Fujifilm X-E4 + Fujinon 90mm = Great Combo with Challenges

Fujifilm X-E4 with Fujinon 90mm

I was cleaning out the notebook on my road trip two months ago—it was a whirlwind to the Grand Teton National Park and to the furthest northwest corner of Oregon—and I was trying to figure out what to write about. The remaining pictures are a hodgepodge, but I wanted to share them nonetheless. I then realized that many of the remaining images were captured with a Fujifilm X-E4 and Fujinon 90mm combination. Suddenly I had my article idea!

You might recall that the 90mm lens doesn’t fit into my “ultimate” travel camera kit, so I couldn’t bring it with me; however, my wife, Amanda, brought it in her camera bag to use with her X-T4. The three lenses that she likes to use are the Fujinon 10-24mm zoom, the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8, and the 90mm f/2, and the 27mm is her (and my) favorite. I had the 27mm in my bag on the X-E4, so on several occasions we swapped. This arrangement ended up working out pretty well for both of us.

Snake River Sun Rays – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Ferrania Solaris FG 400

The Fujinon 90mm is one of my favorite lenses, but the 135mm full-frame-equivalent focal-length isn’t always easy to use. It’s great for headshots, but definitely challenging for landscape and travel photography. Challenges are actually good if you embrace them because they force you to think outside-the-box and try new things, which will make you a better photographer. While this lens is one of the absolute best in the Fujinon lineup, it’s not always easy for this type of photography; however, if you are up for the challenge you will certainly be rewarded.

The lens isn’t especially compact or lightweight, either. I find that it balances better on bigger camera bodies, such as the X-T4 or X-H1. Using it on the small X-E4 can be a bit awkward, especially if you’ll be shooting all day with it. In other words, it’s not a convenient option. Those who obsess over ergonomics will hate this camera and lens combination. If you can get past that, though, the X-E4 and 90mm will deliver excellent images. Both the camera and lens are highly capable photographic tools, and together, from an image quality point-of-view, they’re a dream team!

Columbia River Rainbow – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Velvia v2

If you have an X-E4, should you pair the 90mm with it? I love the camera and I love the lens, and they’re great when used together, but they’re not without their difficulties. They’re philosophical opposites. The X-E4 is about “less”—less size, less weight, less complications—while the 90mm is about “more”—more reach, more sharpness, more bokeh. With the Fujifilm X-E4, less is more. With the Fujinon 90mm f/2, more is more. They don’t belong together, yet the images they create together speak for themselves. The pictures are what matter most, and you do what you’ve got to do to create them. That means dealing with the challenges as they come, and, for me, using these two great tools together.

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

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujinon 90mm f/2 Amazon B&H

Haystack in Monochrome – Cannon Beach, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400
Pinnacles & Crashing Waves – Cannon Beach, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Astoria Bridge – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
River Boat – Astoria, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Winter Sage – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”

Lens Review: Fujinon XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR

Fujinon 33mm f/1.4

Earlier this year Fujifilm sent me an X-Pro3 camera and Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens to try for a few weeks. The camera and lens are long gone—of the two, the one I miss the most is the Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens. Yes, the X-Pro3 is great and was a lot of fun to shoot with, but that lens is something special!

What I remember about the development of the Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens is that the original intention was for it to have an f/1 maximum aperture, but early in the design stages Fujifilm realized that in order to do so the lens would have to be both very large and very expensive, so they scaled it back to f1.4 instead. The 33mm focal length might seem odd until you take into account the APS-C crop factor—it’s full-frame equivalent to 49.5mm, which means it’s a “nifty fifty” lens.

Fujifilm already has a number of lenses that are close-ish to the 50mm (equivalent) focal-length: the 35mm f/2 (actually, there are two) and 35mm f/1.4 are just a little more telephoto, while the 27mm f/2.8 is a little more wide-angle (and is the closest “as the eyes see” lens in the Fujinon lineup). The 33mm f/1.4 seems a bit unnecessary when judged simply on this, but I do think it was a solid addition when Fujifilm released it last September.

The question on everyone’s mind is whether the Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens is any good or not. Of course it is—”Fujinon” is printed on it, and that’s an assurance of quality. The lens is super sharp edge-to-edge, even wide open, but especially when stopped down just a little. This lens out-resolves the 26mp sensors found on the current lineup, and I believe is capable of resolving future higher-resolution offerings that are in the pipeline. Fujifilm built this lens with the future in mind, yet in the meantime it allows you to maximize current cameras’ quality potential. Bokeh is beautiful. Aberrations and flare are fairly well controlled. There is almost no distortion. There is a very small amount of vignetting in the corners when wide open, but it is extremely minimal—you’re not likely to notice unless you are looking closely for it. Sunstars are excellent. While I believe that the flaws in lenses are what gives them character, this lens has proven that position wrong, because this is a near-flawless lens that is oozing with wonderful character. Bravo, Fujifilm!

While some might have wished for that f/1 aperture originally intended for this lens, I found f/1.4 to be more than enough. In daylight conditions, it’s actually difficult to use that large of an aperture, but indoors or at night it can come in handy. It’s possible to get a very narrow depth-of-field, especially if you are focused near the minimum distance (about 12″). I find it interesting that the GFX 63mm f/2.8 is basically the same thing for GFX as the 33mm f/1.4 lens is for X-series, with the same equivalent focal-length and same depth-of-field at maximum aperture. Aside from the resolution difference, you’re basically getting “medium format quality” from this lens—I’m not exactly sure what that means, but know that the lens is superb.

Another thing that you probably want to know is that this lens is weather-sealed, so if you attach it to a weather-sealed camera body, you’re good to go out into the elements. While I didn’t find myself in very many situations where this came in handy, it could be important to you, depending on the type of photography that you do, and where you live. Autofocus is super snappy and nearly silent. Build quality is excellent.

The Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 is a little less than 3″ long and weighs about 0.8 pounds. It’s noticeably bigger and heftier than some Fujinon primes, including the 35mm offerings and especially the 27mm f/2.8. I found it balanced really well on the X-Pro3, X-T4 and X-H1, and it balanced moderately well on the X-T30 and X-T1, but it didn’t seem to balance well with the X-E4. If I did own this lens, I would still use it on my X-E4, but I’d likely use the 27mm f/2.8 much more often on that camera. Basically, this lens pairs particularly well with larger X-series cameras.

The Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens retails for $799, which is definitely on the higher end. Is it worth quadruple the price of the cheap XC 35mm f/2? Is it worth double the price of the XF 35mm f/2 or 27mm f/2.8? Is it worth 33% more than the 35mm f/1.4? I can’t answer that for you, but if it is a lens you will use often—an essential tool in your kit—then probably yes. If not, perhaps consider one of the other options. If you do buy it, I have no doubts that it will instantly become one of your favorite lenses, and you’ll keep it for many years to come.

