first impressions :: Fuji XF 80mm f/2.8 macro

denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grinsNorth Andover, MAPosts: 12,054Super Moderators moderator
edited January 7, 2018 in Cameras

I've had my eye on Fujifilm's X Mount Lens Roadmap for a while. A new macro lens was projected to be available in late 2017; it was a lens that I believed would fit into my photography habits since macro work focused on flowers is a ongoing focus of mine.

I asked to be placed on the waiting list for the lens at Hunt's Photo & Video in Melrose, MA when I picked up my X-T2 in early November. I was told at the time that I was within their initial order quantity but that the manufacturers often did not ship full requested quantities when new lenses (or cameras) were first released. I was delighted to get a call from Hunt's on November 30th - the first day the lens was available - to let me know that they had a lens for me.

In the first week that I had the lens it was the only lens on my camera. I played, experimenting with both macro and landscape shots.

The lens has a fast auto focus system, is weather-resistant (yay!), has optical image stabilization (excellent for hand-held photos), and has a true 1:1 macro function.

From the product overview on Fujifilm's FUJINON LENS XF80mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro page:

...By achieving high resolving power at the focus point and beautiful bokeh, this lens is optimal for shooting flowers and nature photos.

This lens supports hand-held shooting thanks to Optical Image Stabilizer system suppressing shift shake*. The lens also provides a fast and silent Auto Focus system by adopting linear motors. The exterior design is luxurious yet robust, so you can get premium feel. The aperture and focusing rings have been designed to be comfortable and easy to use. The lens is also weather and dust resistant and can operate in temperatures as low as -10°C, so it is suitable for use in a wide range of outdoor shooting conditions.

So far, I am delighted with this lens.

Here are a few of my photos:

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,350Super Moderators moderator

    Excellent examples and results, Denise!

    Bokeh is better than I anticipated, with smooth and firm OOF highlights, not harsh like many macro lenses produce. Contrast is a bit more than a normal lens, but not over the top at all. Color seems reasonably neutral.

    Very nice subject matter too. Loving the last image with frozen and ice-encapsulated berries. (Hoping that's what they are?) Lovely simple compositions with well considered backgrounds.

    Overall an outstanding addition to your kit.

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 12,054Super Moderators moderator

    @ziggy53 said:
    Excellent examples and results, Denise!

    Thanks Ziggy! The lens is definitely a good addition, I'm going to enjoy using it.

    Yes, the last image is berries on a tree just outside of my door. That's about as far as I was willing to walk in today's freezing rain. The temperature has finally edged up above freezing, but there is still freezing rain out there. It sounds like tomorrow will be warm enough to (hopefully) clear the surfaces for safer walking.

  • GrainbeltGrainbelt adventure grinner Posts: 478Registered Users Major grins

    Very nicely shot, and thank you for sharing!

    I tend to do some light macro / nature photography when out and about and have been really a bit paralyzed by the short telephoto options for my X-E2S. The 60mm F/2.4 is a lot smaller, slightly faster, but would have less working distance, and no image stabilization. It is also significantly less expensive. Have you used the 60mm in the past, or rented it? I've heard that the newer firmware on current bodies has improved that lens' performance considerably, but the old reviews are rather middling.


  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 12,054Super Moderators moderator
    edited December 31, 2017

    @Grainbelt said:
    I tend to do some light macro / nature photography when out and about and have been really a bit paralyzed by the short telephoto options for my X-E2S. The 60mm F/2.4 is a lot smaller, slightly faster, but would have less working distance, and no image stabilization. It is also significantly less expensive. Have you used the 60mm in the past, or rented it? I've heard that the newer firmware on current bodies has improved that lens' performance considerably, but the old reviews are rather middling.

    Thank you!

    Yes, I've used the 60mm F2.4. I kept it because it sort of satisfied a need for a macro lens. I say "sort of" because it has rather odd behavior where it was sometimes very difficult to get it to focus properly. (Now that I have the 80mm I won't use the 60mm again.) I don't think it was my copy of the lens since I've talked to others who had the same experience. The XF 80mm 2.8 is far beyond the 60mm lens in capability and behavior. Of course there is also a large price difference.

  • GrainbeltGrainbelt adventure grinner Posts: 478Registered Users Major grins

    TBH I'm having a bit of buyers remorse over the size of the X-E2S. It is perfect for 80% of the shooting I do, which is off the motorcycle where size is very important. The downside is a lot of the newer Fuji lenses are massive, and they don't particularly balance or handle well on the smaller body. An XT2 with some of the big glass would be great for my purely photographic outings but really put a damper on my light/fast kit for hiking, camping, and motorcycling.

    I think I may try to find a reasonably priced used 60mm and see if it will work for me, based on form factor and image quality. It is literally 1/2 the size and less than 1/3rd the weight of the 80mm. If I can't get keepers with it, I'll have to reevaluate my camera body and its relationship to the larger glass on the market.

    Many thanks, again, for your input!


  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 12,054Super Moderators moderator
    edited December 31, 2017

    @Grainbelt said:
    ...An XT2 with some of the big glass would be great for my purely photographic outings but really put a damper on my light/fast kit for hiking, camping, and motorcycling.

    I think I may try to find a reasonably priced used 60mm and see if it will work for me, based on form factor and image quality. It is literally 1/2 the size and less than 1/3rd the weight of the 80mm. If I can't get keepers with it, I'll have to reevaluate my camera body and its relationship to the larger glass on the market.

    Many thanks, again, for your input!

    I also just upgraded from an X-T1 to an X-T2. I found the differences between the cameras to be significant and well worth the upgrade.

    I just compared the dimensions of the X-E2S and the X-T2. I hear what you're saying about the smaller camera, but the difference doesn't appear to be that large.
    X-E2S: 5.1 x 2.9 x 1.5"
    X-T2: 5.2 x 3.6 x 1.9"

    Have you considered renting an X-T2 to check it out?

    You're right about the size and weight difference between the 60mm and 80mm lenses. I do prefer the smaller size of the 60mm but the lens quality and photos from the 80mm are pretty amazing. For that I will put up with the larger size. I do a fair amount of hiking too and I don't always carry all of the lenses depending on what my focus it for the day. I can always find a use for a macro lens though...

    You commented that the 60mm is slightly faster. I don't think that is the case - I find the 80mm to be much faster to focus.

    Please post back with your impressions of the 60mm.

  • GrainbeltGrainbelt adventure grinner Posts: 478Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 14, 2018

    So, I picked up a used copy from MPB a few months ago, in the midst of the longest winter ever (we set a record for April snowfall in Mpls). BTW, I was a little ifffy on MPB but the price was reasonable and it arrived exactly as advertised, even with the original packaging, manual, little cover wrap, and all that.

    My previous macro lenses were a Tamron 90mm 2.8 and Pentax DA 35mm 2.8, both pentax mount. Much different fields of view, both incredibly sharp; DA 35 had much faster and more accurate autofocus. I'd say the Fuji XF 60mm 2.4 has all the laggy autofocus of the Tamron 90, but has the inherent contrast and image quality of the DA 35.

    The 60mm F/2.4 Macro is definitely a great size / balance match for the X-E2S body. I haven't had much of a chance to get to know it, but I have grabbed a few snapshots while out and about. None of them are really 'macro', but close-focus and mostly flowers and plants. My nephew's bday is coming up this month and it will see some portrait duty.

    In anything but perfect light, manual focus is my preferred method for closeup duty. The focus peaking (I use white) in the Fuji bodies makes it so easy and accurate that I find it less work than fighting with the AF. In good light and at lower magnification, the AF is just fine. I have updated the firmware on my body and the lens recently and it's fairly snappy moving between a fairly modest focus distance.

    F/8 ISO 400. I wanted some of the large tulip bed in the background to be somewhat recongnizable. Should have recomposed to get that fountain out of the corner.

    F/2.8 ISO 800 1/125th. Light was getting iffy that evening. I realy wanted to get the fine detail from the new growth in the center of the branch - and should have gotten closer - but handholding was getting a mess.

    F/5.6 ISO 5000 1/125th. Note: get closer. Note 2: don't try to shoot in the dark.

    Overall I think that the light weight and image quality will mean I have it in my bag more often; AF and technique are greater challenges and that's mostly on me. It's a far better lens than I am a photographer. For the $400 I paid, I'm pretty happy - had I paid the current list of $599, I'd be less enthusiastic.


