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Friday, 10 May 2019


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"the smallest, lightest lenses for the new FFM category"

That is easy Mike.

Please add "at least f/2.0 and optically outstanding". Like so many of the old Olympus OM Zuiko lenses.

I like this kit, but my personal selection would be the 14mm f/2.8, the 23/2, 35/2, and the zoom; I only have 2 so far.

And re: the different 40mm lenses: I owned the Voightlander 40mm 1.4, shooting it almost exclusively on a CLE for the better part of a year. On the request of a friend, I shot their entire wedding with that camera and lens. It's a really excellent lens; I can't imagine what an extra thousand dollars and 2 pounds of glass could bring that I care about. I say 'owned' because I dropped it and the CLE last weekend onto concrete, and the lens took the brunt of it. I'm going to pick up another one soon.

The 60mm f2.4 was one of the first lenses offered by Fuji. It is plagued by slow AF. So while it looks good on paper, it would not be among my first choices.

Sigma's DN lenses are another example of compact, light and high quality. I owned and enjoyed the 60mm f/2.8 for Sony, and I remember you also once posted a piece singing its praises, with some lovely portrait examples. I have heard that the other lenses in the range are also good performers, and I would love to be able to own a similar set for full frame.

Of all the manufacturers, Sigma seem to be the most likely to release such a range. Apparently they will release their first lenses specifically designed for Sony's mount later this year, and I expect they will be "shock and awe" lenses like the 40mm in your post. But maybe they will eventually see a niche for some good old-fashioned compact primes later on.

Mike, I own the small twos you mention here and really love them they actually some of the best glass I have ever used. However, I just want to mention the handiest lens Fuji makes is the 18-135, at least my copy is very handy and incredibly sharp. Plus it is so useful for so many travel situations. When I travel, which is about every month, I take 3 Fuji lenses, the beautiful 16-55 f2.8; the 18-135 f 4.0- 22; and I take the little 35 f2. That combination works for most situations except large buildings. I also take the small flash that comes with the Fuji XT cameras. The weight is about 6 pounds. This is ideal since many flights I am on outside of the US, put a twenty pound limit on carry-on luggage. My take on the discussion. Have a good weekend, and keep shooting. Eric

Yup, BIG is the fashion now. It kinda sends the message that big:
1. Takes sharper pictures.
2. Has more firepower.
3. Takes superpowers to handle it.
4. Reflects wealth and status.
5. Is more virile.

But I still like the story of David and his sling outperforming the big guy.

I would make one major change in your Fuji lens kit. Go with the fabulous 50mm f/2 (75mm equivalent) over the 60mm. While the 60mm is sharp and has a very nice look, it is without a doubt the most frustrating Fuji lens I've owned. The AF was not only slow it was indecisive, constantly hunting back and forth. I wasn't sure the 50mm would be a useful focal length for my purposes but it turns out it fits me very well. While it's not a close up lens, it focuses close enough for everything except macro uses. And to top it off, it's certainly one of the sharpest lenses I've ever owned...even sharper than the 60mm. And it's tiny, about the size of the Leitz 90mm f/4 Elmar-C I used to own.

And just to throw in a minor change, actually an addition, I would suggest the inclusion of the Fuji 35mm f/2. It is the Fuji lens I've found to be the most useful on a regular basis. While I was never a "normal" lens guy in my early photography days, somewhere along the line I discovered the 50mm (on 135/full frame format) and it's been a good friend ever since.

We differ on a good Fuji kit, and that's what I love about the lineup - despite being low on the popularity pole, Fuji has a great bench of lenses under 90mm. Also, a serious dearth of options above that. I like my 23/2, but it suffers in my head, and only there, because it's not the 23/1.4. I blame the 16 1.4, which is just so absolutely perfect for so many situations I find myself in that there's really no way I can see the 16 2.8 as an option. for me.

The joke of all this, is that it was the Sigma 35 1.4 that drove me to Fuji. I love the Sigma 35 - it's a really wonderful lens, and on the D600 and D750 made great images. But it was so big! If I used a smaller lens, well, it wasn't as good, was it? Drove me crazy. It's completely irrational, but that's kinda the appeal of the hobby in the first place...

