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.
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Example photographs captured with the Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR lens on a Fujifilm X-E4:
See also: My Fujifilm Gear Page
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