We’re having in shootout! In the Blue corner we have the Fujinon 60mm F2.4 Macro Lens for the Fuji X-Pro1, and in the Red corner we have the Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS lens for the Sony NEX-7 or NEX series cameras. For this review I wanted to give you some feedback on the handling of the Fuji X-Pro1 and Sony NEX-7 in macro mode, show lots of sample images with the focus point in various areas of the frame, and give an overall conclusion.
We want to know who is the king of close up. You may be surprised and amazed who comes out the winner. The potential of these lenses is quite astonishing, and the detail achieved can rival that of lenses 2 or 3 times the price.
If you are coming back to the site because you read the “Sneak Peek” article and you want to know which lens/lenses took the following images below, the answer is just below the images:
- Full Image A: Macro Shootout: Fujinon 60mm F2.4 vs Sony 50mm F1.8
The Answer is: Both images are from the Sony NEX-7 with the Sony 50mm F1.8.
I wanted to highlight the amazing results from the Sony 50mm F1.8. The detail of the hairs on the flower are just mind-blowing. Also, being able to see the wings of the gnat, are a testament to the resolving power of this lens. Just so we’re fair here is a similar images below from the Fuji X-Pro1 with the Fujinon 60mm F2.4 Macro lens. The shot was the same day same lighting all hand-held auto focus.
The results from the Fujinon 60mm F2.4 are similar to that of the Sony 50mm F1.8, although I feel the Fujinon has a very slight edge in sharpness and detail.
The Fuji X-Pro1 and the Sony NEX-7 are in similar classes but the handling of each camera is slightly different. The Fuji is more of a classic styled camera with autofocus, and the Sony is more of a modern styled camera that has lots of flexibility. I’ll talk about each camera and the handling of each in a macro shooting situation.
Fuji X-Pro1: The way I went about using the Fuji in a macro situation is with the electronic view finder with autofocus, or manual focus with the “walk-in” focusing technique. First, with the electronic view finder, if you’ve read my other reviews on the Fuji X-Pro1, I’ve stated that I like to use the X-Pro1 like a classic range finder (optical view finder), especially with portraits. In Macro Photography, it helps a lot to have the electronic view finder. The performance of the electronic viewfinder with autofocus in this respect is very good. It is very accurate in focus and the finder is nice and bright so you can frame and focus without even thinking about it. For portrait photography, I did mention that there is a slight lag in the electronic view finder, but considering macro photography is an inherently slow process, I didn’t notice the lag and it didn’t bother me in this type of photography. Second technique is the “walk-in” focus method. You switch the camera to manual focus and set the focus to the appropriate distance. You then “walk-in” the focus with your whole camera and body. This technique takes a little bit of practice to get familiar with the actual focusing distance to set, but as you get better at this technique, it is very fast and is the macro version of “zone focusing”. This works very well with this camera because the focus by wire on this camera is slow and if you try to manual focus with this camera, you’ll want to throw it in the trash.
Sony NEX-7: The way the Sony NEX-7 is set up, makes it a lot more flexible when it comes to any type of photography not only Macro Photography. I use the Electronic View Finder as well as the LCD on this camera, they both are equally easy to use, and I welcome having a choice. Sometimes the angles and access you can get with the tilt LCD is a lot easier to capture, then doing so with your camera to your face. Especially low angles, I have an old body and kneeling down strains my back and knees. What really sets the Sony NEX-7 apart is the ability to zoom in at different magnifications. I really enjoy this feature with this camera. In practical use it is very seamless and coupled with the manual focus override, It make manual focus on this camera the overall choice. Unlike the Fuji X-Pro1. It is usable in both EVF and LCD mode.
For the sample images, I wanted to pick subjects that have lots of details and I wanted to place the focus point around the frame, not just in the center, to see how the edges perform. I basically used each lens wide open, so you can judge the bokeh to your own tastes. All images were taken at Seaworld San Diego CA, and are copyright © 2012 of photoheadonline.com and may not be used without permission.
Fuji X-Pro1 w/ Fujinon 60mm F2.4
Sony NEX-7 with Sony 50mm F1.8
The Fujinon 60mm F2.4 is a true macro lens. Its composition allows it to focus up to 4 inches away. Getting you really close to your subjects. The Fuji X-Pro1 is a great camera system and this lens is a great addition if you wanted to expand your camera bag with a macro or a medium telephoto lens. With a large maximum aperture this lens is a top performer and resolves fine detail like a champ.
The Sony 50mm F1.8 is a great lens that resolves detail almost as well as the Fujinon 60mm F2.4 except that it can’t focus as close so it really isn’t a true macro. That being said, the extra megapixels (24 vs 16) allows you to crop just as tight and the results are comparable. Really this comes down to the camera systems and which system you feel more comfortable using.
So who’s the winner? My Pick is the Sony 50mm F1.8 and here’s why. The lens only costs $300.00. Giving it a Very High Value to Cost Ratio in my opinion. Even though the Fuji is a true macro it costs twice as much and the camera system costs more also. I still give the Fujinon 60mm F2.4 a High Value to Cost Ratio, and if you owned the Fuji X-Pro1 already I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up this lens. It makes a great medium telephoto and is also good for portraits. It is very sharp and resolves detail better than the Sony 50mm F1.8. My pick of the Sony 50mm F1.8 is 12th round win by points only and not a knock out victory. I have really fallen in love with the Sony NEX-7 and this 50mm F1.8. This love doesn’t cloud my vision though, I’m not a “my baby is the cutest baby ever” type of person. I’ve remained very objective in this whole process. For example, the Fujinon as well as the Sony have a “focus hunting” issue. Both lenses focus past the point of focus the fore of it and then snap into focus on various occasions. The Sony only comes in silver at the moment and has purple fringing in bright highlights (see star fish image above) and the Fujinon has a very curious 39mm center filter thread, which is very weird to me. Sad that all the lenses for the Fuji’s are not the same filter thread. The Fuji is a 60mm vs 50mm and 10mm may not seem like much but at macro it means a little more. I prefer the 60mm focal length for macro and at 4 inches focusing distance, you can fill the frame with subject that is about an inch long. Where as the 50mm focal length it would be more like 1 3/4 inches.
This review also brings to mind another point. No matter what lens you have if you are committed to doing the best you can with what you have, you can come up with great images. Even though photography seems to be a very equipment centric hobby or profession, if you use a little ingenuity you can still enjoy the fun of making great images without taking going into debt. Happy Image Making!!
You can find the Fujinon 60mm F2.4 here and the Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS lens here. If you haven’t gotten your hands on the Fuji X-Pro1 or the Sony NEX-7 and were in the market for one please use these links. Fuji X-Pro1 and Sony NEX-7 kit.
Please visit the home page for some Great Fill Flash Tips for Cheap, Top 5 Point and Shoots under $100, Contax G lenses on the Sony NEX-7, Fuji X-Pro1 for portraits, and lots more!!!
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