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Friday, 20 September 2019


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I completely understand your conclusion and reasoning. I came to the same conclusion for my Fuji kit. Just cant give either one up.
I have this issue with the 23mm set too. Whenever I revisit the idea of reducing the lens inventory, I run a test of the lens in consideration and conclude that I like them both too much, for different reasons, to actually sell one of them.
As long as living expense isn’t being compromised by keeping them, why not just do that and enjoy them, even if use is limited.

Indulgent is always better! Enjoy them...both.

As I believe I’ve written before in comments here, the 35 f/1.4 rarely leaves my X-T2 (and before that, X-T1). It was my first Fuji prime purchase when I got into the system (along with the 18-55 zoom) and it is still my most used lens now that I have collected a handful. I’ve never tried the f/2 and just don’t feel the need to do so as I have been very happy with what I have. Thanks for the comparison post; it reaffirms my decision not to move on. Most of the quirkinesses I experienced in the beginning improved with FW updates and the transition to the X-T2. I have no serious complaints about the handling and, if you haven’t already guessed, love the rendering. Enjoy them both!

I'm not surprised at your findings, Mike.

The f/2 can be predicted to be a sharper lens than the 1.4 as it is a newer design and more recently released Fujinon, and in my experimences with the X-system for almost 7 years now, the Fujinon X-lenses are only getting better over time.

I think the Fujicrons are a wonderful line of products and fulfill their design brief beautifully, and I am really glad Fujifilm developed them. Let's not forget their original design intent was to provide a set of small, light, fast, compact, and nicely sharp lenses for the X-Pro series and X-E line of cameras; particularly the X-Pro line, where their diameters will not protrude extensively into the optical finder window.

As for the 35/1.4, I remember Zach Arias commenting on it it at last year's Fujifilm Summit; its not the fastest or sharpest lens in the stable, but it had a wonderful and unique character to the image qualitiy that people really love. The take-home lesson here is there is more to lenses than just sharpness, there's contrast, the contrast profile, acutance, etc. that give a particular lens its own individual identity. In fact, I would posit that some of the attributes that folks like about some lenses are not even "measurable", any more, for example, than why a NOS Amperex Orange Label "Bugle Boy" 6922 sounds much tastier than a generic Electro-Harmonix. You can't measure this "magic", but you definitely know it when you hear it.


Yes, as Internet says, the ƒ/2 lens is just ever so slightly sharper and more contrasty

This is an aside, but are people clamouring for more contrast from lenses these days? My photo processing skills are modest at best but I’ve always found it easier to add more contrast than to rein it in.

If you can't make a decision about which one to keep, how are you ever going to make a decision about which one to put in the bag when you go out to shoot? I predict that eventually you will find yourself grabbing for the same lens time after time and your subconscious will make the decision for you.

You're lucky, nice to have choices like that.
Since you are in the rare position of having both 35's - what do you think about the sound, noise of the autofocus on the 35 f1.4? I doubt that it's loud enough to bother people around you when shooting with it, but I don't want to listen to it if it buzzes and clicks and sounds cheap.
any thoughts on that?

I was able to test those two lenses side-by-side also and chose the f2, mostly because of size, price and its more authoritative focusing.
Pixel-peeping made me "feel like" the f2 was sharper, but I wasn't able to see any significant difference in carefully made 11x14 prints.
Sold the f1.4 and bought some other Fuji lenses, so now I have f2 Fujis in 35(e), 50(e) and 75(e), and a 90(e) f2.8.
With my X-E3 and the X-H1 that you made me buy I'm set for a loooong time.

Hmmm ... someone who isn’t really “a 50mm guy” has two 50mm equivalents in the same mount. Must be the Keuka water.

If they are that close, why not keep the smaller, lighter one? Or the one that allows an easy grab and twist of the appropriate rings?

"how could it get better than this? "

F1.4 made me miss focus a lot when shooting children with xt2. F2 is much better in this area. The 'slower' lens is actually a lot faster.

Handling of the f2 is better too.

And sharper as well; with the naked eye you could easily tell the f1.4 wasnt all that sharp at f1.4.

[You'll note that I did recommend the f/2 over the f/1.4. --Mike]

For us Lensbaby users, this extreme hairsplitting is funny.

I tested both but only kept the 1.4 in the end as I try to keep a minimalist kit.
I liked most of the things on the f2 better. Especially the fast focusing. But I could not come to terms with the sharp drop-of of sharpness in the far or extreme corners. Wide open I do not care so much, but it persisted even stopped down. The sharpness drops of more gently on the 1.4. Which I find more pleasing. I actually wish I was a bit less picky and could live with this.
I have heard that focus speed of the 1.4 has improved even further with the x-t3 x-t30 generation of cameras...

The comments by Mike and others regarding the 35 1.4 are similar to my experience with the Nikkor 58 1.4G, and comments I've read online regarding that lens. Sharpness is one attribute of a lens, but one that's easy to measure and market. The craftsmanship and design of the 35(Fuji)/58 (Nikkor) goes beyond mere sharpness to be sure. In that regard I've had the same experience with the 58 that Mike describes with his 35: "When I look at pictures, I find myself thinking how could it get better than this?"

If they're so close, is the overriding factor not the size? For pocketability or maybe optical viewfinder use with X-Pro2? I have the f1.4 which I use as a 'street photography lens' on various XT bodies, and haven't really felt encumbered, even with the lenshood attached. I haven't tried the f2 though, and I admit that I use the 18mm f2.8 on the xPro2 for the form factor on the xPro2, despite nasty rumours about it's poor image quality

I do love the look of the 35 1.4. Mine is very sharp and contrasty on my X-H1. I mostly have been using the 27 2.8 because of the field of view, but the 35 is my most pleasing lens for the "draw." Don't notice much noise either, but like the 27 if you are going to take multiple shots you are better off holding focus with the back button and then shooting several frames rather than refocusing each shot.

It's not the instrument, it's what you choose to do with it...

To me evaluation a lens is mainly about it's images "level of beautifulnes" that counts.
Most reviews scream about sharpness in a situation when 95% of lenses have all the sharpness 95% of us will ever need! And corner sharpness - is it really the corners we want our viewers to end up viewing and their eyes to stop?
Actually, today I have an image (cityscape) on my 27" screenmade with a Jupiter 9, a pre-WW2 Zeiss design "taken over" from Zeiss Jena. It is superb, much detail and contrast at 5.6. Who cares really about less detail in close to black areas and that there is a little softness but still detail in corners.
Level of beautifulness is what counts!

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