Which lens for travel and landscape ?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
jonikon Veteran Member • Posts: 7,353
Re: Which lens for travel and landscape ?

I agree with you that the wider end of the 18-55 f2.8-4 is disappointing in many respects. The rendering is odd with stretched details toward the borders and odd depth of field results which I have never experienced with any other lens. On top of all that, my copy of that lens is also decentered so at 18mm and f2.8 the left side is mush. I have owned many standard zooms in several different brands over the last 30 years and the Fujinon XF18-55 f2.8-4 is the most disappointing of them all. I would have returned it had I bought it new, but that was not an option for me with the used sale with no returns. . I have to question some of the good reviews for this lens after my experience with this lens.
Since you are on a budget, I recommend the XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II instead. They are very reasonably priced used and even better if you can still find one new. It was this lens I used most on my trip to Calgary and Banff Canada two years ago and I was pleased with the results. (I left the 18-55 at home). Lenstip.com is typically a harsh judge of lenses, but they had good things to say about this hidden gem of a Fujinon lens as it stated it is " sensibly sharp no matter what focal length you employ"... with no slip-ups".. My copy of the XC 16-50mm is a good one with no signs of decentering and sharper at the edges at 16mm f3.5 than my 18-55 at 18mm f8. The XC 16-50 was my first Fujinon lens and has served me well over the last four years.

I also have a good copy of the Samyang 12mm f2.0 which is reasonably sharp across the frame at f2.8 and very sharp at f8. Although I have have gotten some excellent landscape images with the 12mm I can't recommend it because it is very prone to flaring in the sun and I find 12mm too wide for most landscapes compositions. Distortion is also an issue with the Samyang which is not corrected by the camera, ( although the vignetting is). I rarely use it so I won't be keeping the Samyang 12mm.

After reading a lot of Fujinon lens reviews and user opinions as well as my own experience in shooting landscapes my number one choice for a zoom lens would be the XF 16-55mm ƒ/2.8 R LM WR. And if I were to purchase only one prime lens lens instead, it would be the XF 16mm f2.8 which would make for a very lightweight and small but capable camera.
Well that's my two cents worth of advice. I hope you find something that works for you.

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