23mm Versus 27mm Lens Comparison

Come on, there’s only 4mm difference between them. Surely it can’t make that much of a difference when you are shooting?

Actually it does.

I bought a Fuji X100s in 2014. It is a fixed lens camera with a 23mm focal length lens. And it was my only ‘walkabout’ camera for six years.

As you can see, the lens on the X100s is nice and sharp, even on the crop from the full frame.

Then a few months ago I bought a little secondhand Fuji X-E3 and 27mm lens, and sold the X100s to offset the cost of the new camera and lens combination.

And that is how we get to the 23mm versus 27mm lens comparison.

The thing is that after shooting with the X100s for six years, I really got to understand what the angle of view of the lens really meant when looking at a scene. And until I started to shoot with a different but similar focal length lens, I didn’t really know how much I like the slightly wider lens.

Often when I look at a scene with the 27mm lens on the new camera I think it is too tight. I want a bit more either side in the view.

For years I have been reading and listening to photographers saying that one should learn one’s camera inside out and know exactly what it does.

Look at my post about the fox, and you will see that I mentioned that the scene was happening so rapidly in front of me that I couldn’t change the settings on the X-E3 fast enough because I didn’t know the camera well enough.

Now I know the camera a bit better, and I know I like a slightly wider lens. But to ask the question – why did I get a 27mm lens and not a 23mm lens for the X-E3?

Simple, I wanted something really tiny – and the X-E3 and 27mm lens is a tiny package, as you can see in this photo. The lens hardly sticks out at all, and that’s with a Hoya UV filter on it.

And I thought, what’s 4mm in focal length? Nothing, eh? And the 23mm is bigger front to back, bigger than I wanted.

Here are the numbers for the lengths of the two lenses, front to back.

The 27mm f2.8 sticks out just 23mm (0.91″) from the flange. Compare that to the 23mm f2, which sticks out 51.9mm (2.014″) from the flange.

For now I am going to keep using the 27mm and see whether I can accommodate to it and be happy with the focal length. Watch this space.

One last thing – the 27mm lens is sharp! Look at this and the crop from the full frame.

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