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merlin

Fuji 16Mm Vs. 14Mm

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Seeking advice re: these lenses, as I can only purchase one of them.  The $150 discount is why I am even considering this!

 

Will be using it mostly for landscapes, skies, and cloud formations, and perhaps some macro.

 

Thanks!

Edited by merlin

Fuji X-T1, X-T2, 16/1.4, 23/1.4, 56/1.2, 90/2, 18-55; X30

http://merlinemrysphoto.com

blog.evening-sun.com

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Can't speak on the 16mm...I'd buy one sight unseen if I felt rich right now.  

I have had the 14mm for almost 2.5 years now, and I can vouch for the lens in all respects:  It's really good.

Extra bonus:  It's relatively small and lightweight, compared to the high-speed primes, like my 23mm.


Keith B.

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Hi Merlin,

I've got both lenses. The 14mm is very strong for landscape and architecture. I also like to do night city scapes. There the 16mm fares better. I prefer its rendering of point light sources. Also star photography works better with the 16mm.

Both lenses are very good. If I only could have one or the other it would be the 16mm as I really like fast glass. 

Best of luck with your decision.

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Don't discount the third option, the 10-24/4. It's wider (10mm is really wide) and has OIS so the f/4 isn't the problem that it might appear to be. As far as DOF/bokeh is concerned, personally I've never resorted to ultra wides for a bokeh effect - the mere nature of short focal lengths means that even a fast lens wide open will have questionable performance in that regard with a naturally deep DOF. Even if you're focussing at closest distance all the time, background out of focus areas will never be anywhere close to the "buttery-smooth" nature of a long, fast lens.

 

The 10-24 OIS is usable reliably to 1/10th sec, and I've taken sharp shots as long as one second hand-held at 10mm (though this isn't a reliable outcome, but is merely a possible one). The 2.4x zoom also adds mightily to the usefulness of the lens, and while it does distort at 10mm, the distortion figures at 14mm are almost as good as the 14/2.8, which is in a class of its own as far as correction goes. The 16mm apparently is nearly as good (I don't have that lens), but given the much wider aperture would be perfectly expected to fall down a bit at its widest apertures (which of course the 14mm simply doesn't have at all).

 

My preferences for the lenses I use shifts constantly as new lenses are added - at the moment in my "usual bag" I have the 8/2.8 Samyang fish, 10-24/4, Zeiss 50/2.8M, 50-140/2.8, 56/1.2 and 90/2, along with the Sigma DP1 (19/2.8) and DP3 (50/2.8) Merrills.

 

The 14/2.8, 18-55/2.8-4, 35/1.4, and 55-200/3.5-4.8 are semi-retired in my "backup" bag. If the 14, 18-55 and 55-200  lenses are still unused in the next six months or so, I'll probably trade them in against a 1.4x TC and 100-400mm when those lenses are released. The 35/1.4 will stay as it is the ideal length for multi-row, stacked and stitched panos should I ever return to doing them, as well as giving me a "normal" AOV in the unlikely event I ever need that again. Throughout my career, normal AOV lenses have always been the least used in my kit.

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Wound up purchasing the 16mm f/1.4 from B&H.  Thanks for all the input -- much appreciated!

 

The lens arrived late this morning.  However, I am wondering if something is amiss with the AF.  I have checked all settings, and the first batch were all OOF.  I switched to manual mode, and then back to AF, and most things are now OK.

 

But it seems that the lens is unable to focus on cloud formations (one of my main reasons for purchasing it), and rather locks on the trees, mountains, and houses at the bottom of the frame.  I am using a central focus point, 3x size, and the shots were at f/11 or f/8.

 

If there are only clouds in the frame, it is definitely OOF.

 

No such issues with the 56mm and 90mm.

 

Before sending it back for an exchange, wondering if anyone can comment on this situation.

