Shared publicly  - 
Lightning Review: Just-Announced Fujinon 23/1.4 R Lens from #Fujifilm .

I am just back from a week in Tokyo, where one of the highlights of the trip was getting to play with a loaner 23/1.4 lens from Fuji. For those interested, here are the highlights after a few days of hands-on shooting:

1. She's a chunky piece of glass - although smaller than other 35/1.4's, of which this is an equivalent. Balances very well on any X-camera (have used on an X Pro 1, an X-E1 and an XM1 -- feels nice all around.)

2. Focus is super smooth and works great from the hip with focus peaking, FWIW. Perhaps surprisingly, this lens marries well with the diminutive XM1 with the screen flipped into a stealthy waist-level mode.

3. The shade, while optically ideal as a flower design, makes the lens feel bigger. My hope is that Fujifilm (or someone else) does an optional, rectangular shade a la the 35/1.4. Plus, it would look gorgeous. China, wanna make some money? Get on this, stat.

4. Is it sharp wide open? Oh yes, yes is it is. Screamingly tack sharp. Attached is a (dim, available-light) photo of my son playing Minecraft last night when he should have been in bed. 1/10th sec @ f/1.4 at ISO 800, hand-held. This is not a lab benchmark MTF test, this is a real-world, holy-shit-I-can-shoot-handheld-in-this-light shot.

Photo ©David Hobby  (Please don't scrape it.)
Paul Gero's profile photoGabriel Chapman's profile photoSam Samaha's profile photoMikael Gabrielsson's profile photo
Glad to hear good things as there was no doubt at all that I'd be buying this, even if it had warts. This is my preferred angle of view for "normal" shooting (versus the popular 50mm equiv).
Hi David, lens looks great. Any news on Xpro1 successor do you know?
I need to start saving for this one, sounds like a dream lens. I prefer the f.o.v. a 35MM lens gives me over 50mm. Right now I only own the xf18-55, want a fast prime for handheld low-light shots. High ISO is crazy on these camera's as well.
Hey Ross- Nothing I could speak about.
As a dedicated speed lens, I feel this is more optimized for shooting wide open. You can shoot at 1.4 with a lot of confidence.
I sold my 5D2 and L primes to switch to the X100s. Haven't looked back. But if I ever start shooting professionally again, I'l be going with the X1 Pro. The sensor and lens of the X100s has me close to carving Fujifilm 4 Life into my arm... #DSLRNoMore
Awesome! Looks like my Canon kits days are numbered... Now just need a fuji FF!
Hello David, thank you for sharing. I was about to purchase the X-E1 but I just read an article from Thom Hogan where he says that Aperture does not handle the X-Trans color of the Fuji sensor. Are you using Aperture and if so, can you confirm if the colors are accurate or not? Thank you so much in advance!
I don't use Aperture, so do not know the answer to that.
Ghislain - I have no idea what Thom Hogan is talking about. I have the X-E1 and use Aperture. It works very well and is regarded as actually being slightly better than Lightroom in terms of processing the Fujifilm RAW files. Any issues that RAW processors may have had with the X-Trans files are long in the past.
+Chris Trayhorn You may not have noticed by Aperture often produces some nasty artifacts in X-trans image files.

Other than that it does some okay.

In neither case (Aperture or LR) do the RAW converters ever match the colors produced by the camera by default. However, that's pretty typical of 90% of cameras out there.
Hey David, thanks for this. How does the new "High torque" motor seem to work for you. ie how fast did this lens focus compared to other Fuji lenses you've tried?
I can feel lens lust coming on 
I have yet to see any file handling problems with the X Trans sensor and Aperture. Works great!
Zachery Jensen - Aperture "often" produces artifacts with X-Trans files??? That's simply not true. I have never seen any evidence of that in my own files nor on any of the various forums. Every test I have seen says Aperture is better than Lightroom and they're both just as good as when they're processing Bayer sensor files, just different.
I'd love to see any evidence you can show of your claim. Do you actually use Aperture yourself?
+Chris Trayhorn I have used Aperture for years. Since 1.0. I prefer it over LR for many reasons, especially the UX and pure speed. However, besides being horribly behind in general features, it is simply producing problematic results with my X-E1 images. It's pretty good! But the artifacts are a real issue.

