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Prime Lenses

The 18-55mm zoom is very nice and extremely convenient but it isn't your only option. Fujifilm's XF prime lenses are excellent, and we spent a lot of time with them during the shooting for this review. It's worth noting here that all four of the XF primes weigh less than the 18-55mm zoom, too. In the images below, all taken from the same position, we've shown the field of view of each of the current XF series primes.

XF 14mm (21mm equivalent) XF 18mm (27mm equivalent)
XF 35mm (52mm equivalent) XF 60mm (90mm equivalent)

The original XF lenses - 18mm F2, 35mm F1.4, 60mm F2.4 macro

These three lenses date from the inception of the X series. Shown below, from left to right are the 18mm F2, 35mm F1.4 and 60mm F2.4 Macro (which offers 0.5x magnification). The 18mm lens in particular features an unusually short backfocus design, with a large-diameter rear element that protrudes behind the rear of the mount.

All three of these lenses offer an impressive blend of large maximum aperture and relatively compact size; even the largest is smaller than Sony's Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 24mm F1.8 for the NEX system, and the 35mm F1.4 is slightly shorter than Panasonic's Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 despite covering the larger APS-C sensor. All of the lenses include circular aperture diaphragms for attractive rendition of out-of-focus backgrounds.

Lens hoods

The lenses all come with finely crafted metal hoods - those for the 18mm and 35mm are rectangular, while the 60mm gets a deep circular hood. Unfortunately, though, practicality seems to have taken a back seat in their design; the 60mm's hood is so deep that it's nearly impossible to change the lens with the hood reversed, and as the front element is deeply-recessed anyway, we ended up always leaving it at home (which rather negates the point of having one).

The original XF lenses with their hoods attached, from left to right 18mm F2, 35mm F1.4 and 60mm F2.4 Macro. Because those for the 18mm and 35mm can't be reversed, they take up additional space in your bag.

All three hoods use the same bayonet fitting and can be mounted on any of the lenses. Interestingly the 35mm hood doesn't vignette on the 18mm.

The rectangular hoods, meanwhile, can't be used with the standard circular clip-on lens caps and require flexible push-on caps instead, which tend to fall off. None of the hoods are particularly well-suited for use with polarizing filters either (arguably the only type of lens filter that still makes perfect sense to use with digital).

Here's the X-E1's big brother the X-Pro1 with the 18mm, 35mm and 60mm primes and hoods as you'd pack them up to transport. The rectangular hoods for the 18m and 35mm add bulk for carrying and can't be used with the normal clip caps, while the 60mm's hood is deeply impractical.

XF 35mm F1.4 R

If we could only have one lens with the Fujifilm X-E1, it would probably be the 35mm F1.4, which on the X-E1 and X-Pro 1 gives a field of view equivalent to 53mm. Not only is it beautiful to behold, the XF 35mm F1.4 excels in terms of its low-light portrait capability and soft, attractive bokeh. It obviously isn't as versatile as the 18-55mm zoom, but it's sharp, lightweight, and that large maximum aperture has a lot of creative potential.

New XF 14mm F2.8 R

Announced alongside the X-E1, the XF 14mm F2.8 R lens adds an even wider prime option to the XF lens line-up. Incorporating a push-pull ring mechanism to switch between manual and autofocus modes, which we first saw on the Olympus 12mm f/2 lens, the 14mm F2.8 is equivalent to a 21mm lens on a 35mm camera in terms of field of view. We'll be publishing an article examining this lens in more detail very soon.

With the sliding lens ring clicked forward, the focus indicators are hidden and the lens is in autofocus mode. The lens ring does not turn. Slide the ring to the rear to reveal the focus indicators and adjust the focus.

