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Top 5 Must Have Fujifilm X Lenses

By Justin Heyes on August 12th 2016

To date, Fujifilm has twenty lenses in the line up with one coming out this year, and two arriving on the scene sometime next. Now, that number may be small change compared to the list of Canon or Nikon lenses in production, but they are no slouches. Fuji has been diligently trying to included more lenses in their line-up, and even with a smaller variety, Fuji’s native lenses still cover a range from 10mm to 400mm (15mm – 600m equiv).

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The current lineup includes a handful of both primes and zoom lenses, and the construction is typically composed of a metal barrel and lens mount, with a variety features like weather resistance (WR), aperture ring ( R) image stabilization (OIS) and linear motor (LM) autofocus. If you are considering switching to the Fuji system or already have and are shopping for lenses, take a look at our list of 5 must have lenses for the Fuji system.

[REWIND: Hawkesmill Camera Messenger Bag Review | The Jermyn]

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Nifty Fifty – Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR

Now, this list is in no particular order, but a good place to start would the 50mm equivalent on the list. Some photographers have based their entire careers on the 50mm; it is a versatile focal length that can be used from portraits to landscapes. The XF 35mm f/2 is the second one provided for the X-series of cameras, the first of which is the XF 35mm f/1.4 R.

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Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 Sample | Image Courtesy of David Patrick Valera under Creative Commons 2.0

The lens may not be as fast as its older counterpart but, it is smaller, lighter and has weather sealing. Contrast and center sharpness are impressive wide open at f/2 with very little vignetting. It takes an aperture or f/5.6 to have similar sharpness in the corners, but autofocus is faster that the f/1.4 as there less glass to move.

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The Portrait Lens – Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R

I have been shooting this lens almost exclusively on my X-T1 for close to a year now, and it is no slouch. It’s Fuji’s fastest portrait lens, has an 85mm equivalent focal length,  though also  lacks image stabilization and weather resisting. Many would argue that the newer XF 90mm f/2 is better optically and has weather resisting to boot but, the XF 56mm has reached legendary status among Fuji shooters.

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Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 Sample | Image Courtesy of Justin Heyes

The lens manages high image-quality across the frame, edge to edge sharpness, with only the center being slightly sharper. If you are buying an f/1.2 lens you would want to shoot it wide open, this lens practically begs you to shoot it wide open all the time. Next to the XF 56mm f/1.2 APD the bokeh is arguably the best in the entire Fuji lineup but, you would be sacrificing phase detect autofocus and less light at larger apertures.

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Walk Around Zoom – Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 LM WR

The solution to the popular 24-70mm f/2.8, Fuji created a very capable 24-84mm equivalent if you avoid the wide end. There is slight color fringing at the 16mm end of the barrel, nothing that can’t be controlled though.

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Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 Sample | Image Courtesy of Dave Kai-Piper

The lens is great for portraits and groups, has excellent sharpness across the frame and it is weather sealed, could you ask for more? I could. It is the only zoom in the lineup without stabilization which can be a deal breaker for some, but it’s hard to argue with the versatility.

[RELATED: Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR For Wedding Photography | Just Take My Money Already]

Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f:4 R OIS

Wide Angle Zoom – Fujifilm Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS

Fuji offers some great wide angle primes like the XF 14mm f/2.8 R and the XF 16mm f/1.4 R, but, they can be overshadowed (and over reached) by the XF 10-24mm. Currently Fuji’s widest lens, the XF 10-24mm is a different beast. Offering an equivalent 16-35mm, it rivals the XF 56mm in terms of sharpness and color rendering.

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Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 Sample | Image Courtesy of Justin Heyes

Recently I brought this lens to a second-shooting job, and looking at the EXIF data after the event most of my favorite shots were taken with it. I am not the biggest fan of zooms, but this lens has one a special place in my bag, and that of many.

[RELATED: Fuji X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition Review |What Happens In Vegas… ]

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The Telephoto Zoom – Fujifilm Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR

Besides offering the entire alphabet in its name, the XF 50-140mm is Fuji’s offering for the 70-200mm crowd. Combined with the XF 16-55m you have the dynamic duo that most wedding photographers rock in their kit.

Thanks to the linear motor, the focus is quick and snappy. The focus and zoom also take place internally, so there will be no anatomy jokes cast your way. Image quality is almost as crisp on the edges as it is at the center of the frame, stopping down to f/4 will make the quality even-out across the board.

