Recently, Fujifilm announced their 23mm f2 R WR lens for a very affordable $449 price point. This is the second lens in their lineup to offer an alternative traditional focal length for photographers that want an affordable lens and can’t afford the f1.4 versions. In many ways it follows the same formula that the 35mm f2 R WR does in comparison to the 35mm f1.4 R.
Considering this, there are loads of reasons why the 23mm f2 R WR lens should be very exciting for lots of Fujifilm camera users.
35mm Field of View
While some photographers love the 50mm field of view, lots of other photographers love the 35mm field of view. They claim that it’s exactly how they see the world and that it seems to just make more sense to them. The 35mm field of view offered by the 23mm f2 lens is one that is highly valued by street photographers, candid shooters, portrait photographers (to a certain point) and general shooters. In real life use, it will mean that many photographers can look to a scene, simply put the camera to their eyes to focus, and shoot. The potential for capturing a scene just the way they see it goes up so much more.
Fujifilm already has had a fast 23mm f1.4 lens with solid image quality and a fantastic build overall, but this second lens will give you the same field of view with an even better build quality when it comes to durability.
While the 23mm f1.4 R lens is bigger, beefier, and may feel better in some hands, the 23mm f2 R WR lens is smaller overall and arguably more durable. This lens has weather sealing incorporated into the design and when paired with weather sealed bodies like the Fujifilm X Pro 2, X-T2, and X-T1, you’ll be able to take the combo out in the rain, snow, etc. What this further translates into is that the lens and camera combos mean you can keep going and shooting while traveling or just going about your daily shooting schedule.
Small, Low Profile Size
The image above shows the Fujifilm 35mm f1.4 and the 35mm f2 on the right. Obviously, the f2 lens is smaller. Fujifilm’s excellent prime lenses are already pretty compact, but the smaller lenses overall go very well with the smaller cameras (in comparison to DSLRs). Photographers with larger paws may want to reach for the f1.4 version of the lens, though the f2 version isn’t a whole lot smaller as you get closer to the lens mount.
Photographers considering the 23mm f2 may also have this on their mind as the ergonomics may not fit their fancy. But photographers that want something smaller and more low profile will appreciate this. It’s like the difference between shoving a giant DSLR in someone’s face vs a mirrorless camera. A smaller lens (and therefore the lens hood) is a less intimidating package overall.
9 Aperture Blades: Great Bokeh
The relationship between the 23mm f1.4 and the 23mm f2 is akin to that of the 35mm f2 and 35mm f1.4 when it comes to bokeh and aperture blades. The f1.4 version has seven aperture blades and the f2 version sports nine blades. As we’ve seen in a previous comparison, the bokeh is slightly better on the f1.4 version (in my opinion), but the nine aperture blades in this lens still means that Fujifilm surely paid attention to this fact and wanted to ensure that photographers got incredible bokeh.
Of course, I should state that better bokeh doesn’t make better images but the depth of field effect can surely help!
Faster Autofocus Motors for Street Photography
Last on this list is the fact that the 23mm f2 R WR is bound to have faster motors and focusing due to it being newer, smaller, and lighter, and you’ve got slightly more depth of field at f2 vs f1.4 (a whole stop, actually). This translates into something that’s very important for Fuji shooters: the possibility of more keeper shots for street photography.
The 23mm f2 pancake lens on Fujifilm’s x100 series cameras has always been a favorite of many street photographers. This newer one is bound to only do the same thing.