Creative Collective 029: Cheap LoFi Pancake For Digital Lomo Photography

Fujifilm X-E4 with Xuan Focus Free 30mm F/10 Body Cap Lens

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.

Rain, Not Rhein – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 + Xuan 30mm – “Nostalgia Color

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.

Bougainvillea Day – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 + Xuan 30mm – “Nostalgia Color”

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!

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Xuan 30mm Amazon

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The X-Mount Lenses That Sigma Should Have Made (Or Should Make Next)

Yesterday I published an article about the three Fujifilm X-Mount lenses that Sigma announced. These were already existing lenses within Sigma’s lineup, and they simply converted them for use on Fujifilm cameras. I stated that Sigma should have modified the lenses by adding aperture rings, because that is an important part of the Fujifilm experience. I also hinted (without downright stating) that Sigma should have filled holes in the Fujinon lineup, instead of going head-to-head with already existing lenses (hoping the cheaper price point is enough to entice potential customers). Yes, selling discount knockoffs (I don’t mean that to sound so harsh, because Sigma makes quality products) is one strategy, but I think offering something unique would be better.

With that in mind, I thought it would be a fun exercise to explore which Sigma lenses (that already exist) would fill holes in the Fujinon lineup. These are the lenses that Sigma should have released for Fujifilm X-mount, or maybe the lenses they should release next.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Art

A high-quality mid-range zoom covering some very useful focal-lengths? A lens that is great for street, portrait, and travel? Heck, yeah! While Fujifilm offers a number of zooms covering all sorts of focal-lengths, they don’t have one quite like this.

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art

Fujifilm has a 90mm f/2, and an 80mm f/2.8, but they don’t have an 85mm lens or a telephoto lens longer than 56mm that has a maximum aperture larger than f/2. Seems like a winner to me.

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Art

Fujifilm jumps from 90mm all the way to 200mm, and skips everything in-between. This would fill that gaping hole quite nicely.

Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art

Or go crazy with the “bokeh master.” This is a full-frame lens, but it might pair well with the upcoming X-H2….

Sigma 45mm f/2.8 Contemporary

Fujifilm doesn’t offer a 45mm lens. 35mm? Yes. 50mm? Yes. But nothing in-between. Could be a nice “compromise” if you want both a 35mm and 50mm but can’t afford both.

Sigma 65mm f/2.8 Contemporary

Fujifilm has a 60mm lens, but if you want something just a bit longer, you have to jump to 80mm, which might be too long. Both the 60mm and 80mm lenses are macro, which can be nice, but they also have their challenges (lots of focus to scroll through), so a non-macro lens might be a good option.

Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro Art

This might be a good in-between lens if you can’t decide on the 60mm and 80mm macros.

In my opinion, this list is what Sigma should have used when deciding on which lenses to bring to Fujifilm. These make a lot more sense to me. What do you think? Do you prefer the three lenses Sigma announced, or would you prefer some of these instead? Which lenses should Sigma release on Fujifilm next?

Whatever Sigma does, I hope that they don’t just change the mount, but modify the lenses to fit the full Fujifilm experience. As it stands now, I have zero interest in any of these lenses, mainly because of the lack of aperture rings. What do you think? Should Sigma include an aperture ring, even if they have to raise the price a little to do so?

Sigma Announces Three X-Mount Lenses

Sigma just announced three autofocus lenses for Fujifilm X-mount: 16mm f/1.4, 30mm f/1.4, and 56mm f/1.4. This is a big deal because 1) Sigma lenses are pretty darn good yet typically “affordable” and 2) it’s good to have options, which has been a little missing for Fujifilm photographers. These lenses can be pre-ordered and will ship in April.

I’m sitting here sipping my first cup of coffee, and already there has been plenty of press and early reviews published on these three lenses. What can I add that hasn’t already been said?

I’m glad that Sigma announced these lenses. I think it’s good. But I’m going to give you three quick reasons why you should not buy them. I’ll briefly explain why the similar Fujinon offerings are superior, and you should go with those instead.

First, there are no aperture rings on these Sigma lenses. Sigma literally took three already existing lenses for other mounts and made them compatible with X-mount. These lenses aren’t designed for the Fujifilm experience—they’re designed for Sony, in which you use a command wheel to adjust the aperture (yuck!). It is true that some Fujinon lenses work this same way, but most don’t. Most have an aperture ring, and that’s an important aspect of shooting Fujifilm. Sigma should have redesigned their lenses to include an aperture ring, but they didn’t, and I predict their X-mount lenses won’t sell as well because of this.

