Best Fujifilm lenses

Welcome to my Buyer’s Guide for Fujifilm lenses! I’ll start with a quick guide to their ranges and what to look out for, followed by my personal suggestions for building a variety of systems, and finally a list of all the models I’ve reviewed or tested and can recommend. So if you’re looking for a Fujifilm lens, you’ve come to the right place! For more information on bodies, check out my Fujifilm Camera reviews page.

 

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Fujifilm lens specifications and terminology

Fujifilm has two lens systems, one designed for its X-Mount series and the other designed for its GFX medium format series; I’ll be covering the X-Mount here, but may include GFX in the future as the system and choice of lenses grows.

X-Mount lenses are designed for X-series bodies, including the X-H, X-Pro, X-T, X-E and X-A models. All X-series bodies employ APSC-sized sensors which in turn reduce the field-of-view by 1.5 times, so a 50mm lens becomes equivalent to 75mm on a full-frame body.

Fujifilm’s X-Mount lenses are divided into two main groups: XC models are lightweight entry-level models designed for budget bodies, while XF models deliver higher performance from build to focus to optics. There are also a handful of specialist MK lenses designed for cinematography, MKX for Fujifilm X-Mount bodies and MKE for Sony E-mount bodies.

Within the ranges, look out for the following letters: WR refers to weather resistance, LM means focusing is performed by a fast linear motor ideal for tracking sports and action, R means there’s a dedicated aperture ring, PZ refers to Power Zoom for motorized zooming, and OIS stands for optical image stabilisation. Note unless you have an X-Mount body with built-in sensor-shift stabilisation like the X-H1, you will need an OIS lens to iron-out the shakes; if you’re using non-OIS lenses on unstabilised bodies you’ll have to hold steady. Now for my recommendations and as always I’ll only cover models that I’ve personally tested to some degree; I’ve linked each lens in the next section to their product page at B&H for pricing, and in the section following that I’ll provide links to my reviews and samples galleries.

 

 

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Recommended Fujifilm lenses

If you have an entry-level Fujifilm body, you’ll almost certainly already own an XC series kit zoom like the XC 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OIS II or the more recent XC 15-45mm f3.5-5.6 OIS PZ which is the first in the Fujifilm catalogue to feature a powered zoom for smooth adjustments in video. If you’re after a longer lens to complement it, then the ideal match is the XC 50-230mm f4.5-6.7 OIS II, a lightweight and affordable telephoto zoom.

If you’re after a classier general-purpose zoom or are choosing a lens for a new higher-end body, Fujifilm offers three options in the XF series. The XF 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR delivers a classic 24-83mm equivalent range with a constant and bright f2.8 aperture, making it the ideal choice for pro event and portrait shooters; it’s weather-resistant too, although sadly lacks optical stabilisation. If you’re willing to sacrifice the bright aperture for a broader range, the XF 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR starts at a slightly less wide 27mm equivalent but extends much further to 203mm, while also sporting weather sealing and optical stabilisation. Both these lenses are fairly hefty though, so if you want a lighter option for one of the smaller bodies, then my personal choice is the XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS, which may be one of the older models but delivers the classic kit zoom range with above average quality and a brighter than average aperture in a compact package with stabilisation, albeit without weather sealing. If you’re after a telephoto to complement it in coverage without the cost of the pro-level tele-zooms, then the XF 55-200mm f3.5-4.8 R LM OIS┬áis a sensible choice.

If you’re after a higher-end telephoto zoom for capturing action though, Fujifilm offers two great options with quicker Linear Motors designed for fast autofocusing, along with weather-sealing and optical stabilisation. The XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR delivers the classic 75-210mm range with a constant and bright f2.8 aperture beloved by pros and is the perfect match for the XF 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR. If you need longer reach, then aim for the XF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR. Both lenses are unashamedly high-end options, large but physically-matched for the X-H and X-T series and exploiting their autofocus capabilities; both lenses are also compatible with the XF 1.4X TC WR and XF 2X TC WR weather-resistant tele-converters. Pro sports shooters with a pro budget to spend will also be tempted by the XF 200mm f2 R LM OIS WR.

