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RichardCFrost

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I think I know the answer but let me ask anyway. I have not bothered anyone on here for a while...

My son is wanting to get into photography and has identified the X-T20 as his body of choice. He did this ignorant of the fact I have an X-T10 by the way. He never asked me for advice, just did his own research. He lives in London and I don't, so sharing lenses is possible but not 100% convenient, given I see him around once every three months.

Anyway, my question is around which lens he should get. He wants the 18-55 and I have offered to loan him mine. It just occurred to me this morning though that he could consider the 16-55 and then we would not both have the same lens, or would not be attempting to share a single 18-55 lens. I haven't overlooked the option to gift him my 18-55 and buy a 16-55 for myself, by the way.

Whichever XF lens he gets would be his only one, although I may treat him to a Canon FD prime 50mm or 35mm if I can find one.

So how would you compare the two for general landscape, architecture and portrait use for a skilled amateur, bearing in mind it would be his only lens.

Thanks..

 

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Hi Richard, provided you yourself are happy to shoot with a non OIS lens, I think your son would benefit from that feature on the 18-55mm - after all he's probably used to shooting with a phone and not holding it too steadily. Of course, this happens to have the happy side benefit of you replacing it in your bag with the 16-55 f2.8. You could buy the 16-55 and then decide which to give him.

IMO, the 18-55 and a Canon FD prime lens would provide him with an excellent kit which will serve him well and also allow him to build a larger system should he feel it necessary.

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Thanks Vic. He’s actually a film maker. Started out with a Canon EOS but after Uni he has been using some very exotic Arri Alexa, Red and high end Sony and Canon kit. He wasn’t much into stills until he went to Japan this Spring and I loaned him my compact Canon G5X. This got him intrigued I think.

Looking at the price of the 16-55, I might just wait and see how things develop. For that sort of money I can buy a half decent synthesiser!

Has anyone any views on the relative strengths of the 18-55 and the 16-55, given they cover a very similar focal range? I get that the 16-55 has constant aperture but a friend with a Canon L series lenses tells me that this can compromise sharpness when fully open. I told him Fujinon lenses are second to none and walked away, smiling.

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I think the best way I can put it is to say that I've always been a prime user with zooms reserved for those times when we don't have time to change our position - holidays for instance when I would use zooms during the day out with my wife but primes early and late when I was out alone.

The 16-55mm f2.8 is the first standard zoom I've felt is not a compromise on IQ. Obviously it's not as fast max aperture as primes but for daytime photography it really is like having a bag full of primes in one lens. In fact its IQ is better than some Fuji primes at similar apertures. Its weight is its counter to OIS. The camera lens unit feels just right for steady shots given a proper grip. My 18-55 + XT20 is half the size and weight but is so light that it has more need of the OIS.

I have to shamefully admit that "the brick" as known in some circles it has made lazy and my primes have become almost "special purpose". The 16-55 is almost always attached to my XT2 and I just pick it up and go. Paired with the 90mm f2 zoom I have a dream team hard to beat and I couldn't wish for more to cover 95% of my shooting.

However, it is expensive, and whether it is worth the extra coinage is down to the individual and how closely you look at your pictures because the 18-55 is already a great lens. Few photographers actually need the 16-55mm f2.8 - but it is so nice to have.

One thing to consider is whether your son will be using it for video where the OIS is perhaps a necessity.

 

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I have to agree with Vic. I, too, have a 16-55 attached to an X-T2 which is my preferred combination for much of what I do - especially street/stock photography. It is a heavy lens and rather bulky but not nearly as weighty as the 24-70 Nikkor on a full frame Nikon which were my go-to options until I switched to the X-series. I've found it's a lens that easily matches its Nikkor equivalent in image quality.

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On 11/29/2017 at 5:16 PM, RichardCFrost said:

Bought him a vintage lens instead as a surprise.

So he's just getting into photography and you bought him an adaptive lens that won't AF? Why not buy an OM1 and a couple of rolls of film and be done with? (lol)

I really don't understand people suggesting a £650.00 (used) lens for someone who might not even take to stills photography. You could buy him an 18-55 and a 23mm f2 for less, then he'd have all the bases covered and the opportunity to see how he likes using a classic prime focal length (plus WR) vs a zoom.

Sorry if I sound a bit harsh... ;-)

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So are you saying that your son purchased the X-T20 without a lens or that he has decided to purchase the X-T20?

This thread sounds to me more like the OP justifying buying the 16-50 for himself on the basis that he gives his existing 18-55 to his son than anything else. Nothing wrong with that at all if the OP wants and can use the 16-50.

