The complete guide to Fujifilm X lenses

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The complete guide to Fujifilm X lenses

What’s the best thing about being a Fujifilm photographer? Well, there’s the retro styling of all the chic mirrorless cameras, there’s the tactile control system that makes photography fun again, there’s the film simulation modes that harken back to the photography of yesteryear. But if we were pushed, we’d have to say it’s the lenses.

Fujifilm has a fantastic range of lenses in its X series. Pin-sharp and fast-focusing, its lenses cover a comprehensive range of focal lengths, ensuring all photographers and videographers are catered for. Fuji has done a terrific job of filling out both its high-quality professional end and its affordable entry-level end, so there really is something for everyone.

This does mean, of course, that there are quite a few lenses, and it can be tricky to know where to start. We’ve put together this guide to pick out the best optics at every focal length so you can easily find the lens that’s right for you. We’ve picked out our absolute favourites from the current crop, and where appropriate, we’ve identified alternatives you can also look at if the lens we’ve picked isn’t quite right for you.
 

XF or XC?

You may have seen that Fujifilm lenses mostly come with the designation XF, however there are a few that are denoted “XC”. What’s the difference? XF lenses are the flagships of the range, and almost certainly the ones that professional and enthusiast photographers will mostly be concerning themselves with. XC lenses are the smaller, lighter and more affordable lenses in the system, providing slimmed-down and cheaper alternatives for popular focal lengths. The XC range is still relatively young, and there are only a few optics in the series so far. We’ve dealt with XF lenses first in this guide, and included the XC lenses at the end for those who are looking for a budget option.

 

A note on sensor size

Remember, Fujifilm X cameras come with APS-C sensors. This means that the focal lengths printed on the box of each lens aren’t precisely what you get – there’s a crop factor involved. While we’ve detailed many of the equivalent focal lengths throughout the guide, a handy thing to remember is the “1.5 Rule” – when mounted on a Fujifilm X camera, every one of these lenses will provide an effective focal length roughly 1.5x larger than its official designation.

So, a 50mm lens mounted on, say, the X-T30, will behave like 75mm. A 23mm lens will  behave like a 35mm, and a 100-400mm zoom will act like a 152-600mm lens. It’s pretty easy to get used to – just worth remembering when you’re calculating what kind of lens you need.

Right, let’s get to the lenses!

 

XF prime lenses

 

XF 16mm F1.4 R WR


Fujifilm’s professional wide-angle prime, the XF 16mm F1.4 R WR is a rugged and versatile lens designed to provide a wide field of view in all situations. It’s weather-resistant and light, weighing just 375g, and also sports a 15cm close-focusing distance. This means it’s as useful for getting close-up images as it is for wide-expansive views.

The maximum aperture of f/1.4 makes it easy to produce images in low light, or with a shallow depth of field and vivid bokeh. Constructed of 13 elements in 11 groups, the XF 16mm F1.4 R WR also uses elements with Nano GI Coatings for faultless light transmission and superior edge-to-edge performance.

Also consider: For the same wide-angle prime on a tighter budget, try the XF 16mm F2.8 R WR, which has a smaller maximum aperture but retains the weather-resistant build. Alternatively, for a wider perspective, there’s the XF 14mm F2.8 R, which comes at a similar price point to the f/1.4. 

 

XF 23mm F1.4 R


Another of the type of fast and wide prime that Fujifilm makes so well, the XF 23mm F1.4 R bears an equivalent focal length of 35mm (remember the 1.5 rule), which makes it an ideal choice for general-purpose documentary shooting. It’s designed to make it easier to compose sublime images on the fly, with a camera-to-subject distance indicator and depth-of-field scale on its barrel.

Great for shooting stills and movies alike, the XF 23mm F1.4 R focuses quickly and is great for low light thanks to its large f/1.4 aperture. The metal fittings and finish give it a real premium feel and improve the torque, making this a perfect lens for the kind of shooting where you never know what to expect next.