Distortion is on par with an equivalent lens from other top brands; it is negligible to say the least. It is a weather sealed metal clad monster that will appease any telephoto junkies out there.

[RELATED: Fujinon 50-140mm F/2.8 | Initial Impressions on This Sexy Piece of Kit]

The Alternates

Picking the top five lenses out of Fuji’s lineup can be difficult as the lens quality of fujinon lenses can rival those offering from Zeiss. Here are three runners-up that did not make the list.

[RELATED: Fujifilm X-T10 | The X-T1 Alternative For You]

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Fujifilm Fujinon 27mm f/2.8

This body cap of a lens can be labeled as the normal lens of the lineup. There is no surprise how much I love 28mm lenses on crop sensors as it creates a very cinematic look that only the likes of celluloid can match.

Why wasn’t it on the list? – It is a mediocre lens compared to the others in the lineup, offering great images with no distortion, but there is noting special about this normal lens and gets overshadowed.

Fujifilm Fujinon 18-55mm f:2.8-4 R LM OIS

Fujifilm Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS

This kit lens is shockingly good and can satisfy street and portrait photographers alike, and can be a viable option instead of the XF 16-55mm. It is robust and sharp (epically for a kit lens).

Why wasn’t it on the list? – The cost and variable aperture. At around $600 a better investment can be made in the XF 35mm f/2. I believe a zoom lens is only as good as its widest aperture, as constant results are important the XF 35mm is $200 less and a stop faster.

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Fujifilm Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 R Macro

Why wasn’t it on the list? – The only macro in the lineup offering a 0.5x magnification. It is the slowest focusing of the lineup. It was Fuji’s first portrait lens that has been since overshadowed by the XF 56mm f/1.2.

[RELATED: Review | Fuji Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro Lens]

 


What do you think of the list? If I have missed any of your favorites make sure you leave a comment below

About

Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

12 Comments

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  1. Peter Brock

    I am a gadget freak and have a studio.  I got rid of my Fuji lenses in favor of the Zeiss trio: 12, 32, and 50.  They focus almost to a macro level, weigh about 70% of the Fuji and, to me, just have a superior image.  I think everyone should consider these.  I am selling my Fuji lenses as I love these.

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  2. Jean-Marc Friedli

    I’m surprised by your remark about the 27 mm: “It is a mediocre lens compared to the other lenses …”. Do you mean by mediocre “too small to be taken seriously”? I really love this lens and I can compare it to the other Fuji lenses (I own most of them): IQ-wise it is an excellent lens in every respect (although slow of course). In terms of quality, it is very far from “mediocre”, and for street photography, it is also extremely discrete, which is not a bad aspect.
    In one way, I would say you’re right, however: yes, the lens is very sharp and straightforward, without flaws actually, but it does certainly not have the “magic” of the 35 mm 1.4. But then, this would be also true for some other (excellent) Fuji lenses.

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  3. Niels Jacob Bang-Nielsen

    Why not the excellent 23mm f1,4 and 16mm f1,4?

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    • Justin Heyes

      The 23mm is hard to justify when you can get an x100t for a little bit more

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    • Korey Napier

      True, but if you are shooting on the X-Pro, X-T, or X-E series, the 23mm 1.4 is your only 35mm equiv. prime option.

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    • Pete Perry

      Wow, his point about the 23 F/1.4 being similarly priced to the X100T is a great point.  It’s like you get a second body that you can just pull out instead of swapping lenses in a less than ideal environment.

      Of course used a 23 F/1.4 is an excellent option as the price no doubt drops quite a bit.

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  4. Elvin Guzman

    I have the 56mm f/1.2 and the 35mm f/2. I have been looking into the 10-24mm f/4 R OIS for landscapes, but I could not be happier with what I have.

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  5. Korey Napier

    I personally love the 23mm 1.4. I have that and the 56mm 1.2. The 56mm is definitely my favorite lens. It’s beautiful!

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  6. Lyn Rees

    …and, if you include 3rd party lenses, the Samyang 12mm f/2 deserves a mention.

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    • Korey Napier

      I have the 12mm f/2 for my real estate work and for weddings. I absolutely love it.

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  7. Lyn Rees

    I do love the 18mm f/2. It’s one of the older lenses, not the quickest to focus of the sharpest in the word, but it really is a joy.

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