PIX 2015

XF 90mm f/2 R is on the roadmap

Started Jul 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Re: I'm excited. But I'd be more excited if it was faster
In reply to Caerolle, Jul 26, 2014

Caerolle wrote:

shigzeo ? wrote:

A 135/2,8 FF SLR lens is a budget lens. So is an 85/2 lens (the look of which the 56/1,2 pretty much replicates). But we are spending at least twice the amount on lenses when compared to their equivalents in both DOF and FOV. An 85/1,8 Nikkor costs around 500$ or less. A 50/1,8 costs less than 200$. A 35/2 far less than the 23/1,4 XF lens.

I don't know anything about Nikon lenses, but I am pretty sure that my Canon 85/1.8 is nowhere near as sharp wide open as the Fuji 56/1.2 is. Same goes for my 50/1.4 at 2.0 and the Fuji 35/1.4. And of course the 56/1.2 is far cheaper than the Canon 50/1.2. It doesn't have to cover as large an area, of course, and I think the build quality is better on the Canon (plus it has mechanical manual focus!), but it isn't as sharp wide open, and has focal plain curvature and horrid focus shift. You have to shoot it in the center, and either wide-open or stopped down. I shoot a lot with my 50 at 2.0 - 4.0, and that is worst-case for getting focus with the 50/1.2.

Nikon's new 1,8 series is as sharp/good as the Fujifilm lenses, costs less, and is about the same size. What Fujifilm do way better than Nikon is OOF areas. The 35/1,4 creates more pleasing images than the 50/1,8 (the 50/1,4 is effectively a stop faster than the Fujifilm 35/1,4 on its native ff mount). The Canon 50/1,2 would compare to an XF lens of 35/0,85 or so. If Fujifilm made that lens, it would probably be more expensive than the Canon version.

I'm not as familiar with Canon lenses, but any lens from the same generation that's not a cheap throw-in lens, produces pretty much the same quality of benchmarkable performance. OOF and stuff that's up to taste, OOF for instance, is personal. And like I said, I prefer today's XF lens OOF to Nikon's budget 1,8 series by a long shot.

Of course, Nikon's 1,8 series costs per lens are half of what the XF lenses cost. If Nikon wanted to make lenses with as good of OFF rendering they could, but they leave that for their more expensive, heavier 1,4 FF lenses, a series, when compared on its native mount on FF sensors, for which Fujifilm has no answer.

And the APS-C lenses, because they are wide angle in compared to their FF counter parts (in order to achieve the same FOV), they often are larger.

Of course, this conversation extends far beyond FF and APS-C. I shoot large format lenses on a variety of digital cameras, MF, APS-C, and FF 35mm. These lenses are considered wide angle on their native mounts, but on any of the above-mentioned formats, they are moderate to telephoto lenses.

And an aperture opening of f/5,6 on 6x7 or 4x5 will give a shallow DOF even at wide angle, whereas on APS-C or FF 35mm or even MF, that effect is diminished. It's not the lens that changes, it's the camera. In order to replicate the same look on an APS-C camera, I would need something like a 16/1,4 - 2 lens, which is massive, expensive, and unwieldy.

I think every format has a sweet spot for particular applications. If you don't need much DOF, or really low light performance, a m4/3 will do what you need, likely. If you tons of detail, you use LF, I guess, and join the f/64 club, if you need large DOF. For most of us, APS-C with very fast lenses or 35mm with fairly fast lenses covers a pretty good range of what we need to do, maybe?

The problem I have with small formats is that people think they are getting great deals. No, you don't need razor thin DOF. I agree. I like to shoot a lot with everything in focus. But the point is that we are forced into deeper DOF using smaller formats, and if we want thin DOF, we make do with equivalent f/2 or 1,8 lenses and pay through the nose for them.

M43 users are really  hit hard because the lenses that make an equivalent 2,8 or 3,2 DOF on FF (the primes of which are cheap as chips), cost an arm and a leg in m43. We pay much much more for equivalence in small formats. By and large, smaller formats offer no savings at all, and usually cost much more in the long run. Bodies are 'cheaper' than FF cameras, but only barely (next to their build equivalents in FF dSLRs) but lenses are at least double for the same DOF/FOV.

This is the major reason I wish small format manufacturers would offer choices. No JUST a large 35/1,4 lens at 400-600$ that does more or less what a Nikon 50/1,8 G at 200$ does, or a 56/1,2 at 900$-1200$ that does more or less what a Nikon 85/1,8 G does at 500$. Ditto the 23/1,4 and a 35/2. Ditto the 14/2,8 and 21/4. We pay much more. If you compare equivalent lenses brought out by Nikon from the same era, it's give and take which is better optically. Sometimes Fujifilm, sometimes Nikon.

XF lenses can be more fun to use... but the series has no standard operating procedure. One lens has dOF markings, another does not. Some lenses have aperture rings, others do not. Some lens apertures are marked, others are not. Some are stopped, others are not. Some have focus rings with markings and stops, others do not. None have coupled focus or apertures so the 'feel' of actually moving glass isn't there. Of course no current Nikon lens has an aperture ring, but I would argue that it doesn't matter. All G lenses are operated the exact same way on every Nikon camera. The XF lenses do not have a standard operational procedure, which is a very big shame.

Fujifilm have made a good idea, but every iteration the idea is watered down, or prostituted out. Why isn't there just one interface? Why a clutch mechanism? Why not instant MF override? Why fly by wire? It is all layers of interface to get through. You can't pick up one lens and know instantly how to operate all XF lenses.

I love the idea of the X-Pro 1, and to a lesser extent the X-T1. The X100s is great (although I greatly dislike the fly by wire lens and aperture), but the X series doesn't act like a system, it acts like competing divisions, and that is no good.

It's like Fujifilm put competing engineering teams to work and drew straws as to whose interface would win out for which lens.

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Not because I think they are good, but because I would like to improve (feel free to provide me with feedback):

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