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

Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 Amazon B&H

Example photographs captured using the Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 lens:

Indoor Blooms – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/8 – “Fujicolor Superia 800
Sunlit Succulent – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/9 – “Fujicolor Superia 800”
Agave Blue – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/8 – “Fujicolor Superia 800”
Mutual Conversation – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/5.6 – “Agfa Ultra 100
Red – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/5.6 – “Agfa Ultra 100”
Boy With Nerf Gun – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/1.4 – “Vintage Color v2
Forgotten Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/1.8 – “Nostalgic Negative
February Reaching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/5.6 – “Vintage Color v2”
Wild Gold – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/10 – “Vintage Color v2”
Desert Snow – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/6.4 – “Old Ektachrome
End Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 @f/1.4 – “Standard Provia

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Fujifilm Sent Me An X-Pro3 & 33mm f/1.4!

Fujifilm sent me an X-Pro3 camera and 33mm f/1.4 lens to borrow for a few weeks. I get to use them, but I don’t get to keep them. In fact, if you’ve ever read a review of this camera or lens, there’s a good chance that this exact copy is what was reviewed. I don’t have any obligation to write a review, but of course I will, after I’ve had a chance to put the camera and lens to the test.

My initial impressions of the X-Pro3?

I currently own an X-Pro1, and I’ve extensively used an X-Pro2; the X-Pro3 is a very similar camera. The headline difference is the backwards-mounted rear screen, which I think people will love, hate, or both love-and-hate simultaneously. It’s way too early to know for sure, but I think I’m going to be in that love-hate category. Maybe once I use it more I will feel differently about it. I wonder, though, why the rear screen doesn’t swing to the side instead of down? I find it less than ideal when I need to use it, but I do like that the camera is designed to encourage you to not use the screen, because, when you don’t need it, the experience is better when it is hidden. I love the little “box top” screen that’s in its place. Inside, the X-Pro3 is a lot like other X-Trans IV cameras, such as the X100V. The ability to save in 16-bit TIFFs could be reason enough to buy this camera, although I haven’t examined this closely yet. So far, the X-Pro3 seems to be a workhorse body that one could happily use for many years. Be on the lookout for a full-review in a few weeks.

My initial impressions of the Fujinon 33mm f1.4?

Amazing lens! Do I need to say more? It’s definitely bigger and heavier than my Fujinon 35mm f/2, but also perhaps optically superior and with great character, which says a lot, because the 35mm f/2 is a great lens. The Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 is for the X system what the Fujinon 63mm f/2.8 is for the GFX system, but maybe better. There will be a full-review of this lens in the future, but I can tell you right away that you won’t be disappointed if you should buy it—it really is a fast 50mm-equivalent prime lens that’s top-notch.

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

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Amazon B&H
Fujinon 33mm f/1.4 Amazon B&H

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured on a Fujifilm X-Pro3 and Fujinon 33mm f/1.4:

Boy With Nerf Gun – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/1.4 – Upcoming Recipe
Fake Succulent on Table – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/1.4 – Upcoming Recipe
House At Last Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/9 – Upcoming Recipe
Winter Bloom Remnants – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/8 – Upcoming Recipe
February Reaching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/5.6 – Upcoming Recipe
Frozen Pond near Sunset – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/5.6 – Upcoming Recipe
Grass & Frozen Waterway – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/5.6 – Upcoming Recipe
Wild Gold – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/10 – Upcoming Recipe
Backlit Marsh Reed – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/6.4 – Upcoming Recipe
Forgotten Post – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/1.8 – “Nostalgic Negative
Yellow Tape – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/4 – “Nostalgic Negative
11 Stop – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/4 – “Nostalgic Negative
Rays Through Evergreen – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 33mm @f/14 – “Nostalgic Negative

Why I Love The Fujinon 18mm F/2 Lens

Fujinon 18mm f/2 lens attached to a Fujifilm X-T30 camera.

I’ve done several of these “Why I Love The Fujinon…” articles—including the 90mm f/2, the 35mm f/2, the 27mm f/2.8—but I’ve been putting this one off. If you’d read my review of the Fujinon 18mm f/2, you might already know that I have a love/hate relationship with it. I called it “the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” because it is simultaneously wonderful and disappointing—wonderful image quality, disappointing performance. I don’t want to rehash what I already stated in the review, so I’ll approach this a different way.

For a long time I shot 35mm film. I had a Canon AE-1 camera and a 50mm f/1.8 lens, and that’s it—one camera and one lens. After awhile, though, I began to collect gear. I acquired more cameras and more lenses. One lens was a Canon 24mm f/2.8. Coming from 50mm, the 24mm focal-length lens seemed to be extremely wide-angle to me. I found it challenging to use, but also highly rewarding, because the focal-length can make a scene much more dramatic. Below is a picture from the first roll of film where I used the 24mm focal length. For Fujifilm cameras, 16mm is full-frame-equivalent to 24mm, not 18mm (which is 27mm full-frame-equivalent), but the difference between 16mm and 18mm isn’t huge. I actually like 18mm more because it is a bit less extreme yet still very dramatic.

Canon T70 & Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 film

The 18mm focal-length is very useful for landscape or cityscape photography. It wouldn’t be my first choice for portrait photography, but it is great for when you want to exaggerate the space in the frame. It can turn a rather ordinary scene into something more extraordinary through embellishment. I think everyone should own a lens with this or a similar focal-length, and challenge themselves to use it—and it alone—on occasion, just for practice.

The 18mm f/2 is Fujifilm’s second smallest lens, so it is especially great for travel or walk-around photography. It’s a lens that you can leave on the camera all day, or have as a second lens, perhaps kept in a jacket pocket. The size and weight advantage of this near-pancake lens cannot be understated!

Fujifilm X-H1 & Fujinon 18mm f/2 – “Kodak Gold 200

Ultimately, though, it comes down to the pictures, and it’s easy to love how the Fujinon 18mm f/2 lens renders images. When the pictures look as good as they do, it’s not hard to ignore the flaws (such as a slow and loud focus system). For this reason, the Fujinon 18mm f/2 lens is an essential tool in my kit. Yes, I do have a love/hate relationship with this little lens, but I lean much more closely towards the love side.

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 18mm f/2 R Amazon  B&H

Example photographs captured with the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R lens:

Fujifilm X-H1 & Fujinon 18mm f/2 – “Ilford XP2 Super 400
Fujifilm X-H1 & Fujinon 18mm f/2 – “Ilford XP2 Super 400”
Fujifilm X-H1 & Fujinon 18mm f/2 – “Ilford XP2 Super 400”
Fujifilm X-H1 & Fujinon 18mm f/2 – “Kodak Gold 200”
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm f/2 – “Fujicolor Superia 800
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 18mm f/2 – “Fujicolor Superia 800”

Why I Love The Fujinon 35mm F/2

Chair & Pillow – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Ilford Delta Push Process

The Fujinon 35mm f/2 was once my most-used lens. It was what you would typically see attached to my Fujifilm X-T30, or sometimes my Fujifilm X-T1. There’s a lot to love about this lens, but I don’t use it nearly as often as I once did, and it has absolutely nothing to do with image quality.

You can read my full review of the Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens here. I don’t want to rehash what I’ve already stated, but simply tell you why I love this lens (and also why I don’t use it much anymore).

