Under $1,000: Three Fujifilm Zoom Lenses for the Travel Photographer

Fujifilm’s X-Series of mirrorless cameras are a popular choice for photographers looking to downsize and lose the weight of their full DSLR kit. This also happens to make them popular cameras for travel photography – as well as street photography, and other situations where you still want great image quality but may not want to be lugging around a ton of camera weight. Today we are going to take a look at the top Fujifilm compatible lenses for travel photography that can be had for under $1000, so let’s jump into it.

Also be sure to check out our full guide to Fujifilm lenses.

Fujifilm 18-55mm F/2.8-4 R LM OIS

Yes, the kit lens that you likely got with your Fujifilm X-Series camera is actually a pretty good option for travel photography in its own right. Sporting a fast aperture on the wide end at F/2.8, and a still solidly respectable F/4 on the long end, the 18-55mm F/2.8-4 offers a good 28-70mm full frame field of view equivalency which allows you to capture a scene or zoom in for detail shots.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X-T2 review initial product images (5 of 12)ISO 2001-550 sec at f - 2.8


Here is what we have to say about the Fujifilm 18-55mm F/2.8-4 R LM OIS in our official review:

Fujifilm’s XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS is the most refreshing take we’ve seen on an otherwise forgettable form. Kit lenses are often cast aside in favor of faster options with better build quality, but with this lens, we found that we kept it on for longer than we thought we would. Fujifilm gives each new owner complete optical control, and this lens performs exceptionally well at every point on the spectrum. With accurate colors, sharp lines, and bokeh that just won’t quit, the 18-55mm is a fantastic kit option. – Read the Full Review Here

The best part of this one is, as noted above, is that if you purchased a Fujifilm camera kit, chances are you already have it. If you don’t though, it can be purchased new for $699 over on Amazon (though you can honestly probably find one lightly used in your local area on the cheap through craigslist or the like).

Fujifilm 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens

The kit lens aside, probably the best true all-in-one travel lens for the photographer wanting a big focal range. Unlike the kit lens though, the 18-135mm sports a more standard all-in-one zoom lens variable aperture range of F/3.5-5.6 and that WR designation means its weather sealed for use in the elements. It is also a lot larger than many other Fujifilm lens offerings (but still acceptable for the larger X-Pro and X-T fujifilm bodies), but for  those looking for likely the best all-in-one native option for Fujifilm, this is it.

Kevin-Lee The Phoblographer -Fujifilm XF 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens Product Images (2 of 5)

Here is what we had to say about the Fujifilm 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens in our official review:

With the long zoom you can easily capture far or close subjects without having to move your feet much. Meanwhile, the image quality of the lens is excellent with great colors and an appreciable amount of bokeh. Optically, the 18-55mm f2.8-4 is a better overall lens, but if you’re looking for something with a bit more reach and weather sealing to boot, the 18-135mm is a sure bet. – Read the Full Review Here

If you are looking for one lens to do it all for you, as far as native Fujifilm lenses go, this is your best bet. Though, its likely not worth having both the 18-55mm and 18-135mm, so if you are looking to purchase, we suggest just picking one of these two and skipping the other. You can grab the Fujifilm 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR over on Amazon for $899 brand new, or just $599 (an absolute steal) in a white box (pulled from a kit or repaired/refurbished).

Fujifilm 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

If you are more concerned with your reach than getting wide, the the other native sub-$1000 option for you is the XF 55-200mm F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, which provides an effective full frame field of view equivalency of 84-305mm. For example, if you are traveling somewhere that you know most of what to see will be at a distance, then this could be the better option for you.

Here is what we had to say about the 55-200mm F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS in our official review:

The telephoto option was a welcome to change to the wide to medium options I’ve been mostly working with. Budget portraitists and event photographers will get a lot of mileage out of this lens, more so, we imagine, than the 50-230mm f4.5-6.7. – Read the Full Review Here

Again, this will be the best choice if you are more concerned with the reach during your trip. Pair it with a moderately wide prime lens like the 27mm F/2.8 or 18mm F/2 which take up almost no space and you would have a pretty versatile travel kit. The 55-200mm F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS can be had over on Amazon for $699.

In the end, your choice of travel lens for your Fujifilm X-Series camera really comes down to what your priorities are in regards to image quality, low light ability, and focal range – pretty much just like with anything in photography, what works for others may not work for you, and vise verse. So the most important thing, honestly, is to spend a few minutes really thinking and deciding what is important to you, and then selecting a lens or lenses that best help you accomplish that.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.