Well, I’ve hinted, and I’ve posted some images taken with this beast, so I suppose I should give it a quick review thingy. Note that this isn’t a proper technical review – you’ll find those with all the resolution charts you could hope for on all the usual sites and even in print magazines. No, this is just about my early impressions of my latest X-mount lens.
I’d been contemplating getting this lens for a while. If it had been somewhat cheaper, I’d have had no hesitation at all, as one thing I have missed since the move from Canon to Fuji was a nicely flexible wide-angle lens. Now I’ve got that nifty little Samyang 8mm Fisheye, which is fun but not really what’s needed for every job. And I’ve got the excellent Fuji 14mm prime, which I have to confess to not using as much as I thought I might. What I really wanted was something that would give a nicely clear wide angle view over a moderate range. And in the course of Fuji’s lens development, they duly provided one, albeit at a relatively high price. But before we moan about prices, it’s worth remembering that Fuji make very high quality lenses. It’s also worth mentioning that when new lenses are produced, Fuji provide firmware for the cameras which ensures they’ll do Clever Things with them, like correcting the distortion that’s generally regarded as the consequence of using a wide-angle lens. Another point is that unlike a lot of zoom lenses, this one maintains the maximum aperture of f/4 throughout the zoom range, which goes some way to explaining its size and weight. And it comes with Fuji’s excellent image stabilisation, which is always good to have.
So, yeah, I bought one. And I’ve brought it on holiday with me along with my “standard” 18-55mm and the 55-200mm, so I’m nicely equipped for most eventualities.
So, how does it perform. Here’s another version of that view of the Millennium Centre, where I’ve had a bit less fun with the colours:
|Shutter speed|| 1/550s|
|Focal length|| 10mm|
|Taken|| 12:36, 24 June, 2014 |
That’s a quite large building, and normally getting the whole of the front in the frame involves being further away, which introduces problems with streetlamps getting in the way. There’s some obvious distortion towards the edges, but nothing too extreme.
Or how about this vertical view of the water tower:
|Shutter speed|| 1/1500s|
|Focal length|| 17.4mm|
|Taken|| 12:37, 24 June, 2014 |
That was taken roughly at mid-point of the lens’s zoom range, and is a JPG just as it came out of the camera, other than being resized and watermarked by Lightroom. I could have done this one at the short end of the 18-55mm, but as I had the wide lens on, I went with it.
Autofocus has been working well with this lens on the X-T1.
While we tend to think of wide-angle lenses as being best suited for landscapes, they can have interesting uses for close-up work. I spotted this flower in the railings of St John’s Church in Cardiff, and just had to get it in close-up. Well, I could have switched lenses, but instead I turned macro mode on, zoomed to 24mm, set the aperture to a nicely wide f/4 and got this:
|Shutter speed|| 1/320s|
|Focal length|| 24mm|
|Taken|| 11:56, 24 June, 2014 |
So, a nicely versatile lens which is well worth adding to your collection if you’re a Fuji X user. I’ll need to play with it a bit more, but I’m already considering selling the 14mm lens on the quite sensible grounds that it doesn’t get used enough.
Still to come – that much longer telephoto that’s due later in the year. Now if Fuji can really give us 400mm with a decent aperture and image stabilisation, I’ll be very happy to give them more money…
 Review got lost in the tuitverse
 Review went looking for the one on the fisheye. Neither have been seen since.