best fuji lens for photojournalism

We are writing 2020 and here is the breakdown of my favorite lenses for Fujifilm cameras. The camera I use as a reference is my FujiFilm X-T3 and the Fuji X-T4

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My favorite lens is The Fuji 35mm 1.4

If I had to pick ONE lens, I’d go for the praised 35mm 1.4. I say that because I mainly do street photography and portraits.

If you are doing documentary, travel and street photography, this lens is perfect. (read the crazy positive Amazon-reviews of this lens)

The 1.4 aperture makes for incredibly flattering bokeh portraits and great low-light performance for night street photography.https://www.youtube.com/embed/EQZr-t7BKa0?enablejsapi=1&autoplay=0&cc_load_policy=0&cc_lang_pref=&iv_load_policy=1&loop=0&modestbranding=1&rel=0&fs=1&playsinline=0&autohide=2&theme=dark&color=red&controls=1&Video using Fuji’s best street photography lens, the Fuji 35mm 1.4.

Get the Fuji 35mm 1.4 on Amazon.

The Fuji XF 56mm 1.2 for Portrait Photography

The Fujinon 56mm 1.2 portrait lens with crazy bokeh.
Get the 56mm 1.2 on Amazon

This is THE Fuji lens for portrait photography and street portraits.

For me, this is one of the most fun lenses to shoot with. I have countless videos on Youtube with me doing street photography with the 56mm 1.2.

For portraits, it’s pretty simple. Fuji has one amazing power-house of a lens for portraits that is the Fujinon 56mm 1.2. I use it all the time – even for street portraits and it’s the most fun thing to shoot with because of the focal length and the aperture. Another cool thing about Fujifilm’s XF 56mm 1.2 aperture is that it works well for low-light and night photography, due to the fast aperture that helps to keep my ISO no bigger than 3200.

Get the 56mm 1.2 on Amazon.

Fujinon 35MM 2.0 WR

For scenarios where you need weather-resistant lenses. Like travel photography and street photography when it rains.

Read the reviews of this beautiful lens on Amazon

When I’m traveling or shooting in rain, and I’m unsure about the weather conditions, this is my go-to Fujinon lens. And the cool thing about the 35mm 2.0 is that the price is very reasonable!

Get the 35mm 2.0 WR on Amazon.

18-55mm F2.8-4 OIS Zoom lens
– Video & Vlogging

When I do my street photography videos, I use the FUJINON LENS XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS.

I use that lens because I shoot with Fuji’s X-T3 and this mirrorless digital camera doesn’t have in body stabilization. That’s why my favorite pick of all Fuji lenses for YouTubers and vloggers is the FUJINON 18-55mm OIS.

In the ideal world, I’d prefer to do all my photography and video on prime lenses, but since I need the optical image stabilization – I have to go with the FUJINON 18-55mm OIS.

Get the Fujinon 18-55mm with OIS on Amazon

FujiFilm’s super-wide-angle lens

This is a very special lens, the Fuji 16mm 1.4 It’s a wide-angle lens and it opens up for so many creative shots. I just got my hands on this and it’s so much fun to shoot with!

Fuji’s wide lens for nature, macro, landscape, and architectural. Get it on Amazon.

If your plan is to do a lot of landscape, architectural and nature photography, I’d recommend the wide-angle zoom lens It’s amazing for cityscapes. It is a bit pricey, but also one of a kind.

Also, this lens is weather-resistant (WR) which means it can hold up in tough weather conditions and it’s perfect for taking photos in the rain.

The FujiFilm 16mm 1.4 lens is razor-sharp and has incredibly dreamy bokeh with its 1.4 aperture.

You would pick this if you like prime lenses better than zoom lenses and if you are in low-light situations, because of the 1.4 aperture.

Get the 16mm 1.4 on Amazon.

Fujinon XF 10-24MM F 4 OIS
The landscape photographer’s dream lens

This lens is by far the most used Fujinon lens of professional landscape photographers and for good reasons. This lens comes with Optical Image Stabilization which I like – but if you always used a tripod for your landscape photos, then this feature doesn’t really add much value.

