Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

Started Mar 13, 2014 | Questions
TravelLight Regular Member • Posts: 287
Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?
1

I have ordered X-T1 and the following lenses: 14mm, 18-55mm, 60mm, 55-200mm. So, with the lens sale ending soon, is there another lens I should buy?

I mainly do landscape, animals (my cat and wildlife encountered while hiking), street, and want to get into macro (mainly flowers and creatures on flowers/grass/leaves, etc.).

Is 23mm necessary if I already have the lenses above? Especially given that I don't really do street all that much, and already have 18-55? I really like 56mm but the price is so high that I definitely won't buy unless I have a real need (I don't do weddings or formal portraits -- not a pro).

Thanks!

ANSWER:
Fujifilm X-T1
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John Gellings Senior Member • Posts: 3,002
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?
1

TravelLight wrote:

I have ordered X-T1 and the following lenses: 14mm, 18-55mm, 60mm, 55-200mm. So, with the lens sale ending soon, is there another lens I should buy?

Only you can answer this question.  Is there a photo you can't make with the equipment you already have?

 John Gellings's gear list:John Gellings's gear list
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Albert Valentino Veteran Member • Posts: 6,144
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?
1

TravelLight wrote:

I mainly do landscape, animals (my cat and wildlife encountered while hiking), street, and want to get into macro (mainly flowers and creatures on flowers/grass/leaves, etc.).

Is 23mm necessary if I already have the lenses above? Especially given that I don't really do street all that much, and already have 18-55?

For what you shoot that is a great set as most of that type of work is not shot shallow DOF. What the 23mm brings is f/1.4 while the zoom gets you f/3.2 at that FL. For hikes the 14 and 18-55 are a perfect combo which I use on long grueling mountain hikes. A 23 would be excess weigh where weigh matters.

-- hide signature --

Fuji Silver XE1 w/14, 35, 18-55, 55-200, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye & Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

 Albert Valentino's gear list:Albert Valentino's gear list
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OP TravelLight Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

Good question I think I have covered all the focal length Fuji can cover at the moment, but sometimes I salivate over the "pop" some photos make and it sounds like 23mm or 35mm or 56mm can really have that effect... Ah GAS!

John Gellings wrote:

Only you can answer this question. Is there a photo you can't make with the equipment you already have?

OP TravelLight Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

Thanks Al! I used to have Panasonic 25mm 1.4 and I used it for cat (indoor) and street photos (not while hiking of course), but found it a bit too tight...

Al Valentino wrote:

For what you shoot that is a great set as most of that type of work is not shot shallow DOF. What the 23mm brings is f/1.4 while the zoom gets you f/3.2 at that FL. For hikes the 14 and 18-55 are a perfect combo which I use on long grueling mountain hikes. A 23 would be excess weigh where weigh matters.

-- hide signature --

Fuji Silver XE1 w/14, 35, 18-55, 55-200, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye & Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

Joachim Gerstl
Joachim Gerstl Veteran Member • Posts: 7,441
No - not if you want to travel light!
1

TravelLight wrote:

I have ordered X-T1 and the following lenses: 14mm, 18-55mm, 60mm, 55-200mm. So, with the lens sale ending soon, is there another lens I should buy?

I mainly do landscape, animals (my cat and wildlife encountered while hiking), street, and want to get into macro (mainly flowers and creatures on flowers/grass/leaves, etc.).

Is 23mm necessary if I already have the lenses above? Especially given that I don't really do street all that much, and already have 18-55? I really like 56mm but the price is so high that I definitely won't buy unless I have a real need (I don't do weddings or formal portraits -- not a pro).

Thanks--

Joachim
http://www.littlebigtravelingcamera.com

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Conrad567 Contributing Member • Posts: 533
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

I have the 23mm and the 18-55. The 23mm is definitely more capable of creating that artistic feel than the 18-55mm but the 18-55mm is every bit as sharp. If you already have the 35mm, it is VERY capable of creating an artistic feel if that is what you want. So I would say, it is definitely nice to have in the arsenal, but NOT a must have.

As I search through my photos, I rarely ever have a picture jump off of the page that I took with the 23mm.  More often than not I can't tell the difference between pictures I took with it or with the 18-55mm zoom. However, I constantly have photos that I took with the 35mm jump out at me and make me say WOW, I TOOK THAT.

 Conrad567's gear list:Conrad567's gear list
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KariP
KariP Veteran Member • Posts: 4,636
You have almost too many lenses already...
2

TravelLight wrote:

I have ordered X-T1 and the following lenses: 14mm, 18-55mm, 60mm, 55-200mm. So, with the lens sale ending soon, is there another lens I should buy?

I mainly do landscape, animals (my cat and wildlife encountered while hiking), street, and want to get into macro (mainly flowers and creatures on flowers/grass/leaves, etc.).

