Fujifilm Xpro-1 + 35/1.4 + 18/2.0 + 60/2.4 vs Canon 6D + 50/1.4 + 28/1.8 + 85/1.8

Started Jan 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: Fujifilm Xpro-1 + 35/1.4 + 18/2.0 + 60/2.4 vs Canon 6D + 50/1.4 + 28/1.8 + 85/1.8
In reply to wyldberi, Jan 12, 2014

I have never used an x pro-1 so maybe you will take this with a grain of salt.  I do own a Canon 6D and several lenses, and I have borrowed my brother's x100s to test against my Canon gear.  I primarily shoot at a 35mm focal length so the x100s has appealed to me for some time.

On my Canon I shoot 35mm with the Sigma 1.4 lens.  This lens is INSANELY sharp.  Sharper wide open than the Canon 50mm 1.4 is at any aperture (I own both and have done some semi-scientific tests that were very eye opening).  I did some controlled shooting in my house with the Canon 6D and the Sigma 35mm 1.4 vs the x100s and the results were pretty interesting.  I shot both cameras at f2 and f5.6 (wide open for the Fuji and at a sweet spot for each lens), and at ISO 1600, 3200 and 6400.

The Canon/Sigma pairing was sharper and had less noise at f2/ISO 6400 than the Fuji had at f5.6/3200.  The 6D's noise at 6400 is very negligible, and if you are exposing to the right and capturing as much data as possible, is still good and very usable at 12,800.

The Fuji was usable at 6400 but that is stretching it a bit, and you'd better get a properly exposed shot at 6400 because any boosting of exposure in post will make it pretty noisy.

Prior to testing, I was hoping that the Fuji would be within a stop in terms of noise performance, and reasonably close in sharpness/resolving power compared to the 6D.  To my eyes, the Fuji is *NOT* within a stop of noise performance to the 6D and sharpness was very good but not as good as the Sigma 1.4 and not super sharp wide open.  I guess it was wishful thinking to hope that the Fuji could perform as well as the 6D in noise performance (which is on par with or perhaps slightly surpassing the 5dIII, which was the king of low light performance when it came out) or the Sigma 1.4 in sharpness (which dxo has labeled as the sharpest 35mm lens it has ever tested).  I was dying to sell my big heavy Canon gear and my big Kata sling/back pack that weighs 15 pounds when it's all loaded up to  buy an x100s and x-pro/x-e body, a couple of lenses and a think tank retrospective 7.  I was going to save 10 pounds on my back, and be much more comfortable (physically and mentally) and inconspicuous shooting street shots in my hometown of Chicago (not the friendliest street shooting city).

I came away from the comparison a little disappointed that I didn't immediately want to sell my Canon gear.  That being said, my gear wish list shifted from a bunch of new L glass to a bunch of Fuji gear.  On the x100s, the built in lens is very sharp, just not wide open.  The sensor resolves better, and has better noise performance than my old T3i did, and that same sensor is still in the 7D that many pros use and still costs $1,500 all these years later.  What I believe I will gain in buying the x100s in terms of weight saving, ergonomics, aesthetics, inconspicuousness and that intangible connection that just makes you want to shoot, I expect to outweigh the difference in image quality between Fuji and Canon.  At the same time, knowing that my Canon has better overall IQ in both resolving power and noise, I can't quite bring myself to trade it all in.

The quality of the 23mm f2 lens in the x100s is easily on par with or better than the Canon 35mm f2 (used to have that), and 50mm 1.4.  It is sharper than either wide open and at least as sharp stopped down.  It was not quite as sharp wide open as the 85mm 1.8 (which I used to own) but pretty close stopped down.  This is not based on any side by side testing, just my experience of using those Canon lenses quite a bit.  I would expect, based on the x100s lens, and the generally very positive reviews of the Fuji stand alone lenses that those would perform at least as good, if not better than the Canon, non-L lenses you are referring to, but not as well as an L lens.

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