Fuji’s 10-24 zoom lens in the landscape photographer’s go-to lens. Which is why people praise so much. Just look at the Amazon-reviews. This lens comes with optical image stabilization too.

Get the Fujinon XF 10-24mm OIS on Amazon.

This is the complete list of my favorite lenses for Fujifilm cameras.

I will continue to develop this list throughout 2020 and when I see new things happening on the Fujifilm roadmap.

Make sure to check out my review of the Fuji X100f.

I’ve also reviewed my favorite camera bags and cameras.

Also, if you are into Fuji cameras, it’s worth checking out the Fujifilm Instax Cameras as well.

Best Fuji X Lenses

BY NASIM MANSUROV 67 COMMENTS
LAST UPDATED ON JANUARY 8, 2021

If you own an X-series camera and you are looking for a suggestion on the best Fujifilm X lenses, you are in the right place. Since the launch of its mirrorless system back in 2012, Fujifilm has been releasing superb lenses that are suitable for many different types of photography. Covering many focal lengths from ultra-wide angle to super-telephoto, Fuji’s APS-C lenses are known to be some of the sharpest and most versatile choices on the market. In this article, I will provide my top recommended lenses for the X system, based on my extensive experience.

This article has been divided into two parts. The first part covers prime lenses, while the second part covers zoom lenses. Both sections are sorted by focal length, from wide to telephoto. Please note that the below list is quite subjective, as it is based on my 8 years of shooting with the Fuji X system. If you disagree with any of the listed choices, I would appreciate your kind feedback in the comments section below.

X-T2 + XF35mmF2 R WR @ 35mm, ISO 200, 1/350, f/6.4

Table of Contents

  • Best Fuji X Prime Lenses
    • Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8
    • Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR
    • Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R
    • Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR
    • Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R
    • Fujifilm XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR
    • Fujifilm XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR
  • Best Fuji X Zoom Lenses
    • Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR
    • Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS
    • Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR
    • Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR
    • Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR
    • Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
    • Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Best Fuji X Prime Lenses

Fujifilm put quite a bit of development effort into making top-notch prime lenses from the start, and it has really paid off. Over the years, I have owned a number of X-series cameras (my current camera is the Fuji X-H1) and I have been fortunate to use almost every single X-series lens. I have to say, I am a big fan of Fuji’s prime lenses, and I use them all the time for my photography needs. Let’s take a closer look at the list.

Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8

If you need a prime lens wider than 12mm (18mm full-frame equivalent), you will need to choose a third-party lens. Unfortunately, aside from the XF 14mm f/2.8 R, which is one of Fuji’s oldest lenses for the X mount, there isn’t anything wider that’s available from Fuji. Fortunately, there are plenty of third-party options, some of which are quite decent in build and optical quality. My personal favorite is the Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8, which works really well on Fuji X series cameras and unlike many other third-party options, it has autofocus capability.

It has a wide aperture of f/2.8, great build quality and at 270 grams, it is a pretty lightweight lens. Optically, it is very sharp, especially when you stop it down to the f/4-f/5.6 range. Here is an image of a double rainbow I was able to capture with this lens at sunset:

X-E1 + Touit 2.8/12 @ 12mm, ISO 200, 1/100, f/5.6

And here is another image that I captured with the same lens at the Rocky Mountain National Park:

X-Pro1 + Touit 2.8/12 @ 12mm, ISO 200, 1/3, f/11.0

Unfortunately, it is a very pricey lens, so if it doesn’t fit your budget, I would recommend to check out other options like the Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS CS. While there are other wider prime lens options from third-party manufacturers, I personally prefer something like the Fuji XF 10-24mm f/4, which I talk about further down in this review.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR

As we move up in focal length, my next favorite is the XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR – a weather-resistant lens that is perfect for landscape, portrait, and travel photography. I have used this lens for many years, and I find it to be absolutely superb, especially when it comes to its low-light capabilities.

