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

Part 94: My XF16 Story Part Three

This is the third part of my story with the XF16.

You can read parts one and two by clicking on the links here and here

But as a quick recap, Fujifilm were going to (and eventually did) lend me the XF23 and XF50 WR Primes, but due to a mix up I had to take the XF56APD and the XF16 instead.

Hey no complaints! That’s exceedingly generous of them and I was very grateful.

The catch was… I’m not really a wide angle lens guy.

So this has been my story of how I had to force myself to see in a wider way.

To begin with, I started out by just shooting wide.

But I found that I didn’t have the eye for those types of compositions.

Next I tried to hammer and bend the 16 into my usual style.

That didn’t work out well either.

Then finally, I started to understand the lens in a way that worked for what I liked.

Eventually I got the idea that I wanted to fill the space with something.

And if that something was geometric then it had to tie together in some way

Predictably enough… My first attempts at this were standard fare

But I was pleased, pleased that I was starting to find ways to fill the frame

I was starting to develop an extremely rudimentary eye for wider angle composition

I started to look for large shapes to tie together

Then I realised that, I could also tie together many little shapes

Obviously, YMMV – but the more I used the XF16, the more I started to look for scenes that I thought worked with it. Or put another way – I was enjoying shooting with it 🙂

But what of my preferred subjects, what of people?

You may remember that the second part of this story had not one, but two cat pictures (yeah sorry about that) Well it was yet another cat that got me thinking about shooting people

The XF16 is wide (no s**t Adam!!) so for me (YMMV) people can work in the frame, but with the caveat of context

I needed to tie the people into the world in which I was observing them

It was by observing people in this wider setting that, for my usage, meant that the XF16 finally started to work for me

I mean don’t get me wrong…. I’m still happier doing my (so YMMV) usual street stuff with the XF23 or XF35 or even the XF56, but by the end of my time with the XF16, I was quite happy with my way of working with it.

Do I recommend the XF16? A resounding yes – you’ll no doubt know if this is a focal length that you’ll enjoy using and the 16 is (as ever with Fuji’s expensive primes) a damn fine piece of glass

Would I buy one? Tougher… If money was no object, sure – but it is. I’ll be honest, the 16 isn’t at the top of my Christmas list.

Now I know some of you will skim read this, and scream at me erroneously for daring to not like the 16. (I like it, it’s just not my favourite)

No doubt others of you will yo! bum rush the show on my Facebook threads with links to your own work loudly proclaiming your brilliance and adroit photo technique… and I have to be honest, it wouldn’t be hard for you to have a better eye for a wide angle than I do

But for me… I was lent the 16 by way of consolation, I wasn’t expecting it and I wasn’t ready for it. But I was glad of it… because in the brief time we were together, I saw a whole wider world – and that’s never a bad thing to see

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4 Replies to “My XF16 Story Part Three”

  1. Interesting Adam,

    Hypothetically (ignoring financial side) do you think a 16 would merit shedding a 14mm/2.8 and 23mm/1.4 leaving a 16-35(both – don’t ask)-50 set of primes for an X-Pro2?

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    1. Hi Bob,

      Thanks very much

      14/23/35 has probably got more covered than 16/35 to be honest

      The 16 is a huge bit of glass as well

      I’ve not tried the 14 (or 80 or 90) and the 16 is a great bit of glass, but you’ll need to love wide angle for it to work, if you love and use a lot your 14 it might be worth the upgrade

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      1. Thanks Adam,

        After posting and thinking back and checking in LR, the 23/1.4 is used about 82% of the time. I need to curtail my brief attack of GAS 🙂

        Use the 14 occasionally with great results, but maybe the 10-24mm would be a better option, especially with IS? I’ll need to get over my mental issues of using a zoom on X-Pro2. 🙂

        Bob

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      2. 82% yeah that’s a lot… I find that with the 23 that I think I’m a bit ambivalent towards it, then I realise that I use it all the time!

        The 10-24 is a bit slow at f4, but if that’s no problem then it certainly covers a lot of situations

        As zooms go, it’ll work quite well on the XP2 because the framelines change with the zoom, but the magnifier doesn’t change and the 10-24 will be all the wide angle one which the XP defaults too when used with a zoom.

        Again, iirc the 10-24 is a big ol’ hunk of glass though!

        Cheers
        Adam

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