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Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR Lens Review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR Lens Review - John Riley reviews the compact Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens with weather resistance, for Fujifilm cameras.

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Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR
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Handling and Features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Fuji Xf 35mm F2 Front Three Quarter View

Designed for Fujifilm APS-C mirrorless cameras, this new compact Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens offers the promise of lower cost than the f/1.4 version, but high image quality and weather resistance. It will be interesting to see how it delivers as we put it through its paces.

Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR Handling and Features

Fujifilm 35mm F2 X Mount (4)

There's no denying that nicely made lenses are a pleasure in themselves, small optical jewels. This Fujifilm lens is beautifully made with a metal exterior, which results in a surprisingly heavy optic for its compact size. Its solidity is not in doubt and it bayonets firmly and smoothly onto the Fujifilm cameras. There is no rotational play in the mount when seated.

The manual focusing ring is situated towards the front of the lens, is well ribbed for grip and turns smoothly. It has a fairly high resistance but this does give a good and reliable feel to manual focusing. Being electronic in operation, this is a very different feel to the traditional focusing ring. Different, but neither better nor worse.

There is an aperture ring towards the back of the lens. This is click-stopped in one-third of a stop increments, is silent and positive in operation and gives the impression of a high level of precision. Alternatively, there is an “A” setting on the ring, which allows the camera to control the aperture instead. With the Fujifilm X-A1 used for this review, the more natural way to work seems to be using the aperture ring to make the settings. The lens markings are engraved with precision and filled with white paint, a small point maybe, but one that is a pointer to the quality standards adhered to, as this can be more durable than surface printing.

A small circular lens hood is supplied, which screws into the 43mm filter mount. This is perhaps not as convenient as a bayonet fitting hood but it is effective.

Fujifilm 35mm F2 X Mount (2)

The lens comprises 9 elements in 6 groups, two of these being aspherical. The angle of view quoted is 44.2 degrees, making this a standard lens for APS-C and equivalent to using a 53mm lens on a 35mm format camera. This is, in fact, a slightly longer than usual standard, which some photographers may find to their liking, especially if they find themselves routinely cropping slightly.

The close focusing point of 35cm is slightly closer than the norm for a lens of this type, but nowhere near being a macro lens. For most general photography, it is close enough. In use, there are no particular glitches or hazards to using the lens. It focuses quickly and silently and even the click stops on the aperture ring are silent. A quiet and unobtrusive camera/lens combination such as this could make a very useful tool for street photography.

The nine-bladed diaphragm bodes well for bokeh and the Nano-GI coatings for resistance to flare, two very important aspects of performance. Finally, weather resistance is very welcome and increasingly becoming an essential feature for lenses and camera bodies. The lens is also rated for use in temperatures as low as -10C.

Fuji Xf 35mm F2 Rear Three Quarter View

Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR Performance

Resolution testing reveals a lens with outstanding central sharpness that peaks between f/2.8 and f/11, with the best aperture being f/4. f/2 and f/16 are not far behind and maintain an excellent level of sharpness. This is an exceptionally good result, commendable for its evenness across the aperture range. The edges are also a credit to the lens and a deliver an excellent performance all the way through the range, dropping to a very good level at f/16. Again, the figures peak at f/4, but the difference between the apertures is really not very much at all.


 

 
MTF
MTF

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. 

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

For this review, the lens was tested on a Fujifilm X-A1 using Imatest.

 

CA is so low in the centre of the field that it is almost banished and will not be a problem. The edge values are also very low, not quite as good as the centre, but still unlikely to be a problem even in critical photography.


 

 
CA
CA

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 minimise the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Fujifilm X-A1 using Imatest.

 

Distortion is well held and measures -0.506% of barrelling. This is also unlikely to be a problem and in any event can be tackled in software.

Flare resistance was superb, with the lens even handling the sun in frame with ease. All of the shots against the light have good solid colour and sharpness, with no trace of loss of contrast and no sign of internal reflections. The Fujifilm nano-GI coating clearly works extremely well, but I would always use a lens hood anyway as a “belt and braces” approach.

Bokeh is lovely and smooth, the almost perfectly circular diaphragm helping to achieve this. This attractive look to the out of focus areas holds well even with extremely busy looking backgrounds.

Focusing is fast and silent and locks on every time. No hunting or hesitation was observed. In summary, an impeccable performance all round.

Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR Sample Photos

Value For Money

In the Fujifilm range, we have a choice of this 35mm f/2 lens (£299) or the f/1.4 (£367) although at the time of writing a cashback offer means the latter can be purchased for as little as £292. At that price, the choice becomes one between wide aperture or weather resistance and compact size. Also available in Fujifilm fit is the Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 (£419).

To put this into perspective against other marques, Pentax has an SMC Pentax-FA 35mm f/2 (£449) and Nikon has a 35mm f/1.8 G ED AF-S (£399) although both have lower cost alternatives such as the plastic SMC Pentax-DA 35mm f/2.4 (£119) and the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX AF-S (£139).

Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR Verdict

With a very even and impressive performance, weather resistance, great handling and high-quality finish it would be hard not to like this Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens. The Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR is an ideal standard lens for the range of Fujifilm cameras.

Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR Pros

High-quality manufacture
Superb image quality throughout
Fast and silent operation
Convenient aperture ring choice
Weather resistance

Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR Cons

Only in Fujifilm fitting
Lens hood provided is screw fit

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Fujifilm XF 35 f/2 R WR is an ideal high-performance standard lens for Fujifilm cameras.

 

 

Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
General
Lens Mounts
  • Fujifilm X Mount
Lens
Focal Length35mm
Angle of View44.2
Max Aperturef/2
Min Aperturef/16
Filter Size43mm
StabilisedNo
35mm equivalent53mm
Internal focusingYes
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Focusing
Min Focus35cm
Construction
Blades9
Elements9
Groups6
Box Contents
Box ContentsLens cap FLCP-43 Lens, rear cap RLCP-001, Lens hood, Wrapping cloth
Dimensions
Weight170g
Height45.9mm

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Comments


AlexandraSD 5 704 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2015 2:01PM
GrRr this lens has not been released in the UK yet, i keep checking back to wexP but its still listed as pre-order, so i am seriously thinking about getting this from overseas, thats how impatient i am Wink

Good review, the cons are just grumbles though, however the first con is pointless, of course its built only for fuji camera's, its a fuji lens, thats why, silly billies Tongue

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josa 5 25 Czech Republic
23 Nov 2015 7:32PM
I wonder why mid tones are pitch black...Sad
AlexandraSD 5 704 United Kingdom
24 Nov 2015 1:43AM
Could be that shadow contrast is incorrectly set?

Cancelled my pre-order, apparently it wont be available in the UK until January 2016, so im buying overseas!
Wait.. what..??

So, you seriously put: "Only in Fujifilm fitting" as a con?!
It's a Fujifilm lens...

Nice review, a bit thin, but nice.
But that con doesn't exactly come across as serious, or even logical?
joshwa Plus
6 818 United Kingdom
24 Nov 2015 6:46PM
Hi SwedishPhoto, I think the sentiment behind it "Only in Fujifilm fitting" is because the reviewer wishes he could use such a good lens on other cameras Smile
@joshwa

The thought did occur to me! I do hope that's the reason Wink
josa 5 25 Czech Republic
25 Nov 2015 10:19AM
@joshwa-we all got it, swedishPhoto didn't...Tongue
25 Nov 2015 12:56PM
joshwa is quite right, the sentiment was there. Smile
AlexandraSD 5 704 United Kingdom
25 Nov 2015 3:13PM
Well this lens is an absolute gem, been shooting with it all day, top performer Grin

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