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Showcase Fujinon XC 15-45mm 3.5-5.6 OIS PZ

Discussion in 'Fuji' started by Lightmancer, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    So, I have one; one of the first in the UK.

    First impressions - it is incredibly light. Powered off it is about the same in length as a 35mm f2. In use it extends by about an inch and a half. The mount is plastic. It has two rings, one narrower for focus and the wider for the power zoom. This has two zoom speeds, depending on how far you twist the ring; it only rotates about 20 degrees in either direction. On my X-Pro2 in EVF mode it is stepless, but with the OVF the framelines judder a little as they try to keep up. There is no indication of focal length set on either the lens barrel or in the viewfinder. Aperture is set by the rear thumbwheel. It does not come with a hood, nor is there a bayonet for one. Filter size is 52mm.

    I had no time today to give it a good outing, and the rain this morning was biblical, but here are a few quick test shots comparing the 15-45 with my trusty old 18-55.

    15-45 @15mm
    Angel of Lens Testing 15-45 at 15.
    X-Pro2    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    15mm    f/5.0    1/180s    ISO 200

    18-55 @ 18mm
    Angel of Lens Testing 18-55 at 18.
    X-Pro2    XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS    18mm    f/2.8    1/450s    ISO 200

    15-45 @ 45mm
    Angel of Lens Testing 15-45 at 45.
    X-Pro2    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    45mm    f/5.6    1/100s    ISO 200


    18-55 @ 55mm
    Angel of Lens Testing 18-55 at 55.
    X-Pro2    XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS    55mm    f/4.0    1/220s    ISO 200


    15-45 @ 45mm 100% crop
    Angel of Lens Testing 15-45 at 45 100 crop.
    X-Pro2    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    45mm    f/5.6    1/100s    ISO 200

    18-55 @ 55mm 100% crop
    Angel of Lens Testing 18-55 at 55 100 crop.
    X-Pro2    XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS    55mm    f/4.0    1/220s    ISO 200


    Focus in every shot was on the bridge of the Angel of Lens Testing's nose. Exposure was by spot-metering on the same point. These are all handheld SOOC jpgs; the only processing they have received is the 100% crop. Both lenses were shot wide open at their respective focal lengths.

    To my eye and unsurprisingly the 18-55 delivers more, and more pleasing, bokeh at the long end. This is entirely to be expected given that it has a wider aperture and a longer focal length on its side. It still manages to throw the background out a bit at 55mm but the 15-45's smaller aperture and shorter focal length delivers a sharper background image.

    The 100% crops are interesting in as much as although there is a difference in sharpness and in microcontrast, the 15-45 acquits itself remarkably well. I suspect that like the 50-230 and the 27 XC lenses, it will prove to punch a bit above it's weight and price bracket.

    I have bought it specifically to use as a travel lens, and as a handy backup to my primes. I don't expect to use it a lot - I haven't used the 18-55 since last Summer - but it is there if I want something a bit wider or I can't be bothered to zoom with my feet. In that regard is it better than the 18-55? It is certainly lighter and more compact. I need to do more testing to get the measure of the performance and whether or not it is acceptable.

    I don't like not knowing the focal length, I don't particularly like the power zoom (it makes a high-pitched whine that is quite disconcerting) and I am concerned that it may damage itself if the camera is turned on in my bag. I have had this problem with the 27 and it is not a cheap fix. I do like the compactness, the lightness, the slightly wider angle of view.

    So. At this stage, I'd say jury out. Time will tell. I won't sell the 18-55 just yet...
     
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  2. I really don’t see any advantage to this lens over the XC 16-50, other than being slightly wider. My copy, at least, is very sharp.
    I like your book, BTW — reading it for the second time.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  3. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Bit of an update.

    When you flip to playback, the lens turns itself off. When you try to shoot, it wakes up but always at the wide angle end, not the previously set focal length.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. rayvonn

    rayvonn All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2015
    Thanks Bill.
     
  5. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Jun 20, 2012
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    Fascinating on all counts.
     
  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Top Veteran

    764
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Just seems a bit of a "why, Fuji?" to me. They already have this range covered in both consumer and prosumer levels.

    Maybe for smooth zooming for video, but still seems like a very limited use case to me. :confused-95:
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Jun 20, 2012
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    As far as video goes, I imagine the audible whine from the zoom motors would be a deal breaker. But I do sorta find this thing compelling for travel. As small and light as it is, especially for newbies who don't want to control anything besides zoom anyway... 15 is nice to have on the wide end.
     
  8. Lumens

    Lumens Regular

    31
    May 21, 2015
    Interesting report. I just put one on back order that I believe will come in around the end of the month. I plan to put it on my back up XT-1 to carry with me when I don't want to carry the XT-2 with all my other lenses. It'll likely stay in the car for those last minute decisions to go shoot, when I don't want to make the trip back home to pick up all my gear.
     
  9. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    A similar size to the 35/2 isn't all that small to make a Fuji X coat pocketable. I'd call the 12-32 from Panasonic a truly small travel sized standard zoom lens (although with a smaller sensor system). The power zoom is what would annoy me the most though. The Panasonic LX100 would be right up there as an all time favorite camera for me but for the power zoom.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    A few more images, same settings as before, much sunnier weather.

