Fuji XT-1 W/XF 10-24 F4 OIS RW/Flash Attached
First the Disclaimer(s)
These days my zoom range is the "general purpose" 24-70mm (Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 Pro), not too wide and not too long but more or less suitable for a wide range of subjects. In my 35mm days that was the Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L. I shot for about a year with that as my only zoom lens and when I needed something wider I would rent or borrow the EF16-35 F2.8L. Both of these lenses were useful but had issues with focus accuracy and sharpness. I hear-tell Canon has released a new version of the 16-35 (it's now a 16-35mm F4 with image stabilisation). I've personally used the latest version of the 24-70mm F2.8L MKII (awesome but expensive!).
If you want to make images with a little something special then you need to go wider than that general purpose zoom. You need a wide angle prime lens or a wide angle zoom. I've previously used the excellent XF 14mm F2.8 but stuck at one focal length in that range can be limiting sometimes. I was particularly interested in the XF10-24mm Fuji lens because of an upcoming assignment which will require me to take a series of wide angle shots and combine various elements into one composite image.
I took it recently to The Bahamas where the instant you open your eyes each morning you get a rush of wide-reaching scenery. Especially impressive if you live the majority of your life in a city environment with concrete and steel every direction you turn. Don't get me wrong, progress is a good thing...but sometimes your eyes need a change.
This lens is sharp from center to edge with very little if any optical muddiness..and that's wide open at F4. Images are crisp with lot's of detail, great color and contrast.
I stopped down only to get depth of field or to balance the exposure.
Landscapes and cityscapes alike, the RAW files delivered exactly what I wanted.
I do a fair but of long exposures and it's nice to have the image stabilisation (OIS) handy via an on/off switch on the barrel of the lens. Pop the camera on a tripod, figure out composition and exposure time then switch off the OIS. That 72mm front end requires a substantial investment in a Neutral Density or Polarizing filter so budget accordingly.
There is lot's to like with this lens just be aware that the relative (35mm) focal length is 15-36mm in full-frame terms. Still in that sweet spot for a wide angle zoom. The only other lens I've used in this range that's comparable is the Nikon 14-24mm.
Build quality...top marks. It's a solid and heavy lens but still light enough to be a good balance for the XT-1 camera. The zoom and focusing rings are smooth and precise. AF is fast, accurate and most importantly-quiet. The image stabilisation (OIS) is implemented well on the lens and works as advertised. I don't mess around with hard numbers but it's been good to me right down to about 1/20 seconds on the shutter. After that my ageing, shaky hands makes it hit or miss. I'm sure if I put my mind to it I could shoot slower with decent result.
Those last few bits come in handy when you are shooting video...ya I know, nobody buys a Fuji camera to shoot video. They should if video needs aren't too complex because the XE-2/XT-1 and XF10-24mm F4 R OIS make a good combination.
I shot this clip handheld...pretty much everything on auto, zero processing in Adobe Premiere Pro CC except for Youtube specific rendering.
For stills there is some barrel distortion at the wide end but nothing severe. Most of that is easily handled in post processing, just leave a little room on framing if needed. This shot of my living room (impromtu photoshoot for a model, hence the mess) required very little work in Adobe Lightroom 5.5 to get things straight.
Normally I expect a little softness somewhere in the frame of a wide angle zoom...couldn't find any here. Solid, even sharpness all the way across.
I'm including a link to a RAW file sample [HERE]. Just don't use it commercially without my specific permission, otherwise enjoy!