Guidance on the 14mm vs the 18mm

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Beat Traveller
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Re: Guidance on the 14mm vs the 18mm
In reply to Robert A, 3 months ago

Robert A wrote:

Just bought an X-E2 to accompany my X100s and give me some lens flexibility. My plan is to start with the 35mm and get either the 14mm or the 18mm. I could use some guidance on which of these two to get. I know the 14mm is a strong prime and the 18mm has its optical weaknesses. This post has to do with selecting the right focal length.

My issue is that the 14mm is probably a bit too wide for the kind of work I do. Generally, I photograph people -- my family, my 5 year old daughter, interior scenes with people, the beach, the ocean. I like documentary photography, although I also like to shoot shapes and patterns, and obscure things as well.

The 23mm on my X100s has been great for this, and I think that this focal length and the 35mm on the X-E2 will be the most used.

When I look online at what other folks do with the 14mm, my first reaction is, "whoa, the foreground is REALLY dominant." Framing the subject is much more difficult with this lens.

The 18mm is much better in this respect. Framing subjects in a documentary sense is possible here, but there are two downsides: When it's not wide enough, your only option is to get a wider lens. The other is the "meh" factor of what is essentially a 28mm (FF equiv) focal length.

I want a system built on primes and I'd like to build it out right. Any comments and suggestions (but please, no flames) would be appreciated.

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Robert A
Fuji X100S
Canon 5D

If you have an immediate sense that the 14mm frames things in a way you don't like, I'd say the 18 is more up your alley. I use it for the kind of scenarios you've outlined and I find it great.

 Beat Traveller's gear list:Beat Traveller's gear list
Nikon D60 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
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