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Alan7140

Fuji gear rotation again

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As Fuji catches up with gear I really want rather than that which was introduced with pricing and sales volume in mind to get the system off the ground, two of my lenses are packed and ready to be shipped off as trade-ins on 2016's arrivals. First to be ordered (and due here on Monday or Tuesday) is the 1.4TC which, combined with the 50-140 f/2.8 has rendered my original 55-200 f/3.5-4.8 redundant and therefore that is packed and ready to be sent off.

 

Depending on when it is actually released, the 120/2.8 Macro will join its Zeiss Touit 50/2.8 cousin in my bag at earliest possible delivery date (July on the roadmap, so September-November in Fuji's reality).

 

Also in the trade-in package is my much admired and loved 14mm f/2.8 - not because there's anything deficient with it, but because since the 10-24/4 OIS arrived I have used the little 14/2.8 only once or twice. It was just not quite wide enough, and in retrospect the 12/2.8 Zeiss Touit Distagon would perhaps have been a better purchase. As the 10-24 covers both those lengths and more (and to be frank, for a wide zoom it provides image quality just about on par with the 14/2.8 at 14mm) it is the lens most often on my camera at the moment. It does get a bit soft at the edges at 10mm, but it is still sharper in the corners than either of my last two Nikon wide zooms were (the 16-24/4 and the 17-35/2.8).

 

I'm yet to be convinced that I need the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 that's on 2016's roadmap for Feb-March, so that will wait until last should I even decide to go with that. I do have a sneaking suspicion, however, that Fuji have a top-shelf zoom similar to 200-400/4 (or 200-500/5.6) in mind for the following year or so, in much the same way as the superb 50-140/2.8 & 1.4TC unseated the 55-200 from its initial - and only - long lens duties. As a really long lens is not something I miss in my general shooting life, I'll probably wait to see what the top shelf item reveals itself (and its price) to be.

 

The system is moving out of adolescence and into its early adulthood (the latest firmware finally brings burst and bracketing to flash along with more varied AF and function button operation, amongst many other functional additions to other operations), so perhaps it is about time that Fuji looked seriously at its flash units and introduced a system along the lines Nikon's CLS system. That, and a bigger selection of long lenses would get the system right into full adulthood. :)

Edited by Alan7140
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Good to see that the system is gaining traction. 

 

I have only got 2 Oly lenses I need to buy and then I am done. I'm hoping to get the 40-150/2.8 PRO and the 60/2.8 macro sometime in the future and I can call it a day as far as gear is concerned. Sadly I can't sell the 35-100/2.0 for much. If it was not so huge I would keep it and use it all the time because it's definitely way better than the 40-150/2.8 in my opinion. Just too heavy...

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The m4/3 system has very much been matured, but still lacks sperwide primes of 18-20mm (equivalent) range.  A 9mm/f2.0 or 10mm/f2.0 would be nice, but f2.8 will do.  Olympus is rumoured to release more than one f1.2 lenses.  They should be the addition to the lineup in the nearest future, but they will very unlikely include a superwide of this speed.

 

So far as the longer lenses are concerned, I'm pretty much satisfied with the adopted (D )SLR lenses, thanks fo the superb IBIS and the 70x live view magnification function of E-M5 Mk II.

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If I were into the Fuji system, I would really be looking forward to the 120/2.8 macro. I can't imagine that it will be anything but stellar.

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Now that E-M5 Mk II offers focus bracketing, I'm looking at M. Zuiko 60/2.8 Macro.

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The m4/3 system has very much been matured, but still lacks sperwide primes of 18-20mm (equivalent) range.  A 9mm/f2.0 or 10mm/f2.0 would be nice, but f2.8 will do.  Olympus is rumoured to release more than one f1.2 lenses.  They should be the addition to the lineup in the nearest future, but they will very unlikely include a superwide of this speed.

 

So far as the longer lenses are concerned, I'm pretty much satisfied with the adopted (D )SLR lenses, thanks fo the superb IBIS and the 70x live view magnification function of E-M5 Mk II.

