Lens Questions……

3 years, 4 months ago 7
Posted in: Uncategorized

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Let me start by thanking you guys for making the new Fujifilm Guide to the X-Series so successful!  In the first five weeks you’ve purchased over 140 books!  Even better, I’ve gotten a  numbner of nice emails from people expressing their delight with the contents, so, thanks again!  It seems of all the questions I’ve gotten, the most are asking me to elaborate on the page below, and then answer some of the most frequently asked questions about lenses in the X-Series.



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Question for Nick T. in Seattle.    I see that you had both the 18-55 and the 16-55 at one time and now it appears you don’t have either.  Why?


The 18-55 was the kit lens with my first X-Series interchangeable lens body the X-E1,  For a long time it was my most used lens and some of the very best images I’ve made with the Fujifilm System have been with that lens.  It was light, well built, had great OIS and was tack sharp.  On a trip to Acadia a student and friend, Mike Roberts, introduced me to the 18-135!  Dang him, I bought one and it is, by far, my most used lens now, basically replacing the 18-55, which I gave to my grand daughter along with a 55-200 and a X-E2 when she got intereted in photography. I feel it is every bit as good as the 18-55 and more versatile covering 27mm-207mm vs the 18-55’s –  27mm to 82mm,  When the 16-55 f 2.8 came out I just thought it would be a duplicate of the 18-135 range, but with some nudging form my teaching partner Jack Graham and Austin based photo buddy Dudley Hawethore, I bought a 16-55.  It is very sharp, likely a little sharper than any of the others, but  honkin’ big, I mean beer barrel big, for a Fuji lens.  Just never fell in love with it,  so I sold it, simple as that!



Question from Linda H. in Birmingham.  I don’t see the 14mm f 2.8 in any of your lens packages, do you not hold it in high regard, you seem to say great things about it in the Guide Book II?  I have that lens and really love it, just curious!?


Linda, I love that lens and everytime a reach for it I grab the 10-24 because it is a little wider and as a zoom, more versatile.  Quality wise, it is one of the very best wide angles ever made by anyone and surely in the top three or four of Fuji’s XF lenses.  It is especially great for star and night sky work. I find it’s great for travel because it is small and light, I am committed to use it more, because everytime I do it rewards me with stellar images!!!  A lot of people never experience it’s magic because it is pretty expensive, but worth every penny!  You made a great decsion to buy it!



Question from Brad C. from Denver.  I see you own almost all the fast single focal length lenses.  Do you use them very much?  Second question please, You (according to the lens map), own both the 23mm f 2 and the 23mm f 1.4 and the 35mm f 1.4 and the 35mm f 2, which do think is best in each pair?  


That’s a tough one Brad, but here goes;  First, no I don’t use the single focal length lens as much as my zooms.  Most of my work is nature, landscape, Americana and travel and in all those fields the zooms are hard to beat  You often find yourself not able to backuop or move forward enough and the zoom solves that problem.  Even though they get used less they do get used a lot.  The single focal length lenses are superlatively sharp and when working in very low light the fast apertures are a real blessing for focusing and when you want to get deliberate shallow depth of field.  As to the two new compact f 2 lenses, I love then for their size, build quality and focusing speed, both of which beat the two fast primes pretty handily!!  In terms of absolute optical performance I’d give the 23mm f 1.4 a small edge over the F 2 version and the 35mm f 2 a slight edge over the 35mm f 1.4, but honestely it’s very close in both cases!  None of them can match the optical performance of the 16mm f 1.4, it’s down right scary sharp!



Question from Jim K. in Hartford.  I see from your road map that you no longer have the 50-140, though I remember you had it a workshop last year.  What’s up with that???!!!


Very observent Jim!  Actually the 50-140 was another victim of the 18-135, it was big and heavy and even though a fantastic lens, I just didn’t want to carry it anymore.  I used it very little when when It was in the bag.  Then the 100-400 came along and I fell madly in love with it because of it’s enormous range of focal lengths, it was even bigger and I knew it would go with me on the road, and I coudn’t see carrying both, so the 50-140 found a new home!  The 50-140 is a great great lens, but so is the 100-400 and I knew I wouldn’t carry both!



Question from Olivia P. in Los Vegas.    You stated in your book and when I’ve seen you speak that switched from Nikon to Fuji to save weight.  With all the gear you now own, have you really saved much weight, and do you ever miss your Nikons?


