Fuji 10-24 F/4 Review and Samples

fuji 10-24

Recently out in stores (since early March), the Fuji 10-24 f/4 R OIS is a lens of great construction with pretty awesome performance.  Is it worth the $999 price tag, though?  Here are some sample images and some personal input on a lens I became addicted to the moment I used it.

Fuji 10-24 f/4:  Classy Camera Companion

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This review’s setup:  the Fuji 10-24 f/4 on the X-T1.

When it comes to wide-angle lenses, I’ve almost always used primes.  I’ve handled some nice Tokina wide angle zooms, and I’ve personally owned the Sigma 10-20, and I’ve sometimes been impressed by the performance I’ve experienced or the samples I’ve seen.  Well, Fuji’s new lens has its hooks in me.  It’s truly a great lens.  It may not be worth the money, though, depending on who you are and what you shoot.

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I found the easiest way to use this lens to be setting the camera to aperture priority mode.  On the X-T1, this simply meant setting shutter speed and ISO to auto, and trying desperately not to fudge the aperture ring too much.

The Aperture Ring

This is the only negative thing I really have to say about the lens:  the aperture ring sucks.  Okay, maybe not sucks.  But it’s just too easy to move inadvertently.  Some basic prep time spent memorizing the position of the three rings – aperture, zoom, and focus, probably would have helped, but I’ve got too short of an attention span for that so I hit the streets and cursed at the camera in my head every time I scrambled to get a shot.  In summation, it’s not so much a deal-breaking flaw as it is something you can learn to work around, or work with.  Just be prepared to drop one or two mental f-bombs.

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The Glass

Astounding glass can be found in this lens.  Maybe it’s the quality of the glass itself, or the coating they’ve put on the glass, or a spell cast by wizard from another dimension, but the performance here is fantastic.  There is some drop in sharpness at the extreme corners of the lens, but when you shoot at f/8 and up, you can kiss that hiccup goodbye.  And given that this lens is primarily aimed at landscape and architecture photographers, I don’t image many people would be shooting at f/4 to begin with.

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Image Quality/Color

Probably having just as much to do with the fact that I’m using the X-T1 as it does the lens, the colors and image quality are still impeccable with this camera.  Given the choice of pairing the Fuji 10-24 with the X-T1, or sticking with the kit lens, I would pick the 10-24.  Mostly because I love shooting wide, and photographing on the street, but also because I personally feel the images that I am getting with the 10-24 maybe be just a little better.

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Weight/Construction

Again, the Fuji 10-24 has some great construction, with a mostly metal exterior and interior (although there is still a little plastic on the front and rear inside barreling).  The heft of the lens is nice, with what I would say is just the right amount of weight.  It may put off some prospective buyers, especially those looking for a lightweight mirrorless setup.  Luckily, most of those people tend to go for Olympus and Panasonic, so this lens shouldn’t be disappointing to them.

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Who It’s For

Generally, I’d recommend this lens to people who love the wide-angle look.  Duh, right?  But that price tag ($999) can be a bit steep for some, and it really is a specialty lens.  Couple this with the fact that you still get a keystone effect in shots of architecture, and it may not be everything Fuji has claimed it to be.  Definitely a high quality beast, but more suiting to people who can live with distortion than those who can’t or just outright abhor it.  Also, as I mentioned above, it isn’t very light, so weight may throw some people off.  I would say this is ideal for street photography and landscapes, but I would definitely suggest you try before you buy.

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Conclusion

I’m addicted to this lens.  I love the 15mm focal length, I love the weight (it doesn’t feel like it’s another plastic lens with an over-inflated price tag), and I love the image quality.  I still detest the aperture ring, but maybe I’m just becoming a crotchety old man.  Who knows.

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Just for fun, here’s a Toynbee tile I found while testing the lens.

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