For this test, I put a bunch of Fujifilm APS-C prime lenses on the full-frame Nikon Z6 to see what sort of image circle the different lenses produced.
Because a common topic I see come up in the Fujifilm ecosystem is the desire or idea of Fujifilm using a bigger sensor in their cameras. Maybe full-frame, or maybe something like APS-H with their current X-Mount setup. Could they do this?
Short answer, No.
Adapting Fujifilm Lenses To Nikon
In order to see if using a larger sensor with the existing X-Mount ecosystem made sense, I first needed to see what the image circles were like on the current lenses.
To do this, I picked up an X-mount to Z-mount adapter, so that I could put the Fujifilm lenses on my Nikon Z6.
Just to clarify, there are dummy lens adapters you can get where you can use manual lenses from the FX mount on Nikon Z cameras. This is cool since I own and review so many manual focus lenses for Fujifilm and Sony, and this now allows me to also use them on the Nikon system.
I’ve yet to see a smart adapter, but that would be cool.
While I have no way of controlling the Fujifilm AF lenses on the Nikon, this adapter at least allows me to see the image circles they project on the full-frame sensor which allows us to see if Fujifilm could get away with using a slightly bigger sensor with their current lineup.
They cannot, but it was a fun experiment as I’ve been curious to see something like this for a few years now.
Fujifilm Prime Lens APS-C Image Circles
It’s likely some of the image circles could change depending on focus and aperture which I don’t have control over. It looks like the default aperture is wide open. I can’t tell what focus is, it wasn’t really consistent between the lenses. Every lens seems like it has a slightly different resting state, some at infinity, some past infinity, and others I couldn’t tell, I think some are beyond the minimum focus distance.
I don’t have all the prime lenses for Fujifilm, but I do have most of them. So here is a look at the image circles of the various lenses with and without the lens hoods.
I currently don’t have any Fujifilm zoom lenses with me.
We’ll start with the wides lenses and work our way up and I’ll give a brief overview of what I like and don’t like about each lens.
Fujifilm 14mm f2.8
The Fujifilm 14mm f2.8 is not a very popular lens and it rarely gets any attention, but it is actually a nice little lens considering how compact it is. I’ve always preferred the 14mm over the 16mm f1.4 for general travel and landscape photography simply because it’s smaller and lighter than the 16mm. To me, having the lighter gear is what the APS-C system is all about.
I do also prefer a bit wider for landscape photography than 16mm. Although the 16mm f1.4 does outperform it a bit in image quality.
Fujinon 14mm Image Circle
As you can see from the image circle, this lens could only ever be used for APS-C cameras.
Fujinon 14mm Image Circle + Lens Hood
Fujifilm 16mm f1.4
The Fujinon 16mm is a fantastic wide-angle lens. The performance gives you everything you could want and is overall a great lens.
While the f1.4 lens is also a fantastic all-around lens with few flaws, you do need to watch out for the funky bokeh that can happen when shooting wide open. You can get some soap bubbles, and if you plan on shooting fireflies or anything with small little lights on different focus planes, this lens will give you bizarre results. But other than that, it’s a solid lens.
Fujinon 16mm f1.4 Image Circle
As you can see from the image circle, this lens could only be used for APS-C cameras.
Fujinon 16mm f1.4 Image Circle + Lens Hood
Fujifilm 23mm f1.4
The Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 is a fantastic lens. It one of Fujifilm’s best for what it is and I’ve never really had anything to complain about this lens, except, its design is a bit fragile and it is known to have elements come out of alignment. So baby this lens a bit. It should always be sharp at f1.4, if it’s not, send it in.
I will say this, I don’t typically feel like I need a fast aperture when I’m shooting with that 35mm field of view, in terms of the depth it renders, I mainly would use it for low light. To me, the 35mm field of view is great at capturing a bit of the world around the subject and it is these situations where I don’t want the background blurred out too much.
However, it’s rare to see this, but there are some phenomenal portrait photographers that can kill it with a fast 35mm. When done right, there is nothing better than a 35mm portrait with the right amount of shallow depth and this lens is perfect for that.
I think more photographers should learn to shoot portraits at the 35mm field of view. It’s incredible and anything longer, I consider lazy. 🙂
Fujinon 23mm f1.4 Image Circle
This lens could only function as an APS-C lens.
Fujinon 23mm f1.4 Image Circle + Hood
Fujifilm 23mm f2
The Fujifilm 23mm f2 is one of my go-to lenses. I buy APS-C cameras and lenses for the smaller size and easier handling and the 23mm is perfect for this.
I love this lens, but, with only the f2 aperture, you can’t rely on fancy bokeh to make your images feel special. You actually have to learn how to capture great subject matter with slower lenses like this.
This lens has great AF performance, great contrast, and color and is weather resistant.
Color and contrast are actually slightly better than the 24mm f1.4.
Fujinon 23mm f2 Image Circle
No change with the lens hood.
Fujifilm 27mm f2.8
The Fujifilm 27mm f2.8 is a compact little pancake lens. Great for when you want to strip down your camera to be as small and light as possible.
Image quality is fine with this lens, nothing really bad but nothing really great. It is what it is, grab it if you need a pancake and it won’t really disappoint you.
Fujinon 27mm f2.8 Image Circle
Fujifilm 35mm f1.4
This is one of those Holy Grail lenses. Is it really though?
