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02.12.2012

XF35mmF1.4 R review by Koichi Akagi

This is an orthodox, standard large-diameter lens that offers almost the same field of view as a 50mm lens in 35mm format equivalent. Since the actual focal length is short at 35mm, the lens gives a pan-focus effect just by narrowing down slightly and it avoids poor image quality caused by drastic aperture adjustments. Standard lenses are cherished for their all-around feature of acting like a wide angle lens with a small aperture, and a telephoto lens with a large aperture. Thus, it also acts as a basis for lens selection.

I tried capturing an image as if taken with a mid-telephoto lens by opening the aperture and closing in on the subject to blur the background. Although with the dully-lit cloudy sky, this lens seemed to carefully collect light. I am impressed by the high contrast and clear description. The detailed reproduction of the subject is also amazing. The lens beautifully captures two opposite qualities: sharpness of the focal point and beautiful bokeh of the background.

A Manageress of a long-established bar in Ginza. This is a snap portrait with a small amount of lighting. It is what is known as an “available light photo” where the shot is taken using only the existing light source in the room and not using strobes or other assistant lighting. Even with a mixture of tungsten light and fluorescent light, the reproduction is close to what is seen with the naked eye. I was pleased that the shot could be taken with a shutter speed that gave no concerns for image stabilisation, without drastically increasing ISO sensitivity, as the lens has a large diameter.

I switched to macro mode on the X-Pro1 to take photos of some flowers. The aperture is adjusted without narrowing down greatly so that only the flower itself stands out. Usually with large-diameter lenses, near distance images do not turn out so well, but this lens reproduces images with perfect sharpness and contrast. During macro photography, changing the finder of the X-Pro1 itself to EVF will correctly frame images and check the focus.

This lens is great for taking around and about when walking in the streets. Images come out with a natural description because the lens does not have extreme perspectives and corrects distortion well. It also shows superb texture description performance when reproducing concrete, glass and other inorganic substance. The lens basically offers only a small change in performance with aperture adjustments but you only need to narrow down slightly to get amazing sharpness. It is the type of lens that can do anything.

Zoom lenses are flourishing these days. Single focal length lenses are sometimes taken lightly, but it is necessary to have a fixed angle that becomes your standard focal length.
It is important to know and acquire the telephoto lens, wide angle lens or any other interchangeable lens that is required according to your motif of preference or shooting conditions. Even when using a zoom lens, you will be able to see the different descriptions of various focal lengths by having a standard angle of view.
XF35mmF1.4 R plays the important role of the core of the XF lens series as an orthodox, standard large-diameter lens.

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