11
Jun
2013

Zeiss Touit vs. Fujinon XF

 photo h_zpsf1fc641f.jpg

SUPER DEAL: buy the 32 and 12 Zeiss lenses, and save $800 at BHphoto here and at Adorama here.

by Rico Pfirstinger

Talk to Rico (open forum for questions & feedback)Rico’s Flickr sets – Touit 1.8/32 samplesTouit 2.8/12 samplesTouit vs. Fujinon comparative samples (Flickr Guest Pass) – Mastering the Fujifilm X-Pro1 reading samples (65 free pages)

DSCF7781 - f/2
Carl Zeiss Touit 1.8/32, Fujifilm X-E1 (ISO 200, f/2, 1/1200s), RAW, Lightroom 5, DxO FilmPack 4

Why would a business-savvy lens manufacturer like Carl Zeiss decide to introduce two prime lenses for X-Mount cameras that compete head-to-head with already existing, smaller and cheaper Fujinon offerings, while at the same time ignoring obvious gaps like a fast 23mm lens?

It’s a Sony

The answer is: they wouldn’t. And they didn’t! The new Zeiss Tout 1.8/32mm and 2.8/12mm prime lenses are quite obviously targeted at customers of Sony’s NEX camera system. They perfectly fit into Sony’s current lens lineup, and their design is pretty much in line with the sleek NEX appearance. A fast 23 mm lens to satisfy the cravings of the X-Mount crowd? No such luck, because Zeiss and Sony already offer such a lens (a 1.8/24) for NEX. This is apparently all about what Sony NEX customers want and need.

 
DSCF7301 - f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Touit 2.8/12, Fujifilm X-E1 (ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/480s), RAW, Lightroom 4.4

So the X-Mount versions of the Touit lenses were clearly one of those “me too” decisions. But why did Fuji go along with it and invite a formidable competitor like Carl Zeiss into their home, not only offering full technical support and cooperation, but even co-marketing the Touit lenses? I know the real answer but don’t want to spill the beans just yet, so let’s just say that Fujifilm is making money with each X-Mount Touit lens that’s sold. They also like the Zeiss brand’s premium image and the resulting image transfer to the Fuji brand. After all, Panasonic also loves to put a Leica logo on their cameras and MFT lenses.

That said, the Zeiss “me too” attitude also brings about some issues. While form usually follows function, it’s a bit of the opposite with the two X-Mount versions of the Touit lenses. Let’s compare both versions:

It’s hard to overlook the ergonomic differences: NEX lenses don’t need aperture rings, so there’s plenty of room for a broad manual focus ring. To contribute to the sleek overall design, the ring is smoothly rubber-coated and doesn’t stick out from the casing of the lens. That’s great for NEX users, but not so great for X-Mount users, as “our” versions of the lenses have two much more narrow function rings: one for manual focus and one to select the aperture. They are also hard to “feel and find”, as they don’t stick out, and the rubber surface is as smooth as the surrounding casing:

Here’s the XF35mmF1.4 R with its traditional, ripped aperture and focus rings:

It’s pretty much the same situation with the Touit 2.8/12 and the XF14mmF2.8 R lenses:

So before we discuss build quality, features and IQ, you should be aware of the conceptual differences between Zeiss Touit and Fujinon XF lenses: With the Touits, you get a “designed for NEX” product that happens to also be available in an adapted X-Mount version.

DSCF7456 - f/1.8
Carl Zeiss Touit 1.8/32, X-E1 (ISO 200, f/1.8, 1/900s), SOOC JPEG (Astia)

Specifications, Weight and Size

Let’s have a quick look at the specs of the new lenses–and their legacy counterparts from Fujinon:

Touit 1.8/32XF35mmF1.4 R
Touit 2.8/12XF14mmF2.8 R

The focus range of both wide-angle lenses starts at 18 cm, and the minimum focus distance of the “standard” 35 mm / 32 mm lenses is 28 cm (Fujinon) and 30 cm (Zeiss), respectively. However, the Zeiss lenses are both bulkier and heavier, especially if you attach the included lens hoods. Here are a few pics I took during my testing that help illustrate those differences:

35 mm / 32 mm:

14 mm / 12 mm:

It becomes obvious that the Zeiss Touit lenses are bulkier than their Fujinon counterparts. X-Pro1 users might also worry about how usable the Touits are in concert with the OVF (optical viewfinder) of their camera, as the lenses (and lens hoods) were apparently designed for cameras with EVFs (electronic viewfinders), where size matters less, because the lens barrel and hood cannot obstruct the user’s field of view when he’s framing a shot.