    I'm warming to this lens. It is what it is, and what it isn't is a top of the range offering from Fuji. It's (relatively) cheap and cheerful but like all Fuji lenses seems to punch above it's price bracket. It will be great for travel as a "there when you need it" lens. I'm a little concerned by what I see as close up softness at the 15 end of the zoom range, but that might be me being a klutz - a little more testing required.

    Modern building 15-45 at 15.
    X-Pro2    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    15mm    f/3.5    1/3500s    ISO 200
    Modern building 15-45 at 45.
    X-Pro2    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    45mm    f/5.6    1/1800s    ISO 200
    St Peters Churchyard 15-45 Madonna at 15.
    X-Pro2    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    15mm    f/3.5    1/1500s    ISO 200
    St Peters Churchyard 15-45 Madonna at 45.
    X-Pro2    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    45mm    f/5.6    1/150s    ISO 200
    St Peters Churchyard 15-45 path at 15.
    X-Pro2    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    15mm    f/3.5    1/1800s    ISO 200
    St Peters Churchyard 15-45 path at 45.
    X-Pro2    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    45mm    f/5.6    1/400s    ISO 200
    St Peters Churchyard 15-45 sign.
    X-Pro2    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    45mm    f/5.6    1/300s    ISO 200
     
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  11. battleaxe

    battleaxe Regular

    110
    Jun 17, 2014
    California
    I am bit curious to see how it performs in color. A good part of me is like the price is great, size is compact, and it starts at 15mm, but then I have the 18-55mm. I could use t for the 15mm, but then I think why not just by a 14mm or 16mm Rokinon or the like? There's also the option of selling the 18-55mm for this and using the extra cash for gas money to go somewhere, or towards a new body(thinking X-T20 after the X-T30 comes out).
     
  12. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Jun 20, 2012
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    I have grudgingly accepted the fact that the 18-55 is too useful to ever sell.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Bobby Tingle

    Bobby Tingle Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    I feel the same as Kyle. The 18-55 is a great backup on portrait shoots. And I use it on a X-E2 for second angle video to the main camera on baptism shoots.
     
  14. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    I'm in a different place, truth be told. I did an EXIF check; the last time I used the 18-55 in anger was nearly two years ago.

    I cannot fault the lens in terms of performance, but bear in mind I also have the 18-135, and my main use case is travel. I am also predominantly a prime person, with 14, 23, 27, 35, 50(x2) and 56mm lenses in my "palette".

    The 18-55 is getting long in the tooth in performance terms, it is not WR, not constant aperture. It does not have the reach of the 18-135 nor the weight advantage and width of the 15-45. It falls between a number of stools.

    I'm thinking out loud here... The jury is still deliberating...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Bobby Tingle

    Bobby Tingle Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bill, I think the 15-45 fits well for your uses. Despite it's slight shortcomings. I have to keep my 18-55 because it is actually part of my son's kit. But a quick visit to Damien Lovegrove's site reminds me why I throw it in the bag as a backup for a portrait shoot.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Jun 20, 2012
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    I often wish my 18-55 were the 18-135 instead, when it's sunny out and I want length. Then I go inside, and I'm happy to have stabilized 2.8 available.

    I cannot ever be happy for long.
     
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  17. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I still have an old X-A1 body. I wonder how the 15-45 would be on that. Or the X-E3, for that matter.
     
  18. I've got one ordered ($275 shipped) and will be comparing it to my excellent 16-50 XC. I really dislike PZ but can live with it as I rarely need to shoot quickly. As long as the lens has acceptable IQ I think it would be a great CC lens due to it's size. We shall see!
     
  19. Got mine today and compared it to my XLNT XC16-50. All I can say is this little guy ROCKS on my X-E3!
    You have the option of using the focus ring for MF or fine tune for zooming. The lens remembers where it was last set when the camera is turned off which is a neat feature on PZ lenses. The zoom has a variable speed which is easy to control and is dead silent. Hopefully, it won't eat up too much battery power!
    FUJI1554.JPG
    X-T10    XF27mmF2.8    27mm    f/2.8    1/56s    ISO 1600

    Pic comparison; 1st with XC16-50 @ 16mm. 2nd with XC15-45 @ 15mm.
    Both F5.6; ISO 200
    DSCF0943.JPG
    X-E3    XC16-50mmF3.5-5.6 OIS II    16mm    f/5.6    1/1600s    ISO 200

    DSCF0942.JPG
    X-E3    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    15mm    f/5.6    1/1600s    ISO 200

    Close up @ 15mm; F3.5
    DSCF0948.JPG
    X-E3    XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ    15mm    f/3.5    1/340s    ISO 200
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
    • Like Like x 4
  20. As I didn't have any 52mm filters, I mounted a 52 to 58 adapter and screwed in my B&W UV-Haze filter and found no vignetting. Looks like it was made for this set-up! Even when screwing in a polarizing filter in addition to the UV filter there is no vignetting! This little lens is going to be quite useful I believe!
     
    • Like Like x 2
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