The XF 60MM lens has a bad rap. Reviews around the web will tell you that its sharper than a scorned woman’s tongue, but slower to focus in low light than a politician is in making a decision. I have had the 60mm lens since it was released, but I have not used it that much as I tend to use the 35 and 18mm most of the time. I went to San Fran for christmas and it seemed like a good opportunity to get to know the lens better. I wanted to see if the lens deserved the rap and were there ways to overcome any short comings? So this is not a lens review, just some experiences in using the lens. First let me say I cut my autofocus teeth on sport photography with a Nikon F5 and then the D2Hs, D3 etc. It was a bit of a learning curve at the start but now its second nature. My default approach is to use the AF-ON button to separate the AF from the shutter release button. I tend use AF-C with 9 point dynamic setup. This set up gives you so much control its a godsend, I can pretty much focus and track anything and I seldom have focus failures. Now the X-Pro1 is a different beast and requires a different way of working. For the XF 35MM and 18mm for candid work I use AREA + AF-S with a single focus point. Not only does this mean I can move the focus point around to suit, it reduces focus errors. The most common Auto Focus error, and I suspect why one sees so many people on the internet claim back focus issues, is the failure to fill the focus point(s) with the subject. The AF system will then focus on the point of highest contrast, which may not be on the subject. Using a larger number of focus points with a wide angle lens means a lot of the FOV is fair game for the AF system and the camera decides where to focus, using a single focus point means I stay in control. I only get failures on these two lenses if I can not cover the subject with that AF sensor. Note for landscape I would tend to use hyperfocal focusing biased to give better focus at infinity. This set up works well for the XF 60mm lens in high contrast situations, but in lower contrast situations it causes it to hunt a lot and fail often. There is just not enough data for the AF system to make a decision..a bit like a politician and just as annoying. Fortunately the solution is quite simple, just use more focus points and make sure to fill the frame. You do this by hitting the AF button and rotating the selector dial left to increase the number of focus points. For night time candid photography I have found that rotating it two clicks left from the single focus point setting works really well. During my night shoot in Avignon I only had two focus failures where the camera could not capture focus at all. Both of these were caused by the fact that there was no real contrast in the subject…well it is a contrast based AF system after all. Clearly you still have to make sure the subject covers the focus points or you may be disappointed, but it deals nicely with lower contrast situations. Locking focus is one thing, the speed with which it locks is another. The Fujinon XF 60MM focuses quickly in when there is lots of contrast even in low light like the night shots below, not DSLR speed but fine for candid work and I would have no hesitation in recommending it for that purpose. For sports….well there is always the Nikon. Overall I am really enjoyed using this lens. It does not deserve a bad rep, you just need to find your own rhythm with it…..
See full article and more pictures on wideanglecafe.wordpress.com
Nowadays, camera straps are a big thing in the camera world. And why wouldn’t they be? The world today is about personalization. Everything we buy can be customized to our satisfaction. Some car companies now will even paint your car any color that you would like (for a small fee, of course ). We now have more camera strap companies than ever before, and that is not a bad thing. Some may say it’s a waste to “bling” your camera out but hey, it’s YOUR camera, and you can add whatever you want to it. I remember when I first received my M3, I wanted a leather strap so badly for it. I wanted that old school look to really resonate from my camera. I was 12 then, and at that time, they didn’t really have any third party camera strap companies. Now, they do, and one company that has earn the respect of many photographers is Artisan & Artist. I spoke of Artisan & Artist straps before in my ACAm-280 Kobe Strap review, and today, I will be showing you the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 silk cord.
Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 Woven Silk Cord Build Quality:
One of the reasons for why Artisan & Artist can command such high prices on their straps is because you really get a quality built product. The Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 woven silk cord is no exception to this rule. You’re first greeted with a plain, and simple black box. When you finally take your strap out, you know you bought a quality product because you can see all of the intricate detail, and craftsmanship that goes into making this wonderful strap. The photos of this silk cord do not do it justice; the silk cord looks absolutely awesome in person. Seriously, this is a really nice strap…in my opinion, a better strap than the leather ones that Artisan & Artist makes……
See full review on findingrange.com
When Fuji announced that they were coming out with the X-Pro1, it got many photographers out there excited because finally, there was a digital camera that reminded them of how cameras use to be built. The Leica M digitals evoke the same feelings but they also cost a lot more. The X-Pro1 was a camera that really allowed photographers to take an active role in the photographic process instead of letting the camera do everything for them but for several times less than something like an M9. Furthermore, the X-Pro1 had many of the same attributes of a traditional rangefinder even though it was in the mirrorless class. Many thought that just like a traditional rangefinder, only fixed focal length lenses could be used. Then Fuji surprised us by announcing that they would be creating zoom lenses for the XF Series lineup. The first of these zoom lenses is the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R Lens, which is the lens that I have here today for review, and the lens that came with my X-E1 kit.
