My Fujifilm X Camera Lens Recommendations, Part 1: Fujinon

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Perhaps you got a new Fujifilm X camera for Christmas, or maybe you’ve had one for awhile now, and you are considering the purchase of a new lens. What options do you have? Which ones are good? What should you buy? You probably have a lot of questions, and you’re hoping to find some sound advice. Well, my goal is to give you sound advice! I’m hoping that this article will be helpful for those who are in the market for a new lens for their Fujifilm X camera.

There are tons of great lens options, most of which I’ve never owned. You could spend a small fortune collecting camera lenses. I certainly don’t have that kind of money lying around, so I’ve only owned a handful of different Fujinon lenses. I’m not going to talk much about the camera lenses that I’ve yet to use, and concentrate on the ones that I have firsthand experience with. I want you to know that the lenses listed below are ones that I have owned and used, and my opinions are based on my experience of capturing photographs with them.

Just so that you are aware, I am providing links to Amazon where you can purchase these lenses if you want to. If you do, I will receive a small kickback from Amazon for referring you, which helps to support this website. Nobody pays me to write these articles. If you happen to decide that you want to purchase a certain lens that I have linked to, and if Amazon is the seller you would normally use, it would be great if you used my links to do so. I certainly appreciate it!

Now let’s talk about lenses!

Zooms

Zoom lenses are popular because you can cover a large range of focal-lengths without carrying three, four or five different prime lenses. It simplifies things and allows you to have a smaller and lighter camera bag. It might make your camera kit more affordable, too. Zoom lenses are versatile, but there’s always a trade-off, which might be sharpness, distortion or maximum aperture. While I prefer prime lenses instead of zooms, Fujifilm offers many compelling zoom choices that are worth considering.

Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS

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Mirrored Mountain – Mirror Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 18-55mm

The first lens that I want to talk about is the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS, which is one of Fujifilm’s best zooms, available at Amazon for about $700. If you have the cheap kit zoom that came with your camera, this lens is similar but better–definitely an upgrade! It has a larger maximum aperture and produces results more in line with what you’d expect from a fixed-focal-length lens. There are some professional photographers who use this as their primary lens because of its size, quality and versatility. If you want something better than your cheap kit zoom lens but still want the convenience of the standard zoom, this is a very good option that you should strongly consider. Alternatively, the Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens is even better, but will cost you several hundred dollars more.

Fujinon XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II

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Clouds Around Timpanogos – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 50-230mm

If you have a standard zoom lens but would like an option with more telephoto reach, the Fujinon XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II is a good lens that won’t break the bank, and it’s available at Amazon for about $400. This lens is surprisingly lightweight for its size and surprisingly sharp for the price. If you are a wildlife or sports photographer, you might not find this lens to be sufficient for your needs, but for those who only need a longer lens occasionally, this is your best bet because of its excellent value. Alternatively, the Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS is a better lens for a few hundred dollars more, or for about $1,600, which is a steep price, the Fujinon 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR is the best quality option.

Primes

I prefer prime lenses over zooms. Since the focal-length is fixed, the optics can be more precisely engineered, often resulting in sharper glass with fewer flaws. Often prime lenses have a larger maximum aperture than zooms. The disadvantage is that you will likely need three, four or five different prime lenses, which can cost a lot of money and add significant bulk to your bag, while one or two zoom lenses might cover all your focal-length needs. There are pluses and minuses to both routes. Still, I’d rather have several prime lenses than one or two zooms, but that’s just my personal preference.

Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR

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Night Sky Over Needles Highway – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

The Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR, which is available at Amazon for about $1,000, is an excellent wide-angle prime lens. It is sharp and fast and quite wide, which makes it particularly great for dramatic points of view and astrophotography. Not everyone needs a lens that’s as wide-angle as this one, but for those who do, this is a superb choice. Alternatively, the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R, which doesn’t have as large of a maximum aperture as the 16mm, is slightly wider and cheaper, and overall an excellent option.

Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR

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Starry Nights – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

Everyone should have a walk-around prime lens, and the Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR, which is available at Amazon for about $450, is a great choice for that role. This lens is superb, small and lightweight, and the focal-length is good for everyday shooting. If you’ve never owned a prime lens before, this is an excellent one to start with. There are several good alternatives, including the more expensive Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R, the more wide-angle Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R, the more telephoto Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R and the more compact Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8, all of which are quality lenses that are worth having. Pick one, as you should definitely own one.

Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

One of my favorite lenses is the Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro, which is available at Amazon for about $650. This lens is a short telephoto (in other words, telephoto but not too telephoto), which gives you a little more reach than the kit zoom, and is great for portraits or landscapes. It’s a macro lens, if just barely, which allows you to focus closer to the subject than many other lenses. I find it to be quite versatile. The quality is exceptional, and it’s pretty small and lightweight for what it is. If there is one complaint it’s that autofocus is a tad slow, which is typical of macro lenses, but it’s not that big of a deal. Alternatively, the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R, which some consider to be the very best Fujinon lens, is a similar focal length, but it’s about $1,000, and the Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro, which also gets brought up in the “best Fujinon” conversations, might be a better macro lens, but it costs about $1,200.

Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR

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Great Salt Lake Evening – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & 90mm

A great portrait lens, which is also a great landscape lens when you are a distance from the subject, is the Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR. It’s available at Amazon for about $950.  This lens is a bit big and heavy, but it’s super sharp and captures lovely images. Because of its focal-length, it can be tough to use at times, but in those situations where you can use it, the lens delivers stunning results! As far as image quality is concerned, this is my favorite Fujinon lens. Alternatively, the Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro, which is more expensive and not quite as telephoto, is really your only other option (outside of a telephoto zoom lens), but it’s also an excellent choice.

The list of Fujinon lenses above, plus the alternatives mentioned, are only some of the lenses available for your Fujifilm X camera. There are other great Fujinon options, plus third-party lenses, that you might also consider. These lenses have worked well for me and my photography, and I believe that they will do well for others, as well. If you do go with my suggestions, know that I am sincere in my recommendations, but that doesn’t mean that those lenses are necessarily the right ones for you and your photography, because I don’t know what your exact needs are. These are definitely generalized suggestions, and it’s a good idea to consider what would be the best options for what you will be capturing. Anytime you see someone recommend a certain camera or lens or other gear, it’s smart to do your own research to better understand what your needs are and how to best meet those needs. I hope that this article has been helpful to you in some way in your search for a new lens for your Fujifilm camera!

Coming soon: Part 2 – Third Party Lenses For Your Fujifilm X Camera!

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8 comments

  1. Khürt Williams · 18 Days Ago

    Ritchie, I was starting out fresh with Fuji after leaving Nikon after 12 years, I regretted buying too many of the cheaper Nikon lenses. I decided I wanted to do it “right” this time around. My first (and currently only) lens is the Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR. When I have some money saved, I plan on purchasing the Fuji XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR for wildlife photography. The southern end of the coast of New Jersey has a lot to offer.

    I wish Fuji would make a Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 with an aperture ring. I prefer the ~40mm full-frame equivalent FOV over ~35mm that the 23mm provides.

    The curved front element of the Fujinon XF 8-16 mm f/2.8 R LM WR, which precludes the use of ND filters, ruled it out as a possibility for me. The Fujinon XF10-24mmF4 R OIS is not weather resistant which means photography in damp of a New Jersey spring, snowfall and near misty waterfalls can be challenging.

    I have not used any third-party lenses with my X-T2. I am looking forward to part 2 of the series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 17 Days Ago

      It’s better to do it “right”—the setup you need for your photography—than compromise and regret it later. I’ve done that too many times myself. Thank you for your input!

      Like

  2. sudogem · 16 Days Ago

    The Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR is too expensive for me I wonder if there is alternative 16mm lens that can produce better image quality and sharp photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Photogf4 · 16 Days Ago

    Hi Ritchie, Congratulations for making the “Top 15” Fujifilm blogs – that is how I found you. This is a fine website, lots of great photos and info. For a “dabbler”, which I also purport to be, you really understate your ability and “eye”.

    I have “dabbled” myself since I was 10, with a Kodak 610, and a small Agfa. I still have some of my first photos. I have been a Nikon user for years, having everything from an F to a D90, and I mean everything. This past year marked the crossing of digital to the true “feeling” of film IMHO, so I got an XT-20 for Christmas, and after perusing many sites I grabbed a used X-Pro 2 for a great price, less than the XT-20! I am forever grateful to that person. There is something about the Fujifilm system that I saw…

    I especially like this article as I already have 2 of the lenses – the 18-55 and the XC 50-230. I cannot believe how sharp that long tele/zoom is! I also grabbed a 27mm 2.8 for a compact walkabout, and a third party 12mm f2, which I am hoping you will mention in your next article. Just for fun I happen to have a 1957 Leica Summicron 50 f2 Dual Range, and the results from it are spectacular. I am waiting to get a Fuji adapter for it to do on-camera correction. Have you fiddled with any ‘antique’ lenses?

    You are one heckuva dabbler! 🙂 Beautiful photography.

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · 16 Days Ago

      I didn’t even know that I made a top 15 list, that’s pretty awesome! I’m glad that you found the blog and appreciated what you found. I love using old film gear, as that’s what I used for years, but I haven’t done much film photography since switching to Fujifilm. I do use some of those old lenses on my camera using an adapter, and I will be talking more about that soon. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. Thank you for the comments!

      Like

  4. Pingback: Current Fujifilm X Camera Deals | Fuji X Weekly
  5. Pingback: My Fujifilm X Camera Lens Recommendations, Part 2: Third Party | Fuji X Weekly

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