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XF lenses - 18mm F2, 35mm F1.4, 60mm F2.4 macro

The X-Pro1's lenses are designated 'XF', and the three initial offerings are shown below - from left to right the 18mm F2, 35mm F1.4 and 60mm F2.4 Macro (which offers 0.5x magnification). The 18mm lens in particular features an unusually short backfocus design, with a large-diameter rear element that protrudes behind the rear of the mount.

All three of these lenses offer an impressive blend of large maximum aperture and relatively compact size; even the largest is smaller than Sony's Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 24mm F1.8 for the NEX system, and the 35mm F1.4 is slightly shorter than Panasonic's Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 despite covering the larger APS-C sensor. All of the lenses include circular aperture diaphragms for attractive rendition of out-of-focus backgrounds. According the Fujifilm, even the edge shape of the blades has been optimized for the best possible image quality, being rounded rather than simply stamped from a flat sheet of metal.

Lens hoods

The lenses all come with finely-crafted metal hoods - those for the 18mm and 35mm are rectangular, while the 60mm gets a deep circular hood. Unfortunately, though, practicality seems to have taken something if a back seat in their design; the 60mm's hood is so deep that it's near-impossible to change the lens with the hood reversed, and as the front element is deeply-recessed anyway, we ended up always leaving it at home (which rather negates the point of having one).

The XF lenses with their hoods attached, from left to right 18mm F2, 35mm F1.4 and 60mm F2.4 Macro. Because those for the 18mm and 35mm can't be reversed, they take up additional space in your bag.

All three hoods use the same bayonet fitting so can be mounted on any of the lenses. Interestingly the 35mm hood doesn't vignette on the 18mm.

The rectangular hoods, meanwhile, can't be used with the standard circular clip-on lens caps and require flexible push-on caps instead, which continually fall off. These hoods also intrude on the lower corner of the optical viewfinder notably more than the vented variety (as used by the X100). None of the hoods are particularly well-suited for use with polarising filters either (arguably the only type of lens filter that still makes perfect sense to use with digital).

The X-Pro1 with its three lenses and hoods as you'd pack them up to transport. The rectangular hoods for the 18m and 35mm add bulk for carrying and can't be used with the normal clip caps, while the 60mm's hood is deeply impractical.

Lens handling

The X-Pro1's lenses are supposed to look just like old manual focus designs, but they handle very differently. The electronically-coupled manual focus rings rotate absolutely freely with no end stops, and therefore have no distance or depth of field scales (which have moved into the viewfinder). The unusually-wide aperture rings have detents at one-third stop intervals, and click slightly more-positively at the marked full-stop positions; however none of these are particularly firm. This makes for quick handling while shooting, but does mean that the aperture is easy to change accidentally.

Unusually the barrels are scalloped-in towards the mount, presumably for aesthetic reasons; most other small lenses on the market have ridged grips here. Unfortunately this means that the only fixed point on the barrel you can really grip when changing lenses is the smooth, slim ring between the focus and aperture rings; on the 18mm F2, this is less than 5mm wide. It's therefore all-too-easy to rotate the aperture ring when changing lenses, and find yourself inadvertently shooting at the wrong setting. We'd like to see Fujifilm sacrifice a bit of style for substance in future, and provide enough fixed barrel area such that you can easily change lenses without also changing the aperture.

Lens specifications

 
XF 18mm F2 R
XF 35mm F1.4 R
XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro
 Focal Length  18mm  35mm  60mm
 35mm-equiv FL  27mm  53mm  91mm
 Angle of View  76.5°  44.2°  26.6°
 Filter thread  52mm  52mm  39mm
 Lens construction  • 8 elements/7 groups
 • 2 aspheric elements
 • 8 elements/6 groups
 • 1 aspheric element
 • 10 elements/8 groups
 • 1 aspheric element
 • 1 abnormal dispersion element
 Max aperture  F2.0  F1.4  F2.4
 Min aperture  F16  F16  F22
 Aperture control  • 7 blades (rounded)
 • 1/3 EV steps
 • 7 blades (rounded)
 • 1/3 EV steps
 • 9 blades (rounded)
 • 1/3 EV steps
 Minimum focus  0.18m  0.28m  0.27m
 Max. magnification  0.14x  0.17x  0.5x
 Dimensions (D x L)  64.5mm x 40.6mm
 (2.5" x 1.6")
 65mm x 54.9mm
 (2.5" x 2.2")
 64.1mm x 70.9mm
 (2.5" x 2.8")
 Weight  116g (4.1oz)  187g (6.6oz)  215g (7.6 oz)

Lens roadmap

Fujifilm has published a roadmap for lenses it plans to release by Spring 2013, including three image-stabilised zooms, an ultrawide prime, a 'pancake' normal, and an 85mm-equivalent F1.4 'portrait lens'. It's an interesting list that's intended to show the company's commitment to building a complete, versatile system. The full list is as follows:

Lens
Type
35mm-equiv FL
Arrival date
 14mm F2.8  Wideangle prime  21mm  Autumn 2012
 18-55mm F2.8-4 OIS  Standard zoom  27-83mm  Autumn 2012
 27mm F2.8  Pancake prime  41mm  Spring 2013
 23mm F1.4  Semi-wide prime  35mm  Spring 2013
 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 OIS  Telephoto zoom  83-300mm  Spring 2013
 56mm F1.4  Short tele prime  84mm  Spring 2013
 10-24mm F4 OIS  Wideangle zoom  15-36mm  Spring 2013

Use of third party lenses with adapters

One of the great advantages of mirrorless cameras is their ability to utilise a vast range of lenses via mount adapters, including top-quality Leica M-mount primes and the huge number of 'orphaned' manual focus lenses from obsolete film camera systems. Fujifilm is making a very clever adapter for Leica M-mount lenses, and third-party adapters are available in a plethora of mounts for both current (Leica M, Nikon F, Pentax K) and older systems (Leica L39, Canon FD, Contax Yashica, Minolta MD, Olympus OM, etc.). It's also possible to find adapters on eBay for electronic lens mounts such as Canon EF, but these lenses really won't work well on the X-Pro1 as no powered functions are available - including aperture setting and image stabilization.

