Brownie - Issue I

Brownie - Issue I

Cat portrait with the Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R.

The “Magic”

Ever since I started to do my research on “What lens I should buy for my Fujifilm camera”, the elephant in the house has always been the Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R.

People online praised its “magic”, while others complained about its slow auto focus, lack of weather sealing, and noise.

Unlike most lenses that gradually discount in price as newer glass come to the market, ten years after its reveal, the price of a new copy of this lens still sits at its original $599. There must be something about it, otherwise people won’t be keep buying it after ten years.

After about a month of hunting on eBay, I finally got an used copy for ~$350, after I begged the seller that I am a broke art student trying to survive in NYC.

The 35mm f1.4 Lens Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R, April 2022.

I wasn’t expecting it to arrive before I leave for Israel on April 1st, but the airplane delayed and fifty minutes before I left home to the airport, I got the lens in mail. I’ve never enjoyed plane delays so much. However, I didn’t used it much during my travel, since travel photography tend to need a wide range of focal distances, and I zoom in and out a lot.

So the first thing I did when I came back was to go downstairs to my trusty old friend Jimmy and pet his cat :) and took some photos using my new lens.

After all, portrait is what this lens excels at the most.

Cat Pictures

And it didn’t disappoint me.

Jimmy’s cat, Brownie (Instagram: @brownie_the_siberian), was a good friend of mine. Because every time I go to Jimmy’s house I give Brownie some treat, she thinks I am a food god and occasionally purrs on my lap.

Unlike before, this time, maybe I was tanned so much from Israel, Brownie was a bit confused. This guy looks like the weird uncle from upstairs but how in the world did he get tanned so badly?

Spoiler: A sunny 40°C (I don’t use the freedom units, sorry) day floating in the dead sea with sunscreen slowly dissolving from my body into the sea…

Sleeping Beauty

This photo was the one I liked the most, it is just beautiful in every way. The fact that such a small lens can produce such sharp yet dreamy image is very impressive.

Brownie Photo Brownie (Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R), April 2022.

Brownie is a sleeping beauty, she sleeps most of the day, and when she is hungry she demands food from my poor human friend. Nonetheless, both me and Jimmy are obsessed with her and will give anything in return for cuteness.

I think I am in love with the “Magic”, from now on!

Cardbox Princess

Brownie Photo Brownie (Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R), April 2022.

Brownie looked at me while I worked on an assignment that was overdue for four days.

I am such a terrible student.

Discussion on Autofocus

I also personally own a Canon FD 50mm F1.4 S.S.C. lens which was produced in 1977 and is fully manual focus. I tried to take photo for Brownie with that last year and without autofocus it was a pain.

Brownie, well, she is a cat. A cat moves. She moves a lot.

Although, to the lens’ credit, it did produced very good photo, I just cranked the aperture to F1.4 which was probably a bit too high.

My point is, yes, it is a bit noisy (although personally I like it) and slow, coming from no autofocus at all, having at least some autofocus capability feels like a breeze to me.

Please enjoy my photo as much as you wish, but please don’t repost or reuse these photos without my consent. Commercial use of these photos are strictly prohibited without consent.

Brownie - Issue I
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Brownie - Issue I