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Going to Europe - 14/2.8 vs 10-24/4?

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Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen

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I'm going to travel to Europe (Germany and Czech Republic) soon, so I decided to upgrade my Fuji X-E1 to X-T1 (unfortunately, my Olympus EM1 went to repair service).

Problem is - for Olympus I have at least 12-40/2.8, which is not very wide lens, but to have 24mm in terms of 35mm format is very handy to have, and for Fuji I have only 18-55/2.8 as widest lens,

so I fear that it won't be wide enough for European architecture (last time I was in Prague with my Nikon D5000 and 18-105, 18mm wasn't wide enough for some shots of cathedrals).

 

So, I'm torn between getting 14/2.8 and 10-24/4. While first is better optically, faster, lighter/smaller and has same filter thread as 18-55, the latter is wider. Yes, there's a downsides also - 10-24/4 is bigger and heavier, but a lot wider and has OIS.

 

I'm looking more towards 14mm.. but would it be wide enough for tight European streets and tall cathedrals?

 

Thank you!

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Can't claim to be an expert. But I love to shoot wide, for what reason I am not sure, and I do live in Europe. That said, at the moment, the only x-series camera I am using is the X100. But just as a comparison, when I shoot full frame I use 24mm at the widest end, and often feel I need more. 

 

I know that doesn't answer your question, but I thought I throw that in if it helps sway you in any way. 

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14mm is a lot wider than 16mm, and 16mm is noticeably wider than 18mm. Personally i find 10mm a little too wide and that can be a little distracting from the subject. While the 10-24 can of course go all the way to 24mm too, it is a bit too large for my taste. It really depends on your wishes, but i would want to keep it compact for travel, and don't mind a little selective framing when necessary. But really, 14mm (21mm equiv) already is beyond wide. Just try it out in a store you'll see. For any other APSC system or MFT there isn't even a native prime this wide available except for third party options. And speaking of .. there is that 12mm from Samyang/Rokinon.

 

This post below is about IR filters, but you can actually see the difference in FoV between 14 and 18 very well, as i assume they were taken from the same spot:

http://fujixsystem.blogspot.nl/p/fuji-infrared-lens-tests.html

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 And speaking of .. there is that 12mm from Samyang/Rokinon.

I've been thinking the same thing.  I'm looking for a wide lens and was thinking about the 14mm.  Then I decided to buy the 18mm f2 and I'm almost deciding on the Samyang 12mm.  

 

I'm discussing getting either the 8mm fisheye or the 12mm from samyang, in another post.  One of the users there shared this set of images with the 12mm 

 

http://ourphoto.org/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=6135&_dsign=b93cf3af

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but i would want to keep it compact for travel, and don't mind a little selective framing when necessary. But really, 14mm (21mm equiv) already is beyond wide.

 Exactly my thoughts... I'm leaning towards 14mm, I think it's wide enough for my need, and also more compact.And also a little cheaper - so I could save for 56/1.2 also.

 

Thank you all for replies!

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I would go for a zoom just because of the flexibility to go from ultra wide to wide. The zoom is a stop slower but how many times will you be in a dimly lit room that would require an f/2.8 plus the OIS in the zoom will help you go with slower shutter speeds if required.

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 My choice would be the 14mm for the size and IQ.  I'm assuming you will be bringing at least one other lens as well.

 

Traveling with too much heavy gear leads to a downgraded vacation in my experience.  If this is not for a vacation and you are  shooting something in particular, then it is harder to say.  

 

 

--------

 

I went to Portugal and France a few years ago and took 4 lenses for my X-Pro1

 

Rokinon fisheye

18mm F2  (Widest I could get at the time)

35mm 1.4

50mm 1.4 nikkor with adapter.  

 

This all fit in one tiny bag.

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Given the options and the fact that you had to ask a bunch of total strangers for advice… 14mm prime is an expert lens, and you obviously just want a "pack it all in one frame" magic bullet, so get a zoom.

 

Now, if you broaden your choice a bit… Since you already have a fabulous 18-55, I'd suggest that you add an 8mm Samyang/Rokinon fisheye as an ultimate "grab it all" solution. Later on, you can use a Fisheye-Hemi filter to "correct" your photos (it works a lot better than any other "defisheyeing" app out there).