What makes this lens interesting is the very classic rendering. There is a bit of field curvature which creates a very unique focus falloff. The lens also has great micro-contrast which gives it really nice tonal and color rendering.
There are some flaws with this lens though. It’s loud, AF is chunky, and CA can be a real issue in bright high contrast environments.
You just have to learn to live with the CA (chromatic aberrations), but the slower AF system can be easily worked with using AF Range Limiters with the new cameras. And it’s mostly just the contrast-detection AF that struggled. When the camera is in phase-detection mode it will do a good job.
While a lot of people complain about the slower AF on these older lenses, I’ve personally never had any issues with it. Obviously, it’s not a sports and wildlife lens.
Fujinon 35mm f1.4 Image Circle
This lens could actually function as an APS-H lens, however, those shadows in the corners would cause a lot of outrage among reviewers.
Fujinon 35mm f1.4 Image Circle + Hood
The hood brings in the edges slightly.
Fujifilm 35mm f2
The Fujifilm 35mm f2 is probably my least favorite Fujifilm lens. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s just I like it the least among the Fujifilm primes that I have.
I do think it was very smart to roll this design into an XC lens. For me, what you get out of this lens isn’t worth the premium price you pay for the XF design unless you need weather sealing, so presenting it as an entry-level option was a brilliant idea. This allows people on a budget to get a taste of a prime lens without breaking the bank.
There is nothing particularly wrong with this lens other than the swirling bokeh, besides that, it’s all-around solid. But since 50mm such a common field of view, it kind of needs to do something, or anything special, whereas this lens is fairly clinical unless you want that swirl in the bokeh.
Ok well, I shouldn’t say it doesn’t do anything special. The contrast and color of this lens are phenomenal.
Now of course, if the focus is on the subject and storytelling, and some sort of magic rendering won’t enhance or distract from that, then this lens is totally fine. It’s a great street photography lens especially if your style mostly revolves around shadows and shapes which is the common template for today’s street photographers.
But if you have balls, and like to shoot street portraits say in Japan, like my buddy Alex.On.Streets then you may want to look elsewhere.
Fujinon 35mm f2 Image Circle
Fujifilm 50mm f2
This lens is a lot like the 35mm f2 in that it’s not that spectacular in any one thing in particular, but I love it.
Its images are just so clean and with the 75mm equivalent field of view, it ends up being really useful and practical.
Also, f2 on a longer lens like this produces a much nicer separation compared to the wider lenses. So you still get some nice bokeh.
For street photography, you can get some great reach, but 75mm isn’t too extreme where you can’t use it indoors, which makes this lens a fantastic general-purpose long lens. Plus it’s very small which I appreciate.
Fujinon 50mm f2 Image Circle
This lens could function as an APS-H lens with some strong corner vignetting. No significant change with the lens hood.
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2
The Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 was the first prime lens I ever fell in love with. Still to this day I love this lens even though I have a lot of other lenses of a similar focal length. Nothing really matches the unique rendering this lens produces. It just adds life to the image that is difficult to describe, but the look is very classic, with an overall great IQ.
I often go back and forth between this lens and my full-frame Nikon Z85mm f1.8, and while the Nikon is technically better across the board, I much prefer the rendering of the Fujifilm 56mm f1.2.
Focus is of the old design so it does struggle with the contrast detection, meaning it’s not a great lens for dark environments. I generally use this lens with strobes or for daytime shooting, but with that f1.2 aperture you do need to make sure your strobes can function in some lower power setting or you need to use an ND filter if you want to avoid using the electronic shutter.
Fujinon 56mm f1.2 Image Circle
You wouldn’t want to use this on an APS-H sensor. No change with the lens hood.
Fujifilm 60mm f2.4
The Fujifilm 60mm f2.4 is another lens that doesn’t get much love from the community. Everyone obsesses over fast lenses these days, but I just find this lens to be so practical.
It’s razor-sharp, and the color rendering is probably the best of Fujifilm lenses. It’s just a great lens if you’re ok with the f2.4 aperture.
AF is a bit slow and clunky but with the AF Range Limiters on the new cameras, you can really set this up to give you exactly what you need quickly.
This is the lens I use for all the product shots on this blog. It is my most used lens and I never travel without it. But, again, I run a blog and shoot a lot of quick product shots.
Fujinon 60mm f2.4 Image Circle
This could function as an APS-H lens with some corner vignetting.
Fujifilm 90mm f2
This is probably my favorite Fujifilm lens. It’s a bit long and difficult to use, but the rendering is great, the AF is insanely fast, and it’s just sharp, reliable, and always produces consistent results.
It’s a little long for street photography, but if your city has big streets with lots of room it can be great, plus long lens street photography is the new trend with all the Gen Z shooters. This is smart, people are very confrontational these days, especially in LA where I often shoot when I’m working in California.
Fujinon 90mm f2 Image Circle
This lens would work great with an APS-H sensor.
Could Fujifilm Use A Bigger Sensor?| Conclusions
Only a few of the Fujifilm prime lenses would be able to support a larger sensor like APS-H or something. This means we should probably assume Fujifilm would never do something like this even though it would be cool.
Fujifilm would probably more likely make a full-frame body out of the GFX mount than putting a bigger sensor behind the X mount.
It was interesting to see the various image circles of the lenses and how much room some of them have or don’t have.
By the way, I keep a massive list of all the lenses available for the Fujifilm X-Mount with some other resources as well.
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