The 35mm f/2 is a lovely little lens that’s super sharp, has nice bokeh, has a pretty good maximum aperture of f/2, is fast, small and lightweight. It captures wonderful pictures! There’s not much at all that can be said negatively about it. It’s a solid prime with a very useful focal length. It’s a great example of the Fujinon quality that Fujifilm has become known for, and I would recommend it to anyone.

If it’s all sunshine and lollipops, why don’t I use this lens much anymore? It has to do with the focal-length. Earlier this year I got the new Fujinon 27mm f/2.8, which has a full-frame-equivalent focal-length of 40.5mm—nearly “standard” (as the eyes see), and only barely wide-angle. The 35mm lens is 52.5mm full-frame-equivalent, which is also in the range of “standard,” but is a little telephoto. (For those wondering, roughly 30mm on a Fujifilm camera, or 45mm on full-frame, is neither telephoto nor wide-angle). So these two lenses—27mm f/2.8 and 35mm f/2—are similar and in many ways redundant. The 27mm lens isn’t necessarily “better” but it is my preference because I like the focal-length just a little more. They’re both excellent options, but I only need one.

I do still use the 35mm f/2 sometimes. If I want just a little more reach, or if I need a little larger maximum aperture (such as for low-light photography), the 35mm lens is the one to grab. However, the number one reason why I choose it over the 27mm is because my wife often has the 27mm lens on her camera, so the 35mm—being a close second pick—is what I use on my camera instead. Of course, I have many other lenses to choose from, so sometimes I use the opportunity to try something completely different. In any event, I would be a little sad parting ways with the Fujinon 35mm f/2, but it wouldn’t really change much for me.

If you are looking for a standard prime lens that’s not too big or expensive and just captures wonderful pictures, the Fujinon 35mm f/2 is one to strongly consider. I like the 27mm f/2.8 just a little better, but the new one (with the aperture ring) is tough to find at the moment, so if you are impatient, this is an excellent alternative. The 35mm f/2 is such a good lens that it just seems “wrong” to give it a silver medal instead of gold, but when there are multiple options that are exceptional, things like that happen. Beside, you might prefer it over the 27mm, because you like the focal-length or larger aperture better. Maybe the Fujinon 35mm f/2 would suit your photography just a bit better.

Even though I don’t use it much anymore, I still love the Fujinon 35mm f/2, and would be plenty happy if it were the only lens I owned.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.
Fujinon 35mm f/2 (Black) B&H Amazon
Fujinon 35mm f/2 (Silver) B&H Amazon

Man in Red – Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Kodacolor
Pigeons Over A Roof – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Kodachrome 64
Mitchell Mesa – Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Kodak Portra 160
Palm Tree Bees – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Kodachrome 64
Bright Spikes – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Kodachrome 64
Saguaro In The City – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Agfa APX 400
Dramatic Desert Sky – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Agfa APX 400
Dike Road – Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Monochrome
Reflection on a Dirt Road – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm – “Dramatic Monochrome
Terrible Ford – Boulder City, NV – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Agfa APX 400

Why I Love The Fujinon 27mm F/2.8

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.

Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with Positive Film

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.

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

Buy the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens here:
B&H Amazon

Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with “Scanned Superia
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with “Fujicolor C200
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with AgfaChrome RS 100
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with “Super HG Astia
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 with “Fujicolor Super HG v2

Why I Love the Fujinon 90mm f/2

Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Ferrania Solaris FG 400

One of my absolute favorite lenses is the Fujinon 90mm f/2! It’s super sharp, plenty bright, great bokeh, and just lovely image quality. Technically speaking, the lens is near perfection, and practically speaking, it does nothing but produce lovely pictures. You can read my full review of the Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens here. I don’t want to rehash what I’ve already said, but instead convey why this is one of my absolute favorite lenses.

I purchased my Fujinon 90mm f/2 about three years ago. I had read that it was one of Fujifilm’s best portrait lenses, and I was going to be doing some portrait photography, so I bought it for that purpose. I had intended to sell it afterwards, but after I used it there was no way that I was going to sell it—it was love at first click! All of the great things that I read about it turned out to be completely true.

90mm is full-frame-equivalent to 135mm, which once was a very common focal-length, but it’s not really in vogue anymore. It’s not quite long enough for sports and wildlife photographers, and it’s too long for a lot of other purposes. Even portrait photographers might prefer a shorter focal-length with a larger maximum aperture. 135mm can be a bit challenging to use, but also very rewarding.

Robert Capa coined the phrase, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Robert probably wasn’t advocating the use of longer lenses, but actually taking a few steps closer; however, the Fujinon 90mm lens allows you to get closer without actually getting closer. It forces you to remove unnecessary elements from the frame, because they simply won’t fit—you can’t get it all in, so you have to be more purposeful with what you do and don’t include. That’s the challenge, but better pictures are the reward.

Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — Photo by Amanda Roesch

When Fujifilm introduced the 90mm f/2 in 2015, they likely had in mind that it would be popular among portrait photographers, and for sure it is! But I’m not a portrait photographer—at least not usually. While the lens is optimized for portrait photography, it is great for still-life, nature, urban, and many other circumstances. I use it most frequently for landscape photography.

The only negative comment that I have to say against the Fujinon 90mm f/2 is that it is a little hefty. It balances better on a camera like the X-T4 than X-E4, but I still use it frequently on smaller bodies. It’s not comfortable to carry around all day long. Aside from that, the 90mm lens is the epitome of the Fujinon quality that Fujifilm is renown for. I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed with the images captured through this glass.

Fujifilm X-T4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — Photo by Amanda Roesch

The Fujinon 90mm f/2 can be challenging to use because of its focal-length, but if you take on that challenge you will be rewarded with wonderful photographs. That’s why I love it! If you are not a portrait photographer, this lens might not be on your radar, but it is worth owning anyway, as it is useful in many circumstances, and not just portraits. If you are a portrait photographer, this should be one of your top considerations. It retails for $950.

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

Buy the Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens here:
B&H Amazon

Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Ferrania Solaris FG 400”
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Ferrania Solaris FG 400”
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Ferrania Solaris FG 400”
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Elite Chrome 200
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Elite Chrome 200”
Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 — “Elite Chrome 200”

Fuji Features: Fujinon 70-300mm Reviews

Welcome to the second Fuji Features post! Each article in this series will have a different theme. The first one featured the Fujifilm X-E4. This one is is all about the Fujinon 70-300mm lens.

I badly want the new Fujinon 70-300mm zoom lens!

You see, I have the 100-400mm (review here), which is great, but it’s so big and heavy that I hardly ever use it. When I do use the 100-400mm, I really enjoy the pictures that I capture with it, but sadly most of the time it sits on a shelf. My thoughts are, since the 70-300mm is roughly 40% smaller and about half the weight, I’d likely use it more often. The problem is that I have to sell the 100-400mm first (if you’re interested, hit me up) in order to afford it.

Anyway, I searched the web and found a whole bunch of Fujinon 70-300mm reviews and videos. I hope that they’re helpful to some of you, or at least entertaining. It’s hump day, so maybe this will help you get through it.

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

Fujinon 70-300mm Amazon B&H

Below are the Fujinon 70-300mm reviews that I found on the web.