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 My choice would be the 14mm for the size and IQ.  I'm assuming you will be bringing at least one other lens as well.

 

Traveling with too much heavy gear leads to a downgraded vacation in my experience.  If this is not for a vacation and you are  shooting something in particular, then it is harder to say.  

I agree.   For our vacation to Europe the wife and I will be packing two X cameras.  One with XF10-24 the other with XF18-55.    I'll probably pack a pair of XF27 (which weight nothing) in case times call for something a bit more inconspicuous in densely populated areas. 

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14mm prime is an expert lens

please elaborate on what constitutes an "expert" lens in your mind.   Do you mean, its a lens that is intended for a specific kind of use where as the zoom is more versatile?  

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please elaborate on what constitutes an "expert" lens in your mind.   Do you mean, its a lens that is intended for a specific kind of use where as the zoom is more versatile?  

 

All ultrawide primes could be considered expert lenses, in my opinion. I seldom agree with Ken Rockwell, but on this one I do, for the most part (and he's done all the typing for me, yay!) 

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Will you have a second camera? If not, I think you would be better with the zoom. If you're shooting cathedrals and churches with the 14mm what happens when a great scene opens up in the street in front of you? 14mm won't be much use and by the time you change lenses the scene might be gone. At least with the zoom you have an option to get other kinds of shots without changing lenses.

 

Also, I don't know where you're travelling from, but if this is a major trip it's not a time to be worrying about the difference in weight between what is a small lens and a smaller lens. The 10-24 is only 100 grams more than your 18-55, and less than 200 grams more than the 14. Do you really want to limit your options on a major trip for the sake of 200 grams? (If you are more familiar with imperial measurement that's about 7 ounces - a lot less than the bottle of water you might be carrying around with you.)

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If you're shooting cathedrals and churches with the 14mm what happens when a great scene opens up in the street in front of you?

Those "what if" are not a good way to think at all. What if the scene happens 1 meter from him? He'll be happy to have the 14mm. If it's at 30m then it's gone.

 

All over the world, right now, millions of great scenes are happening and you're not there...

 

Live with the fact that you will always miss a lot of shots, and that by zooming in to the scene you will end up with something you would have really, really liked to work but 99% of the time doesn't. Better concentrate on the few scenes that do work with what you have mounted.

 

My vote gets to 14 + 18-55 and I would add a 35 if you like nice portraits of the people you meet, the 18-55 while excellent has a somewhat nervous bokeh, that is OK but not extremely pleasing and is rather limited (f/3.6 at 35mm)

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Yes we are on-topic.

sorry.. I got confused when you started talking about "what if" shots not being a good way to think and then to prove your point you compared one fixed FL lens to another fixed FL lens without comparing the two lens the OP was asking about; which was a fixed FL 14 vs a 10-24 FL zoom for the "what if" scenario.   

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I think olli nailed this point in post in #13.  

 

"Do you really want to limit your options on a major trip for the sake of 200 grams?" *

 

actually olli is being conservative here. its less than that if you want to get technical. 170g. 

 

btw, olli here is the weight of a water in the bottle.  The bottle adds extra weight.  ;-)

 

1 fluid oz = 28.35g. 

16.9oz x 28.35g/oz = 479.115g / 454g/lb = 1.06lbs of water.

 

so 6 oz. without the bottle.

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I just checked out the lens tests on photozone... it seems like

  • At 14mm, the 10-24 compares well with the prime. The 14mm seems to have a sharper centre and slightly softer corners than the zoom at f/4.
  • At 18mm and 24mm the 18-55 seems better than the 10-24 (better corners but softer centre).

I think for me it's a versatility question...  other lenses out perform the 10-24 in sharpness and aperture at some focal lengths and other lenses are smaller, lighter and cheaper. But if you're out somewhere with one lens then I think the zoom is a good one to have.

 

Just me talking myself into it really...

