We’re almost done with the first two months of 2023! Time is just flying by—I wish it would slow down a little. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to look at the lenses that I’m using the most so far this year.
The number-one most used lens is the one permanently attached to my Fujifilm X100V. So far, I’ve been picking up that model more this year than last. I’ve had the X100V for almost three years now, and it remains my favorite camera. For the sake of this article, though, I will only be discussing interchangeable lenses and not fixed, so the one on the X100V doesn’t count.
The methodology of this Top 5 list is simple: I reviewed my pictures captured in 2023, and noted which lenses were used. After tallying the results, I made this list. In other words, this list is simply my most-used lenses, which doesn’t necessarily mean best or favorite, although it certainly indirectly speaks something to that effect—if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t use it so much, right? With that said, here are my Top 5 lenses so far in 2023!
The Fujinon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 is my most expensive lens, and one of my least used. It comes in handy every once in awhile; however, it’s big and heavy, and not particularly convenient for carrying around, so it often stays at home unused. I’ve made a couple half-hearted attempts to sell it, but (for now) I still own it. I used it a couple of times in January, but on both occasions I switched it out for another lens after only a short while.
Surprising to me, the 100-400mm lens was used more than any of my vintage lenses. I love shooting with old manual lenses, but so far this year I haven’t done much of that; instead, the 100-400mm—despite limited use—was attached to my camera more, and snuck into number five on this list.
#4: Fujinon 18-55mm F/2.8-4
The Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens came bundled with my first Fujifilm camera, the X-E1. I used the lens for a few months and then sold it, because I’ve always been a prime lens photographer, and not a zoom. This last November I purchased a Fujifilm X-T5 bundled with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens, and I used this lens a lot for the first five or six weeks, but have since slowed down considerably, choosing prime lenses much more often instead of the zoom. My wife has found that she likes it for video, so she borrows it sometimes.
As far as zooms go, the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 is pretty darn good. I like the lens. I find myself using it at certain focal lengths—18mm, 23mm, 35mm, 55mm—and it’s amazing that one compact zoom can do the work of four primes. But I still prefer primes, so this lens only made it to number four, and a pretty good distance behind the next.
#3: Fujinon 35mm F/2
Before I purchased the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8, the Fujinon 35mm f/2 was my favorite and most used lens. It was almost always attached to my camera. But, after the arrival of the 27mm pancake, it got put on the shelf. Then my wife, Amanda, discovered that she really likes the 27mm lens, too, so now we share it. Whenever Amanda is using the 27mm, I’m often using the Fujinon 35mm f/2. Yes, it might be a consolation prize, but it is still a fantastic lens that I like using.
Let me point out something about the Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens that I have noticed: whenever I use it, I seem to have a pretty strong hit rate. I really like the pictures I capture with it. For that reason, there have been a couple of times where the 27mm pancake was available, but I chose the 35mm instead.
I have used the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens just barely more often than 35mm f/2 so far this year. I’ve often said that the 27mm f/2.8 is my favorite lens, and it was by far my most used lens in 2022 (even more than the one permanently attached to my X100V). I love the small size, focal length, and image quality. When I purchased this lens, I had no idea that I’d like it so much.
Through the first two months, the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 not only slipped to number two, but it almost fell one more spot. I do suspect that I’ll continue to use it often, and it is still one of my favorite lenses, but I’m not sure I can confidently state that it is my absolute favorite lens like I have previously. I still love it, though.
#1: Fujinon 90mm F/2
When I reviewed my pictures from 2022, I noticed that, despite using the Fujinon 90mm f/2 less than some other lenses, many of my favorite pictures were captured through its glass. So, in 2023, I’m trying to use it more. I find the focal length challenging sometimes, but when it does work out, the results are stunning. The 90mm lens is my wife’s other favorite lens, so I share it with her, and it’s not always available when I want to use it.
I hope when I look back at the end of the year, the Fujinon 90mm f/2 will continue to be at the top of this list. The pictures that I capture with it are some of my favorites, so it only makes sense to use it as often as I can.
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