I’ve been spending a serious amount of time using the Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR Lens since getting my hands around the X-Pro2. Before you get too excited, these photos were not shot using the X-Pro2. I know, sad face. They were however shot using the 35, which I had my eye on since it launched. The 53mm (35mm Equivalent) focal length is juicy for the street, not too shabby for portraits, and really nice for storytelling (Documentary). Those features combined with small size, WR (weather-resistant design) and a very affordable price ($399), hit me in all the feels.
Size & Shape
Opening the 35 from it’s jet black box, the first thing you’ll notice is how much smaller it is compared to the 35mm f/1.4 lens. I wish I had both lenses so I could share a side-by-side photo, but take my word for it, the difference is sizable. I enjoy it’s retro-style conical shape, and the hard stops between f-stops feel solid. The manual focus ring is smooth and it comes with a nice circular hood. If you want something to up your retro game, Fujifilm also makes the LH-XF35-2 hood that’s more like what you find X100 series users using. I considered grabbing one the other day but had seconds thoughts because one of the reasons I love this lens is how small it is. Why would I want to make it bigger?
Using The Lens
Having owned the 23mm f/1.4, 16-55mm f/2.8 and 18mm f/2, I can honestly report that the 35 snaps to focus quicker than all three. It tracks motion very well (though I would put it second to the 16-55 here), is sharper than the bunch and as hopefully you agree below, the image quality is top notch. The bokeh at f/2 is pleasing with nice circular hues while still remaining razor sharp on the focus point. I had my feet in the water during quite a few shots today and it was nice knowing the WR design would keep sand and saltwater worries away.
To sum up this quick review, if you’re on the fence and can’t decide if you should drop $399 on this lens, I say do it. I’m sure you will love it. This is a must have lens for documentary photographers, and most travelers will love it. Some may find the focal length a little too far reaching, so keep that in mind when you stop and think about what you shoot most. Can you shoot landscape with it? Of course. Should you? I’d say look to a nice wide angle lens like the 14mm, 16mm or 16-55mm. Next, I hope to see a 56mm f/2 R WR lens. That would make a new trinity in my bag, 18-35-56, all of which can fit together in a large jacket pocket.
These photos were taken today in Huntington Beach, California. I’ve been getting a lot of tweets and DMs asking for larger images and some additional photo info so I left them clickable so you can get a good look. Enjoy and happy shooting!
All photos Copyright - jordanmay.com