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18-55 Will I be okay for now?


OliverN
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Hello, I said all of this in my introduction. Completely drained my budget buying the X-T2 18-55 f2.8 kit. And I wont be able to afford any other lenses anytime soon. Right now I've got some projects I plan on starting soon. The projects include a lot of B&W Industrial (train stations, power plants, etc) landscape shots, traditional landscapes, quite a bit of urban decay, and night photography / long exposures. My question is, will the 18-55 f2.8 ,in general, be able to handle these types of shots? I know the answer requires knowledge of my skill level as a photographer,  and things like that. And I know fuji has primes that are better for tjis type of photography, but other lenses are out of the question for a while. So, what has anyone elses experience been like with this lens on some of these types of shots? Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

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Even though I own some prime lenses, my 18-55, since it came as my kit lens with my X-E1 back in February 2013, has been my "don't leave home without it" lens of choice.  

 

You'll be fine with it.  I will caution that some folks here on the blog claim to have bad copies of the 18-55 so I would just go shoot and make sure it's a good copy - especially in the sharpness/softness area.  

 

Congrats on your purchase!

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This lens is a must. Have a zoom lens, like this 18 - 55 mm and forget every prime lens. The next lens will be the 10 - 24.mm, That is all you need.

And a second body if you like. Or a cheap adapter to mount some old analog to Fuji, just lens for fun or for ART. Do not buy art lenses; be an artist.

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I feel that my photography has improved immeasurably since I switched from zoom lenses to primes. Zooms are great for allowing you to take the best possible picture of whatever you want to capture from wherever you happen to be. You won't miss much if you have a zoom. But primes make you think about what kind of picture will work best with the lens you have, and where you need to be standing in order to get it. Primes sometimes stop you from getting the shots that zooms make easy, and force you to see the scene differently. They make you a more conscious photographer.

 

 

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Hi Oliver,

like Warwick said above, primes are different lenses. It doesn't mean they're better or worse. Technically they're usually better than zooms, but it's not that one replaces the other.

The matter is much relevant comparing the 18-55 and the 16-55. But of these two, I prefer the first: the only carachteristis of the second is the fixed focal. The weather seal is just marketing, I've never seen anybody taking pictures with rain falling dirrectly on the lens.

But the 18-55 has the stabilization, which the 16-55 doesn't have. And for me is much more important, even though I don't use it that much.

Some weeks ago I was in Venice, taking pictures stuck on a boat in the middle of a channel. The 18-55 was the perfect solution since I couldn't move at all. If I had to use primes, I'd needed at least a couple cameras each with a different lens.

So, your lens is capable to do whatever you need. just use it much and learn use it at its best.

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I greatly prefer primes over zooms, but it does require patience in getting used them. I have three primes that I use for most of my photography: 16mm, 23mm, and 35mm, all in the f/1.4 versions. I rarely switch lenses while I'm out, typically selecting one to shoot with for the majority of the day based on my instinct about the location I'm planning to be.

 

Probably the most difficult thing to get used to is leaving photos behind. There are times when I can see a good photo, but I don't even bring the viewfinder to my eye because I know that the focal length I'm using simply cannot capture what my mind sees.

 

I don't view that as a problem, just the reality of my situation at that moment. It doesn't bother me because the number of shots that I'm happy with greatly outnumber the ones that I miss and I feel that I bring home almost twice as many good shots with a prime on camera than with a zoom. 

 

That doesn't mean I never use zooms though. I usually travel with the 55-200mm and sometimes I'll swap out the 16mm for the 10-24mm depending on where I'm traveling, but for the core 16 or 18 to 55mm range my personal preference is my three primes and my feet.

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I think that's the thing about primes, as Nero says. If you're used to zooms you think about using primes like awkward and inferior zooms, carrying lots of lenses with you and changing them all the time. Whereas in reality you have an idea beforehand of what kind of place you're going to, and what sort of pictures you want to come back with, and you tend to pick one lens and stick with it, even if it means missing other potential shots. It's a different way of thinking

 

 

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Warwick, for an amateur it's right like that, unless particular case. You go somewhere to take a certain type of pictures and shoot those pictures with the lens you have with you.

Sometimes I shoot with manual lenses and I only have that with me, I know that.

But if I go to a place to take pictures, only having the 18-55 I carry with me 18, 23, 35 and 55 millimeters. Which is almost everything I might need, this because I usually have with me the 55-200 and the 12mm also.

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If I were a news photographer I'd use zooms - what matters there is to get a picture of what's happening even if you can't be in the best position for the most 'artistic' shot. Your picture editor won't be happy if you come back saying 'I only had a wide angle on my camera, so I've come back with this really fun picture of an eccentric man in the crowd, rather than the two politicians shaking hands.' But because I'm an amateur and I like primes, I stick with them.

 

 

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Edited by Warwick
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Amateurs, professionals it does not matter. Prime or zoom

 

They all use the best lens they have available at the time.

 

For an organised event it is a non issue as you have time to set up with anything you require

 

If the situation is variable (or a new or unfamiliar location) a professional level (red badge) zoom is an option the 50-140 would be my ultimate choice if i was working in photo journalism , I'd probably also carry a 2nd body with a 23mm or 35mm lens as well.

