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Which wide-angle lens?


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Hello! This is my first post here. I'm an enthusiast and recently got an X-T1 Graphite and the 35mm/1.4 lens, which I absolutely adore so far.


While I love the 35 for everyday shooting (mostly street, casual, environmental portraits, etc), I just took a trip out west to Oregon to go camping and found myself a bit limited by the FOV for nature/landscape/astrophotography and often had to shoot vertically to compensate. While I was able to take some nice shots (see below), I realized I would like to complement my 35 with something wider to give me more range— I've narrowed it down to the following options: 14mm 2.8, 16mm 1.4, and the 10-24mm f/4


I guess what I'm looking for is image quality and character, and versatility/practicality. Size and weight are a consideration, but I tried the 10-24 and 16mm in person and neither felt too crazy heavy or unbalanced with my X-T1. Budget isn't really an issue either. I'm leaning towards the 16mm (due to reviews I've seen, the sharpness, 1.4, and the weather sealing) or the 10-24 (due to the versatility and the fact it hits a lot of great FOV's, image quality, and IS). What would you recommend?







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Wow. I guess I'm the first to answer here.  Yay me.  I returned in late September with more than 5,000 images of a ten-day stock/photography trip down into the Florida Keys.  More than 3000 of those images were taken with the 18-55 which, if you get a great copy, is an AMAZING lens.  

another 1200 or so I took with the 16mm 1.4 which is FANTASTIC. Not only fir it's sharpness, 1.4 aperture, but in my case it's extreme close focusing ability!

The other lens I took were the Zeiss 12mm 2.8 which I used for the big wide expansive images, the 23mm 1.4 which hardly was used at all and  my 35 1.4 which did not come out of the bag.


Here is a quick image of a hermit crab taken with the 16mm 1.4.  And that's a jpeg that i brought into PS and added the text in there to spoof a friend of mine at the office - which is why I have it on this machine that I'm using now.

Mid-October I hit Northern Maine for autumn images.  This time another 3800 images.  Six days.  This time, the 18-55, then the 55-200.  In that order.


Personally, I LOVE my 16mm 1.4.  I find the 10-24 is too wide at the low end, and too heavy for me to carry on extended trips.  If you's like to see some images taken with these lenses just click on one of my links down in my signature.  I'm one of those that lists the exact shooting info for each image so you'll be able to see what lens I used among other image information.

Hope that helps you narrow down your decision, but that 16 1.4 is freakin' sweet.

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I have a personal preference for the 10-24, mostly because I am building my version of "walk around" bag when traveling and that ultrawide zoom fits nicely with the 18-135 that I already have.


For your case, it would highly depends on what are your priorities in size/weight vs IQ.


The Rokinon 12mm F2 is also an excellent choice, smaller and cheaper than the 16mm.

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Thanks so much for the replies! I still think I'm leaning towards the 16mm/1.4 for the aforementioned reasons, although I did find a great local deal on the 14 (only $400 for basically mint, with no box).


That said I hadn't really considered the Samyang/Rokinon lenses - which specifically should I be looking at, aside from the 12mm/2.0? Is the build quality or image quality anywhere near Fuji XF? 

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I don't own the 16mm, but I have used one and it is a beautiful lens. You won't be disappointed in it if that is what you settle on. However, I bought the 10-24mm before the 16mm was released and at the current price I can't justify buying the 16mm with the other one already in my bag. Additionally, the f/1.4 is not particularly useful to me on a 16mm, just doesn't fit into my style of shooting regularly enough to be of concern. 


First thing I would do is ask myself how often I'm going to use the 16mm wide open or even at f/2-2.8. Keep in mind that for astrophotography, there are some things where the 16mm supposedly falls short. You very well might want to shoot wide apertures on it fairly frequently, but with my shooting style I wouldn't be.


For me, that means I'm keeping my 10-24mm and if I need to go wider than my 23mm for astro, I'd pick up a Samyang/Rokinon. I've read wonderful reviews of their lenses for astrophotography and they're bargain prices.

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I had the 10-24 for a bit longer than a year. It was the lens that I used the most BUT mostly on 10-12mm and only occasionally on anywhere near 24mm.


I decided to sell it ( still got a good price for it) and buy the 12mm Samyang. I did buy the 18-55 for all the intermediate focal needs. I also own a 8mm fish-eye Samyang which is a specialty lens but still nice to have even owning the 12mm.


The image quality of the 12mm Samyang is very high indeed. Measuring it against the 10-24 or the 12mm Zeiss there wouldn’t be too much that you would want this lens to do for you that it couldn’t deliver, but it is not autofocus ( not that you would need to focus it most of the times) nor is it automatic or has an electronic chip.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Trevor,


I asked that same question a couple of month ago myself. During that time I traveled to South Africa and Fuji lenses were way cheaper than in Europe. I do have the X100T, and the X-T1 (at that time with the 35 1.4 and 55-200). I tested all of your listed lenses at a local camera store in Capetown. In the end I took the 16 1.4 and the 56 1.2 with me.


I do like wide angle pictures. A friend of mine has a 10-24 for his Nikon D90. I played with it back home as well. For landscape it's awesome but if you take group shots or portraits below 16mm people tend to get stretched heads etc. It just doesn't look natural to me. The Fuji 10-24 felt a bit bulky and I do prefere primes. That narrowed it down to the 14 and 16.

