27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2012
I remember not liking 50mm (35mm) lenses back in the 1970's because it was the only lens I could afford. Today, it seems that we get these kit zooms that are pretty crappy when compared to primes and I had forgotten what a great overall length 50mm is. This compact prime from Fuji is a solid performer. It is tack sharp and pretty fast in good light, it actually isn't as bad as you might read in low light,just take your time. Macro mode, even though you can't really get all that close, works well.
Beware, as I shot some candid portraits goofing around that at 200% magnification showed the individual whiskers (blazingly sharp) on my subject. Yes, the lens is that sharp so any skin flaws and blemishes are readily visible; luckily, this is easily fixed. I didn't detect any distortion or fringing and the bokeh is gorgeous. If you can only get one lens of the three, this is the one. I can't wait for the 14mm ultra wide that is supposed to be coming.
37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2012
So why 5 stars? It's because it's a damn good lens for the money. It's not perfect, but for $600 what can you expect. Sure, I have lenses at similar focal lengths that are superior, but at a much much higher price.
It's a very well built lens but also light weight. It has an all metal housing, the hood is also metal but with a plastic connector. The focus is nicely damped with a good feeling metal grip. The aperture ring turns smoothly and clicks at 1/3 stops, although I wish the click was a little more firm. The lens attaches firmly to the body at a very tight tolerance. There's no play at all. The included cap is cheap plastic, but who really cares about the lens cap. The included rubber lenshood cap is a nice touch. Overall a very solid lens that reminds me of my old MF Zuiko glass from the 70's/80's.
It's focus-by-wire so it lacks the feel of a true MF lens, but paired with the Xpro1, you're focusing through an LCD anyways, so you're not going to get that feel anyways. The lag is extremely minimal (although the distance scale on the camera has a slight delay). As for AF, it's fast in daylight, but in low light it's a bit on the slow side. I think this is more of a camera than a lens issue so perhaps firmware updates will improve this.
Most important is of course image quality. This is where the lens really stands out. Tack sharp, good contrast, nice color, good control of CA and very nice circular bokeh. When it comes to image quality of 50mm & 50mm equiv lenses, this one is up there.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2014
This is an amazing lens. It creates very nice bokeh and incredibly sharp images. I couldn't be happier with the purchase.
It was originally intended to compliment the 18-55 X-T1 kit lens; however, since I put it on I just cannot take it off the camera. It is a pleasure to use.
I hesitated on this purchase because I read so many reviews of people complaining about the noise and the terrible hood/cap situation so I figured I'd address those: First, yes, it does make noise but I have a difficult time imagining it being a deal breaker to a potential buyer. With the latest firmware installed (never tried it without) you know it's working but I highly doubt it will spoil your day. As for the lens cap situation: The hood is not compatible with the lens cap and the hood cap will fall off. I keep the hood on all the time to protect the glass and I keep the caps in the box at home. This works great for me and is a frustration-free solution. I prefer this to a larger hood that may allow the use of the cap but also takes up more space in the bag. I wanted a small, tidy package and this delivers.
If either of these issues are giving you pause I would encourage you to just take the plunge. While the complaints are not without some merit they are also a great example of how the internet takes small issues and amplifies them into something they are not.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2013
I own a Leica 50mm Summilux f/1.4 and although it cost nearly 10x more than the Fuji f/1.4 I *can't* say that it is 10x better. In fact, other than the autofocus feature that I am missing in the Leica, it is hard to tell the difference. I don't want to feel stupid for "overpaying" for the Leica and it is a fantastic heirloom quality piece of kit that my son will own but as far as picture quality and use-ability the Fuji f/1.4 is a really, really nice lens and a "must have" for Fuji owners. I have both a EX-1 and a X-M1 and they fight over who gets the 35mm f/1.4. Beautiful bokeh, fantastic image isolation at f/1.4. Cleans up sharp if you stop it down. I really like this piece of glass and will buy a second one as a backup as soon as I get a sale bundle or some other promotion on it. If I could only have one lens on the Fuji it would be this 35mm.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
The 35mm f/1.4 lens can pretty much be welded onto the X-Pro 1. I also have the 18mm lens, but the 35mm is considerably better. If the X100 had a 35mm f/1.4 I would've gotten it. I love the "normal" 53mm-ish effective focal length.
It's fairly lightweight for it's size, but it's nearly all metal construction feels very sturdy. I like that it's lighter in weight (much like the X-Pro 1 body).
Minor complaints I have are that it's Auto Focus is noticeably slower than the 18mm Lens. The Aperture ring is looser than I'd like, but it's very smooth. Focusing motor and aperture are fairly noisy, so it's not ideal for shooting video.
Major complaint, is the poorly designed old school Leica-wannabe lens Hood. Sure it's metal and looks kind of cool or like a crushed soda can, depending on your point of view. But the hood is NOT reversible. It makes it difficult to access filters when it's on, like circular polarizers. And you need to remove the hood completely to be able to remove / add a filter. The rubber hood cap is going to be lost soon, it comes off way too easily. The regular center pinch lens hood cannot be removed / replaced with the stock lens hood in place either, and it has a pretty loose grip, soon to be lost as well. The lens cap I will likely buy to replace it will be better.
