How sharp is the Fujifilm 23mm f2 lens?

I had read a lot of good things about Fuji's collections of lenses before I made the plunge and bought the X-T2. And I've got to admit I am very impressed by the 23mm f2.  It's small, light, tactile and fantastically sharp.  To be clear though, this is not a complete lens review, only a sharpness test at apertures from f2 to f16

All of the shots were below were taken the Fujinon 23mm f2 lens, with the x-t2 mounted on a tripod.  All I did was adjust the aperture and shutter speed to get an exposure.  The images shown are out of camera JPEG’s using the Classic Chrome film simulation.  No retouching or noise reduction has been applied.

It should be fairly obvious from the test shots above that the 23mm f2 is damn sharp between f2 and f3.2 the edges lack focus but from f4 on the entire frame is gorgeously sharp.  To be honest I could happily use the lens wide open at f2 If was intending to blur the background anyway.

You can download a zip file containing all these JPEG's at 100% size by downloading them here.  You can also see how the x-t2 noise fairs with my ISO test here or see how Fujifilm's different film simulations affect a photographs look here.  Want to see more Fuji blog posts?  Leave a comment below,

Testing ISO performance of the Fujifilm X-T2 - plus downloadable jpegs

When I buy a new camera I always like to do a quick test checking out the ISO of the camera.  I had researched the X-T2 and from what I had it read it performed pretty well at higher ISO settings but I always like to check these things for myself – that when I take a shot at these settings I know I am comfortable with it.

Just so you know.  I photographed all shots at an aperture of f5.6 using the Fujinon 23mm f2 lens.  The images shown are out of camera JPEG’s using the Classic Chrome film simulation.  No retouching or noise reduction has been applied.

For me, shooting at any ISO between the 200 to 1600 range would be a no brainer.  Even at ISO 1600 there is only minimal digital noise.  Of course these shots were taken in day light so I may need to do a test in more severe, darker settings. 

Even at ISO 3200 the images are pretty good and more than useable - this may depend on your style of photography though.  I normally shoot urban photography or architecture and at this level of ISO the noise would be perfectly useable, particularly if buildings are concrete - noise may be more noticeable on glass elements.

Want to take a closer look at the original JPEG's?  You can download a zip file containing all of them here.  You can also see examples of Fujifilm’s excellent film here.

Checking out Fujifilm's film simulations: sample RAW images from the x-t2

Well it has been a long time coming but I am finally making the move from Nikon to Fujifilm.  Honestly, I have become so sick of lugging around a heavy dslr and lenses around the city that it was really starting to grind me down so moving to a lighter system was something I had been considering for a long time.  For me, the move to mirroless was almost entirely based on the smaller weight and size of the body size and lenses.

That being said I thought I might blog about any issues, ideas or tips I have as I begin dipping my toes in the Fujifilm mirrorless world.

First up, I thought it may be useful to view samples of Fujifilm's renowned film simulations.

Just so you know.  All of these images were shot on a Fujifilm x-t2 in RAW.  I imported images in to Lightroom, applied White Balance and the Fujifilm profile - no other editing was applied, no sharpening, noise reduction, nothing.

Click on images to see a larger version.

Fujifilm VELVIA

Fujifilm PROVIA

Fujifilm ASTIA

Fujifilm PRO NEG STD

Fujifilm MONOCHROME

Fujifilm MONOCHROME + RED FILTER

Fujifilm ACROS

Fujifilm ACROS + RED FILTER

Fujifilm CLASSIC CHROME

Fujifilm PRO NEG HI

Fujifilm MONOCHROME + GREEN FILTER

Fujifilm MONOCHROME + YELLOW FILTER

Fujifilm ACROS + GREEN FILTER

Fujifilm ACROS + YELLOW FILTER

... And there you have it.  What do you think?  Are the Fujifilm simulations all they are cracked up to be?  Do you a particlar favourite?  Feel free to comment below.

Wolfson Centre, Strathclyde University

During my recent scouting trips around the city I have become more and more interest in brutalist or modernist architecture to photograph.  I don'y know what it is but there is something about great slabs of concrete that is photographable to me.

I discovered the Wlfon Building as I was walking around the Strathclyde University area on and around Cathedral Street and immediately loved the contrast between the huge concrete triangular columns  that adorn the exterior and the window frames and cladding.

These images were all taken handheld but I have this building to my 'must return' list in order to photograph it properly.

Wolfson Buildong Black and White 1.jpg
 Sunset and shadow fall on the Wolfson Building

Sunset and shadow fall on the Wolfson Building

Wolfson Buildong Black and White 2.jpg
Wolfson Building1.jpg

Urban photography with the Huawei P20

Every time a new smartphone is released it is inevitable there is going to be some sort of hullaballoo about the quality of camera attached to it.  I recently bought the new Huawei P20, not the top of the range three lensed P20 Pro, but it’s slightly cheaper, two lensed sibling.

 Taken in HDR mode

Taken in HDR mode

We’ve all seen the marketing, the inevitable iPhone shot cover – funnily enough forgetting to mention the highly skilled photographer, the impeccable studio space, the photographers assistants and the thousand pounds of lighting – apparently it’s just the phone that does the work, but there you go.

 Taken in HDR mode

Taken in HDR mode

All that being said, I wanted to try out the Huawei P20 for myself and see how it measured up for use for scouting my urban / architectural style shots.  So I thought I would give it a try on one of many aimless ambles.  Maybe this will be better option for me than a dslr with a 50mm I normally use when scouting locations?  

 Taken in Pro mode

Taken in Pro mode

It is amazing how different the experience is using a smartphone compared to using my traditional styled cameras.  There is no denying the convenience factor but I still find handling a bit fiddly when photographing with a smartphone.

On the plus side smartphone design but default nudges you towards framing vertically instead of horizontally, so it is good to see things a bit differently.  It can be all too easy to fall in to habit of landscape framing when using a dslr or mirrorless camera.

 Taken in HDRmode

Taken in HDRmode

So is it better than my previous option of scouting possible locations with my dslr and a 50mm lens?  Well, yes and no.  It is definitely much more convenient and being able to whip out a smartphone to take images in situations where using a camera would be frowned at is a definite plus.  Focussing is pretty quick and the Pro mode allows shooting in RAW (although, for my needs I am not sure how I often I will need/use this.  Time will tell).   Also, having the extra width (the lens on the Huawei is 27mm focal length) is useful for urban and architecture scouting.  The only downside is that smartphones (for me) are still a bit fiddly to use and can take a good while to set up to what I want in a given situation when using any of the advanced modes– perhaps I just need to use the phone more often?

What do you think?  How often do use your phone to photograph?  Do you find it a useful too?  Feel free to comment below.