I have a new lens!

I’ve been doing a bit of reshuffling lately, getting rid of lenses I don’t use and no longer need, and thinking about which lens to replace them with. I sold my Viltrox 85mm F/1.8 lens, which although a stunning lens, I just never really got in with its long fixed focal length, and I also sold my Meike 6.5mm circular fisheye. I’ve loved using fisheye lenses for many years, but recently, my love of wide and ultra wide images has really disappeared from my life.

What did I want?

Selling both these lenses has had no real impact on my focal length range, so my next lens had to have a number of things in order for me to purchase it

I had a number of ideas of what I initially wanted to get, and a number of features that the lenses should have. The first was that it needed to have a reach around the 85mm I replaced, but needed to be a smaller lens, secondly it needed to be a WR (weather resistant) lens and thirdly it needed to have either a wide aperture or have great image stabilisation.

I looked at a number of lenses, actually initially a pair of lenses. The XF18-55 and the XF16mm F/2.8. For some reason I thought o would sell my precious 15-45mm as well, but I quickly put an end to that, as, although it has its haters, it’s a beautifully sharp lens with a great wide angle. Plus, it didn’t quite replace the 85mm.

I was just enough to have a quick try of the XF16-80mm F/4 lens, another lens that looked like it could potentially full the gap that I needed. Although it was nice and wide at 16mm, I just want impressed by the overall size of the lens and the 80mm zoom didn’t feel like enough for a zoom lens. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely lens, has great image stabilisation and is a WR lens, but I just didn’t like it.

The final lens I was thinking of was the 18-135mm. One of the older Fujifilm lenses, that basically ticked all the boxes I needed it to. The size seemed good for its final length, reviews looked good, it has great image stabilisation and most importantly is a WR lens. It also has a nice clickey aperture ring (although not marked out like a standard aperture ring) which was something else I was after (the 16-80 had a real aperture ring).

The choice was made

And so, I decided upon the XF18-135mm F/3.5-F/5.6 lens. A lens that sits in the middle of my 15-45mm and 50-230mm. This new lens is in no way to replace either of those two lenses (and not to replace my 23mm F/1.4), but rather to complement them on scenarios where I might need something different.

When I need a small, light lens which has a very wide focal length, but can zoom in on subjects in situations such as street photography, flowers, people photography, architecture and inside buildings, as well as for use with my Infrared filters, the 15-45 is perfect as it is so unobtrusive.

When I want to photograph birds, insects, distant objects and portraits, while still keeping things light, the 50-230mm comes into its own. It’s definitely Fujifilm’s most underrated lens.

For general fun, lots of bokeh and to just feel like I’m carrying an analogue camera, the mighty Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 will always be there. A stunning lens, and one which rarely leaves my camera for its stunning image quality and low light abilities.

The XF18-135mm has been bought to be used in a combination of these scenarios, and for its WR abilities so I can go out in more inclement weather. It’s neither as wide as the 15-45, or as long as the 50-230mm, but covers ranges great for family photography, traveling with a single lens on family days out, potentially for close up work and for times I don’t mind carrying something a bit heavier… And it is much bigger and heavier than all my other lenses!

The future…

I decided a short while back that I’m going to sell lenses that I don’t use, and I’ve already done that. I’ve gone from five lenses down to three lenses, plus back to four with this new lens. I know have a lens for every occasion, for every weather type and for everything I want to do something a bit different.

And that’s it, I really don’t need, or want any more lenses… Said no photographer ever…

Test Images

I’ve not had chance to go anywhere, and the weather has not bene perfect, so just a couple of test images from the garden. All EXIF is in the images.

Published by mgadams1970

Fujifilm Documentary Photographer & Blogger.

11 thoughts on “I have a new lens!

  1. Looks like you made the right choice Mark. I know I am a cheater with my single fixed 24-1200 (50x) zoom, but I am OK with that. Stay well and happy shooting (photos that is). Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s nothing wrong with a bridge camera Allan. I used Fuji bridge cameras for a long time alongside my DSLRs. I’m fact, they’re always tempting for journeys because of that wonderful zoom.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Mark.
    Congratulations on your purchase!
    I follow Allan, very good decision and choice.
    Very nice camera and lens photos, I like the colored background.
    Great test shots.
    I have the 15-45mm too, and I have mixed feelings about it too,
    but it is indeed a razor-sharp lens, and capable of beautiful semi-macro shots.
    The 18-135mm is a great lens for almost all purposes – analogously it would have been 27-200mm, just a bit wider than the standard wide-angle back then (28mm) and the 200mm lens was just about the largest everyone was still carrying around.
    In addition, this Fuji 18-135 is razor sharp and fast.
    I think it is a real “one camera one lens” !
    You will love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve just taken some photos of my boys in low light and a few birds in the garden and in really impressed at the auto-focus speed and image stabilisation! I’m looking forward to really using it out in the wild. I think it compliments the other lenses better than I had hoped.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So I see you got NO real Wide Angle lens for landscapes…Mine are the Olympus 4/3rds 9-18mm (18-36 in full frame) plus the 12-40 f2.8 (which is 24-80 in FF) I also got the 12-50mm f3.6/6.3 (which is 24-100 in FF) One always neds a wide angle for Landscapes..I can not fathom out your methodology in your lenses. What is that 18-135 in FF terms ???? 27mm maybe ??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I have a wide for landscapes, the 15mm (21mm FF), but most landscapes I shoot with longer focal lengths. The 18-135 is 27mm-203mm full frame equivalent. 90% of the time I have the 23mm (35mm) attached, as I just love that focal lengths.

      My methodology is selling prints to make money with the equipment I need, and that’s what I do 👍

      Like

  4. It’s interesting to read your findings, Mark. I shoot micro four thirds, and have a superzoom lens (28-280mm equivalent) which I love, and find it difficult to accept a shorter range zoom, even for improved IQ; AF speeds are usually very fast on my Lumixes. I also have and love a small sensor compact Fujifilm X30, with a lovely, sharp, fairly fast lens (28-112mm equivalent).

    I’ve tried a number of X cameras, the latest an X-T20, and don’t really enjoy shooting with it as much as with mu43, but the film simulation JPEGs always seduce me. I got a 27mm for it, as I like the focal length, but don’t love it. I previously had the 18-55mm, which people rave about, but didn’t love it.

    Currently I’m tossing up (a) selling the body, (b) getting the 18-135mm, or (c) getting the 15-45mm + 50-230mm, which you hold in high regard.

    What would you suggest? I don’t need WR, and I would probably spend about the same on either lens option. I value portability (hence mu43) and image stabilisation.

    Many thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you want an all in one solution, the 18-135mm is a great lens with amazing image stabilisation allowing it to be shot in really low light at darker apertures.

      I prefer the 15-45/50-230 combo for a number of reasons, the biggest reason being their small size. You can put the 15-45 on and it’s tiny. Also you cover the very wide (15) through to the long (230).

      My very favourite lens though for me is the 23mm F/1.4. I love walking around with that prime and just enjoying photography. I did enjoy the 27mm too when I owned it, but much prefer 23mm (which equates to 35mm full frame).

      The X-T20 has been my very favourite Fujifilm camera, it’s just so compact and powerful, and stylish.

      I hope that helps a bit.

      Mark

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your additional thoughts, Mark. It was your praise of the X-T20 which decided my purchase of a used body. Have you found the stabilisation to be better on the 18-135? I do find I struggle with unstabilised lenses, being used to mu43 lenses and bodies with stabilisation, which my X30 also has.

        Liked by 1 person

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