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Author Topic: Fuji 23mm  (Read 1538 times)

Jonathan Cross

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Fuji 23mm
« on: January 28, 2017, 10:37:26 AM »

I have a Fuji X_T1 and various lenses including the 23mm (=35mm full frame).  I bought it originally for portraits, but prefer the 56mm.  I have the Fuji 18-55 zoom and also the Canon 24-105 which I use on a Canon 5D Mk3.  Neither of my zooms do I use much at the wide end.  It is obvious that people love wide lenses, so what am I missing?  I think the 23mm is technically a fine lens, so can anyone help me with ideas of suitable subjects?

Jonathan

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Ken Bennett

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2017, 12:29:16 PM »

Interesting question, and something of a difficult one to answer. I use the Fuji 23/2 all the time, and in combination with the 56 I could probably shoot almost all of my assignments and 99% of my personal work. What do I shoot with it? Candid people mostly, but also environmental portraits, landscapes, news and documentary work. Pretty much everything that I like to shoot.

My suggestion would be a variation of writer Mike Johnston's One Camera/One Lens/One Year project: put the 23mm lens on your camera and shoot with it every day for a month. No other lenses allowed :) Ideally you'd make  print of your favorite every day, too, but I don't think that's absolutely necessary. With any luck you'll figure out what *you* like to shoot with it.
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rdonson

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2017, 12:30:25 PM »

What type of photography to you usually do?

Put the 23 on the X-T1 and do a few days of street photography.  I say a few days because that's what it may take to get used to that focal length and how to take advantage of it for street photography.  Yes, there are many street photogs who prefer even wider FOVs. 
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Ron

drmike

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2017, 12:40:36 PM »

Doesn't need to be street, I do all sorts with mine. I find that around 70% of my loved shots are taken with the Fuji X100 with its fixed 23mm lens. There are opportunities I have to decline if I only have that with me but I find it a very versatile focal length.

For me it's a very natural feeling focal length to the extent I don't really think of it as wide angle. On teh X-Pro the 27mm is the closest I can get and that too feels quite natural.

Mike
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armand

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2017, 03:35:30 PM »

I think I still prefer the look of 50 mm equiv but the 35 equiv is definitely more versatile. The 23 1.4 is a very solid lens, no "special character" but more a "correct" lens. It doesn't stand in you way and you can shoot almost anything with it (outside of situations where a telephoto is essential). You can even stitch if you need wider. I use it less than I should but if I had to go somewhere with just one lens this would be very high if not the highest in the list.

drmike

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2017, 04:01:43 PM »

If restricted to one lens just take any X100 variant :)
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Telecaster

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2017, 04:36:53 PM »

In film days I liked to split the 35/50mm difference with a 40 or 45mm lens. A 40/2 on Leica & Voigtländer rangefinders and a 45/2.8 on Contax SLRs (or the Contessa folding rangefinder I used for awhile). Now with my Pany GX8 m43 camera I use a 20/1.7 for the same purpose. I've never warmed up to using a 35mm or equiv. lens as "standard" but sometimes find a 50mm or equiv. to be too narrow. Camera systems that use the actual diagonal measurement of their sensors as standard focal lengths are right in my wheelhouse. (The current Pentax 645 system and its 55mm lens for example.)

-Dave-
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razrblck

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2017, 03:31:40 AM »

If you have the 23mm f/1.4 it should focus really close, so you can try to get some details or product shots. Being that fast you can also use it at events, to get more people in the frame even in difficult lighting.
The 23mm f/2 will be a bit slower for low light use, but just as useful for everything else. You can do landscapes too with that lens, you don't always need an ultra-wide lens for that (in fact you can use short and long teles too).

What do you usually like to shoot?

On APS-C I actually prefer a 28mm, which is 42mm equivalent. Wider than a 50mm on FF but without the lack of depth as a 35mm, can work for people too (just don't get close) but I use it mostly as an everyday lens so I shoot anything really. For other things I use a 50mm (75mm equivalent) that is again a bit wider than using a 85mm lens on full frame but with very similar character. I have both a macro and non macro 50mm lenses. The non macro is a 1.4 that I can also use in low light or to get beautifully blurred backgrounds when shooting people and details. The macro is better suited for closeup work (it's slower too at 2.8), and because it is very sharp from corner to corner at close distances.

