This is a review I’ve been purposely sitting on since I finished working with the unit in January. Since then, I’ve had to better understand my own feelings on the Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR. If you go online in forums and groups, you’ll find that lots of folks swear by this lens. They adore it with a fervent love that a saint devotes to a higher being. Make no mistake, I’m a follower of the church of Fujifilm. But there are far more important gods than this lens for me. And that’s probably just because of the type of photographer I am.
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This is a lens that I think will appeal the most to food and wedding photographers. In fact, I think it’s the missing link for them. But for the rest of us, I think that there are far better lens options; and that’s perfectly okay.
Table of Contents
The Big Picture
The Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR is an excellent macro lens available at an insanely low price point. Fujifilm packed weather resistance, fast focusing, and good image quality into a very small lens body. That last statement alone is probably one of the most important things to most Fujifilm photographers. They need small lenses, and not massive ones. It’s going to do well when photographing wedding rings, flowers, food, watches, and much more. And while you can surely use it for everyday shoots, I think that Fujifilm has much better lenses for that.
Oh, also, be sure to use this thing with a flash. That’s when I think the image quality and true potential of this lens really comes out.
The Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR receives four out of five stars. And where I think it’s held back is with Fujifilm’s own autofocus. Want one? Check them out at Amazon.
- Weather resistant
- Close focusing
- Beautiful image quality with the right lighting and the right film simulation
- Very small
- Ease of use completely changes with the X Pro 3’s optical viewfinder. When you’re getting within macro range, you absolutely have to use the superimposed picture within picture to get focus.
- Fujifilm’s autofocus needs to improve in general
- You have to reverse or remove the lens hood to focuses on the closest distance. This lens truly deserved a collapsible lens hood.
We received a loaner unit of the Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR from Fujifilm. It was tested with the Fujifilm XT5, X Pto 3, and the X Pro 1. The XT5 was a loaner unit, while the other cameras are our own. We also used it with our own Profoto B10 flash unit.
The Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR doesn’t really do anything innovative. But it’s a small macro lens that’s fast to focus, weather resistant, and is very affordable. That formula has mostly been around for years. But Fuji is adding in weather resistance, and we haven’t really seen that specific feature before with the rest of the combo. Still, we wouldn’t say that this is groundbreaking within photography. However, it’s a very welcome addition to the Fuji X system.
This section was taken from our first impressions.
Here’s a closer look at the new Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 R WR Macro. As you can tell, it’s got a body style like the smaller f2 primes from Fujifilm: thinner up top and more shapely around the lower regions. The two control rings are for aperture control and manual focusing.
The aperture ring of course can be set to A mode to allow the camera to function in Program auto mode, shutter priority, or just give the body control of the rings.
Here’s the front element. Of course, this is a very small lens overall as you can tell.
Starting with the obvious, the Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR has weather resistance. That’s an important thing for lots of photographers around the world. It’s also a very small lens; which is also very important because of the ergonomics of how Fujifilm cameras are.
But the weird thing is the shape. If you’re a fan of the f2 R WR trio of lenses, then you’ll like this. The Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR is designed to feel more like those with a wider bottom and a more slender top. Hoards of photographers love those lenses. But I tend to reach for the ones that feel more like vintage Zeiss and Leica lenses instead.
This is a long way to say that I’m not a huge fan of how this feels. But I’ll acknowledge its strengths.
Ease of Use
The Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR is a pretty simple lens to use. Twist it onto the camera, point, shoot, and enjoy the photo. At macro ranges, I’ll really recommend using smaller focusing points. The camera will then focus slower, but it will be much more accurate through and through.
Additionally, the lens hood is pretty much useless. If you want to protect the front of the lens, get a lens filter. When you’re focusing at the closest macro ranges, you need to reverse or remove the hood entirely. I wish that this lens had a collapsible lens hood of some sort instead.
Further, if you’re using an X Pro camera with an OVF, you’ll see that at certain macro ranges, the camera will switch over to the EVF. That’s because the OVF becomes useless after a while. It works almost more like a rengefinder without the picture-in-picture feature; though that can be adjusted still.
The Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR focuses pretty quickly overall. While I still think that Fujifilm’s overall autofocus needs a major improvement, I can give the Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR some slack. That’s because you’re mostly going to use it for macro stuff and that doesn’t need to be all that fast unless you’re photographing a bug or small animal. Nonetheless, I’d be careful when focusing with the Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR to ensure that it does so accurately.
With the Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR, the image quality is something that’s going to depend on your camera settings. Just remember that this is Fujifilm, so it varies based on film simulations, in-camera clarity, and more. While Fujifilm’s autofocus is slower than many of the others, it’s still good enough for a variety of types of work. Let’s dive in.
Of course, with this being a macro lens, the best bokeh comes when you shoot wide open with this lens and super up close. With that said,t he bokeh is beautiful and creamy. We really don’t need to spend more on this section. However, know that since this is an f2.8 APS-C lens that it’s not all that nice when you’re shooting more normal subjects like portraits.
The colors depend on the film simulation. But no matter what, I really like the colors from the Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR. There isn’t a single film simulation where I didn’t like what this lens could do.
I couldn’t find any major issues with things like chromatic aberrations or fringing in this lens. And since this is a newer optic, it’s designed to be more practical than character-based. I think a lot of photographers might like that in this case.
The sharpness from the Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro R WR is best emphasized when you use it with off-camera flashes and lights. As it is, it’s not the sharpest lens that Fujifilm makes. However, it gets sharper with flash output. If you’re specifically interested in macro lenses, the company’s 80mm is sharper to us.
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. They’re not showing what the lens can do. So we have a section in our Extra Image Samples area to show edited and unedited photos. From this, you can make a decision for yourself.
Who Should Buy the Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 Macro?
The Fujifilm 30mm f2.8 is a great lens for a specific type of photographer. If you like shooting jewelry, animals, insects, and food, then this is the single best lens you can probably get your hands on. However, know that you need the extra sharpness that only a flash can give you. No, an LED lamp can’t do it because of how they work.
If you’re thinking about it for portraits, consider something else.
Want one? Check them out at Amazon.
The following specs are taken from the Lensrentals listing:
|Angle of View||50.7°|
|Lens Type||Normal Range|
|Macro Reproduction Ratio||1:1|
|Mfr. Model Number||16792576|
|Minimum Focusing Distance||0.3feet|
|Optical Design||Groups/Elements9/1132Aspherical ElementsExtra-Low Dispersion Elements|
|Physical||Dimensions (ø x L)2.4 × 2.7″0.4 lb.Weight|