14/23 vs 16/27

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Kyle Logan Senior Member • Posts: 1,112
14/23 vs 16/27

I’ve been shooting predominantly with a 14/23 combo for a while now. I know these are classic Leica focal lengths. And I like them. The imminent release of the new 27 has me thinking now. The 14 is not weather sealed and can be difficult to compose with. The 23/2 feels a tad wider than traditional 35mm. Perhaps I just split the difference and go for the weather sealed combo? This would enable me to get rid of my 35 1.4 and simplify with an all arounder 27. Questions: for those that went 14 to 16, did you regret it? Similarly, for those that went 23 to 27, did you find it too tight? I could care less about the f stop. Mainly interested in weather sealing and compactness. Any comments would be appreciated.

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Street_Photography
Street_Photography Senior Member • Posts: 1,798
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27
2

I went from 23 to 27 and it helped me spend more time framing shots better. Plus it is lighter and was cheaper. And definitely superior optically, no CA.

The new one will be awesome with an aperture ring and lock button and cute hood and WR and hopefully new, faster focusing despite appearing similar to the current one. The current 27 is noticeably slower than the 23mm on my XE2 but should be just as fast on new cameras.

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jjz2 Senior Member • Posts: 2,939
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27
3

Kyle Logan wrote:

I’ve been shooting predominantly with a 14/23 combo for a while now. I know these are classic Leica focal lengths. And I like them. The imminent release of the new 27 has me thinking now. The 14 is not weather sealed and can be difficult to compose with. The 23/2 feels a tad wider than traditional 35mm. Perhaps I just split the difference and go for the weather sealed combo? This would enable me to get rid of my 35 1.4 and simplify with an all arounder 27. Questions: for those that went 14 to 16, did you regret it? Similarly, for those that went 23 to 27, did you find it too tight? I could care less about the f stop. Mainly interested in weather sealing and compactness. Any comments would be appreciated.

Haha... hmm I have most of those and they all serve a purpose 14 23 27 35... not planning on getting rid of any of them.

I’d say the 27 is more of an alternate when I want just that lens and nothing else to go small.

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davidge Regular Member • Posts: 204
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27
1

I have 14, 16(f2.8), 23(f2), 27 and 35 (f1.4). I tend to use them in sets depending on what I am doing:

- need very small and light: 16+27

- for general walkaround/photoshoots etc.: 14+23+35

If I was absolutely forced to keep only one lens it would be the 27 as its not much narrower then the 23 and is wider than the 35 - it just hits the sweet-spot for me as a general purpose lens (and thats before considering the size and IQ). I've been on numerous trips where the 27 was the only lens I took.

(PS. I'm still a sucker for the 14/16 FOV though).

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Joachim Gerstl
Joachim Gerstl Veteran Member • Posts: 8,634
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27
2

Hi,

I changed from 14/2.8, 23/1.4 and 35/1.4 to just 14/2.8 plus 27/2.8 in order to have a smaller setup but happily changed back to 14/2.8, 23/2 and 35/1.4 as soon as the 23/2 came out.

For me those three lenses are the perfect set of primes. Small and light and extremely versatile. The 14/2.8 is just so much more dynamic than a 16mm lens and the 35/1.4 is brilliant for closer shots or for narrow DOF. The 23/2 is sharp, compact and has a very fast AF. I have tried different combos but I always come back to those three lenses.

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jgbbxl Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27
2

The 35mm f1.4 is the last lens I would want to give up. I'll be going for a combo of 18mm f1.4 and 35mm f1.4 as soon as the 18mm comes out later this year.

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a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,706
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27
2

You've got gear fidgets and you are looking for a reason to spend money. Stick with what you've got.  14 to 16 isn't huge.

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Andrew Skinner

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biza43 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,311
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27

You already have the "traditional" Leica focal lenght, the 35mm one, which is equivalent to 50mm.

Other than that, only you can decide.

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Flying Fijian Contributing Member • Posts: 770
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27

Kyle Logan wrote:

I’ve been shooting predominantly with a 14/23 combo for a while now. I know these are classic Leica focal lengths. And I like them. The imminent release of the new 27 has me thinking now. The 14 is not weather sealed and can be difficult to compose with. The 23/2 feels a tad wider than traditional 35mm. Perhaps I just split the difference and go for the weather sealed combo? This would enable me to get rid of my 35 1.4 and simplify with an all arounder 27. Questions: for those that went 14 to 16, did you regret it? Similarly, for those that went 23 to 27, did you find it too tight? I could care less about the f stop. Mainly interested in weather sealing and compactness. Any comments would be appreciated.