Also consider: Fujifilm makes some high-quality and affordable f/2 primes in similar focal lengths – the XF 18mm F2 R and XF 23mm F2 R WR. Both are a great choice for the more budget-conscious photographer.

 

XF 35mm F1.4 R


The APS-C factor puts this 35mm lens into equivalent territory of about 53mm, making it a great all-around lens for those who want to produce a naturalistic perspective. Fast with an f/1.4 maximum aperture, this lens is just about long enough to be used for portraiture as well as other types of shooting. It’s an ideal choice for weddings and events, where you sometimes want to get wide and at other times want to get close and personal, all without sacrificing the quality of a prime.

Durably built, the XF 35mm F1.4 R is immensely satisfying to handle and use. It produces sharp images with beautiful bokeh – the perfect choice for ultimate artistic expression. 

Also consider: The XF 35mm F2 R WR provides the same focal length in a cheaper package, with the trade-off being a narrower maximum aperture. Or, for a slightly wider perspective, try the XF 27mm F2.8, a pancake lens that weighs an unbelievably slender 78g! 

 

XF 50mm F1.0 R WR


Also known as “the one” due to its shallower-than-ever maximum aperture of f/1.0, the XF 50mm F1.0 R WR is an astounding feat of optical engineering. Providing an equivalent focal length of about 75mm, it’s a perfect lens for portraits, able to produce beautifully striking images with delicious bokeh.

Manual focus on this lens has been improved compared to previous similar primes, making it ideal for getting your images sharper than sharp. Though, of course, there’s also the DC autofocus motor for those who like their focusing fast and automated, Weather-sealed in 11 places, the XF 50mm F1.0 R WR is a great choice for outdoor work even in difficult conditions. Experience the ultimate in depth of field control.

Also consider: Fujifilm makes other lenses around this focal length, including the seriously impressive XF 56mm F1.2 R and XF 56mm F1.2 R APD – two virtually identical lenses whose key difference is that the latter includes an apodisation filter, which smooths out lines in out-of-focus areas for incredibly smooth bokeh. As a budget option, there’s also the XF 50mm F2 R WR, which as well as being cheaper is also much lighter than its large-aperture cousin.

 

XF 80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro


Fujifilm has catered well to those who enjoy close-up shooting, and one of its finest optics is the XF 80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro. With a 1:1 reproduction ratio, this is a “true” macro lens, and it also has a built-in optical stabiliser that provides up to five stops of effective compensation. This means that, unlike many macro lenses, it can be taken out and used hand-held in the field with ease! No need for a complex tripod setup – just search and shoot.

With an equivalent focal length of about 120mm, this is also a solid general-purpose telephoto, producing pin-sharp images thanks to its sophisticated optical construction of nine elements in six groups. The lens is also weatherr-resistant – perfect for roaming outdoors to look for macro subjects!

Also consider: The XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro, a more affordable telephoto macro with a 1:2 image reproduction ratio. 

 

XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR


The pro-level telephoto of the Fujifilm stable, the XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR provides the kind of image quality demanded by professional photographers. With a focal length equivalent to about 305mm in full-frame equivalent terms, it’s the best lens to choose if you plan to shoot sports or wildlife with Fujifilm X-series cameras.

The magnesium-alloy barrel of the lens is resistant to dust and moisture, making it solidly suited for outdoor work, and it also sports an Arca-Swiss tripod mount for added stability. The five-stop image stabiliser also improves the latitude for handheld shooting, and the autofocusing is fast, smooth and highly accurate. This is a seriously capable lens designed for those who want to get the utmost out of flagship Fujifilm cameras like the X-T4. 