I suggest what others said, to use that lens exclusively for some time. Don't restrict yourself with subjects, try to shoot everything you normally shoot and see where it works best. If it doesn't work at all for you, just sell it!
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viewfinder

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2017, 04:00:59 AM »

......You are looking at this 'problem' the wrong way around!......put all the lenses to one side and fit the 18-55 on the camera then actually shoot some images......anything that you might normally do and ONLY use the 18-55.   Compose the shots quickly and naturally without thinkng about the lens...just pick the 'right' view for your shot.   After a few subject situations/projects/jobs/days out etc., analyse the EXIF details and roughly work out which of your better shots were made at which focal lengths.........

.......Now you will be in a much better position to know which lenses make sense for you, and the way YOU make images in which situations.
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drmike

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2017, 04:49:15 AM »

I agree with what you say to a degree but if you do just stick to one lens out of your comfort zone then you learn about the lens and your ability/inclination to use it.

I did this with my 18mm on Fuji APS and it just confirmed that a 28mm FF equivalent just didn't work for me. Always a bit too wide without being wide enough (the 12mm was better for that) and just not a natural fit for me while 23mm was a sweet spot as is 27mm (40mm FF) to a slightly lesser degree.

I just don't get why I dislike the 18mm lens so much but I do and it may just stay in the cupboard in future.
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Telecaster

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2017, 04:21:28 PM »

I find with zoom lenses that I don't usually gravitate to an already-existing preferred field of view. I just tend to use the two extremes of the lens, whatever they are.  :)  If those extremes give me coverage I can work well with, I like the zoom. Otherwise not so much. 24–70mm (or equiv.) lenses tend to bug the heck out of me 'cuz they're a bit too wide at one end and not long enough at the other. Fuji's APS-C format 18–55mm, OTOH, is close to "just right."

-Dave-
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Jonathan Cross

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2017, 04:02:52 AM »

Thank you to all who have taken the time to respond.  The 23mm lens I have is the f1.4.  In terms of what I shoot, it is a mix and I use the Fuji X-T1 and Canon 5d mk3 about equally.  My X-T1 is my preferred travel camera, and my 5D mk3 is my wildlife camera (with the 100-400 mk2 lens).  I like landscapes and architectural, and do get asked to photograph people and events, though rarely large groups (I was asked to do a formal, not action, group of 12 bellringers last week).  I do not do weddings!  With people I do not like to get too close as I think they can be more natural if I am further away, hence my liking for the Fuji 56mm f1.2.  I do not do candid, and am not really attracted to street photography, though open to persuasion.  I do not want to emulate Martin Parr, but that is just me.  I am starting to put people in my landscapes, as they can give a sense of scale and I like to put people in a context.

I did discuss the 23mm lens question with a friend last Saturday at a party.  He loves his Fuji 10-24, and does use it for landscapes.  He thinks it enables him to get foreground  and skies.  I am not convinced as to me it may make the main subject less obvious, particularly if the foreground, middle ground and sky make up 1/3 each (I was taught not to put a horizon across the middle).

My purpose in asking the question was to see if I am missing something that would broaden my approach and take me out of my comfort zone by using a lens I already have.

Jonathan
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2017, 04:02:38 AM »

Perhaps you just don't "mix" with 35mm field of view? Why should that be a problem? In which case, you are not missing anything:)

I like 35mm focal length, I find it suitable for a vast range of subjects, from portraits/environment, travel, landscapes, even close-ups.

If it is not too much of an abuse, I offer some shots taken at 35mm, from X100T camera.

Regards.

algrove

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Re: Fuji 23mm
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2017, 07:51:56 AM »

OP
One suggestion might be to try the 23 on the street while using the film simulation ACROS with a filter. Seeing images in B&W for a few days just might get the street juices flowing.
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