cheap frugal photographer. I don’t do this as a day job. I do it for fun, as a hobby. So when I buy something, it comes out of my pocket. I can’t write it off or anything. Therefore, I have to watch what I spend on gear.
I was chomping at the bit for a good portrait lens for the Fuji X series. I waited for the 56mm f/1.2, but when I saw how expensive it was, I looked for a cheaper alternative.
There was the 60mm f/2.4. I heard horror stories about the slow autofocus. However, when Fuji gave the discount for their lenses, the 60mm looked too cheap to pass up. So I decided to get it. But first, here are some photos I did with the 60mm:
So do I like this lens? Yes and no. But first, let’s talk about lens and perspective in general.
As you know, you don’t buy the lens to “zoom in” or to “get more reach.” You buy lens for their perspective. As of right now, for fashion or portraits, the 35mm focal length on an APSC sensor is my favorite focal length (50mm on a full frame sensor). If I go any wider, the person starts to look too distorted for me. If I go longer, the person may look too compressed in certain poses.
I have shot with a 23mm (APSC) lens before with my Fuji X100s. I did a lot of full body and environmental shots. The closest I got was half body. I have done head shots with that lens, but the distortion looked too noticeable. So I usually did a half body and cropped. But that was a lot of wasted pixels.
With my 35mm (APSC) lens, head shots looked better. But I felt I needed a longer focal length. So I got the 60mm.
I got the 60mm not just for head shots. I also got it to separate the subject from the background. I shoot it wide open and try to bokeh out the background. Also, the longer perspective helps to remove more of the background.
I bring my 60mm with my gear now. So, how did it work during photo shoots with models when they won’t hold still? It was quite frustrating. With my Fuji X-E1, the 35mm felt a lot snappier compared to the 60mm. I actually needed the models to slow down or hold their positions longer with my 60mm. If the subject holds still, it’s not bad. But when you try to keep up with a moving target, the 60mm breaks down.
I do love the quality that comes out of the 60mm. It is freaking sharp. It is a nice lens.
If you shoot stationary objects, the 60mm is a great, cheap, mid-telephoto lens. If you need to chase something or shoot something that moves, this will frustrate you. It is possible, but you will say some cuss words trying to get it to work.
Right now, I’m not sure if I’ll buy the 56mm, even though that might make my life easier if I need the longer perspective. Since I rarely use the 60mm, I’m not sure if I want to spend $1000 for a lens I might not use too much.