Looking for a Fuji 35mm f2 review? Here’s mine with sample images, portaits, performance and more, all shot on a Fuji X-T1. If you are looking for a great all around lens, this might just do the trick.
|Reasons to buy||Cons|
|✔️ Attractive price|
✔️ Great Bokeh
The Fuji XF 35mm f2 is probably one of the most desirable lenses for the X mount cameras. It features superb image quality, weather resistance, rounded 9-blade diaphragm and controls chromatic aberration very well.
Because X cameras are all APSC sensors the 35mm has an effective focal length of 52.5mm, so this is essentially a nifty fifty f2. By default then it’s great for portraits and all around shooting, and the Bokeh at this focal length at the maximum aperture of f2 is really nice.
The only alternative to this lens is the Fuji 35mm 1.4 which is a bit bigger, more expensive and not WR. Enter the Fuji 35mm f2, a lens that not only has a very attractive price point but is also keeps a 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, making it great for street photographers.
All of the images in this page have been shot in Jeju, Korea as I was leaning Korean language at the university. They have been processed with these Lightroom presets here. Let’s get into the Fuji 35mm f2 review proper.
Fuji 35mm F2 Review
Let’s start this Fuji 35mm f2 review by looking at the lens itself. It has a dedicated aperture ring so that you can change your settings without looking at any screen.
Since this lens has the WR on the name, I have to talk about Weather sealing. While it is probably resistant to some weather conditions I wouldn’t particularly trust it. Because the real litmus test for WR is the IP rating, and there is none on this lens.
It’s understandable, if Fuji puts an IP rating in there, they become liable if the lens breaks. By slapping a generic “WR” on there they can always weasel out of the liability. Not knocking Fuji, other manufacturers do the same.
So don’t keep your cameras out if it starts raining, even if it claims to be Weather resistant. Onto the lens design: this lens features one of the things I don’t like about some of the Olympus lenses, namely that the front of the lens is smaller than the back of the lens, leaving it with a deflated look.
That is why this looks way better with the hood on. This comes with the lens and also protects the front lens element. If you ask me it just looks weird when you have a larger camera, and a lens that gets smaller as you reach the front. You can go ahead and call me vain.
This is not one of those larger lenses from Fuji’s stable. This is a small enough lens that can be taken anythere. It is also one of the rare real metal lenses you can get outside of the Leica world. If you want real metal lenses nowadays only those two make them.
Sure lens construction metal of plastic doesn’t add nor detract from the image quality but there’s something undeniably attractive about them.
The lens feels great in the hand. It feels very solid but not quite premium, and like I said above it also comes with an anodized lens hood. It’s the same 43mm thread as other Fuji lenses so it’s a pretty standard filter size if you are looking to attach filters. There is both an aperture ring and focus ring but no depth of field scale, so street photographers, take note.
The images coming out of this lens are quite frankly great. This is one of the most amazing lenses you can get for relatively cheap for your Fuji camera. It produces sharp images with shallow depth of field, and don’t get me started on the rounded diaphragm blades (aperture blades) that create pleasing Bokeh. This is one of the best prime lenses you need to get for your Fuji.
The aperture range is perfect to handle low light situations, and since the Fujis have large sensors, they are fine at higher ISOs, making this a good choice for night photography.
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 for my Fuji 35mm f2 review to be complete here’s 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 🙂
Using the lens
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 50mm 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. Let’s move on our Fuji 23mm f2 review with specific scenarios.
Fuji 35mm f2 portraits
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.
So if you like your blurry backgrounds and close-ups this lens is perfect. Look for yourself below:
You can see the Bokeh above, as for how close you can get, see the portrait shot below of my son, I shot as close as I could:
Here are a few other portraits with the Fuji 23mm f2 lens
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:
The minimum focusing distance is pretty impressive, it is 1.15 meters or 35 cm, so if you are into mid-sized to full face portraits this can do both and anything in between.
Fuji 35mm f2 Street photography
Let’s move on our Fuji 35mm f2 review by taking it to the streets.
When it comes to Street Photography I mostly am comfortable with a wide angle , but the 50mm 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.
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!
The lens is fast and discreet and the physical aperture ring really helped keeping me in the zone. Fujis are the closest thing to Leicas and if you are used to rangefinders this really is a similar feeling.
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. If you like street photography, check out this course that teaches everything you need to know.
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.
The only thing keeping it back is the focal length, but that comes down to preference. If you like your 50mms, this is perfect. For those who like wide angles, the 23mm might be a better fit.
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.
As the final part of this Fuji 35mm f2 review, let’s look at alternatives.
Vs XF 23mm
If you have one choice to pick between the Fujifilm XF 23mm f2 WR and the Fujifilm XF 35mm f2 WR which one should you pick for a daily all around lens? I would chose the 23mm f2 hands down. Not because is particularly better, both are similar in size with the aperture ring, but because the 23mm is an equivalent of about a 35mm lens.
The 35mm is simply one of the best focal lengths around because it sits between wide angle and the start of telephoto. It is wide enough for street photography yet it can still make some stunning Bokeh protraits.
VS XF 35mm f1.4
The other desirable lens that is similar to this is the Fuji XF 35mm f1.4 lens. While faster lenses are usually better, the 1.4 is more expensive but more importantly much bigger than the f2. In practice the f2 is just more practical and the stop of light is really not worth the weight unless you really need that shallower depth of field.
Fuji 35mm f2 review Conclusion
I hope you liked this Fuji 35mm f2 review. While not a true 35mm (it’s effectively a 53mm)The Fuji 35mm f2 is a great compact sized, 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. Click here to check for best price.