Fujifilm Prime Versus Zoom Lenses

Over the coming months I will be writing a series of blogs for the Fuji X Aus site. The key to these blogs will be all about gathering the thoughts, opinions, insights, skills, workflows and tips directly from members of the Fuji X Aus Facebook group. These blogs will be about some of those key photography questions that we see discussed in the group on a fairly regular basis.  And in return it is my hope that these blogs will give back to the greater community a wealth of information. The members are approached by myself for a short interview to gain a little insight into who they, what they shoot and why they use Fujifilm X Series products.

In the Fuji X Aus group it is pretty clear that many of us are gear obsessed, or at the very least enjoy shooting with Fujifilm gear. And why not, Fujifilm make amazing cameras and lenses. And when it comes to lenses in particular, some people are a little divided. Some are a lot divided. The division is not a brand issue. It is all about people having a preference of shooting with prime lenses (single focus distance) versus zoom lenses. So I took to the streets, well…email, to get to the bottom of this mythical division. I needed to know why some people preferred zooms and others, like myself, preferred primes.  And to think how beneficial this understanding may be to someone just starting out in photography, or looking at making a new lens purchase.  So getting to the bottom of this has obviously been an important mission. And here is what the first group Fuji X Aus members had to say. 

Laurie Davison

Laurie how would you describe yourself?  Not much to tell.  Ageing, crippled and broke with family scattered all over the east coast of Australia.

Where in Australia are you from? North West Tasmania.

How long have you been doing photography? Basically since not long after I gave up work, exactly I wouldn’t have a clue, somewhere between 5 and 7 years.

 Is photography a full time job, part time or a hobby for you? Purely a hobby for my own enjoyment and memories of places I’ve been. It also gets me out of the house so I’m not driving the wife nuts….

What is your preferred genre of photography? Landscape, mainly waterfalls, rainforest and out of the way creeks. I like all types of photography but it’s the memories of the journeys undertaken that take preference and I’ll be honest I’m still learning that let alone taking on other genres. 

As far as you are concerned, are you more of a prime or a zoom shooter? Definitely zoom and this is for convenience as usually I weigh up where I’m heading for the day and take only one lens. At my age when you start adding up the weight of what is suitable for a day out in the Tasmanian bush it becomes a major consideration, especially when a lot of the time I am on my own. Tassie, 4 seasons of clothes, PLB, food and all the photography gear, it adds up.

Which is your favourite Fujifilm lens and why would you recommend this to another Fujifilm shooter? I have to say the Fujifilm XF10-24mm as it is wide enough to enable me to get into confined spaces often encountered in the bottom of ravines and surrounded by thick bush and fallen trees, most of the time confining as such that using the feet is prohibited (10mm being used probably 90% of the time) but also allowing the flexibility from further away if permitted. It’s sharp and fits the need. Really it’s a versatile lens.

If people wanted to view your work online where can they find you?
As long as they don’t mind taking the good with the bad and there’s plenty of the latter
https://www.facebook.com/ljdphotos/

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Megan Rapp

The floor is yours Megan. What can you tell us about yourself? I started photography as a hobby back in the film days after taking a course at university.  I was always too broke to buy in to the DSLR craze but finally was talked into mirrorless by a friend and I’ve been really excited about photography again for the last two years.  I love landscape photography and street photography depending on my mood. I love getting out in Melbourne because the vibe is just really vibrant but I also love getting way out of town and shooting the beautiful bushland.

Prime or zoom and why? I’m definitely a prime shooter.  I do own two zooms but I find they stay in the bag a lot. I love the way primes make you really interact with your photography.  It’s a bit like a dance.  You have to really think about how to use the lens to get the best image and make it work with what idea you have in your head.

Which is your favourite Fujifilm X Series lens and why would you recommend this to another Fujifilm shooter? The Fujifilm XF14mmF2.8. I love this lens because I can really take it from sweeping landscape shots into the city and get great clean lines on architectural shots.  I shoot with the X-T10 which is a smallish body and the lens is nicely weighted. For night shots, the images are really sharp.

If people wanted to view your work online where can they find you? As a hobbyist I don’t really post my images with the exception of in the Fuji X Aus group on Facebook.  That’s a place I will share images and discuss thoughts on how to improve my images.

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Chong Lee

Could you tell us a little about yourself?  My name is Chong Lee and I live in the beautiful city of Perth. I was born in Brunei, a small country on the island of Borneo, before migrating to Australia at the age of 13. I guess my journey in photography started when I was gifted a small point and shoot camera by my dad on my 16th birthday. Since then, I have moved on to a heavy DSLR and eventually Fujifilm. Photography has always been a creative outlet for me. While I may not necessary be good at it, I enjoy the process of learning and creating beautiful images. I don’t exactly have a preferred genre of photography. I pretty much shoot anything that interests me and whatever makes me happy. To me, it’s all about documenting the scenes and important moments in my life.

