Six Years with the Fujinon 10-24mm Wide Angle Zoom


Nearly six years ago in May 2014 I visited Park Cameras in London and purchased my first zoom lens for the Fujifilm X-Series, a XF10-24mm f4 wide angle.  This lens has been my constant companion when working on various projects over the years and I cannot fault the results that I get with this superb piece of glass.  

In 2019 Fujifilm launched the XF8-16mm f2.8 and as an X Photographer I have been asked on numerous occasions why I haven't bought the wider and faster zoom and sold the 10-24mm.  Well, in this feature I will explain my reasons.

Arctic Tern Attack, Isle of May, Scotland
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/1600s @ f5.6 ISO200 - focal length 10mm

BACKGROUND
In April 2014 I bought the Fujifilm X-T1 to go alongside my X-Pro1 and X100 that I had been using since 2012.  It was then I decided to move completely to Fujifilm, selling all of my full frame Nikon gear by August of that year.  

There were two lenses in the Nikon range that I had to replace as closely as possible and that was my Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8 wide angle and the 70-200mm f2.8 short telephoto  zooms.  Fujifilm launched the 10-24mm  (with an equivalent focal length of 15-36mm) in 2014 and the 50-140mm f2.8 (75-210mm) followed in 2015. 

Paternoster Square, London - The first image taken on the new XF10-24 f4 lens - 23 May 2014
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/480s @ f8 ISO200 - focal length 10mm
So on the 23rd May 2014 I visited Park Cameras in London while on my way to the launch of the Nissan LMP1 race car that would race at Le Mans the following season and I bought the 10-24mm f4.  I walked to the launch venue, taking in some of the sights of London to give it a good test on the X-T1 (see image above).

NOT JUST FOR LANDSCAPES
A lot of photographers think the 10-24mm is primarily for landscapes but I bought the 10-24mm as an all round, general purpose lens for landscape, sport and automotive, with a bit of wildlife photography as well.

As you can see from the sample images below I have shot a wide variety of subjects with this lens over the past six years and it really does excel.

Gannets Fishing off Bass Rock, Firth of Forth, Scotland
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/3800 @ f4 ISO800 - focal length 10mm

Racing Team Nederland Pitstop - 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans
Fujifilm X-T2 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/1000s @ f5.6 ISO400 - focal length 10.5mm

LENS PERFORMANCE
The 10-24mm wears it's XF badge with pride and the optical performance of the lens is excellent.  I have found that at f4 at 10mm the performance in the corner of the frame to be a bit iffy but dropping down to f5.6, or zooming in a bit, cures that problem instantly.

From day one I wish the aperture ring was marked with the f stop numbers, this is a constant aperture zoom after all.  It is a minor pain-in-the-neck that I have learned to live with over the years, but it would be nice to just look down at the lens and instantly see the aperture setting as I would with the 16-55mm f2.8 or 50-140mm f2.8.

The AF performance is OK, not as good as some of the newer lenses, but it is fast enough when working in the pitlane with the lens fitted to the X-T3 or X-H1.  It locks on quickly in AF-S, or follows the subject in AF-C, without any issues.

The 10-24mm isn't weather resistant (WR). I have used it in some very wet and dusty conditions without any problems but with suitable precautions taken to protect the lens and the camera, such as covers.

One thing that became apparent early on when using this lens with filters is the white writing on the front can be reflected in the back of the filter in certain light.  This is a problem we have raised with Fujifilm on numerous occasions but the simple solution I have adapted is to use a black permanent marker and overwrite the white lettering - problem solved!

2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship - 8 Hours of Bahrain
Fujifilm X-H1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/125s @f5 ISO200 -  focal length 10mm

WHY DOES THE 10-24mm HAVE OIS?
In the summer of 2015 I was invited by Fujifilm to become an official X Photographer and in October of that year I went for a meeting at Fujifilm HQ in Tokyo with three of my fellow X Photographers. We were asked about how we used the X Series and what we wanted to see Fujifilm develop in the future.  This was the meeting that the 200mm f2 was first requested, but that story is for another feature in the coming weeks.  

One of the questions I asked my Japanese colleagues was why they fitted an Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) system to the 10-24mm when at such short focal lengths camera shake is not usually a problem, unless you as using very long shutter speeds and then a tripod or other support would come into play.  I said that removing the OIS and putting in an f2.8 aperture would be the way to go in my professional opinion (8-16mm f2.8 anyone?).  They did give me an answer, which was they thought it was necessary on a zoom lens with a relatively slow maximum shutter speed.

However, fast forward a couple of years from that 2015 meeting, and now that I now shoot a lot of video with the X-T3, the OIS on the 10-24mm is a real plus point for hand held video, it really helps reduce the camera shake. I do have an X-H1 in addition to the X-T3, and I have an X-T4 on order, and with their IBIS systems this isn't such an issue as it was when I first started shooting video for clients. 

Barns Ness Lighthouse, East Lothian, Scotland
Fujifilm X-H1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 170sec @ f14 ISO250 - focal length 10mm

WHY HAVE I KEPT THE 10-24mm AND NOT BOUGHT THE 8-16mm f2.8
When I first saw the prototype 8-16mm lens in Tokyo in Autumn 2018 I was immediately disappointed by the domed front element which made the use of filters extremely difficult and impossible for me to use my current set of Firecrests and Lee 100mm slot ins.

