Fujifilm 27mm f2.8 – Review & Sample Photos

A Fujinon 27m f2.8 review that covers the in's and out's of one of Fujifilm's smallest and lightest lenses.

The Fujinon 27mm f2.8 pancake lens is one of Fujifilm’s smallest and lightest lenses and is a perfect fit for the photographer looking for something compact and low profile for street shooting or travel.

The 27mm produces an field of view with the 35mm equivalent of 41mm. From overall image quality to the mechanical build, this lens is a very solid lens. Optically it can produce some amazing images while never holding you back with any major flaws.

Because of its small size and weight, it becomes one of those specialty lenses that every Fujifilm shooter should consider taking a second look at.

 

 


Fujifilm 27mm f2.8 Lens Review


Order Links

Fujifilm XF 27mm f2.8 Black – (Amazon) (Adorama)
Fujifilm XF 27mm f2.8 Silver – (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 39mm UV Filter (010) – (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 39mm UV Filter (007) – (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 39mm UV Filter Nano (010) – (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 39mm UV Filter Nano (007) – (Amazon) (Adorama)

Technical Stats

35mm Equiv – 41mm
Aperture Range – f2.8 – f16
Minimum Focus Range – 13.39″ / 34cm
Aperture Blades – 7
Design – 7 elements in 5 groups
Filter Threads: 39mm

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 – ISO 200 – f2.8 – 1/1600

 

 


Fujinon 27mm f2.8 – First Impressions


This lens is fantastic for how small and light it is. It makes Fujifilm’s smaller cameras even more compact and really helps photographers looking for a low profile camera system.

On an APS-C body the 27mm performs like a 41mm (35mm equiv) lens and optically seems pretty sharp. I’m noticing it performs better close than it does at infinity focus, but this is partly due to exaggerations of camera shake on objects far away when shooting hand held and the lens does not give you a lot of support for steading these smaller cameras, especially when dealing with the resolving power of 24 megapixels with Fujifilm’s newer cameras.

One thing that also happened was when I first put this lens on my X-Pro 2 firmware v1.0, I was getting a ton of back focusing. It wasn’t missing, it was just always focusing on the background. After upgrading the firmware of the X-Pro 2 and the firmware of the lens, I no longer have focus problems.

Ultimately I’m very happy with this lens and it’s been my #1 travel lens despite having many other great lenses to choose from. I especially love it with my X-Pro 2 but it’s also a fun lens to use with the X-T2 as well. I’ll show some samples of what it looks like on those two cameras later.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 – ISO 1250 – f5.6 – 1/60

 

Shooting 41mm

It’s always hard deciding between shooting a proper 35mm and a 50mm. The Fujinon 27mm gives you a field of view of about 40mm. After using this lens a lot, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s now my favorite field of view to shoot with. 35mm is often too wide and you find yourself needing to get very close to the action. 50mm seems like it’s too telephoto sometimes and you find yourself having to move way back when trying to capture a large scene. 40mm for street photography just seems right, that of course, is my opinion.

 

The Slower Speed

At first I wasn’t too excited about a lens that only shoots f2.8, however, after using the 35mm f2 and the 23mm f1.7 extensively, I’ve come to realize that those lenses don’t really resolve good detail until about f2.8 anyway and I find myself almost never shooting much lower than f2.

 

The Catch?

It’s a great lens, it really is, it’s small light, and sharp, the only problem I have with it is the price. It’s a bit over priced. Canon offers their full frame pancake lenses with a similar field of view for around $200 bucks and it often goes on sale for $150.

The Fujinon 27mm f2.8 goes for $450 and goes on sale for $350.

I would like to see this lens for no more than $200 to $250 considering it’s an APS-C lens that’s not that fast or weather sealed.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 – ISO 400 – f2.8 – 1/1250

 

 


Overall Performance


The Good

  • Sharp in the center
  • Controlled vignetting and chromatic aberrations
  • Excellent Build Quality
  • Fast autofocus with minimal noise

The Bad

  • Corners & edges not sharp
  • Slow
  • Price
  • No Aperture Controls On Lens
  • No Fast Contrast AF

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 – ISO 400 – f5.6 – 1/75

 

 


Lens Design


The lens design is very simple. It has no aperture controls like most Fujinon lenses and there is no lens hood either. Because of this, using the lens takes a little getting use.

