6 best Fujinon lenses: Why I use them

The Fujifilm lenses I love

 

On September 16th, 2017, I bought my first Fujifilm Camera. At the time, I saw this move to Fujifilm as a move toward a stills photography workflow only. However, since then, I have completely switched to Fujifilm for photography and video production.

From Fiji’s old school dial system to the stellar image quality, they have not disappointed me at all. For my philosophy of photography, Fujifilm hits the mark. But you might be surprised as some of the lenses I prefer are not part of the Fujinon line and are part of up and coming brands like Viltrox and Pergear.

 

Make sure you scroll to the end of this blog post if you would like to see my experience with all the Fujifilm lenses I have had the chance to review. I have included my YouTube channel playlist.

Fujifilm XT3 with the Fujinon 16mm f/1.4
All lenses in this blog post were used with the Fujifilm X-T3 mirrorless camera body

All that counts is the lens

 

But all cameras are only as good as the lens that you put on them. Fujifilm has kept me with them because of their insistence on making excellent quality glass for both entry-level photographers and professionals.

Bearing this in mind, I wanted to talk about my 2020 Fujinon X mount collection. So, without any delay here are the lenses that are in my photography bag in 2020.

My 2020 Fujinon lens collection

1)  The Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/ 2.8-4 R

Sideview of the Fujinon 18-55mm f2.8-4.0
The 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 is the kit lens for many of the Fujinon models. It is an excellent way to start photography in ther Fujifilm X system

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This lens in itself was not really a choice. I bought this lens because it was part of the summer special offered in 2017 where you received the X-T2 body, this lens, and a battery grip for 2400$ CND. Although there is a tiny bit of fringing at the wide end, it is pretty darned sharp and definitely true to colors. I use it a great deal. I use it a lot for street photography while I do walks with the family because the zoom range and image quality allow me to get the family snapshots and meaningful images.

a cabin roof with a blue sky gradient
Taken with the Fujifilm X-T2 and the Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 lens

2) The Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR

Fujinon 35mm f/2 R WRsideview
The Fujinon 35mm f/2 R WR is weather sealed, and small. Its image quality is exceptional regardless of its lower price

Being a 52.5mm full-frame equivalent, the focal length of the 35mm f/2, for me, is just ideal. This lens offers the ability to go out and shoot street photography, portraits, product photography, or even snapshots. Image quality on this lens is, by all intents and purposes, stellar.

 

I always find myself looking in Adobe Lightroom and mentioning to myself that an image is particularly sharp. 2 times out of 3, I discover that the lens in the impressive shot was the 35mm f/2.0. The Fujinon 35mm f/2.0 R WR is a must in everyone’s Fujifilm X mount lens collection. 

Sideview of the 35mm f/1.4 Fujinon

Although Fuji also offers a more expensive and excellent 35mm f/1.4 option, the f/2 is really impossible to beat for the price to quality ratio ($399 as opposed to $599US). In my workflow and what I do, I really question the viability of paying so much more for the f/1.4.

I compared these two lenses and talked about my conclusions in this video:

3) The Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8

 

I bought the Fujinon 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR because I believe that on any run and gun photo capture situation, it is great to be able to frame as you go. Although Fujinon offers a very good and less expensive  XF55-200 F3.5-4.8 LM OIS, the biggest problem with that lens is the variable aperture opening (The lens closes down as you zoom closer). Also, the 55-200 does not offer weather-sealing, which is extremely important when working on events where you can be outdoors or indoors at a moment’s notice.

Symhony conductor directing symphony orchestra
Shots like this can be taken at a safe distance with the Fujinon 50-140mm f/2.8.

The Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 LM OIS WR is an event photography all in one. It is an image-stabilized lens with a 75mm-210mm full-frame equivalent focal range. This focal range is total perfection for anyone working weddings, show events, receptions, sporting events, and even concerts.

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The 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 vs the 50-140 f/2.8

 

The 50-140’s optical quality is not far from perfect. It has prime quality with the convenience of a zoom. But the question remains. Is it worth paying almost $1000 more compared to the 55-200? I think so.

Top view of the Fujinon 50-140mm f2.8
The focal range and image quality of the Fujinon 50-140mm f/2.8 is ideal for events.

The 55-200’s optical quality is outstanding but not in an absolute sense. It is exceptional for the price that Fujinon asks. However, I believe that the extra I.Q. you get out of the 50-140 will differentiate you among other photographers competing for your clientele.

