One of The Best. Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM Review

The Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM is a lens that I had mixed feelings about when it was announced. Fujifilm’s reps flat out told us that this lens isn’t designed with the same character as the 35mm. That lens has a Sonnar design. Instead, the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM is designed for faster focus for photography and video both. It’s also weather sealed, slightly larger, and very sharp! If you liked the Fujifilm 18mm f1.4 R WR LM, then know that the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM has a similar design. We’ve reviewed nearly every Fujifilm X mount lens. and this is honestly one of the most essential purchases we can recommend to a Fuji user.

Too Long; Didn’t Read

Mount the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM to your camera, and you’ll probably fall in love nearly immediately. The balance, the build quality, and the reliability all work together to make this a fantastic lens. Couple that with one of the great Fujifilm simulations and you’ll be very happy. It focuses incredibly fast in any situation you’ll need to it. And it also reliably tracks your subjects.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Weather sealed
  • Lightweight
  • Decent size, not too large or small.
  • Insanely fast on the X Pro 3 and XT4
  • Beautiful image quality
  • I’m glad this isn’t directly replacing the 35mm f1.4 because that lens has beautiful render.
  • Can be a fantastic wedding lens one moment and then a great fun lens the other moment.
  • Around $800 is pretty fair for what this lens can do.

Cons

  • Not going to lie, I miss the pull-back focusing ring. But the autofocus can keep up at this point. I’m really shocked.

Innovations

The Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM doesn’t necessarily have innovations per se except for the linear motor design. This makes it incredibly fast. Even if you don’t nail the autofocus perfectly, you probably won’t care because of Fujifilm’s great film simulation render. And if you’re not using those, then you’re not using Fujifilm correctly as they apply to the RAW images. Couple that with the sharp image quality that this lens delivers, and you’ve got something great and innovative to the Fuji system. However, it’s not an overall innovation to the industry. By comparison, the Fujifilm 50mm f1 R WR is the world’s first autofocusing f1 lens.

Gear Used

We reviewed the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM with the:

Tech Specs

Tech specs are pulled from the LensRentals listing.

Angle of View

46.9°

Aperture Blades

9, Rounded

Aspherical Elements

2

Autofocus

Autofocus

Brand

Fuji

Diameter

2.6″

Extra Low-Dispersion Elements

3

Filter Size

58.0mm

Focal Length

33.0-33.0

Format

APS-C

Groups/Elements

10/15

Hood Included

Yes

Image Stabilization

No

Item Type

Lens

Length

2.9″

Lens Type

Normal Range

Max Aperture

1.4

Maximum Magnification

0.15x

Mfr. Model Number

16719201

Minimum Aperture

16.0

Minimum Focusing Distance

1.0feet

Mount

Fuji

Weight

0.8 lb.

Ergonomics

The Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM is a fairly standard lens as far as Fuji lenses go. You’ve got the big focusing ring that doubles as grip. For what it’s worth, this lens has an aluminum exterior. There’s also the aperture ring towards the mount. This also has an A-setting so you can control the aperture from the camera body.

Otherwise, the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM doesn’t have any other controls on it.

Build Quality

It’s hard to deny how great the build quality is on the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM. Of course, it’s weather-resistant. Fuji’s lenses are some of the hardiest that we’ve tested over the years. So if you’re hiking in the forest and get caught in a rainfall, you can just keep shooting with the camera as long as it’s weather-sealed. You’ll thoroughly enjoy it and the reliability it delivers.

Then there’s how the lens feels in your hand. If you adore the feel of Fujifilm’s older, shorter, chunkier lenses then you might need to adapt. The Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM is one of their slightly longer and thinner lenses. However, it still feels great in the hand. 

Ease of Use

This is a simple lens to use. Slap it on the camera, point, focus, and shoot. It’s as simple as that. There are no controls on this lens. And honestly, I’m going to miss the pull-back focusing ring. It’s probably gone permanently. But for what it’s worth, even on the X Pro 3, I’m shocked at how reliable the autofocus is. And in lots of situations, I’ll happily rely on it.

