Trinity, Trinity – But Just What’s In It For Me?

Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:

Part 67: The X-Pro2 Review: Trinity, Trinity – But Just What’s In It For Me?

Three, the magic number (according to De La Soul anyway)

The religious connotations of a ‘Holy Trinity’

The so called ‘Holy Trinity’ of Swiss Watchmakers

Yeah, three is a pretty big thing.

Three seems to imply that if you reach a set of three, then you’ve achieved it, you have everything you need.

I’m not sure there’s any truth to it… perhaps!

I had been thinking about my trinity of Fuji glass.

Well my trinity was actually a quartet – the 18, 27, 35 and 60.

All fine glass.

But I didn’t see them as a set, they’re each a little different, with different characteristics.

I wanted more continuity.

The Fujifilm XF lens road map is well populated now, we know what’s coming, we know what’s here.

I would PERSONALLY describe it as a pretty mature stable of lenses.

Having been largely GAS free, since I got the X-Pro2 (and that was about 11months ago) I started mentally spec’ing out my ideal trinity.

I knew what I wanted, fast and optically true glass, that each rendered similarly to each other.

I quickly discounted the newer F2 range – a little too slow, a little to much software correction; which was a shame as they’re decent products, and suit the X-Pro2 every well, and easier on the wallet than some of the other choices.

But funds are tight, my kid needs shoes, and my cat likes to eat, and my partner’s love of Al Fresco dining stops way short of being homeless

So it was a case of buy second hand, buy carefully and sell existing glass to cover the costs.

I find it hard to part with Fuji X gear… I mean it’s all good, it oscillates between great and outstanding IMO

So it’s always sad to see it go.

But needs must.

Gone are my XF18, XF27 and XF60 (the 60 was the one that hurt the most)

And instead I now have the XF23F1.4 and the XF56

I agonised over those choices too!

I LOVED the 56 APD, but even on the second hand market it commands a premium over the regular 56 and the regular 56 is a bit more versatile as it lets in more light. But previously I’d discounted the 56 (when paired with the X-Pro1) as it didn’t offer me that much over the 60 (and I needed the money from it to buy the X-Pro2 as well!)

And the XF23F1.4, that’s a big chunk of glass, and it’s a pretty wide FL… The obstruction into my beloved OVF might be a bit much… maybe better to get the 23 F2?

The 56 and the OVF is pretty much OK, 56 is quite long (on APSC it’s a mid tele basically) and this makes the framelines small, but that 23 generates quite large framelines, and the physical lens isn’t that much smaller than the 56

Also the 56 is pretty heavy…

In fact, just for giggles… I weighed my X-Pro2, with 56, optional handgrip, my thumb grip and the optional XF23 hood… and the whole rig comes in at slightly north of 1.2kg (about 2.7lbs!)

I had certainly sacrificed some of the charm of those smaller lenses in pursuit of my trinity.

But I have to say…

I’m not unhappy at all!

My trinity is the 23F1.4, the XF35F1.4 and the 56F1.2, so what was in it for me?

The three lenses compliment each other very well, to my eye each has a consistent look and feel to its rendering that I find immensely pleasing

I personally consider these 3 lenses to highest prime IQ that Fuji offers in APSC in the FLs that I want to shoot (and probably the 16 and 90 too, but I don’t often shoot that wide or that long, so I guess that’s some GAS for another time 🙂 )

I’ve been rocking that combo for about a month now, and I’m already very pleased and feel my unease at having to sell my old friends was a necessary evil.

I will of course individually review these new additions to my cameras bag in the fullness of time, and I know I haven’t reviewed the 34F1.4 yet (which a surprisingly large number of you have asked for)

So yes – a trinity, GAS attack.

But the thing with buying decent lenses, as long as you don’t change systems, they’ll be there for you in the future too.

So let’s finish off with some shots from my trinity!

From the 23F1.4

The Graveyard Corner

Somewhere to Go - Mono

From the 56

Drying Day over the Douro

Strut Ya Stuff

And it may not be new… But I always love the 34F1.4

The Old Stairs

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3 thoughts on “Trinity, Trinity – But Just What’s In It For Me?”

  1. Great article Adam as always. The “holy trinity” that you describe is without a doubt some of the finest glass that Fuji manufactures and I have owned pretty much all of it at one time or another.

    That would be about $2300.00 USD for the Fuji high speed trio and that trio weighs in around two pounds. Add that to the weight of the X pro 2 and you have a hefty package. Hefty in big bucks and carry weight.

    If you have a real need for the high speed glass more often than not then you will have to bite the bullet and work out a bit at the gym.

    As much as I loved this glass trio (35mm 1.4, 23mm 1.4 and 56mm 1.2) I suddenly had a rude awakening that owning the best of the best really defeated the whole reason I opted for Fuji X in the first place.

    When I jumped out of the big dSLR Nikon body and the magic trio of zooms I did that because I wanted a smaller and lighter camera kit. The X pro 1 at that time offered me the smaller and lighter body and because of old habits I did opt for what ever zooms were available as well as a 18mm and 27mm and 35mm 1.4. As the high speed primes came available I dumped the zooms and the 2 pancake primes and wound up with the exact trio you are talking about.

    But when the 35mm 2.0 came out followed by the 23mm 2.0 and then the 50mm 2.0 while be a bit slower in their light gathering capability the promise of smaller and lighter finally came to fruition and I jumped.

    All of these 2.0 lenses are optically beautiful and I really don’t feel I have given anything up. I have gained the perfect walk around body and lens combination that I wanted when I switched from what I was using to what I use now.

    My combination is the X pro 2, 23mm 2.0, 35mm 2.0 and 50mm 2.0. My most used lenses are the 50 and 35 and I have not yet found a situation where the combination I now have has not fulfilled my image capture needs and a side benefit is the lower dollar value that sits in my camera bag.

    Fuji offers great optical alternatives for the photographer depending upon how the photographer likes to shoot. The versatility of the system has developed in such a way that everyone’s needs are fulfilled.

    One of my students asked how I can possibly get along with the slower lenses and the lack of zooms in my bag. All I have to do is point to her back pack which probably weighs in at about 12 pounds and turn the question around and ask her how much of the gear in her bag does she actually use. 🙂

    If I find I need something that I do not own and that I need for a particular trip or job I know that I can rent it from companies like Lensrental.com or Borrowlenses.com. Sometimes it is just so nice not to own and just rent when needed. Like a 50-140 zoom as an example which is a great optic but not something I need 99 percent of the time.

    Like

    1. Thanks very much Elliot,

      The fast glass is certainly bigger, heavier and more costly.

      I think the fast glass is Fuji’s X system forte though, it has a bit more signature to it, and it’s all grade A optics in context of the Fuji line up.

      Unlike many other brands, Fuji isn’t using the APSC format as a gateway drug into FF, so they give you glass for APSC that’s as good as they can

      The F2 lenses are all solid performers, and offer build quality and AF benefits over the fast primes (along with cost and size savings).

      The extra stop of light is only needed when it’s needed, a bit like toilet paper – but like toilet paper, if you need it and it’s not available, you’ll really want it 🙂

      I think ultimately it all comes down to what you shoot and what else you have to shoot with!

      Bright light and a lot of F5.6/F8 makes the 1.4 glass fairly uneconomical, and also if a Fuji is your secondary system and you have (say) some Zeiss shod Nikon FF, then why on earth would you want to make your secondary system closer in weight and cost to your primary one.

      But if the Fuji is your main rig, then the fast glass is worth a serious look IMHO

      Like

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