The Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS is a new ultra wide-angle lens for the X-system, offering a field of view equivalent to 15-36mm in 35mm terms. People familiar with my work, know I really love ultra-wide lenses. The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T Lens is my most used lens on my old trusty A900 full frame. Ideal for landscape photography and super sharp, even at F2.8. The Fuji 14mm is my favorite x-mount lens. But in some situations it just isn’t wide enough. So I was looking forward to the 10-24mm when Fuji anounced it over a year (!) ago. Was it worth the wait?
We had a new trip to the south-west of the USA planned, in the spring of this year. Our 20th visit to the USA, so a perfect occasion to revisit some of the highlights of previous trips to the deserts of California, Utah and Arizona. An ultra-wide lens would be ‘indispensable’.
The lens wasn’t available in Europe in march, but I contacted Camera West in Rancho Mirage, California. They reserved one for me and I picked it up during our visit to Joshua Tree National Park. The dollar-euro rate made the pain in my wallet a bit more tolerable. During the rest of the trip it was the main lens on my X-E1, while the 14mm was the companion for my X-PRO1. After three weeks of traveling through the South-West USA, I noticed that my Sony & Zeiss only left my camerabag once...
Monument Valley, Arizona
210mm (15mm full frame), f16, 1/200sec, ISO 400, BW conversion with Nik Silver FX
The 10-24mm produces stunning images with vibrant colors and sharpness. It works particularly well with landscape photography that often call for wider perspectives.
Chromatic aberrations, purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are a problem that even my old Zeiss has. The Fuji doesn’t. If it does have some, it is in camera corrected with the latest firmware. So it save a lot of time post processing. The lens has virtually no barrel distortion, even at 10mm. Offering a constant aperture of f/4, it also features optical image stabilisation which gives the lens a 2-3 stops advantage when used in low light situations.
Vignetting when shooting at f/4 is also very well controlled. At higher apertures it is almost non existent.
The centre of the photo is remarkably sharp wide open, with peak performance achieved in the f/5.6-11 range. The edges of the frame are somewhat soft at f/4 but sharpen up at f/5.6 and higher. It is not the sharpest lens in my camerabag, the 35mm and 14mm win in this department.
The lens has a traditional aperture ring on the lens barrel, although I miss having the actual aperture markings on the ring like the 14mm has. The aperture is instead shown in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. The aperture ring makes a distinctive click as you change the setting, although it's too easily moved. Without visual markings on the lens, one can easily make mistakes when the aperture is accidently moved and you haven’t checked setting on screen.
The lens ships with a plastic petal shaped hood and a soft lens bag. I’m not keen on the plastic lens hoods that Fuji delivers. Esthetical they don’t fit the retro look of the X-pro1 ane X-E1. They did a better job on the 18mm and 35mm lenses.
It is a heavy lens for a camera with a small profile as the X-E2, but on the somewhat bigger X-PRO1 it isn’t really a problem. Although it will significantly weigh down the front of your camera. It certainly isn’t a stealthy lens that let’s you take anonymous street photo’s.
Green River Overlook, Canyonlands NP, Utah
24mm (36mm full frame), f6.4, 1/350sec, ISO 200
-finally an ultra wide in the x-mount
-The all-metal construction
-No barrel distortion, no chromati abberations, no vignetting
-The max aperture isn’t the best for low light / night photography
-Flimsy plastic lens hood
-72mm filter threat (most wide angles use 77mm filters, but nothing a cheap adapter can’t fix)
Escalante River Valley, Utah
16mm (25mm full frame), f8, 1/170sec, ISO 200