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Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 Lens Review

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Category: Interchangeable Lenses
Product: Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8
Price: £380.00
Rating: 3.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 5

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 Lens Review - Gary Wolstenholme reviews the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 compact prime lens, with a field of view equivalent to a 41mm lens on a 35mm camera and a bright f/2.8 aperture.

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Handling and features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Fujifilm XF 27mm Lens (5)
This compact prime lens for Fujifilm X-series cameras provides a field of view equivalent to a 41mm lens on a 35mm camera and a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture and was introduced alongside the Fujifilm X-M1 camera, which is currently smallest X-series camera available.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 Handling and features

Fujifilm XF 27mm Lens (3)

Being only 23mm long and weighing only 78g, this lens is very lightweight and compact. Even so, the build quality of this optic isn't compromised with it being constructed from robust materials and having a metal lens mount. The compact size and light weight make this lens a good travel companion for the Fujifilm X-Pro1 body used for testing.

Focusing is performed by extending the centre portion of the lens barrel, as is typical with pancake type lenses, although the 39mm filter thread does not rotate, making it perfect for use with polarising and graduated filters. The focusing ring is smooth to operate and well damped, making fine adjustments a pleasure to apply.

Unlike Fujifilm's XF lenses, there is no manual aperture ring, with aperture control being provided via the adjustment wheel on the rear of the camera. The X-Pro1 required a firmware update to properly support the lens. The process for completing this is fairly straightforward, so long as you have a USB card reader to copy the update to a formatted card.

Autofocus is fairly quick in good lighting conditions, although the lens does tend to hunt a little, especially in low light conditions and when attempting to focus close.
Fujifilm XF 27mm Lens (1)

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 Performance

At maximum aperture, sharpness in the centre of the frame is already outstanding. Unfortunately the clarity recorded towards the edges of the frame isn't quite as impressive, falling just short of good sharpness levels at maximum aperture. Stopping down does little to improve sharpness across the frame with high levels of sharpness being retained in the centre and clarity towards the edges of the frame lagging behind somewhat all the way down to f/11.

Resolution @ 27mm
Resolution @ 27mm

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are incredibly well controlled with fringing only just exceeding a quarter of a pixel width towards the edges of the frame at f/2.8. This low level of fringing will be very hard to spot in images, even in areas of high contrast towards the edges of the frame.

Chromatic aberration @ 27mm
Chromatic aberration @ 27mm

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame is reasonably well controlled. At maximum aperture the corners are 1.7 stops darker than the image centre. Visually uniform illumination is achieved with the aperture stopped down to f/5.6 or beyond.

Just over 0.8% barrel distortion is present, which may seem a little high for a prime lens. Even so, this low level of distortion shouldn't pose too many issues for general photography. If absolutely straight lines are paramount, you'll be glad to know that the distortion pattern is uniform across the frame, which should make applying corrections in image editing software relatively straightforward.

Flare can sometimes be an issue with this lens and contrast suffers noticeably when shooting into the light. Extra care may need to be taken when using this lens in harsh lighting conditions as a result.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 Sample Photos

Sharpness is outstanding in the centre of the frame at maximum aperture | 1/80 sec | f/2.8 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200

Sharpness is outstanding in the centre of the frame at maximum aperture | 1/80 sec | f/2.8 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

Clarity towards the edges of the frame doesn't improve much as the lens is stopped down | 1/950 sec | f/6.4 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200

Clarity towards the edges of the frame doesn't improve much as the lens is stopped down | 1/950 sec | f/6.4 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

Closest focus is 34cm with macro mode enabled on the camera body | 1/70 sec | f/4.0 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200

Closest focus is 34cm with macro mode enabled on the camera body | 1/70 sec | f/4.0 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

Contrast can suffer greatly when shooting into the light | 1/250 sec | f/2.8 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200

Contrast can suffer greatly when shooting into the light | 1/250 sec | f/2.8 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

1/100 sec | f/2.8 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200

1/100 sec | f/2.8 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

1/1900 sec | f/4.0 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200

1/1900 sec | f/4.0 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

1/85 sec | f/8.0 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200

1/85 sec | f/8.0 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

1/210 sec | f/6.4 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200

1/210 sec | f/6.4 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

Value for money

This lens currently retails for around £380, which seems a touch expensive for a pancake lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. For example, Olympus do a 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens for Micro Four Thirds system cameras that costs around £200 and Sony offer a 20mm f/2.8 pancake lens for their NEX series cameras for around £300.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 Verdict

Those looking for as compact a lens as possible for their X-series camera have no other option as lightweight and compact as this lens available to them at the moment. This lens delivers very high levels of sharpness in the centre of the frame, and although adequate, the performance towards the edges of the frame isn't on quite the same level.

The price at launch may seem slightly high when compared to established lenses available for other camera formats, but as this lens is freshly launched, that may change in time. However as the build quality of this lens is so high, that goes some way towards justifying a higher price tag.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 Pros

Great sharpness in the centre
Good build quality
Low falloff and distortion
Low CA

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 Cons

Autofocus can hunt in low light and at close distances
Not as sharp towards the edges of the frame
Loss of contrast when shooting into the light

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
OVERALL  

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
General
Lens Mounts
  • Fujifilm X Mount
Lens
Focal Length 27mm
Angle of View 55.5°
Max Aperture f/2.8
Min Aperture f/16
Filter Size 39mm
35mm equivalent 41mm
Internal focusing No Data
Focusing
Min Focus 34cm
Stabilised No Data
Construction
Blades 7
Elements 7
Groups 5
Box Contents
Box Contents No Data
Dimensions
Weight No Data
Height No Data

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