I have fond memories of shooting with a Sigma 10-20mm and 10mm fisheye a few years ago on DSLR’s. Super wide angle lenses are great fun and sometimes it’s the things they say you shouldn’t do with a wide angle that turn out to be the most interesting and fun. I got that familiar, but at the same time forgotten tingle of excitement when I attached the Fuji 10-24mm f4 lens to the X-T1, similar to how a piece of music takes you back to a memory tucked away in the back of your mind. A super wide angle lens is an epic way to see the world!
In full frame speak, this would be a 15-36mm, so it can be a decent documentary lens, especially in tight spaces. It could be used for street photography too, but it’s a bit too big compared to the 23mm f1.4 or 18mm f2. But if landscape or architecture work is your thing, then this is the lens for you. I haven’t managed to get anywhere near the sea since having the 10-24mm, but I’m sure it would produce epic seascapes.
At 87mm’s long and with a filter size of 72mm, the 10-24mm can be a bit front heavy on most of the X-Series cameras. But with the battery grip attached to the X-T1 it feels about right and with the lens getting bigger toward the front, it feels both comfortable and secure when holding it in both hands. I’m so glad Fuji chose to make this a constant wide aperture of f4. Although 2.8 would have been nice, I much prefer a constant f4 to the variable f3.5-f5.6 of the 18-135mm. In my mind pro lenses don’t have variable apertures.
On the subject of Aperture, I don’t know why Fuji chose to have an endless aperture ring without f numbers marked on the lens. I get that you need this on the 18-55mm or the 18-135mm because the widest aperture is variable as you move through the range of the zoom. But as the 10-24mm is a fixed widest aperture of F4 all the way through, I don’t see the point. I’m so glad to see that the upcoming 50-140mm f2.8 has an aperture ring like the primes, with the f stops etched on the lens and a dead stop at either end. Because the 10-24mm has an endless aperture ring, it does note have an A for Auto. So like the 18-55mm, there is a seperate switch to select manual or automatic aperture.
One slight gripe I have (personally) is that the focus ring is so far forward that it makes manual focusing awkward when turning the focus ring to the left (focusing closer), if like me, you prefer to hold the lens from below, rather than above. This is only a problem with the battery grip attached to the X-T1 as the heal of your hand hits against it. That won’t be a problem with any other body.
So it’s another big thumbs up for Fuji glass. They make fantastic cameras, but the quality of their lenses is breathtaking. The original three X-Series lenses, the 18mm, 35mm and 60mm, were and still are sharp, compact and well made. the 35mm f1.4 is already a classic in my opinion. But since those early lenses, Fuji have taken things to another level and produced lots of amazing glass, including my all time favourite, the 56mm f1.2.
Next on my shopping list is the 50-140 f2.8 (75-210mm in full frame), which will be perfect for my long term jazz project. I reckon this will be the lens that make a lot of DSLR users jump ship to mirrorless. Watch this space for a full review soon.
Disclaimer: I am an Official Fujifilm X-Photographer and have done some work for them. However, I am not paid to review gear or promote the Fuji brand. I have been talking and writing about the X-Series since the X100 found it’s way into my hands and long before Fuji knew who I was. The X-Series changed the way I shoot and has opened many doors for me.
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