Lens Review: Fujinon XF 27mm F/2.8 R WR

Bundled with my Fujifilm X-E4 was the brand-new Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR lens. It’s sometimes referred to as the “Mark II” version, although that’s just a nickname and not an official title. It replaces the aging XF 27mm f/2.8 (note that the old model doesn’t have an R and WR in the name), which was released in 2013. This refresh improves the original model’s shortcomings while not messing with what made it great.

The Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR, which retails for $399, is a pancake lens, which means that it’s small and flat. In fact, it’s Fujifilm’s most compact lens. The X-E4 when paired with this lens is similar in size to the X100V with its built-in lens. The 27mm f/2.8 is less than an inch long and weighs only three ounces, making it a perfect option for travel.

Fujifilm gave this new model two significant improvements over the old version. The most noticeable is the addition of an aperture ring (this is what the R in the name means). Fujifilm’s charm and ideology is retro-styling, and the traditional aperture ring is a big part of that, so it was a shame that the old model didn’t have one, but great that the new one does. Another improvement is weather sealing (hence, WR in the name), although this only matters if the camera is weather sealed, too. Also, the new model is capable of manual-focus-override while in autofocus, which I don’t believe the old version could do, so this is a bonus improvement.

The focus motor inside the new 27mm lens is the same as the old version. It’s plenty quick enough, but it is a little on the loud side. It would have been nice if Fujifilm had engineered a quieter motor for this update. There are noisier lenses in the Fujinon lineup, so it’s not a big deal (I suppose) that Fujifilm left the motor alone. Still, this would have been a nice touch.

Fujifilm kept the glass inside the new lens the same as the old one. There are seven elements in five groups with seven rounded blades. The minimum focus distance is a little more than 13 inches, which is decent enough but not great. The 27mm focal-length is 40.5mm full-frame equivalent, which is barely wide-angle, and is very close to “normal” on Fujifilm X cameras. The maximum aperture is f/2.8, which isn’t particularly fast, and the minimum aperture is f/16. The lens accepts 39mm threaded filters.

The 27mm f/2.8 lens is pretty darn sharp. I don’t think it’s quite as sharp as the 35mm f/2, but very close. There’s a little corner softness when wide open. Peak sharpness seems to be around f/5.6-f/8, but it’s good throughout the full aperture range. I didn’t notice any vignetting or chromatic aberrations. I did see a very minor amount of barrel distortion, which only really matters when shooting brick walls; it’s very subtle so no big deal. Bokeh looks nice. Sunstars are decent yet soft. Flare is well-controlled.

There’s a special quality about the pictures captured with the 27mm f/2.8 lens. I’m not exactly sure what it is—the “it factor” maybe?—it’s really difficult to describe, but what I can tell you is that I like this little lens more than I thought I was going to. Maybe it’s the small size? I think more than anything the pictures that it produces attracts me to it. I absolutely love the new Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR lens, and it’s a great bargain when bundled with the Fujifilm X-E4.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR   Amazon   B&H

Example photographs captured with the Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR lens on a Fujifilm X-E4:

Palms – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Palms Trees & Storm – Sun City West, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Black & White Bloom – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Little Garden Statue – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Boombox – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Little Dog – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Lampshade, Cross & Curtain – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Two Thirty – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 27mm
Tiles & Stairs – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Window Blinds – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Globe by a Window – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
What’s the Dog’s Name? – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Cactus Seat – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Blossoming Red – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
That Way – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm
Three Palms – Sun City West, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm

See also: My Fujifilm Gear Page

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20 comments

  1. Pingback: Review: Fujifilm X-E4 — The Little Camera That Can | FUJI X WEEKLY
  2. Don · March 23

    Just one week old, the X-E2 and 27mm 2.8 WR, and I concur with your findings on this lens. The focal length works for me, the focus sound is not a deal breaker as it’s surly only heard by the operator and zero bystanders. Love it, glad to have it but there’s only one thing that is odd…No lens hood included! It’s just $14 bucks but hey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 23

      It’s the little things, right? The lens hood seems like it should have been included (such a simple but nice extra touch that would have been), although I would have left it in the box personally. I appreciate the comment!

