Lens Review: Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR

Fujifilm blog Fujinon 23mm f/2 Lens

The Fujinon Super EBC XF 23mm f/2 R WR is a wide-angle prime lens for Fujifilm X cameras. Because of the APS-C crop factor, it has a full-frame equivalent focal length of about 35mm, which makes it an excellent all-purpose walk-around lens. How good is it? Should you buy it? I hope that this review will help to answer those questions.

The Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens has 10 elements in six groups, with nine rounded blades. The maximum aperture is f/2 and the minimum aperture is f/16, with intermediate stops at 1/3 increments. It’s mostly made of metal. The lens is about 2.3″ long and weighs about 0.4 pounds, which means it’s small and lightweight. It accepts 43mm filters and comes with a plastic hood. This lens is weather sealed, which is great if your camera is also weather sealed.

Auto-focus with this lens is super quick and nearly silent. It’s one of Fujifilm’s best auto-focus lenses, in my opinion. Manual focus is via an electronic system, and the focus ring is pretty good and smooth overall. The minimum focus distance is about nine inches.

The Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens is quite sharp (although not quite as sharp as the 35mm f/2). There’s some noticeable softness when wide open and focused close to the end of the lens, but otherwise it’s corner-to-corner crisp across the frame. Diffraction sets in at f/11 but doesn’t really become noticeable until f/16. Peak sharpness is around f/5.6. There’s a tiny amount of vignetting at f/2 that quickly goes away as you stop down, as well as some chromatic aberrations. There’s a moderate amount of pincushion distortion, which only matters if you shoot brick walls. Bokeh is creamy and quite nice. Lens flare is well controlled, and this lens can create good sunstars at small apertures. Image quality produced by the Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens is overall very good.

Fujifilm blog Fujinon 23mm f/2 Lens

The Fujifilm X100F has a built-in 23mm f/2 lens, and you might think that it’s the same lens as this one, but it’s not, although image quality is quite similar between the two. I think, if you were to study test charts, the Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens would seem slightly superior to the lens on the X100F, but in practical use there’s just something magical about the lens on the X100F that makes it preferable in my opinion. If you can’t afford an X100F, attaching a Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens to your camera will give you the next best thing, and it’s almost like having an X100F.

Fujifilm also makes a 23mm f/1.4 lens, which I’ve never had the pleasure to own, but I’ve talked to some people who have used both lenses to get their opinions. The advantage of the f/1.4 version is the larger maximum aperture and marginally better image quality, while the advantage of the f/2 version is size, weight, quickness and price. Unless you just need the larger aperture, I would recommend this lens instead of the f/1.4 version, although you can’t go wrong with either.

The Fujinon Super EBC XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens retails for $450, making it one of the lesser expensive prime lenses for Fujifilm X cameras. If you can find it on sale, it’s an even better bargain! If you are looking for a quality walk-around lens, or a cheap alternative to buying an X100F, I’d recommend the Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens, as it has a lot of pros and very few cons.

My affiliate links for the Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens are here: B&H  Amazon. If you make a purchase using my links I will be compensated a small amount for it.

Example photos captured using the Fujinon Super EBC XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens attached to a Fujifilm X-Pro2:

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Starry Nites – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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National Drink – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Bike Flag – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Empty Carts – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Radius Lines – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Slow – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Button For Walking – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Historic Beer – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm f/2

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Stair Vines – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Yellow Pots – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Yellow Door – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Yellow Circle Armor – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Monochrome Bench – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Famous Monster – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

See also:
Fujifilm Gear
Fujinon 90mm f/2 Review
Fujinon 35mm f/2 Review

16 comments

  1. Henry Buchanan · October 26

    Thanks for your recent review FUJI 23MM
    what film formulas did you use on your sample photos .

    Thanks Henry

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 26

      You are welcome! Some are Classic Chrome. Some others are Dramatic Classic Chrome. And a couple are Acros Push-Process.

      Like

  2. Janice · October 26

    This 23mm f2 has become my new favourite lens. Great for travelling being so small! Great write up as always

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 26

      Thank you for your kind words. It’s indeed a great lens for travel!

      Like

  3. Rob · October 26

    Thanks for the write up. I’m looking forward to getting this one in the spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. clayuk2000 · October 26

    It’s super fast on the XT30, I bought this lens in 2018, but since buying the 16mm f2 it hardly gets used.

    Like

  5. fragglerocking · October 26

    I have the 16mm so this one not on my radar. Love your shots with it though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Khürt Williams · October 28

      Do you have the Fujinon XF16mmF1.4 R WR or the the Fujinon XF16mmF2,8 R WR? Do you use it mostly for landscape or do you have other uses? I’m in an older demographic for whom a 16mm lens means landscape/cityscape photography. But I’ve seen many use this focal length as a very close portrait lens (for a distorted view).

      Liked by 1 person

      • fragglerocking · October 28

        I have the 16mm 1:2.8 R WR and it’s on my camera most of the time, I use it for landscapes and around town, not done close portraits with it yet, but have seen some great results from people who have.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love all the f2 lenses, they are quick, small and good image quality. I have to say that the 35mm f2 is my favourite of the set though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 27

      The 35mm and the 90mm are my favorites. I haven’t tried the 16mm f/2 yet.

      Like

  7. Khürt Williams · October 28

    One advantage of the Fujinon 23mmF2 R WR is that the f/2 lens is weather-resistant, but the Fujinon 23mmF1.2 is not. That could be important if one shoots in “damp” conditions (e.g. anywhere in the New England and Mid Atlantic states in fall, winter, and spring).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 28

      That’s a very good point! That matters especially if you have a weather sealed camera to go with it. Thank you for the input!

      Like

  8. Pingback: Awesome Fujifilm X Deals! | Fuji X Weekly

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