X-Pro1 23mm and X100 side by side

I sold my X100 many months ago. Yesterday, I bought another one. I just like it too much.

Here are some comparison photos of the X100 and the new Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 + X-Pro1.









Why the X100 and not the X100s?

The X100s has a new 16MP sensor but seriously, I don't see much difference in image quality. Maybe at high ISO, X100s is better, but that's just about it. The X100 with firmware 2 is almost as fast as the X100s.

I see that the price for X100 used has dropped significantly, this is actually the camera people should buy to get their money's worth. There are people selling it for as low as SGD$600 (~US$500). It's a terrific deal for the money. It takes beautiful pictures then, and it takes beautiful pictures now.

Why get X100 when I already have the 23mm f/1.4 lens? It's small, silent and black.

I'll probably not sell this camera again unless the rumoured fullframe X200 becomes a reality. That would be a smash hit.

Fujifilm X100 firmware 2.0 available for download (Oct 2013)

x100
You really have to hand it to Fujifilm for releasing a firmware for their discontinued X100 while the X100s is still selling.

The X100 is still my favourite camera of all time. I sold it and regretted it still. Been using the X-Pro1 for more than a year but it does not have the same type of feeling you get when using the X100.

Rumors are out there's going to be a fullframe X200. I will be tempted. Who won't?

Download link for X100 v2.0 firmware:
www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/software

Funny comments on the Leica 15mm F1.7 lens

You guys know this is really f4.9 on Medium format, right? - tkbslc

Yeah, and it's an f32 on the Hubble. - rb59020

Source: dpreview

Review: Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R Lens

Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R Lens

I've own several 35mm equivalent (mirrorless) lens and this Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 is the best of them all.

Prior to getting this lens, months ago, I sold off the Fujifilm X100.

I've been waiting for this lens since I bought the X-Pro1 back in March 2012. It's well worth the wait. This could be my favourite 35mm shooter.

Design and build


It has terrific build quality. It's bigger than the 35mm f/1.4 lens (shown right in photo above) but not significantly bigger.


It weighs 300g which is not too heavy but will make the camera front heavy. It's a weighty combination with the camera, but much lighter than DSLRs with the 35mm equivalent lens.


This lens comes with a distance indicator and a depth-of-field scale on the barrel. You have to pull back the focus ring to reveal that. Once the focus ring is pulled back, the camera automatically goes into manual focus mode. The focus ring is smooth to turn.

The filter size is rather big at 62mm.

The petal-style lens hood included is huge. In the X-Pro1 OVF, it blocks off 1/8 of the frame at the bottom right. It can be an issue because there are three focus cross hair there. I bought a third party metal hood (the round kind) and it blocks off even more. If you're shooting with EVF, then there's no blocking, of course.

External aperture ring goes from f/1.4 to f/16 with three increments for one stop.

Usually, I get a 4X ND filter for lens that are f/1.4. But with the X-series camera, which high-ISO isn't a problem, I chose to go with a 8X ND filter instead.


Just for fun, I put the Voigtlander 17.5mm f/0.95 lens for comparison. The Voigtlander is 540g. Even though the weight of the Fujifilm lens is much lighter, the build quality is still top notch.

Image Quality

The image quality is sublime. It's definitely as good as the 35mm f/1.4 lens.

At wide open f/1.4, the optical performance is close to perfection. It's sharp centre to edge, images are contrasty, has low to no vignetting, slight to barely noticeable chromatic aberration (colour fringing). It's seriously good. Easily deserves 5 out of 5 stars.








Bokeh is nice creamy in most situations. I've read online some comments saying that bokeh can be busy. I see that sometimes especially with foliage in the background. Creamy and busy seems to be a bit contradicting but it really depends on what you're shooting. I don't really have an issue with it.



This is the lens to get for wide angle subject isolation. Sure depth-of-field might not be as shallow as full frame, but it's more than satisfactory, as least for me. With this lens, you can have people standing in front of a blurred background, if that's your kind of photography. So, yes, it's a fantastic lens for event and street photography.

Sharpness


I don't have any sharpness comparison chart done yet, but I'll definitely put some up in the future.

Autofocus

Autofocus is snappy, not instantaneous though. Speed is rather similar to the 18mm and 35mm lens.

Focus is internal so there are no moving parts on the lens. You can heard the lens while it focus too, which means that noise will be picked up during video recording.

Manual Focus

To engage the manual focus, you pull back the focus ring. There's no need to turn the focus switch with this lens.

The fly-by-wire manual focus is quite well implemented. It's very responsive and you can control the focus pull well. With focus peaking, manual focusing with this lens is effortless.

Thing to note again is the noise that it generates while focusing. Not loud, but still audible.

Parallax

There's not much parallex error unless you focus on close subjects.

The OVF frame line coverage is 100%. The lens does block off a bit of the view on the bottom right. Nothing to worry about.

Minimal focus distance (in macro mode) is around 15cm.

Conclusion

This lens is a wonderful shooter when used with any of the X-series lens.

The 35mm field of view is great for general purpose, but I can say that for the 18mm lens as well. The f/1.4 is the winner here giving you that extra one stop.

I use this lens for street and event photography and it serves me very well.

Personally, I feel that this is one of the essential lens for Fujifilm. It's expensive but definitely worth the money. Compared to DSLR 35mm lens, this lens is light and does not compromise on the portability of your camera setup. If I have to buy only one lens, this is the one I'll get,

If you've used the X100 before, which people say packs a wonderful lens, well, the 23mm f/1.4 lens is better in every aspect except the weight. It's also better than every one of the Micro Four Thirds lens I have that can shoot at or close to 35mm field of view. This 23mm f/1.4 lens is SIGNIFICANTLY better. I've not used full-frame 35mm lens before but I never will because of their size and weight.

It's definitely value for money. Most highly recommended.

Overall 4.5 out of 5 stars.

At a glance
+ Well built
+ Aperture ring on lens
+ Sharp wide open
+ Internal focus
+ Good implementation of fly-by-wire focus
+ No vignetting
+ No chromatic aberration
+ Dreamy bokeh
+ Comes with lens hood
- OVF Frame lines coverage not 100%. Photos will be larger

Availability

Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R lens is available on Amazon at www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EZ8BEXK

Be sure to check out more reviews on Amazon.