DPReview

5050Travelog

Photography Blog

Imaging Resource

The Phoblographer

Fstoppers

Fuji X Passion

Fujilove Magazine

Jonas Rask

Bjorn Moerman

Alan Hewitt

Plus some videos! Lots and lots of videos….

Fujifilm Lens Stories, too!

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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Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Lens Review: Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R

The Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R lens is the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This is a lens that I want to love because of its small size and very useful focal-length, but I don’t love it because its way overpriced and has a disappointing focus system. I’m getting a little ahead of myself, though; I have plenty that I want to discuss about the Fujinon 18mm f/2 before giving my conclusion.

This is one of two “pancake” lenses offered by Fujifilm; the other is the 27mm f/2.8. Whereas the 27mm is a true pancake, the 18mm f/2 is only sort-of one, as it’s a little on the large size for this category. Think of it more of a Japanese pancake than an American flapjack, or maybe it’s a short stack. The 18mm f/2 is compact glass for when you want a little less girth and weight, but it’s not quite as small as one might hope for.

In this lens are eight elements in seven groups with seven semi-rounded blades. You won’t get great sunstars. Bokeh is pretty good, although not something you’ll experience much because it’s a wide-angle lens. The 18mm focal-length is full-frame equivalent to 27mm. The minimum focus distance is about seven inches, which is pretty good. The maximum aperture is f/2 and the minimum is f/16, with 1/3-stop intermediate clicks. The lens accepts 52mm threaded filters.

The Fujinon 18mm f/2 lens is sharp in the center at all apertures. It’s slightly soft on the edges at all apertures, but more so when wide-open, so it’s best to stop down to at least f/2.8 or f/4 if you can. I didn’t notice any vignetting. There’s not much distortion, and I didn’t notice any chromatic aberrations; I wonder if it’s because the camera is correcting this—as you probably know, I shoot JPEGs, and I didn’t inspect the RAW files. Image quality from this lens is clearly Fujinon, and I’m quite happy with how it renders pictures.

This is one of Fujifilm’s oldest X-series lenses, and it shows. It’s in desperate need of a refresh. Autofocus is the slowest I’ve experienced in a Fujinon model, outside of macro lenses that have a long range to cycle through. It’s also the loudest. I found manual-focus, which is focus-by-wire, to be somewhat unpleasant. The focus system on this lens is disappointing, but ultimately it is sufficient for most situations, so you just have to put up with it. Hopefully at some point Fujifilm makes a new version with a better focus motor.

The 18mm f/2 is quite prone to lens flare, which you might love or hate depending on how you feel about it. Fujifilm does provide a lens hood that’s highly effective, but it adds significant length, which defeats the point of it being a pancake lens—with the hood it makes this lens the same size as the 16mm f2.8. I’m personally okay with the flare, so I don’t use the hood.

Fujinon 18mm f/2 flare example.
Fujinon 18mm f/2 flare example.

The Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R lens isn’t weather-sealed (which only matters if your camera is), it doesn’t have any image stabilization (which isn’t a big deal on a wide-angle lens), and it’s slow and loud compared to other Fujinon lenses. Yet it retails for $600! The only thing special about the 18mm f/2 is that it’s small and lightweight, which is why I bought it and why I plan to keep it, but I wouldn’t pay $600 for it.

If you can find one for a good price, it might be worth owning. Otherwise, there are better options to consider, including the 14mm f/2.8, 16mm f/2.8, 16mm f/1.4, 8-16mm f/2.8, 10-24mm f/4, 16-55mm f/2.8, 18-55mm f/2.8-f/4, 16-80mm f/4, and 18-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6. Heck, the 15-45mm f/3.5-f/5.6 and 16-50mm f/3.5-f/5.6 might even be better options! Pretty much any Fujinon lens that covers this or a similar focal length will have some advantages over the 18mm f/2. The one and only reason to buy the Fujinon 18mm f/2 lens is if you need a small pancake-like wide-angle lens to attach to your camera. If you need that, this lens is your best bet because it’s your only option.

Ah, but the pictures captured through this lens are quite nice, even if the experience of capturing them is less than ideal. That’s why I said this is the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. You have to know this going into it, or you’ll likely be disappointed. If you can put up with the quirks and can get it for a good price, you’ll find glass capable of capturing beautiful images, and that’s what matters most. I don’t love the lens, but I do like it and plan to use it frequently.

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 18mm f/2 R Amazon B&H

Example photographs captured with the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R lens on a Fujifilm X-T30:

Shallow Lake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Calm Canal – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Farmington Bay Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Sky Reflections in the Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
International Fence – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Red Steel Pile – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Dirty Shore & Reflections – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Algae & Broken Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Puddle in the Path – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Still Water Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Seagull Over Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Wetlands Under Pastel Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Structure Abstract – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Bucket in a Basket – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Sidewalk Intersection – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Three Seagulls – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Tree & Reflection – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2
Dramatic Sky Over Shallow Lake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 18mm f/2

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Review: Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR


Fujifilm Fujinon 100-400mm lens review

The Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens is a serious telephoto zoom! If you’re looking for a long telephoto lens for your Fujifilm X camera, your options are very limited, and this one might be your best bet; however, it’s bulky, heavy and, with an MSRP of $1,900, very expensive. Is the Fujinon 100-400mm lens worth the cost?

Fujinon is Fujifilm’s brand name for their lenses. The XF in the name means that this is a premium lens (in other words, not budget) for X-mount cameras. The lens has a focal length of 100mm to 400mm, which is equivalent to 150mm to 600mm in full-frame terms. The R indicates that it has an aperture ring on the lens, which it does, but unfortunately it’s unmarked, which seems like a strange choice. LM stands for Linear Motor, which is the auto-focus system that’s inside the lens. OIS means that it has built-in optical image stabilization. The WR stands for Weather Resistant, which is useful if you are attaching it to a weather resistant camera. While the full name of this lens seems excessively long, it does give us a good overview of what we’re looking at.

When my Fujinon 100-400mm lens arrived in the mail, I was shocked at the size and weight of it. I had read all about how big and heavy it was, but it still took me by surprise. The lens weighs more than three pounds, and is just over eight inches long when retracted at 100mm and is nearly 11 inches when extended to 400mm, not including the lens hood, which adds another three inches. It’s massive! You need to know that it’s very big and heavy, probably more than you are expecting.

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Monochrome Reeds – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm lens @148mm

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Dark Lake Shore – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @124mm

The lens seems to be made with plenty of plastic. Not quite as much as Fujifilm’s budget lenses, but more than I would have thought for an XF lens, and I wonder how it would survive a fall. Hopefully I will never have to find out, but I do know that if it does fall it will fall hard! Beyond that, it seems well-built and well designed. There are three switches on the side: OIS on-and-off, Auto-Aperture on-and-off, and a close-focus inhibitor. The aperture ring works well, but is disappointingly unmarked. The focus ring is nice and smooth for manual focusing. The zoom ring twists the lens in and out for zooming. This lens accepts 77mm filters.

