Fujifilm, It’s Time for Faster Primes with Weather Sealing (F1.4 and Up)

Fujifilm has been setting new standards with their APS-C cameras, and they have also racked up an impressive library of X Mount lenses, especially when it comes to primes. The F2 lineup is lauded by many for sharp optics, beautiful bokeh, and excellent color renditions. They are also weather-sealed primes with great price points. Their more expensive primes produce even better images, but for some reason, lack weather sealing. This lack of faster weather-sealed primes creates an issue for pros looking to use the system full time, and it is an issue that needs to be addressed. Join us after the break to find out what we would like to see in terms of new lenses from Fujifilm.

While we’re anticipating the 33mm f1 lens, there is still a lot of headway to be made. Hot on the heels of the news that Fujifilm may release the new X-T4 much earlier than anticipated, we got to thinking about the platform and just how far Fujifilm cameras have come in a very short amount of time. Fujifilm has also made significant strides when it comes to their lenses too, and one could even say they have one of the most impressive lineups of prime lenses on any system. One area where Fujifilm is sorely deficient is in weather-sealed primes with apertures of f1.4 and higher.

weather-sealed primes
Captured with the Fujifilm X-T3 and the 56mm f1.2.

Don’t get us wrong; we adore the 23mm f1.4, the 35mm f1.4, and the 56mm f1.2. They are spectacular lenses in every way, but they are not weather-sealed. And honestly, when compared to new Fujifilm lenses which use faster autofocus motors, these lenses are now starting to feel a little old.

My favorite combination when shooting Fujifilm was always an X-T3 with the 56mm f1.2. Magic happens when these two products are used together. I can even say that some of my favorite images ever (and I’ve been doing this a long time) were produced with that combo, but even on a camera like the X-T3, focusing speeds were slow, the motor was noisy, and I couldn’t take it out in the lightest of sprinkles.

weather-sealed primes
Captured with the Fujifilm X-H1 and the 23mm f1.4

The same problems exist with the 23mm f1.4 and the 35mm f1.4. These lenses, excellent as they are, simply do not match Fujifilm’s stellar cameras in terms of speed and build quality. These prime lenses are just crying out to be used out on the streets in the rain, where the lights are reflecting off of pavement, but it cannot be done. Professionals who work in the field cannot count on them either, just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse while out on a shoot. You can risk it if you like playing Russian Roulette with your gear, but that’s not for us.

weather-sealed primes
Captured with the X-Pro 1 and the 35mm f1.4

So, what is it exactly that we want to see? We want to see Fujifilm innovating in the lens space like both Canon and Nikon. Canon is producing some of the best, the most out of left field RF mount lenses that we have seen, and they are killing it hands-down. If any camera manufacturer wants to see how amazing lenses can be, they need to look towards Canon. Nikon, even with their crazy 0.95 Noct, is innovating and showing just how fast Mirrorless glass can be. Fujifilm seem to have stopped innovating in the lens space though, and it’s odd.

We’re not saying we want f0.95 glass from Fujifilm (though it would be kind of cool). What we would like to see is Fujifilm producing new, faster, weather-sealed primes that can replace the old guard. Please give us a new 23mm f1.4. Please give us a new 35mm f1.4, and update the 56mm f1.2. Give them all-weather sealing, update the optics, put faster motors in them that new Fujifilm cameras can take advantage of, and show the rest of the pack what you can do.

Captured with the Fujifilm X-T3 and the 56mm f1.2

We would also love to see more weather-sealed primes at different focal lengths. An updated 27mm (40.5mm equivalent) with an aperture of f1.4 instead of 2.8 would be splendid. A new 90mm (135mm equivalent) with an aperture of f1.4 or greater would turn some heads, and a 60mm (90mm equivalent) with an aperture of f1.2 would turn any Fujifilm camera into a portrait monster. Let’s not forget ultra-wides. How about a 10mm (15mm equivalent) lens with an aperture of f1.4? That would be one serious lens for landscape photography and astrophotography.

Fujifilm, we’ve seen what you can do when it comes to cameras, and we have been impressed with the glass on the system so far. But, it could be so much better. With you being unwilling to let the likes of Sigma and Tamron take a stab at X Mount lenses, we ask you to please start innovating in the lens department. Produce glass that will make those magical X-Trans sensors sing their song at the tops of their lungs, and that will allow pros to go into the field without a worry in their mind.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.