Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 lens – First Impressions
Fujifilm UK were kind enough to lend me the new XF 10-24mm lens for a short one week trip to Morocco (thanks guys, much appreciated!). Due to other commitments whilst there I wasn’t able to use it for as much as I would have liked, but I did manage to get a few hours out on the streets with the lens and obviously played with it at home shooting random stuff when I could, including the time-lapse at home below. I don’t feel I can form a full rounded opinion having used it for such a short amount of time, but in any case, here are at least my first impressions of the lens.
The morning after I received the lens I woke up at 5am to the most amazing clear sky, something we haven’t seen for a while, so I grabbed all of my kit and ran up the hill behind our house to find the lake covered in low-lying mist, an amazing opportunity for some time-lapse with the X-T1’s built-in intervalometer! The 10-24 was designed to capture big landscapes like this in the Lake District and it was a perfect first outing for the lens! I cropped and slightly adjusted the images in Lightroom and then pulled together the time-lapse in Photoshop and exported it in full 4K video – if you are able to watch in 4K I highly recommend you do as the detail is quite amazing!
The next morning I was off to Morocco so I didn’t get to use the lens more within the Lakes.
When in Morocco I managed to grab a few shots in this hotel. The first image below is a RAW file out of the camera, processed in Lightroom, but not adjusted for distortion at all, so in that respect I think it’s done a pretty damn good job! The decoration on the ceiling might look distorted, but it is actually curved like that in real life!
I’m sure some more technically minded reviews will tell you all about the distortion of the lens, but for myself I would be more than happy to use this lens to shoot interiors commercially. With any ultra-wide angle, placement of objects in the foreground is key to not getting that super-stretched look towards the edges.
The image quality coming from this lens is truly stunning. I’d love to say that I’m surprised, but we are getting so used to high quality lenses coming from Fuji for the X-Mount it’s almost to be expected! Even viewing at 100% the images are crisp and sharp coming right out of the camera, something that often isn’t the case with a wide-angle lens because of the huge angle of view.
The zoom is a good range, covering approximately 15mm-35mm in full-frame terms. That gives you anything from super wide-angle, to a fairly standard 35mm view that can even be used for portraits. For people who like to shoot wide on the street, it’s a great option.
I got a couple of hours wandering around the medina in Meknes and shooting a bit of time-lapse too. Here in the narrow streets the wide-angle really manages to capture a whole image rather than just part of it, and the discrete X-T1 allows you to get on with shooting without drawing much attention to yourself.
Out in the large squares you can remain discrete again and get in close to people. My favourite way to shoot on the street with this combination is with the X-T1’s screen tilted up towards me and holding it down at hip level.
This shot was taken literally as I walked past without even looking at the camera, just pointing it at the stall and pressing the button. The OIS helped keep things steady and not having to draw the camera up to my face meant I didn’t disturb the scene by drawing attention to myself.
At night, the OIS allowed me to shoot at a lower ISO and handhold down to some crazily slow shutter speeds and still get sharp images. If this site is doing its job, you should be able to see the shooting information below each image.
It’s only f/4! Agreed, but with the wide-angle and especially OIS I’m not convinced you need more. I personally would much rather have an f/4 lens with the advantages of the smaller size, amazing IQ and image stabilisation than a compromised f/2.8 lens without stabilisation. Image stabilisation is no gimmick, it’s an amazing tool that allows you not only to get shots you couldn’t normally without a tripod, but allows you to create a sense of movement in the images hand holding the camera, like those below.
The only thing I can say that frustrates me with this lens is the lack of a ‘proper’ marked aperture ring. On the 18-55mm and other variable aperture lenses I can understand why the aperture ring isn’t stop by stop marked, but this is a fixed aperture lens and there is no reason it couldn’t have a marked aperture ring with hard stops at either end as we have on the Fujinon X-Mount primes. It’s not so much that I miss the markings, but actually the hard end stops of the aperture ring from other lenses. You know if you want to find f/5.6, on the other lenses you run to the hard stop and then just quickly count off the notches as you turn without even having to look, it does save time when you’re looking to change things in a hurry. With an aperture ring that just spins and spins you have no idea where you are in the range without actually looking at the camera information on the screen/EVF. It’s a minor point, but just about the only thing I can think about to criticise!
We’ve been left waiting for this lens for a long time! It was initially planned for release in late 2013, but if it took Fuji this long to get it right then I’m happy to wait for a great lens rather than a rushed one.
Overall this is yet another fantastic lens from Fujinon and when I can afford one I’ll be adding it to my collection. It is certainly one that I can highly recommended to anyone wanting to fill that ultra-wide angle gap in the Fuji range, especially landscape and architectural photographers. With the long end working out at around 35mm, it could well make a great versatile street lens for those who like to shoot wider on the streets too.
To purchase the Fujifilm XF10-24mm lens, check your local Amazon using the link below
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