Is 23mm necessary if I already have the lenses above? Especially given that I don't really do street .......

You have already more than enough.

If you later need  a really usable  WA,  the 10-24   looks like a great lens.

You will very likely use the 18-55 in 80% of all images

-- hide signature --

Kari
SLR photography started in 1968, Canon DSLR cameras, lenses and now also a Fuji X-E1
60.21 N 24.86 E

 KariP's gear list:KariP's gear list
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OP TravelLight Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: No - not if you want to travel light!

LOL!

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

TravelLight wrote:

I have ordered X-T1 and the following lenses: 14mm, 18-55mm, 60mm, 55-200mm. So, with the lens sale ending soon, is there another lens I should buy?

I mainly do landscape, animals (my cat and wildlife encountered while hiking), street, and want to get into macro (mainly flowers and creatures on flowers/grass/leaves, etc.).

Is 23mm necessary if I already have the lenses above? Especially given that I don't really do street all that much, and already have 18-55? I really like 56mm but the price is so high that I definitely won't buy unless I have a real need (I don't do weddings or formal portraits -- not a pro).

Thanks--

Joachim
http://www.littlebigtravelingcamera.com

OP TravelLight Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

No, don't temp me with another option! I have searched here for multiple threads on 23 vs. 35. It seems the main complaint about 35 is that it has a different focus mechanism (don't remember the details) so it's AF is slower than 23, even with firmware update.

Conrad567 wrote:

I have the 23mm and the 18-55. The 23mm is definitely more capable of creating that artistic feel than the 18-55mm but the 18-55mm is every bit as sharp. If you already have the 35mm, it is VERY capable of creating an artistic feel if that is what you want. So I would say, it is definitely nice to have in the arsenal, but NOT a must have.

As I search through my photos, I rarely ever have a picture jump off of the page that I took with the 23mm. More often than not I can't tell the difference between pictures I took with it or with the 18-55mm zoom. However, I constantly have photos that I took with the 35mm jump out at me and make me say WOW, I TOOK THAT.

Les Lammers
Les Lammers Veteran Member • Posts: 3,446
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

TravelLight wrote:

I have ordered X-T1 and the following lenses: 14mm, 18-55mm, 60mm, 55-200mm. So, with the lens sale ending soon, is there another lens I should buy?

I mainly do landscape, animals (my cat and wildlife encountered while hiking), street, and want to get into macro (mainly flowers and creatures on flowers/grass/leaves, etc.).

Is 23mm necessary if I already have the lenses above? Especially given that I don't really do street all that much, and already have 18-55? I really like 56mm but the price is so high that I definitely won't buy unless I have a real need (I don't do weddings or formal portraits -- not a pro).

Thanks!

No lens is necessary unless it is a focal length YOU use often or you like its rendering. Use the 18-55 a while and see how it works out.

For street, you may want to consider the 27mm. I doubt you'll sell it and if you do you would lose little $$$.

 Les Lammers's gear list:Les Lammers's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T10 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R +5 more
OP TravelLight Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: You have almost too many lenses already...

Need vs. want, the eternal struggle I was really tempted by 10-24 but the size/weight seems daunting, seeing that I do a lot of WA shots while traveling/hiking. That's why I got the 14mm.

KariP wrote:

TravelLight wrote:

I have ordered X-T1 and the following lenses: 14mm, 18-55mm, 60mm, 55-200mm. So, with the lens sale ending soon, is there another lens I should buy?

I mainly do landscape, animals (my cat and wildlife encountered while hiking), street, and want to get into macro (mainly flowers and creatures on flowers/grass/leaves, etc.).

Is 23mm necessary if I already have the lenses above? Especially given that I don't really do street .......

You have already more than enough.

If you later need a really usable WA, the 10-24 looks like a great lens.

You will very likely use the 18-55 in 80% of all images

-- hide signature --

Kari
SLR photography started in 1968, Canon DSLR cameras, lenses and now also a Fuji X-E1
60.21 N 24.86 E

OP TravelLight Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

Thanks, Les and others! I guess I am trying to justify buying it But I agree that it's better to see how I like the zoom before I make a decision. Will go back to LR to see what my most-used focal length are, too.

Les Lammers wrote:

TravelLight wrote:

I have ordered X-T1 and the following lenses: 14mm, 18-55mm, 60mm, 55-200mm. So, with the lens sale ending soon, is there another lens I should buy?

I mainly do landscape, animals (my cat and wildlife encountered while hiking), street, and want to get into macro (mainly flowers and creatures on flowers/grass/leaves, etc.).

Is 23mm necessary if I already have the lenses above? Especially given that I don't really do street all that much, and already have 18-55? I really like 56mm but the price is so high that I definitely won't buy unless I have a real need (I don't do weddings or formal portraits -- not a pro).

Thanks!