IMHO no Fuji kit is complete without the 27mm pancake lens. The image quality is stunning, the 40mm (e 35mm) focal length is just right, and it weighs next to nothing. I have other lenses--the 18mm along with the 23mm, 35mm, and 50mm Fujicrons--but the 27 is on my camera much of the time and all the time when I just want a carry-around camera that is not much heavier and a great deal more capable than my phone.

I've now owned three copies of the Panasonic 20mm lens--two of the first version and my current second version. I think I've finally learned my lesson not to ever sell that one again. Horribly slow low-light AF, but otherwise just wonderful.

Didn't you used to Rave about your love of the 14mm?, or did I get that wrong?

[I did, and I still do really like it. It's the first ultrawide I've ever actually used a lot. But a little less wide wouldn't bother me a bit, and the 16mm is considerably smaller. --Mike]

For me, the for the CLE with Minolta's 40mm lens was the ideal camera/lens combo for me. If a FX digital version of this combo were available.. I'd acquire it within a fraction of a second.

I think you need to leave Sony out of your criticism there, Mike.
28mm f/2 200g
35mm f/2.8 120g
50mm f/1.8 186g
55mm f/1.8 281g
85mm f/1.8 371g
50mm macro 236g

Also mostly well-priced and well-regarded.

Why should they have to pull up their socks?


The Fuji 16/2.8, and 35/2 are a good pair (on my X-E3), they should do a 75/2 to round out the 'cron set.
I'm tempted by the old 60 macro, but would possibly prefer a little longer and with the WR and newer focus motor and speed.

I like your list, Mike. I have had the 35mm f/2 for a couple of years now and the 16mm f/2.8 will almost surely be my next lens purchase. Instead of the 60mm I'm happy using an old Minolta Rokkor 55mm f/1.7 which is a breeze to focus on the X-T3. For zoom, I'm waiting to see how the upcoming 16-80mm f/4 turns out.

I think your Fuji kit is well judged.

The 60mm does indeed have some lovely optical qualities, and is an absolute steal. It came out with the Xpro1 or soon after.

My first Fuji kit was the Xpro1 with the 18, 35, and 60. (I think 16/23/60 is better).

The 55-200 is very underrated, IMO. Only real tele lens I own for Fuji, but pretty sharp for the price, and the contrast is excellent.

Oh boy, I bet you get a lot of comments on this one.

For me I also have a Fujifilm X family of lenses. My normal lens is the 27mm f2.8. The remainder of the kit consists of the 16mm f2.8 (Which I haven't received yet.) the 23mm f2.0 and the 50mm f2.0. I probably use the 27mm 90% of the time. I love the angle of view of that lens.

I haven't got a zoom for the Fujifilm camera because I just don't use them that much. But I do have the Sigma 17mm-50mm f2.8 for my Nikon D5600.

I use the Nikon D5600 so little I have to charged the battery when I do.

PS: All the Fujifilm x primes I purchased were list priced at $400 except the 27mm f2.8. It's listed at $450.

Your lens kit is very much like my lenses of choice for Pentax APS-C shooting:

15 f/4 Limited, for wide
21 f/3.2 Limited, for normal
70 f/2.4 limited for portrait and short telephoto.

The three of them together are about as big as a can of pop.

I think the 60 mm was one of Fuji’s first X mount lenses. I passed and opted for the 35 f/1.4 which I still shoot with most often.

I own too many Fuji lenses, but oddly enough I keep coming back to the original three I bought with the X Pro 1 now quite awhile ago- 35 1.4, 18 2.0 and the 60. The 60 is a really underrated lens. You are correct. It is a great portrait lens (especially if you want to get the whole nose in focus....both dogs and people). While I don't use it as much as I used to, I still have my original X Pro 1 and it's still a great camera. It's pretty beat up looking but it has really held up all these years. I hope my X Pro 2 and GFX 50R last as long as it has. My original X100 is still going strong too.

Somewhat off the Fuji topic, the Pentax 31mm and 77mm f/1.8 Limited lenses proven that small but fast, very high quality, full-frame lenses are possible, IF one can accept the "horror" of screw-driven AF. These are excellent lenses on FF. I tested the Pentax Limited 31mm against the somewhat less-wide Sigma 35/1.4 and the difference in image quality was imperceptible.

