Fuji 10-24mm f/4 wide angle zoom + X-T1 - Stately home shoot 1

All images - Fuji X-T1 + 10-24mm zoom

Over the past three days I've used the 10-24mm zoom on a property shoot and at two different stately homes as part of my stock photography core work. In all three cases it has been incredibly impressive. Above are examples from the second of these days. 

Paired with the X-T1 it's an irrestible combination and to say that I'm pleased with the combination both in the field and with the results is an understaement. The Sony A7r may produce sharper better quality files at low ISO's, m4/3 may be smaller and lighter to carry around, but in terms of ease of use and the ability to perform quickly and intuitively the Fuji X system is hard to beat. 

I would have said before using the X-T1 that I wasn't that bothered at having lots of control dials on the camera, but in practice I'm using them all the time. Changing the ISO and using the + / - exposure dial are both simple and useful and the ability to change the ISO setting without going into the menus is much more useful than I would have thought. Combined with the shutter speed dial and of course the aperture ring, I was able to come up with the right settings for what I was trying to achieve with the images I was creating, easily and quickly. And of course now I'm used to doing that, it's going to be hard to go back to a more electronic way of working. 

According to FujiRumors it seems the X-T1 is selling well, which if true, is good to see. Certainly it's gotten some rave reviews and a lot of internet buzz and if this is reflected in the sales figures then this can be nothing but good for Fuji users. And it is obvious that the X-T1 has got a lot of things right. Making it a much more responsive camera yet still retaining those old-school virtues obviously has an appeal for lots of serious photographers. And Fuji's expansion of their lens range has been both thoughful and well-realised. Until the 10-24mm there was obviously a gap at the wide-angle end and now that has been filled. 

It strikes me that Fuji have the camera / lens balance right. I like the fact that they don't keep releasing the same cameras with incremental updates just to keep people interested in the brand. And in that way they differ significantly from Sony. 

Now on the lens front I don't think Sony are going to change. There seems to be a pattern that is now set. They seem more interested in cameras than lenses. The lenses they release (with the obvious exception of the Zeiss badged 55mm f/1.8) are often mediocre and they seem to only produce lenses for their systems slowly and it times it seems reluctantly. They also charge premium prices for non-premium lenses. 

For example SonyAlphaRumors has links to another couple of underwhelmed reviews of the 24-70mm Zeiss badged FE lens, which seems pretty poor for such an expensive lens. Contrast this with the rave reviews for the Fujinon lens range which gets almost unanimous high praise. And of course I have been echoing that. The 10-24mm is one such lens and in my next piece I'll be discussing it's use for architectural photography at which it excels. However for this piece I'll conclude by stating yet again that this is the best wide-angle zoom I've ever used and indeed I'm trying to think if I've ever used a better wide-angle lens full stop. And the fact that I'm hard pressed to come up with something better is testament to just how good I think it is.

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