I’m just going to come right out and say it. I don’t love this lens. How honest is that? I’ve spent over two months with the Fujifilm 35mm f/2 and I’m finally ready to share my thoughts.
*if you’re looking for a proper, detailed review, you won’t find it here. Instead, I’ll just be rambling alongside some example shots that should help you make your mind up. For a better review and some unbelievable photos, Jonas Rask is your man.
Let’s start with the basics. As you probably know, Fujifilm offer two 35mm lenses; the older f/1.4 version and it’s more modern, younger f/2 brother. The f/1.4 lens is said to be absolutely magical. From what I’ve seen (not that I’ve used it), the images it produces are fantastic. However, the most common complaints are that it’s slow at focusing, noisy and not weather resistant. Enter the f/2 lens; sleeker, faster, silent and weather resistant. It’s also much cheaper. Anyone in their right mind would then surely pick the newer lens.
A 35mm lens on Fujifilm’s crop sensor equates to 53mm. This is considered the standard focal length; not too wide, not too long, just right. It’s not called the nifty fifty for nothing. In the past, this was my favourite focal length. On trips to Budapest and Prague earlier this decade, all I had was a Nikon D5000 and a 35mm f/1.8 lens. I had no complaints. It was the perfect length for travel.
When I made the switch over to Fujifilm, my travel kit consisted of nothing between 23mm and 55mm. This was the lens I’ve known I’ve always missed but seemingly never rushed to purchase. Until now.
Having had two months with the Fujifilm 35mm f/2, I can’t unfortunately say that I’ve fallen in love with the lens. Why? I have no idea. I don’t dislike it all. I like it of course. It does everything as expected, it’s light, super sharp, silent, quick to focus and you can shoot in all kinds of weather. It’s perfect for travelling, covers the streets nicely and great for portraits. But something’s missing.
All I can think is that I’ve read so much about the f/1.4 that I’m expecting every image to blow me away. It probably should blow me away but I find the lens far too ‘clinical’. Some won’t find this a bad thing at all but maybe I shouldn’t have bought this lens alongside the stellar 16mm f/1.4 or maybe I should have just bought it’s older brother.
I used the lens a little on a recent trip to Florida so most of the photos below will be from Disneyworld so I’m sorry about that. Looking back at the pictures as I write this post though I feel I might have been a little harsh on this lens. One thing I certainly have noticed, that is a huge plus point is how sharp it is wide open at f/2. If you own the 23mm f/2, you’ll know that it’s quite soft and doesn’t hit it’s sweet spot until you start stepping down.
Come back to me in another two months and I might have changed my mind.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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