I have used the 8-16mm and it is a fantastic lens.  I was tempted by the faster f2.8 aperture and significantly wider focal length but for my work the 10-24mm was still the lens of choice.  

For video the 10-24mm had the OIS, it is physically a much smaller lens and I could use my existing filter set up without having to buy a new filter holder and extra large 150mm filters, which meant another significant investment and then issues with transporting the filters.  

For me the positives offered by the 8-16mm didn't outweigh the negatives, but that was just for the way I work and I know several photographers who love their XF8-16mm f2.8.

CONCLUSION
The 10-24mm f4 has been a great investment and has made me a lot more money than it cost for me to buy it back in 2014.  And, as a working photographer, that is the main point of owning any piece of equipment. It is also a lens that is always in my camera bag on whatever assignment I happen to be on and I can't remember a time I haven't used it at least once while on location.

In 2019 I was asked by my colleagues at Fujifilm what I would like to see in the future and I did say an upgraded 10-24mm f4 would be nice, with weather resistance built in.  We will see.

There are 272 sample images taken on the XF10-24mm f4 in an album on the MacLean Photographic FLICKR gallery HERE

Speeding Taxi, Tokyo, Japan
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/8s @ f4 ISO640 - focal length 10mm
Worshippers at Senso-Ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/320s @ f6.4 ISO400 - focal length 10mm
Cove Harbour, Scottish Borders, Scotland
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/20s @ f5.6 ISO200 - focal length 12mm

Porsche 911 Turbo S Road Trip
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/950s @ f5.6 ISO200 - focal length 12mm

Porsche 911 Turbo S Road Trip
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/9s @ f11 ISO200 - focal length 10mm

Porsche 911 Turbo S Road Trip
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/60s @ f8 ISO200 - focal length 10mm

Porsche 911 Turbo S Road Trip
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/480s @ f8 ISO200 - focal length 22.9mm

Calanais Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 110sec @ f22 ISO200 - focal length 10mm

Barns Ness Lighthouse, East Lothian, Scotland
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF10-24mm f4 - 300sec @ f8 ISO400 - focal length 15.9mm

Mount Fuji Sunset, Japan
Fujifilm X-T3 + XF10-24mm f4 - 480sec @ f6.4 ISO640 - focal length 10mm

Arvreck Castle, Loch Assynt, Scotland
Fujifilm X-T2 + XF10-24mm f4 - 4sec @ f22 ISO200 - focal length 10mm
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/60s @ f4 ISO2500 - focal length 11mm
Barns Ness Lighthouse, East Lothian, Scotland
Fujifilm X-H1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 240sec @ f5.6 ISO800 - focal length 10mm

The Rocks of Fast Castle, Scottish Borders, Scotland
Fujifilm X-T2 + XF10-24mm f4 - 480sec @ f8 ISO400 - focal length 24mm

Barns Ness Lighthouse, East Lothian, Scotland
Fujifilm X-H1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/4s @ f22 ISO100 - focal length 14.5mm

Bass Rock, East Lothian, Scotland
Fujifilm X-T2 + XF10-24mm f4 - 480sec @ f13 ISO100 - focal length 10.5mm
The Rockhopper of Percuel Fishing Boat, North Sea, Scotland
Fujifilm X-H1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/50s @ f11 ISO200 - focal length 11mm

Waterway Sunset, Shanghai, China
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/550s @ f5.6 ISO400 - focal length 10mm

2014 FIA World Endurance Championship - 6 Hours of Shanghai, China
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 20sec @ f11 ISO200 - focal length 10mm

2014 FIA World Endurance Championship - 6 Hours of Shanghai, China
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 90sec @ f9 ISO200 - focal length 10mm

2015 FIA World Endurance Championship - 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium - Eau Rouge
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/350s @ f14 ISO200 - focal length 10mm

2015 European Le Mans Series - 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring, Austria - Charlie Robertson
Fujifilm X-T10 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/1300s @ f5 ISO200 - focal length 13.2mm

2015 European Le Mans Series - 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring, Austria - Burn Outs
Fujifilm X-T10 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/2000s @ f5 ISO200 - focal length 24mm


British Eventing, Forgandenny, Perthshire, Scotland
Fujifilm X-T2 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/50s @ f14 ISO100 - focal length 12mm

Powerboat Racing, Greenock, Scotland
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/640s @ f4 ISO200 - focal length 10mm

2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship - 1000 Miles of Sebring (USA)
Fujifilm X-T3 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/20s @f22 ISO80 - focal length 10.5mm

2019 Rally de Asturias Histórico (ESP)
Fujifilm X-H1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/30s @ f9 ISO200 - focal length 10.5mm

2019 24 Hours of Le Mans - no98 Aston Martin Racing
Fujifilm X-H1 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/30s @ f16 ISO200 - focal length 17.4mm

2019 European Le Mans Series - Circuit Paul Ricard
Fujifilm X-T3 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/30s @ f22 ISO125 - focal length 11.5mm

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Pitlane
Fujifilm X-T3 + XF10-24mm f4 - 1/100s @ f11 ISO400 - focal length 10mm

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