This thing is the real deal: Tack sharp wide open, surprisingly rectilinear and with RIDICULOUS optical image stabilization
– David Hobby
While I don’t have the luxury of trying out unreleased lenses, I do keep an eye out for these things and David Hobby just posted up 5 photos he took with his pre-release copy in Dubai. You can see them in all their their hi-res glory on this flickr set.
Just reading through his captions and the images themselves, the things that jump out immediately are:
- The lens is really sharp, like REALLY sharp
- Distortion is extremely well controlled, no sign of barreling or pin-cushioning
- The short focal length and OIS allowed him to get handheld shots at up to 2secs (I may have to try this one day).
Now, more about the lens … it’s full name is fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS and it is designed to be used with the existing range of Fuji compact system cameras (CSC) such as X-E2, X-T1 etc. The 10-24mm focal length gives a 15-36mm equivalent, while I’ve never used that exact focal length beforeI have spent a few days with a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and also own a Canon 17-40mm f/4L and Canon 15mm f/2.8 fisheye.
Note that the Canon 15mm is a fisheye, so even though it is a rectilinear fisheye, the Fuji 10-24 won’t be quite as wide. This will give you a good idea though. Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) is an interesting addition and shouldn’t be forgotten about. Most camera manufacturers don’t bother adding OIS to ultra-wide lenses like these because they figured you wouldn’t need it. Both Canon and Nikon have yet to release a fast ultra-wide lens with IS/VR but that may change in the near future. The constant f/4 aperture is quite nice, I know a lot of people would prefer a constant f/2.8 but those are also the same people who refuse to pay up for it.
In this lens Fuji has managed to put together an optically sound, great looking, and robust lens that fills a void in their system while keeping it at a reasonable price ($999 USD on BH). Keeping it below the $1000 mark is key because let’s face it not many of us are willing to pay any more than that on a CSC lens (regardless of how awesome it is). Fuji has also managed to create a f/1.2 lens under that magic price point but I’ll cover that in another post!
As far as we can tell Fuji stepped up their CSC game, as an enthusiast I’m excited about where this is headed, as a Sony owner I’m curious to see what they’ll come up with to compete.