Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.

Started Apr 21, 2013 | Discussions
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bigpigbig Senior Member • Posts: 1,721
Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.
2

It is no surprise that Fuji started with 18mm, 35mm, 60 mm primes. Next came the 18-55mm zoom and then the 14mm prime. All these lenses are what make this camera special. Why? Because with short focal lengths, you can have a fast lens without it being HUGE. F-number=Focal Length / Diameter of the aperture. The apertures of the primes wide open are; 35--25mm, 60--25mm, 18--9mm, 14--5mm. These maximum aperture sizes (less than 25mm)  allowed the lenses to be kept small and, in my opinion, well balanced on the X-Pro1 and XE1 bodies.

The next two lenses in the lineup seem less "ideal" in size and weight. The 56mm f1.2 will need a 47mm maximum aperture. Almost double the largest to date. The 55-200mm 3.5-4.8 will need a 42mm aperture for the long end. At some point, the lens becomes so big and heavy that it defeats the purpose of having a small lightweight mirrorless system.

For example, in order to have a lens that would perform equivalent to a 200mm f2 would need to be an impossibly huge 135mm f1.4 with a diameter of almost 10cm.

Don't get me wrong, I am into this system with both feet. I love the handling and quality I am getting from a lightweight system. I have the 14, 35 and 18-55, as well as a 12mm Voitlander. I just don't am not convinced about using it with long lenses. The longer the lens, the more important balance (and very fast, accurate AF) becomes.

Does anyone else think the 55-200 fully extended looks ridiculous on the XE1?

It is no wonder why Leica had a 135mm f4-ish as its longest lens for their compact system.

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David McGaughey Senior Member • Posts: 2,246
Re: Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.

It is no wonder why Leica had a 135mm f4-ish as its longest lens for their compact system.

This has more to do with limitations of the optical viewfinder of a rangefinder.

Mr Gadget Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Re: Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.

I guess I would have to say that an X-E1 with the 55-200 is way smaller and lighter than my D2x and 70-200 f2.8. It would be nice when someone gets one to have them do a side by side comparison shot with some of the equivalent DSLR systems. All things are relative, it may look funny, but my bad shoulders would greatly appreciate it's compact size and lighter weight.

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Conrad
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bigpigbig OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,721
Re: Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.

Mr Gadget wrote:

I guess I would have to say that an X-E1 with the 55-200 is way smaller and lighter than my D2x and 70-200 f2.8. It would be nice when someone gets one to have them do a side by side comparison shot with some of the equivalent DSLR systems. All things are relative, it may look funny, but my bad shoulders would greatly appreciate it's compact size and lighter weight.

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Conrad
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True, but you'd need a 50-135 f2 for an equal comparison with the 70-200 f2.8. I am not sure it would be much lighter then.

The very excellent Nikon 70-200 f4 is only 200 grams heavier than the Fuji zoom.

About the Leica focal length limitation being a optical viewfinder, yes, you are right. Though I still wonder about balance.

 bigpigbig's gear list:bigpigbig's gear list
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Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 4,010
Re: Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.

Hi,

I tend to agree, but it's a personal view - it really depends on how you value small size, balance, and weight and also the size of your overall kit.  It's the reason I posted the concurrent thread titled "Anyone else think the X system needs a longer prime".  Zooms are incredibly versatile, and tele-zooms more so than WA zooms, but they're simply bigger.  I'd like to see a small ultra sharp X mount AF lens of around 100/2.8 added to the range.  In the meantime I've got a legacy Pentax 100/2.8 I will try.

If you look through the posts on the DPR News page in response to the release of the 55-200 you'll see some similar comments about the size  and weight of the lens.  OTOH you'll also see quite a few people just aren't worried about the size of their kit at all.  I don't quite 'get' this - surely the advantage of mirror-less is the reduction in kit size from a DSLR?  If people buy an X camera and multiple lenses, whatever they saved from their DSLR by having a smaller body isn't going to be as significant in the whole equation.  Put it this way - if they're using the same case, they've gained very little indeed.

Cheers, Rod

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TexasBuyer Regular Member • Posts: 227
It's all about choices. . .
1

There have been a few times when I took photos with the telephoto end of my 18-55 zoom and wish that I had something a little longer.  I would be happy with a 55-135 OIS zoom in a faster f-stop, but at least Fuji is giving us a choice with the 55-200mm zoom.

Although I love my Fuji X-E1, it has been admitted frustrating that it is taking so long for the lens roadmap to become reality.  In the end, the market will decide and vote with their wallets.

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bigpigbig OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,721
Re: It's all about choices. . .

TexasBuyer wrote:

There have been a few times when I took photos with the telephoto end of my 18-55 zoom and wish that I had something a little longer.  I would be happy with a 55-135 OIS zoom in a faster f-stop, but at least Fuji is giving us a choice with the 55-200mm zoom.

Although I love my Fuji X-E1, it has been admitted frustrating that it is taking so long for the lens roadmap to become reality.  In the end, the market will decide and vote with their wallets.

Both of the above option would be better, in my opinion. A 135mm 2.8 prime with OIS. Or a 55-135 f4.

As I said, I will get the 55-200 anyway, so I have it along when I have only the small gear. But this combo will not even come close to the performance of a 70-200 on my D800 (very unlike the 35 1.4 and 14 2.8 which give DSLRs a run for their money) Even the 18-55 is a decent substitute in the right situations.

There is always the Leica 135 but no AF makes it less than ideal.

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Al Downie Senior Member • Posts: 1,225
Re: Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.