The Fujinon 100-400mm lens is very sharp at 100mm and mediocrely sharp at 400mm. This is a zoom lens and has sharpness similar to other Fujinon zooms, so don’t expect prime lens sharpness. Comparing my Fujinon 90mm f/2 to this lens at 100mm, the 90mm produces crisper results. This shouldn’t surprise anyone because primes usually produce better results than zooms, and the Fujinon 90mm f/2 is one of the very best Fujifilm primes. Even so, sharpness on the 100-400mm lens is pretty darn good for a zoom, at least at 100mm. I found sharpness to be excellent at apertures f/11 and larger from 100mm to about 250mm. From roughly 250mm to 350mm sharpness is still excellent, but not quite as good, and it seems to be best between f/5.6 and f/8. Sharpness gets noticeably worse when the focal length is longer than 350mm, becoming the least crisp at 400mm, including some obvious corner softness when wide open. At 400mm I think the sharpness is comparable to the Fujinon 50-230mm budget zoom, and f/8 seems to be the optimal aperture. I would avoid apertures smaller than f/16 at all focal lengths, as diffraction is noticeable.

I didn’t notice any chromatic aberrations, although the camera might be automatically removing it. I found no distortion, so expect straight lines to be straight. From 100mm to about 300mm there’s little-to-no vignetting, but vignetting becomes noticeable when wide-open and approaching the long end of the lens. At 400mm, even when stopped down, the vignetting doesn’t completely go away. The maximum aperture is f/4.5 at 100mm, f/5 at 200mm, f/5.2 at 300mm, and f/5.6 at 400mm, which is sufficient. I would prefer a larger maximum aperture, but that would only make the lens bulkier, heavier and more expensive than it already is. The minimum aperture at all focal lengths is f/22. Bokeh, which is the quality of the out-of-focus area in an image, is pretty good. The minimum focus distance is almost six feet, which means that you won’t be photographing anything from close up, but achieving a shallow depth-of-field isn’t particularly difficult thanks to the long focal lengths. Fujifilm claims that the image stabilization is good for five stops, but I really don’t think so. It’s definitely helpful, especially at the longer end, but I wouldn’t count on it working any miracles. I found it best to turn the image stabilization off when using a tripod.

Fujifilm Fujinon 100-400mm lens review

Fujifilm Fujinon 100-400mm lens review

Auto-focus is extraordinarily quick and quiet considering how many heavy moving parts are inside the lens. It’s not the fastest Fujinon lens, but it’s still fast. The inhibitor switch is helpful if you’re not close focusing. Manual focusing is great when using a tripod, but I found it a tad awkward to do hand-held just because of the size and weight of the lens.

The Fujinon 100-400mm is a difficult lens to use, especially at the longer end. When the lens is attached to your camera, you want to make sure that you hold the lens (not just the camera). You’ll find yourself wanting to use a tripod, or at least a monopod, and you’ll need to mount the lens (not the camera) to it. When not using a tripod, you’ll need to use good techniques to keep it steady, similar to shooting a rifle. Fast shutter speeds will be your friend. I seemed to get better results at the longer end when using the electronic shutter instead of the mechanical. Atmospheric distortion is magnified when zooming in on far away objects. With a good tripod and techniques this lens can be used in low-light situations, but I found that it likes a lot of light and does well in daylight. I got better results when I took my time and was very deliberate and precise. While the lens is particularly challenging, it can also be especially rewarding.

Perhaps the best way to think about the Fujinon 100-400mm is that it’s a fantastic 100-350mm lens, especially from 100mm to about 250mm, which is where it produces the best results. The last 50mm is a bonus—sufficiently good, but disappointing when you consider how much it costs. In other words, 400mm is available when you need it, but consider avoiding it when you can. If you think about the lens in that way you will likely be happy with it, but if you are counting on the long end for top-notch image quality, you’ll be let down. Whether you’re happy or not, the fact is that your options are limited. Fujifilm’s longest prime lens is the 200mm f/2, which retails for more than three times as much as the 100-400mm. The next closest prime is the 90mm f/2, which isn’t especially long. The 50-140mm f/2.8, which isn’t much cheaper than this one, but is optically superior, might not be telephoto enough, depending on your needs. Lastly, there’s the 50-230mm budget zoom, which is nearly five times cheaper, but optically inferior, and also might not be long enough. Those who are deciding between the 100-400mm and the 50-140mm will have to determine if 140mm is telephoto enough for their photography. If so, I’d recommend the shorter lens. If you are deciding between the 100-400mm and the 50-230mm, if you plan to use the lens only occasionally, it might be difficult to justify spending nearly two thousand dollars, so you should probably go with the cheap one; if you’ll be using it often or need the longer reach, the 100-400mm is better, but you’ll have to put up with the heft. For those who need a long telephoto option, you might just have to get this big lens, because there really are no good alternatives. Thankfully, the Fujinon 100-400mm is a pretty good telephoto zoom lens that can produce stunning pictures.

Edit: I overlooked the Fujinon 55-200mm as an alternative. It’s better than the 50-230mm, and much less expensive than the 100-400mm, although with a maximum focal length that’s half as long. If you can’t afford the 100-400mm or need something that’s smaller and lighter, this is one that you should consider.

My affiliate links for the Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens are here: B&H  Amazon. If you make a purchase using my links I will be compensated a small amount for it.

Example photographs, captured using the Fujinon 100-400mm lens on a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Liquid Hay – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @301mm

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Wetland Snow – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @100mm

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Blue Heron – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @400mm

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Blue Creek – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @100mm

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Silver Snow – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @159mm

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Francis Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @400mm

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Birds Nests – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @107mm

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Frary Peak Thru the Reeds – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @143mm

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Monochrome Cattails – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @243mm

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Stretch – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @400mm

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Ugly Duckling – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @400mm

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Half Circle Reflected – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @100mm

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Forgotten Concrete – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @100mm

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White Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @252mm

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Shadow Ware – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm @243mm

See also: Fujifilm Gear

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Lens Review: Fujinon XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II


Fujifilm Fujinon 50-230mm Lens Review Blog

Fujifilm’s Fujinon Super EBC XC 50mm-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II lens is a budget telephoto zoom option for X series cameras. It has 13 elements in 10 groups with seven rounded blades and a maximum aperture of f/22. This lens accepts 58mm filters. Because of the APS-C crop factor, it has a full-frame focal-length equivalence of 75-345mm. The only Fujifilm lens that has a longer focal length is the Fujinon 100-400mm, which retails for about four times as much.

The Fujinon 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II is mostly made of plastic. It doesn’t feel especially sturdy, like it would probably break if it took a big fall, but it’s super lightweight at about .8 pounds. This lens is fairly small, at between 4.4″ and 7″ depending on the focal length. For how telephoto this lens is, it’s impressive how light and small they were able to make it!

There’s no aperture ring, which is expected since it’s an XC series lens, but a bummer because the aperture ring is something that I appreciate about Fujinon lenses. There’s no doubt that this is a cheap lens when you look at the body. Manual focus is electronic and pretty good overall. Auto-focus, which is very quiet, isn’t especially quick, but it’s also not super slow. I would say that it’s sufficiently snappy for most purposes, and probably too slow for quickly moving subjects.

