The fisheye lens is one of those marmite things – you know the analogy so I won’t bother. As I’m purely in the positive side of that analogy I’m back in the fisheye game – thanks to a 2nd hand purchase of a Samyang 8mm f2.8 UMC Fish-eye II.
It’s one of the gaps in the Fuji X system plugged by a few manufacturers so there’s no need for an OEM lens to be rushed out. In the fully electronic world of modern cameras the Samyang is a totally manual lens – anyone that’s ever used a fisheye however will realise this is a non-issue as you often shoot at f/8 and 1m to infinity so the world is pretty much in focus regardless. The only issue with a manual lens is the lack of Exif information being passed back to the body.
Construction wise, it’s a solid lens – well built, controls move well and the aperture ring is nice and simple. The lens hood is superb with a locking mechanism which Canon could have done with the adding to the old EF 15mm (although that originally came out in the 1980’s – so maybe I’m been too critical of them!). The odd bit is a clear plastic/metal underneath section at the base – looks a bit odd, but looks are unimportant as this is just a lens.
Image wise, I’m impressed. I’ve not gone down the pixel peeping route as frankly I can’t be bothered. For me it’s a great replacement for the old Canon unit.
My intention at the Photography Show wasn’t to pick up another camera body, but anyone that follows the blog will know that often other things get purchased instead of the original item. My recent Fuji pondering was pretty much centred around the 100-400 and 1.4 TC – which I did pickup. I could’ve been sensible and saved some of the money, but no not me (actually I’m generally being sensible with my money – just this Canon to Fuji swap left me with unallocated cash!).
I do have a preference for primes – but I’ve yet to make this happen on the Fuji system. My Canon primes were generally 100mm plus (apart from the 15mm fisheye) so the 100-400 covers most of that range. So the thought of shorter primes was one thing I was looking at. Mainly the 18 or 27mm lenses. My intention was to pair the X Pro 2 with a smaller prime – but then the X-E3 came to my attention, it’s almost a mini X Pro 2 – albeit with a few compromises size wise. Both are rangefinder style – for me this represents a move from the SLR format – there’s nothing wrong with SLR’s but I like the rangefinder style and handling.
From the back the missing bits are obvious, the sort of wheel button arrangement is missing but all of the settings can be adjusted using the Q menu. The Screen on the X-E3 is a touchscreen, but I don’t like the sensitivity of it – so for the moment it’s disabled.
The compact size means this is now my carry to work camera – I’ve managed to pick up a small bag to drop in my rucksack for the cycle to work. I’m still a little worried about it bouncing around the bag – but I’ll look to securing it some how.
A surprise for me with the X-E3 was in the inclusion of the mini EF-X8 flash unit. It’s a tiny flash that was supplied with the XT2 model but not the X Pro 2.
It works fine on the X Pro 2, in time it’ll prove useful or useless as it’s so small. The unit (not referring to it as a flash gun!) is powered by the X camera’s internal battery so I guess we’ll use it with caution (or whilst carrying spare batteries).
On the subject of batteries it uses the same W126 type as the X Pro 2, so there was no need to unbox the charger.
One obvious omission is the Optical View Finder, to be honest whilst that is a nice idea, for the X-E3 its a logical removal – I do find on the X-Pro I’m using the EVF for most things – mainly due to the film mode being replicated in the electronic view finder.
Below are a few samples from my first walk around Brum. Nothing has been done to the images. They are shot in Fuji Acros + Red Filter mode, transferred to my iPhone and then copied to my WordPress server.
The following image was taken Thursday 22nd March and corrected a little on LR/Nik Efex (looks better large – click on the image to check).
Overall I’m pleased with the little X Series, it’s the sort of thing that I should have tried years ago.