Second, behind the scenes, your Fujifilm camera is secretly fixing little flaws in the Fujinon glass. Fujifilm programmed their cameras to do this automatically, so you don’t know that there’s actually a little vignetting or chromatic aberrations or whatever else that doesn’t show in the pictures but is actually there if the camera wasn’t making this adjustment. Your camera won’t do this for third-party lenses. For the greatest optimization, stick with native glass.

Third, these three Sigma lenses are rather plain-looking. They don’t really match the retro-vibes of most Fujifilm X cameras because they look like modern lenses. Not all Fujinon lenses were modeled after vintage designs, but many of them were, and they match the stylings of the body much better than these Sigma offerings.

With all that said, there’s definitely a market for third-party autofocus lenses; however, they must offer something that Fujifilm doesn’t. It could be a focal-length and/or aperture. It could be quality. It could be speed. It could be size and/or weight. It could be price. What do these Sigma lenses offer that Fujifilm doesn’t? Let’s take a look.

Fujifilm offers a 16mm f/1.4 lens already—a high-quality, quick lens that’s smaller than the Sigma offering. The Sigma is less than half the price.

Fujifilm offers a 33mm f/1.4—a high-quality, quick lens that’s a similar size (and focal-length) to the Sigma offering. The Sigma is less than half the price.

Fujifilm offers a 56mm f/1.2—a high-quality, quick lens that’s a similar size to the Sigma offering (but larger maximum aperture). The Sigma is less than half the price.

Now you see why one would choose a Sigma lens over the Fujinon: to save some cash. They’re priced significantly cheaper while offering something similar. If you can afford it, the Fujinon lenses are better, but if not, this is a solid alternative that’s friendlier on the wallet. There are also lesser-expensive Fujinon options worth considering, which maybe don’t have the tech-sheet wow factor, but are otherwise fantastic lenses that you’re sure to be happy with.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 $449 — B&H
Fujinon 16mm f/1.4 $999 — Amazon B&H
Fujifilm 16mm f/2.8 $399 — Amazon B&H

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 $339 — B&H
Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 $799 — Amazon B&H
Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 $399 — Amazon B&H

Sigma 56mm f/1.4 $479 — B&H
Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 $999 — Amazon B&H
Fujinon 50mm f/2 $449 — Amazon B&H

Why I Love The Rokinon 12mm F/2 Lens

This is the first “Why I Love…” article that features a third-party lens. The Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS CS was the very first prime lens that I purchased for my Fujifilm X-E1 when I was just getting into the Fuji system (you can read my review of it here). It’s the oldest lens in my lineup (not including the many vintage lenses I’ve acquired…). Despite being the first, it’s one of my least-used lenses today. Five years ago I used this lens regularly. I had the Fujinon 18-55mm f2.8-f/4 and this Rokinon 12mm f/2, and I used them about equally. Once I got a few vintage primes, the zoom lens was utilized less frequently (I’m not a big fan of zooms, even though Fujifilm does have some excellent options), and I soon sold it off. Not too long later I sold my X-E1 to buy an X100F. Even though I didn’t have a camera to attach it to, I kept the Rokinon 12mm.

When I once again got a Fujifilm interchangeable-lens camera, I regularly attached the Rokinon lens to it. However, as time went on, I used the lens less-and-less. It has nothing to do with the quality of the glass, which is quite good, especially considering how inexpensive this lens is. The reason why I employ the Rokinon 12mm f/2 lens less frequently now is because of the focal-length. The 18mm-full-frame-equivalent focal-length of this lens is just a little too wide for my current tastes. Still, it’s sometimes nice to go ultra-wide, and I’m glad that I have this lens for those occasions.

The Rokinon 12mm f/2 can turn an ordinary scene into something extraordinarily! The lens is both challenging and rewarding. If you want more dramatic pictures, this lens is an excellent place to start—just shove the glass right into the scene! It’s also an excellent option for astrophotography. Why I love this Rokinon lens is because it increases the drama of the picture, and can be extremely rewarding to use. And even though I use it less now, I’ve certainly got my money’s worth out of it!

Interestingly, Rokinon recently released this lens but with autofocus.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Rokinon 12mm f/2 (manual) B&H Amazon
Rokinon 12mm f/2 (auto) B&H Amazon

Rokinon 12mm f/2 with Fujifilm X-E1*:

Barn by the Tetons – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Urban Flowers – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Little Blooms, Big Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Stars & Salt – Bonneville Salt Flats, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm
Inside The Savage Bus – Delle, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm

Rokinon 12mm f/2 with Fujifilm X-T30 & X-T1:

Evening at Monument Valley – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Velvia
Goosenecks – Goosenecks SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Kodak Portra 160
Flowing Farmington Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Kodak Gold 200
Lighthouse Lounge – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Eterna
Sidewalk Tricycle – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm – “Kodak Elite Chrome 200 Color Fade

*Note: the Fujifilm X-E1 pictures were captured before I began making Film Simulation Recipes.

