Perfect Portraits: 4 Budget Portrait Lenses For the Fujifilm X System under $1,000

Portrait photography is no doubt one of the niches in photography that attract many aspirants to the industry, both as hobbyists and professionals–and finding budget friendly portrait lenses can be tough. That said, the majority of new photographers simply doesn’t have the budget to spend on top class professional portrait lenses, so today we are taking a look at some of the best budget oriented portrait lenses for the Fujifilm X-Series. If you have another camera system no worries, we will be following this up with budget portrait lens roundups for other systems as well.

Fujifilm 35mm F2

Offering that classic ‘normal’ 50mm field of view, the Fujifilm 35mm f2 gives Fuji shooters a quality compact and fast lens for several hundred dollars cheaper than the f1.4 version of the lens. This lens is incredible for portraiture, and you can’t go wrong here. In our review we said:

“The Fujifilm 35mm f2 R WR is also small and has a low profile build that won’t attract the attention of strangers or other people. Combine that with the fast focusing abilities and you’ll be able to capture that candid photo you want before someone has a chance to break the moment. For these reasons alone, the lens should be highly praised. Indeed, I’m giving it quite high praise. Oh right, and it’s super affordable.” — Read our full review // Buy One

Fujifilm 23mm F2

35mm isn’t quite considered to be a traditional portrait focal length, but as more lifestyle and environmental portraiture has become popular in today’s market, we are seeing this focal length used quite a bit for these sort of portraits. Fujifilm’s XF 23mm f2 is a 35mm equivalent lens that is fast, weather sealed, and much more affordable than the f1.4 model. In our review we said:

“The speed when focusing with this lens on the X Pro 2 is very impressive. It’s by far the absolute best lens in Fujifilm’s lineup for street photography and candid shooting due to its autofocus speed. When the focusing point is at its smallest, it will be a bit slower. But increase it and what it become a complete speed demon. With that said, let the camera choose its own focusing point and it will seriously surprise you with how fast it focuses.” — Read our full review // Buy One

Pro Tip: Most modern lenses can handle backlighting with ease. Do it, it gives portrait subjects a beautiful glow.

Fujifilm 90mm F2

Sure, at $949 the 90mm is sort of a stretch for the budget category, but it is still under that $1,000 mark and so we will let it slide into this list. The 90mm F2 is a great lens for a variety of purposes, one of those being portraiture. If you are a fan of 135mm DSLR lenses, then this will be a favorite of yours in the Fuji system.  In our review we said:

“When it comes to pure image quality, it’s tough to beat a Fujifilm X-Trans Sensor and the company’s lenses. But the 90mm f2 is something many have been dreaming of for a while. Of all the portrait lenses we’ve tested for the system, it’s by far the best. Yes, there is an f1.2 lens out there, but it can’t compare to the pure image quality that the 90mm f2 renders in the best of situations.” — Read our full review // Buy One

Samyang 50mm F1.2

Sure, Fujifilm’s 56mm F1.2 is a great lens, but at about half the price this Samyang matches or beats the Fujifilm lens in many ways. This lens is a dream to focus with the latest Fujifilm cameras with their focus peaking and advanced focusing aides. In addition, the lens is built well and looks great on Fuji bodies. In our review we said:

“This lens is razor sharp, has a decent build quality, a quite smooth focusing ring, gorgeous bokeh,and has a fantastic price attached to it. If you’re an APS-C camera user, then you’ll be hard pressed to find something better for portraits; but get ready to scale back a bit on post-production.” — Read our full review // Buy One

Pro Tip: To get the most out of portraits with the Fujifilm system, we recommend using the Astia, Pro Negative Standard Contrast and Acros film simulations. They’re more or less designed for portraits.