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The 10-24 is pretty close to the 14 prime. I think for a wide however, corners are quite important compared to center.   The 10-24 is better than the 18 prime.   The 18-55 is better than the 10-24 at 23.  Neither as as good as the 23 prime.  18-55 is really close to the 35 prime. Don't know about 10-24 vs 18-55 at 18.   Considering both zooms are better than the 18mm prime at 18, I am not sure it matters.

 

like I said for my vacation, I'm packing an 10-24 on one camera and 18-55 on the other.  There is opportunity for both cameras to be shooting  at the "normal" side.  That is not a bad thing as it means both camera can be shooting normal most of the time with the option to either go wider or longer for "what if" situations. Depending on which one you are holding.

 

Fuji makes amazing zooms.. not something that I am used to with other brands.  Certainly not any that compete with primes.  Something to be said for that. 

 

 

Now if you want to be shooting action in low light or shallow DoF on your vacation, then its no contest. Neither of which, I am going to do on my vacation for sure.  YMMV. The primes have an edge for those tasks.  For all else the versatility of the zooms is hard to beat and with Fuji, pretty much on par with prime IQ.

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I think olli nailed this point in post in #13.  

 

"Do you really want to limit your options on a major trip for the sake of 200 grams?" *

 

Maybe, but in my opinion it is not limiting to stick with a certain focal length to view the world. A shot is not better because it gets every corner of a whole church in one image. That would be true if you did commercial product photography, you don't want half a product apart from some additional detail shots. But i assume this is photography as an art form we are speaking of here. And then the focal length is a creative choice, not a functional necessity.

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Maybe, but in my opinion it is not limiting to stick with a certain focal length to view the world.

I don't disagree, but the key phrase here is "on a major trip". If the OP is visiting somewhere he will not be again for a long time or perhaps ever, then I assume he is interested in doing more than practising an art form.

 

I assume he wants to take creative photographs but also to take photographs that are a record and a memory of the visit. In that case it is, in my view, better to give yourself more options.

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Maybe, but in my opinion it is not limiting to stick with a certain focal length to view the world. A shot is not better because it gets every corner of a whole church in one image. That would be true if you did commercial product photography, you don't want half a product apart from some additional detail shots. But i assume this is photography as an art form we are speaking of here. And then the focal length is a creative choice, not a functional necessity.

Its a wide angle lens. Corners matter, its not a portrait lens. ...and again... lets stick to what the OP task is here. A vacation. No one has questioned the IQ of the zooms against the primes for that task. Anyone?? anyone? raise your hand.

 

If you want to say the OP will likely shot action in low light or needs shallow DoF on vacation photos, make that point and prove it. Otherwise, you are going in circles with the whole, you only need a fixed FL debate. A zoom offers you a range of fixed FL.. take your pick and don't move the zoom dial if you are so inclined to force yourself to a fixed FL based on creative choice.

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I don't disagree, but the key phrase here is "on a major trip". If the OP is visiting somewhere he will not be again for a long time or perhaps ever, then I assume he is interested in doing more than practising an art form.

 

I assume he wants to take creative photographs but also to take photographs that are a record and a memory of the visit. In that case it is, in my view, better to give yourself more options.

of course. You make complete sense to me. Very practical especially when there is no sacrifice in image quality compared to the primes.

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Its a wide angle lens. Corners matter, its not a portrait lens. ...and again... lets stick to what the OP task is here. A vacation. No one has questioned the IQ of the zooms against the primes for that task. Anyone?? anyone? raise your hand.

 

If you want to say the OP will likely shot action in low light or needs shallow DoF on vacation photos, make that point and prove it. Otherwise, you are going in circles with the whole, you only need a fixed FL debate. A zoom offers you a range of fixed FL.. take your pick and don't move the zoom dial if you are so inclined to force yourself to a fixed FL based on creative choice.

 

Nor did i. Don't think you've understood my meaning. With the performance of the 10-24 i don't think we should consider the IQ as a factor at all, and indeed the OIS compensates for that one stop op light. Would probably even prefer to be able to shoot F4 with OIS, than F2.8 without if i could for maximum DoF and corner performance, or likely even F5.6 or higher because the OIS is better than 1 stop. But i simply do not like the size of that lens, and while 10mm is fun to play around with, i think photos look better with a 14mm (21mm equivalent) focal length, that is all that i was referring to.

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