The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

FUJIFILM X-T1 (25.4mm, f/8, 1/7 sec, ISO200)

I know sometimes I use too many words in my blog post. But not this time!

In this article I will keep it short. I will describe the good, the bad and the ugly of the primes  from Fuji. The list only includes lenses I own or have owned. Lenses that I have used my travels and business trips. Lenses that I know inside out.

Without further ado – here are the lenses.

Fuji XF 14/2.8 R

  • the good: zero distortion, super sharp, small and light, AF-clutch
  • the bad: the lens hood
  • the ugly: the loose aperture ring

Fuji XF 16/1.4 R WR

  • the good: very sharp, nice Bokeh, WR, AF-clutch, close focus distance
  • the bad: big and heavy (in the APS-C mirrorless world)
  • the ugly: the lens hood (replacement is a must buy)

Fuji XF 18/2.0 R

  • the good: sharp, small and light, fast AF, nice lens hood
  • the bad: some distortion (though automatically corrected in LR)
  • the ugly: the loose aperture ring

Fuji XF 23/1.4 R

  • the good: beautiful rendering, nice Bokeh and very good subject isolation
  • the bad: rather big and heavy, partly blocks the OVF of the X-Pro cameras
  • the ugly: AF unreliable in poor light, ugly lens hood (replacement is a must buy)

Fuji XF 23/2.0 R WR

  • the good: very sharp, small and light, WR, perfect aperture ring
  • the bad: not sharp at close distances, maybe the lens hood
  • the ugly: –

Fuji XF 27/2.8

  • the good: surprisingly sharp for a pancake, nice Bokeh, super small and light
  • the bad: AF on slow side
  • the ugly: no aperture ring (compromises shooting experience!)

Fuji XF 35/1.4 R

  • the good: beautiful rendering, nice Bokeh, good subject isolation, nice lens hood
  • the bad: noisy AF that is also on the slower side
  • the ugly: the loose aperture ring (though not as extreme as on the 14/2.8)

Fuji XF 56/1.2 R

  • the good: very sharp, very nice subject isolation and Bokeh
  • the bad: big and heavy
  • the ugly: AF is slow especially in poor light

 

Conclusion:

The older Fuji primes suffer from loose aperture rings and noisy, sometimes slower AF. The newer lenses are mechanically superior, offer the better and faster autofocus and are weather resistant too. They seem to be the better choice but things are not that straight forward. The older Fuji lenses are optically corrected. That means they don’t rely heavily on software correction. And (at least to my eyes) they render the images in a much nicer way.

Until Fuji updates their older lenses you need to decide in between convenience and that little extra magic based on your priorities. My personal favourites are still the XF 14/2.8 R, the XF 23/1.4 R and the XF 35/1.4 R despite their above listed shortcomings.