As far as you are concerned, are you more of a prime or a zoom shooter?  Why do you think you prefer that style of lens more? I feel like I am more of a prime lens shooter. My experience is that, by limiting yourself to a single focal length, instead of seeing it as a restrictive process, it actually makes you think more about your shot before pressing the shutter button. It forces you to try different angles, perspectives, etc. It makes you work harder to achieve the photo. It makes you move your feet and your body, and by doing that, train your eyes and improve your composition skill. You would be surprised at what you can achieve by limiting yourself to a single focal length.

Which is your favourite Fujifilm lens and why would you recommend this to another Fujifilm shooter? My favourite lens would have to be the Fujifilm XF23mmF2. This is pretty much stuck on the front of my camera 90% of the time. While there are many reports and reviews stating that this lens is not as sharp as it’s Fujifilm XF23mmF1.4 older brother, I feel like for the price and size, it’s a perfectly acceptable trade off. Also, when paired with my Fujifilm X-T2, focusing is just so snappy and quick. 23mm, being 35mm in FF (Full Frame) equivalent, is also a focal length that I am quite familiar and comfortable with. I find that it is the perfect balance between wide and normal.

If people wanted to view your work online where can they find you?

instagram.com/l33ch_

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Kylie Knight

Your time starts now! What can you tell me about your photography journey?  Hey Greg thanks for interviewing me. Sure! My name’s Kylie and I’m a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Melbourne.  I have been shooting professionally part time for three years now and absolutely love what I do.

What is your preferred genre of photography? My preferred genre would be people and anything that lets me photograph people. However I do enjoy street photography for fun!

Would you consider yourself more of a prime or a zoom shooter? I would say I’m more of a prime shooter. I own one lens that zooms which is a 24-70 f2.8, but the rest are primes.

Why do you think you prefer that style of lens more? I think when you use a prime lens you tend to think about the shot more because you can’t zoom you have to move around the subject to get an interesting photo.

Which is your favourite Fujifilm lens and why would you recommend this to another Fujifilm shooter?  I love using my Fujifilm XF23mmF2 lens, which is a 35mm equivalent. It’s tiny and is water resistant if paired to a Fujifilm X-T2. I used this combo in Japan and as an everyday combo when walking around and found I took more photos because I wasn’t concerned with which lens to use.

If people wanted to view your work online where can they find you?

They can go to my website at www.kylieknight.com

Or alternatively my social media pages on Instagram @kylieknightweddings

Or for more film/personal projects and daily musings, @kylieknight7

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Harmeet Gabha

Could you tell us a little about yourself?  Photography has always been in our family, my Dad and his brother were both keen photographers in their days and always played around with their cameras. So having grown up with cameras around me since I can remember it was natural that I had a keen interest in taking photos as well. However, I practice photography as a hobby, as an obsession and as a form of meditation. I don’t really consider myself as following any specific genre but if I was to name a few I’d say travel, architecture and people/portrait. I run a blog called photoinsomnia.com where I share my learning and adventures.

I got my first camera in 2004 which was Fujifilm S5000 and it was such a great camera. I loved using it and made my first international trip for work in 2005 to France where this camera served me well. Then in 2006, I went to the dark side of big bulky DSLRs for a long time. Eventually, being won over by the Fujifilm X Series mirrorless range in 2014. Have not looked back since, my Fujifilm X-T1 served me well until an unbelievable deal on the Fujifilm X-T2 came out last year which emptied my wallet and maxed out my credit card.

As far as you are concerned, are you more of a prime or a zoom shooter? I am more a zoom shooter and love my Fujifilm X18-135mm lens. In fact in my opinion this is the best travel lens for the Fujifilm X-Series cameras. It’s so versatile that sometimes I don’t switch to any of my prime lens. But I do have a favourite prime lens which is the Fujifilm XF23mmF1.4. Its a great indoor, and low light lens in my perspective. It’s not very wide but it makes up for it by the amount of light it captures. I have shared more of my views on the Fujifilm XF18-135mm lens here https://www.photoinsomnia.com/reviews/fujifilm-xf18-135mm-best-travel-zoom-lens-for-fujifilm-x-series/

If people wanted to view your work online where can they find you?

You can find my work on my blog PhotoInsomnia (https://www.photoinsomnia.com/).

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/harmeetgabha

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/harmeetgabha

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/harmeetgabha

Harmeet Gabha - XF18-135mm

And that concludes the first edition of the Fuji X Aus member interviews about Prime Versus Zoom. I hope that this gives you the reader an insight into what people shoot and why and with what…and why, etc. I wanted to personally thank all the members of this community who celebrated the announcement of this new blog series and in particular to Laurie, Megan, Chong, Kylie and Harmeet for their time with this blog post. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, stay tuned for more and happy shooting. 

8 thoughts on “Fujifilm Prime Versus Zoom Lenses

      1. I have owned both. And personally I prefer the 50mm. I find the paper thin focal plane at 1.2 is just too tight to get a clean portrait, etc. Yes it gives glorious bokeh. But that isn’t everything. Also, in low light, the 56mm hunts for AF. But the 50mm is lightning fast on the AF in all conditions.

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      2. That’s great to know actually!! And, for the price difference, it sounds like the 50mm is the winner!

        Like

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