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

Scroll down to content

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


A lot of time and effort goes into this site.. Hopefully it’s helped you? Perhaps you’d consider helping me?

One way you could help me is if you want to buy from Amazon, if you do so using the links below, then I will receive a small percentage of your expenditure, and you will pay NO MORE than you would have paid anyway.

Shop at Amazon USA
Fujifilm X-Pro2 ¦ Fujifilm X-Pro2 Handgrip ¦ Shop for Fujifilm X-Pro ¦ Shop for Fujifilm X-T ¦ Fujifilm XF Lenses ¦ Fujifilm XF Acessories

Shop at Amazon UK
Fujifilm X-Pro2 ¦ Fujifilm X-Pro2 Handgrip ¦ Shop for Fujifilm X-Pro ¦ Shop for Fujifilm X-T ¦ Fujifilm XF Lenses ¦ Fujifilm XF Acessories

If there’s a different product you’re considering, then perhaps you’d drop me a line and I can send you an associate link for it?

Another way you could help, is by making a donation. The donate button can be found on the link below


Thank You Very Much!

The X-Pro Series Content: Referenced and All In One Place

The X-Pro Series Content: A Contents Page with Page Numbers and a Brief Description

10 Replies to “Trinity, Trinity – But Just What’s In It For Me?”

  1. Great choices and i can see and agree with your assessment of getting maximum IQ and keeping a consistent look.

    Before anyone reads further, i know i wrote a lot, but it’s only because this post and topic interests me personally so much. So, please proceed with reading or skip and move on to the next comments.. i just felt this was an appropriate story to share some of my own that is related.

    I had at least the same lenses at one point, but I opted to stick with the f2 versions of the 23 & 35.. and later added the 50.

    I strongly believed my trinity or quad would be the 18, 23, 35 & 50 as my set of lenses which could manage just about all of my most visited focal lengths on my xpro2. Note, i also still have the 56mm f1.2. And this was all.

    Happy as can be, right? Yes, but…

    I had a recent re-evaluation of my total kit and what I felt I really needed and what I should sacrifice to simplify my choices further.

    I will quickly admit to having considered even swapping my X-Pro2 kit for an x100f plus the 2 converter lenses. It could really do for all that i commonly photograph. But, i know i will long to have the ability to shoot wider than f2 more often than not and feel a need to keep the door open for more wider and more tele lenses should the occsssion and need arise.

    So, i put aside the idea to convert (back) fully to an x100 kit only.

    But, I am still heavily considering simplifying my choices.

    As such, I have sold my 18mm f2.. it is actually a very useful FL and most used when in HK and it is highly underrated. But, I rarely find I pull it out while back home in the states and so I finally parted with it.

    There are rumors there may be a new 18mm f2 in the works, so i may revisit thst FL if and when that revised 18 is available.. but, i csn see myself sticking to simplification of my kit.. and there is a strong argument to cover all my wide FL’s with 1 wide angle zoom.. perhaps the 10-24mm f4 or if and when the 8-16mm f2.8 may be available.

    I love the 56mm f1.2. I really do, it is my go to portrait length.. and the rendering is near legendary amongst fujinon lenses. But, it is a beastly size and weight and if I’m being honest, i do not nearly as many portraits with it as i used to and i rarely mount it to my X-Pro2 for occassions other than that. So, out it went.. or about to.

    The 50mm f2 does quite a nice job for less than half the cost, weght and size. And, i have adapted vintage lenses such as a 58mm f1.4 and 100mm f2.5 should i need the extra bokeh and compression.

    The solid 35mm FL. It is what i would consider the lens Fujifilm purposely made for the X-Pro2. You can just tell by the design, perfect clearance of the OVF, and the optimum framelines are centered around the 35mm FL.

    23mm FL is close, but I feel the 35mm is better.

    That being said, i have two 35mm lenses. The f2 and a recent acquisition of the Mitakon 35mm f0.95 II Speedmaster. This is getting quite long, but I’ll say the rendering of thr Mitakon is so nice, I am inclined to keep it over the 35mm f2. There is no AF, only MF, but from my experience, MF can be just as fast, if not faster than, AF. There’s no focus hunting, especially in low light, and with the TAAB focus tab accessory I installed on the Mitakon, MF has never been so easy or precise with one finger. And with the set focus ring travel, muscle memory and positioning of my index finger with posituon of the focus tab, i can be im the focus zone much faster before i even bring the camers up to eye.

    There’re much benefits to the 35mm f2, but the IQ and handling of the Mitakon offer something special over the native Fujifilm choice.