Rod McD wrote:

you'll also see quite a few people just aren't worried about the size of their kit at all.  I don't quite 'get' this - surely the advantage of mirror-less is the reduction in kit size from a DSLR?

Hi Rod,

For me, the greatest advantage is nothing to do with size or weight (but they're great side-benefits for sure) - it's more to do with the ergonomics of the cameras - a proper shutter speed dial, a proper aperture ring, and all the other knobs and whistles hidden away in menus somewhere - it's the closest thing I've found yet to the experience of using an FM3, my favourite camera ever. If there was such a thing as a digital SLR with only basic, manual controls, I'd have one in in INSTANT, but the manufacturers seem hell bent on competing with each other to squeeze even MORE modes, MORE functions, MORE buttons, MORE stuff that just gets in the way of the process (for me at any rate).

So the size and length of the zoom doesn't really bother me. Having said that, I think I'd definitely prefer a 200mm prime than the zoom...

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JohnNewman Contributing Member • Posts: 503
Re: Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.

Al Downie wrote:

Rod McD wrote:

you'll also see quite a few people just aren't worried about the size of their kit at all.  I don't quite 'get' this - surely the advantage of mirror-less is the reduction in kit size from a DSLR?

Hi Rod,

For me, the greatest advantage is nothing to do with size or weight (but they're great side-benefits for sure) - it's more to do with the ergonomics of the cameras - a proper shutter speed dial, a proper aperture ring, and all the other knobs and whistles hidden away in menus somewhere - it's the closest thing I've found yet to the experience of using an FM3, my favourite camera ever. If there was such a thing as a digital SLR with only basic, manual controls, I'd have one in in INSTANT, but the manufacturers seem hell bent on competing with each other to squeeze even MORE modes, MORE functions, MORE buttons, MORE stuff that just gets in the way of the process (for me at any rate).

So the size and length of the zoom doesn't really bother me. Having said that, I think I'd definitely prefer a 200mm prime than the zoom...

Totally agree. My X-E1 body is what I've been waiting for since the advent of digital. I wouldn't mind if it had a "normal" Bayer sensor or even a mirror, so long as it's a reasonable size and has "analogue" controls for shutter speed and compensation. It's a huge plus that it has such great jpegs and excellent high ISO performance.

I take the point though that the 55-200 seems a bit big for the body but you can't alter the laws of physics! I'm on the fence about the new zoom at the moment and will wait for real world reviews from users before deciding. I may stick to MFT for longer zooms b.ut will see.

John

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Allen Chernack
Allen Chernack Senior Member • Posts: 1,424
Re: Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.

What you say has merit but, every time I reach in my bag and haul out my Canon 60D with it's 70-300 mm lens I put it back and grab my XE1.  The weight difference even with the new 55-200mm is significant for me. True, the new zoom looks odd when extended but I can live with it. After all, I'm looking through the viewfinder and don't see the way the camera looks anyway.

I do appreciate your taking the time to do the evaluation of the lens system.

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montera2 Regular Member • Posts: 362
Re: Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.

"Does anyone else think the 55-200 fully extended looks ridiculous on the XE1?"

Yes, my first impression was "a stallion on steroids". As I've always used if-lenses, if used a zoom. The mechanical construction of the 55-200 may be a bit flimsy.

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DTwigg New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.

Al Downie has stuck the nail upon the flat part for me. I love the simple, solid mechanical controls of the X-E1 and the subsequent handling. I need a longer focal length and the 55-200 is going to provide that. Is it ugly when extended? Who cares. I don't watch myself when I'm taking pictures, I'm busy looking through the VF framing the shot and far too often I see a shot I just can't get close enough to with the 35/1.4. Would I prefer a 135/4 prime? Of course, even though I've promised my wife to give zooms a try (LOL). If Fujinon brings out a longish prime, and I mean one enough longer than the 60mm to be worth while, I'll probably buy it. But I might still hang on to the 55-200 for the extra reach of the 305mm equivalency.

Dave

motobloat Regular Member • Posts: 497
Re: Wide angle (to normal) magic. Long lenses, not so much.

I would like to see the following lenses from Fuji after they're done with the current roadmap:

  • 85mm f/2.0 or even f/1.4 - should be easy to design, since 85mm is a common focal length and there are a lot of good designs out there.  Would give a ~135mm equivalent angle of view.  Seems like the liklihood of this happening is pretty high, assuming the X-system is popular enough.
  • 300mm f/4 OIS and some teleconverters. - this lens wouldn't be extremely expensive (mabe $1000-2000), but would let the X-system get some real reach for sports and wildlife.
  • 100mm f/2.8 macro - a real 1:1 macro lens.  90mm or 105mm would be fine too.  Unlikely, since there is already the 60mm macro (but it's not 1:1)
  • 200-400mm f/5.6 OIS - this would be an expensive lens (probably $2,000+), but arguably Fuji needs something in the super-telephoto category to really compete, and hopefully with Fuji's lens design skills this would be pretty sharp wide open

Put those on the market, and all my Nikon gear goes on e-bay.

Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 4,010
Re: To Al and John - analogue controls

Hi Al and John,

I agree with you completely about the X series controls (despite also still being a DSLR user).  It's highly intuitive and you can see almost everything just by looking at the camera and settings in one glance.  However, that's the difference for me between say the NEX6 and the XE1, not so much the distinction between mirror-less and DSLR.  For me the size difference is very important - I travel and go hiking and cycling, and a DSLR is quite a lump.  The only disappointment I have about the X series is Fuji's decision not to make them environmentally sealed - definitely an omission on premium cameras.

Cheers, Rod

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