This past weekend, I pulled the trigger and ordered the Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8 R lens. The $400 instant rebate brought the price down to within $100 of the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower 14mm manual focus lens, which is what I had originally planned to order. The rebate kind of made choosing the Fuji lens a no-brainer.
As is typical of my reviews, this will not be highly technical. I'll provide a few pictures from my first outing, and share my impressions or the lens.
I ordered the lens on Sunday evening, and Adorama had it to me by Tuesday, in time for Donna and I to run up to Gettysburg for a few pictures. I was a bit later getting home from work than I wanted to be, and so we got up there almost too late to get many shots in.
Typical of Fujifilm XF-series lenses, the construction of this lens is substantial, and features a lot of metal, which feels really good in the hand. Like most Fuji fixed-focal length lenses, there's a real, marked aperture ring. The focusing ring operates fairly smoothly, but is a little looser than what I'm used to. It also slides in-and-out to enable or disable the focus control. With the appropriate in-camera settings, the focus ring can override autofocus, allowing use of autofocus to get close, and then use the focus ring for fine-focusing.
Like all Fuji lenses, images are sharp and chromatic aberrations are quite well controlled, and there's impressively little distortion, especially considering just how wide this lens is. The images from the 14mm in this review were processed in Lightroom from raw files, and I did not use any lens profiles during the processing. In Lightroom, I could not see any difference between the JPEG and raw images as far as distortion is concerned.
Back in the days when I was still shooting film, I always wanted a 20mm lens. Now, shooting an APS-C sensor with a 1.5x "crop factor", a 14mm lens has an angle-of-view similar to a 21mm lens. This a great focal length for grand landscapes. And, so far it appears to behave similarly to the Nikkor 20mm f/2.8, so it can be used for interesting environmental portraits as well.
I also used the Hipstamatic Pinhole Snappak for some pictures. Here are a few images from both: