee or tea I'm brewing rather than futzing around with thermometers or guessing.

Lens Rentals will be getting an order from me soon as I try to figure out which wide angle to get for my X-T1. I've never used anything wider than 24mm on a regular basis, so not sure how much use I'd find for the 14mm, though it's nice and small and relatively inexpensive. The 16mm f1.4 sounds great, and isn't too huge, though it's pricey for a prime. The 16-55 is more flexible, has great image quality, but is large and expensive and overlaps a lot with the already very good 18-55 that I have. The 10-24 has less overlap but I just can't see myself needing to go that wide often enough to justify it.

Fuji stuff isn't cheap, but you can't complain about the optical/image quality. The only things I don't like about their lenses are the aperture rings tend to be too easy to turn (accidentally), the lens caps can be hard to put on quickly, and the plastic lens hoods are a bit too plasticky.

It is probably a good lens, I take your word for it, but what a *remarkably* tidy kitchen..!

Right back "atcha". I was rounding out my lens line for M4/3rd's, and trust me, professionally, and even for kicks, I never use anything wider than the equivalent of 35mm, and in fact most all my people photography for a number of years was done on a Hasselblad with an 80mm and 150mm.

Why then, when I found a few dollars after tax returns, did I buy the Olympus 12mm, instead of the 17mm plus 25mm? It's because I probably won't have that much money to buy that lens again, and since the 17mm and 25mm are so much cheaper, I can probably just save up for those in the future.

BTW, the lens is kind of funky. Went back and read Ctein's review, and agree with a lot of it. The lens seems sharp, but has obvious chromatic abberations. But when I made prints, the chromatic abberations seemed to disappear (at least in the print sizes I wanted). Only saw them when I was pixel peeping on a screen.

Anyway, it even made me uncomfortable to test regarding 'wideness'. Just a lens I'll probably never use.

The 14mm is an excellent lens, as are most of Fuji lenses. For me, both the 14mm and 60mm are worry-free regarding their optical quality. I shoot at the aperture I need for the shot I want without worrying about any sharpness/vignetting/chromatic aberration considerations (as I would do with other lenses). It's quite liberating. The 27mm is close to that, but not completely.

In that context (plus the praises that other lenses like the 56/1.2 or 35/1.4 get) the recent DPReview gallery with the newly available 16/1.4 was surprising to me. After being so spoiled by Fuji with such a collection of excellent optics, the 16mm looks a tad underwhelming.

Positively UN American
Whose kitchen can be so clean?
Trying to put me down are you?
Luv Bill

Nice lens! Nice house! Nice pictures!

I'm not the expert on f-stops and speed but I think you gave up 2 stops of speed by buying the 14mm f2.8 vs the 16mm f1.4.

Did you consider the 2 stop difference when you made your choice?

I've had the 14 since June of 2013. I got it along with my X E-1 because there was a terrific discount. I now use it with my X T-1. It was and remains one of my favorite Fuji lenses. It is small, light and has minimal distortion. I have a number of Fuji X lenses but the 14 is one I take everywhere I go, regardless of what I think I might be photographing. Zooms might be versatile, but the Fuji primes, especially the 14, 23, 35 and 56 are unsurpassed for simple beauty.

Lens output interesting to see, but, more importantly, how do you get your kitchen so tidy?

I would imagine that some sort of quadrant graph of image quality on one scale and price on another scale would show that the Fuji lenses are very high value. They'd be near the Leica and Zeiss entries on quality but in a better price area of the quadrant.

Try putting an InfraRed filter on the lens and you'll find it even more versatile than you think now. Have used the 14 and the 35 both with IR filtes and the results were very good. No hot spots or odd problems. The 18-55 showed hot spots. Not sure if all the zooms do but after trying mine I stayed with the primes.

Mike, there is something wrong with you - your kitchen looks like a hospital, and there is no Nespresso machine anywhere ! Where are the pots with herbs? And where is the wine???

@Ken -- get the 1.8, it's miles better than the 17/2.8. Consider a refurbished lens direct from Olympus.

Is this not your kitchen variety lens?

