Fujifilm 35mm f2.0 - Review & Sample Photos

The Fujifilm 35mm f2 R WR lens is one of those lenses that you can just fall in love with almost immediately. It's small, fairly inexpensive and produces some really nice image quality. But more than that, it's got character.

Although the Fujinon 35mm f2 is by no means perfect, the lens is priced in such a way that many of its flaws can be forgiven. It's also incredibly durable, making this lens my first choice for anyone looking to jump into some primes.

 

 

 


Fujinon 35mm f2.0 - First Impressions


This lens feels unlike any of Fujifilms older lenses in that it feels solid. The focus ring as well as the aperture ring are buttery smooth but yet give some good resistance. This is something that was plaguing those Fujinon lenses since they started doing everything fly-by-wire and I'm really glad to see them moving in this new direction.

Fujifilm has taken the right step forward with this lens design and it also solves all the problems that many of their lenses suffer from, such as very loose aperture rings, no weather sealing and slow contrast AF. I guess you could call this a new generation of lens by Fujifilm since they seem to have done the same thing with the new 23mm f2 lens as well.

 

So what's the catch?

Not much, but because of the small size and weight, we have less glass to deal with so the lens is a little bit slower - f2 and the corners and edges don't perform great. That is compared to something like a full frame Voigtlander 35mm lens, which is significantly heavier but also almost twice as expensive. I also have yet to compare this to the older Fujinon 35mm f1.4.

If perfect image quality corner to corner is what you're going for, this lens might not be for you.

 

 

 


Fujinon 35mm f2.0 Lens Review


When considering use and feel and the overall design of this lens, the Fujinon 35mm f2 is one of Fujifilm's best. It's no wonder it's one of their best selling lenses as well. Also at the current price, it's really hard to turn away from.

While the lens is actually a 35mm lens, it performs more like a traditional 50mm because of the APS-C crop. This considered to be a normal field of view and is often compared to how the human eye sees the world. Although I'll never agreed with that.

 

The lens has a nice 9 blade rounded aperture. This gives the bokeh some character but I've also noticed some interesting shape throughout the whole range of the lens. It also features weather sealing and a very solid build, plus the microprocessor for faster autofocus.

We also can find a nice coating, the Super EBC. Although I haven't noticed much of a difference between the Super and the HT-EBC lens coating found on some of the other lenses. Perhaps it's easier to keep clean and it repels more dust and water? 

I've also seen sites list this lens as having a Nano GI coating on B&HPhotos website. I'm not sure that description is an error, or if means they're only using it on the outside element like they do on the XF50-140mm f2.8 lens. So it would have a combination of Super EBC and Nano GI. That would be my assumption.

 

So who's this lens for?  

While it's not really going to give you a real up close view of anything, nor a very wide view, I consider the 50mm to be sort of an every day lens and is especially nice for someone that also shoots a lot of portraits, friends or family. It's also a great lens to travel with as it can handle itself in most situations.

 

 


Overall


What I Love

  • Fast auto focus
  • Excellent build
  • Small and light
  • Super fun to use
  • Great price

Thumbs Down

  • Ugly lens hoods
  • Sharp mostly just in the center
  • Very soft in the extreme corners and edges
  • I actually like the cat eye effect but some might not.

Fujfilm X-Pro2 - ISO 200 - f2 - 1/125

For this shot, I was actually using an Einstein 640 (with I think a 48" octa), that just sits in my living room at all times. It creates some really nice, soft lighting and this shot also illustrates how well this lens performs under some controlled lighting. 

 

 


Prices & Accessories


Order Links

Fujinon 35mm f2 R WR Black - (Amazon) (Adorama)
Fujinon 35mm f2 R WR Silver - (Amazon) (Adorama)
Fujifilm Lens Hood LH-XF35-2 Black - (Amazon)
B + W 43mm UV Filter (010) - (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 43mm UV Filter (007) - (Adorama)
B + W 43mm UV Filter Nano (010) - (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 43mm UV Filter Nano (007) - (Amazon) (Adorama)

Technical Stats

35mm Equiv - 53mm
Aperture Range - f2 - f16
Minimum Focus Range - 0.35m
Aperture Blades - 9 Rounded
Design - 9 elements in 6 groups / 2 ED, 2 ASPH
Coating - Super EBC
Filter Threads: 43mm

 

 


Lens Design


The design really is everything you could ask for. Very smooth Bokeh with its 9 bladed rounded aperture. The weather sealing is great feature and the size makes it a very fun lens to carry around.

