Home · Register · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Fuji Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1      
2
       end
  

X-Mount Travel Lens Kit: Pancake, Ultra-wide zoom and ???

  
 
gdanmitchell
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · X-Mount Travel Lens Kit: Pancake, Ultra-wide zoom and ???


vallejo wrote:
I've just run an very informal comparison between the 33mm 1.4, which lots of people regard as the best lens Fuji ever made (well...) and the 18-55mm at ~33mm, both at f4 or f5.6...while the 33mm is really slightly better at center, with better definition and contrast, that only holds true because I was looking at 100% magnification, SOOC jpgs, And as much as I wanted the 33mm to perform much better then the 18-55, in real world usage, specially if you're editing RAFs and printing, this is just not true. Sure shooting at f5.6 is not why I have
...Show more

I had a similar experience with the 18-55 that made me reconsider my preconceptions about it as a “kit lens.”

For the a decade I spent a week or more every summer doing backcountry photography in the Sierra Nevada with a group of fellow photographers*. We used pack train support to get pretty serious/heavy photography gear into the backcountry. We usually walked in while the packers carried our gear, but on one trip we rode in on mules. (That’s a whole other story that I’ll save for another time.)

My main gear went in on one of the pack animals, but I needed a “happy snap” camera to use while riding and to make informal “life around camp” photographs, so I took a Fujifilm XE1 with the 18-55… about which I had rather low expectations. But when I looked at the images afterwards (stuff shot from the saddle or in camp) I was very surprised by how well the IQ held up.

We (my wife is a photographer, too) have a recent copy of that lens now, and it really is a very useful travel lens… and the image quality is very good. Yes, you could get a tiny bit better with certain other lenses — and that might make a small difference if you consistently shoot from the tripod and print large — but the differences a quite small and would be invisible to almost all users.

Dan

*Not everything at the link is from our gang, but a lot of it is. (I was not yet a part of the group with the book was released.)



Nov 19, 2023 at 11:30 AM
SGinNorcal
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · X-Mount Travel Lens Kit: Pancake, Ultra-wide zoom and ???


vallejo wrote:
I've just run an very informal comparison between the 33mm 1.4, which lots of people regard as the best lens Fuji ever made (well...) and the 18-55mm at ~33mm, both at f4 or f5.6...while the 33mm is really slightly better at center, with better definition and contrast, that only holds true because I was looking at 100% magnification, SOOC jpgs, And as much as I wanted the 33mm to perform much better then the 18-55, in real world usage, specially if you're editing RAFs and printing, this is just not true.

I hear what you are saying and agree for the most part. I have the 18 and 33f1.4's, which are both overlapped by my 10-24 and 16-80. Its easy to make a convincing argument to yourself that zooms are the way to go for most shots. But then that special opportunity where extra detail, bokeh, low light, or all of those things combined comes along to remind you why those primes are special.



Nov 20, 2023 at 02:32 PM
gdanmitchell
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · X-Mount Travel Lens Kit: Pancake, Ultra-wide zoom and ???


SGinNorcal wrote:
I hear what you are saying and agree for the most part. I have the 18 and 33f1.4's, which are both overlapped by my 10-24 and 16-80. Its easy to make a convincing argument to yourself that zooms are the way to go for most shots. But then that special opportunity where extra detail, bokeh, low light, or all of those things combined comes along to remind you why those primes are special.


Zoom are often a better option than you might think, at least when it comes to IQ.

First off, they generally do perform essentially in the same league with primes when you stop down. So if you are, say, a landscape photographer who rarely shoots at the maximum aperture you may not suffer any appreciable IQ loss at all.

But second, and perhaps more important, when you use zooms you can crop to your ideal composition in camera... meaning that you don't have to sacrifice your composition or crop in post to get it — you retain all of the original image data.

For my part, my main reason for using primes is for street photography, where I like the fact that primes are small and that they remove one variable that I don't want to consider when working really quickly. Other reason are if your work really requires particularly small DOF, or if you are shooting dynamic subjects in very low light.

Of course, some people come to the opposite conclusion from mine when it comes to travel photography. I like primes for this, but that means that I'm carrying several lenses. As mentioned in an earlier post, a single zoom can cover a focal length range that might require three or more primes, so the zoom can actually end up being smaller and lighter. In fact, some people find that they can get by with a single zoom and nothing else.



Nov 20, 2023 at 11:58 PM
mdude85
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · X-Mount Travel Lens Kit: Pancake, Ultra-wide zoom and ???


gdanmitchell wrote:
Zoom are often a better option than you might think, at least when it comes to IQ.