Build Quality

Like their siblings from Fujinon, the Zeiss Touit lenses are made in Japan and solidly built, though the rubber-coated aperture and focus rings of the Touits are sensitive to sharp and pointy objects. You can leave a permanent mark by simply by pressing your fingernails into the rubber. As I already mentioned, the ergonomics of the aperture and focus rings are somewhat questionable due to the choice of materials and design—at least for users who shoot in aperture priority mode and like to change their aperture setting quickly and frequently.

The aperture ring of the 2.8/12 is considerably “looser” than the ring of the 1.8/32, and I couldn’t make out any differences in resistance between full and intermediate (1/3 EV) clicks. That said, neither lens looks, feels or handles “cheaply”, and there’s a nice blue Zeiss logo on both sides of each Touit lens that you can use to brag and show off if you feel like it. ;) I mean, that’s why most people buy their Leicas, isn’t it?

OVF Compatibility

X-Pro1 users will be glad to hear that both Touit lenses can be used in concert with the X-Pro1′s optical viewfinder (OVF), though there are certain limitations. At 99° (diagonal) / 89° (horizontal) / 66° (vertical), the field of view (FOV) of the 2.8/12 is too large for the OVF (which barely fits the Fujinon XF 14mmF2.8 R), so you will only see a portion of what’s actually recorded. However, the camera does automatically recognize the focal length and will display parallax-corrected AF frames.

Of course, the 1.8/32 also works with the X-Pro1. However, the OVF always initializes in its wide-angle position (which is optimized for Fuji’s 18 mm prime), so you have to press and hold the viewfinder selector lever for a few seconds to manually switch the OVF to its higher magnification level, which is optimized for focal lengths of 35 mm and higher. But no worries, the magnified OVF then works just fine with the 32 mm focal length of the Zeiss Touit lens.

Due to their size, both Touits block a larger portion of the OVF’s field of view than their Fujinon counterparts. However, I found the Touit 1.8/32 still quite usable when looking through the optical viewfinder, even when its lens hood was attached. Due to its FOV limitations, the Touit 2.8/12 is best used with an EVF, anyway.

DSCF7812 – f/2
Carl Zeiss Touit 1.8/32, Fujifilm X-E1 (ISO 200, f/2, 1/1400s), SOOC JPEG, Alien Skin Exposure 5

Firmware, Features and AF

The Touit X-Mount versions do not offer any special features. Both lenses are of the acquainted focus-by-wire type and offer no optical image stabilization. Unlike Fuji’s 14 mm prime, the Touit 2.8/12 has no switchable focus ring and no engraved DOF scale. There’s some good news in this, though: Neither the X-E1 nor the X-Pro1 require firmware upgrades to fully support the X-Mount Touit lenses.

The Touit lenses house conventional AF motor drives, not the fast and silent linear motors that were built into Fujinon’s current XF zooms. The AF speed performance of the Touit 2.8/12 lags a little bit behind the XF14mmF2.8 R lens, while the AF performance of the Touit 1.8/32 and XF35mmF1.4 R appear to be on par.

Now what?

Comparing the respective Fujinon and Zeiss offerings based on price, features, speed, weight, size and ergonomics, it’s hard to imagine anyone choosing the 1.8/32 mm over the less expensive, lighter, smaller and more ergonomic XF35mmF1.4 R—or the 2.8/12 over the XF14mmF2.8 R with its innovative manual focus ring and analog DOF scale.

Of course, we all know that this ain’t the entire story. For starters, there is an actual difference between the field of view of a 12 mm and a 14 mm lens. In full-frame terms, it’s the same difference as between an 18 mm and a 21 mm lens.