The 2 ED elements help control the green and purple fringing while the two aspherical elements help control the corner sharpness while keeping the coma under control.

  • Aperture Blades - (9 Blade / Rounded)
  • 9 Elements in 6 Groups
  • Elements 2 ED, 2 Aspherical
  • Weather Sealed
  • No Floating Element
  • No OIS

 

 

 


Build Quality


The 35mm f2.0 lens is really a step up in terms of build quality from Fujifilm lenses. It's one of the few lenses where you don't have to worry about the aperture and focus changing if you pick the camera up wrong. Both rings have some really good yet smooth resistance giving the lens a very solid feel in the hand.

I've also dropped the lens without any ill consequences and after a year of shooting almost 3,000 photos with this lens, it's still just as good as the day I got it. Something I can't say about a lot of Fujifilm's lenses. Their lenses so far have seemed to be very fragile / have very poor quality control / and are not durable at all. Actually, my experience with Fujifilm lenses has been the worst of any brand I've ever shot with. Maybe just bad luck?

But, Fujifilm seems to be taking the right step forward with this new design, so you can purchase this lens knowing it will be good for years to come.

There is also no rattling even with the lens hood on. Something rare from Fujifilm lenses.

  • Focus Noise - Minimal
  • Aperture Ring Resistance - Smooth yet firm
  • Rattling - No
  • Focus Ring Resistance - Smooth yet firm

 

 

 


Picture Overview


The Fujinon 35mm f2 picture quality is very fun to work with and this lens does have its own unique look. It's fairly sharp in the center and also has very smooth bokeh at f2 but the edges and corners do get a little soft compared to the center. 

One thing I do like about this lens is that it maintains some nice sharpness even at f2.

 

 

Sharpness Chart


 

Sharpness F5.6

Fujifilm 35mm f2 sharpness chart at f5.6

Fujifilm 35mm f2 sharpness at f5.6

Fujifilm X-Pro2 - ISO 400 - f5.6 - 1/1250

 

 

Diffraction


On the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 diffraction becomes apparent at around f8, but it's not until about f11 that we see significant resolution loss. If you were shooting with one of Fujifilm's 16MP cameras you will not notice the diffraction as much and as the pixels are much larger.

Even at f2 and f2.8 the lens is also still very sharp in the center. 

Fujifilm 35mm f2 diffraction


 

 

Beauty / Effects


The 9 blade rounded aperture makes a really smooth and creamy bokeh, but the blades are only rounded when wide open and it seems the foreground bokeh still has a little shape when wide open.

Like a lot of Fujinon lenses, sunstars are not that easy to produce. You don't really get anything great when shooting under f11. So shooting for sun stars, or nice street light stars will yield not the best results unless you're willing to sacrifice some sharpness by stopping down to f11 and f16. 

Bokeh

35mm f2 depth of field sample wide open

Fujifilm X-T2 | ISO 200 - f2 - 1/200

You can see the foreground bokeh gives you a much different characteristic than background, this also seems to produce more of the Petzval Effect. So you'll end up with a lot of Coma (or Cat Eyes), around the edges as seen below.

Fujinon 35mm f2 depth of field sample wide open

Fujifilm X-T2 | ISO 200 - f2 - 1/1250

 

Another sample of the foreground and background bokeh and how the swirling effect influences the out of focus areas.

Fujinon 35mm f2 depth of field sample wide open at f2

Fujifilm X-T2 | ISO 200 - f2 - 1/420

Sun Stars

Fujifilm 35mm f2 sun stars and flaring at f16

Fujifilm X-T2 | ISO 200 - f16 - 1/950

Sunstars have a rather boring pattern. They tend to flare out and aren't really clean. You also really need to shoot at f11 to f16 before they are really very noticeable, but shooting this closed down also yields some red dot sensor flares.

