Last week I pulled the trigger on a new lens, one that I swore i wasn't going to purchase. The Fuji 10-24mm arrived a few days ago, but due to other commitment,s and the weather I had not had a chance to shoot outdoors with it much. This lens will replace the legendary 14mm, one lens I thought i would never change. So what was it like out in the field? Quite simply it's outstanding. So with the promise of some spring sunshine, I took off from the gallery a little early and headed of to Minninglow near Parwich. It's been a year since I last visited the place, and I am always happy to be back for a wander round the Bronze age site. It's a great place to spend an hour or two, very easy access from the Tissington trail.
So how does the 10-24mm compare to my much loved 14mm. Well I can say without a doubt that it seems to me to be pretty equal, maybe the 14mm edges it in micro contrast just. The 14mm has a marked aperture ring, and it's a shame that Fuji didn't use the same marked ring on the ultra wide. However the differences in extra viewing real estate is the real issue for me.
I always felt I was comprising my composition with the 14mm, for ultimate landscape work the 14mm is just not wide enough. As an example the image below of the dead branch would not have had the same perspective with the 14mm, some may say I could have stepped backwards, however there were things in the way which would have altered the composition for me, so it was not possible, I could have altered my viewing angle but that would have meant losing part of the image either top or bottom, again not realistic.
I know many have said the extra weight of the wide zoom is an issue, yes it's a larger lens than the 14mm but on the Xt1 with battery grip the combo weighs in at just over 1 kilo. On my D3 with a 24-70 f2.8 Sigma lens weighs in at over 2 kilos. Toting around the 10-24 on the Xt1 isn't that bigger deal. The OIS system on the 10-24mm is staggering, I have shot images at 1/8th of a second hand held without loss of clarity. F4 or F2.8 about the same when you take into account the OIS factor. Lens flare is apparent when the sun is low in the sky, but its not ugly flare, the starburst effect though is a nice feature you see this happen when stopping down the lens past F11.
The lens is very well made and certainly feels nicely balanced on the Xt1, the lens hood is pretty good, a better fit than on the 14mm which on my version had a tendency to fall off at random times. I feel the lens attains focus a little faster than the 14mm, but its not a game changer TBH. The lens is another fine optic from Fuji, has all the hallmarks of Fuji design, great sharpness, great colour and contrast.
For me the Pro's definately outweigh the Cons I really struggle actually to have any. The only real issue for me is the lack of markings on the aperture ring, it's so nice to be able to set the aperture without looking thru the EVF. The manual focus to Af clutch mechanism was a real cool touch on the 14mm, as was the superb build quality. The 10-24mm build quality is pretty damn good. My all time favourite lens for a long time, was the Nikon G 16-35 F4, it was and still is a stellar piece of glass, the ideal focal length for landscape and travel photography. The Fuji 10-24 is certainly on par with that lens.
Hope you enjoy the rest of the images.