 

XF Zoom lenses

 

XF 8-16mm f2.8 R LM WR Lens


The widest lens in Fujifilm’s stable, the XF 8-16mm f2.8 R LM WR Lens is perfect for getting out there and producing some amazing, unforgettable landscapes. That constant f/2.8 aperture also puts nightscapes in play, and thanks to its sophisticated construction, the lens produces images that are pin-sharp right the way across the frame. Aspherical elements control for distortion and spherical aberration, while the ED and Super ED elements take care of chromatic aberration. There’s also a double Nano-GI coating to eliminate ghosting and flare, and while you may not be chasing too many speedy subjects with this optic, having linear motors for the focusing system is no bad thing

 

XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS WR


One of the newer lenses in the Fujifilm stable, the XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS WR provides a useful wide focal range that’s great for landscapes, architecture and street shooting. The weather-resistance of this lens has been improved compared to previous Fujifilm optics, allowing you to have greater confidence when out and about even in difficult conditions. The optical image stabilisation is a 3.5-stop version; however, when it’s paired with certain sophisticated Fujifilm bodies like the X-T4, this gets bumped up to 6.5 stops.

Constructed from 14 glass lens elements in 10 groups, the XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS WR features a number of aspherical and low-dispersion glass elements to help improve sharpness and remove distortion.

 

XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR


Kit lens, but make it fancy. The XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR is a premium version of the do-it-all focal range that everyone gets with their first camera. As such, it’s a great choice for general-purpose, documentary-style shooting, with a constant aperture of f/2.8 that makes it super-versatile. The nine-bladed aperture gives you the option to create smooth bokeh, putting portraiture in play, and images are sharp from edge to edge, right the way through the zoom range. 

Also consider: The XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS is a more affordable version of this lens, sacrificing the constant aperture. Alternatively, if you need a similar range with more latitude at the telephoto end, try the XF 16-80mm F4 R OIS WR.

 

XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR


With incredible versatility, the XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR is a high-performance telephoto zoom designed for action photographers. Its inner focusing system allows for high-speed autofocus that keeps up with fast subjects, using a Triple Linear Motor for speed, silence and precision. 

The lens also employs an optical stabilisation system, giving you more latitude when shooting handheld, and the internal optical construction is highly sophisticated. Twenty-three glass elements in 16 groups combine to deliver corner-to-corner sharpness, with five ED lens elements and one Super ED lens element to effectively minimise aberration and distortion. Dependable quality in a tough, weather-resistant body – this is a lens you can rely on.

Also consider: The XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, which gives you more wide-angle to play with, and is available at a lower price. If you can do without that constant f/2.8 aperture, this is a bargain. Alternatively, if you want more telephoto to play with, there’s the XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, which packs a reasonable amount of tech into a lens with a low price tag.

 

XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR


We love a 100-400mm, and the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR (well, all right, it’s a 152-600mm lens in equivalent terms) is one of the finer examples of the genre. Able to cope in harsh shooting conditions, it features 13 weather seals at 12 points, and sports a fluorine coating on its front element that repels dust and water. It’s also equipped with a five-stop image stabiliser for easier handheld shooting; if this stabiliser detects that the user is panning, it’ll switch to correcting on the vertical plane only.

The optical construction consists of 21 elements in 14 groups, with five ED lenses and one Super ED lens. This, according to Fujifilm, delivers results comparable to a fluorite lens, and reduces axial chromatic aberration to produce vivid images that are sharp across the frame. Despite all this, the weight of the lens is just 1.4kg, which is lighter than many lenses of comparable focal length.

 

XC lenses

 

XC 35mm F2


A no-fuss prime that delivers an equivalent focal length of 52mm for less than £200. This is a fantastic budget addition to a kit bag, that’s also light to carry and highly portable. 

 

XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II


Surprisingly sophisticated for a lens at this price point, the XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II boasts a construction of 12 all-glass elements in 10 groups. Images look fantastic, and having 1/3-step exposure control enables you to get pleasingly precise.

 

XC 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ


At 135g, this is the lightest zoom lens across the entire X series. The zoom mechanism is electric, producing a smoother action that’s great for video as well as stills. Light on the back and light on the wallet.

 

XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS II


Though the maximum aperture drops off pretty sharply towards the tele end, this is still a very impressive lens for its price. Giving you enormous zoom latitude, the XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS II also incorporates a stepping motor and optical image stabilisation.

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