If you find this lens to be too big, heavy and pricey for your needs and you don’t care about being able to shoot at f/1.4, my next favorite is the XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR, a more recent lens that is also quite sharp, especially once you stop it down a little.

Personally, I love this focal length for landscape and travel photography. Here are some sample images that I was able to capture with the f/1.4 version:

X-T3 + XF16mmF1.4 R WR @ 16mm, ISO 160, 1/300, f/11.0
X-T10 + XF16mmF1.4 R WR @ 16mm, ISO 200, 1/10, f/8.0

Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R

My next favorite lens that I have owned and used for many years now, is the Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 R. It has a similar field of view as a 35mm lens on full-frame cameras, and its wide aperture of f/1.4 makes it a truly versatile lens that can be used for many different types of photography. I really love taking it with me when traveling, and I have used it quite a bit to shoot weddings and landscapes as well. Its build quality is superb, and it is a very sharp lens optically as well, even wide open.

Although I have used it in all kinds of weather conditions, its biggest downside is lack of weather sealing, so you have to be careful when using it in rainy weather, or extremely dusty conditions. Here is a sample image that I captured with the lens on a wedding:

X-T1 + XF23mmF1.4 R @ 23mm, ISO 200, 1/180, f/1.4

To be honest, with the arrival of the smaller, lighter, cheaper, and weather-sealed Fuji XF 23mm f/2 R WR, it is becoming harder to recommend this lens. Unless you absolutely need that wide aperture, I would just go with the f/2 version.

Here is a sample image that I captured with the XF 23mm f/2 R WR:

X-T3 + XF23mmF2 R WR @ 23mm, ISO 160, 1/4, f/5.6

While the f/1.4 version is obviously more preferred for astrophotography needs, you could get some amazing results with the XF 35mm f/2 as well, especially if you use an astro head. For example, take a look at the below image:

X-T3 + XF23mmF2 R WR @ 23mm, ISO 400, 480 sec, f/4.0

Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR

Although Fuji released its 35mm f/1.4 lens back in 2012, it is a very dated lens and has some issues, such as slow autofocus performance and quite a noisy motor. For this reason, I would recommend going with the XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens instead, which is a wonderful little gem.

I am a big fan of this lens. It is small, light, inexpensive and best of all, quite sharp, especially when stopped down a little. Here is an image I was able to capture with the XF 35mm f/2 R WR through a helicopter window:

X-T2 + XF35mmF2 R WR @ 35mm, ISO 250, 1/3800, f/5.6

And here is another image I captured with the same lens in Morocco:

X-H1 + XF35mmF2 R WR @ 35mm, ISO 200, 1/40, f/5.6

Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R

Next is the Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens, my personal favorite prime for portrait photography. I bought this lens as soon as it was announced, and it has never disappointed me. It is tack sharp wide open at f/1.2, something most lenses struggle with, and that wide aperture works out really well for really separating subjects from their backgrounds. It has beautiful bokeh, and it is made to last!

Fuji makes two versions of this lens – a regular one, and one with an apodization filter (APD). I have used both, and to be honest, I never found the APD version to be appealing, especially considering that it is $500 more expensive than the regular version. Here are a couple of sample portraits that I captured with the XF 56mm f/1.2 R:

X-T2 + XF56mmF1.2 R @ 56mm, ISO 200, 1/160, f/1.2
X-T1 + XF56mmF1.2 R @ 56mm, ISO 400, 1/450, f/1.2

The lens is extremely sharp when stopped down, so it is also perfectly usable for landscape and travel photography. Here is a sample image that I captured with the APD version:

X-Pro2 + XF56mmF1.2 R APD @ 56mm, ISO 200, 1/8, f/5.6

Personally, I heavily rely on the Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens, which I find to be Fuji’s finest lens for portrait photography. If this lens is too pricey for you, the newer Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR is also a great choice. Here are a couple of images I was able to capture with it:

X-H1 + XF50mmF2 R WR @ 50mm, ISO 200, 1/1250, f/5.6
X-H1 + XF50mmF2 R WR @ 50mm, ISO 200, 1/105, f/5.6

Fujifilm XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR

Another big favorite of mine is the Fujifilm XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR lens, which is also suitable for many types of photography, including portraiture. This lens is a stunner – extremely sharp wide open and built like a tank. The only reason why you would want to stop it down is to get more depth of field – otherwise, shoot at f/2 and don’t look back!

