- Impeccable image quality
- Very sharp right from f/2 over almost the entire frame and brilliantly sharp from corner to corner stopped down
- Exceptional bokeh: smooth and even with no outlining or other bokeh faults
- Brilliant color and contrast provides images that pop
- Extremely well corrected for lens aberrations: minimal CA, low vignetting and good distortion control
- Fast, silent and accurate autofocus
- Excellent close-focus capabilities
- Solidly constructed with excellent damping on the focus and aperture rings
- Weathersealing provides protection against dust and moisture
- It’s a moderately large and heavy lens
- No image stabilization
Fuji’s outdone themselves with the 90mm f/2 R LM WR. I actually don’t generally like reviewing lenses this good. I mean, I do: it’s great to use such exceptional glass, but it’s hard to write the reviews for such excellent glass without coming off as a shill. But with the 90mm f/2, it really has to be said: the lens is exceptional. I really only have two complaints: it’s a bit big and heavy for a mirrorless lens, but to be honest, it’s not that much bigger than most fast 85/90mm lenses. I also did very much miss image stabilization, and the lack of it does limit the lens’ usefulness in low light, especially for indoor candid photography.
However, everything else is about as good as can possibly be. The lens focuses quickly and quietly, is brilliantly sharp right from f/2, has beautifully even and smooth bokeh, has virtually zero CA, no distortion and outstanding color and contrast. I noted the $949 price as a Pro above, and that’s because typically lenses this good cost a fair bit more than this. It’s hands down the best lens Fuji has created for the X-Series and one of the finest lenses I’ve used for any system. If you like the medium telephoto focal length and shoot Fuji, simply get it.
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35 thoughts on “Review: Fujifilm Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR”
Very nice review (again) Jodan!
Would you recommend it to someone who already hadthe 50-140/2.8?
Are you asking for permission? Because only you can judge if you need something different.
That’s a bit harsh. He did not ask for permission, he asked for advice. The least you could to is comment on whether or not you would personally buy both of these lenses.
It really depends on whether you use the 90mm focal length a lot. 135mm equivalent is really nice when used right, but it’s also often too long for people to get the most out of it on a regular basis. If you really like that distance/look, it may be worth picking up. The bokeh is a bit smoother, and you get the extra stop of aperture, and of course the much smaller size in comparison to the 50-140. The 90 is probably a tiny bit sharper, but I found the 50-140 to be extremely sharp right from f/2.8, so it’s not a huge difference. Maybe keep the 50-140 at 90mm for a few days and shoot only with it and see if you like that constricted view. If you do, it might be worth your money to pick one up.
I’m staying with my 50-140mm f/2.8 for its amazing image stabilisation. After getting used to its tripod-like stillness I notice the movement even with my 16mm f/1.4. At 140mm I can shoot at half the shutter speed of the 16mm.
I rented this lens a year ago and next to the XF16mm, it is the 2nd time I fell in love with a lens. I don’t own it though. Part of the reason is that I already own the 50-140mm and the other is that I just don’t find myself using that focal length often.
If you do portraits, this would be a no-brainer. I’m still looking for reasons to buy this lens but so far can’t.
Nice review, as always. But, what I really like most, compared to other review sites are your pictures! Really nice. And the kickball one …. wow! (is the lens still working ;-)?
Thank you for this nice review and the selection of pictures which IMHO prove the exceptional rendering characteristic very well!
The only point where I disagree with your conclusion is about the lens price – it’s a con, not a pro. The list price in Europe is 899 € which I consider at least 100 € too high with respect to the prices of brand name 1.8/85mm and 2.8/135mm lenses. Fujifilm demands a real lot of money for this bokeh gem.
Do you still have the Olympus 75mm/1.8 to compare this against?
It seems like the two stack up very, very closely with one another optically and in terms of DoF. The Olympus also received a $200 price cut last year, so it’s $699 price tag is perhaps more palatable than it’s $899 introduction.
I do not still have the 75/1.8, but it is on that short list of lenses that I put at the very top of all I’ve used. The 90/2 is going to give you a bit shallower depth of field and more blur due to the fact you’re shooting on a larger format, and as such will be closer for the same framing. It also has a slightly larger physical aperture (45mm vs. 41mm), but the format differences will be bigger difference.