Hopefully a third party lens hood will be reversible and this already awesome lens will be nearly perfect.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2013
The Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 is a fantastic lens. It's my favorite lens (it almost never comes off), but it has its cons.
The pictures are razor sharp and the quality is absolutely fantastic—The bokeh is gorgeous! For just about any casual, portrait shot, this is my go-to lens. The quality of the photos are just stunning—I can't reiterate how pleased I am.
The aperture ring is also another favorite of mine. It's super nice that I can quickly adjust the aperture with a ring and not have to fiddle with buttons on the camera. I also love the feel of the focus ring. It lets you really dial in that zoom to get the perfect shot. It's also really wide, making focusing really nice.
However, the auto-focus is a bit slow and a bit noisy. I can't expect the auto-focus to be as quick and fast as a regular DSLR, but there are often times I wish it was. Also you can hear the auto-focus working, and sometimes it has a tough time focusing on the subject, especially if you're rather close or in dimly lit environments.
Comparing it to a traditional DSLR isn't fair, but if you're coming from one or have experience with one, you'll definitely feel a difference.
All-in-all I'm super happy with it!
Razor sharp, high-quality photos
High-quality build (not made of cheap plastic)
Wide focus ring
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2013
I've compared this directly to the Sony e-mount 35mm f/1.8 OSS for NEX, they are comparable in many ways, except two big ones. First, the build of the Fuji is better. The focus ring is smoother, the body feels more solid, the hood is better, and it has an aperture ring. The second big one for me is the handling of longitudinal chromatic aberration and spherochromatism. Most fast lenses suffer from purple/green fringing on objects that are just in front of and behind the focus plane when the lens is used wide open, but the Sony is VERY noticeable, even up to f/2.8. The Fuji, however, only shows the colors in a noticeable way if highlights are heavily overexposed, and by f/2.8 it's almost gone. For a good exposure, fringing can still be seen at f/1.4, but you have to look pretty close to see it. I also really like the bokeh of both lenses, though you obviously get a more blurry background at f/1.4 than you do with the Sony. Overall, I've been happy with both, but the Fuji makes hands down more beautiful images (the rest of the imaging pipeline helps of course, but that's a different topic), and has the advantage of being used with a Fuji camera (duh).
As far as sharpness goes, it's definitely sharp. Many reviews complain about the edge softness at f/1.4-f/2.8, but I don't see it that way. In fact, I appreciate the intelligent compromise made by Fuji: the lens is kept small by favoring center sharpness at f/1.4 (the lens is pretty dang good at f/1.4 in the center), and at these lower f-numbers, the photographer is typically isolating a single subject near the center of the frame, and depth of field will throw everything else out of focus anyway. It isn't until f/4 and greater that the depth of field is long enough to be doing architecture and landscapes where edge sharpness matters, and this is where the lens gets sharp across the field! Well done Fuji. The Sony is quite uniform across the field of view, even at f/1.8, but that comes at the price of center sharpness, and it is noticeable.
Vignetting: The Fuji handles this quite well. By f/2.2, there is no more vignetting. Most people mistake intensity rolloff for vignetting, so I'll explain. Apparent brightness change from center to edge is due to many factors: angle of incidence on lens coatings, angle of incidence on the sensor, clipping of light rays on internal lens surfaces (that is actually what vignetting is), and probably a few more I don't know about. Vignetting is, specifically, the clipping of rays at the extreme edge of the aperture for points that are not on-axis (center of the FOV). You can think of this like the lens having a higher f-number off axis. An easy way to see this is to find a bright point source that is very far away, then focus the lens at its closest focus distance. By moving the light source around the field of view, you will see it change shape. In the center it will be circular at maximum aperture, but as you move it to the edge, it will take on a cat's eye shape. That is vignetting. On the Fuji, this is easily seen at f/1.4, but by f/2.2, the nice rounded-edge heptagonal shape is maintained all the way from center to edge. No vignetting at f/2.2 is pretty good, and the Sony visibly vignettes up to f/3.2.
The Sony has OSS, which the Fuji lacks, but 2/3 of a stop more light gathering helps.
So now the negatives: the lens hood. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I really appreciate how small it is and that it actually hugs the image boarders. You either have to have this rectangular design, which by definition is not reversible, or go with a long cylinder or petal design to gain reversibility at the expense of size. Or you can go the lame route and make a lens hood that sits very far from the field of view, and therefore doesn't do anything, but is nice and small. But it's useless, so who cares it it's small (Sony, I'm talking to you). I personally think the hood on this lens is great, but the cap is problematic. It pops off if you look at it wrong. The hood is protective enough that this doesn't freak me out, but it seems like an obvious flaw.
Second negative is the loud AF and iris. The AF is noisy, and sounds jerky, but it works very well as of recent firmware updates. The manual focus is actually quite nice, however. There's a slight delay, but it's quite usable. The iris clicks when the lens stops down. Neither of these things bother me, but I don't take pictures in environments where noise is objectionable.
At the end of the day though, I have to give the star rating based on my feelings toward the lens, and I have to say I just really love it. It's amazingly fun to use, and just feels right on the X-E1. Together it's a combination I find myself reaching for just because it's a joy to shoot. So it lost a star due to the hood cap and the loud motor, but gained it back by just being a dang nice lens to use. And did I mention that it makes beautiful images?