Fujinon lenses I own

Fujinon Lenses I Own

When I made the change from Canon to Fujifilm it gave me chance to begin again in terms of setting up a lens collection. The Fujifilm system is relatively young and there isn’t the wide selection of Fujinon lenses yet that you get with Canon and Nikon.

In some ways that’s an advantage. The fewer lenses there are to choose from the simpler the decision making process. But the disadvantage is that you might need a specialist lens that Fujifilm don’t make yet (like a macro lens, a fisheye or a tilt-shift lens).

So far I have bought four Fujinon lenses and two older manual focus lenses that I use with an adapter. All are primes.

Note: You can read my other article about lenses I have owned here – Canon Lenses I Have Owned.

Fujinon 35mm f1.4 lens

This is the first Fujinon lens that I purchased. It came as a kit with the X-Pro 1. There is not a lot to say about this lens other than that it has become my favorite very quickly. This is against expectation – I expected the normal focal length to be nice to use but not as interesting as wider and longer focal lengths.

In the event it has turned out to be an excellent walk around lens (I used it a lot during recent trips to China and Spain). It also focuses reasonably close to the subject and is useful for close-up photography. It can be used at f1.4 for intense selective focus or low light.

Photo of stuffed game birds taken with Fujinon 35mm f1.4 lens

Above: Photo taken with Fujinon 35mm f1.4 lens. The lens is small and light, has a maximum aperture of f1.4 and the image quality is excellent. It matches the Fujifilm X-T1 camera perfectly and I can walk around with it all day. I could never go back to a full-frame dSLR after using this combination.

Fujinon 18mm f2 pancake lens

I bought this lens to partner the 35mm f1.4 once I realized that I preferred to use the X-Pro 1 to my Canon digital SLRs. I took both lenses and the X-Pro 1 on a trip to New Zealand’s South Island with me and they made a great combination. The 18mm pancake lens is light and easy to carry. It weighs so little you can add it to your camera bag without even thinking about it. It served me well on that trip whenever I needed a wide-angle lens. I’ve since used it happily for landscape, travel photography and even some portrait photography.

Photo of a dancer using a futurehoop to paint with light taken with Fujinon 18mm f2 lens

Above: Photo taken with Fujinon 18mm f2 pancake lens.

Fujinon 56mm f1.2 lens

I bought this lens because it is the APS-C equivalent of the 85mm lens I used and loved with my EOS 5D Mark II. It has a slightly wider aperture and is another superb portrait lens and general short telephoto.

I use this lens with my Fujifilm X-T1 camera along with the portrait grip. This gives a relatively lightweight setup that is perfect for portraits. However, take the portrait grip off and the camera feels a bit front heavy as the lens is nearly as heavy as the camera body. But that’s the only negative thing I can say about this lens – it’s a beautiful piece of kit that really comes into its own for portraiture.

Photo of a Mandrill taken with a Fujinon 56mm f1.2 lens

Above: Photo of a Mandrill taken with Fujinon 56mm f1.2 lens. I took this photo in a zoo, shooting through glass.

Fujinon 14mm f2.8 lens

This lens has a wider angle of view than the 18mm pancake lens and is useful for landscape photos where a wider angle of view is required. The more I use this lens the more I like it. There is something just right about the angle of view of this lens when it comes to landscape photography, plus it is smaller and lighter than the Fujinon 16mm f1.4 and 10-24mm lenses.

Buying this lens was an experiment to see if I can work in the landscape with prime lenses rather than the convenience of a wide-angle zoom. So far I’m very happy with this lens and this way of working.

Seascape taken with Fujinon 14mm f2.8 lens

Above: Rocks on the Galician coast, Spain. Taken with my Fujion 14mm f2.8 lens.

Helios 44m 58mm f2 lens

This is an old manual focus lens that I bought second-hand for a low price. I bought it because I had seen photos with a swirly bokeh effect taken with this lens. I use it on my Fujifilm X-T1 camera with an M42 screw mount adapter. This lens is so old that it is designed to screw into the camera body! Lenses like these are fun to use with mirrorless cameras because the electronic viewfinders have tools like focus peaking and magnification that make it relatively easy to focus with them.

In practice, I found the swirly bokeh effect a little difficult to create – you need to find the right distance between subject and background for it to work. You also have to bear in mind that this lens is designed for 35mm cameras, and that an APS-C camera crops the edges, where the most interesting bokeh effects are found. But it still works wells on my camera. I just need to use it more to get the best from it.

Photo taken inside Jing'an Temple in Shanghai, China with Helios 44m 58mm f2 lens

Above: Photo taken with the Helios 58mm lens at f2. It doesn’t have the swirly bokeh effect this lens is known for, but it’s still interesting and different from what I would get with my Fujinon 56mm f1.3 lens.

Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Primotar 50mm f3.5 lens

Another old manual focus lens that I bought to use with my Fujifilm cameras using the M42 screw-mount adapter. I haven’t used this lens as much as I should have, as I usually opt for the Helios lens when I want to experiment with bokeh. I’ve never used it at anything less than its widest aperture either. So I still have some experimenting to do with this lens.

Black and white photo of a statue of an angel taken with Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Primotar 50mm f3.5 lens

Above: Photo taken with the Primotar 50mm lens at f3.5. Note the soft edge definition.

Conclusion

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about moving to Fujifilm cameras is that I’ve been able to start again in terms of selecting camera bodies and lenses. This was relatively easy for me as I didn’t own many Canon lenses. The more lenses you own the harder it is to change to another system as you have already invested heavily in another one. That’s probably why some photographers have bought mirrorless cameras and lenses, but retained their larger digital SLR bodies and lenses, using whichever is best suited to the type of photography being done.

At the moment I don’t own any zoom lenses. I like it that way – building a system around primes has worked well for me.

What to read next

Canon Lenses I Have Owned

Mastering Lenses ebookAre Primes or Zooms the Best Street Photography Lenses?

Taking Portraits With Fujifilm Cameras

How to Improve Your Photography by Using Only Two Camera Lenses

Why I Changed From Canon to Fujifilm

My ebook Mastering Lenses shows you how to use your lenses to create better images.

 

About Andrew S. Gibson

Andrew S. Gibson is a writer, publisher, traveler and photographer based in the UK. He started writing about photography while traveling in Bolivia, and has been published in many prestigious photography magazines including EOS magazine, where he worked as a Writer and Technical Editor for two years. He currently writes for The Creative Photographer, Digital Photography School and Craft & Vision. He is inspired by meeting new people, seeing new places and having new experiences.

Comments

  1. I too have the 35mm f/1.4 – but I’ve opted for the 18-135mm WR lens for travel. I also have the Rokinon 8mm manual lens – love it! I may check out some of those others but I need something longer next.

    1. Author

      Do you have any problems with barrel distortion or edge sharpness with the zoom Darlene? I know Fuji does a good job of disguising distortion with its built in lens corrections.

  2. