- Well constructed and compact lens
- Fast f/1.4 aperture provides versatility
- Good sharpness over the central part of the frame wide open and excellent cross-frame sharpness stopped down
- Beautiful bokeh
- Pleasing contrast profile
- Good control of chromatic aberration
- Very low distortion
- Beautiful overall rendering
- Autofocus is noisy and slower than other Fuji primes
- Aperture ring could be a bit stiffer
- Lens hood design is non-reversible and frustrating in use
- High vignetting
- Edges are soft at wide apertures
The XF 35mm f/1.4 isn’t a perfect lens. It’s definitely got some edge softness at wider apertures, the focus motor is a bit loud and pokey and the lens hood stinks. It’s also one of my favorite lenses for the X-Series. It’s probably not my most used lens. It’s not even my most used prime in the system. But when I take the 35mm for a spin, I remember why I have it: beautiful images with a unique look. The smooth bokeh, gorgeous falloff, good sharpness and correction of most lens aberrations give the lens a rendering that is hard to beat.
Fuji is said to be working on a version 2 of this lens, with an improved focus motor and some other improvements. I wouldn’t mind some minor improvements to sharpness, but I hope that whatever optical changes are made retain the special magic present in this lens. The Fuji 35mm f/1.4 is a modern classic.
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18 thoughts on “Review: Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R”
Great shots and honest review of this fantastic lens (and that’s not just because you are a fellow EE). I love my 35mm, too. It is a perfect fit on my X-T10. I just got mine a couple months ago, and I find that the lens is actually very quiet and fast to focus. Maybe I have V2.0. Keep up the good work….Red
Your really on a roll Jordan. This review as well as your previous post, “The Sliding Scale of Camera Capabilities” are great reads – abundantly insightful and intelligent!
Thanks very much for the mine of useful information to be found on this site. For all those who share your frustration with the self-detaching lens cap, one solution is to get the Op-Tech hood hat – mini; a neoprene lens cover which, for not much money, allows you to leave the hood permanently attached to the lens. Sorry for sounding like an advert but those crappy caps used to drive me mad!
Such a brilliant and insightful article. Bought my XF 35/1.4 a few weeks ago, used, for less than half the (italian) price. Attached to my X-T1 just feels right and, despite all the defects you’ve perfectly highlighted, it’s just unique. I totally agree with you and I’m saying that from atop a 10-year experience with Nikon and a full range of zooms and primes.
Marco (from Italy)
Hi Jordan, I really like your reviews, but something strange is happening to your RSS feed. I keep getting older articles marked as new (particularly the XT-10 review), and this article did not show up at all. I’ve just tried to resubscribe, thinking you might have changed your feed details, but NetNewsWire tells me I am already subscribed. Not sure what’s going on, but I’d be surprised if I’m the only one affected!
The plastic cap of the lens hood is dreadful, I lost it the first week.
To understand the form this hood, you need to take in account the XPRO1. This hood form has the advantage of not to be too much intrusive in the Optical View Finder and is somewhat more convenient in this regard than a vented hood as the one of the X100s.
For XPRO1 owners, this hood is a must.
Great review on a truly great lens. I use it on all my Fuji bodies but my favourite is on the X-Pro1. Beautifully balanced, wonderful with the OVF and stunning bokeh.
Mine is not overly noisy, the aperture ring is about par with my other X lenses and bonus, the lens fits the leather Fuji X-Pro1 case. It is such a pleasure to use.
Thanks for the review Jordan. I love my XF35 on my X-E1 where it feels really well balanced. The images have a fabulous quality to them that I really like. The focus speed is not super quick but not terrible.
I actually really like the hood as it is – my solution is to leave it always on the lens and not bother with a cap. If it is stored front down in the camera bag the end of the hood protects the front element. Plus it looks sexy on the camera!
The XF35 f1.4 is my most used lens and I think this review is spit on
Sorry should read spot on ?
Jordan, Kit from FM here. There really is something special about the lens and the ways it renders a whole scene, and its drawing style changes, as you note, when stopping down, Mine lives at ƒ2 mostly, apart from the occasional times I need forward to backward DOF. I am still in two minds about the hood and cap; I might get a Nikon cap (and black the name out!). Great review.
I couldn’t agree more with your view. The 35/1.4 has been my only lens for months, I’ve used it for portraits, street and landscape and never once felt that I was missing something – it’s by no means perfect but what defects it has it more than makes up for in versatility and character. Later on I got hold of the XF 14/2.8 – now that *is* a perfect lens imho, but I find the images I take with it don’t have quite the same charm as the ones taken with the 35.