The Fujifilm 18mm F1.4 LM WR is going to please many photographers, especially street photographers.
The Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 LM WR is probably going to confuse a lot of people. It’s not replacing the 16mm f1.4 R WR or the 18mm f2. Instead, it’s living alongside those lenses. Now, the X series has a classic 28mm equivalent with an f1.4 aperture. Add onto that the fact that it’s weather sealed. Then top it off with the linear motor that’s inside for faster autofocus. To blow your mind more, it’s coming in at under $1,000. Trust me when I say that I think the Fujifilm 18mm F1.4 LM WR will sell like newly legalized marijuana in NYC.
- Weather sealing
- f1.4 aperture to f16
- Linear motor
- 62mm filter thread
- Optional metal lens hood
- 9 aperture blades
- 370 grams
- 15 elements in 9 groups
- 3 aspherical elements
- 1 ED element
The Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 LM WR has a small 62mm filter thread. It’s not all that large. Being a small prime for an APS-C camera system, we need to expect that.
This wouldn’t be a Fujifilm prime lens without the classic aperture ring. And, of course, you can spot that right here. On the other end of it, the aperture ring has an A-setting. This lets you control the aperture through the camera body. Arguably, you buy into the Fuji system to use features like this. Their superior ergonomics are a standout for many.
Above the aperture ring is the focusing ring. This is meant more for ergonomic grip than anything else. Unlike the 16mm f1.4 and the 23mm f1.4, the Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 LM WR doesn’t have a snapback. So if you want to manually focus, you need to do it through the camera settings.
This is a WR lens. That means it’s weather-resistant. And, of course, Fujifilm doesn’t disappoint. The prototype lens we used performed very admirably in the rain. Obviously, there is this entire photoshoot, but we also took it out to Coney Island this past weekend in NYC. It was incredibly hazy and misty for most of the day. However, this lens performed like a champ when attached to the Fujifilm X Pro 3. In fact, that’s the camera I think this should really be paired with.
In the hand, it feels a little less chunky, and a smidgen longer than the 16mm f1.4 R WR. You’re also losing the snapback autofocus ring. So if you want to manually focus, you need to do it from the camera. Personally speaking, I’m doing a bit of soul-searching on that. I like the fast zone focusing ability of Fuji’s older lenses. But, I’d argue their autofocus is so good now that you don’t need it.
Ease of Use
There are a few ways to use the Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 LM WR. You can use it the way it was meant to be done with the aperture ring. Alternatively, you can switch the ring to the A-mode and control it through the camera. Otherwise, this is a standard, modern lens. This doesn’t have the snapback autofocus of the Fujifilm 16mm f1.4 and the 23mm f1.4. At first, I was annoyed by that. But practically speaking, the autofocus is so good that I didn’t really need it.
During my tests, I used the Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 LM WR in a few ways. In more comfortable, intimate situations, I chose a focusing point. That was quick and easy to do. In run-and-gun situations, I set the camera to AF-C, wide zone focus, and face detection. I even did continuous shooting. Believe it or not, this lens gave me more faith in the Fujifilm X Pro 3. Sometimes, I’d complain about the autofocus with the 16mm. But this lens nailed it each and every time. In fact, it pulled off a few shots that I was stunned about.
For the record, the Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 LM WR isn’t replacing the Fujifilm 18mm f2 or the Fujifilm 16mm f1.4 R WR. It’s living alongside them. Part of this is probably because of the linear motor. This is around a 28mm field of view, so it’s perfect for candid shooting.
Honestly, I’m not sure there’s a lot to complain about. And if it’s fast with the Fujifilm X Pro 3, it’ll be faster with the XT4.
All of these images are from the Fujifilm X Pro 3. We did no editing except for changing the film simulation profiles for a few photos. The image of me above was brightened and had the white balance locked to daylight. But otherwise, that’s it. By default, I always shoot my RAWs with the X Pro 3’s clarity boost at +2. Please enjoy these samples below!
I’m incredibly impressed with the Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 LM WR. For the record, we handled a prototype. Our full review will have a production version. But, if the autofocus performs is this fantastic and the image quality is also just as good, then Fujifilm has a winner. Street photographers and others will love this lens. Wedding photographers will make great use of it. Further, it’s bound to be a great walk-around lens for most people.
Please stay tuned for our full review of the Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 LM WR. In the meantime, you can check out Amazon for availability.