Review and Samples of Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS Lens

fujifilm-10-24I’m giving this equipment review thing a try starting with the Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 OIS Camera Lens. I like reviews to use picture samples in real world situations rather than objects on a dusty shelf. I get annoyed searching for sample images from a lens or camera on Flickr only to find badly exposed, poorly processed photos. So I do edit the images to show the colors, rendering, and dynamic range. I shoot RAW and edit in Lightroom 5 with basic processing, and dodging/ burning.

I’m a wedding photographer primarily and have lots of pro gear: Nikon D4, Nikon 24mm 1.4, Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art, Nikon 58 1.4, Nikon 70-200mm 2.8G VR II, etc. I wanted a small “take anywhere” camera so I got the Fujifilm XE-2. I love shooting wide and usually opt for prime lenses but gave the Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 a chance; the versatility sounded nice for a vacation. This lens saw action in New Orleans, San Antonio, Austin & Gruene, TX, and Asheville, NC. I crammed a lot of sample photos in ranging from midday, sunset, twilight, long exposure, night, and indoor.

Size of Fuji 10-24mm lens

What I used it for: Landscapes, wedding ceremonies, casual snapshots, architecture, commercial photography

Loved:

• Optical Image Stabilization (or OIS or VR) is an awesome feature. It makes up for the f/4 somewhat and it’s a great tool if you like adding a little motion to your shot. For example, someone walking in the frame and looking blurry while the rest of the picture is sharp. I could shoot handheld with the shutter as low as 1/3 second and stationary objects would remain tack sharp.

• Image quality and sharpness from 10mm-18mm especially with subjects in focus that are within approximately 1 – 50 feet of you.

• Being able to zoom to 14mm when 10mm was just too wide

• Chromatic aberration (or lack thereof). Edges of objects look great, even leaves on a tree with backlight, or power lines.

• Dynamic range. Retaining details in the shadows is something I like and this lens held up well with the XE-2.

• Auto-focus (AF) is great — doesn’t miss very often

• Price. At $999 this was a better option to me than buying a more expensive Nikon wide-angle zoom. $899 would be the ideal price in my opinion.

Neutral:

• The minimum f/4 aperture. I usually shot around f/8 or higher because I wasn’t going for shallow depth of field with this lens. Nor did I buy it for portraits. f/2.8 sure would have been nice but as I mentioned the OIS feature makes up for it.

• Barrel (or pincushion) distortion. Didn’t bother me that much and I noticed very little of it.

• The hood. I didn’t use it because it added even more length and size. The lens flare isn’t too bad but it’s not “artsy cool” like some Canon lenses. Very rarely did I regret leaving the hood at home.

Didn’t like:

• It’s a pretty big lens for a mirror-less camera and on the XE-2 it was a little awkward. Especially when it’s dangling around your neck on the strap — it was inclined to tilt downward.

• Image quality and sharpness beyond 20mm isn’t amazing.

• Manual focusing felt uncomfortable because the focus ring is relatively far from the camera body. I have long fingers and even with that it was awkward

• The lens blocks the on-camera flash and creates a shadow on the bottom of frame. I realize some people won’t care about this but a few times I did want to take a snapshot in a restaurant of some family members.

• No markings on aperture ring like the 23mm or 35mm Fuji lenses have. It’s annoying going from a 23mm 1.4 Fuji lens to the 10-24mm and not being able to look at the lens to see what aperture you’re at.

• Detail in objects far away isn’t the best. This may just be a drawback from the smaller sensor size, but a group of trees in the distance at 100% crop isn’t very detailed (looks too smooth). I’m not a pixel-peeper but since this lens can be considered a landscape lens, someday I might like to have photos printed out nice and large.

Verdict:

I give this lens 4 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed my time with this lens but I’m going to sell it for something more compact and less bulky (*see UPDATE 1). It’s a little awkwardly weighted on the XE-2 and I found myself shooting only within the 10mm – 14mm range 80% of the time. So I’m considering the Zeiss 12mm f/2.8 Touit * — a nice middle ground that will take up less space in my bag. The Fujifilm 10-24mm f/4 is a high-quality lens that could definitely pass for certain professional uses but perhaps not for huge fine-art prints (though that’s up for debate). While compiling the photos for this review I almost convinced myself to keep the lens (spoiler: I kept it. see UPDATE 1+2). If you don’t mind the extra weight and size or f/4 aperture, this is is fantastic purchase.

* UPDATE 1: After doing more extensive research I’m on the fence about selling my 10-24mm for the Zeiss 12mm. Below are the metadata results of the 2000 photos I’ve taken with the 10-24. I’m thinking I might not be content with a 12mm since I shot so many 10mm images, with 14mm being my second most used focal length. I took about 10 images exactly at 12mm, but that could be the lack of a “12mm” marking on the lens itself (I tend to physically line it up at 10mm or 14mm). My gut is telling me that 12mm might be ‘neither here nor there’ for the way I shoot.