 

Here are a few shots:

 

 

post-8317-0-12461400-1441322302_thumb.jp

post-8317-0-70464800-1441322328_thumb.jp

Edited by merlin

Fuji X-T1, X-T2, 16/1.4, 23/1.4, 56/1.2, 90/2, 18-55; X30

http://merlinemrysphoto.com

blog.evening-sun.com

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Do you have the menu (item #2 in camera menu #1) AUTOFOCUS SETTING>AF MODE set to single point (dot in a square symbol) and your camera AF switch is on "S"?

When set like this the camera must focus on the focus square selected, and cannot display the effect you're describing, focussing on a point where there is no active focus square indicated

 

Usually if the lens has a focussing fault in itself it will present a "Turn camera off and then on again" message while refusing to operate at all, so I'd suggest if that isn't happening you may have to run through each and every possible AF setting before returning the lens. A call to Fuji support first might also be wise - I have a dread of sending either camera or lens through the post unless absolutely necessary - fate always seems to manage to damage my equipment when doing this.

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Oh, and make your focus box bigger if it at or near its smallest setting.

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Thanks for your response, Alan -- much appreciated!  I had already checked the menu settings you mentioned, and they are set correctly.  The focus box is at 2 or 3, not the smallest setting.  And I did go through every menu setting to make sure nothing had changed from when I was using the 90mm.

 

I am not concerned about sending the lens back.  B&H will send me a UPS return shipping label, and once it leaves my hands, it is no longer my responsibility should anything go further amiss.

 

When the lens did not focus correctly out of the box, as has every single AF lens I have ever purchased, I had the sinking feeling that something was not right.  Changing the lens to MF mode (it is a push-pull mechanism) and then back to AF seeemingly solved the problem, but as you can see in the two attached photos, it did not.


Fuji X-T1, X-T2, 16/1.4, 23/1.4, 56/1.2, 90/2, 18-55; X30

http://merlinemrysphoto.com

blog.evening-sun.com

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It could very well be that the thing hasn't been calibrated properly to infinity. The clutch mechanism setup does provide an infinity hard stop, and if that is set too close then the result you're getting here would be expected.

 

Maybe this still is employed when the lens is set to AF. My 14/2.8 has a similar clutch MF/AF selector, and in AF mode it has a very definite "clunk" when it hits infinity, which is what prompts this suspicion.

 

With other lenses there is no solid infinity stop that I can ascertain so the lens itself can't influence the infinity focus distance, that is the job of the camera and its on-sensor focus points along with the camera's computer, which just disengages focus the ring's drive signal when it decides it has reached infinity, allowing the ring to free-wheel past that point.

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This makes complete sense, Alan.  Thank you very much!

 

When I focused on flowers, shrubs, pine tree needles, vegetable plants, and a wall -- subjects that were no more than several meters away -- the photographs were sharp.  It was only when focusing on clouds and distant mountains that it was very OOF.


Fuji X-T1, X-T2, 16/1.4, 23/1.4, 56/1.2, 90/2, 18-55; X30

http://merlinemrysphoto.com

blog.evening-sun.com

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Such a pity that it looks like you got a dud lens. Fuji really does seem to have trouble with QC in early runs of new lenses. Hopefully they'll put a better QC regime into play sooner rather than later.

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Shoot some tripod mounted tests on distant, non-cloud subjects.  Manual focus to see if the lens is capable of being sharp at infinity.  Of course, if the AF cannot deliver infinity focus, it's no good.

Btw, on my meager collection of two Fuji lenses(14mm and 23mm), the lens focus ring turns past infinity.  There is a stop, but it is past infinity focus...similar to the Nikon SF lenses I've used.


Keith B.

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In MF mode my 14 stops in line with the left outer edge of the infinity symbol - but more importantly when it stops there it is focussed at star-distance infinity. It makes for easy night sky photographs, were I not experiencing such a downer on that sort of stuff at the moment.

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Thanks for the suggestions and sympathy.  The focusing ring on some of my Nikon lenses would go past infinity, but they focused perfectly in manual mode.  A fair number of both the D and G series needed AF fine tuning, though.

 

My other two Fuji lenses (56 and 90) worked perfectly right out of the box, so this was a huge disappointment.  Even though B&H provided a prepaid return label, I won't get the replacement for almost two weeks.  Bummer...