The lens has a maximum aperture of f/4.5 at 50mm and f/6.7 at 230mm, and variously in-between at other focal lengths. That’s not especially large, which means this isn’t a good lens for working in dim light or trying to achieve shallow depths of field. The close focus distance isn’t bad, though, so if you use the largest aperture at the closest focus distance you can get a nice out-of-focus background. When you do, bokeh is decent enough, but not particularly great.

The Fujinon 50-230mm lens is equipped with optical image stabilization, which Fujifilm claims will give you four stops extra. The math calculation I learned many years ago for achieving sharp hand-held pictures is the shutter speed should not go any slower than the focal length. That means, using good technique, you would expect to get a sharp hand-held image at 50mm with a shutter speed of 1/60, and at 230mm you should not go slower than 1/250. While Fujifilm says you get four stops extra because of the image stabilization, the reality is that you don’t, and even three stops might be pushing it. I would avoid going slower than 1/30 at 50mm and 1/125 at 230mm, although you may be able to get a little slower than that if you hold the camera really steady. The optical image stabilization is a nice addition, though, especially considering that the maximum aperture of this lens isn’t especially large.

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There’s pretty much no distortion on the Fujinon 50-230mm lens. There’s a tiny amount of vignetting when wide open, especially at the further focal lengths, but that goes away as you stop down. I haven’t noticed any chromatic aberrations. Lens flare is well controlled. There’s very little negative to say about the optics.

This lens is surprisingly sharp for how cheap it is. It’s not as sharp as a typical Fujinon prime lens, and that’s to be expected, but it is more crisp than I thought it would be, especially considering that it’s a budget series lens. It’s better than many budget zooms I have used from other brands. While it comes across as cheap on the outside, the glass on this lens is clearly Fujinon, and it delivers the image quality that you’ve come to expect from that brand name. Sharpness is a highlight of this lens!

The Fujinon 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II lens is lightweight and sharp and optically sound. With an MSRP of $400, it’s cheap, and some corners were cut to make it cheap, but none of that relates to image quality, which is excellent. It’s easy to recommend this lens. If you are a sports or wildlife photographer, you might find some aspects of it to be frustrating, such as focus speed and maximum aperture, and you should consider the 50-140mm or 100-400mm instead. Otherwise, this is an excellent addition to your Fujifilm X glass collection.

You can buy the Fujinon Super EBC XC 50mm-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II lens here:
B&H   Amazon

These are affiliate links, which, when you purchase something using them, I get a small kickback. It doesn’t cost you anything, yet it helps to financially support this website. I would never ask you to purchase something that you don’t want, but if you found this article helpful and are planning to buy this lens, using my links to do so helps me tremendously. Thank you for your support!

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using the Fujinon 50mm-230mm lens:

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Clouds Around Timpanogos – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 50-230mm

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Brush Strokes Over The Great Salt Lake – Antelope Is. SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 50-230mm

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Pollution – Antelope Is. SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 50-230mm

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Snow Cap – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 50-230mm

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Full Moon Over Cold Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 50-230mm

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Cold Bicyclist – Antelope Is. SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 50-230mm

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Garage Door – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 50-230mm

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Frosted Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 50-230mm

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Peeking Peak – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 50-230mm

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Autumn & Winter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 50-230mm

See also: Fujifilm Gear

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Lens Review: Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR


Fujifilm blog Fujinon 23mm f/2 Lens

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.

Fujifilm blog Fujinon 23mm f/2 Lens

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.

My affiliate links for the Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens are here: B&H  Amazon. If you make a purchase using my links I will be compensated a small amount for it.

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

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Starry Nites – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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National Drink – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Bike Flag – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Empty Carts – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Radius Lines – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Slow – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Button For Walking – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Historic Beer – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm f/2

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Stair Vines – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Yellow Pots – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Yellow Door – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Yellow Circle Armor – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Monochrome Bench – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

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Famous Monster – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

See also:
Fujifilm Gear
Fujinon 90mm f/2 Review
Fujinon 35mm f/2 Review

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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Lens Review: Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR


Fujifilm Fujinon 90mm f/2 Lens Review

The Fujinon Super EBC XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR is an excellent lens! Perhaps that statement is too upfront, since I’m starting this review with the conclusion, but it’s true. I hope that you’ll keep reading, as I will discuss many aspects of this lens, including some technical specs and aesthetic qualities, and suggest who it might be for. Is the Fujinon 90mm f/2 a lens that Fujifilm photographers should have in their bag? Is it worth the MSRP of $950? I will attempt to answer those question in this review.

Fujifilm gives their lenses long names, and the Fujinon Super EBC XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR is no exception. Every part of the name means something. Fujinon is the brand name of Fujifilm lenses. The “Super EBC” part indicates that this lens has been multi-coated using Fujifilm’s “Super Electron-Beam Coating” method, which sounds a lot more interesting than it actually is. All modern lenses, and even many older lenses, have had the glass coated with something to prevent lens flare and ghosting. The “XF” in the name means that the lens is designed for Fujifilm’s APS-C X-Mount cameras. It has a 90mm focal length and a maximum aperture of f/2. The “R” indicates that the lens has an aperture ring. “LM” stands for Linear Motor, which is the auto-focus system found inside this lens. The “WR” means it’s weather resistant, which is quite useful if your camera is weather sealed. Not in the name (but nevertheless printed on the lens) is another important specification: this lens uses 62mm filters. Despite the long name, most people would call this lens simply the Fujinon 90mm f/2.

The focal length of this lens is 90mm, but, when attached to an APS-C camera, due to the crop factor, it has a focal length equivalency of 135mm, which makes it a medium-to-long telephoto lens. In the olden days, the 135mm lens was perhaps the second or third or fourth prime lens that you’d add to your glass collection. It was a pretty standard focal length that many photographers regularly used, but it seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years. I think that wide-angle lenses have become more popular overall, and, outside of wildlife, sports, and portrait photography, telephoto lenses have become less popular.

Fujifilm Fujinon 90mm f/2 Lens Review

Fujifilm Fujinon 90mm f/2 Lens Review

Since this lens is 135mm-equivalent, it should come as no surprise that the Fujinon 90mm f/2 is fairly large and hefty. Without the long hood that came with the lens, the length is just over four inches, and with the hood the lens is about six-and-a-half inches long. It’s about three inches across the barrel. This lens weighs almost 1.2 pounds, which means that it’s not lightweight, and not really comfortable to have hanging around your neck for long periods of time. The lens is mostly made of metal, which makes it feel solidly built and durable, and it also explains the heft.

The minimum focus distance of this lens is two feet, which means that it’s not a macro lens. Because it is telephoto, the 90mm f/2 is actually pretty good for close focusing, as objects two feet away will look large in the frame. It’s about as close to being macro as you can get without actually being a macro lens, which is great!

There are 11 elements in eight groups on the Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens. It has seven rounded blades, which means it’s not great for sun-stars, but is great for bokeh. The maximum aperture is f/2 and the minimum aperture is f/16, with 1/3 intermediate stops in-between the full stops. There is no built-in image stabilization, which is perhaps one of the few negative things that I can say about this lens. You will either need to use a tripod or increase the shutter speed to prevent blurry images.