Lens Review: 7artisans 50mm F/1.8

I picked up a used 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 lens for $60. The lens retail for $89, which is really cheap, but I wasn’t sure if this lens would be a good fit for what I want it for, so I went the used route instead. If it turned out to be a dud I wouldn’t be out all that much money. I’m happy that I paid less for it, because I don’t think I’m going to keep it for very long; however, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good lens.

The 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 is an all-manual prime lens that’s 75mm full-frame equivalent on Fujifilm X cameras, which makes it a short telephoto option. It’s the smallest 50mm lens for Fujifilm that doesn’t require an adapter, and that’s why I chose it. It seems to have good build quality—made mostly of metal—with a click-less aperture ring (good for video, but otherwise not my favorite design) and a smooth focus ring. It has 12 rounded blades, producing nice bokeh and sunstars.

The lens is a little soft at f/1.8 and f/2, but improves significantly when stopped down, and is overall pretty sharp. There’s some minor vignetting at all apertures, but nothing significant, and it’s barely noticeable by f/8. Lens flare is well controlled. I didn’t notice any chromatic aberrations. There’s not much distortion, so straight lines stay straight. The 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 is an inexpensive short-telephoto prime lens that’s pretty decent. So why am I planning to sell it?

There’s not much rotation in the focus ring from about 25 feet to infinity, meaning tiny turns of the ring move the focus point large distances. The lens will actually focus slightly beyond infinity, so focussing on further-away objects is tricky. I had more misses than hits when photographing distant subjects. This one flaw ruins the lens for me, or at least makes it less useful and enjoyable than I had hoped it would be. Otherwise, the lens is good. If you plan to photograph things that are closer than 25 feet away, the 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 is worth considering; however, for objects further away than 25 feet, the lens is still usable, but it can be a frustrating experience.

This review contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase using my links.
Amazon

Below are camera-made JPEGs that I captured using the 7artisans 50mm f/1.8 lens attached to my Fujifilm X-T30

Monochrome Home – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 7artisans 50mm f/1.8
Cold Metal Bench – Weber Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 7artisans 50mm f/1.8
Hair Stripes – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 7artisans 50mm f/1.8
Jo in a Yellow Beanie – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 7artisans 50mm f/1.8
Sunlight Through The Barren Trees – Weber Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 7artisans 50mm f/1.8
Outcropping – Weber Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 7artisans 50mm f/1.8
Winter Picnic – Weber Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 7artisans 50mm f/1.8
Dangerous Place – Weber Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 7artisans 50mm f/1.8
Fountain Show Shrub – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 7artisans 50mm f/1.8
Vibrant Colors Behind Bush – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 7artisans 50mm f/1.8

See also: My Gear Page

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Lens Review: Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye

I recently decided to create a compact kit for Fujifilm X cameras (specifically, the upcoming X-E4)—something that is versatile yet can fit into a small bag, that’s convenient for travel. An important part of this kit will be pancake lenses. It didn’t take me long to discover that there aren’t very many of these lenses available for Fujifilm cameras. There are only two Fujinon pancakes: the 27mm f/2.8 and 18mm f/2. There aren’t a whole lot of tiny third-party lenses, either. The Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye, which was released just a few weeks ago and retails for only $79, is an inexpensive ultra-wide pancake option that I knew I needed to try.

At 2/5ths of an inch thick, the Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye lens isn’t much bigger than the Fujifilm body cap. It’s super small and lightweight. I doubt there are many lenses available that are thinner than this one. It appears to be mostly made of metal and the build quality seems pretty solid. It has five elements in four groups. The minimum focus distance is about one foot, and manual focusing is done via a small lever on the bottom-front of the lens. On Fujifilm X cameras, the 10mm focal-length is full-frame-equivalent to 15mm.

Legendary photographer Weegee coined the phrase, “F/8 and be there.” Due to its fixed f/8 aperture, the Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye epitomizes this saying. You literally can’t do much more than “f/8 and be there.” This allows the lens to be so small, but it also limits its usefulness; it’s not a good option for low-light situations.

Pergear calls this a “fisheye” lens because there’s a lot of barrel distortion, which isn’t unusual on such wide-angle lenses. It reminds me a lot of SuperView on GoPro cameras, if you’re familiar. Straight lines won’t be straight, which you can either fix in software or try to use creatively.

