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Preview: Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR


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#1 mst

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 02:12 PM

Review will take a little longer, since I want to focus on other things first. But I did a photo walk through Geneva with the lens yesterday and shot some sample images:

 

https://photozone.sm...F-23mm-f2-R-WR/

 

-- Markus


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#2 Brightcolours

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 03:05 PM

Nice photos, Markus. The lens renders nicely, a tad smoother than my EF-M 22mm f2. And you make a "35mm FF equivalent" work better than I can.



#3 mst

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 11:02 AM

Thanks, BC. I like the lens a lot, especially on the X-Pro 1. Dangerously close to my preferred rangefinder combo (M9 + ZM 35/2.8), yet so much more versatile ;)

 

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#4 Klaus

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 11:30 PM

Fuji is awesome really ... massively undervalued.

It continues to amaze me that their market-share remains moderate.

(well, Sony and to some degree Olympus/Panasonic are "household brands" - that's why)


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#5 JoJu

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 06:19 AM

To me, it is no big miracle. And I am not one of the die-hard fans who have to link each video in which a celebrity looks through a Fuji lens  ^_^ Their attitude "Fuji is not for everybody" transfers into hesitation of buyers.

 

Firmware updates. "Fuji is listening!" yes, the question remains, to who? The list of complaints about what feature is missing for how long and why others are implemented is impressive after each update.

 

Menus with abbreviations although there's a lot of space empty, while the abbreviations make it hard to understand what's this about. And simply bad translations, bad terminology. Images are frames for Fuji, but this wording translated into German "Rahmen" is more common for window frames.

 

So the funny thing then is: Playback button > delete button > "all pictures" next dialog tells me "ALLE RAHMEN" without question mark. It is meant as a question... Things like that make it to me very hard to believe there's so much care in the menu development.

 

I mean, it was not as if they had to start from scratch, without any samples to look in, take the good things and improves the less good. Format a card? Go to menu "tools > user settings* > format". Looking under "Save data setup" :rolleyes: is the wrong idea. Searching for an electronic level? It's "menu > screen set-up > [scrolldown for tow menu pages to last entry] Disp. custom setting > electronic level. No, I can't use any Fn buttons to switch it on/off, I even cannot put it in "My" (menu). So, most Fuji users must have an inbuilt level and are capable to always keep the body levelled.

 

The Fn button adjustment: Super big illustration of how the camera looks form front or back (instead print numbers next to the buttons), no more space for clear wording.

 

In  the main menu, I can use the lower button of the 4 selector buttons (why keep them, there's a joystick for that, you morons! doing the focus point moving as well as the navigation in the menus) if I am at the bottom of this menu top flip to the first top position - so it's circling like most screen menus. On the next level, this is no longer possible to come quicker to the end of a three pages menu list.

 

Ejecting a SD card: Camera shuts off. If it was the primary card, it switches to the secondary. And remain switched to the secondary after inserting card 1. Ejecting or inserting a card while camera is ON, switches it OFF.

 

Switching it ON too quick after OFF (wait two seconds is better): Need to switch ON again. On Nikon I could morse with ON/OFF switch and insert card and eject again, the camera would remain cool as Charles Bronson.

 

I my perception: great pictures, especially in RAW, people are also very happy with JPGs (these settings occupy a lot positions in the Quick Menu, even if I already decided to shoot RAW only), but quirks after quirks and the menus need to be straightened. All those dials, wheels aperture and focus rings, electrically actuated but not to be steered with a front wheel - this usage concept looks like a collection of barracks without any master plan. Just give the user a lot to choose from.

 

Maybe some users are very happy to build their own interfaces...

 

But all this prevent me from recommending their cameras full-heartedly. Yes, they are nice,. they have cool features, but they make me learn useless things because the developers didn't care about intuitive usage.


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#6 thxbb12

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 08:32 AM

Camera usage is obviously highly subjective and there will never be one user interface (UI) that pleases everyone.

It appears Fuji is doing a pretty good job at satisfying a lot of people in the ergnomics and UI departments.

