As I was getting ready to write this article, I was looking around my gear cabinet for this lens and I couldn’t locate it. When I did find it, the lens was attached to my wife’s X-T4! It turns out that the Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR is her favorite lens. It seems that whenever I want to use it, the lens is attached to her camera. This is the only lens that we fight over.
That first paragraph could be the entirety of this article. It says everything that you need to know (although my full review of the 27mm f/2.8 lens can be read here). If there could only be one lens in our household, it would be this one! But why? What makes this lens special?
The technical specs for this lens don’t stand out. A maximum aperture of f/2.8 isn’t eye-popping. The stats seem kind of ho-hum—in fact, that is why I hesitated to buy this lens in the first place. But stats don’t tell the whole story. What’s most important are the pictures, and the Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR captures wonderful photographs!
Why does this lens capture such good images? It’s the sharpness, the micro-contrast, and the bokeh, which are all excellent. Perhaps, above all that, it’s the very useful focal-length, as 27mm is full-frame-equivalent to 40.5mm, which is pretty close to “normal” and very similar to what the eyes see. You can use this focal-length for most genres of photography. Useful and excellent—that’s the best summery of why I (we, actually) love this lens so much.
This is speaking nothing of the compact-size and lightweightness (I don’t think that’s a word) of this pancake lens, which makes it a joy to carry. Your gear is better when it doesn’t get in the way of itself, and this one—the smallest lens in the Fujinon lineup—certainly stays out of the way.
Ask anyone who owns this lens (or even the original 27mm f/2.8, which is optically identical), and they’ll tell you that it’s one of their favorites. On paper it shouldn’t be, but it is, because “on paper” is much different than real world use. The Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR is an easy lens to recommend to anyone. However, if there’s one issue, it’s that this lens is really difficult to find right now, so if you are shopping for it, I wish you the best of luck.
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