 

m43 has some highly regarded Oly 7-14/2.8 and Pana7-14/4 zooms, and the Oly 9-18/4-5.6 for those on more of a budget.

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Hi Alan,

 

How would you rate the 50-140 vs say Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 ? 

If the XPRO-2 AF is really a step up I might consider completing the Fuji lens lineup and sell the Nikon.

 

My Fuji lenses so far: 14mm;  16mm; 23mm; 35mm; 56mm

 

My Nikon lenses: 20mm f/1.8; 35mm f/1.8; 60mm f/2.8 Micro; 85mm f/1.4

 

I'm a prime guy but I guess rather than getting the 90mm I'll look into the tele zoom.

 

Daniel 

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I'm afraid I never owned the 70-200/2.8, I had the much praised 80-200/2.8 AFD from new and couldn't fault it until the D3 arrived, when it became simply impossible to auto-focus accurately even with the focus compensation set to maximum -20. I kept it, using manual focus only, which anyone who has used that lens with MF would know was an absolute pig.

 

The D3s proved to have the same problem, after which I simply bought AI-s 200/4, 135/2.8 and 105/2.5 instead which hugely improved focussing manually. All three took up about the same bag space although they did total more weight (I already had the 85/1.4 AI-s which, when included, tipped the size scale back in favour of the 80-200/2.8). I blamed the new Nikon AF for the problem and not the lens because the D2x and previously a D70s were deadly accurate in focussing the 80-200.

 

I realise that many have a problem with Fuji's AF, but to be honest, since the V.3 update to the X-T1 it performs perfectly well  with what I do. The MF function was also improved and made much smoother through that and lens firmware updates, and in common with other mirrorless cameras there is no problem whatsoever with accuracy of AF - if the green outline shows, the focus point is bang-on sharp, no question about it.

 

Given that I can't make a direct comparison with the 70-200/2.8, what I can say is that the 50-140/2.8 is hands-down the best long zoom I have ever used, both in image quality and function. The zoom ring is not too stiff or loose, with only a quarter turn to cover the whole zoom range. The manual focus ring has firm resistance but is also absolutely smooth to operate (similar to a well-serviced AI-s, in fact), and the aperture ring is also absolutely perfect - firm clicks and it stays where it is set, requiring deliberate action to turn it.

 

The OIS is simply amazing - I've taken perfect shots as low as 1/20 sec at 140mm wide open, which is just nuts for that AOV. The size and weight of the lens does seem to bother some people, but I always hold my cameras in a two-handed grip, right hand holds the body, left is on the lens, and with that method neither the size nor weight causes a problem, either in handling or balance.

 

As far as the 90/2 goes, I am happy to own that lens alongside the 50-140/2.8. While it misses on OIS, it is WR, and the out-of-focus background (and foreground) bokeh is substantially better than is the zoom's. It also focusses substantially closer than the zoom, which is super-handy for closer portrait shots. It's not a midget lens, bit needless to say it is a lot smaller and lighter than the zoom as well. The front element is also smaller in diameter than the zoom's, which is a perhaps unexpected but makes sense when the zoom is f/2.8 @140mm as well.

 

Best I could suggest is trying both in actual use first if it has to be a choice between the two - they are totally different lenses at 90mm. I did do a direct comparison when I got them set wide open for both which proved that the zoom's 90mm is not the same as the 90mm's AOV, and that the bokeh is substantially different between the two (expected, but worth comparing the maximum potential of the lenses at the focal length). Fixed tripod position, same focus point, same exposure, same Photo Ninja settings.

 

90/2

MHSK7Nk.jpg

 

50-140 @ 90mm, f/2.8

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m43 has some highly regarded Oly 7-14/2.8 and Pana7-14/4 zooms, and the Oly 9-18/4-5.6 for those on more of a budget.

 

Yes, I know.  But Oly 7-14 is too bulky, and 9-18 looks a bit outdated, although it seems to perform better on the wider end.  Panny 7-14 can be a good compromise, but, considering that there is hardly any room for stopping down the m4/3 f4.0 lens without affecting image quality.  I still want a prime of f2.8 or faster...