 Olivia, the Nikon gear I owned weighed about twice what the Fuji gear does and I have approx. the same number of lenses and bodies.  I don’t carry all of it though.  I travel by car and airplane with a big rolling bag that holds two bodies and up to 10 lenses.  When I get on location I pull just a couple or three lenses and a body out for each shooting location, going back to the car for changes if I need something different, That way I have everything with me, and still carry a much lighter load in the field.  I use a Domke vest and it is far easier than the backpack days of the past.


Do I miss my Nikons?  After 43 years as a dedicated Nikon guy it’s still in my blood, but for what I do now the Fujifilm X-Series is a much better fit and I am producing the best work of my life, so I guess I would have to say, no, not so much!




Question from Diane W. in Salt Lake City.  Since you are an X-Photographer, do you know what is coming in the way of lenses and what  you’re personally hoping for?


Diane, I don’t know anything  more than what we all read on Fuji Rumors  and other sites on the web.  I did have prior knowledge of some lenses we have now, earlier and the GFX a year before we heard anything about that, but of course was sworn to keep it secret.  As to what I “hope” to see?  Can’t wait for the already mentioned 80mm Micro f 2.8.  Sad the 120mm Macro f 2.8 was cancelled!!!  Would love to see a 200mm f 2 that worked great with the current 1.4 and 2X converters.  The rumored 8mm- 16mm wide angle zoom would be something I would love.  Still want a long Macro 120mm or 140mm , that would be great.  Maybe a shift tilt lens and a 8mm fisheye.  I really want a 60mm f 2 like the other compacts, but since a 50mm is coming, I doubt we will see that since a a50mm is already out.  How about a 70mm f 2  that would be a 105mm that be sweet and perfect for portraits!!!!!


Thanks for the questions and please keep them coming!  I know you were expecting images from the Bone Yard this weekend, but I cancelled the trip to stay close by while Wes goes through more tests, prayers are still needed!




the pilgrim


My current Think Tank Airport Advantage loaded and ready!

P.S. for Linda  I moved my batteries around and added the 14mm f 2.8!!!!!


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7 Responses

  1. Jerry Reece says:

    Bill, My collection of lens and bodies that I carry is pretty much the same as yours. I don’t currently have a rolling case. What rolling case would you recommend for air travel?

    I have signed up for 4 workshops with you and Jack for 2017. Don ‘t I wish that my beloved Bessie, wife of 63 years and Fuji partner, was still with us; but she will be guiding me from above rather than by my side.

    For the Smokey’s in late April, what are the must have lenses that I should bring if I decide to travel light?

    Jerry R.

    • admin says:

      Jerry so good to hear from you and still so sorry a bout your loss!

      I am using the Think Tank Airport Advantage which is designed for mirrorless and perfect for the Fuji System. As for the Smokies, a wide angle zoom, a mid range zoom and telephoot zoom are perfect. If you add some way to do close-ups you would be rocking!

      Will look forward to seeing you all year!

  2. Rodney McKnight says:

    Thanks for the update Bill. Have really enjoyed the e book!!
    Continuing prayers for Wes!


  3. I enjoyed the book, too.

    I just acquired a used 16-55. Funky lens and, like the 100-400, big and heavy which is kind of surprising. Just for grins at one of my favorite camera places (Pro Photo Supply in Portland) we stacked them side by side with the the Canon 100-400 and 24-105 (which Fuji needs!) and the Fuji lenses were bigger!

    Wanted to ask about the 18-135. Thought about trying to find a deal on one to take with me and my new X-T20 when I am in Holland this summer. I’m there visiting the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague and photography isn’t permitted but it’s peak tulip time and our group will get some time to go in search of. What about the sharpness of that lens vs. even the 18-55mm? I would like to get by maybe with just one camera body and lens. Have you tried yours with the Canon 500D and the 67-77 ring?

    Note: As for the X-T20. Got it Friday. I like my X-T2 and was waiting for the X-E3 but opted to go with the X-T20. Both the X-T20 and X-T2 have more features than any sane person will ever use, especially experienced photographers. But it does make me wonder if this wasn’t the camera Fuji should have released first. One “whoop a–” feature is the ability to instantly select a focusing point and fire by touching the screen! Time will tell if that’s really a good thing but it seems pretty cool.

  4. admin says:

    Works great witht the 500D! a litte front heavy but tack sharp. I use the 18-135 all the time really love it! I’m anxioius to try an X-T20!

  5. Dave Benson says:

    Thanks for the wonderful graphic… and suggestions…

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