14 mm (SOOC JPEG):

12 mm (SOOC JPEG):

So if you happen to love 12 mm, but wouldn’t know what to do with 14 mm, the Touit will be the right lens for you. As for 32 mm vs. 35 mm, there’s a slight FOV difference, as well:

35 mm (SOOC JPEG):

32 mm (SOOC JPEG):

Choosing either the Zeiss or the Fujinon option eventually boils down to image quality. In order to be worth the higher price (and to justify the extra weight and size), the Touits should be optically superior. If they are not, all you get for your extra money is that blue Zeiss label to brag about. ;)

At Close Range

If I had to identify one area where the Touit 1.8/32 is clearly superior to the XF35mmF1.4 R, it would be close range and macro shots at open aperture. For the following illustration, I manually focussed both lenses to their respective minimal focal distance, set the aperture to f/1.8 and closed in on the center of my cancerogenous subject until the 10x magnifier tool of the X-E1 showed it in perfect focus.

Here’s the Touit 1.8/32 at f/1.8:

And here’s the XF35mmF1.4 R, also at f/1.8:

Click on the images to access my comparative set of images with a Flickr Guest Pass.

At close distances and open aperture, the Zeiss Touit is clearly sharper than the Fujinon, in the center and even more so near the edges.

Here’s how it looks like stopped down to f/5.6:

Touit 1.8/32 at f/5.6:

XF35mmF1.4 R, also at f/5.6:

As is to be expected, stopping down the lenses levels the playing field. As far as bokeh is concerned, most people seem to prefer the Fuji rendering.

Here’s another example to illustrate sharpness and bokeh at two different aperture settings.

Touit 1.8/32 at f/1.8:
DSCF7476 - f/1.8 (Touit)

XF35mmF1.4 R at f/1.8:
DSCF7477 - f/1.8 (Fuji)

Touit 1.8/32 at f/7.1:
DSCF7478 - f/7.1 (Touit)

XF35mmF1.4 R at f/7.1:
DSCF7479 - f/7.1 (Fuji)

Since bokeh is mostly a matter of personal preference, I’m not going to comment much on it. See for yourselves and make up your own minds.

With increasing focus distance, both Fujinons render the scenes at least at sharp as their Zeiss counterparts. When you are pixel peeping through the sample sets, there’s an interesting observation to me made: While the Fujinons are at their best and sharpest at typical “sweet spot” apertures between 5,6 and 8, both Touits perform best with only slightly stopped down apertures.

Speaking of apertures, the blur circles in the following sample images help illustrate the shape of the Touits’ aperture diaphragm:

Touit 1.8/32 (f/8, SOOC JPEG):
DSCF7453 - f/8

Touit 2.8/12 (f/8, SOOC JPEG):
DSCF7464 - f/8

Here are two SOOC portrait samples, shot with identical exposure settings at f/2. One was photographed with the Touit 1.8/32, one with the XF35mm1.4 R. Can you immediately tell which one is which…?

Distortion Correction

Neither the XF35mmF1.4 R nor the XF14mmF2.8 R apply any digital distortion correction, as these lenses are optically corrected. With the Touits, it’s a different story: Both the 2.8/12 and the 1.8/32 rely on digital correction and embed the lens correction profiles in the metadata of the RAW files. Compatible RAW converters (such Adobe Lightroom/ACR, Apple Camera RAW, Silkypix/RAW File Converter EX or Capture One) can read and interpret these embedded profiles and automatically apply the appropriate digital corrections to the image.

DSCF7510 - f/8
Carl Zeiss Touit 2.8/12, Fujifilm X-E1 (ISO 200, f/8, 1/250s), RAW / Capture One Pro, no distortion correction.

In order to study the scope of such corrections, it’s best to load the RAW files into Capture One and process the image twice: once with 100% and once with 0% of applied distortion correction. Here’s an example:

Touit 2.8/12 without digital distortion correction:

Touit 2.8/12 with digital distortion correction:

As you can see, a portion of the image area is cut off because of the correction. Since digital correction is digitally stretching and interpolating parts of the image near corners and edges, it always results in a (slight) loss of image quality. Here’s another example, taken with the Touit 1.8/32 lens…

Touit 1.8/32 without digital distortion correction:

Touit 1.8/32 with digital distortion correction:

The latest versions of Adobe Lightroom and ACR include dedicated lens profiles for both Touit lenses, but those were made for users of the NEX versions. Don’t apply them to your Fuji shots, or you will over-correct an already corrected image.

Touit? Or don’t Touit?