Fujifilm Fujinon 90mm f/2 Lens

Fujifilm Fujinon 90mm f/2 Lens

Auto-focus on the Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens is very quick, thanks to the Linear Motor auto-focus system. It locks focus almost instantaneously. When the camera is off, if you shake the lens you can hear and feel the auto-focus system clunking around. When the camera powers on, you can hear and feel it stiffen into place, ready to work. Overall the lens is quite quiet; nearly silent, in fact. Quick and quiet are how I would describe auto-focus on this lens, which is what you hope for. Manual focus works via an electronic system. The large focus ring is smooth and accurate and overall a joy to use.

The Fujinon 90mm f/2 is a very sharp lens, one of the sharpest in the Fujifilm lineup, which is really saying a lot, as Fujinon lenses are renown for their quality glass. It is corner-to-corner tack-sharp at f/2, and continues to be so until f/11 when diffraction begins to appear, but even at f/16 the lens is still pretty sharp. This lens will allow you to maximize the image quality of your Fujifilm X camera.

There are no chromatic aberrations, distortion, coma, or vignetting that I can find, even when wide open. It might be that the camera is automatically correcting it, or it might be that the lens is just that good, or more likely a combination of the two. Also, lens flare and ghosting are very well controlled. This lens seems to be without technical fault.

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Great Salt Lake Evening – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

Bokeh, which is the quantification of the quality of the out-of-focus area within an image, is significantly overrated, but even those who are bokeh snobs will appreciate this lens. The creaminess of the bokeh produced by the 90mm f/2 is something you’ll absolutely love, especially when the lens is wide-open, but, thanks to the pretty good close-focus capabilities, also at smaller apertures. This is one of the best bokeh lenses in the Fujifilm lineup.

If you are a portrait photographer, this lens is one of your top options, if not the top option, for optimal image quality. If there are faults, it could possibly be too sharp for portraits, and perhaps the focal length might force you to stand further away than you’d like. It’s also an excellent option for sports and wildlife photography, although it might not be telephoto enough, depending on exactly what you are capturing. I personally love this lens for still-life and landscape photography. Really, you can use it in any genre, but you might have to rethink your technique or style to make it work, especially if you are used to using wide-angle and standard primes, and don’t have much experience with telephoto lenses.

To conclude, the Fujinon Super EBC XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR is a nearly perfect lens from a technical standpoint. It delivers stunningly beautiful pictures that are super sharp. There are a lot of pros and very few cons. It’s very easy to recommend this lens, as it’s one of my absolute favorites, and I use it often. Some of my favorite pictures were captured with it. If you are considering purchasing this lens, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so, as you won’t be disappointed by the image quality that it produces. In my opinion, the Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens is definitely worth owning, even though it retails for $950, which is not exactly inexpensive, as it is just superb! This is one of the absolute best prime lenses for Fujifilm X cameras.

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Onaqui Wild Horses – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

You can buy the Fujinon 90mm f/2 here:  B&H  Amazon

These are affiliate links, which, when you purchase something using them, I get a small kickback. It doesn’t cost you anything, yet it helps to financially support this website. I would never ask you to purchase something that you don’t want, but if you found this article helpful and are planning to buy this lens, using my links to do so helps me tremendously. Thank you for your support!

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this lens on a Fujifilm X-T20 and Fujifilm X-T30:

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Wearing Grandpa’s Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Colorpack II – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Jar of Coffee Beans – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Morning Egg Bowl – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Peak Through The Thin Clouds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Holiday Decor – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Greasework – Evanston, WY – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Refine – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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BNSF In Snow – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Fuji Superia 200'

Overcoming Adversity – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

For more reviews and recommendations, please visit my Gear page!

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Full Fujifilm Kit For Under $3,000

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Yesterday I mentioned that, with the current deals being offered, you could get a two-camera kit with several lenses for under $3,000. I thought I’d break down what that might look like, as it could be helpful to some of you out there. I know that people are constantly changing systems, and perhaps somebody is considering Fujifilm and wondering where to start. Or maybe someone has an older Fujifilm camera and wants to update and expand their gear. Whatever the reason, the idea of having a full Fujifilm kit for under $3,000 is fascinating.

What makes this all possible is that the X-T2 and X-T20 are heavily discounted, since the new generation X-T3 and X-T30 have replaced them. The new cameras are indeed better, but not by huge margins, and that shouldn’t diminish the fact that the X-T2 and X-T20 are excellent bodies. The X-T2 and X-T20 should still be considered great options for those in the camera market.

To begin with, I would purchase both the X-T2 and X-T20. The X-T2 is weather-sealed and slightly more feature rich, while the X-T20 is smaller and lighter and better for travel. I imagine that they’d both get plenty of use. Different tools for different jobs that deliver identical image quality. I would purchase the X-T2 body for $800 and I would purchase the X-T20 combined with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 for $900. At this point you have two bodies and a decent zoom lens for only $1,700.

Lenses are a bit trickier because it all depends on your style and genre. Different photographers have different needs. For example, if you do astrophotography, you might want the 16mm f/1.4, but if you do portrait photography you might appreciate the 56mm f/1.2 more. I personally love the 90mm f/2. The first two lenses are $900 while the last one is $850. However, there are great alternatives that are more budget friendly. For example, you could get the 16mm f/2.8 for $400 and the 50mm f/2 for $350, which altogether is $750, and it’s not all that much different than having the 16mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.2. So you could buy one expensive lens or two cheaper alternatives, whatever you think would serve your photography best. I would recommend the 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 for $400. If you went with the two-lens alternative, you could afford to get the 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 for $500 instead of the cheaper zoom. If you don’t need a telephoto zoom, I’d recommend selecting one of the cheaper primes instead, such as the 16mm f/2.8 for $400, 23mm f/2 for $400, the 27mm f/2.8 for $400, the 35mm f/2 for $350, the 50mm f/2 for $350, or the 60mm f/2.4 for $400, whichever one best fits your needs.

If you chose one of the $900 lenses plus the $400 telephoto zoom, you’ve now spent $3,000. If you chose the $850 lens plus the telephoto zoom, you’re now $50 under budget. If you selected the two-lens alternative from the previous paragraph and the telephoto zoom (or one of the $400 primes), you’re now $150 under budget, or $50 under budget if you upgraded to the nicer zoom. If you selected the two-lens alternative plus the 35mm f/2 instead of the telephoto zoom, you’re now $200 under budget. You could also select one of the $850-$900 primes plus one of the $350-400 primes, which would put you between $2,900 and $3,000, depending on what you chose. For somewhere between $2,800 and $3,000 (depending on your combination), you have two camera bodies, a pretty good zoom, plus perhaps two primes, or one prime and another zoom, or two primes and another zoom, or three primes, just depending on what you selected. Whatever the combination is, that’s a pretty darn good kit for the money.