This article will give you a great example of what is typically seen. In my experience, it is almost always unwanted green streaks just like in this example and typically shows up where the old LR used to make water-color effects.
I should also mention that Aperture has some crap results in other cases with RAW processing that are not unique to the Fuji sensors. It's another reason I had to switch. It produces horrible overly saturated bands around strong light sources. Neither LR or Capture One do this. Aperture as an overall product is pretty good (minus the missing features and fact there has been no notable upgrade in years.) but the RAW processing is behind its competition and I see no motivation for Apple to repair this problem. Aperture can't possibly represent a significant business for Apple.
Zachery Jensen - Aperture "often" produces artifacts with X-Trans files??? That's simply not true. I have never seen any evidence of that in my own files nor on any of the various forums. Every test I have seen says Aperture is better than Lightroom and they're both just as good as when they're processing Bayer sensor files, just different.
I'd love to see any evidence you can show of your claim. Do you actually use Aperture yourself?
Zachery Jensen: a quote from the article you linked to: "I like what I see. The files seem to be much sharper and retain much more detail that Lightroom’s efforts, and it doesn’t mangle fine detail like Lightroom does. It’s really impressive, and I’m glad Apple took the time to do X-Trans support right."
So even the author you linked to doesn't agree with you that Aperture produces artefacts "often", or that it produces"crap results."
It simply doesn't. Go on any of the main forums: Aperture is highly regarded and competitive with Lightroom. To say it isn't is simply spreading BS. If you're getting consistently bad results, then consider that you may be doing something wrong.
As I said before, if you actually have any evidence of the problems you describe, I'd love to see it.

+Chris Trayhorn I don't appreciate your remix of what I said. I am not doing anything "wrong" with Aperture. You either simply don't have the same sort of subject matter as I do or you don't notice the detail like I do. If you're happy with your results, more power to you. Aperture does do these things. It's a fact. Whether it affects you or not is obviously going to vary individually.

Confetti color artifacts do occur in nearly every case of structured foliage where "water color" effect has been known from other RAW processors on X-trans images. And saturation halos do occur on nearly every bright light source (such as the sun) blobs. It's not the only RAW converter to have that problem, but, that's irrelevant. Lightroom handles it better mainly by producing flatter images (which you can then amp up if you want but watch those halos).

I don't care if the writer of that article loves his results, the point was to show you the example of the type of problem that Aperture has and no other RAW process has for X-trans images.

Finally, you can achieve just as great of results in Lightroom by simply applying smarter sharpening settings than their default, increasing contrast slightly and bumping saturation a bit. Aperture's not working any miracles, it's just setting the base settings to pop more by default. That confetti color problem is an issue for me, however, as it appears clearly in prints.
Great shot and thanks for the quick peek at the lens, looking forward to seeing more images and hearing more of your trip. Love my X-Pro1 and looking forward to getting the 23mm.... finally.
Zachery Jensen: you seem agitated so let's bring this to a close. I didn't "remix" your comments, I simply challenged your broad statements that Aperture produces crap results. Your words. Not true.
The kind of artefact issues you describe are clearly important to you, but although slightly different to those produced by other sensor/processor combinations, they're not significantly worse.
It's okay that you like to pixel-peep - I appreciate someone with an eye for quality and detail - but it's not ok to take an issue that 99.9% of users think is trivial and extrapolate it into "it always adds artefacts" and "produces crap results". Overall, most people seem to think Aperture produces better files than Lightroom with the X-Trans sensor. I'm sorry you're so committed to Lightroom that me pointing that out upsets you.
Relax - it's just chat about cameras. 
hey david,

nice little review!
i wonder if you can tell us the minimum focus distance of this lens?
i could not get it anywhere ... :-(
i like to get close wide open if you know what i mean! ;-)


came across this while reading up on my newly ordered 23mm lens... but the best part is this guy's son who reminds me with my own 13 year old boy... down to the wet freshly showered hair, shiny athletic shorts, and mac laptop running minecraft after bedtime!  I'm not alone!
Add a comment...