From what you're saying 16/27 makes sense...I say go for it! However I'm not sure about getting rid of the 35 1.4 part lol...unless maybe you have a 50mm etc as well.

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jjz2 Senior Member • Posts: 2,939
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

Hi,

I changed from 14/2.8, 23/1.4 and 35/1.4 to just 14/2.8 plus 27/2.8 in order to have a smaller setup but happily changed back to 14/2.8, 23/2 and 35/1.4 as soon as the 23/2 came out.

For me those three lenses are the perfect set of primes. Small and light and extremely versatile. The 14/2.8 is just so much more dynamic than a 16mm lens and the 35/1.4 is brilliant for closer shots or for narrow DOF. The 23/2 is sharp, compact and has a very fast AF. I have tried different combos but I always come back to those three lenses.

Took a similar path. I pretty much shoot the 14/23/35 as my 3 lens walk around kit, for same reasoning. I almost exclusively shoot street/travel type photography. 27 is the small set up option, I guess I use that like most people would use the 18-55... it’s a small lens and muscular focal length. It makes me bring my camera more on days when I probably wouldn’t have brought my camera, and may never use it that day...but it’s there.

I have brought the 60 or 85 viltrox along on occasion but in practice over the last several years they rarely come out of the bag, so usually stay home unless I have something very specific in mind, namely a planned portrait.

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JoshuaRothman Forum Member • Posts: 62
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27
1

I'm right in the middle of a similar internal debate, except mine has a slightly different form: I'm selling several lenses I rarely use and will have enough trade-in cash to get either an X-E4/27mm kit or an X100V. I use an X-Pro3 now, and so this would be a smaller, pocket-size camera.

Obviously the cameras are quite different. I'll be trading off the X-E4's ILC flexibility (I'd use it with 27mm by default, but could conceivably change it up) against the X100V's superior shooting experience (OVF, ND, etc.). But for me the biggest mystery is focal length: 27mm or 23mm?

I shot with 23mm on an X100F for many years and loved it, but got tired of it. One of the lenses I'm selling is the 23mm f2, which despite its quality I've just never used, probably out of boredom with the focal length.

On the other hand, I've never really figured out how to shoot with 27mm. I've recently been shooting with it all the time, to try to get the hang of it, and have finally started to get great pictures. This note from Jonas Rask really helped me:

The trait of the 27mm f/2.8R WR that I never understood before, is something that I really appreciate now. When you photograph at a distance you get a feeling close to that of a 35mm full frame FOV, but when you move in closer to do portraiture based photography the focal length acts more like a 50mm full frame FOV.

So I've started using it that way: when I'm far off, I think as though I'm using a 23mm; then, when I'm up close, I tell myself to compose with it as though I'm shooting my 35 f1.4. Remembering to flip this little mental switch has made my shots come out much better. I'm really getting to like the 27mm focal length. Still, starting tomorrow, I'm going to shoot with the 23mm for a week or so and see how it fits my eye..... I think that, ultimately, I'd like to have only one "compact" option, 23mm or 27mm, and it will be interesting to see where things end up.

As for 14/16, they feel so different to me that I use both and can't see getting rid of either of them! I wouldn't take them out of the house at the same time. Often it depends on whether I anticipate taking close-up pictures of cool little details, in which case I'll take the 16 1.4.

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DarnGoodPhotos Forum Pro • Posts: 10,769
Re: 14/23 vs 16/2

You know... the 27 is only $200 when you buy the XE4.

If you think that 14 is too hard to compose with, then get the 16/27 combo.

Personally I never saw much difference between the 27 and 35 in any meaningful way and in closer social situations I would usually bring my 18-f2 and crop later if necessary.

My suggestion is that you replace the 35 with the 27 and 16. If you don't find yourself reaching for the 23 very often, sell it. If you do still find value in the 23, the 27 is still worth having for its compactness.

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jjz2 Senior Member • Posts: 2,939
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27

JoshuaRothman wrote:

I'm right in the middle of a similar internal debate, except mine has a slightly different form: I'm selling several lenses I rarely use and will have enough trade-in cash to get either an X-E4/27mm kit or an X100V. I use an X-Pro3 now, and so this would be a smaller, pocket-size camera.

Obviously the cameras are quite different. I'll be trading off the X-E4's ILC flexibility (I'd use it with 27mm by default, but could conceivably change it up) against the X100V's superior shooting experience (OVF, ND, etc.). But for me the biggest mystery is focal length: 27mm or 23mm?