Sunstars with night photography

Fujifilm X-T2 | ISO 200 - f16 - 30s

At night they get a little more interesting at f16. f11 has a similar look, just less extreme. By f5.6 they almost completely cleaned up with only some slight streaks. Then at f2.8 and only f2.8 they do something interesting and kind of pretty. Shown below.

Sunstars with night photography at f2.8

Fujifilm X-T2 | ISO 200 - f2.8 - 0.9s

Fujifilm X-T2- ISO 200 - f11 - 20s

 

 

 

Flaring Ghosting


The flaring on the 35mm f2 is very well controlled. In fact, it's so well controlled that I find the lens hood that comes with the lens not that useful. Only in some situations where you want to eliminate veil flaring is it necessary, but even then, veiling flaring is very well controlled.

At high apertures around f16, if you shoot directly into the a bright object, you will get some red dot sensor flaring as shown above in the sun star sample.

 


Flaring & Ghosting

Fujinon 35mm f2 flaring while pointing directly into the sun

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 | ISO 200 - f8 - 1/30

I was struggling to get any sort of orb action unless I shot directly into the sun. At most angles the orbs would go away completely, and there really was almost no flaring except for what's happening with the sunstars.

When there are orbs, they are not very pretty.

Veiling flaring is very well controlled.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 | ISO 200 - f8 - 1/25

Even when the sun is at the edge of the frame you still only get very little flaring.

Veiling Flaring

Veiling flaring is very well controlled with Fujinon's advanced lens coatings

Fujifilm X-T2 | ISO 200 - f5 - 1/950

When the sun is outside of the frame you can get some veiling flaring. I tried for awhile at various apertures to get the lens to generate the best sample of this but it's very well controlled. 


 

 

Rendering


Some lenses, especially smaller ones like this will get some strange color ring patterns, or will handle some colors better than others resulting in hue shifts. I haven't had any problems with this lens so far. Saturation always feel very even and solid colors like the sky are always uniform with no artifacting or shifts towards the edges or corners of the frame.

Color Rendering

Lens handles color and contrast very well.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 | ISO 400 - f2.8 - 1/6400

This lens has been great for shooting the kids and friends. It handles skin tones very well and doesn't usually need much contrast added in post. Especially when in a well lit area.

Very even colors throughout the lens.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 | ISO 400 - f8 - 1/110

I also haven't noticed any strange color shifts. Everything is uniform and the saturation feels very even.

Contrast

Lens handles contrast very well without the need to add much in post.

Fujifilm X-T2 | ISO 800 - f2.8 - 1/80

This lens produces a nice punchy but clean look, especially with some nice lighting. Low lights or interiors you'll have to push the contrast a bit but that's pretty normal. The shot above is straight out of camera Arcos. No adjustments.

Sample of some high contrast street photography at night.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 | ISO 2500 - f2 - 1/80

This lens is a lot of fun to use at night because at f2 we can still get some nice quality even in these low light conditions.


Sample of depth of field at f2.

Fujifilm X-T2 | ISO 200 - f2 - 1/450

 

 

 


Technical Characteristics


The technical characteristics of the 35mm f2 is where it sort of falls short. It has some problems with chroma and distortion, but it is controlled with the in-camera profiles, so you'll never really see them unless you physically turn it off.

The minimum focus range is excellent. One of the better lenses out there in terms of just how close you can get to the lens while still being able to focus. But, if you are shooting something very close, then focus breathing really has an effect on the image and it kind of zooms in quite a bit, causing the lens to perform maybe more like a 38mm.

 

 

Mechanical


 

  • Minimum Focus Range - 0.35m
  • Focus Breathing - FOV changes with focus
  • MTF / Field Curvature (Astigmatism)
  • Focus Shift

 

 

Aberrations


Because of the two ED elements, color fringing is very well controlled and Fujifilm has built in profiles that correct for this.