+1 on the 14mm which I have had since it was released. Optically it's fantastic and size wise it's just right. I'll be foregoing the 16mm due to its size as I also don't need the speed. I'm really looking forward to the possibility of Fuji making a second tier of "less fast" primes starting with the 35mm f/2 due out this year. The 90mm f/2 just released looks like it is a great lens but once again too big and heavy for my needs. If I had unlimited funds then I would probably own almost every lens Fuji makes (definitely all the primes) and only use the majority of them very occasionally, but the reality is sadly more about practicality.

Good choice. I remember fondly the fuji lenses for my xPan, and my favorite lens on my last 35 film cameras Was the OM 21/2. Always a good choice.

Current lens inventory for my X-T1 and E2:

12mm Touit
27mm (silver, should be black)

I have it under control. Really. I'll stop with the 90mm. You'll see.

A timely post as I've also been weighing the 14mm against the 16mm. I've been missing that wide angle perspective. And, although the internal debate rages on, it is largely moot due to a distinct lack of funds with which to purchase the winner of the duel.

I'm leaning towards the 16mm, personally, as those extra two stops are always appreciated when shooting concerts in darkened clubs, which I do fairly regularly. I've also been dipping a toe into astrophotography and I'm pretty sure this lens will be... ugh, yes... stellar for that purpose.

I have heard little but very positive reviews of both lenses, however, which is a wonderful choice to have.

I'm looking for signs of that kitchen having been used without success...

The 14mm is a great lens. It was my wide angle choice too, as part of a prime kit for the Fuji system. I really appreciate Fuji's lens design, using optical correction, instead of software. It's been a real pleasure to use it both in auto and full manual focus.

About Ken's comment: when I bought mi EM5 about a year ago, my first lens was the 17 2,8.
It's not the best lens out there, but has become my favorite, by far.
I have better and more expensive lenses, but that little pancake has become my default choice when I walk out the door.

When I got my XE1 over two years ago, the 14mm f/2.8 was one of the first lenses I got. I love that lens — small size, excellent image quality, wide enough for almost all of my wide angle needs.

Going for the 90, eh?

And, if I remember correctly, you have called yourself somewhat of a hoarder? :-)

Mike, why not a mid-zoom, i.e. 18=55 2.8 to 4.0. It is a very handy unit of good quality. I have the 35 and 60 but consider them of specific use. The zoom is just too handy.

ps: x-t1 firmware in June, further improves many key features.


Ken James, as much as Mike likes the Pana 20 1.7 (me too), I also regard the 17 2.8 as a lens with personality. The rendering has got something, especially for faces.

Mike, you have got a really nice home. As for the clean and empty surfaces: did you make that up for the shots, or does it always look like this?

A clutter-free kitchen! How do you do that? No dishwashing soap? Ratty sponge? Refrigerator magnets? Please tell me that no Photoshop trickery was involved. I am impressed and amazed - and wish mine looked the same.

My God man, do you have your house staged for sale!!?? It looks like no one lives there. Actually I'm somewhat envious, my wife and I work at the dining room table so our main floor looks a bit chaotic. More light than our offices. When you live somewhere that has 10 months of winter and 2 months of lousy sledding, sunlight is something you cherish.

I'm looking forward to further tests to see what the personality of your lens really is. I think just about any modern lens would look reasonably good given the lighting conditions in your home that day.

On another subject I plan on doing some tests with my wife's Canon 600mm FD lens and the Panasonic GX-7 I received from you. Might make a wicked birding lens. That is if I don't get a hernia lugging it out to the field. Or maybe I should take photos of people through their house windows and call it art ;)

OK, Mike, this is totally self-serving but I'm curious on your thoughts on Fuji vs. Pentax since you are a fan of both. If I had money to spend on a camera and lens, I would choose one of those two. I like the idea of the 35mm macro from Pentax since it would teach me to shoot better like 50mm lenses do. Plus I like the fact that I can use the macro for found object and nature shots (being in nature makes me happy). Fuji is bringing out a smaller 50mm-equiv. later this year too but sans macro ability. I like how both companies are very dedicated to prime lenses. What are your thoughts on the 2 companies' lens lines and lens philosophies?

How would you compare the differences in the viewfinders with optical vs. electronic and mirrored vs. mirrorless?

I really don't have the money to spend on a camera as all my money goes to my daughter's figure skating (but I should be taking more pictures of her skating). I love taking pictures even though I'm crap and I wish I could afford a digital camera and lens since film is just too expensive these days. Maybe that's another post idea- good camera ideas for people who want to learn and grow but are short on money. As always, thanks for the great blog and for posting my rambling comments!