 

I personally find the Fuji X-T1 to be the best camera I've own in terms of user interface and controls. For my style of shooting they are great, but they would be definitely too slow for someone needing to quickly switch between modes (e.g. landscape -> wildlife). I really like the simple layout and the configurable Q menu that gives a very quick access to key settings (for me). The only thing I want from Fuji is the ability to assign a dial to minimum shutter speed and an option to have the shutter speed depending on the focal length (with a sensitivity adjustment).

 

Pentax : best controls from any DSLR I've used . Menus badly sorted, but fairly easy to navigate and to find the right option.

 

Nikon : overly complicated menus and pages of settings (similar to Olympus) making it difficult to locate the right options quickly. Not very logical layout either. For instance I had to keep changing the bias of the shutter speed threshold (when in A mode with auto ISO) between IS and non-IS lenses. A real pain in the butt whereas assigning to a button would have been a breeze.

 

Olympus : even worse than Nikon when it comes to complicated and deep menus. However, it features a "Quick Menu" which lets you control most important settings on a single visual screen. Once the Quick Menu is enabled you mostly don't need to dig into the menus anymore and then the camera is much better to use. Despite everything that can be configured it's beyond me why they don't feature an option to have to bias the sensitivity adjustment of the shutter speed when in auto ISO mode (Pentax and Nikon offer this).

 

Panasonic : interface much simpler than Nikon, Olympus and Pentax. Fairly well organized and easy to use but not that many customization options (buttons, etc.). Like Olympus, Panasonic sorely misses an option to have to bias the sensitivity adjustment of the shutter speed when in auto ISO mode. Even worse : Panasonic doesn't offer the ability to change the exposure compensation when adjusting shutter speed and aperture while the camera chooses ISO. It is something ALL other brands feature.

 

All in all, I find Fuji the most fun cameras to shoot with. I'm not sure why this is... maybe simplicity? Regardless, the fact is that I enjoy photography with a Fuji much more than with any other camera system before.


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#7 JoJu

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:12 AM

Camera usage is obviously highly subjective and there will never be one user interface (UI) that pleases everyone.

It appears Fuji is doing a pretty good job at satisfying a lot of people in the ergnomics and UI departments.

 

I personally find the Fuji X-T1 to be the best camera I've own in terms of user interface and controls. For my style of shooting they are great, but they would be definitely too slow for someone needing to quickly switch between modes (e.g. landscape -> wildlife). I really like the simple layout and the configurable Q menu that gives a very quick access to key settings (for me). The only thing I want from Fuji is the ability to assign a dial to minimum shutter speed and an option to have the shutter speed depending on the focal length (with a sensitivity adjustment).

 

...

 

All in all, I find Fuji the most fun cameras to shoot with. I'm not sure why this is... maybe simplicity? Regardless, the fact is that I enjoy photography with a Fuji much more than with any other camera system before.

 

The Q-menu of Fuji has 16 positions. Per default, 6 of them are IQ for JPGs. The other 10 partly show redundant settings like ISO (on a dial). There's linited possibilities of what I can assign to it, not much help (I'd like to set the whole stuff up on a bigger screen with all menus visible to get better overview).

 

Fuji already shows with their dials and wheels and lots of hardware buttons, how they think the camera should be used. But they are very inconsequent as many functions can be assigned three times - I could assign each Fn button to the same function - what is the sense of that?

 

Oh, and on the X-T2 the Auto ISO considers the FL  ;) I thought they put the same on the firmware of the X-T1? But I don't know...

 

I agree, UIs are individually questionable, everybody likes soemthing different. However, badly translated or inconsistent texts are a no-go everywhere.

 

The most simplest I saw so far (taking into account the camera itself is no as complex as all the others you mentioned) is the menu and the Quickmenu of the Sigma (Merill and dp quattro) series. Simple and elegant.



#8 thxbb12

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:41 AM

The Q-menu of Fuji has 16 positions. Per default, 6 of them are IQ for JPGs. The other 10 partly show redundant settings like ISO (on a dial). There's linited possibilities of what I can assign to it, not much help (I'd like to set the whole stuff up on a bigger screen with all menus visible to get better overview).

