Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R review
We're not able to bring you our usual suite of studio test data for the XF14mm F2.8R, as DxO Analyser doesn't work with the RAW output from Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor. Instead we're going to analyse the lens's key characteristics by looking at how it behaves in real-world shooting.
The XF 14mm F2.8 R is, overall, an extremely sharp lens. Even at F2.8 the centre of the frame is impressively sharp, although the corners are noticeably soft. But they improve dramatically on stopping down to F4.0, and at F5.6 the image is critically sharp right across the frame. This state of affairs persists through F8 and F11, with diffraction visibly taking the edge off the sharpness at F16. At F22 the image becomes distinctly blurred when examining it at the pixel level, so this setting is generally best avoided. This is illustrated in the rollover below, with 100% crops taken from the red-outlined areas at the centre, edge and corner of the frame; click on the image for the full-size version.
Minimum Focus / Close-Range Image Quality
The 14mm offers a very creditable close-focus distance of about 18cm, translating to a working distance of about 10cm from the front of the lens to the subject. Because it's a wideangle this doesn't mean spectacular magnification, of course, but there's potential for interesting images nonetheless.
Close-up image quality isn't bad at all, with the lens's characteristics closely matching how it performs at longer range. Central sharpness is very good indeed wide open, but in our flat-field chart test the corners are visibly soft (click here for an F2.8 test shot). But they sharpen up quickly on stopping down, and at F8 are critically sharp. Diffraction starts to soften the image at F16, although it's still eminently usable; at F22 it becomes visibly soft at the pixel level, and lower in overall contrast.
In normal use, chromatic aberration is practically nonexistent - none of the real-world images we've shot have shown significant colour fringing around high contrast edges. Two points are at play here - the lens is exceptionally well-corrected for lateral CA in the first place, and Fujifilm's in-camera JPEG processing cleans up any residual fringing. This results in impressively clean and detailed images even in the extreme corners.
This example compares an out-of-camera JPEG with the corresponding RAW converted without any lens corrections applied. There's a tiny hint of green/magenta fringing in the extreme corners, but it's really nothing to worry about.
|X-Pro1, F8, camera JPEG||RAW + Capture One 7.1.1|
|100% crop, lower left corner||100% crop|
With the XF14mm Fujifilm claims to have minimised distortion using optical correction alone, so it doesn't require the digital correction of barrel distortion that's used by the XF 18mm F2 R, and indeed many other lenses for mirrorless systems such as Micro Four Thirds. This is illustrated below, comparing a normally-taken shot to one taken with the lens partially-dismounted from the camera. (This disables any communication between the lens and the camera, meaning corrections can't be applied.) Distortion is remarkably low, and the only visible difference between the shots is actually due to automatic vignetting correction of the JPEG.
|Distortion 'Corrected'||Distortion 'Uncorrected'|
Mar 23, 2016
Apr 2, 2013
Apr 1, 2016
Apr 1, 2016
|Fangorn Forest by cand1d|
|Yosemite Falls with Moonbow by Jonathan Shapiro|
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