I found the Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye lens to be sufficiently sharp in the center—not Fujinon prime tack-sharp, but sharp enough nonetheless. There’s some noticeable corner softness and vignetting. I did spot chromatic aberrations in extreme contrast areas. This isn’t the greatest glass, but, considering the price, it’s surprisingly decent.

Due to its focal length, fixed aperture, and barrel distortion, this is a challenging lens to use. It’s not for most situations; however, it can be used to capture some dramatic and creative pictures in the right situations. If you embrace the challenge you’ll surely be rewarded. I found the Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye fun to use—more enjoyable than I expected.

There are definitely better ultra-wide-angle lenses (both Fujinon and third-party) that you could buy instead of the Pergear 10mm; however, you won’t find any as inexpensive or as small as this one (at least I didn’t find any). That combination of size and value make the Pergear 10mm F/8 Fisheye an intriguing option. If you plan to shoot ultra-wide often, this isn’t likely the lens for you, unless you really appreciate how it renders pictures. If you think it would be fun to occasionally use a 10mm lens but don’t want to spend a bunch of money or make room in your camera bag for a bigger option, this Pergear lens is certainly worth a try.

This review contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase using my links.
Amazon $79

Example photographs using the Pergear 10mm f/8 Fisheye lens on my Fujifilm X-T1:

R&R BBQ – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Weather Radar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
February Thistles – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Reaching Thistles – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Small Pond – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Rural Red Door – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Boat Ramp Trash – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Dirt Road to Nowhere – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Marsh Path – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Uncertain Trail – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Dry Grass – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Rooftop Sunshine – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Ladder Smile – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Stacked Chairs – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
Sysco Kid – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Pergear 10mm
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Lens Review: Pergear 50mm f/1.8

I get asked frequently, “How can I make my digital pictures look more like film?”

My film simulation recipes—made possible by Fujifilm’s commitment to the camera-made JPEG and their long history with film—are a great start for achieving a film-like look. Another step that can go a long way towards achieving an analog aesthetic is the lens that’s attached to the camera. You see, most modern lenses are precision engineered, designed to eliminate flaws as much as possible. They score well on test charts, but often at the expense of character. Modern lenses render photographs differently than vintage lenses; old lenses have flaws, as they weren’t designed with today’s technology or for today’s standards, and these flaws are why they render images uniquely. For (typically) not very much money you can buy antique lenses intended for film cameras, and mount them to your Fujifilm X camera with an adapter—something that I love to do! Cheap third-party lenses often accomplish the same thing, but you’re buying something that’s new (instead of old) and you don’t need an adapter. The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens is an inexpensive option for your Fujifilm X camera, and it indeed has character similar to a vintage lens!

I get gift cards sometimes, usually for my birthday or Christmas, and it can be hard to know what to buy myself. In the past I have purchased a Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens and a 7artisans 25mm f/1.8 lens—both are under $100, which is the right price range for those gift cards that I don’t know what to do with. The Pergear 50mm f/1.8, with an MSRP of $79, is in that same category. The Pergear lens has other things in common with the Meike and 7artisans models: click-less aperture rings, seemingly good build quality, similar flaws, and lots of character. You’d almost think that they were made by the same company, but apparently they’re not.

The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 is a 75mm-equivalent manual-focus, manual-aperture prime lens from China. It has 10 rounded aperture blades, 6 elements in 4 groups, a maximum aperture of f/1.8, a minimum aperture of f/16, a minimum focus distance of about 15 inches, and accepts 43mm threaded filters. The aperture and focus rings are both smooth. I do wish that the aperture ring had f-stop clicks, but it doesn’t—not a big deal, though.

Center sharpness is pretty fantastic on the Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens at all apertures. Corner sharpness is decent-enough when wide open and noticeably improves when stopped down to f/4. There’s some minor vignetting when wide open; it improves when stopped down, yet it never fully goes away, although it’s hardly noticeable at apertures smaller than f/2.8. There’s some noticeable chromatic aberrations in extreme high-contrast light, but is otherwise well controlled. There’s almost no distortion. Bokeh is pretty good thanks to those rounded blades.

The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 has a weird flaw, which can be stunningly beautiful or terribly awful, depending on your tastes and the exact situation: the center of the frame can get a warm haze. It seems to become more pronounced when the aperture is (roughly) f/5.6 and smaller, and when there’s a bright light source somewhere in front of the camera (it can be outside the frame). Sometimes I really love this haze, and it’s almost like having a diffusion filter built into the lens, and sometimes it’s just too pronounced and essentially ruins the picture. Opening up the aperture seems to reduce the effect in those situations where it might be too pronounced. This strange haze is both the reason to buy this lens and the reason not to, depending on your opinion of it. I personally really like it, although I’m happy to have it limited to one lens, which I can choose to use when I want this character in my pictures. To be clear, this haze won’t show up in every picture—there are many situations where it won’t, either because the aperture is too large or because the light isn’t right, and even when it does appear, it’s often very subtle, which is great.