 

Fuji already shows with their dials and wheels and lots of hardware buttons, how they think the camera should be used. But they are very inconsequent as many functions can be assigned three times - I could assign each Fn button to the same function - what is the sense of that?

 

Oh, and on the X-T2 the Auto ISO considers the FL  ;) I thought they put the same on the firmware of the X-T1? But I don't know...

 

I agree, UIs are individually questionable, everybody likes soemthing different. However, badly translated or inconsistent texts are a no-go everywhere.

 

The most simplest I saw so far (taking into account the camera itself is no as complex as all the others you mentioned) is the menu and the Quickmenu of the Sigma (Merill and dp quattro) series. Simple and elegant.

 

Q-menu : setting defaults that satisfy most customers is a daunting task and perhaps the majority of users are happy with it? I don't know. Regardless, that's why you can configure the Q-menu and change it to your taste.

 

Redundant button assignations : I agree that it seems pointless. Functions already assigned shouldn't not be assignable again. I have to check Olympus bodies, but I believe they do the same. Maybe some users like to have the same functionality accessible through different buttons? Not sure, but it surely seems silly to me.

 

Auto ISO : I have to double check the latest firmware, but I don't think it was passed down to the X-T1 :-(

 

Language : I always change the camera language to English which doesn't suffer from any translation issues. This said, I agree that language localization is very important and should definitely be rock solid.

 

One thing that strikes me among all manufacturers is that today everyone owns a computer, yet little is done to take advantage of this. The whole configuration process should be made configurable from a computer. It would obviously be much easier than directly from the camera. Yet, no manufacturers seems to be aware of this. Saving the camera configuration to a file should be an obvious feature in every camera model. With WIFI or Bluetooth, any devices can be connected. One should be able to network several cameras and update them at once, etc. Same with firmware. The whole process is so archaic and primitive. Even SD cards are still using the archaic FAT32 filesystem and silly old 8 characters filename length limitation back from the old DOS days. The whole UI / configuration / connectivity (or lack of) scheme is stuck in the past, almost 40 years ago to be precise. Even phone applications that let you control your cameras are crap. I haven't seen a single good remote camera app that works well and is not sluggish like hell, limited or just plain unreliable.

I wonder when manufacturers will finally realize that one of the major reasons why smartphones are so popular is because of their connectivity! Japanese companies are very much stuck in the past and very sluggish to adapt to changes and "new" technologies.


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#9 you2

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:49 AM

The 50f2 is suppose to be better (optically) than the 35f2 (though perhaps this should be expected given the nature of the lens).

 

It is not clear to me that fuji is a clear winner (or under valued) compared to m43. Neither are cheap (though fuji used to run pretty good deals 3 or 4 times a year - rumours are those are over). 

-

Having said the above is the market actually large enough for all these players with today's shrinkage ?



#10 JoJu

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:57 AM

thxbb12, I realize, we are drifting around camera UI's (from Fuji to nearly all available) in a lens thread, which was basically my fault. And we're drifting on, but starting a new thread while in this one all interesting things were already said?

 

Your last post contains so many good observations and ideas, that I think, I take your permission to copy your last statement into a new thread and leave this one for lens discussions.



#11 thxbb12

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:59 AM

thxbb12, I realize, we are drifting around camera UI's (from Fuji to nearly all available) in a lens thread, which was basically my fault. And we're drifting on, but starting a new thread while in this one all interesting things were already said?

 

Your last post contains so many good observations and ideas, that I think, I take your permission to copy your last statement into a new thread and leave this one for lens discussions.

