|The Fuji XF 10-24mm f/4 zoom lens mounted on an X-E2 with an XF 14mm f/2.8 lens next to it.|
The other thing I noticed with some of my first test shots was the absence of any vignetting -- very unusual, particularly for such a wide angle lens, and a zoom at that.
The 10-24mm is image stabilized, whereas the 14mm is not. Of course you are going to need at least one stop of image stabilization to make up for the difference between using f/4 and f/2.8 hand held in low light.
|The 10-24mm zoom on the left compared to the 14mm f/2.8 on the right. There is a big difference in size and weight.|
At f/5.6 there is literally a jump in sharpness that is astounding. I'm used to lenses getting a bit better as the aperture is stopped down one stop at a time. With the Fuji 10-24mm them move from f/4 to f/5.6 produces a jump in sharpness that is absolutely astounding and will probably have all of us putting tape on our apertures to fix them to either f/5.6 or f/8.
|I did this test because it is a similar situation to shooting landscapes where the focus is on a sweeping foreground. Here the focus point was placed as low as possible in the center of the frame. Download the high res sample images below.|
You can tell from the test photo above that there is virtually no vignetting or rectilinear distortion. Achromatic distorting was almost non-existent also.
How does the 10-24mm zoom compare to a fixed focal length wide angle lens like the Fuji 14mm? In tests I did with the two lenses where the 10-24mm zoom was set to 14mm and f/4 it appears to deliver the same image sharpness right into the corners, as the 14mm lens at f/4, which is to say it is very sharp.
|The Flatiron Building in NYC, one of my favorite test subjects for resolution because of the detailed mosaic work over the surface. Shot at f/4 at 15mm, it is tack sharp everywhere. Click here to download a high res version.|
|Shot into the bright afternoon sun at 14mm and f/11 with the sun off towards the frame edge to cause maximum flaring.|
|An intentionally blurred 19mm tunnel shot hand held at 1.2 sec and f/7.1 taken with the X-E2.|
|Photographed at an ideal aperture of f/8 and 16mm focal length, it really doesn't get much better than this. Click here to download the high res file.|
|Other side of the Washington Square monument into the sun at 16mm and f/8.|
|A new art installation listing the names of 392,486 artists is located along the Hudson River. It is part of the Whitney 2014 Bienal, and titled "Artists Monument" by Tony Tasset.|
|10mm at f/16. Things don't get any sharper than this.|
I went into this test expecting many of the typical disappointments associated with super-wide angle zoom lenses -- corner softness, rectilinear distortion, heavy vignetting. Instead I came away with even more respect for the folks at Fujifilm for making such an excellent lens with virtually none of the aberrations that usually plague this breed of zoom. This truly is one of the best super-wide angle zooms I have even used, and well worth its modest price of $999.99.
An aperture of f/4 may not be ideal, but with the added feature of image stabilization allowing you to hand hold it at one shutter speed lower than usual, you pretty much regain the stop anyway. Plus for the type of work a lens like this will usually do it will be often on a tripod and stopped down.
When compared to the Fuji 14mm fixed focal length lens, the 10-24mm seems quite large. It did not seem to feel that way, however, even though I was using it on the smaller X-E2 camera. The package of camera and lens was quite comfortably balanced.
I am not sure I would own both the 10-24mm zoom and the 14mm lens. One or the other should be sufficient to cover the range. Nonetheless, it is nice to have the choice as the Fuji lens lineup continues to expand, and it is also nice to be able to make the choice based on size, price, and comfort rather than upon quality. Both lenses are equally superb, and literally best of breed at what they deliver.
|With the X-E2 in 16:9 crop mode, this photo of the Flatiron Building was taken at 19mm and an exposure of 4.5 seconds in order to create the blurred lights of passing traffic.|
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