Fuji 35mm f2 review: A small but wonderful lens

Here is my Fuji 35mm f2 real world review of this Fuji lens covering everything from build quality to sample images. All images shot with the lens and a Fuji XT1.

Introduction

I think the 35mm focal length is a favorite amongst photographers because it is a sweet spot, i's not too wide and it's not too narrow (I guess that is why it's the  focal length of choice of the Fuji X100 (actually a 23mmx1.5=35mm)). Many wanted to have the same lens on their exchangeable lens cameras like their XT1 or Xpro, but unfortunately this is NOT a TRUE 35mm, with the APSC crop factor taken into account, it's essentially a 53mm “normal”, “nifty fifty” lens. But this is not a deal breaker as this is a stellar lens.

The only alternative to this lens is the Fuji 35mm 1.4 which is a bit bigger, more expensive ($699) and not WR. Enter the Fuji 35mm f2, a lens that not only has a very attractive price point (399 release price) but is also rangefinder lens size. The size is important not only because of portability (it can fit in your pocket) but also because it doesn't attract too much attention to you and your camera.

Fuji 35mm f2 review

a color graded cinematic shot of grass, shot with the Fuji 35mm f2

Lens quality

The lens feels great in the hand and is small enough that it can be taken anywhere. It feels very solid but not premium, it also comes with a lens hood that feels of a different material than the lens. It's the same 43mm thread that the Voigtlander 1.4 35mm uses, it's great because buying filters of different sizes is a pain. There is both an aperture ring and focus ring but no depth of field scale. The lens is also Weather resistant if you need something like that.

Full size samples

As always, I believe that all of the modern cameras and lens have good enough quality and to talk about it would be boring and redundant. So here's a couple of Fuji 35mm f2 full size samples to play around, both RAW and Full Size JPGs. Please draw your own conclusions, as my review philosophy is always based on making images 🙂

fuji-35mm-f2-full-size

Using the lens

If you've used any Fuji lens, this lens is Fuji quality. I really doesn't take up much space with a camera body so it's easy to take it anywhere. The f2 might not be as fast as the 1.4 but it holds it's own pretty well. Being a 50mm-ish the lens is extremely versatile and is great for portraits, street or general usage. You really can't go wrong with a 50 if you ask me! Sure there are other more portrait focused lenses out there… but the combination of affordability, portability makes this lens a good choice especially for a first X series lens.

Fuji 35mm f2 portraits

A Fuji 35mm f2 portrait of a man looking to the right

Let's get to working with the lens shall we? The two things to know if you are into portraits is that the lens is not only sharp and does great Bokeh, it allows you to focus close enough in order to really have a nice headshot. See the shot below of my son, I shot as close as I could:

A fill the frame portrait of a child with a cap featuring bokeh background by a Fuji 35mm f2 lens

Moving on, here's a few other portraits made with this lens:

Fuji 35mm f2 portrait of a woman looking at the bottom left
A Fuji 35mm f2 black and white portrait of a woman with beautiful eyes looking straight at the camera and Bokeh

As you can see the lens allows you not only to blur the background but also to remove your subject from their background by going in close enough. of course if that's not your fancy, it's great for regular portraits too:

Color portrait of a man with green eyes looking at the camera, shot with the Fuji 35mm

Fuji 35mm f2 Street photography

Fuji 35mm f2 street photography of a man with black mask and army shirt

When it comes to Street Photography I mostly am comfortable with a wide angle, but the 35mm is actually pretty nice for it. It allows you to create images that seem you were close but in reality you are not that close to the subject.

black and white photograph of a woman passing by pensive

Just like everything in life, the focal length will open up the more you use and work it. I've tried to do some hip shots and it's a bit difficult at first but once you get used to it you can start making some nice images. Between you and me I was a bit afraid to use this lens too much for street photography because I didn't want it to start affecting the way I shoot, it's that good!

wide angle, black and white photograph of a man looking straight at the camera

The discreetness of the lens comes into play as no one was really noticing me where I was. Since the body and lens were so light, it is possible to shoot pretty much all day and have no wrist pain issues.

color photograph of a woman with red coat in front of a Daiso shot with a Fuji camera and lens

If you reading this section, you are probably interested in street photography. Awesome! Do check out these resources: Magazine, Presets & step-by-step Course. All about street photography!

General usage

Fuji 35mm landscape photo of multiple cars and dramatic sky in the background
Cinematic style photo of a public chair, color graded

The 35mm is probably he kind of lens that might end up glued to your camera because it's easy to pick up and go. I've tried many shot types with it and it handled them very nicely. it's really hard to find anything wrong with this lens, I haven't found anything myself.

