Fujifilm’s Prime Lens Trinities: Which Is Right For You?

Fujifilm shooters find themselves in an interesting dilemma of late with there now being two clear prime trinity setups that one could choose from. On one hand you have the newer, weather sealed, and smaller F2 variants in 23mm, 35mm, and 50mm. On the other hand, you have the F1.4 23mm and 35mm, and the F/1.2 56mm.

Each trinity has its pros and cons, and each has uses that work better for some niches of photography than others. So today we wanted to look at Fujifilm’s two prime trinities and sort of break them down to share which you should be considering based on what you shoot and what you are looking for from your prime lenses.

The Fujifilm F2 Trinity

The newer of the two trinities, the F2 series started with the 35mm F2 R WR and has now expanded to include the 23mm F2 R WR and the 50mm F2 R WR. These lenses are all fairly compact, offer a fairly fast aperture of F2, are weather sealed and focus quickly, accurately, and quietly with all of Fujifilm’s latest bodies.

They have been popular choices for street photographers and travel photographers. Anyone who needs a compact weather resistant system will fall in love with these lenses. The only real downside to them as a whole is that at F2 on the Fujifilm system, bokeh-addicts may not be satisfied in all situations. Well that, and with the 23mm F2 you suffer from a few sharpness declines.

23mm F2 R WR

chris-gampat-the-phoblographer-23mm-f1-4-iso-400-1-125s23fujifilmx-pro1-xf23mmf1-4-r

“The best thing about this lens has to be the color rendition. As always, Fujifilm’s color rendition is second to none in part from the Fujifilm film profiles built into the camera. But then consider that this is a high quality lens and you’ve got a winning combination.” – Read our Review ([amazon_textlink asin=’B01KNXOCO8′ text=’Buy It’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7ad94f9d-f2f5-11e6-a4ef-4f66bf0bffe8′])

35mm F2 R WR

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm 35mm f2 WR vs Fujifilm 35mm f1.4 Comparison post images (2 of 5)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 2.8

“Let’s start these conclusions with the absolute truths about this lens. It is the fastest to focus Fujifilm lens to date and finally makes candid street photography with a Fujifilm camera really viable when it comes to using autofocus. For this reason alone, many photographers will greatly, greatly appreciate this lens and just how quickly it can perform.” – Read our Review ([amazon_textlink asin=’B016S28I4S’ text=’Buy It’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’eaf03a2b-f2f5-11e6-b215-035f66289c91′])

50mm F2 R WR

“Building upon the success of their compact prime series, the new Fujinon 50mm F2 follows in the footsteps of the previously released 35mm F/2 and 23mm F/2. That includes the sort of tapered design (with the thicker base and thinner front element), and the weather resistance.” – Lens Announcement ([amazon_textlink asin=’B01MS6WINK’ text=’Buy It’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ae93b147-f2f6-11e6-afed-df921a65159c’])

Just to be clear here, we haven’t tested the 50mm f2 lens yet, but we’re in the process of getting one in for review.

The Fujifilm F1.4 + F1.2 Trinity

The older of the trinities, the F1.4+ trinity features lenses like the 23mm F1.4, 35mm F1.4, and 56mm F1.2. These lenses offer maximum bokeh for Fujifilm shooters and are favorites among portrait and wedding photographers who are addicted to bokeh.

The one advantage these lenses carry over their F2 counterparts is the shallower depth of field and generally more pleasing out of focus areas. However, they are also slower to focus, are louder, heavier, and are not weather sealed. That said, many still prefer these lenses over the F2 models, thanks to their incredible build quality and solid image rendering.

23mm F1.4

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 product images for review (5 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 3.5

“Though the Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 is expensive, could be sharper wide open, and faces off against competitors with better bokeh it is being awarded our Editor’s Choice rating. Why? Overall, it is the most versatile lens that you can use for the Fujifilm X series system…” – Read our Review ([amazon_textlink asin=’B00EZ8BEXK’ text=’Buy It’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3fd5aa96-f2f7-11e6-afed-df921a65159c’])

35mm F1.4

“When I made the purchase of the X Pro 1, I was torn between the 18mm f2 and this lens. I think I made the right decision due to the faster aperture despite the fact that I like shooting wider. Either way, this lens is a wonderful piece of glass that every photographer going into a mirrorless system should consider.” – Read our Review ([amazon_textlink asin=’B006UL00R6′ text=’Buy It’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a0ffef45-f2f7-11e6-ab68-7d328e48f413′])

56mm F1.2

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 first impressions product photos (6 of 7)ISO 8001-60 sec at f - 2.8

“Fujifilm’s 56mm f1.2 is the sharpest mirrorless camera lens that we’ve tested. Not only that but it exhibits beautiful bokeh, pretty good color rendition, almost no distortion, focuses quickly, and is built well. It’s a bit expensive though, and for that reason we really only want to recommend it to the creme de la creme of the X series users.” – Read Our Review ([amazon_textlink asin=’B00HK8Z9AG’ text=’Buy It’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’198b4ee8-f2f8-11e6-a4ef-0f12600f39f1′])

Which is right for you?

Honestly, that is totally up to you in terms of what your preferences are. There is nothing to say you can’t mix and match, have the 56 F1.2 paired with the 23/35 F/2. In general, though, we feel like the F/2 variants are better all around lenses for general use, while the faster options make for better portrait lenses if bokeh is a priority for you.

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.