Looking for a lens for the landscape photography, maybe wide-angle or ultra-wide-angle to accompany your Fujifilm camera. We’ll make a small list of possibilities together.
Not really a pure and hard comparison but I still show you how the lens prioritizes.
I have selected several lenses:
- Zoom XF 8-16 F/2.8
- Zoom XF 10-24 F/4
- Samyang 12mm F/2.8
- Laowa 9mm F/2.8
- Touit 12mm F/2.8
And I forgot to talk about the XF 14 F/2.8 which will have to go see my test to know what I say about it. Each has its pros and cons, but I tried to say a word about each and advise you my two main choices.
Today, we make a point, finally, about the lenses that you can use to make the landscape or to make the ultra-wide-angle. With the release of 8/16, I get a lot of questions around these goals. And there are many people who ask me a little to establish a hierarchy, to give my opinion on each of the goals. We’ll try to do it in a video that won’t be too long. We can talk about it frankly in an hour. There are so many goals to compare. Each having its own specificity. I’ll try to get straight to the point. Already, start by listing, what are the options… 🙂
In my opinion, maybe I forget about it, but in my opinion, the main options, this is one: the new 8-16 mm F/2.8; the zoom 10-24 mm F/4. So, if you want a zoom, it will probably play between those two zooms. If you really want, a dedicated ultra-wide-angle landscape zoom.
What is the Best Lens for Landscape Photography?
But we must necessarily, I think, also include fixed focal points. Well, we have to include the 16 mm, 1.4 from Fuji. The Samyang 12 mm F/2, from Samyang. I do not have it, but it should also include a lens that would be even smaller than the Samyang which would be the LAOWA 9 mm f/2.8 and I am still forced to include the lens from ZEISS which is starting to be a little old, but which remains on sale, the TOUIT 12 mm F/2.8.
In terms of price, the 8-16 makes $2,000. The 10/24 makes $900. The 16 mm 1.4 is $989, the Samyang is $309. The LAOWA is available for $630 and the Zeiss, the 12 mm 2.8 from ZEISS, the TOUIT is $650. So, we see that the prices, it goes from $2000 finally to $300. We see a fairly wide price range.
So, obviously, here, if you want a very special focal, the choice will boil down to the focal since here, we are talking about cabbage and carrots. For me, I tell you pretty much what are the options if you want a landscape or ultra-wide-angle lens.
Ranking of Lens (In My Opinion)
Obviously, I’m doing something that’s a little broad. But for me, it makes sense. So, if you want to establish a pretty clear hierarchy between these lenses, a hierarchy that would be based on the quality of the images, that will be based on the resistance to flair, etc… The hierarchy will eventually be done, depending on the order of price. Roughly speaking, things are pretty well respected. Well, let’s say a word about each of these lenses to tell you a little bit what I think.
For me, the 8-16 F/2.8 is the most high-end of this comparison. There are no questions to ask. If you do not want to compromise and have the lens that is the most high-end, it is probably, the 8/16 you need. It is he who will have the best resistance to optical defects. He’s the one who’s gonna get the best shot. He will do a lot better than the others. And in addition, it is the only tropicalized lenses of this comparative. It can be blamed for an indecent price of $1999. But in terms of quality, at least, the qualities, they are there.
The 10-24 mm F/4: Baseline
The 10-24 mm, for me, we will talk about it, but it is the best value for money of all this. The 10-24 mm is a lens that is versatile, that is absolutely excellent in the service it offers, also in its ability to withstand flair, in its ability to withstand chromatic aberrations, etc… It really has, enormously, qualities this lens and in addition, it is the only stabilized lens of this panel.
Then we’ll move on to the fixed focal points. The 16 mm F/1.4 at the level of pure landscape, this is not my favorite lens. In fact, I’m going to blame him mainly for a sting that is not exceptional on the edges. In general, one expects, when one is on a fixed focal point, to really have edges that are flawless and to have something more optimized.
We will finally realize that when we compare the sting offered by this fixed focal which is therefore, supposed to be uncompromising by Fuji, with the zoom 10-24 or with the zoom 8-16, we will realize that roughly speaking, it does not bring anything in terms of optical qualities and that even the edges are slightly recessed. In short, it is in F/1.4, it has a lot of qualities this 16 mm of F/1.4. I love it. But when I do landscape, it is not necessarily the reference lens in my sense.
Then we have two solutions that are not Fuji. First, we have the Samyang 12 mm F/2 that I love, I will recommend. I always recommend, I don’t know how much I sold this Samyang 12 mm, but I think it’s starting to make a package of it just because it’s not expensive. It costs $309. Then I’m sure we got some for his money. For $309, we do not have the crazy sting of the 8-16 mm. Fortunately, otherwise, we would not understand anything. But finally, we have a pique that is more than acceptable that is already good and optical qualities that are really, really, good.
Then it is certain that this Samyang, it is devoid of auto focus. Obviously, there is no tropicalization, there is no stabilization. But it is sure that there are more chromatic aberrations if you want to put it in a bit extreme situations facing the sun with the sun oblique, etc… You have better not forget its sun visor because already with the sun visor, it is not always easy to manage the flairs and chromatic aberrations. But finally, it’s still a super mega value for money, this Samyang. It’s really a lens that I like and a lens that I recommend.