 

Didn't realize this was an early run for the lens.  The $150 instant rebate was the deal clincher, for me.

 

And I very much like the 24mm AOV, especially for mountain and cloud scenes.  And the star patterns (sun in the frame) looked very good as well, even if OOF.


Fuji X-T1, X-T2, 16/1.4, 23/1.4, 56/1.2, 90/2, 18-55; X30

http://merlinemrysphoto.com

blog.evening-sun.com

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In MF mode my 14 stops in line with the left outer edge of the infinity symbol - but more importantly when it stops there it is focussed at star-distance infinity. It makes for easy night sky photographs, were I not experiencing such a downer on that sort of stuff at the moment.

I just checked my 14 and 23, in case I was wrong.  Visible focus on both go just a touch past infinity, visible in the finder, easily with the imag engaged.  

The ring on the 14 goes to the far edge of the infinity symbol as does yours, but the 23 focus ring goes about 1mm past the far edge of the infinity symbol.  


Keith B.

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It would appear then that the calibration and setting of the infinity stop is perhaps not as accurate or carefully done at assembly with these lenses.

 

I must have just got lucky that the stop coincides with starlight-infinity focus. Maybe I'll hang onto my 24/2.8 after all then, even though the 10-24/4 has virtually replaced it in the bag in practical user (in fact the 10-24/4 shares about equal billing with the 50-140/2.8 as the lens most often attached to my X-T1 at the moment).

 

The 10-24/4 really is an excellent zoom, and the OIS makes stupidly long exposures possible hand held. Being a stop slower than the 14/2.8 is well and truly compensated for, and bettered by probably another three to four stops.

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I re-viewed the few 16mm photos that seemed to be in focus.  In this one, perhaps I focused on an object that allowed the DOF to extend all the way to the horizon, so the faulty infinity issue did not arise.

 

21122227866_b42ce2414d_k.jpg


Fuji X-T1, X-T2, 16/1.4, 23/1.4, 56/1.2, 90/2, 18-55; X30

http://merlinemrysphoto.com

blog.evening-sun.com

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But it should still be able to focus at infinity wide open - if it doesn't it's faulty.

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Replacement 16mm arrived a few hours ago.  It felt different even upon first picking it up, and the push-pull focus ring worked perfectly even before attaching it to the camera.

 

I took about a dozen AF shots at various focus distances, including the distant mountain peaks, and everything seems to be working well.  A huge relief!  Unfortunately there are no clouds in the sky today.

 

Will of course do more testing, especially on Saturday's jaunt up north to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, but so far, so good!


Fuji X-T1, X-T2, 16/1.4, 23/1.4, 56/1.2, 90/2, 18-55; X30

http://merlinemrysphoto.com

blog.evening-sun.com

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Good news.

 

It's a pity these things happen.
 

I've had two lens DOA - Fujinon 55-200/3.5-4.8 and the Zeiss 50/2.8M Touit - never mind the problems I had with Nikon bodies. In fact I've had trouble of some form or other with every camera system I've bought in to, even though in the greater scheme of things these disruptions have been a very minor part of the experience (the D600 being the notable exception, and is still the only camera I've returned and left the system altogether as a result of an ensuing, unresolved hassle).

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Whilst I certainly am glad the replacement lens seems to be working perfectly, there is no reason why the problems with infinity focus and the push-pull mechanism of the first one were not uncovered by QC.

Edited by merlin

Fuji X-T1, X-T2, 16/1.4, 23/1.4, 56/1.2, 90/2, 18-55; X30

http://merlinemrysphoto.com

blog.evening-sun.com

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Unless of course the problem was caused by a shock during transport (which is really what it sounds like - a misalignment caused by an impact - maybe the whole container load was dropped!)

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I suspect it fell off a cart at the Fujifilm factory while on it's way to being packed, or the employees at the retailer mucked with it.


Keith B.

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It's good to hear your replacement lens seems to work ok. I'm looking forward to see some pictures and hear how you like the 16mm. Enjoy the new lens!

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