Fuji vs Fuji? Battle of the 23mm

When I first left Canon for Fuji I worried about their dedicated lens selection, both optically and limitations, at the time they only had 11 lenses (now 13) on the market. Luckily I came around the time they developed two of my most loved focal lengths, the 35mm and 85mm (FF equivalent). The issue of lens availability quickly disappeared, as they were the only two focal lengths I NEEDED. Fuji has an insane 56mm f/1.2 and and equally stunning 23mm f1.4, I was sold on both lenses and couldn't wait to pick them up.

Photograph via FujivsFuji

Photograph via FujivsFuji

Unfortunately the switch was a bit to expensive, when I sold my Canon 6D and my Rokinon 35mm, and 85mm the amount of money I had could only afford me the X-T1 and some vintage glass. I love shooting vintage for my personal work but I was a bit discouraged when it came to shooting commissioned jobs.

As time went by I had more time to research, the 56mm f/1.2 was an obvious lens to purchase, optically it was on par with some of the 85mm greats, cosmetically it was beautiful and the price point was perfect, especially when compared to the market.

But it was the 23mm that put me in a tough position, Fuji only offers one 23mm, it's f/1.4 and it's a beauty. It creates great images, and it's big and heavy. The exact opposite of everything I ever wanted. When I switched to Fuji I really had my personal work factored in, I wanted a small, light, less obtrusive approach to street photography, but something that would also yield great image quality when it came to professional shoots. The X-T1 did this, but the 23mm was massive, DSLR size almost, it wasn't meant to be carried around... Maybe it was, but it's not what I had in mind when I made the switch.

This halted my decision, I started to do some research and came across the 27mm f/2.8 lens, but the lack of sharpness and manual aperture control turned me off. It was then when I noticed the x100T was releasing, I've always wanted an x100 series camera, and for $400 more I could not only have the 35mm focal length, but an extra body as well. I thought about the decision and wanted to make sure that two bodies were ideal for me, the idea of picking which camera to use seemed stressful, I didn't want to make any regretful decisions when I left the house.

On Christmas Eve I visited my girlfriends family, apart of me wanted to bring my equipment, but I didn't want to be extra, nor did I want to carry my huge camera backpack around if I wasn't sure I'd be using it... I never take my camera out without it, in case it rains or whatever. I thought if I had the x100T then I could have just thrown the camera in my coat pocket, and if an opportunity presented itself then I could photograph, and if not then no big deal. But I didn't want to spend $1299 just for the convenience. If I purchased the x100T I wanted to see how it fit in with my workflow, I need it to have dual purpose, both for my business side of photography and the hobby aspect of things. Carrying 2 bodies could be convenient though, at least for my type of work, I could have one body with the 23mm lens and the X-T1 with the 56mm... It made sense, and I thought it could honestly speed things up considering these are the only 2 focal lengths I regularly use.

After this I thought my decision would be made, but then I went back to the XF mount lens, the 1.4 the 23mm lens offered made the decision tough, the x100T would only offer f/2, which isn't a huge difference, but it's enough to get me to think. 

Ultimately I the x100T won, for more reasons than its image quality. The idea of having 2 bodies really was the decision factor. As small as my X-T1 is compared to my DSLR it's still cumbersome and a load to carry around at events or family gatherings. I feel less involved in those type of settings, I just feel like the photographer. With the x100T it's a totally different experience, I can take my camera with me everyday, and not feel hindered when it comes to participating in normal activities. It will allow me to shoot a lot more, since I'll never leave home without it. For those looking at the 23mm f/1.2, well it's a great lens, if you can't afford the x100T then I would definately go this route.