There's nothing more fun than holding a 35mm lens with aperture so open that you can do anything, but the vast majority of lenses with aperture 1.4 come with a penalty, and the image quality is not the best you can get. The problem is that many of the lenses in the market suffer from different flashes of light, and the problem of filming without a polarizing filter in front of the sky is clear, and when I took the lens out of the box I was waiting to see how much it was suffering from all these problems.
I'll start by referring to something I'm not used to, and it seemed odd at first, and even a little gimmick, and that's the square hood the lens comes with. Strange as it may have been for a Nikon photographer of 1994, it makes sense, and even better than the usual hood, for several reasons. The first reason is that it is a hood that is made of durable aluminum, and keeps the front element much better than a regular hood. So much so that I take a non-filter photograph protecting the lens (and by the way, it's only a 52 mm diameter filter, which is a wonderful thing for a 35mm lens with aperture 1.4). Another advantage of this hood is that the hood is more effective in preventing the penetration of light from a variety of angles. After all, the sensor is rectangular, and there really is no meaning to the upper and lower part of the lens, so it does not affect photography negatively, but on the contrary.
Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4R @f/5 @1/100 @ISO-1600
Regardless of the hood, the lens does not suffer from Flares. Even when I took a direct shot into a fire and a flashlight, I did not get a flares. This is something that affects the judgment of buying a lens. There are so many lenses in the market that when you shoot into a fire, there are flares and, in some cases, severe problems. I see it all the time in night photography workshops that I have.
Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4R @f/4.5 @8" @ISO-1000
For some unknown reason, I must have lost my 52mm polarizing filter, which is what the lens needs, I only discovered it when I was in field photography, and I knew I was in trouble because I would get a polarization of light from the summer sky and reflect light from reflections of water. I did not have a choice, and I kept on photograph, and all of a sudden, everything went well, the blue sky remained blue, and I did not get any reflections from the water, and I could even see the fish swimming.
Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4R @f/5.6 @1/800 @ISO-200
Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4R @f/8 @1/250 @ISO-200
More than once I came across students who ask me why aperture should be as open as 1.4. How important and useful is this? So the answer is that it makes it possible to shoot even under conditions of low light at normal speeds, and also allows me to separate the main object from its background in cases where the background is more harmful than useful. In the photograph of pine needles, it is clear that if the other branches appear in the photograph, it will be more difficult to see the main object, which is the branch closest to the lens. Opening the aperture to the maximum solves the problem at the moment.
Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4R @f/3.6 @1/50 @ISO-200
Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4R @f/1.4 @1/200 @ISO-200
Of course, it is very important that the lens can maintain sharpness even with an open aperture. Otherwise, nothing will come of it, which is exactly what it does. The lens maintains sharpness even with an open aperture, and it was built specifically for this purpose. I saw it well in every picture I took, no matter how open the aperture was. In fact, I came to a situation where I did not think whether the sharpness would remain, and photographed exactly what I wanted, because I understood that this lens would give me exactly what I needed at any given moment.
Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4R @f/2 @1/100 @ISO-6400
Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4R @f/2.2 @30" @ISO-200
One way to test sharpness and problems with lens distortions, or at least one of the ways I like, is by shooting stars. This makes it very easy to see flaws in the lens very quickly. Stars are small points or thin lines of light, and in photography it is very easy to distinguish a faulty line or a circle that has lost its shape.
Another way is macro photography. Although this is not a macro lens, Fuji has a great macro lens to offer (but what do I care about playing with it and certainly the fun is to play with a new lens (: ), but this lens does a pretty good job at photographing flowers and small leaves. When you open the aperture to the maximum f/1.4, you can see how sharp the lens is. The sharpness appears not only in the center of the frame but also on the sides, and there is nothing I like more than to shoot flowers on the side of the frame rather than the center, and here you can do it easily.
Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4R @f/2.8 @1/400 @ISO-320
Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4R @f/3.6 @1/125 @ISO-12,800
A few last words to sum up
After years I've taken with Nikon, it's still strange for me to have a 35 mm lens with a 1.4 aperture that is so weightless (only 187 grams!). The lens is made of aluminum castings, so it is particularly durable, and it seems that nothing can happen to it.
The lens is sharp all the time, no matter what aperture I work with. It does not focusing fast, but it is not a telephoto lens for sports photography, so it is not problematic at all. The lens make very beautiful contrasts, and beauty of colors. It has no difficulty in dealing with light penetrations from undesirable sources, and the picture remains smooth and pleasing to the eye. It has filter diameter from the cheapest and smallest in the market, all without detracting from the final image quality. It will not expensive at all, and still worth every dollar. As of now, this is the lens that is most of the time on the body, and even when I move to a wide angle lens, the 35mm lens immediately returns to the body.
Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4R @f/5.6 @1/100 @ISO-320