Fuji 10-24mm f/4 vs Fuji 23mm f/1.4
To compare the 10-24mm against the 23mm f/1.4, I thought it best to do two separate tests. The 35mm equivalent focal length is a useful one that is used for both landscape type work as well as more intimate shooting such as environmental portraiture and street shooting. For this reason, I did one test focused near infinity, and a second test (shooting only at f/4 to provide some background blur) with a focus distance of about 1m, to test closer performance.
Below is the full scene for the distance test. As with the 14mm test, only the lenses were changed on the tripod mounted camera.
Below are the 100% crops for the above image. Again, click to enlarge, then click on the green arrow to view full size.
Looking at the crops above, this one is a little more one-sided. The 10-24mm isn’t quite as strong at the long end of its range as it is at the wider end, and it shows here. The 23mm f/1.4 is notably sharper at f/4 and at f/8 both in the center and especially on the edges. The 10-24mm certainly creates a decent image here, but it’s no match for the outstanding 23mm f/1.4.
Now let’s look at closer performance. Below is the full shot for the close-shooting test:
And below are the 100% crops. Again, click to enlarge then click the green arrow to view full size:
Again, this is a decisive win for the 23mm f/1.4. The 23mm is slightly sharper in the center at f/4, but the 23mm f/1.4 is also sharp in the extreme corner at this aperture, while the 10-24mm just produces a soft mess. The 23mm also has much smoother bokeh at f/4 (in addition to having an extra 3 stops beyond this). In all, a clear victory for the 23mm.
Well, the results are largely how I expected them to play out. The 10-24mm is shaping up to be a very good ultra-wide zoom, but like most ultra-wide zooms, it’s not going to perform as well as a top-notch prime lens. To be fair, this is seriously stiff competition. The Fuji 14mm and 23mm are two of the best lenses in the X-System; both are among the best lenses in their range of any I’ve ever used. It’s unrealistic to expect a zoom with this range to match such great optics. That said, there is a lot to be said for convenience as well as versatility and the added capability of even further width with the 10-24mm. Come back soon for my full review of the 10-24mm, which should be ready in around a week.