That is the question, isn’t it? And the answer is a tricky one! At least one thing is clear: If you already own an XF35mmF1.4 R or XF14mmF2.8, there’s no need to spend serious money on making the switch to Zeiss. If you Touit, you won’t get lenses that are categorically better—just different.

What are those differences? Apart from price, bulk, design and ergonomics, there’s also a difference in the optical characteristics: While the Zeiss lenses are at their best and sharpest at low aperture numbers, the Fujinons are more conventional and will deliver optimal results at moderate apertures like 5.6 or 8. And while the Touit 1.8/32 shines at close range even when shot wide open, the XF35mmF1.4 delivers stunning overall detail at moderate ranges to infinity. Of course, you’ll only have a chance of actually recognizing these subtle differences when you look at test shots taken with a tripod at 100% magnification. For “normal” shooting (especially at higher ISOs), this discussion is largely irrelevant, and when the push comes to shove, the faster XF35mmF1.4 R may give you just that extra speed you need to crisply nail a shot instead of motion blurring it. Real life and lab shots often don’t mix well.

Also, don’t forget colors, contrast and bokeh. Touits and Fujinons are somewhat different in that regard, as well. Most people I have spoken to seem to like the softer bokeh of the XF35mmF.14 R better than the more punchy one of the Touit 1.8/32. However, these are questions of personal taste and what specific application the lens is supposed to perform. It’s not about “good” or “bad”, it’s rather about qualities that make up the identity and character of a specific lens.

On the other hand, some of those character differences are less pronounced than one might think. Looking at the (cropped) SOOC JPEG shots below (taken at f/10, 1/100s), can you immediately tell which one was taken with a Touit and a Fujinon?

Make up your own mind! I have established full-size image sample sets on Flickr for both lenses. Here’s a link to the 1.8/32 set, and here’s one to the 2.8/12 set. I have also created a set with comparative image samples (including the Fujinons) that you can inspect with a Flickr Guest Pass. Just click here to get there right away.

This little column cost me more than 30 unpaid hours to create, so I appreciate your consideration of my book (see links below). It’s the only reimbursement I can possibly get, as I am not receiving any kind of participation from ads, ref-links or whatnot on this site.

[ADMIN: SUPER DEAL: buy the 32 and 12 Zeiss lenses, and save $800 at BHphoto here and at Adorama here.]

And to all the EXR fans waiting for my “article of articles” that unveils the inner working of Fujifilm’s EXR sensor: I haven’t forgotten about you.

By the way, did you catch the news about the organic image sensor Fujifilm and Panasonic are bringing to market? If not, here’s a link to the official press release. I expect actual digital cameras to feature this sensor design within 18-24 months from now.

For your convenience, here’s a TOC with links to my previous X-PERT CORNER articles:

Rico Pfirstinger studied communications and has been working as journalist, publicist, and photographer since the mid-80s. He has written a number of books on topics as diverse as Adobe PageMaker and sled dogs, and produced a beautiful book of photographs titled Huskies in Action (German version). He has spent time working as the head of a department with the German Burda-Publishing Company and served as chief editor for a winter sports website. After eight years as a freelance film critic and entertainment writer in Los Angeles, Rico now lives in Germany and devotes his time to digital photography and compact camera systems. His book “Mastering the FUJIFILM X-Pro1” (Kindle Edition) (Apple iBook Store) (German version) is available on Amazon and offers a plethora of tips, secrets and background information on successfully using Fuji’s X-Pro1 and X-E1 system cameras, lenses and key accessories.

  • Adamant

    This will almost certainly be the definitive comparison between these lenses. Extremely well-done.

  • Joe

    Hi, if I remember correctly, I read on Sean Reid’s website that Fuji does software correction on their 18, and 35 by default, you need to open in Lightroom and uncheck and certain flag. I don’t have access to his site and cannot verify.

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      The 18 is digitally corrected.

      • Gab

        How to disable the LR correction? (normally I wouldn’t mind, but I have a pic with the 18mm, where I lost an important minor detail at the bottom, compared to what I’ve seen in the EVF)

    • peter

      35mm doesn’t use digital corrections.

  • Nick

    Well done and thanks for taking the time to do it.