The 14 felt great just like the 16 but a bit smaller. At first I thought this will be a tough choice but I took some test shot with my dad and well the 16mm pictures looked a bit more natural and wide enough for me. I am a motorbike adventure rider as well so the WR is a big plus. During my motorbike trips my gear gets often soaked by mud and rain. The F1.4 gives me a very good low light capability too. I just carry a small Gorillapod as a backup tripod but I rarely use it. Should I feel the need for a wider lens I would go for the Samyang/Walimex/Rokinon 12mm F2.0 because it's a really wide angle lens and not very expensive as well. The difference between 14 and 16 is noticeable but between 14 and 12 you really can see a huge difference  I would use it for plain landscape shots though.


During that trip I took awesome pictures with the 16 1.4. Basically perfect family group shots or landscape pictures with one or two family members in it. I didn't regret my choice.


Hope that helps.

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I think 16/24mm is a 'neither-here-nor-there' focal length. Too wide for street and people photography and not wide enough when you really want to go wwwwwwiiiiiiiiiide.


For what you describe I have a 14, 18 and 23, which I chose in preference to the 10-24 (which I used to own). I like the fact that I can use a smaller filter system (Hitech 85 in my case) on these lenses.


If I were you Trevor, assuming you're not quite sure, I'd get the 10-24, which has half a dozen of the popular (35mm equivalent) focal lengths - 18, 21, 24, 28, 35 - all in one lens. It also has OIS and a 'fixed' zoom mechanism so it doesn't extend during zooming, giving it at least a little resistance to the elements.


Or if budget really isn't an issue get the primes.

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Well and it's a beauty that we have a choice between all those lenses and can pick the right one for for us.


We just can give recommendations from our experience and preferences.


To choose between the 10-24 Zoom and the available Primes (12,14,16,23) there are just a few questions you should ask yourself.


1.  Weathersealing is very important for you?!


Yes -> Easy, go for the 16mm. 

No -> Well here comes another question for you...


2. Do I like to be versatile?!


Yes -> Again, easy choice go for the zoom (Keep in mind if 16 is wide enough for you, you could throw the 16-55 into the equation as well. But in my opinion it's too big.) 

No -> It's getting a bit more difficult.


3. What kind of focal lens should I pick?!


I would say it depends on the gear you already have and of course your personal preferences. Great lenses are the 12mm Walimex and of course the Fuji lineup (14,16,23). I like to scroll through the forum topics with some example pictures. You can get a feel what the lenses are capable of and if you like the look of that specific focal lenghts. This choice isn't always easy and maybe you swap one ore two lenses in that process but it is a learning experience.

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I have been using 10-24 for about 4 months by now. And I simply loved it.

Sharpest wide angle I have used so far.

Great lens for landscape as well as Arhitecture. Distortion is not even visible and there is no ca i came across so far.

In the meantime 16mm f1.4 is also tempting :) If i have to prefer 1 one of them it would be 10-24 because i have 23mm.

If i have to pick 1 lens for all purposes that would be 16mm f1.4

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Hey Trevor,


so many people are talking about the Samyang/Rokinon/Walimex 12mm. Here's the link to the corresponding topic: http://www.fuji-x-forum.com/topic/169-samyang-12mm-f20-ncs-cs-x-mount/


I also own this lens and I REALLY love it!! You can do great landscape shots with it. Because of its f/2.0 aperture you can also use it in low light situations like concerts or so. And it even has "macro" capabilities cause of the minimum focus distance of about 20 cm. Also you have the space to crop a bit (so you're getting the FOV of a 14mm or even a 16mm).


This year I was in Scotland. Beautiful country!! I took a lot of shots (too much) there. Many with the 12mm. But although I love this lens I would recommend the 10-24mm if you need highest versatility when shooting just landscapes with it. In Scotland while I was shooting landscapes I often (or sometimes) switched between my 12mm and the 18-55mm. And sometimes I felt I even need it wider. So I thought of the 10-24mm.


MY conclusion:

I definitely keep my 12mm. It's small, light weight, fast and IQ is great enough for me.

The 10-24mm? Maybe if I go to Scotland (or another scenic country) again or if I become a professional postcard shooter ;)

The 16mm? Definitely! Even faster, WR, AF, huge IQ and great for concerts. But a bit too large and heavy.

14mm? Just if I had too much money. I think it's a great allround wide angle prime. Great IQ, more "compact" than 16 & 10-24 and fast enough for mostly everything.


I hope I could help (and not confuse) you! Sorry for my (bad) non-mother-tongue-english.


And by the way: nice shot up there!!! ;)

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Personally I have the 34, 23 and 14 (hope to add the 56 soon, but currently use an adapted Zeiss 50 1.4).


To me 21mm (equivalent) is a sweet spot in WA, and it sits in a lovely focal length where you could usually 'move your feet' to get either a 24mm/16mm (equivalent), apart from perspective effect of course. Also it's tack sharp, still relatively fast and has almost zero optical distortion, which is almost unheard of in a WA. So the vote goes there for me unless you absolutely need that f/1.4 regularly, in which case your only choice anywhere near that wide is the 16.

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