You own a Fujifilm X-mount DSLR camera body and want to invest in a great lens, but where do you start? We talk you through the best Fuji lenses available now.
Fujifilm offers a modest range of lenses compared to Canon and Nikon. Yet the XF line of APS-C lenses is tidy and complete, with few redundant options.
Before we start though, Fujifilm lenses contain a lot of abbreviations in their names. Here’s what Fujinon lens abbreviations mean:
- R = Aperture ring;
- LM = Linear motor;
- OIS = Optical image stabilizer;
- PZ = Power Zoom;
- WR = Weather-Resistant; and
- EBC = Electron Beam Coating.
There’s something for everyone here, so let’s take a look and see which of the 10 best Fuji lenses is right for you.
1. Fujinon XF 16mm f1.4 R WR
A versatile prime lens ideal for storytelling
Weight: 377g | Maximum Aperture: f1.4 | Weather Resistant: Yes | Image Stabilization: None | Filter Size: 67mm
Photographers looking for a versatile lens will be hard-pressed to find a better fuji lens than the Fujinon XF 16mm f1.4 R WR. I find it one of the best Fuji lenses for flexibility. It’s great for documentary photography, street photography, environmental portraits, landscape photography, and even macro photography (0.21x reproduction ratio).
This is a storytelling lens with excellent micro-contrast and sharpness, even at f1.4. astrophotographers will notice slight chromatic aberration unless stopped down to f2. The 16mm f1.4 also has a Nano-Gradient Index (Nano GI) coating to reduce flare and ghosting.
Pulling back on the focus ring exposes the depth of field scale, a feature shared with the XF 23mm f1.4. As a result, both are the best Fuji lenses for street photography.
The 24mm full-frame equivalent view can be a bit difficult focal length to work with. It can be too tight for architecture, yet too wide for many events and portrait images. Perspective distortion starts at 24mm, making it more challenging than the 35-50mm ‘normal’ view.
2. Fujinon XF 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR
A great standard zoom that offers good color rendering
Weight: 653g | Maximum Aperture: f2.8 | Weather Resistant: Yes | Image Stabilization: None | Filter Size: 77mm
The mid-range f2.8 zoom lens is essential for many photographers as it covers the wide, standard, and telephoto ranges. Although large for an APS-C mirrorless lens, the Fujinon XF 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR does not compromise on image quality.
The Nano-GI coating ensures that flare and ghosting aren’t an issue, even without the lens hood. The twin linear motors ensure silent autofocusing during video recording.
Often described as ‘a bag of primes’, this is excellent across the board in terms of focus and color rendering. It is sharp across the frame at all apertures and at f2.8 creates impressive subject isolation and background blur at the telephoto end of the focal range.
Plus, the added feature of weather resistance makes it one of the best Fuji lenses. However, it is heavy and will take a large chunk out of your budget.
3. Fujinon XF 56mm f1.2 R
A staple for portrait photographers
Weight: 403g | Maximum Aperture: f1.2 | Weather Resistant: No | Image Stabilization: None | Filter Size: 62mm
The Fujinon XF 56mm f1.2 R is possibly the best Fuji lens for those dedicated to portrait photography.
The ultra-fast f1.2 aperture gives it the best low-light performance in Fuji’s lineup. It also creates a shallow depth of field and background blur matched only by the 90mm f2.
Image sharpness and contrast at f1.2 are excellent in the center, with only slight sharpness loss at the corners. Use aperture f2 and above, and the XF 56mm offers peak performance.
An 11-layer EBC ensures less than 0.2% of the incoming light is reflecting. This eliminates flare, except in the most trying of conditions.
Overall, this is one of the best Fuji lenses for wedding and event photographers who need great low-light performance and bokeh.
4. Fujinon XF 90mm f2 R LM WR
A good prime for outdoor portraits
Weight: 539g | Maximum Aperture: f2 | Weather Resistant: Yes | Image Stabilization: None | Filter Size: 62mm
My personal favorite portrait lens is the Fujinon XF 90mm f2 R LM WR. It has a 135mm full-frame equivalent focal length, making it best suited to outdoor work. It’s just a bit too tight for indoor shooting unless you’re after headshots.
Blessed with quad linear autofocus motors, it focuses quickly and silently, despite the sheer mass of glass. It is also weather-resistant, so rain or even snow won’t hinder your shoot.
