Thoughts on my Fuji 14mm | Karim Haddad

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I’ve had my X-Pro1 for about five months now, and I’d like to think I’ve put it to good use. Up until recently, all I had was the 35mm lens, which I’m very fond of. I’ve been wanting a wider lens for a while, but I was torn between Fuji’s 18mm and the 14mm. The difference in focal length was only one of the reasons I chose the XF 14mm 2.8 R. I first put it to use on my trip to Trinidad & Tobago. My very first shots were taken at Reagan National Airport, but I used it quite a bit throughout the whole trip. When my friends and I got to the beach, I had the 14mm locked in. I wasn’t too pleased with a lot of the shots I got, but one of the main reasons for that was the overcast weather.  At first, I wasn’t sure whether or not the lens or the weather were to blame, but now I’m sure it was the latter. I took many other pictures in Trinidad, mostly on the beach. Unfortunately, I didn’t do any street photography on the entire trip, but when we got the beach in Tobago, I put the 14mm to the test once again. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating as much as I would have liked, but I still think I got some good shots. The 14mm was often my lens of choice during the trip, not because I preferred it to the 35mm, but because I wanted to put it to the test as much as possible. But while I was shooting with it, I sometimes found myself wishing I had the other lens on. The opposite wasn’t true as often. Don’t get me wrong, the 14mm is a great lens, but the 35mm has it beat when it comes to image quality. The larger aperture surely has something to do with it, but that can’t be all. I’m no technical expert when it comes to lenses – I just go by what I see. The shot below was taken a little past 3am. It’s an 8.5 second exposure that was shot wide open at 2.8. I was trying to shoot the moon, and my friends’ shadows got in the way. When we saw the image in the viewfinder, we decided to position ourselves in the shot. The results were pretty cool……..

PROS:

  • nice and wide with very little distortion
  • great bokeh when shooting objects up close
  • distance and depth of field indicator
  • smooth manual focus ring
  • superior image quality
  • solid build and feel
  • great lens hood

CONS:

  • price $900
  • somewhat heavy
  • outside gathers dust very easily
  • not always as sharp as one would like
  • sometimes yields problems with blown highlights and shadows

CONCLUSION: 

This is a great lens, although I’m still not sure that I wouldn’t have been better off with the 18mm. I’m all about the image quality, and it seems the 14mm might lag slightly behind in that regard. But the extra width and other features make up for the slight difference in sharpness between the two lenses. The images shot with the 14mm look great and they’re virtually free of distortion. Manual focusing is very smooth, and the sliding ring that reveals a distance and depth-of-field indicator is a very useful feature. The 35mm is still my preferred lens of the two, and although it is my choice for a walk-around lens, I will be using the 14mm a lot more in the weeks and months ahead. I’m looking forward to seeing what it can do with sweeping landscapes and on the streets. Of course I’ll be sharing the results. I don’t think I’ll be buying anymore lenses anytime soon.

See more on blog.karimhaddad.com

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