XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?

Started Oct 20, 2013 | Discussions
Rob Donchez
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XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
Oct 20, 2013

I'm pretty convinced I am going to make the move to the Fuji X system and have preordered the XE-2 with the 18-55mm kit lens.  I would like to get at least one more lens initially.  Which prime would be considered the must have lens? Thanks.

Zaax
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 20, 2013

Get the Fuji 35 f1.4. It is super fast and equal to a 52MM lens. And the price is reasonable.

Zack S

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Ed B
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 20, 2013

Rob Donchez wrote:

I'm pretty convinced I am going to make the move to the Fuji X system and have preordered the XE-2 with the 18-55mm kit lens. I would like to get at least one more lens initially. Which prime would be considered the must have lens? Thanks.

I think the 35mm is probably the most popular. It IS an excellent lens.

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AlbertInFrance
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Zaax, Oct 20, 2013

Or you might really want the widest angle you can get, so that's the 14mm. Or maybe a reasonable macro capability (2:1, but enough for a lot of stuff) which means the 60mm. Or perhaps the physically smallest lens you can find...

to the OP: Buy what you need. If you don't know what you need yet then don't make expensive guesses.

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Jim Evidon
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 20, 2013

Like Zaax, I recommend the 35mm 1.4. My rational: like you I bought my X-Pro-1 with the 18-55 zoom. It is one great lens far above the usual kit lens quality. Since it covers 18 to 55 admirably, I saw no point to buying the 23, 27 or any other intermediate prime lenses since the zoom covers the range so well. I do have a use for a large aperture prime for low light and the 35 got such high marks by reviewers and forum users, that is what I bought. I never looked back. Great lens. Go for it.

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deednets
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 20, 2013

Rob Donchez wrote:

I'm pretty convinced I am going to make the move to the Fuji X system and have preordered the XE-2 with the 18-55mm kit lens. I would like to get at least one more lens initially. Which prime would be considered the must have lens? Thanks.

18mm is not particularely wide, so if you are into landscapes or cityscapes, then the 14/2.8 would be a great companion! I took the zoom, plus 60/2.4 (hardly used this one) on a trip to Indonesia and actually used the 14mm more than the zoom. Why? Because the excellent optical quality across the frame makes this a very versatile lense.

In contrast to many others here, the 35mm never really appealed to me, a quick check on 10K photos taken with the 18-55 zoom revealed that I would hardly take any pictures around the 50mm (in full frame) mark. The 50mm is neither a wide angle, nor a portrait, but reflects what some refer to as the "natural" aspect ration you get when you look through a piece of glass. This might or might not appeal to you.

Here is a shot taken with the 14mm, opens up the sky without bending the horizon:

Cheers

Deed

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Cartwheels MD
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 20, 2013

What do you want to do?  I have seen really great portraiture work with the 60mm F/2.8 macro.  If you want to take good pictures in low light (I have personally never had a problem with low light, and the 18-55 is the only lens I own currently), get one of the fast primes they offer.  If you want to get into more telephoto work, you should ditch the prime idea and get the 55-200mm zoom.  If you just like primes, sell the 18-55 and get the 35mm and either the 14, 18, 23, or 27 (depends on the focal length you prefer) and then buy the 56 whenever that comes out.

The basic message is that the 18-55 is an fantastic lens, and the enhancement you will experience by purchasing any of the primes within that focal range will be minimal I think.  I have compared the images I get from my 18-55 vs the various prime lenses in the XF lineup, and there really is not much of an advantage to any of them.  There is a bit of barrel distortion at the extreme focal lengths, and the IQ is a bit soft viewed at 100%, but the barrel distortion is not noticeable in real-world usage and when viewed at a lower resolution, there is no difference in IQ for my eyes.

If you have anymore questions, just post.

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57LowRider
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 20, 2013

I'd say 35 for bang-per-buck, although the 14 and 60 are both good ideas for extending your local length selection (and the 60 only costs a bit more than the 35 and is macro too).

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ryan2007
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 20, 2013

Rob Donchez wrote:

I'm pretty convinced I am going to make the move to the Fuji X system and have preordered the XE-2 with the 18-55mm kit lens. I would like to get at least one more lens initially. Which prime would be considered the must have lens? Thanks.

Why do you think you need a Prime lens as a second lens?  A good second lens would be the 55-200 Or the new 10-24 when available. With this you will be covered very well.

The only reason to get a Prime lens initially is for a special need so the 60 mm macro would be useful for many things as a duel purpose lens.  The 14,23,and 35 and nice lenses but you can shoot faster with a zoom.

A prime lens is all that lens will ever be and that makes it limiting.  If you had three or four primes and a zoom that can cover the same thing I know the primes usually stay home.  The only reason now for Primes is because Fuji does not have a selection of zoom lenses compared to other manufactures.

So to answer your question get the 14 prime if you are a landscape shooter, the 23 or 35 for general needs and the 60 mm for portraits and macro

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TThorne
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to AlbertInFrance, Oct 20, 2013

AlbertInFrance wrote:

to the OP: Buy what you need. If you don't know what you need yet then don't make expensive guesses.

