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It has been a couple of weeks now since I’ve been using the Fuji X-E1 with the 35mm f1.4. This camera is incredible (read some of my initial thoughts here), and so is the 35mm f1.4!

This lens is super sharp and produces some great colors. The all metal construction has a great build quality. It feels solid, but it is not too heavy. Autofocus is alright, but not comparable to a DSLR of course. The autofocus is crippled by the contrast detection. And since I haven’t had any other X-Mount lens to compare yet, I have no idea if a different lens (i.e. the new 18-55mm) is actually focusing faster. The manual focus is a focus by wire system. So manual focus is smooth, but quite “slow”. You turn it quite long to get from infinity to close focus (In MF you can use the AE-L / AF-L button to initiate AF and then do some manual focus adjustments though). The good thing is that you can actually decide in which direction you want to focus to infinity. In other words either a Nikon or a Canon user can feel right at home.

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On my Nikon I own a couple of f1.8 fixed lenses. Those lenses are incredible and I always thought f1.8 is “good enough”, but having used this Fuji f1.4 lens I’m now having this WOW moment. The shallow depth of field is incredible. The high ISO capabilities of the X-E1 alone are incredible, but with f1.4 I almost can see in the dark (look here and here for more high iso examples).

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The lens comes with a nice rectangle metal lenshood. I’m usually a huge advocate on using lenshoods. It protects the lens and it improves image quality. But one reason why I bought the Fuji X-E1 with the 35mm was the compact formfactor. With the hood attached I just think the overall size is a tad to long. Moreover the provided rubber cap for the lens hood looks nice but falls of quite easily.

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The X-Series cameras are APS-C cameras. These cameras have a cropped sensor, so a 35mm sensor is actually 1,5 times bigger. Therefore the field of view of the 35mm will be 52,5mm – The so called nifty fifty. This is quite a useful field of view, and with the added macro abilities the Fuji 35mm f1.4 turns into a quite nice allrounder for a lot of things.

Discussion

  1. Lucky

    Hey Bo,
    i recently disscovered that Fujis’ RAW converter (Silkypix) seems to deliver much better results than Lightroom, converting the cameras RAW-Files. I’m still testing on that, but hopefully with the next Lightroom update, the results will look more similar to those developed in Silkypix…

    • Bo Ismono

      Hey!

      Thanks for the Info! But I do not really like Silkypix. Moreover I actually don’t mind the Lightroom convert, especially with VSCO film. Do you have a comparison of SIlkypix and Lightroom on your blog? And have you check Capture One Pro yet?

  2. Lucky

    Yes, me neither – i just recently tried it with one image, but the interface somehow sucks (should be called Sillypix) ;) The comparison would be worth a blogpost – maybe i’ll get to that next week…
    My test-version of CO already expired, so i can’t test it at the moment.

    • Bo Ismono

      Cool. Keep me posted if you do that comparison. But even if the quality is better, I’ll probably not use SILLYpics ;-)

  3. Geoff

    Nice article. I have the 35mm f/1.4 lens on my X-E1 Also. AF is slow, even with the latest firmware. I would sell the lens if the images weren’t so beautiful. I also have the 18-55 kit lens, which focuses faster. But the camera doesn’t feel balanced with the 18-55, kind of front heavy. Having said all of that, I love the X-E1 and 35mm lens combo overall. IQ is unmatched.

    • Bo Ismono

      Thanks for the input. Yes, I agree: The 18-55mm seems kind of unbalanced and (at least for me) will make the camera unneccesary big. I’m really looking forward for the 27mm pancake lens. Hopefully the AF will be a little faster than on the “old” fixed lenses. And you are right, the IQ on all those Fuji lenses in incredible and unmatched!

  4. Andy

    Yes, the zoom is a bit of a lump. I bought one and used it for a week, my composition fell apart – not the fault of the lens, which is actually terrific. I went back to the 35, everything came together again. The camera feels balanced again, although whether that has major impact don’t know – it’s a gorgeous combination, though. Someone gave a tip to use MF, the x3/x10 view function and the AE-L/AF-L button (and manual fine adjustment) to get good focus. I’ve ended up just using MF and the button, it seems to consistently do the trick for me and adds no delay to the operation.

    • Bo Ismono

      Yes, the MF trick is quite nice. I just can’t get around on using two buttons to take a picture ;-)

      Regarding the zoom lens, I think I know what you mean in terms of composition. That’s why one of my new year resolutions was to try to stick with one fixed lens. So far I’m pretty happy with it. For work I will keep using the Nikon 24-70mm but that’s a different topic.

  5. Craig Atkinson

    Would you say the focus on the XE1+35 is slower than the x100 – have you used it?

    Also, thoes night shots, what’s the shutter speed? Can’t see the exif.
    Thanks

    • Bo Ismono

      Unfortunately I have not been able to test a X100 yet. But from what I heard it is more or less the same.

      I always stip the EXIF data. I will check that tonight for you.

    • Bo Ismono

      Hey Craig.
      To answer your question regarding the shutterspeeds: The night shot in this post was shot at 1/35th handheld at ISO 3200. The night shots in the highISO post were shot between 1/17th and 1/60th at ISO 3200. All handheld. Hope that helps.

  6. Anon

    Great pics and another satisfied Fuji customer!

    In reference to your comment about DOF differences between an f/1.4 on the Fuji and an f/1.8 on the Nikon, I assume you we’re using an APS-C Nikon? Full frame @ f/1.8 would still hold a slight advantage in perceived DOF over the Fuji @ f/1.4. The perceived DOF of the Fuji is closer to an f/2 lens on FF.

    • Bo Ismono

      Thank you very much!

      And yes, you are absolutely right: The perceived depth of field on a 35mm sensor would be completely different. I was comparing the Fuji to a Nikon APS-C Sensor (the Nikon D7000 to be exact).

  7. Josh

    I have both an x100 and an x-e1 + 35mm lens, and I can say without a doubt, the x-e1 has faster AF.

  8. djawon

    keren mas, sayang saya hanya punya 18-55, tapi juga gak lah bagus nya

  9. djawon

    keren mas, sayang saya hanya punya 18-55, tapi juga gak kalah bagus nya

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