The Fujifilm 60mm f/2.4 macro gets a bad wrap.

When I first switched to Fujifilm in 2015, it didn’t take long for me to hear that the 60mm f/2.4 macro (one of the original three X lenses produced by Fuji) wasn’t worth my money. Given that I didn’t really know much about the Fuji ecosystem at the time, I believed the hype. Or in this case, the lack thereof.

For over five years, I avoided the 60mm, even though its small, compact size and portrait worthy focal length were attractive to me. (If you didn’t know, gear size is probably number one on my list of importance – due to an injury to my wrist some 20 years ago). YouTubers nay-say’d the lens so I chose another medium telephoto instead – the 56mm f/1.2.

Image source www.ivanjoshualoh.com

Now, the 56mm f/1.2 is an incredible lens. But, it is also significantly larger and heavier. At the time, having never used or even held the 60mm, I didn’t have a viable comparison, but now that I’ve owned both, I can say that I would choose the 60mm. In the year or so that I owned it, the 56mm never went anywhere with me. Its size and weight meant that it only got pulled out occasionally. It was a thousand dollar lens that just sat in my camera bag at home. Which is why I sold it.

The 60mm lens came to me by mistake. I purchased a mint condition X-T1 with just over 500 shutter clicks and the seller inadvertently sent the 60mm lens with it – because she forgot to detach it from the camera body before she put it into a camera bag and mailed it my way. I contacted her about it and asked if she wanted me to send it back, but her response was just to enjoy it.

Were it not for this happy accident, I never would’ve purchased the 60mm for myself because I had completely bought into the misnomer that it was no good. And yet, I have come to really love this underrated lens! First of all, its tack sharp. Easily one of the sharpest lenses I’ve owned. Secondly, it’s quite tiny for its focal length which makes it a breeze to carry around. Yes, the 50mm f/2 has a wider aperture and is about the same size, but it doesn’t really offer you a comparable reach.

And then there are the macro capabilities. It’s not a true 1:1 ratio, but it’s close and certainly good enough for anything I shoot. I love being able to get up close without distortion. Fuji makes other close focusing lenses, like the 16mm f/1.4 for example, but the wider focal length means you aren’t getting that nice compression and subject separation. Your other macro lens option is the 80mm f/2.8 – again, significantly larger and frankly, significantly more expensive as well.

The 60mm f/2.4 macro is also perfectly usable in low light situations. When it comes to shooting in darker environments, I think we all gravitate toward those 1.2 and 1.4 apertures. However, Fuji’s ISO capabilities are really good and shooting at 3200 or even 6400 produces a completely usable image in my opinion. Even on my X-T1, a camera model that was released in 2014! So, I find the maximum 2.4 aperture to be plenty wide for darker environments.

The 60mm f/2.4 macro from Fujifilm is, in my opinion, a top contender for hobbyist photographers who don’t want to sacrifice quality but can’t justify the cost of the 56mm or 80mm options. Or simply for someone who is going for the smallest, most compact kit possible. I fall into both of those categories.

*All images made with the Fujifilm X-T1 and 60mm f/2.4 macro.

Looking to the past to direct my future.

As part of the simplification of my photography gear, I decided to try a little something unorthodox – I sold all my newer gear in favor of an older camera and lenses. It’s not the oldest gear I’ve used (I used to have some film cameras and lenses) but it’s definitely outdated in 2020. Especially for digital photography.

I already wrote about my purchase of a Fujifilm X-T1 and 60mm f/2.8 macro lens, but I’ve also since purchased the 18mm f/2 and the 35mm f/1.4, both of which are lenses I’ve previously owned and sold (I think I’ve had three copies of each now). These three lenses are Fujifilm’s original X series lineup.

Why the return to “old” tech? Simplification, creative spark, learning to enjoy the process more, and a desire to rely more on my vision than my megapixels come to mind. I can honestly say that the OG X-T1 is my favorite camera I’ve ever owned. Fujifilm really nailed it and while subsequent models have seen improvements to the already amazing tech in the camera, they’ve also seen a significant increase in size and weight.

Via http://www.camerasize.com

Some may not mind, but for me, it’s a definite deal breaker, a fact I learned the hard way when I “upgraded” last year. So, instead of looking forward to the latest and greatest, I started looking backward to the gear that served me well in the past. Truth be told, I used the X-T1, 18mm f/2 and 35mm f/1.4 professionally for four years. It was plenty good enough in 2015 when I was getting paid to shoot and it’s plenty good enough in 2020 when I’m not.

I’ll be sharing more on each of these lenses in the future, including why I think the 60mm f/2.8 macro gets a bad wrap and why the 18mm f/2 is so underrated. Stay tuned.

The neighborhood nature trail. I didn’t vote for it, but I’ll take it.

My neighborhood installed a nature trail a few years back. At the time, I remember being annoyed that my HOA dues were paying for something we weren’t even given the option to vote on. This year, however, I have seen the value of it.

It’s not a big space. I can walk through it in less than two minutes. But I can also take my time. I can observe. I can breathe deeply (not too deeply, mind you – it’s basically a swamp) and feel the stress begin to melt away.

It’s a small respite, but I’ll take it.