Last week, I got a Fujinon XF 23mm f1.4 lens on loan from Fujifilm Middle East, which I took to New York. I do own the 27mm pancake lens (right in the image above), but have been hesitating to purchase the 27mm (left in image above) for a while.
What is below, is not going to be a full on review, but rather a practical look on how I used the lens for my street photography in New York city.
So why a 23mm prime?
Depending on who you speak to, scientists claim that humans see around a 24 to 35mm focal length. Given I shot the lens on a 1.5 cropped sensor, i.e. Fujifilm X-T1; the 23mm becomes a 35mm full frame equivalent.
The second one being the aperture ring, which is a little too loose for my liking. On more than one occasion I changed to aperture without knowing; not a showstopper but something to be aware about!
Overall I'm very impressed with the XF 23mm f1.4 lens. The metal lens feels top quality and creates outstanding image quality. It has the same "pull for manual focus" ring of the 14mm f2.8, which I'm a fan of! When pulling the ring backwards, a hyperlocal focus scale is exposed, something which is especially useful for street photography.
I had been playing with the idea of picking up an X-100T for my street photography, but this 23mm prime might do the same job!
One of the main advantages of the X-100 series, was the fact that one can shoot 100% silent. After the latest X-T1 firmware update, I can now do the same with the electronic shutter and this is exactly how I shot in New York!
Other settings I commonly use for Street photography are, black and white with the yellow filter, RAW or RAW+jpeg, Face detection ON, Auto ISO with a minimum shutter speed of 1/250s and a max ISO of 3200.
I used to shoot a lot in manual focus using the hyper-focal technique, but given the face detection auto-focus has become so good, I almost have completely given up on it!