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Date: 10/12/2013 | By: Mathieu

My 4 Favourite Fujinon XF Lenses for the Interchangeable Fuji X Series

X-M1, 1/500, f/ 2.8, ISO 6400

My 4 Favourite Fujinon XF Lenses for the Interchangeable Fuji X Series

Note: the list has been updated with a 2015 edition.

The camera may be the chassis that records your images, but it is the lens that collects, manipulates and directs the light towards the sensor. I believe Shakespeare might have said, “the lens maketh the camera” if he had been a photographer instead of a writer. Without a lens, you have no image, and with a lens of poor quality, you may find it a challenge to create the image you had envisioned.

If Fujifilm is known for one thing, it is the quality of its glass. Though still limited, a clear roadmap shows that by 2014, Fujifilm will have an array of twelve excellent lenses to choose from, as well as three welcome additions from Zeiss.

If you have invested in an X-Pro1 or any other X series interchangeable lens camera, I believe that the four Fujinon XF lenses listed below would be useful to have in your starter kit. The list consists solely of primes as I feel the X interchangeable system works better with primes than it does with zooms.

Please keep in mind that this is a very personal list which fits my needs as a reportage/events/wedding/street photographer. If you often shoot concerts or dance performances, you’re going to need a telezoom such as the 55-200mm, just as a macro photographer will probably want to invest in the 60mm macro lens before any other.

1. Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 (21mm on FF)

X-Pro1, 1/320, f/ 56/10, ISO 200
X-Pro1, 1/320, f/ 5.6, ISO 200
Taken with the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8

The 14mm f/2.8 is a very nice lens for wide angle shots. It has an equivalent focal length of 21mm on 35mm format, making it the ideal choice for architectural shots such as the ones you’ll see in my 12 Architectural Pictures gallery, or landscape shots. The results along the edges are impressive with minimal vignetting even when wide open, and the distortion is more than acceptable given its very wide angle. It isn’t the widest X lens available as the Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 has an equivalent angle of view of 18mm but the Touit is more expensive. In any case, the XF 14mm is currently one of my favourite lenses so far for the Fuji X system.

List Price: $899.95
Current Price: $899.00
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Price Disclaimer

2. Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 (35mm on FF)

X-Pro1, 1/950, f/ 14/10, ISO 200
X-Pro1, 1/950, f/ 1.4, ISO 200
Taken with the XF 23mm f/1.4

The very words ‘fast aperture lens’ generally imply a high quality build and premium glass. The XF 23mm f/1.4 (35mm equivalent on full frame format) is no exception. It has a wonderful bokeh, great sharpness even at its fastest aperture and overall excellent lens performance – in other words, the perfect street lens. The focus ring is very sturdy and precise, and can be shifted back and forth to quickly switch from auto to manual focus. The aperture ring is also very smooth and accurate. Distortion on this lens is almost non-existent. Being the latest prime lens from Fuji, it is also has a very good AF performance.

List Price: $899.95
Current Price: $699.00
Buy Now
Price Disclaimer

3. Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 (41mm on FF)

X-M1, 1/125, f/ 56/10, ISO 1250
X-M1, 1/125, f/ 5.6, ISO 1250
Taken with the XF 27mm f/2.8

The XF 27mm f/2.8 is a prime pancake lens which delivers a field of view similar to that of the human eye, and is the smallest XF lens in the series. In fact, it is so small that there is no room for an aperture ring, meaning that X-Pro1 owners will have to update their camera with the latest firmware to allow aperture setting from the control dials located on the rear. It also has a very fast AF response, amongst the best in the series. The images produced by the lens are clean and crisp, and it produces a very nice bokeh despite not being faster than f/2.8. The lens itself is lightweight despite its metal build, and is unobtrusive thanks to its compact size. The 27mm is another lens I really like, as it can make an X-E1 or X-M1 very compact. It is a very good lens for an everyday use.


4. Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 (53mm on FF)

X-Pro1, 1/500, f/ 2, ISO 200
X-Pro1, 1/500, f/ 2, ISO 200
Taken with the XF 35mm f/1.4

The 35mm f/1.4 is one of the best 50mm equivalent lenses I’ve ever used. I love the bokeh and how sharp it is at all apertures, even f/1.4. The only con is that the aperture ring is too smooth. I ended up changing my aperture inadvertently more than once. But despite this small weak aspect, it is one of the most beloved lenses amongst X users and X photographers. The AF has been improved thanks to firmware updates (both for the lens and for X cameras), and the improvements are really impressive. I wouldn’t say it has the fastest performance on the list, but it is very close.



Looking for inexpensive and second-hand Fujinon lenses? If so, be sure to check out what eBay has to offer!

Fuji Fujinon XF 90mm F/2 R LM WR Lens *NEW*
  • Current Price: $949.00
  • Ends: Jan 5, 2017 19:09:02 GMT
Fujinon XF 16MM F1.4
  • Current Price: $710.00
  • Ends: Jan 5, 2017 17:56:03 GMT
Fujifilm Fujinon XF27mmF2.8
  • Current Price: $633.09
  • Ends: Jan 6, 2017 17:21:34 GMT

Which Fujinon lens would you find it hard to live without?