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21 hours ago, Arthur 666 said:

So he's just getting into photography and you bought him an adaptive lens that won't AF? Why not buy an OM1 and a couple of rolls of film and be done with? (lol)

I really don't understand people suggesting a £650.00 (used) lens for someone who might not even take to stills photography. You could buy him an 18-55 and a 23mm f2 for less, then he'd have all the bases covered and the opportunity to see how he likes using a classic prime focal length (plus WR) vs a zoom.

Sorry if I sound a bit harsh... ;-)

You obviously didn't read all the threads or you'd have seen this added information:

" He’s actually a film maker. Started out with a Canon EOS but after Uni he has been using some very exotic Arri Alexa, Red and high end Sony and Canon kit. He wasn’t much into stills until he went to Japan this Spring and I loaned him my compact Canon G5X. This got him intrigued I think. "

Apart from that, IMO, the best way for someone to learn photography is with a totally manual camera/lens before moving to automation. They at least have the benefit of instant results rather than waiting days or weeks to see how they went wrong or right. That is the best (and quickest) way to learn the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc and their effects not only in a technical sense but in the actual making of a picture.

The lack of such knowledge or realisation that it even exists contributes to the large number of very mediocre photographers that never really get past the point and shoot stage even shooting with expensive gear.  Modern cameras simply allow them to shoot the same s**t but at 20X the speed. :)

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On 16/12/2017 at 5:33 PM, Arthur 666 said:

So he's just getting into photography and you bought him an adaptive lens that won't AF? Why not buy an OM1 and a couple of rolls of film and be done with? (lol)

I really don't understand people suggesting a £650.00 (used) lens for someone who might not even take to stills photography. You could buy him an 18-55 and a 23mm f2 for less, then he'd have all the bases covered and the opportunity to see how he likes using a classic prime focal length (plus WR) vs a zoom.

Sorry if I sound a bit harsh... ;-)

Does sound a bit harsh actually. Have you read all the thread? And welcome to the forum by the way.

As Vic pointed out above, in my second post I explained he is a film maker. He actually has a degree in Film and TV Production. The lenses he has rented for those movie cameras are worth tens of thousands each. He is no novice.

He will be borrowing my 18-55 long term (as he lives in London and I live in Yorkshire). The manual lens is for exactly the reason Vic said, to learn how stills photography works and to appreciate the difference with movie work.

As for other comments, he can only afford the body so wanted to ask if I would help him buy a lens before he commited to this camera. Only then did he realise I have a Fuji too and we discussed lens sharing. I shall not be buying any new lenses but will make do without the 18-55 for a while. To be honest, if I want to do Auto stabilised shots, I’ll probably pull out my Canon G5X. I pretty much exclusively use vintage primes now on the Fuji. 

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Hi Richard, I did read the thread in its entirety. I apologise for having a pop at your post; the adaptive lens was obviously an inexpensive and well-meant gift, but as a demonstration of how stills differs from movie work (yours and Vics posts above) why not buy a Fuji lens? They all have aperture rings, can be set to manual focus and the camera to aperture priority.

Anyway, like you said... you knew the answer to the question even though you asked it. I'm sure he'll love the 18-55 (I once swapped one for the 16-55 and then swapped back again) - if he buys himself a 35mm 1.4, the two lenses would cover everything you mention in the original post.

Happy new year to everyone (just to prove I'm not a completely grumpy old git.)

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Hi @Arthur 666 and Happy New Year to you too. The reason I was considering alternatives to Fuji lenses is cost. The XF lenses  are great but are up to ten times the cost of a vintage prime lens.

And I didn't know the answer to my question, which was actually, to rephrase it, does the 16-55 duplicate the 18-55, what else do you get for the extra cost. Happily, Vic answered that question for me with a mini review of the lens in question.

So I have loaned my son my Helios 44-2 58mm f2..8, my XF18-55 and he has a Carl Zeiss Jena 28mm lens I got him for Christmas, giving him a walk around prime, a portrait and a zoom setup.

This leaves me without my main zoom. And that is my challenge. Do I do without or do I replace it, and if I replace it, what with. Right now, I carry my Canon G5X travel zoom camera for when I would have used the 18-55 and take primes with me to use on the Fuji.

I am definitely up for selling/trading my XF27 and XF55-200 as I hardly ever use these two. I have a modified (by me) Industar 28mm f2.8 prime on a tiny M39 adapter and I really don't do much telephoto work at all.

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