FUJINON XF23mm F1.4 R – First Experience

The Fujinon XF23mm F1.4

Yesterday I had the pleasure of using the XF23mm F1.4 lens for a day.

I’ve had a pretty eventful week.  Last Saturday I photographed a wedding in Rome, then I was privileged to be invited out to Tokyo by Fujifilm for some R&D meetings, presentations and the chance to shoot with the XF23mm F1.4 for the first time.

I’m going to blog more about the trip itself and my time with the very good people at Fuji next week.  In the meantime, here are some images I shot with the XF23mm F1.4 yesterday whilst in Tokyo.

The images aren’t in a particular order, but they end with a snapshot of my kids running towards me when I got home….. (they were interested in the presents I’d bought them I think).

In due course, I’ll do a more concise overview of the XF23mm F1.4 itself but my opinion is not going to be anything other than – this is a FANTASTIC lens and a great addition to the X-Series mount lenses that Fuji have created.

For me, 35mm is my perfect focal length and the 23mm lens on the X-Pro1, X-E1 or X-M1 works out at exactly 35mm.  I love the extra stop of light available over the equivalent focal length in the X100S.  The lowlight performance of this lens is smashing.  Absolutely smashing.

The bokeh, especially in low light is just beautiful and the feel of the lens is great.  Combined with the focus peaking on the X-Pro1 and X-M1 I think this a great lens for street shooting and I’ll definitely be using  it extensively for my wedding photography work.

The images in this collection were shot on a combination of the X-Pro1 and the X-M1.

I have to say Tokyo is one of the most amazing places I’ve visited.  The people, especially, are genuinely so kind and hospitable.  It’s a place I hope to visit and explore further in the future.

I only had a day, so a lot of these images are snapshots to a certain extent but I did try and get a range of shots to demonstrate the lens including verticals and macro close up images.

The XF23mm F1.4 Lens Sample Images

Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/250th at F/11 ISO 400
Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/250th at F/13 ISO 200Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/250th at F/1.8 ISO 400

Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/250th at F/1.4 ISO 400 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/150th at F/2 ISO 400

Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/1200th at F/1.6 ISO 400 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/1700th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/1200th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/350th at F/9 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/4000th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/4000th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/180th at F/1.4 ISO 400 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/320th at F/16 ISO 400 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/125th at F/1.4 ISO 800 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/450th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/200th at F/11 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/300th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/60th at F/1.4 ISO 250 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/105th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/60th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/125th at F/1.4 ISO 400 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/125th at F/1.4 ISO 400 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/550th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/150th at F/2.8 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/250th at F/3.6 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/250th at F/1.8 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/250th at F/1.4 ISO 1,250Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/4000th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/250th at F/12.8 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-Pro1 XF23mm 1/60th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/100th at F/1.4 ISO 3,200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/125th at F/1.4 ISO 400
Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/30th at F/1.4 ISO 500Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/60th at F/2.4 ISO 1,600 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/500th at F/1.4 ISO400 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/100th at F/1.4 ISO 400Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/70th at F/1.4 ISO 400Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/180th at F/1.4 ISO 400 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/125th at F/1.4 ISO 400 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/125th at F/1.4 ISO 400Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/200th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/1800th at F/1.4 ISO 200 Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/3,500th at F/5.6 ISO 3,200

Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/200th at F/1.4 ISO 200

Fuji XF23mm F1.4

Fuji X-M1 XF23mm 1/250th at F/1.4 ISO 6,400

You can see a little bit more about my trip to Tokyo, and further images here.

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49 Responses

  1. Damien Lovegrove

    Excellent shots Kevin. What a great few weeks you have had :) It’s exciting to see you go from strength to strength. The success you are experiencing is well deserved and bucks a trend in the industry so it’s doubly well earned. I can’t wait to get my hands on my 23mm lens. It’s my ideal focal length. For the lens to get a great thumbs up from you is encouraging to say the least.

    I look forward to your extended write up. Thanks for sharing your first impressions.

    Reply
    • Kevin Mullins

      Thanks Damien for all your kind words. I’ve been using this lens more and more since I got back and it really is a lovely optic. Especially wide open…..