The Famous LAOWA 9 mm
So, then there is the LAOWA 9 mm f/2.8 that I do not have here, which is smaller than this Samyang. It is a lens that has the characteristic of having almost no distortions. So, this is really, really, something exceptional. A 9 mm without distortion. If you do architecture or things that need to be absolutely straight, this LAOWA 9 mm f/2.8, it must start to seduce you. On the other hand, it is presented at a price that brings it closer to Fuji’s goals. So here we are at $630 for a goal that is not perfect. I think it’s starting to get a little expensive. I would have seen it in the $450-500 maximum, $630 is a little expensive.
This LAOWA, you have to be very careful, it is very, very sensitive, especially to flair. So, if you have the sun nearby, you’re going to have a lot, a lot of trouble. And even, the moon, I saw a lot with the moon. You’re going to have big, big flair in your picture right now.
But hey, it depends on what use you want to make of it, it’s really, a great compromise. Especially since unlike the 8-16, it offers a 9 mm, without distortions. So, no auto focus, but finally, it’s not a big deal. When you’re 9 mm from auto focus, you’re hyper-focal very, very, very quickly.
Pay attention to the LAOWA 9 mm f/2.8, you have a vignetting at f/2.8 which is almost at 4 stops. That is, the edges are almost, black in definitive. 4 stops are absolutely mind-blowing. You’re gonna have to close 1 or 2 stops. Rather 2 to find a vignetting that returns within the limit of the acceptable.
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A word to finish, on the ZEISS TOUIT 12 mm. then, too, he, on the other hand, he has auto focus. It is presented at $650. But hey, this is never a goal that I advised a lot because in the end, it was the double of the Samyang 12 mm. they have the same opening both. When you compare the two, there is not such a big difference between these two lenses.
They also exhibit less chromatic aberrations than Samyang, but still a little. In short, all this to tell you that when you are from single to double, in terms of price, for the same service, you are on both at 12 mm, you are on both at F/2. 8, I am not sure that it is worth it, really to pay double to have this ZEISS TOUIT f/2.8, 12 mm, which that has auto focus.
But finally, again, doing auto focus on this kind of lenses and especially on the Samyang, you have a focus ring with the distance. That’s it, if I want to focus at 1 meter, I’ll get on the 1. You will see that as soon as I am about 1.30 m, I am infinite. So, I put here pretty much like this. And there, I can take pictures without taking care of auto focus. Everything that is from 1.50 m from the lens is absolutely clear. There are no more auto focus problems.
Lack of Auto Focus, A Problem?
So, you see, at 12 mm, which is at 1.50 m, everything is neat. There is even no need to auto focus. You leave your goal to that position and the focus is already done. In short, as we have all said, we have not said much. You see, we still have a lot of possibilities.
For me, my two tips: if you are looking for a landscape optics or an ultra-wide-angle lens, it is the best value for money, it is the XF 10-24 F/4 with a stabilization, great optical quality, super management of flair, chromatic aberrations. Everything you ask for from a landscape perspective. It has a diameter that is classic that will allow you to easily find filters, easily adapt filter holders.
For me, this is really the reference lens. It’s versatile since it ranges from ultra-wide-angle 10 mm to landscape lenses. So right now, we’re down to 30, equivalent to 35 mm, so for me, that’s somewhere, the reference.
Then, the 2nd choice if you do not have the budget of the 10-24 which is sold anyway, $900, for me, the 2nd choice, I repeat, is the Samyang 12 mm F/2. Great opening, it is very good in tele-photography, it is very good in landscape, and has a lot of qualities. It has flaws obviously. When you are offered an ultra-wide-angle lens at 12 mm. It is an interesting focal because 12 mm, you are both close, somewhere.
You’re in between. You are between the 16 mm wide-angle and the ultra-wide-angle represented by focal lengths like 8 and 10. So, it remains quite versatile, for the 12 mm you will be able to benefit in many situations and above all, it costs only $300. So here, for me, for $300, frankly, really value for the money.
LAOWA. I can never say that. The LAOWA 9 mm is also a great lens. I said it. For me, it’s a little expensive. But good for someone who does not have the budget in the 8-16 and who wants at all costs an ultra-wide-angle, there are no 50 choices. There is no better than the LAOWA even if it is sold a little expensive.
That’s what I had to tell you. So, I’m going to do another comparative talking, this time about telephotography. Here, I really wanted to focus on the landscape and the ultra-wide-angle to give you a bit of a recap of what the options are and what, personally, I advise you.
I know that when we talk about so many goals, everyone will want to defend their goal. Everyone has their own opinions. Everyone has above all wills that are not always the same. Someone who is going to do sunset photo, mainly, he is going to have extreme attention compared to not having flairs on all his photos. And clearly, it will not go on the Samyang. So, everyone wants to see, noon at his door, I want to say. But here’s what I had to tell you about this set of lenses.