Fuji X-Pro 1 - More with the Voigtlander 20mm

For the whole Fuji X-Pro 1 Review and user experience click HERE

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5
All images - Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

This works. In fact this works really well. Once I got some decent light, and was able to use the lens stopped down, it really started to turn in some great results. This did however mean getting up early and out the door by 7:30 AM.

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

Fabulous colour, very sharp and with a real "Leica Pop" to the files. The majority of these were taken at f/8 - f/11. Not difficult to achieve with ISO 200 in good light. All were zone focused using the hyperfocal distance scale markings on the lens barrel. For APS-C sensors the general rule is to move it back one. i.e. If I'm using f/11 I set the infinity mark to the f/8 position. 

The particular nature of this lens means that this works well. It is a pretty rare lens, and to be honest I don't know of any other lens that would do this, that is small and light. There are some Leica and Zeiss m-mount lenses around this focal length, but they are a bit bulkier, and of course substantially more expensive. There's a Voigtlander screw mount 21mm f/4, but I don't know anything about that.

This little Voigtlander 20mm is made in Nikon and Canon fits. There was also a Pentax K version, but thats no longer made. I bought it for my NEX-7's and it does a good job on them. It now seems it will do the same on the X-Pro 1. I would say that its not great wide open and does need stopping down to at least f/5.6 for the best results.

I can't really say how it compares with the Fuji 18mm, since I don't have one and don't have any plans to get one. 

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

The really nice thing about using this lens, is that all the camera chatter and clatter stops. All of a sudden I've got a really quiet, really fast camera. It was a real pleasure to use it in this way and it opens up all sorts of possibilities.

Though its not something I do, this would work very well for street photography. Setting the aperture at f/11 and the hyperfocal distance at the f/8 mark gives you sharpness from just under 3ft. to infinity. With the X-Pro 1's very impressive high ISO performance, it would be possible to use the camera at ISO 1600 or even ISO 3200 outdoors in daylight, giving a decent shutter speed and good depth of field. Ideal for those in close grab shots. There wouldn't be any need to spend a lot of time using the viewfinder and it would be possible to "shoot from the hip" and all that other wacky stuff that street photographers get up to. The camera in this mode is very quiet and unobtrusive and would certainly be a help if you want to work unoticed.

This ability to use zone focusing is also very useful for landscape photography in order to get the maximum depth of field. I did that all the time shooting film on my medium format cameras and this would be very useful with the Fuji. I can obviously do this with my NEX cameras and m4/3, but the Fuji's special quality at higher ISO's opens up all sorts of possibilities. Unless of course you like grain and noise.

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

Just to say finally, that if you do need to focus using the viewfinder, its relatively easy to do in good light. I was able to focus the 20mm for close-ups even at f/8 and f/11 without problems. Low light is however more of a problem as the screen has a slow refresh rate and tends to "smear" quite a lot. It is far from the best screen / viewfinder I've ever used and certainly not as good as the current Sony or m4/3 EVF's.

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