Nasim Mansurov of Photography Life has published, or more likely updated, extensive reviews of four wide Fujinon prime and zoom lens options for Fujifilm’s XF APS-C/Super 35 camera system in advance of the coming release of the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R WR LM(?) OIS wide-angle zoom lens.
The reviews are from the perspective of a landscape photographer rather than a documentary photographer or photojournalist, and do not cover the lenses for use in video so look out for more specialized reviews if needed.
I have been pondering Fujifilm’s current XF optical offerings whilst reprocessing and uploading documentary photo galleries to this website in the light of ongoing frustrations with the company’s still limited lens collection, especially of lenses suitable for documentary cinematography and stills photography.
Belt-tightening for independent, self-funded creatives is ever-more prevalent nowadays given the constant predations against creativity by the pandemic and the federal government, so new lens purchases must be even more well-considered and well-researched than ever before.
I have been lucky enough to have borrowed three of the lenses Mr Nasurov reviews in his articles and agree with his many insights into them.
My first loan of the original Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS occurred alongside that of a Fujifilm X-T1 and an XF 56mm f/1.2 R, eventually resulting in purchasing an X-Pro2, XF 23mm f/1.4 R and XF 56mm f/1.2 R.
The XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS was in contention but, as usual, funds were limited and I had several misgivings about the lens that I hope may be palliated by its mark II replacement.
Chief amongst those doubts are these:
- No weather resistance (WR) at a time when Sydney’s weather continues to be increasingly subtropical in summer.
- A free-rotating, unmarked aperture encoder ring, less than optimal for video and for fast-moving available darkness documentary photography work when one sets aperture by feel.
- Some variations in optical and manufacturing quality control between copies of the lens reported by users.
- Less than stellar performance at the wide end, at 24mm, a standard focal length for much documentary work where one often needs to shoot at wider apertures in available darkness.
All three Fujinon lenses reviewed by Mr Mansurov have their many and various virtues and varying price points, but the best bang for the buck, as it were, may well be from an optically and mechanically improved mark II 10-24mm zoom lens and I look forward to learning more about it when it is released.
I do prefer prime lenses to zoom lenses for the most part, the amazing Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR aside, and so the XF 14mm f/2.8 R reminds attractive despite its age and lack of weather resistance, and that I prefer the manual clutch focusing approach Olympus has taken with its M. Zuiko Pro lenses to Fujifilm’s more limited implementation.
Meanwhile those many and various virtues of all four superwide lenses are well-covered by Mr Mansurov’s excellent set of reviews, links below.
Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R
Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR
Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS
- B&H – FUJIFILM XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR Lens
- B&H – FUJIFILM XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS Lens
- B&H – FUJIFILM XF 14mm f/2.8 R Lens
- B&H – ZEISS Touit 12mm f/2.8 Lens for FUJIFILM X
- DPReview – Fujifilm X-T1 Review
- Fujifilm Global – Fujifilm X-T1
- Fujifilm Rumors – Yes, Fujinon XF10-24mm F4 MK II is Weather Sealed and Announcement in October
- Photography Life – Fuji XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR
- Photography Life – Fuji XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS
- Photography Life – Fuji XF 14mm f/2.8 R
- Photography Life – Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8