evandijken: But that price...!!
Clint, you get a spare camera for free with the 23mm f2 lens…
I have it, and X-Pro1 with 14, 35 and 55-200mm lenses.
makofoto: So from reading the review and seeing the sample shots @ 100% I now wish they had produced a smaller/lighter 23 mm F2.0 ... oh well
True, buy the 23mm f2, and get the camera free… I got the X100s to complement my X-Pro1 & 14, 35 and 55-200mm lenses, fills the gap in focal length and doubles as a spare camera.
AbrasiveReducer: Like (almost) all Fuji lenses it's obviously excellent. But if I was that excited about a 35mm lens to spend this much, I'd just get the X100. I don't dispute that 35mm is a great general purpose focal length but for portraits and out of focus backgrounds? To each his own.
I have the X-Pro1 with 14, 35 and 55-200mm Fujinon lenses. But no, 23 mm, important mid-wide focal length, is not missing: I have the X100s as a spare body, and I got the excellent 23 f2 free… Same sensor, same IQ. So I also think that the X100s is the best alternative to this new lens. One stop slower, but you get a camera free...
Chris2210: I'm loving my EM1, but I'm with you - the only thing bad I can think about this lens is that Sigma are not making an equivalent for m4/3 [which arguably needs it even more for fine DoF control].
I've left APSc behind [although I'm still hanging on to my 5DII], but this lens is a god-send to any serious shooter still into the format. I don't think APSc offers enough of an advantage over m4/3 to justify its size/weight, but large as this lens is, it does help to alter that matrix somewhat.
M4/3 is still the better choice for me, but if you APSc people ask me where the equivalent of this lens is for the smaller system [and of course it would have to be both wider and faster] there is no answer...
True in the way that deep DOF requires small lens opening which brings diffraction. Low light on the other hand is not an obstacle to good IQ if you can expose long enough with low ISO. Which is possible only with static subjects, even stars move too fast to use low ISO.
bigdaddave: Yes I'm sure it's very nice and fun to use, but even that one picture of the dark haired woman shows the camera's severe limitation, a fixed semi-wideangle. It's nowhere near the best focal length for that shot and is already distorting her image
Quite how you can all blub over a camera with such limitation in 2013 is beyond me.
Why do professional auto mechanics have full sets of wrenches in their toolbox, when bigdaddave manages perfectly well with just one monkey wrench?
mike kobal: thanks for this nice write up, Mr Brittonthe X100s and GR my absolute fav cameras of this year - getting shots I wouldn't be able to get with a dslrhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j35F9w2D5xc
I perfectly understand what Mike K. means here: using something like X100s puts the photographer into a different state of mind, capable of seeing and doing things he/she would not do with a big DSLR. With D4 & zoom look and act different than with X100s, and people react differently. So the resulting photographs are also different.
thomas2279f: Good write up- how come you haven't review excellent Nikon D4 or the excellent Canon 1d MK X|
"Odds are the potential buyers for Nikon D4 and Canon 1DX cameras know more about what they need etc etc..."
Most buyers of D4 and 1DX are professionals who quite routinely, every a few years, replace their worn out gear with the newest offerings of their chosen brand (replacing the perfectly good lenses also would be too expensive). Thank God these new DSLR bodies always are somewhat better or clearly better than what they are replacing. There is not much need to market new pro cameras to pros, they will buy them when they need them. Marketing is targeted more to the wealthy amateurs, who want to have the "best", no matter what.
Petka: Good choice! I got one right away when they became available to fill the gap in the X-Pro1 lens family (I had 14mm, 35mm and 55-200 at that time) and as a back-up camera for travel projects. Too bad the battery can not be recharged with X-Pro1 charger, though, that is almost the only complaint I have.
Here are some samples from a trip that I could not have done with DSLRs:
Secret, giant monasteries of Eastern Tibet. Shot with X-Pro1 and X100s.
Cont: I also tried to dress a bit like locals, flannel shirt and felt hat etc, so that I would not immediately stick out like a sore thumb. This might have helped me to get through two closed areas without being stopped at the check posts and to avoid being spotted by automatic video & camera surveillance used at every village entrance & exit.
On my Picasa site there are also photos from Jerusalem taken with X-Pro1, there it was also easy to "blend in" (???) with a harmless old camera. 7 days in the old town.
@Gediminas 8: Tibet is a bit difficult area for journalism, Chinese government does not like us wandering around there freely, even not at all (Tibet Autonomous Region is totally closed to journalists). Also those two giant monasteries have often been closed to all foreigners, I was lucky to be able to visit them without any police checks, the hotels there did not register me either, not wanting a visit from the security branch. This just to show the situation and official atmosphere over there. With small cameras I was just an old guy with "old" cameras.
The other part of the equation is the more intimate feel provided with these unobtrusive, quiet and harmless looking Fuji cameras. It is much easier for me to go to places like those and visit peoples tents and shacks with a small "old" camera, than with Nikon D4 & D800e, which are my daily work tools. I also doubt if they would have given me a permission to take pictures in some closed monasteries If I had stormed in with big DSLRs.
