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