Fuji does seem to produce some real gems, the 14 being one of them, along with the 23 and (much to my surprise) the 27.

While I've stayed with Pentax gear for the most part, I plan to keep my Samsung NX300 for two reasons: the NX 16mm f/2.4 and 30mm f/2 pancakes. Pentax' 15 Limited (or even their DA14) is worth getting some day, but the NX16 is definitely a keeper today.

If I get that lens, will my kitchen be that tidy?

Why are these wide angle lenses for mirrorless so BIG! Fifty eight millimeter filters? Two and a half inches long? At only f2.8? On a half frame size sensor?

This photo world is going backwards if you ask me.

Hi Mike. Just my thoughts, you are a really good photographer. That said, I feel like we miss out on a chance to see it with kitchen photos as the subject of your test. I for one would gladly wait to see photos of a subject dear to you. Thanks for a great site.

The Fujinon 14/2.8 is an excellent lens. It's ghosting/flare resistance is a strong point. As with the other six Fujinon XF lenses I own, the longitudinal CA artifact level is quite low. This is a nice change from the lenses I used on DSLRs before I switched to Fujifilm.

Mike, you tickled my GAS with your post about the Fuji XT-1 so much that I went out and bought a used X100s on E bay for $600. I have just begun to play with the camera, but I am shocked how good the JPG's are right from the camera with no help from LR6. I am still in love with my EM-1, but this little gem may win my affection. I noticed you have not said much about the Sony cameras. My local camera stores seem to be "pushing" them a bit. I think they are great cameras, but I don't see a gain between Sony and Nikon since the lenses are about the same size. This old body of mine needs something smaller, lighter and simpler, not something heavier, larger and more complex. Thanks for all your good work and insightful posts.

The Fujifilm 14mm is the for-all-practical-purposes-distortion-free Super-Angulon-M 21mm/3.4 that I always wanted, but wasn't willing to spend the money on back in the old days.
Except, the Super-Angulon only focused to 70cm, so in fact, the Fuji 14mm is better.

I am most interested on the choices of the house rather than on the results of the lens. It is a bit what we like to call "utilitarian americana", and somehow tells a lot about the owner.

Yes its great isn't it. I stupidly sold mine to a friend, but managed to get it back when he went for the 10-24. I dont usually like wides, but it is so well corrected and natural looking, i often forget its as wide as it is. I usually shoot M43 but find the 4:3 ratio a bit constricted for wide angle work so haven't bothered going wider than 14mm.

Still not cooking, eh?

I think you ought to post a call for easy, nutritious recipes from your readers... Cook at home and you'll have money left to buy that short tele.

Very nice lens, that 14. If the picture of the dishwasher is processed without distortion correction, I'd say you've got a winner there.


I am also considering the purchase of a 24mm or 21mm lens (for a Leica M). I mostly do street photography. What FoV is more appropriate?

For those interested/considering the Fuji 14 f/2.8 or the new 16 f/1.4, your specific requirements will dictate which lens best meets your needs with respect to specific shooting scenarios.

Personally, I'm not an MTF charts kind of guy, but if you're a "numbers" person, MTF charts from Fujifilm show the 14mm f/2.8 to be somewhat higher performing than the new 16mm.



In real world use, I have yet to find a Fujifilm lens (with the possible exception of the 18mm f/2.0) that does not provide excellent to superb performance.

We're certainly are blessed with an embarassment of optical riches these days, and it is remarkable what Fuji has accomplished from an optical engineering perspective in a little over three years.

21mm equivalent sounds about right to me. I have the Zuiko 7-14 f4, a sharp, well corrected lens, but most of the shots past 9mm (18 eq.) look the same to me, stretched out perspective drawings.

That kitchen suggests to me that you are both spending lots of time away, and you are prepared for a surprise visit. Either that or you have a big project and keep procrastinating by cleaning and doing lens tests.

Very nice looking for what (I presume) is a retrofocal design. I have never used this Fujinon, but the Biogon variant Fuji put on their GA645w film point-and-shoot remains one of my all-time favorite wides (it's optically up there with the superlative 43mm for the Mamiya 7, and suffers only because of the smaller film format). Glad Fuji can still produce a crisp wide with low geometric distortion.

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