Lens roadmap

Last year, Fujifilm published a roadmap for lenses it plans to release by Spring 2013, including three image-stabilized zooms, an ultra-wide prime, a 'pancake' normal, and an 85mm-equivalent F1.4 'portrait lens'. Two were released with the X-E1 (the 14mm and 18-55mm). The remaining lenses are listed below. It's an interesting list intended to show Fujifilm's commitment to building a complete, versatile system.

Lens
Type
35mm-equiv FL
 27mm F2.8  Pancake prime  41mm
 23mm F1.4  Semi-wide prime  35mm
 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 OIS  Telephoto zoom  83-300mm
 56mm F1.4  Short tele prime  84mm
 10-24mm F4 OIS  Wide-angle zoom  15-36mm
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Comments

Total comments: 10
kreislauf
By kreislauf (11 months ago)

why was the X-E1 picture taken with a 35mm lens while MFT had the 50mm mounted and FF like A99 or 6D had 85mm???

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (3 months ago)

The 35mm F1.4 and the 60mm F2.4 Macro (the only two normal / short tele primes at the time of writing) are about equally sharp at f/5.6 and f/8 (see http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1487/cat/105 and http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1486/cat/105 ). In addition, the 35mm doesn't exhibit much field curvature, unlike, say, the latter-released 27mm/f2.8 pancake (more info on this problem: http://www.photozone.de/fuji_x/855-fuji27f28?start=1 )

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (3 months ago)

(cont'd)

Finally, now that the absolutely stellar (see http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1674/cat/105 ) Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R is out, non-macro people able to shell out the double the price generally prefer it to the old 60mm F2.4. (Of course, this may not have been a point in choosing the 35mm over the 60mm back then. Nevertheless, we are pretty lucky to have a studio shot demoing the field curvature / sharpness of prolly the most popular Fuji X prime, and not that of one that has since been overshadowed by a newly released one.)

0 upvotes
pscharles
By pscharles (Sep 29, 2013)

continuing my post . . .

I understand why Fujifilm designed the lens rings with those slim grooves for stylistic reasons, but I find myself frequently turning the wrong one because they all feel the same. I'll get used to it, but a rubber ring on the zoom would help. Also, the zoom ring is stiff and those little grooves are slippery. Rubber would help the grip.

I would suggest turning off the image display as the default is 1.5 seconds. The image display clogs up the EVF for 1.5 seconds making it impractical to follow action. It's in the menu under setup screen 2.

1 upvote
pscharles
By pscharles (Sep 29, 2013)

Had mine a short while, purchased in part due to this review.

A couple things worth mentioning in terms of this review. The exposure compensation dial on my camera has a very firm detent so there's no chance of an inadvertent movement of the dial. I've loaded body firmware 2.0 and 18-55mm lens firmware 3.0. According to Fujifilm, these updates are supposed to address a number of issues, including the slower focusing. I find the camera/lens focus speed to be quite good with this update in place.

0 upvotes
lbpix
By lbpix (Sep 15, 2013)

Had my xe-1 2 weeks now and I'm blown away by the quality of the images taken with the kit zoom lens. The images could easily be printed at about 50" and are in practice comparable to my D800. AMAZING!
In use too I love it. The EVF whilst not as clear as an SLR viewfinder, tells me all I need to know and enables me to see all the menus without putting on reading specs. I use it exclusively in EVF mode. It is light and handles superbly. The image stabilisation seems incredible- so far, as good as the D800 shots from a tripod! If you're in doubt, go and buy one.

2 upvotes
Deardorff
By Deardorff (Sep 8, 2013)

Can the back screen be turned off completely so only the electronic viewfinder is used for composing and shooting?

0 upvotes
vratnik
By vratnik (Sep 10, 2013)

sure

0 upvotes
newtonseye
By newtonseye (Sep 6, 2013)

when you say ":but powering off usually cleared the error." can you expand a bit on that. Was there a different fix at another time?

0 upvotes
Deardorff
By Deardorff (Sep 3, 2013)

What about shutter lag? Any appreciable delay from the time one pushes the button til the shutter actually releases?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 10