With film photography, there are more-or-less two groups: those who used rangefinders, SLRs, TLRs, etc., and those who used cheap point-and-shoots and disposable cameras. Generally speaking, pros and hobbyists used SLRs, while novices who didn’t have much interest in photography primary used point-and-shoots (my parents’ and grandparents’ photo albums are full of these pictures). Of course, there are always exceptions, such as the novice who insisted on using their SLR despite not understanding how it worked, or the artist who used cheap gear for artistic effect.
As you probably know, I like to create approximations of classic analog looks on Fujifilm cameras with Film Simulation Recipes. Much of the time, the facsimile aesthetic is based on film shot on SLRs, etc., but occasionally I like to replicate the look of cheaper gear, such as disposable cameras, Holga, pinhole, 126, light leaks, etc.. I do crazy things occasionally—like when I distressed a camera or when I used tiny lenses—so I’m not afraid to try something that’s a bit unconventional. In the case of this article, it’s the Xuan Focus Free 30mm f/10 Body Cap Lens.
What is the Xuan Focus Free 30mm f/10 Body Cap Lens, you ask? Well, someone took a cheap third-party Fujifilm body cap, drilled a hole in it, and attached (via glue) a recycled 30mm f/10 lens from a Kodak Funsaver disposable camera. They’re selling them for $26 each. You can actually do this yourself without too much trouble, but for such a cheap price (and with free next-day delivery), it made sense to go the easy route.
The reason why it’s called a “focus free” lens is because it’s pre-focused, and you cannot adjust it (nor can the aperture be changed). I don’t think the distance from the lens to the sensor on my Fujifilm X-E4 is exactly the same as the lens to the film on a disposable camera, so the focus point is slightly different. Xuan claims that from roughly 5′ to infinity is in focus, but that’s not my experience. I believe the focus point is set to about 11′, and the depth-of-field is more like 6.5′ to 37′, and 8′ to 15′ seems to be the sharpest zone.
If you want to shoot with a pancake lens on your Fujifilm X camera, your options are limited. You have options—some excellent options, in fact—but only a handful in total. The Xuan Focus Free 30mm F/10 Body Cap Lens is another pancake choice, but is it good? Is it even worth $26? I used this lens recently on my X-E4, attempting to capture beautiful LoFi pictures—more resembling those found in picture albums, and less like those printing in magazines and hanging on gallery walls. How was my experience? What do I think of the Xuan 30mm lens? Read on to find out!
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Xuan 30mm Amazon
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