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Fujifilm XF Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 R Lens Review

Gary Wolstenholme reviews this bright 23mm f/1.4 prime lens for the Fujifilm X series.

|  Fujifilm Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 R in Interchangeable Lenses
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Handling and Features

Fujifilm Fujinon 23mm F1 4 R Lens (4)

This wide angle lens for Fuji X series interchangeable lens cameras provides a field of view equivalent to a 35mm lens on a 35mm camera, sports a bright f/1.4 maximum aperture and costs around £780. 

Fujifilm XF Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 R Handling and Features

Fujifilm Fujinon 23mm F1 4 R Lens (6)

A combination of metal and high quality plastics has resulted this lens being relatively light weight, at around 300g, whilst retaining a robust build. It balances well with the Fujifilm X-E1 body used for testing as a result.

Focusing is performed internally so the lens does not extend and the 62mm filter thread doesn't rotate, which makes this lens ideal for use with graduated or polarising filters. The focusing ring can be slid back towards the camera body to engage manual focusing, revealing a useful hyperfocal scale. The focus ring is well damped, making fine adjustments a pleasure to apply. Closest focus is 28cm with the macro setting enabled on the camera body, otherwise the camera will only focus down to 60cm.

Fujifilm Fujinon 23mm F1 4 R Lens (9)

As is the case with most other Fujifilm X-series lenses, this 23mm lens has a manual aperture ring for selecting your desired aperture. This aperture ring has each full stop marked, but has click stops for each intermediate 1/3 stop setting, and an 'A' setting for automatic operation. The aperture ring only requires a gentle touch to move through the aperture range, which is great for making quick adjustments, but care may need to be taken when changing lenses, as the aperture ring is easily moved as a result. Auto focus is fast and precise, locking onto subjects quickly in good light.

Fujifilm Fujinon 23mm F1 4 R Lens (7)

Fujifilm XF Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 R Performance

At maximum aperture, sharpness in the centre of the frame is very good, although the clarity towards the edges of the frame falls behind by quite a margin. Stopping down improves performance across the frame, with sharpness towards the edges of the frame reaching good levels by f/2 and peak performance being achieved between f/2.8 and f/5.6, here sharpness is outstanding across the frame.

MTF @ 23mm
MTF @ 23mm

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-E1 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are extremely well controlled, with any fringing being kept to an absolute minimum across the frame. Imatest was only able to detect over a quarter of a pixel width of CA towards the edges of the frame at apertures of f11 and slower.

CA @ 23mm
CA @ 23mm

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-E1 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the edges of the frame is typical for a wide aperture lens, with the corners being 2.25 stops darker than the image centre at f/1.4. Visually uniform illumination is achieved with the lens stopped down to f/4 or beyond.

Barrel distortion is reasonable for a wide angle prime lens sporting a fast maximum aperture. Imatest detects a level of 1.15% barrel distortion. The distortion pattern is uniform across the frame, so this should be relatively simple to correct in image editing software if absolutely straight lines are required.

A petal shaped hood is supplied with the lens, which does a reasonable job of shading the lens from extraneous light that cause issues with flare. Even without the hood. this lens is resistant to flare, even in harsh back-lit situations. Contrast levels remain good when shooting into the light also.

Fujifilm Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 R Sample Photos

Value For Money

Being priced at around £780, this is currently one of Fujifilm's most expensive lenses for the X-series. As there are currently no third party manufacturers offering similar lenses to compare, this means Fuji has a monopoly on the supply of lenses for their cameras currently.

Even so, the quality this lens delivers, along with the fast maximum aperture mean this lens represents decent value, especially if those specifications are required for your photography.

Fujifilm XF Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 R Verdict

Sporting the same field of view as a 35mm lens does on a 35mm camera, this lens should be a popular choice for the wish list of many Fuji X-series camera owners, especially with that fast f/1.4 maximum aperture.

The quality delivered by this lens is excellent, in terms of build and optical performance, which makes the £780 asking price seem fair, although not inexpensive.

  The Fujifilm XF Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 R delivers excellent image quality with great build quality.

Fujifilm XF Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 R Pros

Extremely sharp stopped down
Very good sharpness in the centre at maximum aperture
Useful hyperfocal scale
Excellent build

Fujifilm XF Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 R Cons

Not as sharp towards the edges of the frame at maximum aperture as you may expect


Fujifilm Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 R Specifications

Lens Mounts
  • Fujifilm X Mount
Focal Length23mm
Angle of View63.4
Max Aperturef/1.4
Min Aperturef/16
Filter Size62mm
35mm equivalent35mm
Internal focusingYes
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Min Focus28cm
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data

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