If you’re into ultra-wide architecture and landscape photography, you have two zooms to consider. The first is the XF 10-24mm f4 R OIS, one of the older lenses in the collection but one that remains a favourite thanks to a useful range, filter thread, optical stabilisation and relatively affordable price, although sadly there’s no weather sealing. The second option is the XF 8-16mm f2.8 R LM WR which zooms wider albeit not as long, while boasting a brighter f2.8 aperture and weather-sealing. This lens is much higher-end though: larger, heavier, double the price and lacking a filter thread. There’s also the older XF 14mm f2.8 R to consider, but if you’re looking for a fast ultra-wide prime, the Samyang 12mm f2 is a tad wider, a stop brighter and one third of the price – a great deal even if it’s manual focus only.

Portrait shooters will adore the XF 56mm f1.2 R, delivering a classic head-and-shoulders equivalent length of 84mm with a bright aperture for very shallow depth-of-field effects; it’s also available in an ‘APD’ version for those who want more stylized, smoother rendering of blurred areas, but I’m personally satisfied by the original model. If your budget is tighter, you could go for the XF 50mm f2 R WR which is smaller, lighter, cheaper and weather-resistant too, albeit with a slower f2 aperture. Pro event shooters who need the flexibility of a zoom should aim for the XF 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR. If you prefer more distant portraits, consider the very sharp XF 90mm f2 R LM WR or the XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR, although I personally found the former hard to compose with precisely unless using a body with built-in stabilisation.

If you’d like to build a kit around prime / fixed focal length lenses, Fujifilm’s X-series offers a variety of excellent options. Indeed I’d say the primes are a highlight of the system, although remember the majority lack optical stabilisation so if you’re prone to camera shake then either aim for a body with built-in stabilisation or ensure you’re using sufficiently fast shutter speeds to compensate.

If you’re on a tighter budget or desire smaller and lighter primes, then I’d go for the latest f2 models which all boast compact barrels and weather-resistance. The XF 23mm f2 R WR, XF 35mm f2 R WR and XF 50mm f2 R WR make a fantastic threesome, but if I had to choose just one, then the XF 35mm f2 R WR with its approximately 50mm coverage makes a great standard lens – it’s the no-brainer for Fujifilm owners.

If you want lenses with brighter apertures and arguably more attractive rendering (albeit sometimes at the cost of corner to corner sharpness versus the f2 versions), then there’s a fabulous foursome to tempt you: the XF 16mm f1.4 R WR, XF 23mm f1.4 R, XF 35mm f1.4 R, and the XF 56mm f1.2 R.

Macro shooters have two choices: the XF 60mm f2.4 R Macro and XF 80mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro. The latter is double the price, but is worth the extra for macro fanatics who require 1:1 magnification with the additional benefits of weather-sealing and optical stabilisation.

And finally, my own personal choices? When I’m travelling with a Fujifilm body, I normally take three lenses with me: the XF 10-24mm f4 R OIS for ultra-wide shots, the XF 35mm f2 R WR as my walk-around general lens, and the XF 56mm f1.2 R for formal portraits, details and short telephoto shots. I’m very happy with this triplet!

Keep reading for my detailed reviews of selected Fujifilm lenses and sample image galleries!