    If I didn’t already have to fuji 35 I would probably get the zeiss lens honestly; I still may actually end up trading in the 35 for it or I’ve been thinking about dropping my nikon 50 1.4 since I use my 24-70 more and picking the zeiss up. To my eye it just looks a bit better wide open and I like to shoot my primes wide open or nearly so because they can usually handle it and leave the 5.6-8 range to the 18-55mm zoom which handles that range well. If I had the funds I’d have both.

    Those wide angle lenses are a bit more clear cut to me. I’m not a huge huge wide angle guy and the fuji 14mm seems just as good if not better than the zeiss lens and I like the overall build of the fuji better. If I had to choose I’d pick the 14 first.

    All in all though it’s all very close and quite subjective. I think it is great though that in the 50mm range we now have two very good lenses to choose from. It looks like you couldn’t go wrong with either the 32 or the 35 which is pretty great

  • http://trentontalbot.me/ Trent

    Thank you, that pretty much answers all my questions in regard to Zeiss offerings. I, for one, definitely won’t Touit.

  • carlo

    I can’t see the 3D and pop out effect that characterizes the zeiss line dedicated to full frame (zf, ze etc). Sensor size or lack of character?
    That would be a buying that can possibly justify the extra cost…

    • EnPassant

      Look at the trees on the left side of the image in the landscape comparision. A clear difference in my opinion. Other motives may show it even more clearly.

  • Sgoldswo

    It’s always funny how much new third party lenses provoke debate. I’m grateful to Rico for the comparison and I can recommend his book, which is a handy resource to me.

    I have both the two fuji lenses and the new zeiss touits. I would definitely recommend the 32. In the centre it is one of the sharpest lenses I’ve seen and it does outperform the fuji 35. The 12 is much closer to the 14 and I think the 14 is the better lens across the frame. That said, the center of the 12 is exceptionally sharp as well and stopped down I like the output. I think the 12 is a lens you will buy if you like the equivalent focal length, whether that’s in addition to or instead of the 14.

  • calxn

    The funny thing is the Touits more resembles the lenses that Fuji builds for Hasselblad.

  • Tailwagger

    Thank you Rico yet again for an excellent article and food for much thought. Of particular importance to me personally were the comments with respect to the OVF. Being in the category those with XEs contemplating a move to a next gen Pro down the road, it was an aspect which I wouldnt have considered and only recognized down the road. Thanks for pointing it out.

    I too vote for the Fuji Bokeh, but I was indeed able to guess which was which in your challenge. To my eye the Zeiss color rendition has a tad more depth than the Fuji offerings. OTOH, I’d wager that a processing tweak here or there could easily render them indistinguishable. I could see myself buying the 32 Touit as I dont have the Fuji 35 yet, but for me the 14mm is simply the better choice both for cost and field of view reasons. Regardless this is indeed a clearly visible difference in rendition and I concur with your assessment, selection seems to be a matter of personal taste involving accepting a set of compromises regardless of choice. I’m curious, as there were no B&W samples, if you’ve formed any additional opinions about that aspect as well.

    One thing in your article that was conspicuous by its absence was any discussion of comparative AF speed. Can we assume that neither had any advantage over the other in normal use or in low light?

    Again thanks for your efforts!

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      From the article:

      “The Touit lenses house conventional AF motor drives, not the fast and silent linear motors that were built into Fujinon’s current XF zooms. The AF speed performance of the Touit 2.8/12 lags a little bit behind the XF14mmF2.8 R lens, while the AF performance of the Touit 1.8/32 and XF35mmF1.4 R appear to be on par.”

      • Tailwagger

        Apologies, missed that bit. Again thanks!

  • deng

    Thanks Rico.
    Appreciate the time you put “in touit” :)

  • Slingers

    I’m a NEX user looking at this to see the lenses. I wouldnt usually comment but was impressed with the effort and wanted to say thanks as this is an excellent review.

  • Adrian

    @Rico – all else being equal, do you think that not having the possibility to update the firmware for the Zeiss lenses should be a deterrent to getting them? I mean the AF speed for one has been significantly improved through firmware by Fuji, but that presumably would not work for the Zeiss lenses.

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Why wouldn’t there be any updates for the Zeiss lenses?

