Fuji X System, My Most Used Lenses


Isn't metadata great? When you have nothing else to do you can fool around and play data analyst with all your pictures. Hey, what lenses to I use most? Hmmm, seems I only use that zoom at like one focal length 80% of the time. Etc, etc.


In terms of the Black/White Project I by a large margin use the Fuji 18-55 XF zoom the most. Looking at the data a bit more closely I actually use that lens at either 18mm or at 35mm with the very rare visit to 55mm and maybe slightly less rare use at 23mm. There's a good chance I could have told you that without sifting through EXIF metadata. Somehow over time I've gravitated towards usage of 28mm and 50mm prime lenses or the equivalent no matter what camera I use.

I've written before about how much I like the 18-55mm as well as how shocking it was that I did. I've even written a piece over on medium.com to some esoteric reasons why I love it but there's more to it in terms of the Fuji system as a whole that explains my tendency towards using this also-ran lens (as compared to some of the sublime glass like the 14mm). In a nutshell it's two reasons.

The Lowly Fuji Kit Lens

  • Although I love, love, love the 35mm/1.4 for a lot of reasons I'm not in love with how noisy it is. Probably why I haven't replaced it yet in my second go-around with Fuji X cameras.
  • I'm not too too nit-picky about the ultimate resolution, blah, blah, blah. I only care how a lens looks to me. I've used the 18mm f/2 but honestly I have no good reason to buy it over the 18mm-55mm given how good that lens performs and looks. That's not even considering the OIS trumps the one stop advantage of the prime in my use.


From everything I've read on early reports the new 35mm f/2 is silent, quick, looks great, etc. That's probably the 35mm I'll get but am in no giant rush. That leaves the only reason I'm not shooting with an 18mm and 35mm prime is no updated version of the 18mm. If I had my druthers I would love to see an 18mm f/1.4. Somehow 28mm equiv is one of my favorite field of views to use. The best guess as how I ended up there is my use of Nikon for decades. In my personal opinion I liked their 28mm lenses much more than their 35mm glass on full-frame/135 cameras. Anyone remember that lovely 28mm/1.4 AF? Wow, spectacular. How about the 28/2.8 AiS or the severely underrated and probably better overall 28/2 in all versions? I want something like that from Fuji.


Believe it or not the lens I use the second most and by that I mean a lot is the 14mm. I love that lens and the FOV for working super close when I want full-length shots with a bunch of context. Especially when there's a lot of motion. The lens you probably won't believe I don't use more is the 23mm f/1.4. I haven't really kept track for this project. I certainly use the hell out of that awesome hunk-o-glass for other things just not for the Black/White project.


Truth is I could probably get away with using the fast 23mm as a substitute for the 18mm-35mm. Of course the images would differ but I could. That's the lens I jamb on the XT-1 when I'm okay with just one focal length no matter what I'm trying to do. On this project the only time I've used it is wide-open. Not for effect like super close up with blurry backgrounds, more for practicality. I've used it when shooting in super low light wide open.


The lens I have in my bag I've not used even once on the project is the 56/1.2. I think I'll put it on my list to do a few fragments experiments with it wide-open since I'm still playing with that.

End Notes

All images shot with the Fuji XT-1 and Fujinon 18-55mm at f/4 using 18mm and 35mm only. Images processed using VSCO FILM05 BW400CN.