Honestly, even I was a bit surprised when I heard the news that Fuji was coming out with zooms for the X-Pro1/X-E1. First off, most people who are going to buy a camera like the X-Pro1 or the X-E1 are more interested in fast primes. I know I was because I grew up with fixed focal lengths. Optically, they’re just better, faster, and most importantly for a rangefinder type camera, smaller. But as my interest grew for the Fuji X-E1, I began looking at the price of the new zoom. If I bought the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R Lens separately, I would have to cough up almost $700 for it. However, if I bought it packaged as a kit with the X-E1, I would only be paying about $400 for it.
The Fuji X-E1 with XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R lens.
I’m pretty traditional in terms of what I like in photographic equipment, and everyone who knows me knows that I can be pretty stuck in my ways. Look at my blog. You’ll see Leica, and Fuji X series cameras, which are all cameras that rely heavily on user input. I’m not trying to rat on anyone else’s preferences; that’s just my style. I like these kinds of cameras because they’re basic, and the controls are manual allowing me to fully concentrate on the photo. I really don’t like electronics getting in my way, and in terms of lenses, I really believe that all you need is a fast prime to take care of 90% of your shots. For me, the ultimate setup to this day is a Leica M9 with a 50 Summilux ASPH. So what made me try out this zoom? Well, for me, the fact that the X-E1 had only an electronic viewfinder bothered me a bit because I like having an OVF. But the features of the X-E1 got me to take the leap, and buy it so I figured that since I’m giving the EVF a chance, I might as well go for the zoom, and see what I’ve been missing. Plus, again, the zoom cost me only an extra $400 if I bought the Fuji X-E1 kit, which to me was a great incentive to give the zoom a chance.
Did I regret my decision? No, not at all. This is one awesome lens, and in my opinion, Fuji shouldn’t label it as a kit lens because that’s very deceiving. I love using this lens. Is it perfect? No but it definitely expands the range, and usefulness of the X-Series system, and gives the X-Series system one more reason to love it.
See full review on findingrange.com
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to test a pre-production copy of this new prime to provide some feedback to Fujifilm. This article will discuss my experience with it plus provide you with some of my initial images taken with this lens.
Before you can use this lens with your X-Pro1 or X-E1, you will need to upgrade the firmware on the camera body (which allows for lens corrections plus enables a few other features). I was supplied with (non-public) beta-firmware from Fujifilm (V2.02 for my X-Pro1) but I suspect when this lens is publicly released, a new firmware version (V2.03 or higher) will be available for download.
Here is a quick summary of this lens:
- excellent build quality and lightweight
- fast f/2.8 aperture
- the AF/MF clutch is a welcome feature to move quickly from AF to MF
- focus ring responds nicely when using manual focus (as opposed to the original focus by wire)
- Depth of Field markings
- Distance Scale markings
- aperture ring feels solid with discreet 1/3 stop settings
- sharp, even wide open
- very little distortion
- surprisingly flare resistant
- the petal lens hood is an improvement over the previous ones made by Fujifilm
- the $US 899.99 price tag might put some people off
- 14mm (21mm equivalent) is very wide and will challenge any photographer’s composition skills
- the focus ring could use more dampening, but that may change in the final production units
See full review on roel.me
It has been a couple of weeks now since I’ve been using the Fuji X-E1 with the 35mm f1.4. This camera is incredible and so is the 35mm f1.4! This lens is super sharp and produces some great colors. The all metal construction has a great build quality. It feels solid, but it is not too heavy. Autofocus is alright, but not comparable to a DSLR of course. The autofocus is crippled by the contrast detection. And since I haven’t had any other X-Mount lens to compare yet, I have no idea if a different lens (i.e. the new 18-55mm) is actually focusing faster. The manual focus is a focus by wire system. So manual focus is smooth, but quite “slow”. You turn it quite long to get from infinity to close focus (In MF you can use the AE-L / AF-L button to initiate AF and then do some manual focus adjustments though). The good thing is that you can actually decide in which direction you want to focus to infinity. In other words either a Nikon or a Canon user can feel right at home….
See more pictures on www.ismono.com
It is the first zoom lens for the Fujifilm X camera system and unfortunately, I did not have a chance to use it as it was not available when I received the X-E1 for testing. At a trade show in Toronto later that month, I did have a very brief opportunity to use the 18-55mm at the Fujifilm booth, but I could only view the images on the camera’s rear LCD screen (and not a calibrated computer monitor) so I did not feel that I had sufficient data to present an informed opinion. I really wanted to see how this lens performed – especially since I have been spoiled by the superb optical quality of the Fujifilm X prime lenses. But I was just going to have to wait a bit longer before I could get my hands on this new zoom lens. As I was heading off for a much needed vacation in the Bahamas in December 2012, Fujifilm sent a production copy which I took with me on this trip. This is not an in depth review as I tend not to be a pixel peeper but I wanted to pass on my thoughts – plus, show you a few sample images…..
