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Lens choices, help me make sense of the trade-offs

What combo to go for?

  • 23mm prime + 90mm prime

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • 18-55mm zoom (kitlens) + 55-200mm zoom

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • 23mm prime + 55-200mm zoom

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • 18-55mm zoom (kitlens) + 90mm prime

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I've got a better idea, see below....

    Votes: 3 30.0%

  • Total voters
    10

naviivan

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it all comes down to shooting style and what you shoot on travels.

i never carry telephoto on a trip as it’s too bulky and i never need to zoom. i like to capture what the eye sees in the environment— so a 35mm lens is perfect (whatever the fuiji equivalent is)
 

JeffS7444

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This:
Fujinon XC15-45
IMO, the mistake that even many experienced photographers make is choosing awesome but large and heavy equipment, then leaving it at home because it's too big/heavy/fussy.

Don't bother trying to equip yourself for 0.1% of photo situations, stick with the 70% you encounter constantly. And for me, 35 mm and 50 mm (equivalent) easily suffice for 70% of my own shooting. This is an old habit that I learned from shooting Leica M rangefinder cameras, which are really optimized for those two focal lengths (they're no great joy with longer lenses like 75 mm, and they're crap at 135 mm).

"Simplify, then add lightness" - Colin Chapman
 
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eddantes

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First - let me answer based on the focal range being as per full frame so 50mm is 50mm.

You need - fast prime and a good wide angle.

You need the prime, for low light and bokeh. Yeah - I know these days you can easily add bokeh in post, but as a 50mm prime is thhe cheapest prime you can get and usually gives you a 1.8 apperturre - so why not? You can get "near-macro"-like shots; portrait-like shots and you can avoid flash in all but the darkest environments.

You might choose the zoom primarily for the wide angle... Why? Because most that the tele of the zoom gives you is resolution, otherwise you can always crop (Yes, yes, I know foreshortening and exposure effects, but comeon - you know I'm right - you only really need the tele for sports and animals).

So if your camera has a hi rez sensor - you might get away with a prime 50 and a prime 24 (or their APC equivalents)...

But as I always say - to quote the great Weegee, "F8 and be there" - so just bring your kit zoom and "be there", instead of fussing with lenses.

Just my opinion, but it's been a long time since I was a shooter.
 

Raindog123

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..to further derail it with Canon lenses. :) I used to have/use these two, and they were simply perfect:

EF 24/2.8 IS
EF-S 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS
 

FrantzM

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Hi
Go for choice number 2: 18-55 mmm and 55-200.

There! You're covered!!

ASR has been for me a godsend. It made me realize the limits of my perceptions. Parallelly it made me fully aware of what are truly important for the enjoyment of my hobbies. In video I remain quite fussy and so far the best display for me is an LG OLED: The differences between those and most other TVs is truly astonishing for me.
Many of us , photography enthusiasts and hobbyist are not able to fully , perceive, let alone exploit the differences between a modern day good zoom lens and the better primes. We can surely marvel at the beauty of bokehs produced by large aperture prime lenses, but we all know there is more than those for a good picture...
This is for me the basis of my newfound (thanks ASR) humblest approach to many of my hobbies. In that vein, my next camera kit is likely to be the Fuji SX-10 Kit with the 16-80 mm and a 55-200 mm. And this is when I respond to the (aching?) need of taking pictures intently.. In the meantime.. The iPhone 13 Pro ...

Peace
 
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mhardy6647

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Why primes? You learn to choose the focal length depending on the image you want to create. With a zoom, you just dial in whatever focal length without even thinking what this would do to your image. As an example, when I'm somewhere, where I want maximum isolation of the subject from the background, I go specifically for a long focal length and vice versa. Without learning those basics, you will always just use whatever focal length without knowing what this is doing to your picture.
can't disagree with this -- but it can boil down to just practicality. And while there are artists and photographers, there are also folks like me who just take pictures. :rolleyes:

Our son was taking remarkably good (and interesting) photographs as a preteen -- with a point and shoot (oh, and he still does, although he isn't doing as much photography in recent years). There's more to it than just the hardware. ;)

On the topic of primes - and speaking of our son :p - some stuff from his (now fairly dormant) photoblog on depth of field and field of view that might be of interest to the OP:


DSC_6306s.jpg

source: https://icouldbeahero.blogspot.com/...00-04:00&max-results=20&start=5&by-date=false
 
OP
Propheticus

Propheticus

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Actually found that the tier up and normally more expensive Fujifilm X-S10 comes in a kit with the 16-80mm lens. This combination is cheaper than buying a separate X-T30 II body and this lens.