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All my Fujifilm lens reviews


 

 

Best Fujifilm lenses

Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 review so far

Fujifilm's XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 is a general-purpose zoom for its X-mount mirrorless cameras, upon which it delivers a flexible 27-84mm equivalent range taking you from wide-angle to mild telephoto. The optical stabilisation smooths out the wobbles and the LM focusing is swift and silent, but what makes the lens stand out is its brighter than average f2.8-4 aperture. Compared to the f3.5-5.6 aperture of rival 18-55mm kit zooms, the Fuji version gathers between two thirds and a whole stop more light, allowing faster shutters, lower ISOs and shallower depth-of-field effects. It predates Fuji's broad adoption of weather-sealing, but otherwise provides a great balance of features and quality, which is why it's the most common X-series kit zoom. If you want f2.8 all the way to 55mm, go for the XF 16-55mm f2.8 and if you want a longer range, go for the XF 18-135mm. Both are also weather-sealed, but are larger and more expensive than the XF 18-55 f2.8-4.

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Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f4 review-so-far

Fujifilm's XF 10-24mm f4 is an ultra-wide zoom for its X-mount mirrorless cameras upon which it delivers a 15-36mm equivalent range that's ideal for capturing expansive landscapes, large architecture, or simply big group shots when you can't step back any further. The optical quality is very good, especially at the wide-end where you want it, and while there's sadly no weather sealing, the optical stabilisation is useful for handheld and video work even at these short focal lengths. If you're using small filter systems, like the Lee Seven5 NDs, beware that vignetting will occur at the shortest focal lengths, but normally disappears by 12mm. Also note Fujifilm recently announced an XF 8-16mm f2.8 for sometime in 2018 with wider coverage, a brighter aperture and weather sealing, but the price, release date and filter compatibility are unknown. Even with this new lens in the wings, I can still Highly Recommend the XF 10-24mm f4 - it's one of my most used personal lenses.

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Fujifilm XF 23mm f2 review

Fujifilm's XF 23mm f2 is mild wide-angle prime lens for Fujifilm's mirrorless X-series. It's smaller, lighter and more affordable than the earlier XF 23mm f1.4, while also boasting quicker, quieter and closer focusing, not to mention weather sealing and a narrower tapered barrel that presents less of an obstruction to the optical viewfinder on X-Pro bodies. The XF 23mm f2 exhibits some softness at very close range and or at the largest apertures, so is best-suited to subjects over a meter away, ideally shot around its optimal aperture of f5.6. The older XF 23mm f1.4 delivers a shallower depth-of-field and smoother rendering, and while it won't focus as close, it remains sharper at all distances and apertures. But if you're after a good general-purpose lens that's perfect for street photography, the XF 23mm f2 will serve you well. Its short-comings mean it misses out on my highest rating, but it remains recommended none-the-less.

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Fujifilm XF 50mm f2 review

Fujifilm's XF 50mm f2 is a compelling alternative to the XF 56mm f1.2 for anyone who wants a short telephoto lens for portraits or details. Most obviously it's comfortably smaller and lighter than the XF 56mm and around half the price too. It has quicker, quieter and much closer focusing, making it preferred for spontaneous shots, movies and product photography, and it enjoys the benefits of weather sealing too. X-Pro owners will also appreciate the narrower tapered barrel that presents less of an obstruction when using the optical viewfinder. Unsurprisingly the XF 56mm f1.2 remains the King if you want the shallowest depth-of-field at portrait distances, and its rendering and diffraction spikes are more attractive too, but the size, price and overall strong performance from the XF 50mm f2 will see it happily adopted by many X-series owners; I can also see an argument for owning both it and the XF 56mm f1.2.

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Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f2.8 review-so-far

Fujifilm's XF 50-140mm f2.8 is a bright telephoto zoom for its X-mount mirrorless cameras, upon which it delivers a popular 75-210mm equivalent range with a constant f2.8 focal ratio that's ideal for close-range sports, action and wildlife shooting. It's also a flexible range for portrait work with flattened perspective and shallow depth-of-field effects. In use, the autofocus is swift and silent, the optics sharp across the frame, the rendering attractive, and the build quality up to professional standards. If your budget won't stretch, sacrifice the bright f2.8 aperture, weather sealing and quick focusing for models like the XF 55-200mm f3.5-4.8, or the entry-level XC 50-230mm f4.5-6.7. If you need something with longer reach, head for the XF 100-400mm. But if you desire the 75-210mm range with a bright aperture, the XF 50-140mm f2.8 is really your only choice. Luckily it won't disappoint and is worth spending the extra on.