I shot with 23mm on an X100F for many years and loved it, but got tired of it. One of the lenses I'm selling is the 23mm f2, which despite its quality I've just never used, probably out of boredom with the focal length.

On the other hand, I've never really figured out how to shoot with 27mm. I've recently been shooting with it all the time, to try to get the hang of it, and have finally started to get great pictures. This note from Jonas Rask really helped me:

The trait of the 27mm f/2.8R WR that I never understood before, is something that I really appreciate now. When you photograph at a distance you get a feeling close to that of a 35mm full frame FOV, but when you move in closer to do portraiture based photography the focal length acts more like a 50mm full frame FOV.

So I've started using it that way: when I'm far off, I think as though I'm using a 23mm; then, when I'm up close, I tell myself to compose with it as though I'm shooting my 35 f1.4. Remembering to flip this little mental switch has made my shots come out much better. I'm really getting to like the 27mm focal length. Still, starting tomorrow, I'm going to shoot with the 23mm for a week or so and see how it fits my eye..... I think that, ultimately, I'd like to have only one "compact" option, 23mm or 27mm, and it will be interesting to see where things end up.

As for 14/16, they feel so different to me that I use both and can't see getting rid of either of them! I wouldn't take them out of the house at the same time. Often it depends on whether I anticipate taking close-up pictures of cool little details, in which case I'll take the 16 1.4.

I have 23 27 35 and they all have different use cases. 23 and 35 are standbys, 27 when I want to throw in pocket and not take anything else.

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Flying Fijian Contributing Member • Posts: 770
Re: 14/23 vs 16/27

JoshuaRothman wrote:

I'm right in the middle of a similar internal debate, except mine has a slightly different form: I'm selling several lenses I rarely use and will have enough trade-in cash to get either an X-E4/27mm kit or an X100V. I use an X-Pro3 now, and so this would be a smaller, pocket-size camera.

I had a similar debate & went with the X100V. I have an XT4 as well.

Obviously the cameras are quite different. I'll be trading off the X-E4's ILC flexibility (I'd use it with 27mm by default, but could conceivably change it up) against the X100V's superior shooting experience (OVF, ND, etc.). But for me the biggest mystery is focal length: 27mm or 23mm?

I'm selling my xe3 + 27mm, 18mm & 18-55 after using the X100V. It's a very useful focal length.

I shot with 23mm on an X100F for many years and loved it, but got tired of it. One of the lenses I'm selling is the 23mm f2, which despite its quality I've just never used, probably out of boredom with the focal length.

X100V has upgraded the lens & it's much better...you can get quite close with it and still get sharp pics even at f2.

On the other hand, I've never really figured out how to shoot with 27mm. I've recently been shooting with it all the time, to try to get the hang of it, and have finally started to get great pictures. This note from Jonas Rask really helped me:

The trait of the 27mm f/2.8R WR that I never understood before, is something that I really appreciate now. When you photograph at a distance you get a feeling close to that of a 35mm full frame FOV, but when you move in closer to do portraiture based photography the focal length acts more like a 50mm full frame FOV.

So I've started using it that way: when I'm far off, I think as though I'm using a 23mm; then, when I'm up close, I tell myself to compose with it as though I'm shooting my 35 f1.4. Remembering to flip this little mental switch has made my shots come out much better. I'm really getting to like the 27mm focal length. Still, starting tomorrow, I'm going to shoot with the 23mm for a week or so and see how it fits my eye..... I think that, ultimately, I'd like to have only one "compact" option, 23mm or 27mm, and it will be interesting to see where things end up.

That's a good way of looking at it but you can think of the 23mm (at least with the X100V) in the same way...except maybe for portraits you might not want to get too close, or use it in a bit more creative way.

You can always pair it with a longer focal length on your xpro3 too. It will be a good combo (23 +56) 😜

As for 14/16, they feel so different to me that I use both and can't see getting rid of either of them! I wouldn't take them out of the house at the same time. Often it depends on whether I anticipate taking close-up pictures of cool little details, in which case I'll take the 16 1.4.

I've never tried the 14mm...one day maybe lol. I love the 16 f1.4 but as I mentioned you can get quite close with the X100V too... and it's a lot more compact.

Good luck with your decision Josh.

PS: Get the desert Island camera 📸

https://jonasraskphotography.com/2020/02/04/fujifilm-x100v-first-look-preview-the-desert-island-camera/

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