Following in the footsteps of the other high quality zoom lenses in the Fuji lens lineup, the 10-24mm f/4 is a very solid performer when it comes to image sharpness. The lens particularly excels at the wide and middle regions in the zoom range. When shot at the widest focal lengths, the lens starts out with very good central image sharpness and passable borders. Stopping down to f/8 yields images that are quite sharp corner to corner. This level of performance continues through to about 18mm. Beyond 20mm, the lens does take a bit of a hit. While the center and most of the image frame is still outstanding, the borders and corners can’t quite keep up. Overall, one of the best performances by an ultra-wide zoom lens that I’ve had the pleasure to use.
With that said, the 10-24mm can’t quite reach the truly outstanding resolution provided by the Fuji 14mm f/2.8 and 23mm f/1.4, though I don’t think most rational photographers would expect an ultra-wide zoom to match these lenses.
An f/4 ultra-wide zoom isn’t going to be a lens that you typically use to provide high levels of subject isolation, though it is possible to produce a bit of a blurred background at the long end of the zoom. While it’s possible to blur out the background some with the 10-24mm, it’s not a lens that produces a particularly pleasing out of focus rendering. The bokeh of the 10-24mm is relatively nervous and produces some harsh outlining on finer details that are out of focus.
Color, Contrast and Chromatic Aberration
The Fuji 10-24mm f/4 OIS produces images with high contrast and rich color at all apertures and throughout the focal range. When using a lens like this, landscape, travel and architectural photography come to mind, and the 10-24mm has a contrast curve that suits those applications.
The 10-24mm controls lateral chromatic aberration very well. There is a very small amount of CA visible at the edges of the frame upon close inspection, though you really need to look for it to see it. As with most minor CA, it can be cleaned up extremely easily in your postprocessing workflow.
Distortion, Flare and Vignetting
The Fuji 10-24mm turns in a pretty nice performance when it comes to distortion control for an ultra-wide zoom. While some other reviews I’ve seen have noted some rather significant barrel distortion at the wide end, I have to say I saw only minor barrel distortion at the wide end in my shooting, even when shooting in tight city alleys. In the mid-range of 14-20mm, distortion is negligible. I found the pincushion distortion present at the longer end of the zoom to be more objectionable than the barrel distortion at the wide end.
The 10-24mm generally works fairly well against strong light sources, especially at the wide end of the zoom range. Even shooting into the sun, contrast loss is minimal and ghosting artifacts are almost entirely absent at the wide end. Zooming more towards the long end of the zoom range does show an increase in flare artifacts. At the long end, some ghosting and minor contrast loss is visible in images with very bright light sources in the frame, as shown on the image to the left, though overall this still isn’t a bad performance.
The 10-24mm also controls vignetting quite well, as only minor corner darkening is visible at f/4 and 10mm, and is virtually invisible at 24mm and f/4. Nothing to worry about here.