      Thanks again and see you at one of the mini conventions soon I hope.

      Kevin

      Reply
  2. Matt Smith

    Those were all from ONE DAY?!!! I… I’m… uh… wow. Nice job. I’m going to go cry in a corner now.

    Reply
  3. DJPB

    Clearly, this lens is in the same league as all the other XF’s. Stunning IQ, minimal aberration,… Hard to resist, as the ‘true’ 35mm is a very interesting focal, to me the range feels ‘complete’. Particular with the 14mm, 27mm, 35mm & eventually the 60mm for portrait & macro and the 55-200mm, for landscape and travel, there’s not a lot more to desired in the Fuji-world. Everything lies now in the hands of Fuji to make the X-Pro1MkII excel over anything else in the market.

    Reply
  4. Top Lertpanyavit

    Amazing photos, and my mind is blown that all that was done in ONE DAY! (poof!) Images look real sharp, although in some of the photos, the bokeh wide open seemed a little busy. Still plenty good I’m sure!

    Reply
  5. Mike Oxford

    I just returned my XE-1 kit; back-focus problems, and a few usability/form issues that -really- irked me and keeps me from just exchanging. However, I’m not buying anything yet and hoping that the XProMk2 comes out … we’re on the cusp of a revolution and I’m really hoping that Fuji nails it over the wall on the next iteration!

    For me, quite a few pictures did not load properly, but from those that did, I could see that it does look like a fantastic lens and I cannot wait to see what is coming next.

    Fuji is truly “disrupting” the market.

    Reply
    • Kevin Mullins

      The AF speed is great. I’d say a little quicker than the 35mm and a lot quicker than the 60mm (:-)). It’s similar in function to the 14mm and I think would be a great partner to that lens.

      Reply
      • Sergio

        Hi Kevin,
        I’m on the point to sell my loved 35L.
        I know it will be quite like a jump on the darkness, but I really liked how the X-Pro1 with 35mm performed on last wedding season, and I wanted to bring to it my favorite focal length.

        I’m scared about the focus hints I had with the XF35 that sometimes really slowed my shooting.

        What about the 23mm? Does it perform better concerning AF reliability (on X-Pro1)?

        Buying the 23mm could be the second step to the complete conversion to Fuji X System (the third will be buying the 56mm).

        Thanks :)
        Sergio

      • Kevin Mullins

        Hi Sergio,

        I believe the 23mm is faster at focusing than the 35mm. However, if you set up the X-Pro1 with back button focusing as I do it should really speed up your shooting.

        Cheers

        Kevin

  6. Watcher24

    What a bulk of stunning pictures. Thnx a lot for sharing!
    So much looking forward for the XF23 :-)))

    Reply
  7. Arn

    Ummm… If I send you my address…. Thanks for sharing these wonderful images of what this lens (and the photographer) can create.

    Reply
  8. Neale James

    Incredible work Kevin, fab. You know, the picture that I love most, and call me a softy old bas**** but its your two little ones chasing toward you at the very end. It says to me; “Dad you’re back. All is good again.”

    Reply
    • Mike Oxford

      I would put the rectangle over the foreground object, half-press, and it would pull the background into focus way more than the front. Constantly … SOTP about 60%. Worked okay in manual, and “better” in continuous, but I missed a lot of shots (including some good birthday shots for two of my daughters.) Lighting was a bit “low” but not real low … it just REALLY liked to focus past what was on the rectangle. I tried everything. I even put it on a tripod, focused it manually, then switched to AF and half-pressed…and it brought the back into focus. Honestly, it was like the AF had “in the square” and “out of the square” completely backwards at times. I tried all kinds of different subjects in different lights, contrasty subjects against more bland backgrounds, etc. Super frustrating.

      How does it happen? I don’t know.

      Reply
      • goro

        The AF window obviously has both foreground and background in it and it has to choose one of them. Reduce the AF rectangle size using the pinwheel.

  9. Fujifan

    Hi

    I would be interested in your experiences with the following 3 lenses: This new 23/1.4 vs. the 23mm lens in the x100s vs. the Fuji 35/1.4 for the x-Pro1/X-E1

    How would you compare the 3 vs. each other. I am especially interested in lens flare, mainly at close focusing distance with apertures @F2-f4 and also image sharpness from center to corners, if I need to put the main subject at the side of the image. This is for people, landscape and travel. No architecture. Print size max. A3.

    Would it be worth (for IQ) to upgarde from a X100s to a X-Pro1/X-E1 with this new 23/1.4?

    Is the IQ of the 35/1.4 with the Xpro1/XE1 better (@F2-F4) than the X100s?

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  10. Dink p1 owner

    stunning lens indeed …so what is the significance differences between p1 e1 m1 a1 with same cansor same apsc in terms of image quality ? Not about cam features

    Reply
  11. Alessandro

    Congratulations, best shot and best test/info.
    I love X1 P….
    What is the general camera setting you prefear for your shoot? In postproduction you use VSCO?
    Ale – Italy

    Reply
  12. Paul Rogers

    Stunning work Kevin, shows what happen when talented photographer meets top quality kit! I’m so glad I invested in a x100s but that extra stop may make me reconsider…

    Reply
  13. Alex

    Really good images. I was wondering what kind of post-processing you performed on these images, as I really love that soft subtle colour rendering

    Reply
  14. Ulm0

    Hi Kevin,

    As a visitor in Tokyo in this moment, your pictures made us feel every feeling we have had during this week visiting the places you have captured in such a beautiful manner. Even we acquired the X-Pro 1 for a friend, just to fall in love with the camera and try to resist getting another for me! Enjoy your trip, we will continue visiting this beautiful country. Kyoto awaits!

    Regards,

    Ulm0

    Reply
  15. Peter Fang

    Hi Kevin,

    Great images. Are these out-of-camera JPEGs or RAW files with post-processing? If the latter, what RAW conversion software did you use? Thanks!

    Peter

    Reply
    • Kevin Mullins

      These are a bit of both. I started shooting RAW, then realised LR doesn’t support the X-M1 yet so switched to JPG. For the RAW conversions I used the Release Candidate of Lightroom 5.2.

      Reply
      • Peter Fang

        Hi Kevin,

        Thanks for your reply. So I take that all the X-M1 images here are OOC JPEGs, including the B&W ones? I personally think Fuji’s OOC JPEGs are better than all the brands that I have used and this proves the case again.

        If you use Apple Aperture, Apple’s latest Camera RAW update has already added X-M1 support.

        Peter

  16. Neale James

    Superb Kev, an incredible set… with that contrasty look I love. I’ll save all the other superlatives until we meet for that family beer! Welcome home.

    Reply
  17. Mark Dell

    Hi Kevin these are superb shots that show the X series at its best.
    I too am really into the “X” look ever since my Fuji X100 a year or two back.
    All my Canon gear has been sold and now its been turned into a Fuji X Pro-1 and the 35 f1.4 the 18-55 and the 55-200
    I love all of them!

    Reply
  18. Geoff

    Great article and images! I’m wondering what are the advantages of this Fuji 23mm 1.4 over the older 35mm 1.4 lens.

    Thanks,
    Geoff

    Reply
  19. Benjamin Wang

    Hello Kevin. Great works!! I love the subjects you shoot and the color tone of this series. Personally I use X100s. It’s a great camera with excellent IQ but somehow the color of its JPEG is not right to me. It’s a little over-exposed and low contrasted. But I see fabulous rendering in your photos instead of the drawbacks of mine. You have X100s too. Maybe you have the idea about the reasons?
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  20. Nishi Sharma

    Stunning photos Kevin. The potential of these mirrorless cameras is a great advance in digital photography.

    Reply
  21. JerryR

    I rarely comment but I follow your blog closely and really enjoy your images. I also watched the youtube presentation you did for Fuji and thought it was great!

    I’m not a wedding photographer nor am I a potential bride. I shoot Fuji X cameras but even if I didn’t I’d still follow your blog because of your style. I like the emotion you’re able to capture.

    Jerry

    Reply
  22. Robin F.

    I was curious how many of these beautiful images were shot manual focus vs. auto-focus? Did you find the auto-focus speed improved over other fuji lenses?

    Reply

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