As already mentioned, for someone so besotted by all things 40mm, it's surprising you don't list Fuji's 27mm equivalent. I've yet to really test mine, but it's a ridiculously small, sharp and lightweight gem I can't wait to shoot portraits with someday...

I'm tempted by the new 24 equivalent 16mm 2.8, but I've always found that to be an "in between" focal length- you can move in to approximate a 28mm, but never quite far back enough to get the 20/21mm "goodness."

The Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art is supposed to be their top performing lens. They threw everything into it including the kitchen sink. They are rumoured to be working on a range of f2 lenses for L & FE mount.

Totally with you on the 16mm 2.8 and the 23mm f2. The 50-ish range almost has too many options - *my* choice would be the excellent Zeiss Touit 50mm f2.8, fastest AF of the bunch, Zeiss Microcontrast, plus macro - what's not to like?


Hope will come from sony (and sigma, later) if their 24mm is any indication... Or from the underdogs https://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sr5-leaked-samyang-45mm-f-1-8-fe-specs-costs-399/

Not 40mm but that will have to do.

Kind regards,

I have to echo praise for the 27mm. It's cheap, light and high-quality. Stick it on an XE3 and I have a set-up I'm happy to carry 24/7.

From my personal use, on the X-Pro2:

The 23mm/f2 handles beautifully on the X-Pro2. I think the actual focal length of this lens is noticeably shorter than 23mm, making it probably something like a 32mm-equivalent.

Going 50mm-equivalent, the 35mm/f2 is lovely, and it is a natural fit to the X-Pro2. It immediately makes the camera feel complete and self-sufficient. When I have the 35mm on the camera, I don't think about other lenses. No doubt this reflects my appreciation of the field of view, but it also reflects the design and ergonomics of the physical lens.

Like you, Mike, I have a fondness for the 40mm field of view. My first proper camera was the Rollei 35 with its 40mm Sonnar, and my last film camera (ten years ago) was the Fuji GW690 with its 90mm/f3.5, the 6x9 equivalent of a 40mmm.

For the X series, in the 40mm-eq range Fuji of course have the 27mm/f2.8 pancake. Optically this is a good lens, but design-wise and in terms of build, it doesn't quite compare with the recent set of f2 lenses. There is more plastic, focusing is a little noisy and involves an outward movement of the inner tube, and annoyingly the filter thread is attached to the moving part rather than the stable outer part. Also, there is no aperture ring and one needs to assign one of the control wheels to this function. All of this is less than ideal. HOWEVER: this really is a very sweet lens, it combines with the X-Pro2 into a very compact camera and when combined with something like the X-E3 is gives you a true pocket camera. Fuji, please give us a more robust version. But even as it is, this lens has much to recommend itself, a natural everyday lens with whom I have become good friends. In Europe, Fuji offer refurbished pieces at sensible prices. I recommend it.

I'm mostly in in agreement, Mike, with your choices.

I'd go for the 14mm (but it's expensive). The 60mm is a nice lens - yes, frustrating AF as others have commented, but when I put it on the front of my XPro1, I switch it to manual focus to get around the AF problems.

Hi Mike,
That's a lovely lens set you have there.

I second the Panasonic 20mm, I've been carrying that on a GX-7 for years now. It lives in a cheap laptop bag with the Panasonic 14/2.5 and the 42.5/1.7 each mounted on a different tiny camera (a Gf-3, and an E-PL5.) (28mm, 40mm, and 85mm in three jacket pockets!)

I've never been conscious of the weight.

If I had to start over from scratch, I would seriously consider Fujifilm, because the lenses are that nice, but I would have to say that the very modest size increase would be troubling.

The only full frame lens I'd seriously consider getting a full frame camera for would be that tiny Voigtländer 40mm 1.4 which even has a perfectly reasonably sized filter (43mm!). If anyone ever made an autofocus 40mm that was that small, I'd have to seriously consider switching to full frame.

Before buying my XPro2 and 35mm F2 I had rented the X100 a few times and rented the Pro with the 23 F2 once. A few years ago I had rented an Xe-2 and the 23 1.4 and 56 1.2. The biggest disappointment then was focus speed and hunting. Now I know those two lenses aren't the fastest and of course the newer cameras focus faster. This all comes from a decade of blazing fast Nikon D3/4 focus experience and that has spoiled me.