  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 12,054Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 14, 2018

    @Grainbelt said:
    The 60mm F/2.4 Macro is definitely a great size / balance match for the X-E2S body. I haven't had much of a chance to get to know it, but I have grabbed a few snapshots while out and about. None of them are really 'macro', but close-focus and mostly flowers and plants. My nephew's bday is coming up this month and it will see some portrait duty.

    I'm glad to hear that you are happy with the 60mm macro. From a size and weight standpoint I can see where you'll get good use from the lens.

    I like the tulip shot!

  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,317Administrators moderator
    edited May 19, 2018

    The pics in this thread are inspiring. Denise, when you decided to go mirrorless, did you also look at the Sony A6xxx series? I'm planning on putting together a lightweight kit for traveling and backpacking and my two contenders are the Sony A6500 and the XT-2. From what I can tell, the Fuji has better ergonomics than the Sony. But the Sony has a better lens selection and is generally more popular. Any thoughts and/comments about why you chose Fuji and would you do it again?

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 12,054Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 19, 2018

    @kdog said:
    Any thoughts and/comments about why you chose Fuji and would you do it again?

    Funny, I didn't really consider Sony. I wanted to try mirrorless and had seen some good reviews on the X-T1. It's hard to believe that I purchased the X-T1 back in 2015, a long time back to remember my thought process. Luckily I wrote a blog post on my first impressions of the camera, viewable at https://denisegoldberg.blogspot.com/2015/08/first-impressions-fuji-x-t1.html.

    I upgraded to the X-T2 late last year. While the model of the camera seems to imply a simple upgrade, the difference between the X-T1 and X-T2 is noticeable. My initial thoughts on the X-T2 are in the blog post https://denisegoldberg.blogspot.com/2017/12/upgrade-fuji-x-t2.html.

    You might also be interested in Karen Hutton's review of the X-T2 (as tested during the pre-release of the camera) - http://karenhutton.com/2016/07/fujifilm-x-t2/

    I am very happy with the X-T2, even more so now that I had to drop back to the X-T1 for a bit. I started having a problem with the shutter button on the X-T2, sometimes sticking, sometimes working properly. I called Fuji support to see if there was something I could do to fix the behavior. The answer - send it in for service. They replaced the shutter button (and other pieces in the vicinity since I believe it was all one part) and returned the camera to me. The repair was covered under warranty. While it was out of my hands I used the X-T1 - I suppose I was lucky that I hadn't sold it yet.

    Yes, I would do it again!

    I'll be interested in hearing what you decide.

    In case it helps, here's a link to the Fuji X Mount Lens Roadmap - http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/xf_lens/roadmap/. Most of the lenses on the roadmap are available now but there are two that are not available yet but are shown for release this year.

  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,317Administrators moderator
    edited May 19, 2018

    Thanks, Denise. Very helpful. I found your blog posts more informative than Karen Hutton's.

    The thing that strikes me in all the pictures I've been seeing from Fuji XT cameras is the clarity and vibrance of the pictures. Would you say you're getting better pictures than you did with your Canon gear?

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 12,054Super Moderators moderator

    @kdog said:
    The thing that strikes me in all the pictures I've been seeing from Fuji XT cameras is the clarity and vibrance of the pictures. Would you say you're getting better pictures than you did with your Canon gear?

    I think so.

    I kept the Canon gear for a good two years, finally sold it late last year after realizing that I wasn't using it at all.

  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,317Administrators moderator

    Interesting, thanks.

  • GrainbeltGrainbelt adventure grinner Posts: 478Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 22, 2018

    Fill the frame, stop down a bit, careful on exposure. I still don't love the composition, but wow, the contrast and color reproduction of this clematis is pretty impressive. I think we'll get along fine.

    F/4, ISO 400, 1/170th. Velvia preset. +1/2 stop EV in Lightroom.


  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,317Administrators moderator

    Looks good!

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 12,054Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 22, 2018

    @Grainbelt said:
    ...I think we'll get along fine.
    F/4, ISO 400, 1/170th. Velvia preset. +1/2 stop EV in Lightroom.

    It looks like you're off to a good start with the lens.

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 12,054Super Moderators moderator

    I'm still in love with this lens! Here are a few photos from this past week.

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,350Super Moderators moderator

    Lovely, Denise!

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 12,054Super Moderators moderator

    @ziggy53 said:
    Lovely, Denise!

    Thank you!

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