A few observations that I made during the test:
- While focusing I noticed that the Canon lens tended to show more color fringing from green to red while I was fine tuning the manual focus.
- The Canon was also more difficult to fine tune since the manual focus reacted rather fast and direct to small movements.
- The Fujinon on the other hand actually benefited from the fine graduation of the “focus by wire” setting in this situation at close focusing distances. This was the first time that I actually saw the benefit of this technology.
- The Fuji seemed to have a larger sweet spot of the sharp focus area depth compared to the Canon – even though both were set to f/1.4
I was surprised that the Fuji lens did this good in direct comparison to my favorite Canon lens! But there is one factor in favor of the Fuji lens that also needs to be mentioned:
The X-Pro 1 recognizes the Fuji lens and applies some lens correction inside the JPG engine. The Canon lens does not get this special treatment and shows an uncorrected result from the lens. I could have partially avoided this by shooting in RAW but then the RAW converter of i.e. Adobe Camera RAW could have recognized the Fuji lens as well and add some auto correction. But in the end I wanted to see how the Canon lens compared when I use it on the X-Pro 1 in my normal use and this is what I got. The X-Pro 1 will not internally compensate for the Canon lens no matter what I do.
But if you happen to own some Leica M lenses and purchased the Fuji X-Mount to Leica M-adapter, then the Fuji will internally apply corrections to some of the Leica M lenses (i.e. the SUMMICRON-M 35mmF2 ASPH)
The Canon EF 35mm f1.4 is a fantastic lens on my Canon FF DSLR camera. It has a fast Ultrasonic AF motor and the weight and size match the bigger camera body well. The Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4 R is a fantastic AF lens for the Fuji X-Pro 1 / X-E1 cameras. This comparison has solved the question for me if I could improve the image quality by using the Canon EF 35mm f1.4 instead of the XF 35mm f1.4 for special occasions. The answer for me is “No!” and I can now comfortably leave the bigger Canon 35mm lens attached to my Canon camera.“Bigger is not always better” :)