I DIDN'T get the 23 F2 with the XPro because I always have a 23 (35 eq) on every camera I've ever had. I wanted to not do that again. I got on very well with a 50 on a Leica and knew I could do it again. I've rented the 50mm but wish they'd do a 75mm F2 for a 105mm kind of look. The 50 is great but just a hair short for my eye.

I rented the new 16 2.8 and loved it but wish it were a new 18mm version instead.

I really wish Nikon would do a line of F2 lenses, we don't need 1.4 or 1.2. 28mm, 35mm, 50mm 105mm F2 AFS Nikon lenses would be a dream. Just smaller lenses is al we want.

I rente

Yeah, why doesn't someone make a small 43mm, maybe call it FA or something like that?

What about the much celebrated Fuji 56? It is nearly twice the weight, to be sure, but still well under a lb. More expensive, but also commonly available used. In m43, I have a macro as my combined macro and portrait lens and the slow autofocus gets. me. every. time.

Once, I carried around the a Fuji with a Zeiss 12mm and a Fuji 56. I really liked that combo, but also I like my ultrawides ultra.

I'm a m4/3 user, mostly Olympus with some Panasonic lenses. I understand why they went their idiosyncratic way, they had no legacy digital bodies to worry about, clean slate.

But why did Nikon, Sony and Canon go mirrorless "full-frame"? Why would owners of Nikon/Canon/Sony digital lenses get rid of them all to buy into systems that offered the same thing. I get it that the mirrorless bodies are cheaper to build, I don't mean that, I understand why the manufacturers did it. I mean why would system owners migrate at great expense to get more or less the same thing?

If I didn't already own m4/3s stuff, and like it, I'd buy Fuji, their stuff is so nice.

Oh, lens lust.

As a Nikon guy I curse Fuji for making so many fantastic APS-C lenses.

That said, I'd probably go for the "nested kit" with the 18-55 and 35 f/1.4, probably on an X-T3. Perfect. I'm sure I'd be happy with just that.

Oh, and I'd need that 55-200 as well. I think I'd be pretty happy at that point. But that 27mm looks fun too! And what about a Fujicron? How could I not have the 23 f/2? And that 50 f/2 looks splendid.


What happened to the 18mm F2? Maybe not a stellar performer but a really small and light lens (28mm equiv), and great paired with the xPro2 for street photography. I really don't like the small but long and pointy Fuji F2 lenses - camera and lens become unecessarily cumbersome


any mention of the Pentax DA 40mm f2.8 Limited?

I was looking for a compact APS-C camera with interchangeable lenses when the X-Pro1 came out, but there wasn't a 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens available, no doubt to protect sales of the X100 series.

And it was a long time until they produced one, but in the meantime I had gone with the Nex-7 and Sony/Zeiss 24mm f1.8, which is a wonderful lens.

Didn't you sell an xt2 in favor of a much slower xt1? How do you portray children with a sloooow macro lens?

Pardon my tone but I get agitated when I hear about perfect kits. There's no such thing. For starters, juggling 3-4 lenses is far from ideal. My kit never fits more than two lenses at once. I'd rather add a flash than a third lens. So many possibilities with lighting.

23mm f2 and 35mm f2 when shooting people.

14mm and 18-55mm when shooting environments.

Might replace the latter two with a single 16-80mm f4 if it won't distort or vignette at 16mm. Will see.

After 30 years with Leica and Leicaflex, I stumbled about amongst digital cameras until the Fujis came along. Now I'm fully committed to them. I have 7 lenses for my X-T1, and here's the order in which I'd put together a kit. The first three are a good kit for me. I often go out with just one lens - the 23mm. If architecture is the primary purpose, I'll take just the 10-24mm.

* Fuji 23mm f/2
* Fuji 10-24mm
* adapted Jupiter-8 50mm f/2
* Fuji 55-200mm
* adapted Rolleinar 85mm f/2.8
* 7Artisans 35mm f/1.2
* Fuji 18-55mm

Eventually, the Jupiter will likely be replaced by the Fujicron 50mm.

That Rolleinar is perhaps as sharp as any of the other lenses. Just 4 elements and wonderful bokeh at 2.8.

For macro work, I have a couple of extension tubes, and they work well with the Rolleinar and the Jupiter and the 18-55mm zoom.