 

Good idea Joju, go ahead  :)


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#12 JoJu

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 11:19 AM

Done, see new thread  :)



#13 Klaus

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 01:04 AM

My comment was primarily based on thought that 

- Fuji has an APS-C sensor which I would consider to be the sweet spot for mirrorless

- Their sensors are superior to MFT's and also somewhat better still than Sony's and Canon's APS-C sensors

- Their lens lineup is vastly superior to what Sony and Canon have to offer in the APS-C mirrorless segment

- Their color rendition (driven by the camera) is very nice

 

About the menu system ... well, being someone who has to switch camera systems all the time I couldn't care less really. If it matters - I'd say that Canon DSLRs (mid-spec & up) are the best here. The menu system is - in my view - the very last deciding factor of everything. But I am a simple guy. My biggest annoyance with Fuji cameras is that it resets some stuff (e.g. the timer) automatically. From a pure lab perspective, the focus-by-wire system is the worst of them all but that's really limited to the lab.


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#14 JoJu

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 06:15 AM

...From a pure lab perspective, the focus-by-wire system is the worst of them all but that's really limited to the lab.

 

I'm not in a lab and I'm annoyed by the FbW nearly all the time manual focus becomes important.

Aiming at a bird, stupid guy hides behind twigs. Bird dies before I can focus the 100-400 Fuji. Certain Fuji lenses don't indicate minimal focus distance on a scale, none has an end stop - like all mechanical lenses do have. Others do need the clutch. If the clutch is in manual focus position, AF-C will no longer work.

 

In case this is an upcoming question: Yes, I do like the output of the Fujis, too, I also do like it's compactness and sturdiness. But the sky is not exclusively pink above them... And I'd say, with nearly the same efforts they could have get rid of some weirdness in their menus, but I suspect, Fuji fanboys love weirdness in menus. In that case the designers are perfect.



#15 mst

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 07:55 AM

I'm curious to try an X-T someday, but for now, the X-Pro seems like the perfect travel camera for me :) I might be tempted to build another small setup just for that purpose.

 

FWIW, heading to Geneva over the weekend again, this time with the XF 50/2 in my bag :) So, maybe sample images from that one, soon...

 

-- Markus


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#16 JoJu

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 08:15 AM

Funny, this 50/2 I got as substitute for the 56/1.2 APD (which currently is in service because of some rattle in the tube and a wobbly aperture ring - so much to the "metal construction", haha). The APD is slow in dark situations. I thought, no APD filter = always possible PDAF? No true, the 50/2 is even slower if it's dark enough  :mellow: But PZ testers are mostly daylight persons B)  



#17 mst

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 08:24 AM

Haha, well, at least while in review mode ;)

 

Metal alone unfortunately is no warrant for ever-lasting sturdiness. Learned that lesson from Zeiss ZM lenses. They're notorious for showing wobbly focus rings after a few years of use.

 

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#18 you2

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 10:22 AM

I thought you had the x-pro 1; which has a very laggy (poor evf). Have you tried the x-pro 2 which is significantly better ? Perhaps you don't actually use the evf ?

I'm curious to try an X-T someday, but for now, the X-Pro seems like the perfect travel camera for me :) I might be tempted to build another small setup just for that purpose.

 

FWIW, heading to Geneva over the weekend again, this time with the XF 50/2 in my bag :) So, maybe sample images from that one, soon...

 

-- Markus



#19 mst

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 10:45 AM

Hmm, interesting. I switch between evf and the optical viewfinder often. But I haven't noticed that the evf is particularly laggy (in my book). That might be because I used it mostly in daylight so far (so JoJu is kinda right ;) )

 

However, if the viewfinder in the X-Pro 2 is so much better, I probably should NOT try it ;) the X-Pro 1 serves well for what I need it for, plus a 1-series X-camera is required for review work. I can't justify spending a lot more for another camera...

 

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#20 Klaus

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 12:28 PM

Funny, this 50/2 I got as substitute for the 56/1.2 APD (which currently is in service because of some rattle in the tube and a wobbly aperture ring - so much to the "metal construction", haha). The APD is slow in dark situations. I thought, no APD filter = always possible PDAF? No true, the 50/2 is even slower if it's dark enough  :mellow: But PZ testers are mostly daylight persons B)  

 

What has slow focus in the dark to do with the lens? We don't do camera tests ...


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