The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 is a good, sharp lens, producing lovely images in most situations. It has character that you just won’t find in most modern lenses. It has quirks, which can be good or bad, depending on the situation and your tastes. It’s all manual, which I like, but can take some practice to get good at if you’ve only ever used auto lenses. The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens, when used in conjunction with the Fujifilm JPEG settings, can help you achieve a much-sought-after film-like look from your digital camera. It’s not for everyone, but, for the price, it’s worth a try, especially if you are unsure what to buy with that gift card in your wallet.

This review contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase using my links.
Amazon $79

Below are camera-made JPEGs that I captured using the Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens attached to my Fujifilm X-T30. For the color pictures I used my new Kodak Portra 400 v2 recipe (available on the Fuji X Weekly App for iOS), except for the the top picture, which was captured with Velvia, and the two night pictures below that, which were captured with Porto 200 (also available on the app). For the black-and-white pictures I used my Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe. The photographs of the lens (above) were captured with a Fujifilm X100V using my Superia Premium 400 recipe.

Piano Abstract – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Train at Night – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Windshield Bokeh – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Red Berry Tree – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Resting Girl on Chair – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Handicapped Parking – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Trash, Truck – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Rural Trash Can – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Dam & Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Water Under The Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Cold Country Road – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
December Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Hunting Journey – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Winter Sunflower – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Reed by a Frozen Lake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Cattails – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Pole Cone – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Duck Hunters – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Grass in the Cold Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Motor Vehicles Prohibited – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Steel – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Barren Landscape – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Grass in the Frozen Marsh – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
Storm Over Frozen Marsh – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Pergear 50mm f/1.8
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My Fujifilm X Camera Lens Recommendations, Part 2: Third Party

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Part 1: Fujinon

I listed my recommended Fujinon lenses for Fujifilm X cameras in Part 1. In this second segment I will give my recommendations for third party lenses. Like in the previous article, I will be focusing on what I’ve actually used, because I prefer to talk about what I have experience with. My opinions are based off of my own use of these different lenses.

Let’s jump right in!

Rokinon/Samyang 12mm f/2 NCS CS

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Salt & Stars – Bonneville Salt Flats, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm

The 12mm f/2 NCS CS ultra-wide-angle lens, which is sold under both the Rokinon and Samyang brands (it’s the exact same lens), is a great manual focus lens. It’s sharp with surprisingly little distortion and few flaws. Since it is so cheap, it’s a great budget-friendly alternative to the Fujinon 16mm f/1.4, or even a companion to it. Not everyone needs a lens as wide-angle as this one, but it’s a fantastic option for those who do. If you need something ultra-wide for astrophotography or dramatic landscapes, this is a must-have lens!

Meike 35mm f/1.7

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Securely In Father’s Arms – Mount Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

The Meike 35mm f/1.7 is a “nifty-fifty” standard prime lens on Fujifilm X cameras, and if you don’t mind an all-manual lens, this is a great budget-friendly option. In fact, it’s probably the best $80 you’ll ever spend on new camera gear! It’s not without flaws, though. You can read my review of the lens here. For the cheap price, I wouldn’t be afraid to try the Meike 28mm f/2.8 or the Meike 50mm f/2, either. In fact, you could buy all three for less than the cost of one Fujinon lens! The 7Artisans 25mm f/1.8 is a good alternative, which I reviewed here. I’ve never tried the 7artisans 35mm f/1.2, which is an intriguing option but a little more expensive.

There are, of course, plenty of other third-party lenses, of which I’ve tried zero. I know that the Mitakon 35mm f/0.95 II is highly regarded, yet it’s also on the expensive side of things. The Rokinon 50mm f/1.2 and Rokinon 100mm f/2.8 are two lenses that I’ve seen highly recommended by others, and, based on my experience with their 12mm lens, I’d definitely believe it. However, I don’t want to spend much time on lenses that I have no experience with. Instead, let me offer one other alternative: vintage lenses.

You can typically buy old film lenses for very little money. Since most people don’t shoot film any longer, these lenses are cheap, yet many of them are exceptionally good in quality. You will need an adapter to mount them to your Fujifilm X camera, since they’ll have a different mount. Just make sure you know which mount the lens is so that you buy the right adapter. Thankfully most adapters are pretty inexpensive. Below is a video that I made on this topic.