To adjust the aperture on the Fujinon 27mm f2.8 lens you have you use the finger dial (on the X-T2 / X-Pro 2). It’s a little tricky because sometimes the lens will be in Auto aperture mode and you’ll notice the aperture changing on its own after you’ve set it.

This really confused me for a few days and I could not figure out how to toggle between auto aperture and manual aperture and thought it was a bug. Turns out, all you have to do is turn the dial a few clicks past f16 and the aperture will click into auto aperture mode, turn the other way and it should switch back to full manual.

The 7 blade aperture combined with the 7 elements in 5 groups and the HT-EBC lens coating produces some nearly flawless images, with some descent bokeh, contrast and consistent sharpness.

While the lens doesn’t have any real major flaws, it doesn’t really have any unique characteristics either. There really isn’t much magic to this lens, I would call it an all around just average, but because it’s built so compact the lens becomes something that’s simple and fun lens to use.

Note that this lens does not have the newest microcomputers for the faster contrast AF. This means, although it’s phase detection autofocus is still very quick, it will perform a little slower in low light and high frequency settings when contrast AF is used.

  • Aperture Blades – (7 Blade)
  • 7 Elements in 5 Groups
  • HT-EBC Lens Coating
  • No Weather Sealing
  • No Floating Element
  • No OIS
  • No Fast Contrast AF

Build Quality


The Fujinon 27mm f2.8 in terms of build quality has some nice quality. It’s small and light but still feels very solid because of it’s all metal construction.

I’ve never been a fan of many of the Fujinon lenses in terms of build quality, I love that they’re made of metal but the f-stop and focus rings never had enough resistance and they would always move unknowingly making the lens feel cheap.

Although this lens was released in 2013, it doesn’t exhibit the same cheap feeling as many of the other Fujinon lenses. It doesn’t have an aperture control ring and the focus ring feels comfortably firm.

One thing I do notice is the front element moves are you are focusing, which becomes more apparent when you have a UV filter attached.

 
  • Focus Noise – Small clicks with autofocus
  • Focus Ring Resistance – Smooth yet firm
  • Rattling – No
  • Aperture Ring Resistance – No aperture ring

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 – ISO 400 – f5.6 – 1/420

 


Picture Quality


Considering how small and light this lens is, it still is able to put out some really nice image quality. It’s decently sharp, without much edge and corner softness, there isn’t a whole lot of distortion and vignetting isn’t much of a problem either.

The lens coatings keep the lens free from glare and ghosting making it nice for street and night shooters and bokeh is very smooth and uniform.

 

 

Sharpness Chart

In terms of corner to corner sharpness, the Fujinon 27mm f2.8 produces some very nice detail. Although it does lose some detail in the edges and corners, I was surprised how well it maintained this detail considering how simple the design is.

Fujifilm X-T2 – ISO 200 – f5.6 – 1/640

 

Diffraction

Since I didn’t have access to my chart, I shot diffraction tests using tree bark. This is a 100% crop of the center of the image at different f-stops. At f2.8 the camera still resolves some really sharp detail and it holds this up until about f8, f11 softens up and by f16 we’re hit pretty hard by diffraction.

The sweet spot is around f4 – f5.6. Even f2.8 is still pretty sharp.

Fujinon 27mm f2.8 Diffraction Chart

Beauty

Even at f2.8 you can get some nice bokeh as long as your subject is close and keeping the aperture under f11 also helps keep the lens pretty glare free.

If you’re looking for great sun stars, this will not be the right lens for you but you can still produce some nice light effects when shooting at night.

Bokeh

You don’t get that super creamy bokeh at distance like you do with a faster lens, but you still can get some nice subject separation from the background, especially if the subject is very close.

