This is an in-depth review of the Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 prime lens, also known as “Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R” that was released initially together with the Fuji X-Pro1 on September 21, 2011. Fuji specifically wanted to target professionals and enthusiasts with its X line, so it first introduced a professional-level mirrorless camera, the X-Pro1, along with three prime lenses: Fuji XF 18mm f/2, Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 and Fuji XF 60mm f/2.4 Macro. And hence, being part of the Fuji X mirrorless interchangeable lens system launch, the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 played a big role in the success of the product line.
The soon to be introduced Nikon Df has raised a heated debate among our readers. That is understandable, of course. Because Nikon is bold enough to charge $2750 for a camera that is basically a retro D610 with a D4 sensor, with some of the functionality removed on purpose. But let’s put the price question aside for a moment and focus on the design part of any camera, modern or otherwise. Remember the old Nikon FM2, a true classic. Remember the success of the Olympus PEN and the Fujifilm X series. And at this point, let me raise a provocative question. Does a camera have a soul?
A silly question, isn’t it? How can a camera have a soul? It’s just a piece of plastic, glass and metal, copied again and again. It is a tool. But that, that is the real pickle. As I wrote in my Mamiya RZ67 Pro review, the best part of film photography – and something digital has severely lacked in comparison – was the involvement in the process of it all. Film – at least with manual film cameras – makes you slow down, makes you think about every single step you take. Makes you take every single step on your own, consciously, carefully. Want a setting changed? Rotate a dial. Turn a knob. Feel the physical feedback you camera gives you, hear it click in a sort of satisfying manner. Forget to do so and there is no LCD screen at the back to check the result prematurely, no way to know beforehand if you screwed something up. And at first, running away from such complexity is a relief. After-all, digital cameras offer so much room for mistakes and complexity of film photography is certainly not for everyone! It is like eating out at a restaurant after a long home-made sandwich diet. But as the time passes, some (not all) start to miss the sandwiches and the perfectly served, neat restaurant food becomes tedious. You want the involvement back. “Make an ordinary, daily, routine activity that bit more special, personal, intimate and meaningful, simply by making it slower”. Slower and less rational.
We have already compared the recently introduced Fujifilm X-E2 camera to its predecessor, the X-E1 (click here to read our comparison). Based on specifications, the newer camera proved to be better than the old one, but with price taken into account X-E1 can easily hold its ground and is still a very viable option. But how does it compare to the still-current Fujifilm flagship camera, the X-Pro1?
I love Fuji X-series cameras – they have exceptionally good image quality, superb handling and they are just a lot of fun to shoot with. I have completed reviewing all Fuji X cameras that I have had during the last few months, including the X-Pro1, X-E1, X-M1 and the X100S. In short, an amazing array of cameras from Fuji. One issue that I overlooked while reviewing the cameras though, was the spotted ghosting issue caused by the X-Trans sensor in rare situations, as demonstrated below (shot with the Fuji 60mm f/2.4 Macro lens).
UPDATE: this turned out to be an issue with all mirrorless cameras that have a short flange distance. Please read this post to understand the issue in detail.
Fujifilm has been producing lenses for decades now. The are m42 screw-mount lenses to be found, medium-format lenses on their fixed-lens 120/220 film rangefinder cameras, not to mention broadcast and cinema lenses. In this article, we will focus on Fujifilm’s current digital compact camera system with APS-C sized sensors and discuss the most common Fujifilm lens abbreviations you can come across while looking for a new lens to put on a Fujifilm X-E1 or other camera. I will also mention some of the common abbreviations found on other Fujinon lenses, too.
1) Fujifilm Lens Mount Abbreviations
The first thing that we need to talk about are the two best-known Fujifilm lens mounts:
- Fujifilm X-mount – this is the current, modern, fully-electronic lens mount used in Fujifilm’s mirrorless camera system with APS-C sized sensors. As of October 2013, there are five cameras that use this lens mount: X-Pro1, X-E2, X-E1, X-M1 and X-A1. Fujifilm X-mount has a flange focal distance (distance between lens mount and film/sensor plane) of 17.7mm. It is relatively new, but has gained some good traction with over 10 lenses currently available since its launch in 2012 and more to come soon. Lenses that use this bayonet are simply called Fujinon.
- Fujica X-mount – an old, mechanical lens mount used in the film era. It replaced the previous m42 screw-mount and was used by STX-1 and other analogue 35mm format Fujifilm SLR cameras. Fujica X-mount lenses are called X-Fujinon and X-Fujinar. The mount – and lenses designed for it – are now obsolete, but there are still plenty of old X-Fujinon lenses to be found in places like ebay at bargain prices. The Fujica X-mount has a flange focal distance of 43.5mm.
Now that the new Fuji X-E2 is officially released (see our announcement post with a short preview), it is time to compare the camera to its predecessor and see what has changed. In this article, I will show feature differences between the Fuji X-E2 and the older X-E1, which we have recently reviewed (and really liked). And by the way, we are giving one away this December! Please keep in mind that this comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and other comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Fuji X-E2 review.
We are beyond impressed. Never before have we seen such support from camera manufacturers as shown by the relative newcomer to large-sensor digital camera market, Fujifilm. Only a while ago, Japanese company has released yet another firmware update for the original X camera, the X100. And a big one, at that. I can already hear the owners rejoice. They bought a quirky, charming camera and now, three years later, it is all grown up. So much, in fact, that we may have to append our initial review.