Good choice! I got one right away when they became available to fill the gap in the X-Pro1 lens family (I had 14mm, 35mm and 55-200 at that time) and as a back-up camera for travel projects. Too bad the battery can not be recharged with X-Pro1 charger, though, that is almost the only complaint I have.
rfsIII: Here's the most important question of all: When the chrome or black finish wears off on the corners and edges, will there be brass underneath? If not, i t's a no go.
So true. When I got my first Canon F1 in 1980 (?) the first thing I did was sanding the corners of the prism box...
samhain: All these lenses for a body that's still on it's 1st generation. That's pretty awesome. It really shows Fuji's commitment to the X system. Kind of makes me feel bad for Sony/NEX shooters.
I can't wait to see the collection of lenses this system will have by the 3rd generation. Go Fuji go!
Usually new generations do perform better. What is amazing is that even the first generation is awesome.
Gesture: I remember when a 20MB external hard drive was a big deal!
When buying my first PC in early eighties I could choose either a 10 MB or 20MB HDD, I went all the way and got the 20 MB version and Hercules graphics card & 13" amber monitor!
Jonathan Parker Smith junior: A lot complaints about the price of this camera, considering the quality, massive feature set and ergonomics, it's seems to me to be very reasonably priced. People seem to baulk at the price because of the sensor size, but sensor size is only a small part of the story. Ming Thein decided to put this outrageously expensive camera ;) to the test. He put the camera under a hot shower for 10 minutes, sitting in an inch of water, the camera is on and he operated it intermittently; I would not do this with my 5d mk2 :) Here is a link to a photo of said test. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mingthein/9667151701/
Lousy DOF?, it has more DOF than any "full frame" or even midsize camera...
Daniel from Bavaria: Finally!Ok, a bit on the expensive side, but if it is near to perfect I am fine with it.
And yes, I know several people not buying into the Fuji System because that lens was missing - some of them are lost now.
For this kind of system and the adressed clients, the 35mm equiv. is the most important lens, if not the only one which counts.
Now bring fast and in sufficient quantity into the shops and everything is fine.
P.S. And please do it right with the apperture-ring, so that we can avoid discussions as we had them on the 14mm lens (too loose etc.)
New Sigma 35mm f/1.4 in Nikon mount is less than $1000 I believe... And it is one of the sharpest lens ever available for FF cameras.
JackM: Wonderful news. Fuji really "gets it". However I'll caution anyone about buying this for blurred backgrounds. I owned a 35/1.4 on Full Frame for about a year. It doesn't blur the bg as much as you might think. If you can get close to your subject it will blur the bg quite a bit, but at typical shooting distances it's not so dramatic. The speed is the bigger story here. Great looking lens though. Very lustworthy.
You can not really get much shallow DOF effects with wide-angles, except at very close focus. I do not think that would be the main reason for most people to by this lens. More lens speed is often nice to have in low light situations, even if the low light performance is as good as it is with Fuji. With better high ISO performance and faster lenses we seem to find darker and darker places to photograph in...
The mechanical manual focus coupling certainly makes MF more precise and gives a solid feel, but my experiences with the same system in 14mm lens was not 100% joy only: the focus ring has often moved to MF position inadvertently when changing lenses (pushed back when placed in the camera bag). This has meant maybe a few dozen missed shots, camera (and me) on AF, lens on manual. After a few times I learned to push the focus ring forward every time after attaching the 14mm on XPro1, just in case. Some kind of lock would be nice.
About lens sizes: f/1.4 23 lens for APS-C (or any other smaller than 135 format) can not be much smaller than a same focal length lens for FF, the maximum aperture dictates the smallest possible lens diameter, no matter what the image circle is. Slightly smaller, yes, because smaller image circle means less image corrections = less lenses and lens groups. This mostly makes the length of the lens shorter, not so much smaller diameter.
sproketholes: Im excited about this lens. If their 35/1.4 is anything to go by and the rave reviews of the 14/2.8 then I have little doubt that this thing will be the Summilux ASPH of the Fuji X series. I am still blown away by the 18/2 ~sharp at every aperture..
If this 23mm is like the 14mm and 35mm, you are going to be pleasantly surprised: 18mm is merely good compared to those excellent lenses.
Stefan M: Sorry. Can't hear it anymore. There is no such thing as equivalent to APS/FF/m43...whatever. Hence this lens is exclusively for APS it's even more absurd talking about any FF equivalency. A 18-35mm F1.8 lens will always be a 18-35mm F1.8 lens.
I guess a lot of people will enjoy this lens.
View angle would be a perfect measure of that. 60 degree lens would be the same on a smartphone, APS-C, 135, 6x7, 4x5, whatever.
At least in fixed lens cameras the lens should be described with picture angles like 80-4 diagonal degrees for a 20x zoom. Then the buyer would know exactly what the zoom range is no matter what the sensor size and the actual focal lengths are. People would get used to this quite fast, I think.
I shoot with APS-C and so called FF cameras and used to shoot also 120 film with several different film gate sizes, so I need not convert focal lengths to any equivalencies. It also seems that many are quite ignorant about the basic optical laws when doing the useless and often misleading/mistaken equivalency conversions.
And yes: 4x5" is the real "full frame", 135 is a miniature camera, originally made to use motion picture film...