This, the 35mm f/1.4, just arrived today from eBay. I fitted it to my X-E4 and took a selfie in front of the mirror. It’s night time so it’s dark and I decided just to focus on the camera not my tired eyes. I can’t believe how light this lens is, even with the hood on. It’s lighter than my 50mm f/2. It’s quite long, particularly with the hood but because of its lightness it balances nicely on the X-E4. Aesthetically, the 18mm looks better on the X-E4 - like a mini-Q2!
I’m listing my 50 f/2 this weekend, and so I’ve justified this new lens to myself as it’ll be a swap. The 50mm is nice but a little boring and whilst I try and take it out with me, I find it’s a little too long most of the time. The 35mm, or 50mm eq., is a much more useful focal length for me. Perhaps it’s a little excessive as now I have the 18, 23, 27, and 35 primes, and they’re all so close to each other. I still think they all have a specific purpose, driven by their physical size, aperture and focal length, so I don’t think I’d sell any of them just yet.
35mm on APS-C used to be my go to length for years. I had a Nikon 35mm f/1.8 for my D40/7000/7200. It was perfect and I enjoyed using it a lot. When I moved to Fuji and the X100F I was at 23mm. As that was my only camera, I didn’t have a choice but I have come to like 23mm (or 35mm eq.) focal length. When I moved to the X-T2, the 23mm f/1.4 was my second prime, right after the 35mm f/2. The first lens I bought for my M2 was the 35mm. I do have a 90mm for it but again, like the Fuji 50, it’s a little too long for every day usage.
Back to the Fuji, and even with the extra weight and size the 23mm was my go to lens. I later sold the 35mm f/2 as I found I didn’t use it. When I was first looking for a lens for my X-T2, I did consider the 35mm f/1.4 for a long time. I ended up not picking it as everyone said it was slow autofocusing and it was more expensive. It is the older style, original lenses from Fujifilm and it does have a slower and noisier autofocus, but it’s not that slow.
The internet talks a lot about this lens, and how it has special qualities and a unique look. I don’t know about that, but portraits at 1.4 do have a little edge over f/2. I’m looking forward to capturing everyone with it and seeing if I can see that special look. I’ll probably never see it, but if I make pleasing images with it then that’ll do me.
Plus when I get bored of it, and realise I have too many primes within 5mm of each other, I can just sell it and probably not lose much if anything.