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About the author: Mathieu Gasquet

Mathieu Gasquet is a professional photographer with French and Italian origins. Besides running his own video and photography studio 3Dit Lab, he is also the official photographer for the National Cinema Museum in Turin. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

  • Mathieu

    There is a new article about my favourite Fuji lenses here:
    However I haven’t tired the 35mm f/2 yet.

  • Salvatore Lentini

    I’m sure that if you write the post today, would you have in your list the new 35mm f 2.0. I tested this lens to fuji x day in Catania and is really impressive. To see the photos I took at fuji x day in Catania with 16mm, 23mm, 35mm, 56mm (and 56mm APD), 50-140mm visit my website

  • Zen Ken H

    Agree! But I would swap the 56 for a 35mm. Just personal preference.

  • Zen Ken H

    If you are total novice I suggest buying a 18-55mm to begin with if you don’t already have it. The benefits of this over 14mm:

    1. 18mm is good enough for beginners who wish to take wide angle shots. The wider it is, the harder it is to frame.

    2. 18-55mm pretty much covers everything from architecture to landscape to street to portrait. You will have much much more fun with this zoom lens than a prime 14mm as a beginner.

    3. The quality of their stock 18-55mm is way superior than other 18-55mm.

    4. Being more versatile means more room for mistakes and more things to take. Believe there will be a lot of “if only” moments when you are using the 14mm prime. You would wish you have a zoom lens or don’t need to change lens. The 14mm is more for photographers who know exactly what their subjects are and are willing to compromise other things for that.

    I really like the 35mm by the way :)

  • dj babi

    yes you should

  • Manisha Patel

    Thankyou for this, I have just bought a X E2 and am a total novice, I am doing a photography course soon and have the 35mm, but wanted something that would take better architechtural / landscape shots…this has really helped me. Should I go for the 14mm?

  • bob

    FWIW my fav 4 would be:
    Those four are great and can handle just about anything!
    Thanks, Bob

  • http://Google Sabir Ali

    Very good review

  • Heather

    Hi, all the titles give the equivalent focal length on a FF sensor. Cheers. H

  • Samson

    All your titles are wrong: you use x1.5 factor for FF. Does FF stay for Full Frame? If so, x1.5 factor should be applied for APS-C sensors, not FF.

  • eraserfish

    Hey Sonja, I wouldn’t worry too much about your lenses yet if money is a worry. Get the xe-2 with the very good 18-55 kit lens, which is way better than most kit lenses. 18 is pretty wide and good enough for most street stuff or even landscapes and it has very little distortion. If you want a fun lens that is really inexpensive, pick up the jackar 34mm 1.8 with the fuji x mount. It is manual focus so you will have todo the work, but it has amazing bokeh for 150$. I personally want all the xf fuji lenses so I wouldn’t talk you out of any of them. Keep reading and look at sample pictures of the lenses you want to make sure they are going to do what you want. The bokeh on the 55-200 is really great as well and allows you to stay farther away from your subjects for sneaky street shots. Good luck!

  • Sha-Sonja

    Ahhh! So torn! Haha. So just a little update (if you remember me from the other post concerning my switch from dslr (nikon d90) to csc). I’m currently trying to get the x-e2 and the lens I was leaning towards was the 14mm, but I’ve been told to get the 23mm before (which im not too sure of) and now the 35mm sounds so enticing! I guess my mania comes from the financial issue of hoping to rely on that one lens until I can afford others for my photojournalism/street photog. In all honesty, I really trust your opinion and suggestion overall.

  • Mathieu

    The 23mm is a gorgeous lens and you can do a lot of things with it. But it is expensive so if you like the versatility of a zoom lens, you should probably wait, also considering the fact that you don’t use a lot your 35mm. Or you can try it on a camera store and see for yourself if it is worth or not 😉
    Fuji glass are superb, I agree!

  • Stephen Scharf

    Great article and list. I fully agree with your assessment of the 14mm; it’s one of hte best lenses I’ve ever used, and I use it surprisingly often. I have purchased the 23mm yet, but I find that I use the 18-55 zoom so much that my 35mm hardly gets any use. I think the 18-55 is very versatile, and excellent optically. Perhaps not as outstanding as the 35 or 14, but excellent nonetheless, and as good as a standard zoom from Canon or Nikon. I’m very pleased that we Fuji owners have such superb glass to choose from.

  • Heather

    I can understand why the X-E1 may not want to let go! 😉

  • Andy, London UK

    I have all 4 and love them all – my 18-55 zoom is gathering a lot of dust.. The 23 in particular seems to be clinging to my X-E1 for long periods for some reason :)

  • Mathieu

    Hi Joseph, I never tried one. Novoflex usually makes very good adaptors, they are more expensive but have a very good build quality. I own one for Nikon to MFT mount. A more cheap option could be a Kipon adapter. I tried both Nikon and Canon to MFT models, the quality is acceptable but you won’t get the aperture ring for Nikon G lenses that you can find on the Novoflex adapter. Finally, there is also the metabones version, way more expensive as it has a lens inside and will give you an extra stop of luminosity wile keeping the original FF angle of view.

  • Joseph

    Can you suggest an adapter for Nikon lens to X E2………..Thanks

  • Heather

    Perhaps a tad! 😉

  • Dharma

    If you had $1000 to spend on mirrorless gear…what would you buy?

    nice, but you overspend a bit, didn’t you? :)

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