  • Jim

    Thanks for the amazing post and excellent review. This confirms what i have said on this website before. Rico didn’t take in account the prices of the Zeiss vs Fujinon but did give a very objective opinion. For price/build quality/IQ/size you cant beat the Fujinon lenses. Personally I think in real world situations the Touits aren’t worth the larger price.

  • http://alexanderjamesberry@tumblr.com Al

    Excellent review, thanks!
    I’m off to buy a 14mm.
    But hold on Rico, if you know the real reason, why the big secret?

  • Igor

    Many time spent on this one, for sure. Thanks for review.

    I’ve also heard, that Zeiss has a good reputation for low light photography. It’s nice to see how they compare in dark situations with Fujinons.

    Anyway, i’ve already bought both Touits as my first 2 lenses for X-E1 camera. Reasons for me are obvious – they have another rendering style in terms of color and contrast. And it will help to lower PP time.

    Concerning bokeh rendering, i have a feeling, that Fujinon 35 has some situations, it isn’t good at. Examples – http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1097477/85#11535497 or
    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8345/8211147768_fa354ac344_c.jpg
    In such situations foreground and background are blurred in a form of worms somehow. So, for sure, 1.4 and 1.8 could be more creamy with Fuji, but Zeiss isn’t so harsh in other situations, like in that example.

  • MuMinded

    Rico… Thanks for another gem.. And Yes, I did purchase you fine eBook and use it constantly when I need to reference something. For anyone reading this that has not purchased Rico’s book.. If you like these articles you will LOVE his book. Can’t wait for one to come out on the X100s… I’ll be first in line for that one as well.

    Photography for me is a hobby.. nothing more, nothing less. I have the funds to buy a Ziess lens, but I just don’t know why I would.. Astetically I don’t like it’s design (matter of personal taste), the Build Quality seems good, but I am concerned about how that rubber will “age” and for me, the Fujinon’s are every bit as good I.Q. wise as the Ziess..

    Another BIG consideration for me is after market support. All of my dealings with Fujifilm and their customer support is fantastic. This isn’t to say that Ziess will not be equally as good… But all things considered, for me, I will stay with Fuji glass and be happier with the extra cash in my pocket.

  • MuMinded

    BTW.. If those are your children….they are adorable!

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      Thanks, but no, they are not my kids, but I do “rent” them as they come, with model release and all. The entire session with 4 different kids and 3 lens changes took only 5 minutes and included about 60 snapshots. The kids are naturals and just great in front of a camera. Of course, I’m pretty fast, as well. You really don’t see it in the pics: It was overcast and raining, and we were also raiding a crop field that belongs to somebody else, so I wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible. ;) Such light is great for shots like these, you just have to make sure to “overexpose” by around 2 EV.

  • Brad Morris

    Thanks for the review.

    I notice that the 35 Fuji seems to have a faster T stop than the 32 Zeiss. It seems that it is exposing more by about 1/3-1/2 of a stop. This is particularly noticeable in the f2 portraits of the boys on your Flickr page and the 1.8 shots of the windows on the red/brown wall.

    I am not sure I agree that the Zeiss 32 is sharper than the Fuji wide open. There is certainly more contrast in the Zeiss shots wide open giving the illusion of greater sharpness but all the detail is still there in the Fuji files.

  • Matthias

    Thanks for this comprehensive review. It was actually the final step for my decision to go for XF14 and not d(T)ouit. Nevertheless I was astonished to recognize that with the XF14 the XE1 does not show the DOF neither in the EVF nor in the display. The engraved DOF is a nice feature but why does FUJI decide to skip it in the EVF and display? I reckon that it is a feature not a bug as I’m using latest firmware updates (1.05 on XE1) and everthing else is working fine. Build picture quality excellent so far as I can state with limited time in practice.

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      This “feature” is discussed in my XF14mm column. I guess Fuji doesn’t want to confuse MF users with 2 different DOF scales that are based on 2 different CoCs.

  • http://www.elsitar.com Ricky buy a sitar

    I have a 60D with a Carl Zeiss ZE 35/2 and I continue to be very glad after 2 years for that. In the future I was thinking to buy a xpro1 and a touit lense but after read this review I changed totally my mind because Carl Zeiss in here lose a category of excellence. The Fujinon are clearly better at least in the 3X range.

  • Dima!

    Great article!