Typical of high-end Fujinon lenses, this one does beautiful subject isolation, and the colors you get out of it are just stunning. Take a look at the below image of aspens in fall color:

X-T3 + XF90mmF2 R LM WR @ 90mm, ISO 200, 1/110, f/8.0

And here is a close-up shot of aspen leaves with water droplets, which I also captured with this lens:

X-T3 + XF90mmF2 R LM WR @ 90mm, ISO 800, 1/300, f/8.0

If you are wondering whether you can use such a long lens for landscapes, take a look at the below image, which I captured in extremely high resolution with a panorama shooting technique:

X-T3 + XF90mmF2 R LM WR @ 90mm, ISO 200, 1/15, f/5.6

Fujifilm XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR

Lastly, if you need a super-telephoto lens, and you have an unlimited budget, the Fujifilm XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR is an absolute beast, in every sense of this word.

I only had one brief moment with this lens, and it was love at first sight! Fuji engineers basically put everything they got into this lens. It is incredibly sharp, built to last a lifetime, and has all the bells and whistles, including weather sealing. I tried it out with the 2x teleconverter, and to my surprise, it was still very sharp! If you attach the 1.4x TC, you won’t even know it is there. At the same time, the XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR is also incredibly heavy and very pricey at $6K. Sadly, it is not a lens many of us can afford, including me.


Best Fuji X Zoom Lenses

Now that we have gone over the best prime lenses, let’s check out Fuji’s top zoom lenses. Once again, I will list these lenses from wide to telephoto.

Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR

If you are looking for an ultra-wide angle lens, the XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is a real monster. Weighing 805 grams and costing $2K, it is obviously a very niche lens that is desired by many landscape and architecture photographers. Once again, Fuji put everything it got into this lens, including all the fancy coatings and weather sealing.

Expect nothing less than stunning image quality and extreme sharpness from this lens. One big downside of this lens is that it cannot take any filters. If that’s important for you, the only solution will be to use a third-party filter holder that can accommodate it. I had a chance to test this lens earlier this year when traveling in Jordan and Dubai. Here is a sample image of Dubai at night:

X-T30 + XF8-16mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 8.7mm, ISO 160, 25/10, f/5.6

And here is an image from Jordan’s beautiful Jerash:

X-T30 + XF8-16mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 14.6mm, ISO 160, 1/320, f/5.6

Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS

If you don’t need to go wider than 10mm, the older XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS is another superb lens, and this one can be used with filters. I have used this lens for many years, and although its biggest downside is lack of weather sealing, it is still a lens I would not hesitate to buy again! It is my “go-to” lens for landscape photography, and it is small and light enough to fit in any camera bag.

If Fuji released a weather-sealed version of the same lens, it would be a huge success. While I have not managed to destroy my copy (I am always extra-careful with it when shooting in high humidity environments), some photographers certainly did, and they weren’t very happy about it. There is also a bit of sample variation with these lenses, so make sure to copy yours before keeping it. Here are a few sample images of different landscapes and architecture I captured with the XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS:

X-T3 + XF10-24mmF4 R OIS @ 24mm, ISO 160, 1/3, f/8.0
X-H1 + XF10-24mmF4 R OIS @ 10mm, ISO 800, 1/15, f/5.6
X-T2 + XF10-24mmF4 R OIS @ 24mm, ISO 800, 1/340, f/11.0
X-T2 + XF10-24mmF4 R OIS @ 17.4mm, ISO 200, 1/20, f/8.0
X-T2 + XF10-24mmF4 R OIS @ 15.9mm, ISO 200, 1/2, f/11.0

Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR

Moving to the standard range, you might have heard of the popular Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR. Another beast of a lens, this pro-grade lens is very sharp at all focal lengths, even at maximum aperture. Its focal length range covers most everyday needs, so it is a lens you will probably use a lot.

