On the weekend, I took candid photos of friends in soft indoor evening light. The best lens for this sort of thing, speaking as a member of the Fujifilm cult, would be the awesome portrait-optimized 56mm F1.2, which has reduced many reviewers to quivering jelly. I didn’t have one of those but the pix are still OK.

My friends Michelle and Philip

My friends Michelle and Philip

That 56mm is the kind of lens I’d totally buy, except for I was at Leo’s Cameras and accidentally bought a used smc PENTAX-M 1:1.4 50mm instead, for (I think) $75. Manufactured between 1977 and 1984, it’s easy to screw onto my A.D. 2013 Fujifilm X-T1 with a cheap adapter.

Peter Sharpe

My friend Peter, who was host and chef on the evening;
this comfortably-lit space is his kitchen.

Compared to the Fuji 56mm, it’s a tiny little bit wider, a tiny little bit slower, and either $700 or $1,400 cheaper, depending which Fuji flavor you get (compare the flavors at The real difference: XF56 vs XF56 APD vs FF).


My friend Frankie

Imagine how great these pictures would look if I’d spent all that extra money on a better lens, presumably one less than thirty years old.

Here’s an interesting thing: While I think the images look nice, they are fragile. I’m normally a bit heavy-handed with the Lightroom sliders, but on this batch touching almost anything threw the picture off the rails. Or it could just be the subtle skin-tone variations that don’t like being twiddled. I suppose a normal person is supposed to be pleased when he can’t seem to improve on what came out of the camera.

Now, to be fair, the old Pentax doesn’t have auto-focus or image stabilization. But the X-T1 has wonderful manual-focus aids, and the best image stabilizer is a fast shutter speed, which F1.4 makes easy.

Fujifilm X-T1 with smc PENTAX-M 1:1.4 50mm lens

The combo is kinda cute, isn’t it?


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Greg Lloyd (Dec 09 2014, at 06:34)

Nice! I've also become a fan of Fujifilm cameras: X-E1 with kit zoom and Leica M mount adaptor in my case.

Results with my old Summicron-M 50mm f/2 are pretty amazing, particularly since I like the 75mm short telephoto equivalent of the Summicron on the X-E1.

The Summicron isn't exactly cheap or as fast as an f/1.4, but it's not hard to find a decent bargain.


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December 08, 2014
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