Of course we all know that specific cameras and lenses are far from the most important things in photography but I just got a new lens and here are some images I used it in creating. I expect it will replace my 55-200mm on my next trip.
Sharpness in this lens is adequate. In other words, it may well be the sharpest Fuji lens, as other reviews suggest and may make some other lenses seem inadequate in comparison. Mind you, if all you want to do is to post images online, it’s questionable whether you’ll see the benefits in your posted images because even a 4K monitor is only equivalent to the resolution of a 6MP sensor.
It’s a genuine 1:1 macro lens that also works well as a general lens. Autofocus works well from macro to infinity and not all macro lenses have good autofocus for macro. I had great difficulty getting focus on the petals of a white rose in low light but that’s more a product of Fuji’s contrast based autofocus than the lens.
Using it with the 1.4x teleconverter is excellent. Hardly any additional weight and quite viable wide open. No doubt better if you stop the lens down a stop or two but no need to avoid wide open.
Vignetting? Meh. Several reviews have suggested a problem with vignetting. I find it to be minimal and in any case easily correctible. (Out of focus image of clouds included).
Bokeh seems fine from my point of view. I didn't do any artificial; testing, though.
Image stabilisation works very well. Fuji claim 5 stops and while I have not systematically tested this, the shot of Ashoka (the red Burmese cat) is at 1/15 sec.
No good for portraits because it’s too sharp? Several reviewers have suggested that but I don’t agree though I have little interest in portraits unless in the context of live music or street photography (ie unposed, not street portraits). The 90mm is no doubt more of a portrait lens but sharpness is not a problem. It is very easy in the current version of Lightroom to roughly paint the face with the Adjustment Brush, then select skin tones with the new colour range and blur accordingly.
I also have a Sigma 180mm f2.8 macro. On the Nikon D3s, that is twice the weight of the Fuji X-T2 + 80mm f2.8 macro + 1.4x TC. That is an advantage for travelling, but ironically because the Fuji is much lighter, it is much more difficult to hand hold steadily for macro focusing.
Focus stacking works well provided you use a tripod. There are three possible methods here. (1) You can use the autofocus to select different points of focus. (2) You can use the focus scale in manual focus to set different points of focus. (3) You can use focus peaking in manual to select different points of focus. I don’t recommend (1) because you are likely to miss a focus point but (2) and (3) work fine. I have included examples using both focus methods (2) and (3).
The main disadvantage for me is that hand-held focus bracketing is not possible. With the Nikon and the Sigma I could turn the focusing ring from out of focus at the back to out of focus at the front for quick focus bracketing on the fly. Usually I used a monopod but sometimes I actually hand-held. This is not possible with the Fuji alternative. This is a problem with the X-T2 rather than the lens, probably correctable in firmware.
(1) Lichen on tree. 1/125 sec, f5.6, 200ISO, plus 1.4x TC. Handheld. Cropped in from the sides.
(2) White rose. 1/160, f14, 250ISO, plus 1.4x TC. Handheld. Uncropped. The spider in the corner is sharp.
(3) Ashoka (red Burmese) at point blank range and 1/15 sec, f2.8, 800ISO. Handheld.
(4) Small cactus. Focus stacked.
Edited by Murray Foote, 01 January 2018 - 05:25 AM.