Last Updated on 10/29/2018 by Mark Beckenbach
There’s no shortage of well priced, excellent performing, prime lenses on the Fujifilm platform.
The next in our series of favorite 35mm and 50mm lenses focuses on the prime lenses offered on the Fuji platform. Fujifilm has always made some spectacular lenses, and the primes we will look at today are no exception to that rule. They are well built, produce sharp images, and are incredibly affordable.
If you have just made the switch over to Fujifilm, or are thinking about doing so, not only do you have some outstanding cameras to choose from, you also have some wonderful prime lenses too look at too. In this article we will take a look at 35mm and 50mm offerings, and will show you why you should seriously consider giving them a spot on your camera, and in your camera bag.
Fujifilm 23mm F2 R WR
The Fujifilm 23mm f2 R WR is one of the first prime lenses all Fujifilm shooters should consider It is small, lightweight, produces excellent images, and is very affordable. The 23mm f2, when placed on a Fuji crop body, will have an equivalent focal length of 34.5mm which makes it perfect for wedding photographers, event photographers, environmental portrait artists, and documentarians.
In our review we said:
“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 it becomes a complete speed demon.”
10 elements in 6 groups, and 9 rounded aperture blades make up the optics in the all-metal body. The optics are capable of producing images that are sharp, colors that are beautifully rendered, and bokeh that is nice and creamy. There is a slight amount of chromatic aberration, but nothing that can’t easily be fixed in post. Focus speeds are incredibly quick on this lens; even older bodies will feel new again with this lens attached.
The build quality of the lens is excellent. The all-metal body feels nice in the hands, while the good sized focus ring provides a nice place to grip the lens. The Fujifilm 23mm f2 R WR is also weather sealed, so when paired with a weather sealed body you can shoot till your hearts content while out in the rain or snow. This lens is also incredibly light at just 0.39lbs. You can put this piece of glass on your camera and walk around for hours without any discomfort, it also makes this lens very easy to use.
If you are thinking about buying your first 35mm prime lens and do not want to spend a fortune, at just $399 the 23mm f2 is a steal.
Buy now ($399): Amazon
Fujifilm 23mm F2 W WR Image Samples
Pro Tip: Make sure you don’t run out of juice while out in the field. As great as Fujifilm cameras are, battery life could be better. These third party battery replacements are cheap and come with their own charging dock. It’s always best to carry around a few extra batteries in your bag so you don’t miss out on capturing images.
Fujifilm 23mm F1.4
The 23mm f1.4 is the bigger, beefier brother to the 23mm f2 and is aimed at those those who demand just a little bit more performance out of their prime lenses. For pro wedding photographers, and for those who need that extra kick of performance in low light, the Fujifilm 23mm (34.5mm crop equivalent) f1.4 could be the lens for you.
In our review we said:
“When you first mount the 23mm f1.4 to your camera, something really magical happens after you get the first photo that you really love. Using the lens will bring back a nostalgia that you may have had when first creating your earliest film images.”
At twice the price of the f2 version, the Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 might make some think twice about purchasing it, but the extra money does show in image quality and performance. Inside the lens you will find 11 elements in 8 groups, and 7 aperture blades. Images produced are sharp when wide open, but stop down just a hair and they become razor sharp with colors that make the Fujifilm film profiles stand out. As mentioned above, when you nail an image, you’ll get shivers down your spine. The lens is that good.
Autofocusing is fast, but not as fast as the f2 version, which is to be expected as there is significantly more glass to be moved around here. It’s no slouch though and performs well in both good and low light situations.
The build quality is also excellent. The brushed metal finish feels great, the lens balances well on the camera, and at 0.66lbs it’s easy to use for long periods. One omission though is weather sealing. If you want a weather sealed lens you will have to go with the Fujifilm 23mm f2, but if it is all about the image quality for you, this is without doubt one of the Fujifilm prime lenses to take seriously.