Current Fujifilm Deals

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Right now is a great time if you’re in the market for a new Fujifilm camera. The X-T2 is an amazing bargain at only $800 for the body. The X-T20 is an amazing bargain at only $600 for the body. It’s extraordinarily impressive that you can buy those cameras for so little! There are some good deals on lenses, too, so you could assemble a nice kit for surprisingly little money. Heck, for less than $3,000, you could have a quality primary body, an excellent backup body, and a solid assortment of great glass. Or you could get into medium format for only $5,000.

Fujifilm X Cameras:

Fujifilm X-T2 (Body Only) $800
Fujifilm X-T2 with 18-55mm lens $1,100
Fujifilm X-T3 (Body Only) $1,400
Fujifilm X-T3 w/18-55mm lens $1,700
Fujifilm X-T20 (Body Only) $600
Fujifilm X-T20 w/16-50mm lens $700
Fujifilm X-T20 w/18-55mm lens $900
Fujifilm X-T30 (Body Only) $900
Fujifilm X-E3 (Body Only) $700
Fujifilm X-T100 w/15-45mm lens $530
Fujifilm X-Pro2 (Body Only) $1,500
Fujifilm X-H1 (Body Only) w/power grip $1,300
Fujifilm X100F $1,200
Fujifilm XF10 $450

Fujifilm X Lenses:

Fujinon 8-16mm f/2.8 $1,900
Fujinon 10-24mm f/4 $900
Fujifilm 14mm f/2.8 $650
Fujinon 16mm f/1.4 $900
Fujinon 16-55mm f/2.8 $1,100
Fujinon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 $800
Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 $650
Fujinon 23mm f/2 $400
Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 $400
Fujinon 50mm f/2 $345
Fujinon 50-140mm f/2.8 $1,500
Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 $900
Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 $400
Fujinon 80mm f/2.8 $950
Fujinon 90mm f/2 $850
Fujinon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 $1,700

Fujifilm GFX Cameras:

Fujifilm GFX 50R (Body Only) $4,000
Fujifilm GFX 50R w/63mm lens $5,000
Fujifilm GFX 50R w/32-64mm lens $5,800
Fujifilm GFX 50S (Body Only) $5,500
Fujifilm GFX100 (Body Only) $10,000

Fujifilm GFX Lenses:

Fujinon GFX 23mm f/4 $2,100
Fujinon GFX 32-64mm f/4 $1,800
Fujinon GFX 63mm f/2.8 $1,000
Fujinon GFX 100-200mm f/5.6 $1,500
Fujinon GFX 250mm f/4 $2,800

As always, nobody pays me to write the articles that you find on Fuji X Weekly, so using my Amazon affiliate links is the only way to financially support this website. I would never ask you to buy something that you didn’t want, but if you were already planning to purchase something, it’s greatly appreciated if you did so using my links. It definitely helps! I want to give a special thank you to those who have done this already.

Lens Review: Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR


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When I purchased my Fujifilm X-T30, I took advantage of a bundle deal that was being offered, and added the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR prime lens to the camera for an additional $100. What an incredible bargain! This lens normally sells for $400. I didn’t do any research on the 35mm f/2 lens prior to the purchase–I just knew that I wanted it because of the focal length and price–so what arrived in the mail was a surprise. When I opened the box and saw the lens for the first time, I was disappointed by how ugly it was. I know that one shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, so I didn’t hesitate to attach it to the camera and put it to the test.

The Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens is a “standard” prime lens on Fujifilm X cameras, giving a full-frame equivalent focal length of about 52mm. It’s neither wide-angle nor telephoto, but sees roughly the same as the human eye, which is why it’s known as the standard lens. This focal length is very common, and is often the first prime lens that one purchases. I’ve used standard prime lenses off and on for twenty years now, although this is my first Fujinon lens with this focal length.

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Something that I’ve heard said many times over the last five or so years is that the 50mm focal length (or, in the case of this lens, the 50mm equivalent focal length) is the most boring of all focal lengths. There are people who will never purchase this lens because they believe that it’s not possible to create interesting photographs with it. I completely disagree with that sentiment! It’s only boring if you create boring pictures with it. If you think this focal length is boring, that should motivate you all the more to use it and prove the statement wrong. Many of the greatest photographs ever created were captured using a standard prime lens. The only limitation to creating interesting pictures is the photographer, and not the camera or lens.

I’m not going to talk a whole lot about the technical aspects of the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens, as that information is already plentiful on the internet. I want to spend most of my time discussing my experiences using this lens to create pictures. Is it a good lens in real world use? Is this lens worthwhile to own?

The first thing that I noticed is just how sharp this lens is. The quality of the glass is obvious. It’s corner-to-corner tack sharp, even at f/2. There’s a barely noticeable amount of vignetting wide-open, but that quickly goes away as you stop down. Bokeh (which is an overrated aspect of lens quality) is creamy and otherwise excellent. This is a nearly flawless lens from an image-quality point of view. The 35mm f/2 is a great example of why Fujinon lenses are renown.

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Note how the bottom of the picture seems to curve up when in reality it is a straight line.

I did say “nearly flawless” in the last paragraph, and if there is one complaint, it’s some obvious pincushion distortion. Don’t expect straight lines to be perfectly straight. This would be most noticeable when shooting a brick wall. It’s not uncommon for lenses to have some barrel or pincushion distortion, so I wouldn’t get too worked up over this, but it’s good to know what to expect.

How this lens handles lens flare might be seen as positive or negative, depending on if you like flare in your pictures. It’s definitely prone to flare, but it has a lovely quality to it if you like that sort of thing. If you don’t like flare, I recommend getting an aftermarket hood to help prevent it.

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You might really love or hate all that lens flare.

The minimum focus distance is about 14 inches, which isn’t great or terrible. You can’t do any macro photography, but this isn’t a macro lens, either. Auto-focus is fast, quiet and accurate. It’s also a good lens for manual focus with a smooth focus ring. The 35mm f/2 is fairly small and lightweight, and so it’s good for walk-around and travel photography. It seems to be well built and durable. It’s weather sealed, which is great if you have a weather sealed camera to attach it to. The Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR is a quality lens, and not much negative can be said about it.

While this isn’t the best looking lens ever made, once you get past that, it is high quality glass, and one of the best prime lenses that I’ve ever used. It’s not perfect, but it is very, very good. If you are looking for a quality prime lens to add to your camera bag, this is one you shouldn’t overlook. In real world use it excels and it is indeed worthwhile to own. You can purchase the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens by clicking here, which helps to support this website.

Example photographs, captured using the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens attached to a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Monochrome Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – f/10

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Frozen Reservoir – Causey Reservoir, UT – f/8

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Dead Desert Tree – Moab, UT – f/8

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Two Pots – Layton, UT – f/5.6

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It’s Lit – Layton, UT – f/4

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Hand Held Phone – South Ogden, UT – f/2.8

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Microwave – Moab, UT – f/4.5

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25th Street – Ogden, UT – f/4

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Joyful – South Weber, UT – f/2

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Kitchenscape – South Weber, UT – f/5

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Trapped Inside – South Weber, UT – f/3.6

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Gathering Raindrop – Layton, UT – f/9

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Castles To The Sky – Castle Valley, UT – f/7.1

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North Window Arch – Arches NP, UT – f/9

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