Continuing with the trend of original Fuji X lenses that I haven’t gotten around to reviewing until now, today I’m taking a long-term look at the Fuji 60mm f/2.4 Macro, another lens that is original to the Fuji X series system. The Fuji 60mm has filled a double role since its introduction as both a short telephoto portrait lens as well as Fuji’s only macro lens to date. The faster than usual f/2.4 aperture helps separate subjects a bit more than one might expect, while the macro capabilities can come in handy for a wide range of close-up applications. Let’s see how this lens fits into the modern Fuji lens lineup.
Construction and Handling
Like most of the Fuji X series lenses, the 60mm f/2.4 is a robustly constructed lens built out of solid metal. The lens is quite compact for a macro lens, though some of that is helped by the fact that is only goes to 1:2 magnification, or 0.5x life size. The lens features an extending focus system, so the inner lens focus tube extends around a full inch at maximum magnification. The lens features a wide ribbed metal focus ring with a nice firm aperture ring. Both the focus ring and the aperture ring are well damped and provide excellent tactile feedback.
The lens comes with a round metal lens hood that is very solidly constructed, but is absurdly large given the size of the lens. When reversed, the hood nearly covers the entire lens, making mounting and especially unmounting the lens very difficult with the hood in this position. The hood is not only long, but also quite large in diameter, also adding considerably to the space the lens takes up in the bag. I also am not a fan of the metal hood construction because it makes it quite likely to have metal on metal scraping when reversing the hood for storage, which could potentially scrape the paint off the lens barrel. Because the front element is fairly well recessed into the focus lens tube, I tend to leave the hood at home. The lens barrel protects the front element and even provides some protection against flare.
The autofocus on the 60mm f/2.4R is a standard micromotor unit, and as you’d expect from an extending macro lens with a micromotor AF unit, it doesn’t focus quickly. When used with the Fuji X cameras with only contrast-detect AF, focus is quite slow, though usually pretty accurate. The newer bodies with phase detection enable the lens to focus quite quickly in good light at portrait distances, but focusing into the macro range is always quite slow, regardless of available light. The latest 4.0 firmware on the X-T1 and the AF on the X-T10 do allow the 60mm f/2.4 to focus accurately in very dim light, but speed is out of the question at all focus distances once light levels drop.
It’s not a deal breaker for me, but definitely don’t expect to use the lens for action shots. For static subjects, the AF doesn’t generally get in the way.