Comparison: ZEISS 12mm vs Fuji 14mm vs 16-50mm on X-A1
How do the 3 Ultrawide lenses compare? Are the primes worth more than the zoom?
My opinion is the center of all 3 lenses are about the same and good at all apertures. The Fuji and Zeiss have preferable contrast to the 16-50mm, but not by much. The corners show the strengths of the primes, and the fact the 16-50mm is being corrected for about 6 of 8% barrel distortion. Without the correction the cheap zoom is just as sharp in the corners and actually the same diagonal field of view as the Fuji 14mm.
The primes are definitely better overall than the 16-50mm, but you get 80 or 90% with the cheap zoom. This is typical with any pro quality lens. You pay 3 or 4x as much to get that last 20% performance. I am getting another 16-50mm to test with an X-M1, so will compare that to my existing 16-50mm which is decentered and has a softer edge at large apertures.
The first show the field of view difference, and also add spacer to get down past the ads on the right 😉
The 16-50mm is a review sample from Amazon Vine and Fuji, please support by buying through Amazon: Fujifilm X-A1 Kit with 16-50mm Lens (Black)
Rental costs come out of my pocket, so if you want to donate to your lens buying obsession and help me rent lenses please consider donating, it is about $50 a lens to rent.
Here is the dreaded pixel peeping comparison of the three lenses for Fuji X-A1. For the overall shots, click on the image for the full size version. I also display some near 100% crops. The Fuji shot at f/2.8 appears to have a bit of motion blur, probably from me pressing the shutter. I was trying to be exceptionally careful, but the Fuji camera is kind enough (sarcasm) to turn off the 2 second shutter delay every time you change lenses (or the camera powers off).
Scroll to the right to see the 16-50mm ———–>>>>>>>>>>>>
Some other shots: