In the news today: Flemming Bo Jensen writes second gear post in a week, pigs are flying, hell just froze over and Trump is president. Unfortunately at least one of these are true. I am way behind on blogging about this lovely gear though, so here are more flying pigs and my thoughts on the Zeiss 12mm F2.8 wide angle lens that I was able to use for a few weeks the past summer.
Wery Wide (geddit!) – my thoughts on the Zeiss 12mm F2.8
I truly love the Fujinon 16mm lens, but sometimes it is just not wide enough. I have used the Samyang 12mm before which I liked. The past summer, specifically for Roskilde Festival 2017, I was able to borrow the Zeiss 12mm F2.8 lens from Fujifilm Denmark. The 12mm delivers a 99 degree angle of view compared to 83.2 degrees for the 16mm. It makes a difference if you have to stand really close to stuff and need a wreally wery wide wiew (I am a comedian!) I love shooting wide angle shots and use the 16mm at least 75% of the time. But there are certain situations where I need something wider and apart from the fish-eye lenses, 12mm is the widest available for the Fujifilm X-cameras. When I can, I prefer the 16mm view, 12mm is pretty darn distorted. But at times, there is no way to move back from where I am standing. I could be looking at a crowd of tens of thousands and I am standing right smack in front of them. Or standing in a tiny DJ Booth and there is no space to move. In these situations, the 12mm is the only way to get the shot. Do read the captions in the pictures below for more specific comments.
- The picture quality is great, very nice contrast and colours.
- The lens hood is of course as big as the lens. I did not bother to bring it.
- The distortion is really low considering how crazy wide 12mm is, but still, best keep those subjects in the center. Take a look at my pictures below and see how reasonably straight most lines in the pictures actually are, not bad at all.
- The lens is compact and light weight, just the way I like my lenses.
- Autofocus works fine and the focus ring is really good for manual focusing.
- The aperture ring, at least on the one I used, is so loose I had to duct tape it to F2.8 as it kept rotating!
I can live with that though, but…
- Even worse is the darn focus ring. It is super loose and my big hands and fingers constantly knocked the focus around in the heat of the action. More than one shot ended up way out of focus (even for me and I like out of focus shots) because that darn focus ring has a life of it’s own.
The Zeiss 12mm F2.8 is a fine wide angle lens with the exception of the super loose aperture and focus rings. That is a huge minus to me. Maybe it was just the loaner copy I had, but it sucked. I would not mind using this lens again and just be very careful of the focus ring, but quite honestly, I am holding out for that rumoured Fujinon 8-16mm ultra wide angle zoom lens. If you want a compact wery wide wide-angle lens with autofocus though, do try the Zeiss 12mm.