Female circus aerial artist in the splits

To know a bit about my experiences with the 55-200 check out this video

4) The Viltrox 56mm f/1.4 and the Viltrox 85mm f/1.8

 

The 56mm f/1.4 and the Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 STM are the greatest underdog Fujifilm X mount portrait lenses I have ever owned. With both of these lenses, I am able to save money and get fantastic image quality. Both lenses give me spectacular bokeh.

Portrait of woman in leather jacket looking to the right
The Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 in its version 1 or version 2 iteration creates amazing photos for the price. Although the 90mm is a bit better, the Viltrox 56 and 85mm focal lengths are truly amazing
Viltrox 85mm front lens element
Side view of the Viltrox 56mm f/1.4 STM with lens cap

Both lenses do not offer image stabilization. However, the workflow that you use these lenses does not need image stabilization. i.e., portraits and product photography, etc., are tripod intensive. So excellent image quality with stellar prices makes them a great purchase in anyone’s camera kit.

5) The Fujinon XF16mm F/1.4 R WR

 

This Fujinon 16mm F/1.4 is my favorite lens when working with my Fujifilm mirrorless cameras. Color contrast is great, it is sharp everywhere within the frame but there are two big reasons why I just can’t get enough of this lens.

Top view of the Fujinon 16mm f/1.4
I adore this lens. I use it for absolutely everything!

Reason #1

 

First and foremost, I truly believe that this lens has boutique class optical quality. None of the shortcomings of this lens bother me and all of the advantages leave many other brands in the dirt.  

 

Reason #2

 

I have fallen in love with the 24mm full-frame equivalent focal range in past years. I really love working with wide angles of view. This angle of view has always made me love this style of lens. 

6) The Fujinon XF 27mm F/2.8 pancake lens

 

I never thought such a small lens could sport so much stunning image quality. The 27mm, is really the ultimate walkaround lens when you need to keep camera size to a bare minimum.

Photo of a blue lit sky with a tree in the landscape
Taken with the Fujinon27mm f/2.8 on a pleasure walk

Many pancake lenses have the tradeoff of lower image quality for their smaller size. This is not the case for the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8. I use this lens for street photography, snapshots, and even when I want to convert my Fujifilm X-T3 into a smaller snapshot cam.

Honorable mentions

 

The Fujinon XF10-24mm f/4 OIS (WR or non WR)

 

Although it is not in my top list of lenses, image quality out of both the first and second-generation versions of this lens is amazing. They have excellent image stabilization and a really fun focal range.

Fujinon 10-24 f/4 OIS lens sideview
The image quality on both the first and second versions of the Fujinon 10-24 f/4 lenses is excellent.

What bothers me a bit about this lens is that it is a bit closed down for what I do. I also have the non-weather-resistant first version of this lens.

there it is

What about vintage lenses?

 

My love affair with the idea of using vintage lenses with my mirrorless camera for stills photography is waning. Unfortunately, my focus skills are not as good as they used to be. So, compared to the results I get with the Fuji X system lenses, it seems to be less worth the effort.

However, I still love to use vintage lenses in my video workflow. But in the meantime, I am having such a ball with the full camera system as it is. I will have to see where that avenue will go.

Sideview of a vintage Nikon macro lens
The Nikon 55mm f/2.8 AI-S macro lens is still used quite a bit in my camera bag

That being said, I still do not use macro enough to go out and buy the amazing Fujinon XF80mm f/2.8 LM OIS WR Macro right now so I found a Nikon 55mm f/2.8 AI-s vintage lens that really takes care of my somewhat small yet specific macro photography needs

Extreme closeup of a side view of a Nike sneeker
I often use the vintage macro lens with an adaptor on my Fujifilm mirrorless camera to showcase workmanship and details

Conclusion

 

I really wanted to show you guys what I choose and why I use it. Please take everything you have read in this blog post with a grain of salt because everything really depends on what you decide to do with your photography.

Jacques Gaines looking in a camera pointing upward

I am a photographer, videographer, and copywriter living in Quebec City, Canada. I also have a YouTube channel and an Instagram account dedicated to creation and creativity via my main loves of photography, music, and writing.

To get in touch with me and discuss your collaboration, service needed, or advice, either go to the contact page and write to me via the contact form at the foot of this page.

Also check out my playlist on all the Fujinon lenses I have reviewed

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