Fujifilm’s 23mm F2 is one of their newer lenses, the only newer option being the 50mm F2. It is a lens that offers Fujifilm shooters that classic 35mm field of view in a small package with a fast aperture. So what should a new owner of the Fujifilm 23mm F2 ([amazon_link asins=’B01KNXOCO8′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fbad95d7-fd35-11e6-95fe-330ebeb1f65f’])know about this lens in order to get the most out of it? We’ve got a bunch of tips for you here.
PS: We know this is very Fujifilm specific, but we’ve got a lot of Fujifilm readers as our audience. So we’re doing this tutorial just for you folks.
Mind Your Focusing Distance
The [amazon_textlink asin=’B01KNXOCO8′ text=’XF 23mm F2 R WR’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’31dec26c-fd1d-11e6-81d9-335bae25bd81′] is a great lens in most respects, but one aspect of this lens that can be annoying if you aren’t paying attention is a slight haze/softness on subjects close to the camera when shooting wide open. It’s a real shame because you can actually achieve focus with this lens at very close distances (in terms of portraiture, or still life, it is not a macro lens). That said, there are two ways around this.
A. Stop the lens down to F2.8 or F.4. The haze or softness that you can see wide open greatly diminishes when stopped down to F2.8 and is virtually gone if you stop the lens down to F4. Obviously, this is a creative decision, so you will have to decide if you can get the look you want with F2.8 or F4, but if you can, this will eliminate that pesky haze (unless of course, you are wanting that haze effect).
B. Move away from your subject. The other way to avoid the haze/softness on close subjects is to avoid them all together. The 35mm field of view is a decent one for environmental portraits and the like. You don’t need to have a ton of distance between you and your subject, but at least a 4-5 feet is recommended to mitigate the haze & softness. The closer you are to your subject shooting wide open, the more likely you are to run into it.
Avoiding the Smallest AF Point
The [amazon_textlink asin=’B01KNXOCO8′ text=’XF 23mm F2 R WR’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’652c4e4e-fd1d-11e6-b98e-4978d8b2ea41′] is known for its fast and accurate autofocus, but at times even this lens can struggle. This is especially true is lower light situations, where the camera and lens can have trouble focusing on fine details. One of the best ways to improve your AF performance with this lens, in low light or action, is by changing your AF point on your camera from the smallest option to the next step up – which is still sufficiently small enough to focus on specific points like an eye.
Pair this lens with Fuji’s X-Trans III Sensor
The XF 23mm F2 R WR works great on all of Fujifilm’s X series cameras, but if you want the absolute best performance in terms of AF, image quality and such then we definitely recommend pairing this lens with either Fujifilm’s [amazon_textlink asin=’B01A8DUR74′ text=’X-Pro2′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3be6d082-fd1d-11e6-a08a-4fcde717aa3c’], [amazon_textlink asin=’B01I3LNMAM’ text=’X-T2′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’415977a8-fd1d-11e6-bbd0-c105720b7422′], or [amazon_textlink asin=’B01N10DO3R’ text=’X-T20′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’49f1053a-fd1d-11e6-8752-7b96b99cfe3b’]. This lens was designed with this next gen Fujifilm sensor in mind, and it performs at its best with these three cameras.
That is not to say you will suffer if you try and use it with an X-T1, X-E2, or other older X-Series camera. But for the best results possible, pair this with a camera featuring the newer 24MP X-Trans III sensor.