The X-Pro1 with three Olympus OM Zuiko lenses from the 1970s that are all still easy to find today: from left to right, 50mm F1.4, 135mm F3.5 and 24mm F2.8

The use of adapters greatly expands the range of lenses that can be used with the camera beyond the initial three native offerings, especially for photographers who already have a collection of old manual focus lenses gathering dust in the closet. To use them, you first have to enable the obtusely-named 'Shoot without lens' setting in the menu. Naturally adapted lenses offer no automatic functions, so both focus and aperture have to be set manually. Of course, it should go without saying that best practice is normally to focus the lens wide open, then stop down to the desired aperture (although with older fast primes you may get find it easiest to focus with the aperture closed down a stop).

If you wish to use adapted lenses then you'll need to download and install Firmware 1.1, which offers important refinements over previous versions. When using Fujifilm's own Leica M-mount adaptor it automatically turns off the now-redundant distance scale in the viewfinder, and enables user-set optical correction profiles to be stored for to up to six lenses (covering distortion, colour shading and vignetting). These functions aren't available with third-party adapters, but FW 1.10 still offers improvements with the frameline displays.

The X-Pro1 has a menu option to set the focal length of the lens you're using. This is used both to configure the viewfinder, and to fill-in the EXIF data. The camera offers four presets corresponding to the most popular film wideangles - 21mm, 24mm, 28mm and 35mm - and two further lens memories which can be set freely (with 50mm and 75mm as the defaults).

With Firmware version 1.1 this screen is renamed 'Mount Adaptor Setting'

When using the optical viewfinder with adapted lenses, the X-Pro1 shows a pair of framelines for infinity focus (in white) and parallax-corrected for 1m (in blue). The viewfinder switches up the magnification automatically when a focal length of 35mm or longer is selected. If the set focal length is longer than 60mm then the OVF displays the infinity frameline in red, but strangely it's always sized for a 60mm lens, which can easily be misleading. In this case you really need to switch over to the EVF.

The focus mode switch needs to be manually set to M; if it's at S or C then the viewfinder display will behave as if an AF lens is attached, and appear to confirm focus on a half-press of the shutter regardless of whether the subject is in-focus or not. During daylight shooting, though, there's a much bigger problem; the information overlay doesn't gain up properly and is essentially invisible, which isn't much good for anything.

If you're prepared to use the electronic viewfinder, though, and don't mind continually flicking the focus mode switch between AF-S and M when changing over from native lenses, then the X-Pro1 works quite well with manual lenses. Note though that it doesn't offer any manual focus aid other than magnified view in the EVF, and most notably there's no 'Focus Peaking' display (that Sony, Pentax and Ricoh users tend to appreciate). Overall, it's probably not a body we'd buy right now for the express purpose of using manual lenses (as opposed to using them to fill in the gaps in its native range); instead we'd go for something like the Ricoh GXR Mount A12 or Sony Alpha NEX-5N.

Fujifilm M-mount adapter

Fujifilm's own M-mount adapter is unique in having electronic contacts that tell the camera when it's attached. It has two buttons on its rim, one being the lens release while the other brings up the camera's 'Mount Adaptor Settings' screen. However the contacts restrict the diameter of the opening at the rear of adapter, meaning that lenses with large rear elements won't physically fit.

This is Fujifilm's own adapter that allows use of Leica M-mount lenses on the X-Pro1. Simpler 3rd-party versions don't have the electronic contacts, and therefore don't bring up the lens corrections options. Here's the X-Pro1 with an old collapsible Leica Elmar 50mm 1:2.8. Here you can also clearly see the button that brings up the adaptor settings menu.

The adapter includes a dual-function plastic gauge, which you can see by clicking-through on the image above. This allows you to check not only that the lens doesn't protrude too far into the body, but also that the diameter of the rear element won't clash with the contacts (something that won't trouble simpler third-party adapters).  

Known incompatibilities include certain 21mm ultrawideangles and fast 35mm primes. However, the lens corrections menu (whose behaviour is improved with X-Pro1 Firmware v1.11) is only available with the Fujifilm adapter, so it appears to be impossible to set corrections for these lenses, even if you can get them to mount.

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Fujifilm X-Pro1

Comments

Total comments: 3
optofonik
By optofonik (1 week ago)

What is the seemingly insurmountable problem with studying a traditional 35mm film rangefinder and re-engineering it into an equally capable digital rangefinder instead of trying to re-invent the wheel? The idea that you cannot accurately use manual focus is absurd. The whole focusing by wire thing is absurd. Again, why is everyone trying to re-invent the wheel?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
paul simon king
By paul simon king (1 month ago)

looking at these RAW examples the fuji x Pro looks softer nad less saturated than the Fuji X100s

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Dave Chilvers
By Dave Chilvers (2 months ago)

After using one for a while and with the latest firmware I find the camera to be quite superb. Lets face it, most of us are looking for IQ firstly and has been said in the review lenses like the 35 1.4 are second to none in my book.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 3