Although it is not a macro lens, the 0.2x reproduction ratio combined with the 0.6m minimum focusing distance makes it a respectable choice for close-up work. Plus, it uses Fuji’s EBC to eliminate flare in most shooting conditions.
If you are a street or travel photographer, you’ll enjoy the reach it grants. It also shares the micro-contrast characteristics and sharp rendering of the other second-generation WR primes. Sharp at f2 from corner to corner, the 90mm f2 is a rival to the 56mm f1.2.
5. Fujinon 50-140mm f2.8 R WR LM OIS
The Fuji telephoto zoom of choice
Weight: 995g | Maximum Aperture: f2.8 | Weather Resistant: Yes | Image Stabilization: Yes | Filter Size: 72mm
The Fujinon 50-140mm f2.8 R WR LM OIS is the equivalent of the DSLR sports shooter’s 70-200mm f2.8. It has an aperture ring (R), is weather-resistant, has 3 linear motors, and, most importantly, it is image stabilized rated for up to 5 stops of shutter speed reduction. All of these things alone make it worth the hefty price tag.
The moderately fast f2.8 aperture makes it the telephoto zoom of choice. And, like the Fujinon XF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6, it doesn’t use a telescopic barrel, therefore preventing air or dust being sucked in.
At almost a kilogram in weight and 175.9mm long, this is Fuji’s best lens for photographers who demand image quality over portability. It uses Fuji’s Nano-GI coating to prevent reflections affecting image quality. If you want fast focus and WR, the XF 50-140mm is one of the best Fuji lenses.
6. Fujinon XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS
A budget kit lens that offers great value for money
Weight: 310g | Maximum Aperture: f2.8-f4 | Weather Resistant: No | Image Stabilization: Yes | Filter Size: 58mm
The Fujinon XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS may be a kit lens, but it’s much nicer than those offered by most brands.
An XF lens, it uses the same all-metal and glass construction as the higher-end lenses. Temptingly, it’s also 2/3rds to a full stop faster across the board than standard kit lenses.
Like most of Fuji’s older lenses, the 18-55mm uses the highly effective EBC as flare prevention. It produces no color fringing or soft images like most basic kit zooms. Optical image stabilization combined with the moderately fast aperture helps when shooting in less than optimal light.
XF lenses share stellar optics and the 18-55mm f2.8-f4 lens is comparably sharp, plus it has optical image stabilization to compensate for the variable maximum aperture. If you want bang for your buck and portability, this standard zoom may be one of the best Fuji lenses for their X-series body.
7. Fujinon XF 35mm f2 R WR
A great, fast and versatile prime lens
Weight: 408g | Maximum Aperture: f2 | Weather Resistant: Yes | Image Stabilization: None| Filter Size: 43mm
Small, sharp, fast, and versatile, the Fujinon XF 35mm f2 R WR really is a great tool.
If you prefer primes, you’ll want this lens. But, if you prefer zooms, you should also try it out. The 50mm full-frame view has a wide range of possibilities; from portrait photography to environmental shots.
Related Article: Prime vs. Zooom
Fuji’s second-generation XF primes share weather-resistant and silent autofocus motors. The older primes, while a full stop faster, are chatterboxes, and in the case of the original 35mm f1.4, a bit hesitant in focusing at times–which reduces the low-light advantage. It offers a comparable level of background blur and subject isolation.
The newer lens complements, rather than replaces, the older 35mm f1.4. Both lenses render beautifully but have different characteristics. The newer f2 primes are ‘punchy’ in terms of color contrast and clinically sharp, which is what people crave these days.
8. Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4 R
A great prime for all types of photography
Weight: 187g | Maximum Aperture: f1.4 | Weather Resistant: No | Image Stabilization: None | Filter Size: 52mm
One of the older XF lenses, the Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4 R is one of the best Fuji lenses: it’s good for almost any style of photography.
Like the 35mm f2, the frame is tight yet versatile. The autofocus performance is less than ideal, however, and the focus is noisy and tends to hunt if the light is not perfect.
There really is something ‘magical’ about this lens. To my eye, it has a lot to do with the focus falloff and faster aperture, which gives the photos a greater three-dimensional look. It’s subtle but it’s the main reason the newer 35mm f2 R WR won’t ever replace the original 35mm f1.4.
Despite having the same anti-flare EBC as the f2 model, the f1.4 is sharp without feeling ‘digital’, as detractors of the WR primes sometimes feel. While heavier than the newer f2, the original f1.4 is not a heavy lens.