First off, they generally do perform essentially in the same league with primes when you stop down. So if you are, say, a landscape photographer who rarely shoots at the maximum aperture you may not suffer any appreciable IQ loss at all.


The original comment mentioned detail, bokeh and low light performance in particular; the fast primes will generally outperform the zooms in all 3 of those categories.

If you stop down to f4 or f5.6, you won't see a difference in image quality between the primes and the zooms, but then that negates the usefulness of the primes for a lot of people. Not everyone, but a lot.




Nov 21, 2023 at 07:14 AM
gdanmitchell
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · X-Mount Travel Lens Kit: Pancake, Ultra-wide zoom and ???


mdude85 wrote:
The original comment mentioned detail, bokeh and low light performance in particular; the fast primes will generally outperform the zooms in all 3 of those categories.

If you stop down to f4 or f5.6, you won't see a difference in image quality between the primes and the zooms, but then that negates the usefulness of the primes for a lot of people. Not everyone, but a lot.



There is no question that a lens with a larger aperture has the capacity to produce smoother OOF backgrounds and narrow DOF, nor that larger apertures are useful with moving subjects in low light.

However…

1. In this case, the OP was asking about specific recommendations for a three-lens system that he intends to include at least one zoom (his “ultrawide”) and includes the potential for a second (his longer zoom versus longer print question). IN THAT CONTEXT, while it is fine to mention the edge cases where he might wish he had a f/1.2 prime, responsive answers to his criteria lead to different recommendations that large aperture primes.

(Note: I DO carry two or three large aperture primes in my travel kit, but not because of “better bokeh” or “detail,” but because I specifically focus on handheld night street photograph when I travel. But here’s the thing — with current camera performance, I’ve actually been doing more of that with the f/2.8 lenses… and even when I use one of my larger-aperture primes, most often I’m avoiding using the largest aperture because of the issues with extremely narrow DOF in street photography. I suppose if one were doing street portraits there might be a few cases where larger than f/2.8 might be interesting… but f/2.8 will actually produce some pretty nice OOF backgrounds, and that 90mm f/2 — which I use — does that quite well. And, yes, I actually pack a small tripod for occasional use.)

2. As to the potential improvement in detail… that is, in comes cases, at least a theoretical possibility. E.g. excellent primes may register slightly more resolution potential in test situations where camera and subject motion are eliminated, the “best” aperture is carefully selected, and conditions are otherwise idea… and then the results are compared side-by-side at very large magnifications as the reviewer looks for specific and very small differences.

In some cases that can be useful information. But in real world photography things aren’t that simple.

For one thing, “travel photography” is a rather broad concept. (Though our OP did narrow his concept quite a bit. Go back and read his post to understand his parameters a bit more.) Is this professional photography for publication in print/online publications on assignment? Is this “street photography” in interesting and possibly exotic locations? Is the photography the sort where checking hard cases full of tripods, many lenses, reflectors, and lighting appropriate? Or is it at the other end of the spectrum where traveling fast and light (perhaps only with carry-on luggage) is the goal?

That’s a long way of noting that essentially all “travel photography” involves compromises of some sort. At one extreme the person checking and then manhandling several hard cases of gear is compromising the travel aspect… and some photographic possibilities. While she or he may come back with a perfectly lit portrait of a person sitting at a table along the Arno as the sun set, suitable for the cover of a grossly travel magazine, this photographer just missed a few dozen fast-evolving and equally (or more!) compelling images on walkway passing nearby.

One almost-universal compromise is that between the desire to be prepared for absolutely any photographic possibility and the realities of travel. (“What will I do if I need 500mm to photograph a bird!? How will I photograph without three TS lenses and a tripod?! I simply _must_ be prepared with a couple of f/1.2 lenses and a flash system in case I see a portrait opportunity!”)

And what do most photographers, including a lot of really good ones who bring back great work do? They carry less stuff when traveling, and they make the gear that they have work well.

Now the specific compromises are up to each individual, and they relate to photographic intent and how the photography plays into the travel. For example, most people doing travel photography will NOT want to do what I do. (I carry five prime lenses, most of them relatively small. It works really well for me, but probably not for most others.) My wife, also a photographer, specializes in macro photography – so she carries a “normal range” zoom lens plus a small macro! Lots of folks carry a single wider range zoom or even, if using Fujifilm, just the 18-55.

Now, if our OP comes back and modifies his original explanation to tell us that he’s on assignment to make portraits of models in Vienna and his assistant will handle the lighting… I’ll be more specific.

