My Fujifilm X Lens road map. What does yours look like?

Jun 8, 2013 | News | 23 comments

If you are not a Fujifilm X series camera owner ignore this post

The Fujifilm roadmap as of April 2013

The Fujifilm road map as of April 2013

I thought it might be quite interesting to share my lens journey and plan with other X series camera owners. Here is my camera and lens ownership strategy with current kit and future purchases based on the Fujifilm chart above.

My XF Camera and lens journey so far:

Stage 1 X100
Stage 2 (X-Pro system launch) X-Pro1 camera 18mm, 35mm, 60mm primes
Stage 3 (zoom1 launch) 35mm, 60mm primes and 18mm-55mm zoom (sold 18mm)
Stage 4 (14mm launch) 14mm, 35mm, 60mm primes and 18-55mm zoom
Stage 5 (zoom2 launch) 14mm, 35mm and 60mm primes, 18-55mm zoom and 55-200mm zoom

Still to come:

XF27mm launch: No change
Stage 6 (23mm launch) 14mm, 23mm, 35mm and 60mm primes, 18-55mm zoom and 55-200mm zoom
XF 10-24mm zoom launch: No change
Stage 7 (56mm launch) 14mm, 23mm 35mm and 56mm primes, 18-55mm zoom and 55-200mm zoom – sell the 60

I expect to have two Fuji kits by this time next year; An X-Pro2 camera with the fast primes (for portraits and workshops) and the X-Pro1 with the zooms (for weddings and events). One kit will back up the other. The X-Pro1 will get replaced by the EX-2 in late 2014 probably. My X100 will always be ‘in the bag’.

I will stick with my ageing Canon 5Dmk2 and primes for Commercial work until Canon bring out a Nikon D800 equivalent. I will then equip that camera (4D?) with my 21mm Zeiss, 35mm Sigma, 50mm Sigma, 100mm Canon and 150mm Sigma lenses. That set up will get used for my posh stuff and anything that might get printed big. The Fujifilm X cameras have more than enough resolution for day to day pro work.

Thoughts? What does your roadmap look like?

23 Comments

  1. Terrence Bibb

    Damien,
    My XE2 arrived this evening and I am excited to run it through the paces. It’s such a minimalist piece of kit compared to my Nikon. Do you have any suggested tips or tricks for setting up the x-cam? I am also looking forward to trying the filters with this camera as I have not done that previously. By the way your galleries are amazing. You should combine them all into book :)

    Cheers,
    Terrence B

    Reply
  2. Terrence Bibb

    Damien,
    First thanks for all the knowledge and passion shown to the craft. After my wife and I rented 2 XPro1’s on a recent cruise my wife and I are really interested in getting into the system. The dilemma of course is with which unit? The Xpro1 is appealing, but we know eventually there will be some significant adjustments in the tech. Currently the Xe-1 kit is on sale, but the XE2 is slated for release this weekend. Any thoughts?

    P.S.
    Can’t wait for you to make it back to the states in 2014 :)

    Cheers,
    Terrence Bibb

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Terrance,

      It’s been a long time! Some of the pictures we shot together will be published on the Photofocus blog tomorrow. It’s all part of my drive to get better known in the States ahead of my 2014 tour.

      X-Pro1 has the novel optical viewfinder but as the system expands it gets less and less use. I never use it that’s for sure. The XE1 would be better suited to my needs with it’s higher resolution electronic viewfinder however if the rumours are to be believed the X-E2 has a better LCD, latest sensor with the extra phase detect AF pixels and much faster image processing. That’s the camera that interests me as a replacement for my X-Pro1. My only concern is the aspect ratio of the LCD has changed to suit video but that’s crap for stills because the bottom of the image will be obscured with exposure details. I hope these can be parked at the right hand side. I’ll have to wait and see when the full specification is released.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  3. Tjeerd

    Hey Damien,

    Interesting article!
    Now that the 23 is out, what are your thoughts on having a prime kit with both the 23 and 35 in them? Personally it feels having both is redudant. Especially with the x100 in a kit.

    Kind regards,
    Tjeerd

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Tjeerd,

      I think the best prime lens line up for me will be 14, 23, 35, 56, 85. If I could choose the focal lengths I’d go 16, 23, 45, 75 as a four lens kit and rent a 12mm or 135mm lens as required.

