The Fuji 16mm f/1.4

Last week I shared a shot taken with my new Fuji 16mm f/1.4, on the path near to home. Today I’m sharing another taken using the same lens.

Wild garlic in flower. Fuji XE3 and Fuji 1mm f/1.4. Handheld exposure 1/52″ at f/5.0 and ISO500.

The wild garlic was in flower, so I headed out on my daily walk with the Fuji XE3 and Fuji 16mm prime.

Before I talk about the lens, I should mention that the 16mm f/1.4 lens that I’m using wasn’t the first 16mm lens I bought. Initially, I went for the newer 16mm f/2.8. I thought it would be a small, light prime lens that would be ideal for street photography.

Whilst I don’t want this to turn into a full-blown lens, I would advise caution if you’re thinking of buying the f/2.8 16mm prime. It is a small, light lens but it didn’t feel a good fit when I used it on the XE3. I also found around half of my test images had some softness or shake, even at fast shutter speeds. Ironically, I think it was the lack of weight that was making it harder for me to handle the camera.

But the real decision maker, or should I say deal breaker, for me was the level of image distortion. Initially I thought the images looked soft around the edges of the frame and quite stretched. When I turned off the lens correction in my RAW converter I realised why. The uncorrected image looked like I’d shot it using a fisheye lens.

I returned that lens, and whilst I had to invest more money to buy the f/1.4, it’s worth every penny to me.

The 16mm f/1.4 is an exceptional lens. Not only on terms of image quality but also the feel on the camera. Whilst I initially thought it looked a little large on the XE3, the two handle so well together. I’ve noticed that most of my images are pin sharp and they have a lovely quality to them that’s difficult to describe.

But something that I wasn’t expecting is that this lens has changed the way I shoot. Because the minimum focus distance is so close, I’m finding myself using it to get in low and close to subjects whilst throwing the background out of focus. I tried something similar with the 16mm f/2.8 but the results didn’t look right for reasons that I can’t put my finger on.

The Fuji 16mm f/1.4 is an excellent lens which I’m looking forward to using a lot more in the future.

2 thoughts on “The Fuji 16mm f/1.4

  1. I’m glad to have read your article on ‘Wild Garlic in Flower’ It is the comment on the 16mm lenses and the need to be aware of what lens your buying. Now and then I run across a good deal on a lens and it would be to my advantage to research….rightly know what I’m purchasing! Love your course (book) on Afinity Photo. I purchased it in Amazon and that’s how I have learned about you and plan to make you my daily read. Thanks for your time and desire “to help those who have ears and want to hear” and learn!

    1. Thanks Don. That’s great to hear. I’m also working on a follow up to the Affinity Book so if you have any ideas for things that you might like to see covered, please let me know.

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