But I’m not reading his post that way. Our OP wants one lens that is small and unobtrusive. He’s spending a lot of time with the family, and it sounds like photography isn’t the primary thing during those times — but I’ll bet he wants some nice shots for the memories. Beyond that he wants to keep things simple but more flexible and he sees that a couple of zooms, one wide and one long, should get him there. I’m not hearing anything about using the photographs professionally or making giant prints, much less carting a tripod around. I’m pretty sure that the lenses we’re talking about here have plenty of detail for his needs — though he now has the information necessary to determine if they won’t . (Hint: all of them can produce excellent detail at quite large print sizes. I know because I’ve used them and I print.)



Nov 21, 2023 at 10:41 AM
 


Search in Used Dept. 

vallejo
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · X-Mount Travel Lens Kit: Pancake, Ultra-wide zoom and ???


Agreed. Myself I always prefer primes, but just because I like them much more for reasons unknown to myself…I just do…maybe a slight snobbish attitude from and old photographer, I’m not sure…rsrs…but I’ve always been a shallow DOF guy, so the Mitakon 0.95 and now the XF 33 felt right at home…but again, this is a very specific taste so should not be generalized…oh, and there’s the 16 1.4… outstanding, though I suspect the 10-24 at practical landscape apertures can do the same…

SGinNorcal wrote:
I hear what you are saying and agree for the most part. I have the 18 and 33f1.4's, which are both overlapped by my 10-24 and 16-80. Its easy to make a convincing argument to yourself that zooms are the way to go for most shots. But then that special opportunity where extra detail, bokeh, low light, or all of those things combined comes along to remind you why those primes are special.




Nov 21, 2023 at 10:43 AM
Geoff D F
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · X-Mount Travel Lens Kit: Pancake, Ultra-wide zoom and ???


Back to the OP.

Which lenses would I recommend for a 3 lens travel kit?

The Fujifilm 10-24 f4 OIS R WR covers the wide zoom needs and IMO is easily the best choice, having very good optical performance and a useful zoom range plus OIS.

In terms of pancake primes there is either the 18mm f2 or 27mm f2.8. Or you could go for the 23mm f2 or 35mm f2, which are not pancakes but small enough that you won't notice the difference. All of them perform well enough for travel shots and with good technique should be good for prints/viewing up to A2 size. The 23mm f2 and 35mm f2 have the linear motors so AF is fast and quiet. The 18 and 27 pancakes have older motors so are slightly slower and noisier to AF, but that has never bothered me. I'd choose between those ones based on preferred focal length and aperture rather than other attributes. The Fuji 35mm f1.4 is also fairly small and you could choose that if you wanted bring an f1.4 lens instead.

At the long end, I would recommend either the 55-200mm f3.8-4.8 OIS or the 70-300mm f4-5.6 OIS WR. The 70-300 is better optically than the 55-200, but the latter may have a more useful range, is smaller and is not bad optically, particularly below 150mm.

You could go for a tele prime but that would be your call. I'd prefer a zoom myself for travel.



Nov 21, 2023 at 06:09 PM
gundam83
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · X-Mount Travel Lens Kit: Pancake, Ultra-wide zoom and ???


After years of carrying multiple lenses, ive found that I've gravitated towards just the 16-80mm, as it covers almost everything I need to shoot while traveling. If I could choose two more I'd probably bring the fuji 27mm pancake and 10-24mm


Dec 02, 2023 at 01:45 PM
didierv
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · X-Mount Travel Lens Kit: Pancake, Ultra-wide zoom and ???


Cairo streets are quite narrow, if you want to venture deep in the populous neighborhoods to do street photography.
When Cairo I only used the 18 mm 2.0 very light and compact.

I only do street and travel photography, all I use is the 18 and 35 2.0. The 18 is used 90% of the time on an Xpro 3. Feel free to check my flickr or Instagram.



Dec 03, 2023 at 03:44 PM
rickbern
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · X-Mount Travel Lens Kit: Pancake, Ultra-wide zoom and ???



didierv wrote:
Cairo streets are quite narrow, if you want to venture deep in the populous neighborhoods to do street photography.
When Cairo I only used the 18 mm 2.0 very light and compact.

I only do street and travel photography, all I use is the 18 and 35 2.0. The 18 is used 90% of the time on an Xpro 3. Feel free to check my flickr or Instagram.

Thank you, I did, and it was well worth finding it. Really enjoyed looking at your work



Dec 05, 2023 at 11:48 AM
1      
2
       end






FM Forums | Fuji Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1      
2
       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username       Or Reset password



This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.