* UPDATE 2: Three months later and I still own my Fuji 10-24mm. I decided to keep it and am glad I did. I’ve continued using it for wedding ceremonies, travel, and commercial. It’s a great supplemental lens to all my Nikon gear.

582 shots at 10mm
390 shots at 14mm
152 shots at 18mm

If you found my review and photo samples helpful, please consider purchasing these products through the links below or above in my review. Thanks!

Now the photo samples. I made notes underneath that I thought would be pertinent and included a few 100% crops here and there.

So what do you think of the Fuji 10-24mm f/4 lens? Feel free to leave comments or questions on this post.

All sample images on this review are © 2014 Derek Olson. The photos of the lens itself at the top of the post were also taken by me.

11 Responses to Review and Samples of Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS Lens
  1. Paul Szilard

    Nice photos. I sold my Nikon 16-35mm also f4, for this lens to use on my Fuji bodies.

    I always thought that barrel distortion mean that the straight line are curve inwards at the corner, like a barrel, rather than convergent/divergent of parallel lines. I found no serious barrel distortion in your pics, or mine.

    Size, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. This lens is much smaller than the full frame Nikon equivalent, which is not surprising, naturally primes will be smaller still. I would be interested to hear your review of the Zeiss, when you get it.

    I just ordered a Samyang 8mm fisheye, just for fun, too.

  2. Derek

    Thanks, Paul. You are right about the barrel distortion. I’m going to update the review with a better example/description.

    Comparing the size to its Nikon equivalent makes it hard to complain about the size of the 10-24. But since I bought the XE-2 to take everywhere, the bigger the lens, the less I’m inclined to bring it with me. I kind of wish Fuji just made it a 10-18mm if that would have cut down on the size a bit.

    I’m sure once I sell it I’ll miss it for certain situations… Have fun with your fisheye!

  3. Steve Waldstein

    So you thought it seemed big on your X-E2. Do you use any of the grips with it? I have the MHG-XE and that helps a lot. Also since the grip is Arca Swiss compatible I use a Black Rapid sling strap (when I do use a strap) so I don’t have the body “falling over” on a neck strap. Al my mirrorless cameras have a Gordy wrist strap that I prefer over neck straps but thats me.

    I also have a X-T1 with VG-XT1 grip and on that the size is manageable. In reality I use the XF 14mm with the X-E2 and the XF 10-24mm on the X-T1.

    Like you I have a large Canon DSLR kit and lenses but bought these for travel. Originally had the X-Pro1 and X-E1 but now I’m using the X-E2 and X-T1.

  4. Derek

    A grip would help the balance on an XE-2, but that’s one more thing to carry around and I mainly got the XE-2 for travel/go everywhere. I have used the 10-24 in a few professional situations so my dilemma now is that since writing the review I’m torn between selling it or keeping it. If the latter I might say ‘to heck with it’ and buy a grip for when I do use it for commercial stuff.

    So do you have the 14 and 10-24 on your cameras simultaneously or do you just like having the option of each? Curious how the 10-24 at 14mm compares with the 14mm 2.8.

  5. jmfitamant

    Hi,

    Beautiful images.
    I also use my XE-1 with a handle and a thumb stuff, which significantly improves the grip. The 10-24 is very tolerable in this configuration. I love it. This is one of my favorites. Given opportunities to post-production, minor defects may be offset, making it a perfectly honorable lens.
    For street photography, the 27 mm is the must, with a tiny metal lens hood, very discreet.

  6. Derek

    @jmfitamant Thanks! I’m definitely eyeing that 27mm because of it’s size. I’m keeping the 10-24mm for now because the quality is great and the widest lens I have on my full frame setup right now is 24mm.

  7. Georganna Griffin

    Thank you for the great photos; I have been wondering about that lens. I too have an X-E2 with an L-bracket grip (arca-swiss) & the thumb rest (long fingers), & I use a BosStrap cross body strap. So much more comfortable than any neck strap. Great set up for me! I also have the 27 mm & agree it is great for the street. Still have Nikon DSLR, but more shooting now with the Fuji.
    Thanks again for the review.

  8. Mike

    This is one of the better reviews for any equipment. I’ve been on the fence about the 14 or the 10-24 and believe I’ll get the 10-24 first then the 16mm when it comes out. I believe the 23 f/1.4 as my main lens. Thanks for the good review and images.

  9. […] portraits, architecture, weddings, and travel. I sold my Fuji X-E2 along with the Fuji 10-24mm (15-... derekolsonphotography.com/nikon-20mm-f1-8-g-lens-review-sample-photos
  10. james anthony

    I too have the Fuji X-E2 and also the X-T1 and at present I have the XF14mm lens which I’m quite happy with the results. So not too sure if the expence of buying the 10-24mm is worthwhile? It does appear that the depth of field for landscapes at the 10-12mm seem very soft and not much sharpness in the detail, unless you were not using a longer shutter speed on a tripod?

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