Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

Started Mar 13, 2014 | Questions thread
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Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?
In reply to TravelLight, Mar 14, 2014

TravelLight wrote:

wyldberi wrote:

Like you, I wouldn't put the 56mm to enough use to make it worth the expense. The 60mm on sale for $400 is way more attractive. Team it with the Raynox DCR-250 and you'll have a decent 1:1 ratio macro lens.

Thanks! I have a related question regarding DCR-250. According to the company website , the "universal adapter" is only compatible with filter size 52-67mm. The 60mm has a filter size of 39mm. How do they fit? Also, what's the difference between mounting thread (43mm) and front filter thread (49mm)? I have never done macro photography (except for the macro scene on a P&S) so pardon the silly noob question!

I haven't used the new Fuji 23mm much yet; the weather's been too cold and inclement to induce me to get me out use it. But I do know this, I'll be using the little 27mm lens more than 23mm; it's good enough to turn the X-E1 into an everyday carry camera, great for street shooting. Other than the f/1.4 aperture, my XF-23mm may have become relegated to low-light photography.

At $200, the XF27mm lens is a steal and worth every penny of it.

I thought about the 27mm, the price is indeed attractive! I need to cool down before being taken over completely by GAS!

There are lots of different things that go into lens design. With the 56mm and 60mm, Fuji created two very different lenses that have very similar focal lengths. The 56mm lens is a highly specialized tool optimized for taking portraits. It can be used as a short telephoto lens for other subjects, but the value to be found in the lens lies in using it for its intended use.

The 60mm lens can also be used as a short telephoto lens. I know people who have been using this lens to take portraits, and they swear by it for that use. But the 60mm is optimized to be used as a macro lens, and that involves the focus mechanism that can be adjusted in very small increments. This slows the AF function down, but macro photography traditionally relies on a manual focus technique. But for some reason(s) I don't know, Fuji limited the use of the 60mm by restricting it to a 2:1 magnification ratio, where classic macro lenses are designed to provide a 1:1 factor.

I don't own the 60mm lens yet. But at the discounted price currently in effect, I'm seriously considering doing so.

The Raynox adaptor is a compound lens element used for magnifying images a lens records. It is superior to the simple diopter filters sold by Tiffen and Hoya. It resembles a telescope eyepiece. Like regular photographic lenses, the front bezel is threaded to accept standard filters; that thread size is 49mm. Unlike a photographic lens, instead of a mounting flange, the back end of the barrel is threaded at 43mm. This screws into the universal adaptor/holder; though I'm wondering if you might be able to screw it directly onto a lens with the appropriate filter thread size without using the universal adaptor.

The universal adaptor is made of plastic. It works in a similar fashion to standard front lens caps: squeeze the pinch mechanism to retract the locking mechanism and fit the adaptor into place; release the pinch mechanism, and the spring forces the two gripping tabs to engage the threaded filter ring on the lens. This mechanism will work with anything between 52mm and 67mm.

To use the universal adaptor on the 60mm Fuji lens, you'll need to install a 39mm to 58mm, or 39mm to 62mm filter step up ring on the lens. These two sizes would match the 18-55mm & 55-200mm zoom lenses, to permit you to use the polarizer or neutral density filters for those lenses with your 60mm lens as well.

I'm thinking I might just buy an extra 43mm step of ring and forego the plastic universal adaptor.

Raynox states the best results are obtained at the lens' longest focal length. I assume this refers to using the magnification lens on a zoom lens. I bought that with the intention of carrying it around for use with my 27mm pancake lens. I've seen photo examples of it used with this lens, and the results were impressive for a macro lens setup that cost me less than $300. For the 60mm lens, I can't believe the results would be any less impressive.

The lens also comes with really funky front and rear "lens caps." If you buy it, you might want to buy a good standard 49mm front lens pinch cap, and a 43mm filter "stack cap."

I bought my Ranox from Lensmate.com. It was considerably less expensive there than at B&H Photo or any other internet retailer I'm aware of.

And I'm going to repeat my encouragement to order the 27mm lens while it's on sale, especially if you decide not to get the 23mm at this time. Other lens sales will come eventually, but the $250 discount may not be repeated. Then again, Fuji may drop the price on the Chinese made 27mm lens permanently, but most likely to something like $350, if they do.

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