When Fujifilm first started to develop their X series of interchangeable lens cameras, it was targeted at the higher end. But then the cameras started to trickle down more towards the lower end and more entry level consumers. We knew this when they launched the XM1, which is when the company began to talk about their strategy to target those that didn’t reach for higher fruit. Later the XA1 would be released. With these, also came some more entry level lenses.
But one of the best things about the Fujifilm X series system is its lenses–and even if you’re just getting started there are a couple that you might want to spring for and that you’ll hold onto for your dear life.
XF 55-200mm f3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Usually, we’re not ones to warm up to zoom lenses. However, we’re making a special exception for Fujifilm’s 55-200mm f3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. Not only does this lens has a fast aperture for its zoom range, but it also incorporates OIS into it to ensure that your photos are blur free due to the effects of camera shake.
This is the lens that Fujifilm developed not only for the person on vacations, but also for the folks that want a general all purpose telephoto zoom lens with exceptional quality to it. Indeed, we’ve been impressed by the photos that we’ve seen from the lens despite not calling it in for a full evaluation.
To date, it is also Fujifilm’s largest lens and ergonomically makes the most sense on cameras like the X Pro 1 and the XE-1. If you’re using it with the XM1, you’ll want to take advantage of the camera’s tilting LCD screen and shoot from the hip.
For what it’s worth though, most folks buy into Fujifilm’s system for the retro-feel and looks. With that said, this lens doesn’t scream out retro as much as the company’s primes do.
XF 27mm f2.8
As the system’s first real pancake lens, the 27mm f2.8 is an interesting one. First off, we’re recommending it for the pure fact that it is a pancake prime. Mirrorless cameras were designed to be smaller than DSLRs and therefore also to work with smaller lenses. The 27mm f2.8 has some quirky functionalities though that differentiate it from the rest of the system.
For example, this lens is the company’s first prime lens without an aperture ring around it. If you’re a total beginner to photography, that’s cool. But if you’re an experienced photographer and wanted to get into the system for the retro feel and appeal, this lens will be a tad different. In order to control the aperture, you’ll need to use a dial on the camera.
Besides the user experience, one of the reasons why you purchase a lens to begin with is the image quality. We really couldn’t complain about the images that we got with the 27mm f2.8–and we especially loved the JPEGs that we got with it when used in the camera’s black and white mode.
If you’re looking to get the smallest package possible with your camera, then you’ll want to spring for this lens.
Oh yeah–and it’s the fastest focusing prime lens for the system that we’ve tested yet. Be sure to check out our review before you make the plunge though.
XF 35mm f1.4
Without a doubt in our minds, the 35mm f1.4 is the apple of our eyes. The lens is wonderfully constructed to feel like old Zeiss and Leica lenses, has an excellent metallic exterior, and has received loads and loads of firmware updates to improve its autofocusing, minimum focusing, and functionality with the company’s cameras.
So why are we so smitten for this lens?
Well, for starters its the sharpest lens in the system. Then when you take that sharpness and combine it with the fact that Fujifilm’s X Trans Sensors are developed without a Low Pass Filter to yield even sharper results, you won’t even bother pixel peeping because of just how confident you’ll be with the images–providing the autofocus was nailed correctly.
Then there is the bokeh that you’ll get from the lens–by far it some of the creamiest that we’ve seen in a mirrorless system lens.
Finally, if you’re looking for a lens that will give you something around a 50mm field of view, then this is the one. It may be the one and only lens you use.
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