Wow! Best advice, right there.

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Rob Donchez
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to TThorne, Oct 20, 2013

All great advice.  I just assumed a fast prime would be a good compliment.  Maybe the best thing I can do is shoot with the kit lens for a month or two and then evaluate my needs from there.

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marike6
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 20, 2013

Rob Donchez wrote:

All great advice. I just assumed a fast prime would be a good compliment. Maybe the best thing I can do is shoot with the kit lens for a month or two and then evaluate my needs from there.

I remember a phrase from a book by photographer John Shaw who said "Never buy a new lens unless you can articulate exactly why you need it".  Makes sense.

That said, there is no way to make a mistake with the 35 f/1.4, it's such a good lens.  It's less expensive than the 23 f/1.4, it's extremely sharp, and it has the nice metal lens hood (one of my favorite parts of the X system).

But whether you buy the 35 f/1.4, the 23 f/1.4 or the 14 f/2.8 will depend on which focal lengths suit the kinds of subjects you shoot more.  The 55-200 could also be an option if you think you might need more reach than the kit lens can provide.  With the 55-200 you'd cover from 27 to 305 in two lenses.

But the large aperture primes are really, really nice. So no, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the primes.  Even the 18 f/2, which might not make a lot of sense for your first X mount prime, is extremely useful for street shooting or low-light work in tight spaces.

I'm waiting for my X-E1 / 18-55 kit for arrive tomorrow, and my most wanted lens is the 35 f/1.4. I've used it in the past, and it is truly an excellent lens, and as close to a no-brainer as you'll find.

Best of luck, Markus

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Joachim Gerstl
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 21, 2013

The one advice regarding don't spend money if you don't have a real need for a specific lens is the best. Not only because you are a student and money usually is tight. It is a good advice in general to buy less things but use these things more often.

I'm a gear head and it took me a fortune to find out that less is more most if the time.

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TThorne
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 21, 2013

Rob Donchez wrote:

All great advice. I just assumed a fast prime would be a good compliment. Maybe the best thing I can do is shoot with the kit lens for a month or two and then evaluate my needs from there.

That is a great idea. If you are not sure what you want/need, take some time and a lot of shots. Then, go through your library and evaluate where most of your shots landed in the zoom range. That will give you an idea of what focal length you might get along with the most.

Also, keep track of the times you wish you could have had more subject isolation, or would have liked a little more shutter speed or a lower ISO. If those start to build up on you, a fast prime in the focal length you determined you use most may be the way to go. If these occasions are few and dar between, then perhaps you really don't need one and maybe you are better off with another zoom to extend your focal range one way or another.

Lastly, borrow one, or rent it. Shooting at large apertures may not mean much to you at all... Until you finally do it. Then you may find something you enjoy that you weren't previously aware of.

Most of all, have fun.

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1drey
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 21, 2013

I got a used 18XF as a second lens to compliment my 18-55. It is compact and unobtrusive. The price was good ($450).

Would love to have a 35mm FF equivalent (my favorite focus distance), but new 23XF is a bit out my current budget and in addition I recently bought a dirt cheap but great IQ EOS M + 22mm (for less than a half of sole 23XF price)  

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beckmarc
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to 1drey, Oct 21, 2013

35mm 1.4

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marike6
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Jim Evidon, Oct 21, 2013

Jim Evidon wrote:

Like Zaax, I recommend the 35mm 1.4. My rational: like you I bought my X-Pro-1 with the 18-55 zoom. It is one great lens far above the usual kit lens quality. Since it covers 18 to 55 admirably, I saw no point to buying the 23, 27 or any other intermediate prime lenses since the zoom covers the range so well. I do have a use for a large aperture prime for low light and the 35 got such high marks by reviewers and forum users, that is what I bought. I never looked back. Great lens. Go for it.

Agree completely.  As good as the 18-55 f/2.8-4 OIS is, it is still f/4 at the long end.  So many handheld situations in interesting light will mean higher ISO settings are necessary.  And while DOF control with the 18-55 is better than most kit lenses, for shallow DOF photography or FF style subject-to-background isolation a large aperture prime is the way to go.

And most kits should probably have at least one large aperture 35mm or 50mm lens.  And for X-mount the 35 f/1.4 is pretty much a no-brainer since it's optically excellent, is considerably less expensive than the 23 f/1.4, and for people on tight budgets, it can even be found on auction sites for considerably less than new price.

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StevenScholten
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Re: XE-2 w/ 18-55m & Which Prime?
In reply to Rob Donchez, Oct 21, 2013

I agree with peope who say, you have to know what you need before you decide.

I have the X-Pro1 with the kit lens and the 35 1.4. Good combo.

The kit lens is pretty awesome ( I've only had it for a few days) good allround: landscape protraits all possible. but maybe not so great indoors/low light. the 35 is a good addition in that respect.

excelent glass and fun to use

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