Autofocus

So here’s the deal. Two good friends of mine got married when I was reviewing the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM. I wasn’t the wedding photographer, but I tend to bring a camera with me everywhere I go. For the record, the X Pro 3 is my favorite camera despite my qualms with it. And guess what. This combo tracked them dancing on the dance floor, compensated for strong backlighting, focused on the in low light, etc. It nailed it around 90% of the time. Any time that the focusing wasn’t on point was becasue the reception took place on a moving boat. 

Would I use it for street photography? Well, you can. But honestly, I still think that the 18mm f1.4 R WR LM is better for that. The laws of physics sort of reinforce what I’m saying too. This, however, is where I’d say that I’m a tad biased though. I prefer either longer focal lengths or shorter ones for street photography. And I’m not at all saying that you can’t do it with this lens. It’s possible, and it’s the ultimate test for the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM. And it’s possible for it to totally nail it.

Image Quality

It’s hard not to like the image quality of the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM. It’s sharp, the bokeh does the job, and you’ll always get those Fujifilm colors you adore. Any passionate photographer would be crazy not to want this lens or at least not appreciate it for everything it can do. If Fujifilm had something like the Canon L or Sony G Master line up, this lens would be included in that lineup easily. 

Bokeh

Look at this bokeh! It’s smooth, creamy, cinematic, and overally just lovely. We’re not going to tell you to pixel peep to look at the nuances of the bokeh. The point of good bokeh is to look at the image as a whole. You’re supposed to see how your subject stands out from the scene. And that’s being done here very well. The bokeh is stunning with 9 aperture blades. It’s got that vintage feel that you know and love too.

Color Rendition

The color rendition from this lens is akin with everything else you mount on a Fuji camera. This photo was shot in the Classic Negative film simulation. And of course, the colors will be dictated by the sensor and processor. But for what it’s worth, I adore the colors. I tend to really like the classic negative film simulation. Arts and Culture Editor adores Acros and Classic Chrome. Reviews Writer Brittany Smith likes Classic Chrome. And Reviews Editor Hillary Grigonis, who recently switched entirely over to Fujifilm, likes Astia.

Lens Character

My buddy Brent says that this lens still has lens character. But I feel it’s more clinical than some of Fuji’s other lenses. With that said, we didn’t experience any major issues with distortion or fringing than we’d cry about. And even so, we could fix them easily in Capture One Pro. Capture One officially works with Fujifilm where Adobe doesn’t to our knowledge. So C1 is just a better program if this is an issue for you.

Sharpness

The sharpness from the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM is good. In the case where Brent shot this photo of me, it’s probably also a bit too sharp. Unfortunately, unlike the GFX cameras, the X Pro 3 and XT4 don’t have the skin softening feature yet. When that comes, it will be a very welcome godsend.

Extra Image Samples

From day one, the Phoblographer has been huge on transparency with our audience. Nothing from this review is sponsored. Further, lots of folks will post reviews and show lots of editing in the photos. The problem then becomes that anyone and everyone can do the same thing. You’re not showing what the lens can do. So we have a whole section in our Extra Image Samples area to show off edited and unedited photos. From this, you can make a decision for yourself.

Edited

Unedited

Conclusions

Likes

  • Small size
  • Reliability
  • Autofocus speed
  • Image quality
  • Weather sealing
  • Around $800 is a decent price.

Dislikes

  • I’m personally missing the focusing ring that flipped immediately into manual focus, but I can live without it.

There’s a lot to love about the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM. For many photographers, it will most likely be their most used lens as the 50mm equivalent view is paramount. They can shoot everything with this lens: weddings, portraits, food, travel, fun stuff that passionate photographers do, etc. Photographers will adore the image quality along with the solid overall build quality. What’s more, they’ll be able to use it in incredibly tough weather conditions with ease. When they’re ready to put the camera away, it will keep your entire package still pretty compact in your camera bag. All this for around $800 and you truly can’t go wrong. 

We’re awarding the Fujifilm 33mm f1.4 R WR LM five out of five stars and our Editor’s Choice award.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.