      Like

      • Don · March 23

        The Hood design is part of the pancake function. Blunt, no edges to catch on anything, flat. It’s practically the other half of the equation.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. walker · March 23

    great lens indeed. I’ve bought it in 2015 and I mostly use it when I run in the mountains, it’s a feather. yep, at f8 is a very sharp knife 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 23

      I appreciate the input! F/8 and be there. This lens being so small and lightweight helps you to be there, wherever that is.

      Like

  4. Nicolas · March 23

    Hey Ritchie
    What is your opinion on the focal length?
    It’s not a normal lens, not a wide angle, I actually don’t know what what 41,31mm lens is…

    Wouldn’t you rather pick a 23mm (a 35mm lens)?

    Just curious…

    cheers Nicolas

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 23

      Well, the focal-length is an odd one, isn’t it? It’s actually close to “normal” on Fujifilm, although it is just barely wide-angle. The 35mm is also close to “normal” although it is slightly telephoto. I believe a true normal lens would be somewhere in-between. My opinion is that you use whatever focal-length you have to the best of your ability, and don’t worry too much about it. If it’s challenging to use, or “uninteresting”, that’s an opportunity to grow, and use the limitation to become better or more creative.
      I have a 23mm lens on my X100V, but if I didn’t I would strongly consider that for the X-E4.

      Like

    • Khürt Williams · March 25

      40mm on a full frame sensor is very near the “normal” angle of view of the human eye.

      https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/cameras-vs-human-eye.htm

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · March 29

        I think it’s definitely the closest to “normal” for Fujifilm X. Maybe 29mm or 30mm would be closer, maybe? But 27mm is pretty darn close, for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Khürt Williams · March 31

        I think 28mm would be perfect.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · April 1

        That’s pretty darn close to 27mm, for sure.

        Like

  5. Brandon P · March 25

    To me, the original 27mm is the “one that got away.” I didn’t love using it on the X-E2 body I had (changing the aperture interfered with the way I used the command dial). When I later bought the 35mm f/2, I was in love and I just didn’t see a place for the pancake lens when the 35mm was already so small. So, I sold that to help fund some other purchase.

    But there have been many times since when I’ve wished for a flatter setup—something I can easily put into a jacket pocket. Plus, now that I have the X-E3, I have two command dials and changing the aperture wouldn’t necessarily be as annoying. At least that what I tell myself. I wrote an article on it and revisit it from time to time. I’ve almost pulled the trigger and bought another multiple times, but I still haven’t been able to do it.

    Thanks for your thoughts on the new model.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 29

      The 35mm f/2 and 27mm f/2.8 kind of cover the same territory, as you wonderfully stated in your article (thanks for sharing!). The 35mm has been my personal favorite for a couple of years. Now I’m liking the new 27mm; however, I don’t think I’d appreciate the old model (without the aperture ring) very much. I appreciate the comment!

      Like

  6. Khürt Williams · March 26

    The central angle of view — around 40-60° — is what most impacts human perception. This angle of view is the angle over which humans perceive objects without moving the eyes. This is close to a 43 mm “normal” focal length on a full-frame sensor and close to the 48° the angle of view of a 27 mm focal length on a camera with a 1.52 crop factor.

    I have the previous version of the XF27mmF2.8, and it’s quickly become my favourite. When the budget allows, I’ll upgrade to the R WR version.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 29

      I think it’s worth the upgrade for the “R” and “WR” features. It’s a very nice lens, for sure!

      Like

  7. Pingback: My “Ultimate” Fujifilm Travel Kit | FUJI X WEEKLY
  8. Coen wesselingh · April 6

    I couldn’t be happier with this lens! It’s only my second lens and first prime next to the 18-55 kitlens, but I lost the appetite to adde the 23 and 35 as originally intended. When I saw the news it was coming i immediately pre-ordered. Absolutely no regrets at all! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: New: Ricoh GR IIIx – RITCHIE'S RICOH RECIPES

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