 

however this is sort of irrelevant as The OP asked if the 18-55 will do the job he requires, the answer is still yes.

 

If a follow up question is what Prime should i invest it next, it would depend on what you want to do and what find you can't do with the XF18-55.

 

if you find you can not get the shallow depth of field (background out of focus) you want for portraits buy a fast lens 35mm F/1.4, or the 56mm F/1.2 (or move the subject as close as you can to the camera and the background as far away as possible and shoot at 55mm F/4 on your current lens)

 

If you can't get everything in the frame buy a wider lens

 

If you find indoors you are pushing the iso higher than you'd like to correctly expose (leading to noise/grain) by a fast lens (a 1.2/1.4 etc) or probably cheaper to buy a flash

 

regards

 

Andrew 

Edited by Tikcus
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Thanks for all of the feedback, the 18-55 f2.8 is great and I love it. However I do feel the need for a prime lens, for me it has to do with my creative process (if that makes sense). I'm thinking of the 35 f1.4 (used if I can find it), because the price isnt way up there. I know Fuji makes quality glass and the $ is worth it, but investing $600-2k in lenses and other accessories when I want to will be out of the question for at least 6 months.

Edited by OliverN
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Thanks for all of the feedback, the 18-55 f2.8 is great and I love it. However I do feel the need for a prime lens, for me it has to do with my creative process (if that makes sense). I'm thinking of the 35 f1.4 (used if I can find it), because the price isnt way up there. I know Fuji makes quality glass and the $ is worth it, but investing $600-2k in lenses and other accessories when I want to will be out of the question for at least 6 months.

 

Oliver the 35/1.4 is a great lens, my flickr profile linked under most of my photos are using that lens.

I highly recommend for creative photography

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Oliver the 35/1.4 is a great lens, my flickr profile linked under most of my photos are using that lens.

I highly recommend for creative photography

Nice shots, I'm selling an old canon 60d and a few canon lenses for around $700-800. So I'm planning on buying a couple extra batteries, one more SD card that I need, I'm debating on whether or not to get the vertical grip or just go ahead and get a used 35 f1.4. I've found a few online that are in perfect working condition (I assume, I'll be very careful selecting which one) that range from $275-400. I think I'll take the glass over the vertical grip for now. I hate the thought of making my X-T2 the size of a typical full frame DSLR :(

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Just be aware the focus speed on the 35mm is painfully slow compared to newer lenses. It will not maximise the speed benefit your XT2 will give you.

 

Don't get me wrong it's a great lens in terms of IQ and rendering but it's not without its flaws.

Edited by Naddan28
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OliverN, there is also the option of not purchasing anything more than you absolutely need right now and waiting until you are sure you have enough money to spare or are clearer on what your purchasing priorities are. There is no shame in waiting. Spend the time to explore your new camera with its kit lens and figure out what your highest priority is for the next purchase.

 

Make sure, first off, you are comfortable spending on another lens or accessory right now. If you have any doubt about your finances, save your money for a rainy day.

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Just be aware the focus speed on the 35mm is painfully slow compared to newer lenses. It will not maximise the speed benefit your XT2 will give you.

 

Don't get me wrong it's a great lens in terms of IQ and rendering but it's not without its flaws.

Since all the updates and the new X-T2/X-Pro2/X-T20 focussing system it isn't slow anymore. It's not the fastest but definitely way faster than before and totally usable.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, the Rokinon 12mm f2 is also great for astrophotography (probably THE best lens for this?) if you ever want to do it, great for landscapes, very wide angle shots of architecture (inside or out). It is manual focus, but not a big deal at that focal length. Small, light and cheap (I got it off eBay in very good used condition for £200, about $240). 

 

As another poster said, if you're getting a 35mm prime, I'd consider the f2 - for the very fast focus, and although weather sealed can be over-rated, better to have it than not (both the latter will help if you're doing street photography, for example). Though I've heard the 35mm f1.4 has a very individual quality, so you won't regret getting that one either.

 

Having said all that, if you just used the 18-55mm f2.8-4 and nothing else for the next year, there's nothing stopping you taking a great set of photographs. It really is a fine lens.

Edited by martintreacy
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  • 4 weeks later...

Of course it will me ok, don't worry. The 18-55 will do just fine.

 

Ever heard of the concept of one-camera-one-lens? Really get to know the 18-55 over a longer period of time and learn to work with it's strengths and limitations. It might be everything you'll ever need.

 

If you can, try to avoid buying camera gear and lenses out of curiosity, an itch, or a theoretical need instead of a real actual practical need. It will save you a lot of hard earned cash. I think this is a mistake that a lot of people that are interested in photography have made. It's called GAS: gear acquisition syndrome. Actually one of the worst things that you can do is read other peoples opinions about camera gear and lenses on a forum. It will only fuel your itch to get a shitload of gear that you won't really need. I can think of a perfectly good reason to own every single piece of x-mount gear that Fujifilm has made. But do I really, really need it? No! Of course not. Simplicity is king. Only use what you really need. And when you do really need a new piece of equipment make sure that it's acquisition is purely based on your own need for it, not on other peoples opinions.

Edited by Mervyn
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