The X-S10 is akin the X-T4 and is more of a mirrorless DSLR. The customisable (rotary) buttons are a more modern take on the camera than the full manual older school X-T line. As a bonus it has in body stabilisation.

Concluding this thread I think:
I'll probably go for a X-S10 with 16-80mm F4 (kit) zoomlens.
A (tele)macro can be added later when the hobby catches on.
Reporting back. I've indeed bought this combo plus some mandatory accessories like a snout bag, UV filter, extra battery etc.
The camera is nice and compact for something offering DSLR like qualities. I'm glad I picked the X-S10 which has a bit more of a grip than the X-T series. With my large hands it would've been a cramped grip, even now I can't really place my pinky finger and I get why people buy battery grips.

The 16-80mm lens offers some moderate tele range to zoom in on details, even from rather close (35cm), while not being super bulky.
As a travel camera, this means I only have to carry one lens. For other use cases I'm already researching some ~85mm ~F1.8 primes or macro lenses like the Laowa 65mm super-macro (F/2.8) with a 2x magnification.

Obligatory test picture of the convenient and very willing test-subject:
DSCF0034_C1_Crop_medium.jpg
 
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eddantes

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Reporting back.
Congrats! Enjoy your hobby! Practice composition (rule of thirds), pay attention to exposure (mood), but mostly - record "your impression" of reality in a way that pleases you. If you make yourself happy - others will be along for the ride.

EDIT (small bit of advice - remember, you can always crop in post, so if in doubt leave your subject a bit of room and fix it later)

1636116591197.png
 
OP
Propheticus

Propheticus

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Congrats! Enjoy your hobby! Practice composition (rule of thirds), pay attention to exposure (mood), but mostly - record "your impression" of reality in a way that pleases you. If you make yourself happy - others will be along for the ride.

EDIT (small bit of advice - remember, you can always crop in post, so if in doubt leave your subject a bit of room and fix it later)

View attachment 163396
Oh wow pro tips right away :p Thanks
This has been cropped quite a bit in Concept One using the RAW (.RAF) file + treated to reduce almost blown out highlights. I did try to keep the sunny/light atmosphere.

Original (downsized) as JPEG from Fuji:
DSCF0034_medium.JPG

But yeah, nothing too great, a simple test shot with the subject boring dead-centre.
 

eddantes

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All lovely! I am very excited for your journey, nothing is as satisfying as those early leaps and bounds of new skills and fresh passion of a new hobby. Just remeber - enjoy and don't get yourself worked up over attaining perfection or some technical "competency". Celebrate the joy of creativity!
 

Ron Texas

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Primes definitely outperform zooms, especially for landscape photography. At least my 24-120 FX has a way of picking up chromatic aberations in some circumstances. I know most would choose a 35mm fx equivalent over a 28mm, but I prefer the wider lens. There is something very natural about it.
 
OP
Propheticus

Propheticus

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Looking at some resulting photos at 100% (which is already lens corrected for things like CA and distortion using a lens profile) indeed shows the 16-80mm is not tack-sharp in the entire picture especially at 80mm. It's the price to pay for versatility I guess. Luckily I rarely look at 24Mpix pictures zoomed to 100%. In the 23 to 55mm range it's pretty good even 'wide open' at F4.

What I also noticed, the JPEGs straight out of the camera look more vivid/sharp than default processing of the raw files using Capture One.
Had to tweak the clarity setting and lens corrections setting a bit to come close to the out of camera result.

For landscapes I'm indeed considering a prime lens. Perhaps something like the 27mm F/2.8 pancake. Alternatively an ~35mm F/1.4-ish lens. But I'm not quite sure yet how a fast 1.4 lens benefits me when landscape is best stopped down to ~F8-F11 for depth of field... some reading and research to do.
 
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OP
Propheticus

Propheticus

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Ordered the XF 16mm* F/1.4 R WR with a Black Friday discount.
It's fast, it allows close focussing for some ~macro-ish use without needing a dedicated macro lens and is wide enough for my use. If I need to get a wider lanscape, I can always resort to panorama :)
Online I see several very positive reviews on image quality and in several forums it's called one of -if not the- best Fuji lens available.... Very curious to try it out myself!

*24mm in FF equiv.
 
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