      I’ve had a chance to play with the new 23mm lens. My conclusions are it is the best made of all the X series lenses and feels more substantial than any of the others too. I only have Nikon and Canon glass to compare it with and it feels equally as well made as the Canon 50mm f/1.2 without being quite so bloated. It should be way better than the Canon primes in the optical department too including Canon’s 35mm f/1.4. I preferred the ‘look’ of my X100 lens to the Canon 24mm L. I say ‘It should be better’ because I have not done a full shoot and analysis of the lens yet. How the out of focus areas look are really important to me and time will tell if it is as sweet in this department as the X100 and X100s lenses. I’m not interested in shooting at minimum subject distance as all the ‘bokeh’ samples posted online seem to show. I’ll buy the lens and decide for myself. I didn’t invest in the upgrade from X100 to the X100s, I decided to wait until this lens is out before making a decision. I’ve now made the decision to buy the 23mm lens because the way of working throughout a shoot can remain constant without having to keep swapping cameras. I’ll probably keep my X100 too.

      If you look at the pricing policy of other manufactures it is clear to see the variation. Canon 50mm f/1.8 is £100, the 50mm f/1.4 (still with terrible build quality) is £250 and the 50mm f/1.2 (good build quality but poor optically) is £1100. I’d say the Fuji 23mm f/1.4 lens feels like an £800 lens. The 35mm f/1.4 feels like a £350 lens.

      I’ll be keeping both the 23 and the 35.

      Damien.

      Reply
  4. M Santoso

    Hi Damien, just bought the XE1 kit with 18-55mm, so far so good… a bit worried when i heard a slight hum while on the viewing mode, but disappear while playing back… hope, it’s normal hahaha… 35mm is the next i want..

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Mega,

      The zoom makes a bit of noise with the IS switched on. It switches off when you are in playback. The 35mm is indeed a great lens. Exciting times.

      Damien.

      Reply
  5. M Santoso

    Hi Damien, greetings from Jakarta… been a fan for your site probably for more than 2 years, admiring your work, and very thankful for your insight..

    so it’s kinda funny, i found out you are coming to Jakarta in this thread… if anything i can help you with for your Jakarta event, please let me know..

    anyway, i read this thread because i’ve been intrigued by your articles since when you started your venture into fuji x-series, but till now i haven’t pulled the trigger to get one… see, i am a hobbyist only, and i have a Canon 5dM2 with more than enough lens to shoot models, speedlights, bron mobil. and i have the small pocket canon S90 for anything else… now the x-pro1 kit is on offer, but friends happily jumped into XE-1 bandwagon… i kinda more into x100, coz i can always carry it easily… so, i am still undecided hahaha…

    (PS : i got the holy trinity of canon lenses the 35mm1.4, 85mm1.2, 135mm2.0, it will be a pleasure if i finally add fuji x and find their wonderful lenses up to par with the canon lenses)

    best regards,
    mega

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Mega,

      Thank you ever so much for your kind words.

      You have the same conundrum I had 18 months ago. I decided not to upgrade my 5D2 for a 5D3. Instead I opted to get a smaller system. I’m loving the Fuji x system although I understand it is not for everyone. If you are used to lugging kit around likr the Bron Mobil then the XPro1 seems pointless. The X100s on the other hand will give you a sence of freedom. I suggest the X100s is the way to go unless you think you will get the XE1 and the 23mm f/1.4 when it comes out in October. Too many choices :)

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  6. D. Baverel

    Hi, I use X100, then X100s, and the X-Pro 1 since the launch of each one. Lens 14mm, 18mm (sold), 35mm, 60 mm (sold), 18-55mm and 55-200mm. Honestly I love to work with those camera, in particular the X100s, but as a reporter shooting in the middle of battle with 10 photographers or more, it’s impossible, I miss a lot of pictures, I have to bring my Canon cameras. You need quite and time to work with the Fuji stuff. When I have a commercial, alone, I work with Fuji, but I miss some shots time to time, focusing is not easy. I dream about an X100s with a fix 90 mm equivalent. Anyway, not so easy than DSLR, but lighter, less “agressive” for the people. I shooted in a slum with the X100 , pre focusing, silent…. I wait for the 53mm…Didier

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Didier,

      Thanks for your story. I agree with you. The 60mm however has got good again since the last firmware upgrade. It might be even better than it was from launch before they messed up the focus dynamics.

      Stay inspired,

      Damien.

      Reply
  7. Stephen

    Hi Damien, just sold my x100 to move to the x-pro1. One thing I loved about the x100 was the nd filter and shooting wide open in strong day light ( I live in bologna, Italy) can you give me any suggestions for a variable nd filter for the xf lenses.

    Many thanks keep up the good work, always find your work very inspiring!

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for your comment. I love Bologna and I was there only months ago so I know what your light is like. Don’t go for any kind of variable ND filter. They soften images and at extreme values they generate a cross effect. One other fault is that they polarise light so skies never look even across the frame. I use Hoya Pro series ND filters. x16 ND is 4 stops and will get you from f/11 to f/2.8 or from f/22 to f/5.6. This is the most valuable filter for your light. It will make off camera flash portraits easy and allow you to shoot wide open in all light. I also have a x8 (3 stops) and a x4 (2 stops) filter. I have these filters in 52mm and 58mm and I have just the x8 in 62mm.