I think the 75mm might be a touch sharper, though you’re splitting excellent hairs with these lenses, but the 90mm has less chromatic aberration, with no green bokeh fringing or purple fringing on high contrast subjects. Aside from the occasional fringing in the bokeh, the 90mm also has smoother, more even specular highlights with no bright ring, and the 75mm can sometimes exhibit a slight ring (though not bad by any means). The 75mm focuses a little faster (more a function of the cameras than anything else), and it’s a lot smaller to boot. I find the 135mm equivalent focal length of the 90 on Fuji to be a bit less restrictive vs. the 150mm equivalent of the 75mm on m4/3, but that’s personal preference.
It doesn’t make sense to count the physical aperture difference, and sensor size difference, you’re counting the difference twice at that point. When you compare physical aperture size, you can outright ignore the sensor size. Here’s an example 25/1.4 = 17.85mm and 50/2.8 = 17.85mm, even without considering sensor size you can figure out that these lenses will provide the same DOF.
Even then, the difference is very small. The DOF difference between 43rds and APS-C is roughy 2/3rd stop, and the Olympus 75mm is 1/3rd stop faster. So the DOF difference is 1/3rd stop, in other words, nearly indistinguishable. The 75mm is also slightly longer at ~150mm equiv vs ~135mm equiv, which means for a given framing, the out of focus area will be slightly magnified with the Olympus which further narrows the gap.
Here’s a quick visualization of the difference: http://howmuchblur.com/#compare-1.5x-90mm-f2-and-2x-75mm-f1.8-and-2x-25mm-f1.8-on-a-0.9m-wide-subject
Anyway, thanks for putting the effort into writing the review!
For an occasional/amature photographer with a limited budget looking to get a portrait lens, would you recommend this or the 56mm lens? I realize the 56mm has a more practical focal distance that could potentially still be used indoors as well.
-Is the bokeh significantly better than the 56mm or just marginally
-Bokeh aside, do you find auto focus much more accurate/snappy on this lens?
I’d get the 56mm, simply because I think it’s more practical for most shooting situations. The 90mm is slightly better optically when looking at pure image quality, but it’s not a major difference. The bokeh on the 56mm definitely has some bright ring outlines on the specular highlights that give it some texture. Some people love that (I like it quite a bit on the 56), but others do not. I found the focus on the 90 to be faster and quieter than on the 56, but I have no problems with accuracy on either lens.
Thanks, that helps a lot! 🙂
I understand there’s no tripod thing on the lens, not even optional. Do you think a normal (not filmsy, not superbig) tripod head will keep the camera stable, without unwanted movements?
It should be fine. It’s a big-ish lens, but it’s not huge. A tripod collar would be more awkward than helping on this lens.
Jordan, thanks again for the fantastic review and thanks for the discussion about the Olympus 75/1.8 comparison. No other reviews said anything about the “Oly 75 VS Fuji 90”. That’s why I always like your reviews. In fact I bought some of my gears after I read your reviews during these years. Let’s see, oh, Sigma 60mm/2.8, Fujifilm 56/1.2, X-T10, Panasonic 35-100/2.8…Well done, Jordan! 🙂
I still have my Oly 75/1.8 with me on a E-M5, the IBIS really helps. That’s why I am still keep them in my bag.
I have this lens alongside the 56 and other XF primes. My early but very clear assessment is that it is the best from the Fuji X stable so far, and the best 90 I have ever used.
Great point on OIM & its size comparing to 56mm pauses me :). Thanks for great review as usual!
You mention you would like to see it have OIS. Fuji probably wanted to make the lens as sharp as possible and not have OIS take away from that, knowing that in future X-cameras, it’s not going to be a factor, because of the higher ISO capability’s.
Thank you for the review!
As an amateur I’m always looking for the bang for the buck options. I couldn’t help noticing that Samyang/rokinon produce 85mm f1.4, which would be a cheaper (€300) alternative for the fuji reviewed here. It of course lacks automatic focusing, but could otherwise be good option for portraits. Any possibility to compare these two against each other?
Thanks for the review!
In terms of image quality and focusing speed, do you think the Fuji 90mm is comparable to its canon equivalent, 135mm f/2?
I just bought a X-T1 camera and a XF 16mm lens. This lens is not really for portrait photos, is it? So I want to get a top lens for portraits. I think of getting the old XF56mm or the new XF90mm. My questions are:
1. Does the 90mm cover portrais as well as the 56mm?
2. If I have the 16mm and the 90mm, then I got covered for street, landscapes, portrais photography. I don’t need something in between (focal lenghts) like 23mm or 35mm lens, do I?
Not sure if I missed it, but would love to see this lens and how it stacks up to the 135mm 1.8 Zeiss.
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