Stars

Sunstars or street light stars occur from f16 till about f10 and they almost completely go away by f8.

This is about the best I could find at f16. Shooting into the sun yields less crisp results.

 

 

Flaring Ghosting

You won’t really get any unique flaring or ghosting with this lens but that also means you can shoot straight into the sun without it drowning out your image with light or losing much contrast. Of course if you want crazy flaring, you could always throw on a cheap UV filter.

Flaring Ghosting

Flaring is pretty well controlled with this lens. It never really gets extreme, but you also never really get any of those signature lens flare orbs either.

Pushing the flaring at f16 it get’s a little nasty and you’ll start to see Sensor / Red Dot flares and unsightly streaks.

Veiling Flaring

Flaring is also very well controlled with the Fujinon 27mm so getting those really intense veiling flares is fairly difficult.

The Fujinon 27mm features the HT-EBC lens coating to minimize flaring.

What is the HT-EBC coating?

It means “High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating.” It’s basically Fujifilm’s newer high quality fancy 11-layer coating. Ultimately it should help produce more vivid colors, contrast and ghosting and flare reduction.

 

 

Rendering

Color Rendering

For portraits this lens is fantastic. Skin tones pop without every feeling too saturated or muted. The lens also doesn’t have any exaggerated color tones or shifts that need to be corrected.

Contrast

You don’t have to work hard to get nice punchy contrast out of this lens. The combination of the coatings and the lens design gives every image that very crisp look Fujinon lenses are known for.

Fujifilm X-T2 – ISO 200 – f2.8 – 1/250

 

 

 


Technical Characteristics


With a minimum focus range of 0.35m which is about 13 inches, the lens allows for your subject and camera to get close enough so as to not to cause any problems that interrupt your photography. Some of Fujifilm’s other lenses like the 56mm f1.2, always had issues with close focus and you always would find yourself in a situation where your too close for the lens to function.

I had to really go out of my way to find some chromatic aberrations and they are virtually don’t exist in most of my shots.

The Focus Breathing is definitely present but it’s not a huge problem. I would say it feels like you move out maybe 3mm from infinity focus to the minimum focus range.

Fujifilm 28mm f2.8 Lens Review

 

 

Mechanical

Mechanically the Fujinon 27mm is very solid. No serious issues with focus shifts, or field curvature. The front element does telescope out when as you get closer to the minimum focus range, so the lens does get a few degrees tighter when focusing closer.

While 0.35m minimum focus range isn’t that great, it’s not terrible either and it rarely is an issue.

 

Minimum Focus Range

  • 0.35m – You can get about as close as the flower image above.

 

Focus Breathing

  • The lens is widest at infinity focus. When focused close you lose a few degrees since lens telescopes out and becomes longer.

MTF / Field Curvature (Astigmatism)

  • No major issues with field curvatures.

 

Focus Shifts

  • This lens does not have any noticeable issues with focus shifting. Objects in focus at f2.8 will stay in focus all the way until f16.

 

 

Aberrations

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

Color Fringing / Spherochromatism (out of focus chroma)

The Fujinon 27mm controls chromatic aberrations and color fringing very well. Only in really high contrast situations do you notice it.

Cat Eye / Petzval Effect

A minor Peltzval Effect can be created in the right situation but this lens isn’t really known for creating those Cat Eye characteristics.

To even get this shot I had to shoot several samples at different focus points with different apertures to find the right combo.

 

 

Refraction

Fujifilm cameras bake a lens profile into the RAWs and JPEGs that does a little correcting for things like distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberrations. But it is possible to turn this profile off with Iridient Developer.

I’ll show both situations, with it left turned on and with it turned of. Most people will never know what it looks like with the profile correction turned off and will think everything is performing fine. However, it’s still relevant to know the quality of the image the lens is actually producing. For example if the distortion is very bad, the image will be stretched and sometimes scaled to adjust for the distortion and pixels will be lost.

