Should I Replace the X100T with the XF23mm f/2?

Last updated 4/29/17 2:59pm, 4/30/17 9:27am

Take Kayo prefers the XF23mm f/2 with X-Pro2 over the X100T with its built-in 23mm f/2.1 He says, “I’ve never liked the X100’s 23mm f/2 lens, although the overall package I’ve always enjoyed. The edges are too soft and the AF too slow and inaccurate.” He’s right, of course, about the X100T’s weaknesses, but I’m still up in the air about replacing it with the XF23mm f/2. I’ve been doing some informal testing of the X100T with my XT2 to see if it can hold its own.

I bought the XT2 body only and added the XF56mm f/1.2 and XF10-24mm f/4. I’m using the X100T as my 23mm f/2 go-to.

All photos in this test were taken on two consecutive mornings at approximately the same time between 9:00 and 10:00 AM indoors with natural light and no flash. The weather was overcast. I stood at roughly the same distance from the subject, but angles and distances varied. To get as much detail as possible, I used the lowest possible ISO. This meant using a monopod or tripod for the X100T shots, which were taken at 1/15s and 1/4s. All XT2 shots were handheld.

I used the Provia film simulation mode throughout. All photos are JPGs converted from RAW. No editing or cropping was done. However, I converted the photos to 2000 pixel for uploading to this blog.

DSCF9497 X100T ISO200 f2 M1.15s Provia 2k

1. X100T with with its built-in 23mm f/2: ISO 200, f/2, 1/15s with monopod.

2. XT2 10-24mm f/4 with OIS: ISO 250, f/5, 1/30s.

3. XT2 56mm f/1.2: ISO 100, f/1.4, 1/125s.

DSCF9503 XT2 ISO200 f2 M1.4s Provia 2k

4. X100T: ISO 200, f/2, 1/4s with tripod. The softness of the edges are especially noticeable in comparison to the XT2 10-24mm photo below. I struggled to get this shot. The AF was consistently off even with the aid of a monopod and tripod. See photo 7 below, which is a blow-up of the large leaf I focused on. I also struggled with the lighting.

5. XT2 10-24mm: ISO 500, f/5, 1/8s. This was shot handheld. The OIS of this lens is amazing.

6. XT2 56mm: ISO 200, f/1.2, 1/60s. The shallow DOF is definitely evident in this shot, which was taken wide open at f/1.2.

Pixel Peeping. For the photos below, I cropped the JPGs (converted from RAW) but did no other editing.

DSCF9503 X100T ISO200 f2 M1.4s Provia PP

7. X100T. Not very sharp.

8. XT2 10-24mm.

9. XT2 56mm.

Ideally, I’d have the XF23mm f/2 for comparison, so these tests are inconclusive. The X100T still appears to do a decent job, but its AF and 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS II sensor can’t compete against the X-T2’s 24MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor with primary color filter. The added bonus is that it serves as a smaller back-up camera or a camera to take along when the XT2 with my current lenses is too cumbersome.

Update 4/29/16 2:59pm: After posting this, I found an excellent article by Mathieu, “Fujifilm X100T vs. XF 23mm f2 – Apples vs. oranges,” in Mirrorless Comparison, 2 Dec. 2016. His coverage of this issue is thorough and engaging.

1The Fujifilm XF23mm f/2 WR vs The X100T,” FujiLove, 3 Oct. 2016. Accessed 29 Apr. 2017.

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