1) What We Think
Over the past three years, Fujifilm has produced a number of extremely lovable cameras. Until 2010 when the original X100 was launched, I don’t remember myself paying attention to any of its digital cameras, including the legendary S2, S3 and S5 Pro models. Maybe because all they had in the line-up were compact point-and-shoot offerings. For me, Fujifilm was the maker of great lenses, photographic film and film cameras only. Not anymore. In our opinion – and trust me when I say I am trying not to let my personal affection for the firm get in the way of objective statements – Fujifilm makes some of the greatest digital cameras right now. But they way they keep improving them is frankly staggering. If you ever imagined a manufacturer that cares most of all about the loyalty of its customers and truly does its best to make their products as good as they can possibly be, well, I think it is safe to say Fujifilm is at the top of the list of such camera manufacturers right now. The slightly sad part is – it shouldn’t be. What Fujifilm is doing with its continued support is really only unexpected when compared to the likes of Nikon, who prefers to launch new products to fix old ones, and other manufacturers. It should be the gold standard, but isn’t. And right now, Fujifilm seems to be the only one who knows how to truly build a loyal customer base. Bravo.
As much as I love my D700, Nikon has a thing or two to learn from the charismatic folks at Fujifilm.
Of all the announcements made recently by various manufacturers, including Sony’s groundbreaking step into full-frame mirrorless territory, we at Photography Life are most excited by Fujifilm’s news. Ever since the launch of X100, Fuji has been slowly winning over our hearts. Both with cameras themselves and the determination to improve their products and add features even after release impressed not only our team, but thousands of photographers worldwide. Don’t get me wrong, other manufacturers offer technologically brilliant alternatives and with the full-frame Sony A7 costing just $1700, the replacement for X-Pro1 will face tougher competition than before. Yet Fujifilm cameras, as we’ve written in our reviews, have something about them that makes you want to photograph all the time. The combination of drop-dead gorgeous looks, amazing prime lens selection, innovative hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, analogue controls and quirks has, no doubt, made the Fujifilm X-series camera system one of the most charismatic on the market today. Fujifilm is not about to sleep on its laurels and is quick on learning from old mistakes. The X100s that we reviewed recently is a clear proof, and the newly introduced, highly-anticipated X-E2 promises to be at least as tempting. Read on to find out what has been improved.
1) Overview and Key Specifications
The new Fujifilm X-E2 is not all that different from its predecessor, but the changes that did take place promise to make it that much more desirable. To start with, it shares virtually the exact same body as the Fuji X-E1, made of high quality plastic and magnesium alloy covers. It is smaller and lighter than top-of-the-line Fuji X-Pro1, but even with Fuji’s smallest lens attached – the XF 27mm f/2.8 – it is not as compact as the X100S. Not far off, though, and certainly much more pocketable than a DSLR. A very welcome addition is the larger, sharper LCD screen on the back of the camera to complement that 2.36 million dot OLED EVF also used in the X-E1. Having a large and super-sharp LCD is not an essential feature – at least for us it did not make the X-E1 less attractive. After-all, it is hardly a good way to sort through images. But having such a screen isn’t going to make a camera worse either, so we are happy it is now up there with the best. Oh, and the OLED EVF has gotten faster! The refresh rate has been changed from 20 fps to 50+ fps in low light situations, making it even easier to photograph without motion blur.
Along with the highly-anticipated Fujifilm X-E2 interchangeable lens camera, Fuji has also announced a successor to the stylish X-F1 compact point-and-shoot. The new XQ1 builds on the tested formula for a high-end compact camera – a large (in comparison to lower-end compact cameras) sensor, solid build quality, fast zoom lens and diminutive size. Do anything less and the crowded market will literally swamp such a camera with other offerings from all sides, smartphones among them. Thankfully, Fujifilm seems to have made all the right choices with the XQ1. Let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer.
1) Overview and Key Specifications
As the XF1 before it, the new XQ1 compact camera has a 2/3″ sized sensor with 12 megapixels. Unlike its predecessor, though, XQ1 sports an X-Trans II sensor with a different color filter array when compared to traditional Bayer sensors. What this means, at least in theory, is that XQ1 can do without AA filter and thus capture a little bit more detail. X-Trans sensors used in other Fujifilm cameras, namely the mirrorless system and X20/X100s compacts, also proved to be very capable in handling high ISO noise. Fujifilm XQ1 has ISO range of 100-12800, but don’t expect it to shine at highest sensitivities if you are used to APS-C or full-frame sensor level of performance. The new X-Trans sensor also supports phase-detect autofocus and the claimed AF speed is very fast – a mere 0.06s. I believe it is safe to assume XQ1 has the potential of delivering higher technical image quality over its predecessor, even if not by all that much.
This is an in-depth review of the Fujifilm X100S mirrorless camera, which was released on January 7, 2013 together with the X20 compact camera. After the success of the original X100, Fuji upgraded the sensor and the hybrid viewfinder, added some new features, addressed a few important firmware issues and added the “S” to the label of the camera. The long-awaited Fuji X100S debuted with a lot of fanfare, thanks to its big supporters like Zack Arias and David Hobby that provided plenty of coverage of the camera. Being tied up with reviewing newly released Nikon lenses and cameras, I did not have a chance to test the X100S out until the summer of 2013. Another reason was poor availability – the X100S was in such a high demand, that it was nowhere to be found for a long time. And it is still hard to find even today in the US market, with very few retailers like B&H Photo occasionally having limited stock.