Fuji 18mm f/2 and 35mm f/1.4 (or Zeiss 32mm f/1.8) vs. 23mm f/1.4?

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Ty Madey
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Fuji 18mm f/2 and 35mm f/1.4 (or Zeiss 32mm f/1.8) vs. 23mm f/1.4?
2 months ago

Hi,

I recently acquired a Fuji X-pro1 for a great price and I am looking at starting my kit.  I am splitting hairs over my decision on what to get to start the kit off.

My first idea was to solely get the 23mm f/1.4.  I am well aware that this lens is absolutely fantastic optically as well as mechanically, and I love the depth of field scale for use of zone focusing.  I was very confident in my decision with this lens, but as I started thinking about its size, I got some cold feet, which brings me to my conundrum.

The alternative kit for me would be the 18mm f/2 and either the 35mm f/1.4 or 32mm 1.8 Zeiss lens.  As far as the 18mm goes, I know that it is potentially the weakest optically from the Fuji X lens offerings, and I would use it primarily for landscapes, but I feel that the size could potentially make up for the slightly sub-par IQ.  The thing I am worried about is the high CA present on the lens for landscapes.  And as for the 50mm equivalents, I am drawn slightly more toward the Zeiss lens because from what I have seen in comparisons I am I like its drawing better (and now that it is only $520 I feel it is an incredible bargain).

So the reason I am splitting hairs over this is for the following reasons:

- While street/documentary photography is my primary use, I do a bit of casual portraiture and a decent amount of landscape work.  I have never used a 35mm equiv. for portraits (I come from a 50mm background) and I fear that I will be wanting to get either the 50mm equiv. or even the new(ish) 56mm 1.2 for this sort of work.  I am also a bit (albeit less) concerned that the 35mm is not going to be wide enough to do landscape work.  I understand that a 35mm equiv. is a great one lens does all focal length, but I wonder if the two lens setup fits my photography style better.

I feel my decision would be very easy if either the 18mm was better in the IQ department or, conversely, the 35mm was a bit smaller and closer in size to the 50mm equivelents are.  I very much value smaller form factor for street work.

So, bottom line, do I sacrifice a bit of IQ and the one lens convenience and get the 18mm and 32mm (or 35mm) for a nice travel friendly kit that covers all my corners?  Or do I go for the optimal IQ of the 23mm lens and take a hit on size and possible focal length shortages?  (I worry that I might need to eventually get the 14mm or 32/35/56mm if I go the 23mm lens route).

I know this is a long post, so I really appreciate you guys taking the time to help me out.

Thanks,

Ty

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