Top critical review
26 people found this helpful
Fine lens with some manual focus quirks
on 5 July 2014
I feel bad about only giving this lens 3 stars. I'm sure for most users it would be a 5 star review. However its design causes me some problems.
With older style Fuji primes you switch from auto to manual focus by moving a switch on the camera body. With this lens the setting of the switch is ignored and you switch to manual focus by sliding the focus ring towards the camera body. This reveals the distance marks and the DoF scale just like old style lenses. This is very pretty but it makes the lens behave differently to the older models. With the older lenses when you are in manual focus mode you can hit the AF-L button and the lens will auto focus and then you can fine tune the focus by hand. I use this a lot when shooting the X-Pro1 in poor light because the manual focus assist is not great with that body so it gets you close the the focus you want a lot quicker than using full manual. With this lens hitting the AF-L button has no effect. This is because there are distance marks on the lens and the focussing ring would have to rotate during auto focus.
This is less of a problem when using the X-T1 because its manual focus assistance is lots better than the X-Pro1. Even so it's not completely satisfactory behaviour.
Another issue is that when switching from auto focus to manual focus the focus changes. This is again because the lens has to honour the distance marks on the barrel of the lens.
I mostly use these cameras to shoot rehearsals and performances in theatres. I need to shoot unobtrusively in rather difficult lighting conditions. I don't want to be continuously catching a performers eye with the AF assist light. The AF-L trick is really useful when action suddenly switches across the stage. It seems a pity that what seems to be a purely cosmetic change to the lens breaks my working practice.
Another niggle is that the A setting on the aperture ring has hardly any detent. I'm sure people will continually be brushing the lens and end up shooting at f/16. Something to consider if you shoot shutter priority or fully automatic a lot (I don't).
I should repeat - this is an annoyance for me but I'm using the equipment in a rather unusual way. Unless you have a similar use case you should have no hesitation in buying this lens.