Time with the Fuji XF 60mm Macro Lens on my XPro-1
The XPro-1 has not failed to amaze me every time I pick up the camera. From unbelievable low light capability to those gorgeous Fuji colors straight out of the camera, I simply couldn’t recommend any other small camera system till date. So when Fuji generously gave me the 60mm Macro to test, I prepared myself to get wowed once more..
Full disclosure, Fujifilm isn’t paying me a dime (or fils) to put these words down about their products. I’ve paid the (ridiculously high in this region) price out of my own pocket. Even after my beloved X100 was stolen. Thats testament to one fact. I’m a believer in Fuji and love a great comeback.
Its true that Fujifilm Middle East has featured me a couple of times on their social media but thats been with no strings attached. So with that out of the way, I’m going to give you my two cents on the only XF lens I didn’t buy along with my camera during its initial launch.
Why you ask ? Why didn’t I just complete the set and get all three ?
For one, I never looked at the camera as one that I would use to shoot in close. The X100 oriented me to view the camera as a street machine. After all, I had the ball of my life getting in close without getting the usual disapproving looks (and at many times words) that came with my hefty SLRs. People were relaxed and at ease. I was viewed as a harmless tourist with a cute little camera, not a man with a machine gun.
Enter the 60mm Macro fit on my camera and the result is this:
You’ve leapt back into the danger zone once more. Your cute little camera just grew an extended muzzle, complete with a silencer of a lens hood, and you’re ready for the kill shot…
I think thats the only slightly negative think I have to say about this lens.. It just takes away that amazing discreetness of the XPro-1 the moment you snap it on. Everyone I tried to shoot suddenly became aware of the camera and my innocent stalking.
It gets good from here…..
the X-Series cameras have a personality of their own and you’ve got to form a close bond and get acquainted before you’ll make magic
The 35mm and 18mm are quick as ever and the 60mm is comparable in speed to my 105mm Micro Nikkor in a well lit scene. It still frustrates you from time to time, but as i’ve said before, the X-Series cameras have a personality of their own and you’ve got to form a close bond and get acquainted before you’ll make magic.
And thats a great way to describe the bokeh off this lens, “Magical”. I first got a chance to put it to the test on my shoot with the Audi S6 for Carbonoctane.com and when I got home and loaded the shots into lightroom, I couldn’t help but grin smugly at the quality of the shots before me.
The in focus elements are razor sharp and look at that awesome bokeh. The best part was that since the lens goes upto F2.4, using the Auto ISO feature of the camera, I was able to shoot almost all of these handheld.
The Xpro-1 images show almost no noise even at higher ISOs.
So now to the main question, have I reconsidered ? Will I put my money down for the 60mm or wait for something else ouf of the XF Roadmap ?
Absolutely…. I’m going to get this lens. The optical quality to me is stunning. It makes my small bag of the body plus three lenses a complete work-horse kit for when I shoot cars, the streets or absolutely anything else. My D800 only comes out once in a while these days and I’m pretty sure this is going to be great for portraiture as well – (awaiting my next willing subject to explore that genre).
Fuji have made sure they keep the trend of improving their existing products with each successive firmware update and I’m yet to see them neglect any of the bugs reported either directly or through any from of media. If you’re considering the X-Series and want to get in close, make sure that this is on your shopping list. I know its on mine.
UPDATE: Fuji has also released firmware version 2.01 for both the camera and all three lenses and thats improved things in the focusing department even more. Get it here.