    As with my 23mm f2, it will definitely stay. It was a set with my X-Pro2 and matches the graphite of my X-Pro2. Its a very versatile focal length, actually more so than the 35mm in a number of ways, and it is a solid performer for a 35mm ff equiv FOV.

    I feel the benefits and performance of native fujinon lenses are well covered with the 23 and 50. For a standard eith more light and excellent bokeh, the mitakon is obvious choice for those moments. It could easily hold position as a go to portrait lens. But, I also have those 58mm f1.4 and 100mm f2.5 lenses if I need a tighter crop anf compression.


    1. Ha! The long reply is great Wing, to be encouraged in fact.

      I wish I could summon up more personal love for the WR F2 lenses (I do actually have the 35 one, as well as the F1.4 one), I’m not trying to suggest that they’re bad lenses, not at all, but the <F2 ones are better, and I know what I'm like… if I'd have listened to my head, got the F2s then I'd have still wanted the faster variants.

      To be honest, another factor was that there's not a lot of second hand options on the newer lenses (especially the 50) – and I didn't pay a much more to get the 23F1.4/56 second hand than what the 23/50 F2 cost new, (I appreciate that's not a like-for-like comparison, new V old, but my wallet was happy enough) which made my decision easier

      Plus from what I've read, the F2 WR all have weaknesses that their faster counterparts don't have, the 35F2 has a lot of distortion, the 23F2 is actually about 21mm and soft wide open, the 50F2 is probably the pick of that bunch, but still (if I'm correctly informed…) has some native distortion.

      And I know, I know – it's software corrected, so who cares right? But a bit like if you find our your fav singer uses auto-tune in the studio, there's just something about 'for real' that sits better with me. YMMV of course.

      Besides, when we compare F2 to F1.4, indeed it's 'only a stop' but that's 1/30 v 1/15 or ISO 6400 v 12800 – these stops can make a big difference for certain shots

      I'm very smitten by the notion of the Mitakon 35mm – it's a FL I adore, I love fast glass and I 99% use my XP2 in manual focus anyway, but I simply can't afford it at the moment 😦

      I'm really fond of the 28mm FF eqv of the 18, but an 18mm lens is still an 18 lens and I don't really have the frame discipline to cope with the field curvature.

      The 27mm I'd have kept if it was F2, but it's quite slow really, and all lenses stop down but you can't open then up beyond max aperture, and 2.8 (on APSC) is quite slow on a short lens

      The 60 REALLY hurt to say goodbye too… If the 56 hadn't come along at the time and price it did, then I'd have slept on it, and probably kept it. The 60 is a stellar lens, although I'm finding the minus 4mm compared to the 56, makes the 56 a bit more versatile (and makes me think I would actually enjoy the 50 F2 very much!)

      I completely understand about simplification… Modern cameras (especially Fuji) are a bit of a merry-go-round, what lenses are we getting next, what FW features are coming etcetc… We end up obsessing about the gear more than the photos (well… slightly tongue in cheek, but I think you know what I mean)

      When I PERSONALLY didn't think they'd ever be a X-Pro2, I started to think about a X100T + the TCs… and I mean seriously think that solution, then it became clear that there would be a X-Pr02, and I waited for it, in order to buy the XP2 many things (ok 3) had to be sold, which was enough simplification for me at the time!

      As it stands right now, I feel I have the best camera for me, and the best native lenses (in the FLs I want) available for it.

      So I feel pretty content…. Let's hope that feeling lasts… But it never really seems to, does it?!



  2. What is the hood on your 56mm f1.2 here? And a stop is a HUGE thing over the f2 versions. Nikons 50mm lens is about three times as much as their f1.8 version, which is faster than f2. Their 35mm f1.4 is over 4 times as much as their f2, and their 56mm f1.4 is about 3 times the price of their f1.8 verion. Professionals want fast lenses and the image quality is normally better, as you mention. If you want fast focusing (MUCH less glass is faster to focus), WR, and a small lens for your optical finder, the f2 lenses are great, but for portraits, weddings, and low light, most will opt for f1.4 or faster lenses.


    1. I own the 35F2 and whereas I wouldn’t say it’s a bad lens, it’s no 35f1.4, so for me it was an easy decision to go with the fast glass

      The hood is the official Fujifilm one for the 23F1.4, it also fits on the 56


      1. Hi Adam,

        Sorry to have bothered you. I looked again and the comment I was referring to is there but it was made by Wing in response to your comment about a ‘trinity of lenses ‘.

        Cheers ,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: