If you are looking for a wide Angle Fuji lens for your camera, one of the best options is the Fuji 10-24. While it is much slower than the 8-16, it offers a better range of focal length when you zoom in or out.
Fuji 10-24mm review
To first start the review, I must say something, I'm probably positively biased because I am a big fan of wide angles. Besides landscape uses I find that most tend to shy away from ultra wides, and it's understandable…..super wides are the kind of lenses that needs a bit of wrestling with. But that's why I like them so much, I think it's this focal length ranges biggest asset: it forces the user to be creative, to work the scene.
Lens build and quality
This is a large lens, DSLR size territory. It's without a doubt a beautiful piece of glass that is on the not too heavy side and just scream premium. It fits the camera nicely but you can forget about the portability, and the weight will probably prevent you from doing too much hand gymnastics like twisting and turning for odd angles in the streets. Better have a flip screen for this one!
Here it is on a XT1, a shot by Dan Nguyen, I can't show mine because my shots are on an SD card and my reader died, my SD card totting laptop's charger died and I don't have a cable to transfer the images out of my camera. Yeah. Moving on!
Normally my review policy is….most modern cameras and lenses are good enough, so I just leave it at that an move on, but I must say that with this lens, quite a few time upon viewing the images made me go DAYUM! multiple times. It's really stellar, even in the wide end. Below here are some full size samples for you to draw you own conclusions.
Using the lens
The 10-24 on any Fuji camera is actually a 15mm-36mm. Still in the super wide zoom category. I really love the fact that this lens goes from super wide to a modest good-for-all-occasions 35mm. It makes it pretty versatile in my opinion, you can still make some nice shots with this lens on and not have to switch because it's too wide. Here's what the zoom range means in visual terms:
To tell you the truth I wanted to take some crazy glue and glue the lens on the camera! Since I like wide angles, I mostly shot everything in the super-wide spectrum of things because it's where I found the most creativity.
Say you want to make a nice portrait, you can't get too close or the subject will start looking weird, you can't get too far because the subject will be too far, the joy of this lens then is to figure out the best way to make a photograph. As for the 35mm end of the lens, it's a tried and true, trusty focal length, a perfect balance between the 28mm and 50mm.
After using the same focal length for a while, it's easy to get in a rut, and this lens simply puts you out of your comfort zone in the wide end. But in only takes one nice shot for you to understand what is possible with the focal length….and once that first nice shot is out of the way, you are hooked.
Certain lenses have an emotional quality to them, and I personally believe that emotional quality trumps image quality. Trough this lens, the world seems grandiose, epic, you can almost hear an epic soundtrack in the back when shooting with it. The 28mm has that sense of epicness but it's much more tame, when you zoom out on this lens, it really takes things to another level.
It's almost like visual pure oxygen. It makes you go DANG! when you make a nice image. But above all I think this lens is FUN. I had another lens to review, the 35mm f2 and I must say that the wide angle is the one that I invariably used the most.
I tried a few landscapes with it but that's stating the obvious, it is the perfect lens suited for such images:
I tried street photography with it and it was a joy. The thing is, no one knows how wide your lens is, so you can stand really close to your subject and they would have no idea that you are shooting them.
Most of your subject, except if you come really close are going to be small in the frame because of the wide angle, but that's where the fun and creativity kicks in, finding ways to bring attention to your subject without making them the biggest thing in your frame. Also, if you are interested in street photography, make sure to check out my street photography book and magazine.
As I reveal in my street photo course, one thing I usually do is to put leading lines like roads on the edges, especially at wide angles, since things start stretching there, it draws you into the frame.
I really enjoyed looking at the world in super wide, little street corners seem to stretch endlessly, the sky looks like it is about the burst open and heaven is coming down on earth. I found myself just looking at the screen just to see how things would look.
The fastest the lens can go is at f4, couple that with a super wide, it's pretty hard to miss your focus in the streets in my opinion. The downside is, when there is low light or when it's starting to get dark like it was for most of the time I was shooting, I had to put the camera at around 800.
Every time I found myself saying “This is too wide”, I had to remind myself that this is a zoom and joyfully put it to the long end and end up getting a 35mm. it's really a nice piece of equipment to have especially in the streets where this whole range of focal lengths allows for nice possibilities.
Fuji 10-24mm review Conclusion
The Fuji 10-24mm is an outstanding Fuji lens, it is fun and might even give you a jolt of creativity if you are in a rut. It is surprisingly sharp and allows from some truly epic images. Granted that it's going to help make great landscape images but I found that there is much joy to be had by using it everywhere else.
It requires working the scene but the rewards are more than worth it. Even if the wide angle is too much, a quick turn of the zoom will give you a trusty 35mm focal length to work with. A highly recommended lens. If you liked the processing, all of the images above were processed with these presets. If you liked the images, check out my brain-dump photography course here.