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Daniel

 

I have the 70-200 VRII and the 50-140, although I have not used the latter as extensively as the former.

 

Optically the 50-140 is definitely better, and I cannot disagree with Alan's comments.

 

However, if you need 200 mm, the 50-140 will not give you that in terms of magnification, only in terms of angle of view.

 

I mainly use the 70-200 for indoor sports, and it is better for that when combined with the Nikon AF system.

 

The 50-140 is lighter (995 gm v 1,540 gm).  If you add the Fuji 1.4 T/C at 130 gm, this makes the 50-140 a 70-196 f4 weighing 1,125 gm.  This compares with the excellent Nikon 70-200 f4 which weighs 850 gm and costs around £800 in the UK as opposed to the Fuji combination which costs around 1,200.

 

I do not know how the performance of the 50-140 will be affected by the T/C.  I expect it will be excellent.  But the Nikon f4 option is attractive if you are happy with this maximum aperture.

 

So there is the dilemma.  If you are happy with the limit of 140 mm, the Fuji lens is best.  If you need 200mm but are happy with f4 then the Nikon option is cheaper and lighter, and is an excellent performer.

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Thanks a lot Alan, Akira and Anthony,

 

One of my applications for the 50-140mm plus TC would be airshow photography. It's good to hear that the Fuji seems optically at least on par or better than the Nikkor. That's what we have come to expect by Fuji.

Let's wait and see wether the next gen Fuji AF can close the gap to DSLR sufficiently for dynamic shooting conditions.

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In the next couple of weeks I will replace as follows:

 

55-200 to be replaced by 50-140 & TC;

 

14 to be replaced by 10-24.

 

I will also sell my 18 which has seen little use.

 

I may also buy the 56 f./1.2.

So now this is exactly what I've done already. I never had the 18 but have kept my 18-55/2.8-4 instead of getting the 16-55/2.8. I already had the 56/1.2 but find the 90/2 a more practical lens for my purposes, although lack of OIS does cause more losses as I'm so used to having it on the other lenses, and the 56/1.2 is slightly less prone to showing up camera shake. With the 90/2 the use of a shutter speed of 1/180sec or faster really is the only reliable avoidance of that happening with hand-held shots.

 

Yesterday while my car was being serviced I walked around Hobart largely shooting with the 50-140 with 1.4xTC attached and confirmed that this is simply a brilliant lens combination - if there is any IQ loss through the 1.4TC I certainly can't see it, although a higher resolution sensor in upcoming camera models may reveal this - or not :).

Edited by Alan7140

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Akira & Dallas:  The Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro lens is well worth the wait.  It is quite simply excellent.  I am sure that you will be impressed by yours when they arrive.

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Akira & Dallas:  The Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro lens is well worth the wait.  It is quite simply excellent.  I am sure that you will be impressed by yours when they arrive.

 

Now that the latest firmware for 2.0 and 4.0 for E-M5 Mk II and E-M1 respectively offers focus bracketing, the dedicated 60/2.8 macro looks more attractive now.

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Now that the latest firmware for 2.0 and 4.0 for E-M5 Mk II and E-M1 respectively offers focus bracketing, the dedicated 60/2.8 macro looks more attractive now.

 

Helpful, but still not enough flexibility in the bracketing variables. Knowing Olympus, they'll continue to work on it and update it in the next firmware or so.

 

Very innovative all the same, although it was only a matter of time before it was offered by some manufacturer or other, in much the same way as panorama capabilities are now built into almost every camera's operating menu.

 

Probably expect to see it appear with other brands shortly.

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Helpful, but still not enough flexibility in the bracketing variables. Knowing Olympus, they'll continue to work on it and update it in the next firmware or so.

 

Very innovative all the same, although it was only a matter of time before it was offered by some manufacturer or other, in much the same way as panorama capabilities are now built into almost every camera's operating menu.

 

Probably expect to see it appear with other brands shortly.