The Cat Eye effect at f2 is very apparent. Some people like this effect in their portraits but it can be distracting.


Color Fringing

I tried for awhile under various conditions to get this lens to produce some chromatic aberrations but came up empty handed. But my results are actually misleading because in the EVF I was getting a ton of aberrations. The X-T2 is just really good at getting rid of it when making the RAWs. Even when I turned of the lens profile in Iridient Developer there is still no aberrations, which means Iridient doesn't really turn off the chromatic aberration correction the camera bakes into the RAW. I guess everyone wins, because you won't really see it in any of your images.

The above sample is the best I could really produce.

 

Cat Eye / Petzval Effect / Coma

The Fujifilm 35mm f2 has some significant Petzval Effect. This is the swirling effect you get with the out of focus background. Sometimes highlights and circular bokeh will form cat eyes. 

For shooting astrophotography you'll likely end up with a bit of coma aberrations along the edges and corners with the stars.

I really like what the coma is doing in the top left of this shot. In the right environment, you could produce some really stunning bokeh. 

Fujifilm X-Pro2 - ISO 200 - f2 - 1/140

 

 

 

Refraction


Vignetting - Lightroom
(Build-In Lens Profile On)

Lightroom forces the built-in lens profile to be on, which does a very nice job with cleaning up any issues with vignetting.

 

Vignetting - Iridient Developer
(Build-In Lens Profile Off)

Without the built in profile, vignetting is still well controlled except at f2 where it is most apparent on the left and right edges.

Lightroom Distortion
(Build-In Lens Profile On)

Fujifilm cameras typically bake in a lens profile correction in the RAW files that fixes distortion. In Lightroom you cannot turn this off. 

Iridient Developer Distortion
(Build-In Lens Profile On)

With Iridient Developer you can turn off the baked in distortion. Here you can see the Fujifilm 35mm f2 lens has some pretty significant distortion. The in-camera profile above even has some difficulty correcting it perfectly. 


 

 

 


Fujinon 35mm f2 Lens Review - The Bottom Line


The Fujinon 35mm f2 is by no means perfect, but the unique characteristics of the images it produces as well as the build quality make for a very nice lens and is a must have for prime shooters.

For the Fujifilm shooter looking to buy their first prime, this is it. What you get for the price is really a really amazing piece of hardware and I don't think there are really any other brands that have anything quite like this. It's fast, focuses fast, is weather sealed and isn't terribly expensive either.

I love it! Now we just need is a cool lens hood.

 

 

 


Fujinon 35mm f2 - Sample Images


Fujifilm X-T2 - ISO 200 - f5.6 - 1/340

 

 

Prices & Accessories


Order Links

Fujinon 35mm f2 R WR Black - (Amazon) (Adorama)
Fujinon 35mm f2 R WR Silver - (Amazon) (Adorama)
Fujifilm Lens Hood LH-XF35-2 Black - (Amazon)
B + W 43mm UV Filter (010) - (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 43mm UV Filter (007) - (Adorama)
B + W 43mm UV Filter Nano (010) - (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 43mm UV Filter Nano (007) - (Amazon) (Adorama)

Technical Stats

35mm Equiv - 53mm
Aperture Range - f2 - f16
Minimum Focus Range - 0.35m
Aperture Blades - 9 Rounded
Design - 9 elements in 6 groups / 2 ED, 2 ASPH
Coating - Super EBC
Filter Threads: 43mm


If you found this article helpful please like or share. Thank you!

Also, check out the complete list of ever lens that's compatible with the Fujifilm X-Mount.

 

Fujifilm X-T2 - ISO 640 - f2 - 1/80

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 - ISO 200 - f2 - 1/60

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 - ISO 400 - f8 - 1/124

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 - ISO 200 - f5.6 - 1/160

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 - ISO 1000 - f2 - 1/80

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I am a professional commercial / trailer editor, blogger and landscape photographer based out of Los Angeles CA.

This blog is about photography, traveling and the cameras I love.

 

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