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Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 review-so-far

Fujifilm's XF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 is a super-telephoto zoom for its X-mount mirrorless cameras upon which it delivers a 150-600mm equivalent range. This gives it the longest reach of any lens in the X catalogue to date, making it ideal for capturing distant subjects. Mount it on one of Fujifilm's more recent bodies with improved autofocus and you'll be able to successfully track and shoot sports or wildlife, opening the X-series to serious action photography. As you'd hope, the optical stabilisation works well and the lens is built and weather-sealed to satisfy the demands of professionals. There's several telephotos for the X-series now, but none with the reach of the 100-400mm, and if you want more, just couple it with the XF 1.4X converter for a maximum focal length of 840mm. Recommended if you need long focal lengths.

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Fujifilm XF 90mm f2 review

The XF 90mm f2 is another superb addition to the X-system and one which will delight portrait photographers, not to mention anyone who shoots close-range action or likes to capture tighter details on landscapes and buildings. It excels at subject separation with well-behaved bokeh, but is also one of the sharpest and fastest focusers in the range. If the 135mm equivalent coverage suits your style, it's an easy lens to Highly Recommend.







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Fujifilm XF 35mm f2 review

The Fujifilm XF 35mm f2 is a compact prime lens with standard coverage that performs much better than you might expect. With its tapered design and f2 aperture, you might assume the XF 35mm f2 plays second fiddle to the more serious-looking XF 35mm f1.4. But in many respects, including centre sharpness, focusing speed and weather-sealing, the newer lens out-guns the old model. Sure it lacks that extra stop of aperture and some may prefer the rendering of the earlier model, but for the speed, size and quality the XF 35mm f2 is a great little lens at an affordable price that literally punches above its weight.

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Fujifilm XF 16mm f1.4 review

The Fujifilm XF 16mm f1.4 is a high quality wide-angle prime lens for Fujifilm X-series bodies. The 24mm equivalent field of view is an eternal favourite with landscape and architectural photographers, capturing wider and more dynamic compositions than a 28mm, but without the distortion of an ultra-wide. The optical quality is very good, and while the sharpness may peak at f5.6, it performs very respectably even wide-open at f1.4. Anyone shooting outdoors in inclement conditions will also appreciate the weather-sealing. If you're into wide-angles, the XF 16mm f1.4 is an obvious choice, but weigh it up carefully with the XF 10-24mm f4 OIS zoom which may be three stops darker and lack weather-sealing, but boasts optical stabilisation and a broader range that zooms wider and longer.

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Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f2.8 review

Fujifilm's XF 16-55mm f2.8 is a high quality general-purpose zoom for the company's series of X-mount bodies. It delivers a useful walkaround range equivalent to 24-83mm and a constant f2.8 focal ratio, not to mention weather-sealing. It's an unashamedly high-end lens aimed at pros who'll love to couple it with the XF 50-140mm f2.8. It's a shame there's no optical stabilisation on the XF 16-55mm f2.8, but the performance could still swing-it for many.

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Fujinon XF 56mm f1.2 R review

The Fujifilm XF 56mm f1.2 R is a fast prime lens for Fujifilm's X-mount cameras that delivers a full-frame equivalent focal length of 84mm; this makes it perfect for short telephoto work including portraiture or simply concentrating on details, while the bright f1.2 focal ratio delivers very shallow depth of field effects (equivalent to f1.8 on full-frame) and allows you to maintain higher shutter speeds or lower ISOs in low light conditions. There's no image stabilisation or weather-sealing, but it remains a favourite for portrait shooters and is highly recommended. If you're on a tighter budget, compare with the XF 50mm f2 which focuses faster and sports weather-sealing too.

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