 

My E-M5 Mk II has already been updated to 2.0, but the setting of the focus bracket by the abstract numbers that is not related to any actual values (distance, amount of increments, etc.) can be a bit annoying.  I need to do some test to get the hang of the relationship between these numbers and their results.

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They'll sort it out eventually - it can't be the easiest thing to come up with given the huge variety of different situations people will be using it for.

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E-M1 has an automatic in-camera stacking function.  When you use it, you are required to select the focus point at the 1/3 of the entire depth, and the camera takes care of the rest of the job.  E-M5 Mk II doesn't have this feature, but I will try the focus bracketing anyway.

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I tried it and it works, but there is an issue if you are using non-continuous lighting (flash) for jewellery photography. You could spend a very long time between shots waiting for the flashes to recycle, in which time you may run out of battery power for the camera. I think that the next big development move by Oly needs to be a better external power supply for jobs like this. 

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You can do that, but what happens is that if you are shooting 999 stacked frames for a single shot, and your recycle time is in the order of 2 seconds (mine is about a second), you're going to be spending roughly 2000 seconds on one shot, which is quite a long time. Then there is the amount of time it takes Photoshop to compute the final stack, which in my recent experience of shooting only 10 frames per stack, can run for a considerably long time. Stacking is very labour intensive, without commensurate returns, unfortunately.

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Photoshop makes molasses look quick when stacking, it's a real slug. Get Zerene Stacker, it's worth it. Once off payment, so no further paid update nonsense. Hugely quicker and far more flexible than Photoshop.

 

As for flash recycling - when that becomes a problem, best to just go outside and use that free continuous light source.

 

There is another way, it's a bit hit/miss in use, but when you get the rate of turning the focus ring right it works well - try shooting CL (or CH if you're impatient) while manually turning the focus ring smoothly and continuously (using a continuous light source, of course). You can get through a stack really quickly and a quick examination will soon show if you're going too quickly or too slowly. It doesn't take long to get the rate of turning right. Better still if you can use the electronic shutter so there's zero vibration from the camera (apart from the focussing ring).

 

999 shots? - that seems excessive anyway, even for a very small jewellery object.

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The m4/3 system has very much been matured, but still lacks sperwide primes of 18-20mm (equivalent) range.

 

 

The 7-14/2.8 Pro is said to be world class.

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The 7-14/2.8 Pro is said to be world class.

 

Yes, I've tried one mounted on my own body at a camera store, and the image was pretty amazing.  But it was too big as a m4/3 lens.  I would bet that Olympus was encouraged by Nikon 14-24/2.8 which makes anything look tiny.

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The 7-14/2.8 Pro is said to be world class.

 

I don't use M4/3, but if the Oly wide 7-14/2.8 is anything like the Fujinon 10-24/4 then the desire of ultrawide primes over zooms is a bit moot. When Fuji introduced the 14/2.8 prime I was blown away by its Distagon-like image rendition and lack of distortion of straight lines and swore blind that it would be the last lens I ever sold were I forced to decide.

Well all that changed with the 10-24/4 zoom - at 14mm it is indistinguishable in sharpness and distortion to the 14/2.8 prime, and even at 10mm its lack of distortion is amazing. OK, it's a stop slower, but it does have OIS which makes it far more hand-holdable than the 14/2.8 by four stops or even more, so as a consequence I have now sold the 14/2.8!

 

I continue to be amazed at the strides that design and manufacture of lenses for these smaller mirrorless sensors have taken, and it makes sense, really, as the rear register no longer has to be in the order of 48-50mm to allow for a mirror box and can be as short as 17-18mm which is hugely advantageous to the design of wide angle lenses.

 

All-in-all the predictions that wide would potentially be the mirrorless' realm are coming true, and I wouldn't for a moment baulk at an ultrawide zoom over an ultrawide prime when using mirrorless these days.

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So far as the image quality is concerned, I cannot find any reason to discard the 7-14/2.8 zoom.  Actually a zoom can be more useful than  a prime, so far as a superwideangle lens is concerned.  With maybe 24-50mm range, you can or should step back and forth to find the best framing.  But in the confied space where a superwide is needed, there can be hardly any space for that.

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