Buy now ($799): Amazon
Fujifilm 23mm F1.4 Image Samples
Pro Tip: As noted above, not all lenses and camera bodies are weather sealed. Make sure you are prepared to shoot in the rain or snow by putting some camera and lens rain covers in your bag. They are cheap and will allow you to keep on shooting when the weather takes a bad turn.
Fujifilm 35mm F2 R WR
The good ole nifty fifty. I have long said that every photographer should own at least one of these lenses in their life, and I still stand by that statement. They are cheap, produce excellent images, and they can really help you progress as a photographer as they force you to think about your composition. The Fujifilm 35mm (52.5mm equivalent) f2 is a great place to start with prime lenses if you are new to photography, but this lens also performs well enough for seasoned pros who might want a cheaper 50mm option. The 50mm focal length is perfect for portraits, event work, and street photography.
In our review we said:
“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.”
While not as cheap as Canon’s entry level 50mm, the Fujifilm 35mm f2 R WR still represents outstanding value for the money, especially when you consider the all metal construction and the 8-point weather sealing on this lens.
In terms of optics this lens has 9 elements in 6 groups, and 9 aperture blades. Images produced with this lens will exhibit great sharpness even when shot wide open, while the 9 aperture blades are quite capable of producing some nice, creamy bokeh, as you’ll see in one of the sample images below. The Fujifilm 35mm f2 is perhaps the fastest focusing lens to date on this platform, which make this a great choice for candid street photography.
The Fujifilm 35mm f2 R WR’s small footprint and light weight (0.37lbs) make this a superb walk around lens. Put it on your camera and you will pretty much forget it’s there. Like the 23mm f2 mentioned above, this lens is perfect for those who are perhaps considering buying one of their first prime lenses.
Buy now ($349): Amazon
Fujifilm 35mm F2 R WR Image Samples
Pro Tip: Dirt, grease, and grime; a few of lenses’ worst enemies. There is nothing worse than pulling out your lens only to see it covered in nasty things. Keep a simple lens cleaning kit in your bag so that you can remove dust, finger prints, and other nastiness from your glass quickly and easily.
Fujifilm 35mm F1.4
There are a few 35mm lenses on the Fujifilm platform that almost made it on this list, like the Mitakon F0.95, but in terms of overall value and ease of use, the next 35mm lens I would recommend is Fujfilm’s 35mm f1.4. Much like the scenario above, the Fujifilm 35mm f1.4 is the bigger brother to the 35mm f2, and it does everything listed above only with more style and grace. This 50mm equivalent lens is perfect for those who shoot portraits and want the finest bokeh, or for street photographers who need the extra speed for low light situations.
In our review we said:
“The 35mm f1.4 is truthfully best experienced if not wide open, nowhere past f5.6. Otherwise, you’re doing an extreme injustice to yourself by not taking advantage of the beautiful bokeh and extreme sharpness the lens has to offer wide open.”
The price difference between this and the 35mm f2 is not as extreme as the one between the 23mm f2 and the 23mm f1.4, so why choose this version over the f2 version? The answer is overall image quality. The 35mm f1.4 features 8 elements in 6 groups, and 7 aperture blades. Images produced with this lens will continually make your jaw hit the floor. They are sharp from edge to edge, colors are accurate, and the bokeh rendered is beautiful. There is no chromatic aberration, or distortion of any kind to speak of, and this speaks volumes about this lens and its construction.
Like other Fujifilm lenses, the 35mm f1.4 has an all-metal body which gives it a nice feel. The focus ring and aperture control ring are well placed and easy to use. There is no weather sealing though, which is a real shame, but for the price you’re getting one of the sharpest prime lenses on the platform. Autofocusing speeds are good, and the fast aperture will make shooting in low light situations a breeze.
If you want super sharp, contrasty images that will constantly amaze you, the Fujifilm 35mm f1.4 is the lens for you.
Buy now ($549): Amazon
Fujifilm 35mm F1.4 Image Samples