Fujinon 35mm F2 vs the Fujinon 35mm f1.4

Introduction

 

Cost has always played a part in the purchase of anything. Lens purchases are no exception. Fujinon makes two prime lenses that I truly adore. In this blog post, we will look at two amazing standard prime lenses. We will look at the pros and cons of buying the Fuji 35mm f/2 vs the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 

We want to ask the question: “Is it really worth paying $599 for the f/1.4 vs $399 for the f/2.0”?

Lens chart for the Fujinon 35mm f8/1.4

 

Lens element chart for the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4

Lens chart for the Fujinon 35mm f/2.0

 

Lens element chart for the Fujinon 35mm f/2

Specifications of both lenses

 

The Fuji 35mm f/2 has 9 elements in 6 groups 2 of those elements are aspherical. The f/2 version of the Fuji 35mm has 9 rounded blades as opposed to the seven rounded blades on the much more expensive fujinon 35mm f/1.4. Its form factor is small and stubby. It has a 43mm filter size as opposed to the bigger 52mm filter size on the 1.4. It also is weather sealed whereas the f/1.4 is not.

Fujinon 35mm f/2 front element view
The Fujinon 35mm f/2.0 is a small and somewhat stubby lens that really has a lot of bang for the buck.

Sharpness of the Fujinon 35mm f2

 

The sharpness of the Fujinon 35mm f/2 is quite truly stunning. The only lens at this price point that has amazed me this much is the 85mm f/1.8 prime from Canon. It is quite crisp and loses nothing around the edges. The Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 beats out the 35mm f/2 in crispiness, edge sharpness, or micro-contrast. However, what makes a lens purchase decision like this so hard is that it does not beat out the f/2 by a lot.

Woman posing in a studio environment
Although it looks a bit awkward in a studio setting, The Fujinon XF35mm F2 R WR can be a good low cost addition to a studio workflow

Image quality

 

The image quality of the 35mm f/2 is up to par with the best of the lot out there. The 35mm f/2.0 has great image color rendition, definition, and fidelity. It is unmistakenly a stunning lens.

 

Fujinon 35mm f2 overall performance

 

The 35mm f/1.4 focus speed is really just OK. I tested it on the Fujifilm X-T2 and it barely got a passing grade. While getting the focussing square to where I wanted it, the lens would delay in getting the lens elements to where they were supposed to be. The Fujinon 35mm f/2 never had that problem and benefits from newer generation focusing tech.

 

Portrait of a woman in front of a window

Contrast is not lacking with the Fujinon XF35mm f/2 R WR

Bokeh

The bokeh on the Fujinon XF35mm f/2.0 R WR is pretty darned perfect. With its 9 rounded aperture blades, it is something you would not expect out of such a camera lens. The bokeh balls I got out of this shoot were amazing really. I never thought that one day I would be saying that the bokeh is one of the selling points of a camera lens that cost 399 US.

Portrait of a woman with bokek in the background
Bokeh with the Fujinon 35mm f/2 is very smooth
Closeup of bokeh balls
Close up on smooth, well rounded, bokeh
Portrait of a woman in focus with background out of focus
This image was shot at F/2 with the Fujinon XF35mm F2 R WR

My opinion on depth of field in general

 

For those looking for shallow depth of field needed for stuff like macro and portraiture, the 35mm f/2 prime lens also does not disappoint. I even think that it is not a bad thing to restrict most people to f2. 

There is not a lot of utility out there for photos taken at an f-stop that is lower than f/1.4. Although, there might be several isolated applications, special applications slim down. Ask yourself the question – “Is it worth paying thousands of dollars more for a lens for depth of field you might never use?”

Conclusion

 

As of posting this blog post, the Fuji XF35mm f/2 R WR costs roughly $399 US dollars and the Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 costs about $599 US dollars. Both lenses present major benefits and it all depends on what you think is the most important in your photo or video workflow.

Fujinon XF35mm f/2 R WR Benefits

 

Weather sealed

Lightweight

$200 US dollars cheaper

Latest autofocus tech

Bang for the buck

Fujinon XF35mm f/1.4 R  Benefits

 

Its got that oomph!

Micro contrast is stunning

For its quality, it is still an inexpensive prime lens

 

It all comes down to how emotional you are

 

I believe that, for the price difference, most people are better off going for the 35mm f/2. The bank for the buck is just oh so enticing. That being said, those looking for something really spellbinding or that “je ne sais quoi” in their photos will really like the XF35mm f/1.4. The Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 is right up there with some of the great classic lenses of the past and of today. Please understand that I do not discount the quality and sharpness of the 35mm f/2 but just feel that the f/1.4 has an emotional edge.

 

Workflows that might benefit from the 35mm f/1.4 quality and appeal are workflows where emotion is an extremely strong component. Examples of this would be wedding photography, fine art photography, and certain types of street photography. Workflows, where you will not see the difference between the two lenses, are fashion, snapshot, and product photography.

Other posts that might interest you are

 

My search for bokeh with Christina and Sam

The Viltrox alternative to Fuji native lenses

Don’t forget to comment

What did you take from this blogpost. Do not forget to comment and let us know your feedback

 

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