No lens is necessary unless it is a focal length YOU use often or you like its rendering. Use the 18-55 a while and see how it works out.

Les Lammers
Les Lammers Veteran Member • Posts: 3,446
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

TravelLight wrote:

No, don't temp me with another option! I have searched here for multiple threads on 23 vs. 35. It seems the main complaint about 35 is that it has a different focus mechanism (don't remember the details) so it's AF is slower than 23, even with firmware update.

Conrad567 wrote:

I have the 23mm and the 18-55. The 23mm is definitely more capable of creating that artistic feel than the 18-55mm but the 18-55mm is every bit as sharp. If you already have the 35mm, it is VERY capable of creating an artistic feel if that is what you want. So I would say, it is definitely nice to have in the arsenal, but NOT a must have.

As I search through my photos, I rarely ever have a picture jump off of the page that I took with the 23mm. More often than not I can't tell the difference between pictures I took with it or with the 18-55mm zoom. However, I constantly have photos that I took with the 35mm jump out at me and make me say WOW, I TOOK THAT.

Fuji may change the motor etc. in the 35 so I am going to wait and see if they do and if it speed up the focus. This will not be the last sale.

 Les Lammers's gear list:Les Lammers's gear list
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Les Lammers
Les Lammers Veteran Member • Posts: 3,446
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

Will go back to LR to see what my most-used focal length are, too.

+1 Excellent idea!

 Les Lammers's gear list:Les Lammers's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T10 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R +5 more
OP TravelLight Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

I haven't heard of that rumor, but thanks for the tip!

Les Lammers wrote:

Fuji may change the motor etc. in the 35 so I am going to wait and see if they do and if it speed up the focus. This will not be the last sale.

Les Lammers
Les Lammers Veteran Member • Posts: 3,446
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

It has been bantered around here and the 35 has been out a while. Excellent lens but I'm going to wait. I haveĀ a big bottle of Rolaids for GAS.

 Les Lammers's gear list:Les Lammers's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T10 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R +5 more
OP TravelLight Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: Lens recommendation: is 23mm a must-have?

Thanks, although the data might be skewed... I used the Panasonic 25mm (equiv. 50mm) extensively indoors and since I have a massive collection of cat photos 25mm (or 50mm) is likely my most-used FL... lol

Les Lammers wrote:

Will go back to LR to see what my most-used focal length are, too.

+1 Excellent idea!

Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
NOTHING is necessary, but it's a fantastic lens...

If it's not a focal length you particularly like or need, of course it's not necessary. Lot's of people buy really nice DSLRs and never take the kit zoom lens off of it and there's nothing wrong with that if they're getting what they need/want from the kit lens.

If you feel you have any need or desire for a prime at that focal length, I can tell you that the 23 is possibly the best lens Fuji has made for this system yet - this is coming from someone who hasn't tried the 56mm yet. The 14 is great, the 35 is great, the 60 is really nice despite not being all that fast (either aperture or AF). But there's a clarity and transparency to the way the 23 renders that strikes me as a step or two better than those others. The 56 looks every bit as good from preliminary samples, but I've yet to shoot with one. 35mm is not my favorite focal length and I WISH they'd release a 16 or 18mm with that kind of optical quality and the manual focus clutch ring like they've done with the 14 and 23. But they haven't and so I find every opportunity to use the 23, even when it's not quite the perfect focal length.

So, your call. If it doesn't fit into your shooting, the quality of the lens is meaningless. But if it does, the quality makes it a really compelling option and a something to consider. But only you can answer that question...

-Ray
--------------------------------------
http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/

OP TravelLight Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: NOTHING is necessary, but it's a fantastic lens...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ray! I just dropped by your Flickr -- love the street shots you got there!

Ray Sachs wrote:

If it's not a focal length you particularly like or need, of course it's not necessary. Lot's of people buy really nice DSLRs and never take the kit zoom lens off of it and there's nothing wrong with that if they're getting what they need/want from the kit lens.

If you feel you have any need or desire for a prime at that focal length, I can tell you that the 23 is possibly the best lens Fuji has made for this system yet - this is coming from someone who hasn't tried the 56mm yet. The 14 is great, the 35 is great, the 60 is really nice despite not being all that fast (either aperture or AF). But there's a clarity and transparency to the way the 23 renders that strikes me as a step or two better than those others. The 56 looks every bit as good from preliminary samples, but I've yet to shoot with one. 35mm is not my favorite focal length and I WISH they'd release a 16 or 18mm with that kind of optical quality and the manual focus clutch ring like they've done with the 14 and 23. But they haven't and so I find every opportunity to use the 23, even when it's not quite the perfect focal length.

So, your call. If it doesn't fit into your shooting, the quality of the lens is meaningless. But if it does, the quality makes it a really compelling option and a something to consider. But only you can answer that question...

-Ray
--------------------------------------
http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/

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