As a pro-grade lens, it is built extremely well and it is fully weather-sealed, in case you want to be able to use it in adverse conditions. It is a bit heavy on lighter Fuji camera bodies, but if you use it with any of the X-T or X-H series cameras, it will balance quite well. Here are a couple of image samples that I was able to capture with this lens:

X-T1 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 16mm, ISO 200, 1/20, f/4.0
X-T1 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 16mm, ISO 800, 1/13, f/5.6

Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR

If you want something lighter and cheaper, the XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR is another great standard zoom that I really like. After testing it out earlier this year, I really liked the versatility of this zoom. It is not as big and heavy as the XF 16-55mm f/2.8, costs much less, and performs really well optically.

I had a chance to use this lens for about three months earlier this year, and it performed extremely well. Here is my favorite image of the stunning Sheikh Zayed Mosque that I captured with the XF 16-80mm f/4:

X-T30 + XF16-80mmF4 R OIS WR @ 20.2mm, ISO 800, 1/4, f/5.6

And here are a few more image samples of Wadi Rum, Jordan, as well as Hagia Sophia of Istanbul:

X-T30 + XF16-80mmF4 R OIS WR @ 16mm, ISO 800, 1/30, f/5.6
X-T30 + XF16-80mmF4 R OIS WR @ 32.5mm, ISO 160, 1/25, f/5.6

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR

Once you move to the telephoto range, the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR is something that certainly deserves your attention. This lens is yet another professional-grade lens for the Fuji X system, so it is big, heavy, and expensive. As expected, it is very sharp at all focal lengths and apertures, and its optical image stabilization works really well.

I had bad luck with my first copy of the lens – it was completely broken right out of the box and would not zoom or focus (completely stuck). Unfortunately, I did not test the lens before my trip overseas, so imagine my surprise and disappointment when I found out that I could not use it in New Zealand. I am sure it was just bad luck. When I got back and replaced it with another copy, the lens was perfectly fine…

Here is a sample image I was able to capture of San Francisco downtown with the lens:

X-T1 + XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR @ 77.3mm, ISO 200, 10/1, f/8.0

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

Last, but not least, is the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. Personally, I am not a big fan of the size and weight of the XF 50-140mm f/2.8, so I very much prefer the XF 55-200mm for my needs, especially when traveling. I have used this lens for a number of years, and although it is optically not as good as its f/2.8 brother, it is still a great and versatile little lens.

It is quite sharp from 55mm to around 135mm, but its sharpness certainly deteriorates from there, especially at 200mm. Knowing this, I rarely push it to 200mm, unless I absolutely have to. Still, given how small and lightweight it is, I would not complain much about its performance.

X-T30 + XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS @ 104.9mm, ISO 320, 1/160, f/5.6
X-T30 + XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS @ 55mm, ISO 160, 1/350, f/5.6

Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

In the super-telephoto range, the XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR deserves very high praises for its versatility, excellent handling, solid optical image stabilization, as well as its optical qualities. If you are interested in doing any kind of action photography (such as sports and wildlife), this lens will not disappoint.

Although the XF 100-400mm is compatible with both 1.4x and 2x teleconverters and autofocus works just fine, there is a considerable drop in sharpness and overall image quality when using the 2x teleconverter. The 1.4x teleconverter, on the other hand, does fairly well and sharpness stays quite high, especially if you stop the lens down a little.

Copyright Elizabeth Gray
X-T2 + XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR @ 400mm, ISO 2500, 1/2500, f/8.0
Copyright Elizabeth Gray
X-T2 + XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR + 1.4x @ 560mm, ISO 800, 1/1600, f/8.0

What do you think? Do you agree with my choices, or are there lenses for the Fuji X system that you absolutely love and can highly recommend? Please let me know in the comments section below!

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