But above all I believe that the best part about this lens is that I trust it….. I don't know if I can explain it, but after I used it long enough, I know that I can do anything with it from weddings to portraits and anything in between, that's why I can see people using it as their main lens. It's a great piece of glass that must not be missed, even if this is not your native focal length this lens might just well win you over as it did me.

Fuji 35mm f2 review Conclusion

While not a true 35mm (it's effectively a 53mm)The Fuji 35mm f2 is a great fixed lens that has everything going for it: A great focal length that is great for portraits and street among other things, a very attractive price and is rangefinder sized with a fast f2 lens. This Fuji lens is highly recommended and it's probably on it's way to be glued to your camera.

Where to get it

Check prices on Amazon | Check prices on B&H

18 thoughts on “Fuji 35mm f2 review: A small but wonderful lens”

  1. Pingback: Fuji 35mm f2 review: A small but wonderful lens | Olivier Duong

  2. The Fuji 35 f/1.4 is hardly a monster of a lens. The physical differences between the two aren’t as drastic as you put it. The 35 f/2 is (60×45.9mm) and weighs 170g. 35f/1.4 is (65×54.9) so 9mm longer and weighs 187g. Don’t see how that makes it a monster. If you said the Sony 35 f/1.4 for the a7 series was a monster, then I could see where you could call it a monster. 112mm and 630grams.

    You’re trading extra lens gathering versus faster, quieter AF and WR.

    1. Aye I made a factual error. You know what happened? I got confused with the focal lengths. In my mind I switched the the 35mm 1.4 with the 23mm 1.4 (which IS a monster!), because the 23mm effectively is a 35mm. So thanks for this, you are correct and fixed the mistake promptly.
      I still remember how the 24 1.4 was heavy and didn’t give the 35 1.4 a chance =)

  3. i don’t understand why we don’t finally change this whole 35mm lens (50mm 35mm or so equiv.) to the 23mm on 4/3 to be the new normal lens!!
    I could go through my life only shooting with a (35mm equiv.) 35mm and 75mm lenses. Why is there this fuji 35f2 and 35 f1.4 when they only have the 23 f/1.4??!! Drives me nuts. I almost never use a 50mm lens. I thought that most ‘street shooters’ (not that this term means much to me) use 28 and 35. yes…. you can shoot anything with a 50, but it distorts at close range and for the classic portrait (not that I care much for that term) a 75 is just better, more beautiful in general. Time to tell all these companies that the 35mm lenses (35mm equiv.) are the new Black. So they will give us better options. Think of what we could make with all those 50 mm lenses sitting on shelves collecting dust for all these years! A Bridge to the moon perhaps? And right here I won’t get into a rant on how everyone is so obsessed with the size and weight of all these tiny digital cameras/lenses.
    Can you imagine what all those great 50’s and 60’s photographers would think of this constant arguing about which tiny plastic camera is Just Right for Walking or Hiking or Bike riding or a motorcycle trip or whatever one needs the right camera for?? Uggh.

  4. Hi Oliver. The focal length of the lens on the X100 series is 23mm, so it is wider and not the same. I think the conversion to/from the full-frame equivalent has got the better of you. More coffee? 🙂

    Now, if Fuji could make a lightweight, fast-focussing 23mm equivalent of this lens (that was affordable!), that would be fantastic.

    1. +1 Mike. A compact, fast focusing 23mm would be a perfect lens for the X-Pro2. The 23 f1.4 just draws too much attention to itself.

    2. Nopes. YOU need coffee this time =) Actually we are both right, the x100 IS 23mm but due to the APSC crop factor, it’s essentially a 35mm (23×1.5=35). There is something to be said about everyone agreeing what we are talking about, effective or actual focal length!
      Yup I’m all for a 23mm lightweight myself!

      1. Yes, x100 is apsc crop, but so is xpro2 xt1 and all other fuji mirorless. This lens is crop lens, so it is ~50mm not 35

  5. Pingback: miXed zone: Canon 5DMkIII Vs. Fujifilm X-Pro2 face-off :: XF100-400 Review at dcfever & More – Fuji Rumors

  6. The nifty fifty refers to Canon’s 50mm 1.8 that was made of plastic and sold for $100 new, not just 50mm lenses in general.

    1. “Nifty Fifty” has been used to describe a dozen 50MM lenses for the last number of decades by numerous manufactures. There is no US patent on the term… Everyone uses it to describe the 50MM lens just as the author did.

  7. I recently bought the 35mm f/2 and I have to admit that I like this lens better than its older and faster brother. It’s not perfect, but if you like to shoot a nifty fifty, this is a damn good option. And as always, the look and feel of Fujifilm gear is just great. This stuff is made for photographers, not so much for gadget hunters.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 1 MB.
You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other.

Scroll to Top