With Vignetting, if the edges are really bad then the profile correction will be apply an exposure lift to the edges that can cause less dynamic range and more grain along the edges and corners.

Vignetting

The above sample is done in Lightroom with Fujifilm’s lens profile correction baked into the RAW.

This sample was done in Iridient Developer with the baked in lens profile correction turned off.

The lens is actually producing some significant vignetting around the left and right edges at f2.8 but it almost completely clears up by f5.6. Fujifilm’s baked in lens profile correction clears it up mostly at f2.8 and completely by f4.

Distortion

The image above is the default correction in Lightroom with no other affects applies.

You can see the Fujinon 27mm f2.8 does have a little bit of distortion, but it’s well corrected in by the camera.

 

 

Size & Weight

The size and weight of this lens makes it a great partner to any of Fujifilm’s range finder cameras. It makes the X-Pro 2 much easier to handle and a lot more compact.

Weight: 2.75 oz

Size (Dimensions): 2.4 x 0.91″ (61.2 x 23mm)

 

 

Fujinon 27mm f2.8 Lens Review – The Bottom Line

For photographers looking to keep a low profile for street photography or for casual shooting, this lens is a must have. I absolutely love it on my X-Pro 2, and while I have lenses that perform better, the size and weight of this lens makes it my go-to when traveling light.

While some lenses perform better than others and while this lens may not be everything we want in a lens, its size more than makes up for any of its flaws and it becomes a very fun and practical lens to use.

The image quality produced is also very acceptable. It’s pretty sharp in the center and produces only very little vignetting, distortion or chromatic aberrations. Contrast and color are also very crisp and vivid.

Not having an aperture control on the lens takes some time to get use to and I don’t love how the front element telescopes out when focusing close. However, those are forgivable features and would be even more forgivable if the lens was less expensive, which brings my to the only real problem I have with this lens – the price. It’s a little high for a pancake lens especially for on that’s not weather sealed, so you might want to wait for this one to go on sale.

 

 

Prices & Accessories

Order Links

Fujinon 27mm f2.8 Black – (Amazon) (Adorama)
Fujinon 27mm f2.8 Silver – (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 39mm UV Filter (010) – (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 39mm UV Filter (070) – (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 39mm UV Filter Nano (010) – (Amazon) (Adorama)
B + W 39mm UV Filter Nano (007) – (Amazon) (Adorama)

Technical Stats

35mm Equiv – 41mm
Aperture Range – f2.8 – f16
Minimum Focus Range – 13.39″ / 34cm
Aperture Blades – 7
Design – 7 elements in 5 groups
Filter Threads: 39mm

Fujinon 27mm f2.8 lens and camera firmware can be found here.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Fujinon 35mm f2 – Sample Images

 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 – ISO 400 – f5.6 – 1/60

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 – ISO 400 – f5.6 – 1/60

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 – ISO 200 – f5.6 – 1/220

Fujifilm X-T2 – ISO 200 – f2.8 – 1/3000

Fujifilm X-T2 – ISO 200 – f5.6 – 1/1600

Fujifilm X-T2 – ISO 200 – f5.6 – 1/500

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 – ISO 800 – f5.6 – 1/60

Fujifilm X-T2 – ISO 200 – f2.8 – 1/1100

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 – ISO 400 – f5.6 – 1/480

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 – ISO 200 – f5.6 – 1/105
  • Great shots on your review Brandon. The reason I really like the 27mm is because it makes my X-Pro 2 so much smaller and comfortable to use. But I’ve always preferred the 27mm or (41mm equiv)) focal length. Even back when I shot Canon full frame with the 40mm pancake.

    To me it’s always just felt more natural, or equal to the human eye. Shooting with the 27 is definitely a different experience compared to 35mm or (50mm equiv).

    So I would say, I prefer the 27mm over 23mm, but I do love 35mm. I probably shoot with 35mm more. It’s just seems a little easier to shoot with, even more versatile maybe. The 35mm f2 Fujinon lens is awesome, but man, I’m surprised not more people complain about that swirling bokeh.