This also offers a full stop advantage, giving it great low-light ISO performance.
9. Fujinon XF 23mm f1.4 R
One of Fuji’s best standard prime lenses
Weight: 300g | Maximum Aperture: f1.4 | Weather Resistant: No | Image Stabilization: None | Filter Size: 62mm
The second of Fuji’s best standard primes is the Fujinon XF 23mm f1.4 R.
I was not a fan of the 35mm frame until recently, as I love how the 23mm f1.4 can isolate a subject in a portrait without destroying the context in bokeh-filled blurriness. If it was weather-resistant, this would be my lens of choice over the XF 16mm f1.4.
It’s not as noisy or hesitant to focus like the 35mm f1.4 and it has the same rendering characteristics; beautifully sharp without looking digital.
Like the XF 16mm f1.4, it also has a depth of field scale for manual focusing, which makes it great for street photographers thanks to its quick and discreet shooting.
Combined with the classic field of view and EBC for flare control, this is one of the best Fuji lenses for those who love travel photography as well. While not WR, this is a great one-lens solution for photographers looking for a fast, sharp prime to glue to their camera full-time.
10. Fujinon XF 80mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro
The macro lens to buy if you love to capture fine detail
Weight: 907g | Maximum Aperture: f2.8 | Weather Resistant: Yes | Image Stabilization: Yes | Filter Size: 62mm
Since there’s only one true 1:1 macro lens in the XF lineup, the XF 80mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro wins by default.
The older 60mm f2.4 ‘macro’ offers a 1:2 reproduction ratio–decent but not what the true macro photographer wants. If you’re shooting macro you’ll want a tripod. Still, this newer lens offers OIS to help preserve fine detail if you’re shooting hand-held. Also, weather-resistance is an essential feature for the outdoor macro photographer.
It also doubles as a good portrait lens, with a moderately fast f2.8 aperture and telephoto compression. Although it is a newer lens, it uses the EBC over the Nano GI common to high-end contemporary lenses.
Optical image stabilization and the slightly shorter focal length make it an attractive alternative to the 90. Unfortunately, it’s not quite in the same league as either in terms of aperture, bokeh rendering, or subject isolation. Still, it’s a fine choice if you’re a lover of detail shots and want portrait capacity on the side.
How to Choose the Best Fujifilm Lens
Choosing an XF lens is a tricky process. Regardless of your shooting style, there are so many great choices for the X-mount photographer.
Many lenses are specialized so there really aren’t any terrible choices in this lineup. So what features should you look for?
Which Focal Length Do I Need?
What do you like to shoot? Nature photographers will want the reach the many XF telephoto zooms have to offer.
Portrait photographers might choose a zoom for flexibility in composition. Or they might prefer a fast prime like the 56mm f1.2 for the depth of field and subject isolation it offers.
The focal length is what determines your field of view and prime lens shooters need to be especially careful here.
Which Aperture Is Important?
The best lens isn’t always the fastest one. The XF 16-55mm f2.8’s constant aperture is excellent, but compared to the 18-55 ‘kit’ lens, the 16-55 feels like a brick attached to the front of the camera.
Is getting that constant f2.8 essential to your photography? How often do you shoot low-light images? When looking at the standard primes, keep in mind f2 is still quite fast; do you really need that extra stop for f1.4, with the price and weight increase that entails?
Consider Your Shooting Conditions
Fujifilm offers a number of weather-resistant lenses that keep water and dust from entering the camera via the lens.
While only the higher end zooms offer WR, the f2 primes are very affordable options for all-weather shooting. Keep in mind that you’ll need to pair them with a WR camera body like the X-T3 or X-Pro2 otherwise you won’t get much benefit.
Have Fun Choosing Your Fuji Lens
The XF line doesn’t have any terrible lenses, as you can see there’s something here for everyone.
If you’re new to the XF line, my recommendations are always the 18-55mm f2.8-4 OIS zoom or the 35mm f2 prime to start you off.
From there, the sky’s the limit, depending entirely on your shooting style and your wallet. Have fun choosing between the best Fuji lenses.
Do you have a favorite Fujifilm XF lens? Have we missed any off our list? Leave a comment below.
Disclaimer: Our reviews are based on personal experience and extensive research by qualified photographers. We pride in keeping these reviews unbiased. Products may contain affiliate links from which we earn a small commission without any additional cost to you. Your support funds our research as well as PhotoBlog.com platform.
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