Here is a quick summary of this lens:
- excellent build quality
- fast for a variable aperture lens (f/2.8 to f/4)
- focus ring is dampened nicely
- aperture ring feels solid with discreet 1/3 stop settings
- sharp, even wide open
- incredibly sharp when stopped down
- OIS works well
- AF is extremely quiet in operation
- the petal lens hood is a much needed improvement over previous lens hoods
- the $US 699.99 price tag might put some people off
- Linear Motor provides adequate AF speed, but I expected it to be faster
See full article on roel.me
Shot with Fuji X-Pro1 with XF14mm f/2.8R
Fuji had a good display of technology from snappy cams through the X series, to pro TV cameras and lab photo printing machines. I spent about an hour with the Fuji team. looking at the new equipment and asking as many questions as I could.
It looks and feels exactly like the original X100 – only the S gives it away.
All accessories fit the new camera, and they have designed a new leather case with a built-in flap for the battery/SD Card slot. The rear of the camera has a minor change, the RAW button is now the Q button…..
X Series 14mm Lens
I got the chance to fit the 14mm lens to my X-Pro1 and take some test shots at the show – the lens needs new camera firmware to enable all functions, which was unavailable, but it seemed to perform AF just fine. Close Focus – which is extremely close! The 14mm has fast AF, and very little distortion – it feels solid and well made, with smooth AF, and a typical aperture ring just like the previous primes. The additional manual focus scale is a nice feature.
Very happy with the quick test – I will be buying this lens as soon as available – Fuji reps suggested within the next 2 weeks….
See full article on forums.dpreview.com
A few observations that I made during the test:
- While focusing I noticed that the Canon lens tended to show more color fringing from green to red while I was fine tuning the manual focus.
- The Canon was also more difficult to fine tune since the manual focus reacted rather fast and direct to small movements.
- The Fujinon on the other hand actually benefited from the fine graduation of the “focus by wire” setting in this situation at close focusing distances. This was the first time that I actually saw the benefit of this technology.
- The Fuji seemed to have a larger sweet spot of the sharp focus area depth compared to the Canon – even though both were set to f/1.4
I was surprised that the Fuji lens did this good in direct comparison to my favorite Canon lens! But there is one factor in favor of the Fuji lens that also needs to be mentioned:
The X-Pro 1 recognizes the Fuji lens and applies some lens correction inside the JPG engine. The Canon lens does not get this special treatment and shows an uncorrected result from the lens. I could have partially avoided this by shooting in RAW but then the RAW converter of i.e. Adobe Camera RAW could have recognized the Fuji lens as well and add some auto correction. But in the end I wanted to see how the Canon lens compared when I use it on the X-Pro 1 in my normal use and this is what I got. The X-Pro 1 will not internally compensate for the Canon lens no matter what I do.
But if you happen to own some Leica M lenses and purchased the Fuji X-Mount to Leica M-adapter, then the Fuji will internally apply corrections to some of the Leica M lenses (i.e. the SUMMICRON-M 35mmF2 ASPH)
The Canon EF 35mm f1.4 is a fantastic lens on my Canon FF DSLR camera. It has a fast Ultrasonic AF motor and the weight and size match the bigger camera body well. The Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4 R is a fantastic AF lens for the Fuji X-Pro 1 / X-E1 cameras. This comparison has solved the question for me if I could improve the image quality by using the Canon EF 35mm f1.4 instead of the XF 35mm f1.4 for special occasions. The answer for me is “No!” and I can now comfortably leave the bigger Canon 35mm lens attached to my Canon camera.“Bigger is not always better” :)
See full article on fujixfiles.blogspot.de
Fujifilm X-Series cameras X100 and X-Pro 1 are excellent instruments for taking photographs. As all man made things they, however, have their minor quirks. Lens caps are one of them. Original Fuji lens caps are designed badly, especially the rubber ones that attach to metal hoods. Many people have already lost them, because they don’t stay on.
When I had picked the rubber lens cap of my XF35mmF1.4 R lens too many times off the floor I decided something must be done. I checked my camera cupboard and look what I found there! Two spare OP/TECH USA Hood Hats sizes Micro and Mini. I first tried the a bit bigger MINI Hood Hat on my X-Pro 1 with the Fuji rubber lens cap on. Let the photos prove it. It fits perfectly! The Fuji rubber cap stays firmly inside the Mini Hood Hat regardless how many times you take it off or put it on. Because of its size the Hood Hat also gives better protection to your expensive lens than an ordinary lens cap. Problem solved!….
The original Fuji X100 lens cap is also no good. To replace that I bought a 49 mm center pinch lens cap with a cap leash. I always keep the round lens hood on. When I put the OP/TECH MICRO Hood Hat on the lens I found it also was a perfect fit. The cap leash keeps the lens cap and the Hood Hat well together. Even this combo has worked well from the first beginning and protects the lens beautifully. Fujifilm has already announced the launch of Fujifilm X100S, the successor to the Fujifilm X100. The S-CAP will be a great match also with the new Fujifilm X100S, won’t it?
See more pictures on www.simovaisanen.fi