I don't care for zooms all that much, but the 10-24 and 55-200 are excellent and incredibly useful.

(Warning: major off-topic turn ahead) here is a photo that I took yesterday with the 50 mm F2 Fujinon

This is from a recreation of the celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad 150 years (and one day) earlier at Promontory Point Utah. It bears a striking resemblance to an original photograph of the event, by Andrew J. Russel:

How many camera phones can you find in the new picture?

The Russell photograph is often cited as evidence that the contribution of Chinese workers was excluded from history from the very beginning. But, a few days ago I heard a lecture by a historian of the Chinese laborers, Gordon Chang, who argues that these workers were, in well recognized at the time, but were erased from history later. And, he thinks that he has, in fact, identified a Chinese working in the photo, sitting with his back to the camera, just below and to the left of the two men shaking hands at the center of the photograph.

A review in the New York Times of Chang's recent book can be found here

I could say something about what I think of the Fuji lenses, but the old photo is a lot more interesting, I think!

I was thinking it might be a great strategy for Pentax to jump on board a mirrorless system (assuming the ship has sailed on developing their own) as a third party lens maker. Bring back the "Takumar" name and put it on new versions of the Limited series lenses. Many of these lenses as they stand now are small enough that even with an adapter they make for a well sized package on mirrorless cameras. Pentax could leverage their reputation and skill in building tiny high quality lenses while filling a gap in the market for those of us looking for high quality, light and small lenses with some "character". I think that current Fuji shooters specifically would jump on the opportunity to use such Limited lenses purpose built for their cameras with no adapter and with autofocus.

While they're at it they can release a stand alone version of the amazing Ricoh GR lens. Pentax has put out an M mount version of the 43mm Limited, and Ricoh has released an M GR lens, so it wouldn't be unprecedented.

The Zeiss Loxia lenses for Sony E mount try to be compact full frame lenses and succeed. They're not as compact as classic OM lenses, but they have very high image quality on modern standards. However, manual focus and moderate apertures do not seem to be fashionable nowadays.

After the Nikon D800 came out, my own preference has become that of prime lenses with more moderate apertures; current sensors have very high quality on high ISO and large apertures usually have too thin DOF for high resolution imagery. However looking at camera sites, f1.4 seems to be more attractive than ever and providing that with high quality is resulting in huge lenses.

I had a conversation with this guy on DPR as he live near me. You need to look at his collection. He must have $300K in lenses. He has 22 Fuji lenses and 5 bodies. He also has 15 Leica lenses 3 bodies. Strangely he says that he shoots very little. Why anyone even if they have a lot of money would want all of this is beyond my understanding. https://www.dpreview.com/members/8130622742/gearlist

Here are the three top Fuji lenses this would be my list. BTW I have an X-T2 and do own the following and a few more.

1 The 14mm F2.8. I use this one a lot. It is very small and has 0% distortion.

2 The 24 f1.4. It is a great walking around at night lens. My favourite Fuji lens. If I had to pick only one to own it would be the 24 f1.4. As a prime lens it is perfect for my style of shooting.

3 The 18-55. It is was my first Fuji lens and is very versatile. Nice metal construction too. Great travel lens.

No one ever mentions the Fuji XM-FL 24mm pancake lens. It was only sold in Japan and is the weirdest lens from Fuji. I bought one off ebay just for the hell of it.



Mike said: "but there was a time when Leica M lenses were renowned for being tiny and Olympus was innovating by designing OM Zuiko lenses to be compact and light and yet still optically very good."
You could mention the Pentax M lenses as well. The 20mm f/4 could fit in a shirt pocket, try that with a modern f/1.4. Pentax had kept their 645 lenses fairly petite as well,compare the 645 400mm to one from Canon or Nikon. Since the Hoya and then Ricoh takeover however, big is better.

That sigma looks extremely... big.
Specially coming from the Ltd 43/1.9.
That is the problem coming from the Pentax camp... the other lenses just look incredibly large.

I re-read this multiple times, but the 4 lens kit you posted is more like ~$1700 isn't it? Unless some rebates just expired this weekend. 3 primes @ $400 each = $1200. Add the zoom at $500 and the total is $1700.

Regardless, that is still a great kit for $1700.

It does look like Samyang are starting to do what you want!

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