      I hope this helps.

      Damien.

      Reply
  8. Mark Loader

    Terrific, thanks for that. And I look forward to the “How To” video…and the 56 prime coming up! Enjoy Singapore, that large white ball you’ll see in the sky is called “the sun”…..don’t be alarmed. Will pop in again when that download is available, in the meantime trying to work out what the hell “loving the delicate rain” means! ;-p

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Mark,

      My trip to Singapore is just a couple of weeks away. I’m beginning to forget what the sun looks like. I hope it shows it’s face in Jakarta and Singapore. I wish the 23mm was out for my trip. Cheers for now. Damien.

      Reply
  9. Mark Loader

    Damien – greetings from Downunder (sun, warmth etc)…I just picked up that magazine with your Film Noir shoot featuring CJW. And very bloody nice it was too, the lighting made me green with envy! I was fascinated also with your comments regarding the X series…I barely touch my DSLRs now. Currently waiting for the X-Pro2 to supplement the X-E1 and X100….also waiting for an X100 Monochrom but not holding my breath! What I’d really like to know is…..will that Film Noir session be online soon? There’s so many people I’d like to show that to. And that Tiffen Black thing…is that circular? Just wondering….enjoy the cold and damp…warmest regards, Mark ;-)

    Reply
  10. Tapas

    Hi Damien

    Settled on the X100s, XE1 14, 35 18-55 and fisheye. Using Leica Lenses for Portraits (50mm and 75mm). I wish they would hurry up with the portrait lenses. The 60mm AF is too slow and I think they need a fast 90/100mm as well.

    I look at the 55-200 zoom but it doesn’t feel right , the only reason I would use something like that is for sports for which the Fuji is useless.

    All in all a great alternative to a Leica , fabulous lenses and sensor, the X100S shows what the next X Pro could be which for me is when it will reach primetime.

    I still think a Leica is faster to use than the Fuji and I would happily use 2 Leica’s at a wedding in place of a Canon (and did for a couple of wedding seasons) but I haven’t yet built up the confidence to use the Fuji exclusively (I would love to do so)

    I agree with you completely on the lenses , Fuji ones are much better than the Canon but the Canon is more flexible, faster to use and versatile but the Fuji is the one that I always take for myself.

    Tapas

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks for your comments Tapas. I too am waiting for the 56mm f/1.2. It would be amazing if Sigma entered the market. I could use a 105mm macro IS f/2.8

      IS is so important with the X cameras. The circle on confusion is so small that a shutter speed of at least 1/(3x the focal length) is needed for sharp hand held images. As there are only full stop values properly available for the X series that means I’ll have to shoot the 56mm lens at 1/250th to get sharp images. The 55-200 zoom image stabilisation is so good I can easily shoot at my favourite 1/60th second even at 200mm. That makes it perfect for compressed perspective portraits.

      Regards, Damien.

      Reply
  11. Graham Nixon

    Hi Damien,

    Interesting that you consider the X system to be good enough for weddings but not for commercial work. Is it a matter of client perception or failings in the kit?

    Graham

    p.s. excellent tip about using the ST-E2 with the Pocket Wizards!

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Graham,

      Thanks for your comment and the answer is not at all. 12mp are more than enough for weddings but the commercial world needs a double page spread at 300dpi without interpolation (21mp). I shoot stock too and 16mp doesn’t cut it in that market either.

      I used 22mp Phase One P25 on a Hasselblad H2 camera and replaced it with a 21mp Canon 5Dmk2 – Quality was the same despite the sensor being half the size. Then 4 years on I am almost replacing the Canon with the Fuji again with a halving of sensor size. My Fuji lenses outperform my Canon lenses and the Hasselblad lenses (made by Fuji) outperform the Canon too. It’s a sign of the times when a Fuji X-Pro1 records more detail with less noise at 1600 ISO than a P25 did at ISO 800 ;)

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  12. Barry G

    Hi Damien

    My first venture into the Fuji X system was the X100 as enthused about by yourself. I missed the versatility of being able to change lenses and so bought the X-Pro1 and the 35, 1.4 lens. When Fuji introduced the 18-55 zoom I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that and it has proven to be a great lens! I have just this week ordered the 55-200 tele zoom and at the end of the year I will get the 10-24 wide zoom. I might well then sell the 35, 1.4 as I’m no longer shooting professionally and wouldn’t get the use out of it.

    Hope you find this interesting!

    Regards

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Barry,

      I’m sure you will get takers for your 35mm lens as it’s a peach.

      Damien.

      Reply

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