  • http://Www.cafepeng.com Phillip E

    Nice article. Well done. I feel vindicated, having just ordered the Fujinon 14 mm. Is the secret you mention related to who manufactures each (or both) lenses? Also, will your guide to the X-pro1 benefit me as an X-E1 user? I found your X100 guide very useful for my X100 thanks.
    Regards,

    • http://www.fujixspot.com/f34/ Rico Pfirstinger

      I don’t think that I have ever written a guide book on the X100, but thanks, anyway. The XP1 book is popular among X-E1 users, though. As for the little “secret”, it is actually revealed in my next book.

      • http://Www.cafepeng.com Phillip E

        Oops. I checked my bookshelves and it’s by someone else. I will assuage my embarrassment by buying your new book when it’s released.

  • Zargar

    Excellent review. What is striking for me in your images is the rich and full color gradients in both highlight shadow areas of images taken with Touits. I deliberately took your blind comparison tests and in all cases I could identify the Zeiss glass by looking at shadow/highlight details and the microcontrast at critical points (edges of juxtaposing shadow and highlight sections)… Also striking is the amount of watercolor effect that we see in this camera jpegs. It is almost unnerving when looking at tree leaves. I am currently considering buying a X-E2, but I am kind of put off by this…

  • Ali H

    Thanks for a great comparison review and article. I have gladly purchased your eBook from iTunes and look forward to learning more from it. As a new arrival to the world of Fujifilm (X-E2) from planet Nikon, your work has helped me in my decision as to which wide-angle lens to go for: the Touit was on my list from the start, given the brand-recognition of Zeiss, but your article has helped me decide to go for the Fujinon XF 14mm. I’m still on the fence about that 32mm Touit though – that close-up shot was gorgeous [but not the subject of the photo of course :) ] Cheers!

  • http://WWW.ELLIOTPAULSTERN.ME ELLIOT STERN

    excellent article and most appreciated. My choices are simple. I own the 14mm and 35mm so they are keepers.

    I just received samples of the Zeiss 12mm and 32mm to do a comparison for my students who are using Fuji X systems.

    I find that the handling of either the Fuji or the Zeiss to be accepatable. I am comfortable with both, however it would be nice if Zeiss hand included the depth of field and distance settings.

    I think my biggest interest is the fact that the Fuji’s are optically correct where the Zeiss lenses are not according to your article. I would be interested in your take on how much of a loss of resolution the in software correction robs from the Zeiss lenses.

  • http://WWW.ELLIOTPAULSTERN.ME ELLIOT STERN

    By the way I should mention that I have bought your books and they have been incredible in my pursuit of learning everything X. Thanks for doing such a great job and having this blog.

  • http://www.tysonwilliams.com/ Tyson Williams

    Great article, I will stick with my Fujinon glass for my X-Pro 1. Like most l love the 35mm and even my slower 18mm & 60mm. It is great however that there are now more choices for people… X Series is maturing and the market / other manufactures are recognizing it slowly.

  • brownphotographic

    A very well written review. I purchased the 32 1.8 based upon this review and very much enjoy it. I find the rendering very pleasing and not at all clinical like so many of today’s lenses. The hood is a little annoying through the OVF but still very use able and doesnt chop off much of the finder to make it unusable. Build is very good and handling is excellent.

    (Also purchased Rico’s X-Pro1 book, which even as a very technically competent user is well worth it for uncovering some hidden gems.)

  • Jorge

    I know this is an older article but since I just pulled the trigger on the Zeiss deal – 2 lenses for 919 I figured I’d post here.
    As I already own the wonderful 35.F1.4 I will probably sell the touit 32 on eBay as I don’t need it. Now with regards to the 12mm, I am going to keep it even though i REALLY want the Fuji 14. Why? Well because once I sell the 32 on craigslist or eBay – say for 460 or so (I hope), I will wind up paying less than a net of $500 for the 12mm lens. The cheapest I’ve seen the 14 is 799. so I’m coming out ahead.
    If the 12 isn’t as sharp or as nice as the 14 I’ve tested then I will sell that one as well,.
    Time will tell.

  • David B

    Rico, will you change your recommendation/conclusion now that Zeisses cost $919 for the pair and that is going to be the price for the next 3 months, and the combined price of Fuji 35+14 is twice as much?