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Jan 21

Review: Fujifilm Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR

Conclusion

Pros

  • Solidly built with full metal exterior
  • Sealed against dust and moisture
  • Excellent feel on the aperture and focus rings
  • Decent sharpness wide open and quite sharp stopped down
  • Excellent color and contrast
  • Pleasing bokeh
  • Great control of flare
  • Very low distortion
  • Fast, quiet and accurate autofocus
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Sharpness wide open is only average at closer distances
  • Some minor chromatic aberration is visible

The Fuji 23mm f/2 WR is a lens that a lot of people have been waiting for, as a cheaper and smaller option to the excellent 23mm f/1.4. The lens looks very similar to the other f/2 weather-sealed prime, the 35mm f/2 WR, and it handles and feels the same as well, both of which are good things.  The overall optical quality is quite good, but it falls short of exceptional. The faster f/1.4 lens is a superior optic, but this f/2 lens also costs half the price, at a very reasonable $449. For the extra cost of the f/1.4 lens, you also gain a stop of light and shallower depth of field.  I think that this stop of light is actually fairly important on a wide-angle lens on an APS-C camera.  The ability to isolate your subject is harder on the 23mm f/2, requiring closer focus distances to make an impact vs its faster brother. I do think street shooters will appreciate the slightly faster autofocus and the very compact design of the 23mm f/2.

For the cost of the lens, I think it’s a good buy and an easy lens to recommend, but those seeking the best 35mm equivalent for Fuji will likely want to save up for the 23mm f/1.4.  The 23mm f/2 is a good effort from Fuji and will be a nice fit for a lot of Fuji shooters.

As a side note, I shot the 23mm f/2 on the Fuji X-T2: the review on that camera should be coming shortly!

Image Samples

Click on an image to enlarge.

Middle Falls, Hocking Hills - Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @

Middle Falls, Hocking Hills – Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/8, 10s

Night Joggers - Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/2

Night Joggers – Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/2

Frozen Falls - Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/8

Frozen Falls – Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/8

Night Fence - Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/2

Night Fence – Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/2

Atrium Roof - Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/2

Atrium Roof – Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/2

Scioto at Dawn in January - Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/11

Scioto at Dawn in January – Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/8, 12s

State Street - Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @

State Street – Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/2

Cooking - Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/2

Ohio Tunnel – Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/2

x_cooking2

Cooking – Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR @ f/2

If you enjoyed this review, check out my other reviews in the Review Index

 

About the author

Jordan Steele

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Admiring Light; Photographer; Electrical Engineer and Dad

4 comments

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  1. Tom Bell

    Jordan …thank you as ever for a thorough and photographer focused review. I am a life long Pentaxian who is slowly ever slowly dipping his toes in the Fuji X world.
    I have the X100 ltd edition and love and hate it in equal measure. Love the look, love images when I dont miss them etc. I bought an Xpro1 with an 18 and 27 almost but really couldn’t cope with the poor focusing.

    However I have recently bought the XT1 which I am loving. But having the compact 18/27 I am missing the 35 mm equivalent and I need to balance the speed and excellence of the 1.4 with the compactness and WR of this little beauty ….still not sure …but your review is very helpful

  2. Casey Bryant

    that first photo os excellent. great sense of depth.

  3. Dogman

    Thank you for an excellent practical use review. I’ve seen a bit online about the 23/2 in comparison to the 23/1.4 and the WR 35/2, both of which appear to optically superior. I’ve yet to see a comparison of the WR 23/2 and the 23/2 from the X100 series. I think that would be an interesting comparison. Optically, I would presume the WR 23/2 would have the edge but I’m not certain.

    Personally, I can’t see me having any use for the WR 23/2 since I already have the superb 23/1.4 as well as two X100 series cameras.

  4. Pavel

    How do you find the extreme corners? I bought this lens and returned it due to really, really bad extreme corner IQ, where it looked almost like someone smeared them. It was only at the very edges, but boy, oh boy, it was terrible. Was that just a one off, my copy, do you think?

    On another note, the lens is a very good Infra Red performer, in case anyone is interested in that aspect of performance.

    Great review -as always. Thanks.

  1. More Fujifilm XF 23mm f/2 Reviews, Samples - Daily Camera News

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