Born in Tokyo, Japan. Freelance photographer whose main subject is people.
In addition to contributing photographs and articles to camera magazines, he also photographs actors, celebrities, and politicians.
His life’s work includes portrait photography overseas, snapping street scenes, and taking pictures of the city at night (“Yosuna!”). as his life’s work.
He has held many photo exhibitions.
Impression on XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR
The first thing which surprised me when using the XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR was the high resolution at the maximum aperture of F1.4. With most lenses, the resolving power is higher when stopped down one or two stops than at the maximum aperture, but with this lens, there was virtually no sense of this. That’s how high the resolving power is at maximum aperture. In other words, there is no need to stop down for resolution, and aperture can only be considered in combination with depth of field and shutter speed.
This is a major factor in deciding how to use this lens. Especially for me, who often takes snapshots at night, it is very important to have a lens that has a bright maximum aperture and that delivers maximum performance from the maximum aperture.
If we were to compare it to XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR, the difference in aperture f-number is 2 stops. In other words, if the same ISO sensitivity is used, the shutter can be faster by 2 stops, and if the same shutter speed is used, the sensitivity can be lowered by 2 stops. If the scene is bright at ISO 800 at 1/30 sec. with an f/2.8 zoom lens, with this f/1.4 lens you can shoot at a lower ISO of ISO 200 at 1/30 sec. or choose a shutter speed of ISO 800 at 1/125 sec. with no risk of blur. This wide range of options is what I really appreciate when snapping at night.
Furthermore, since there are many point light sources in the city at night, the shape of the bokeh also affects the impression of the photo. The amazing thing about this lens is that it produces a point source bokeh that is almost perfectly round from the widest aperture. The fact that the shape of the bokeh is straightforward and has no peculiarities naturally means that this lens will be useful not only for nighttime and daytime snapshots, but also for portraits. The bokeh at the maximum aperture is so beautiful that it is hard to understand why it is so beautiful. The minimum focus distance is only 20cm, so you can get very close to objects in the city, and the background behind them will blur smoothly. Even though this is a wide-angle lens, you can still enjoy the bokeh that only an F1.4 lens can provide.
I also welcome the addition of the A-position lock on the aperture ring. This is a minor change, but I feel that such a small difference in operability will reduce the stress of shooting. In addition, the autofocus is now powered by a new linear motor, and the autofocus speed and noise level are beyond reproach. The weight balance with the X-T4, which is my main lens, is also excellent. The weight of the lens, which cannot be experienced with a zoom lens, and the noiseless autofocusing make the rhythm of shooting increase at a rapid pace.
The focal length of 18mm (27mm equivalent: 35mm format equivalent) is also interesting. As someone who often uses both the XF16mmF1.4 R WR and the XF23mmmF1.4 R to take street snaps, I have the impression that this lens offers the best of both worlds. However, if you want to take expansive photos, or if you want to take photos that look as if they are aimed from a distance, this is a lens with a focal length that does not allow for either. In other words, in order to create a work of art, the photographer’s perspective is required, and it is also necessary to use one’s feet. It’s a lens that is worth using. The XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR is a lens that makes no compromises in performance. I hope that many people will experience the resolving power and ease of use of this lens.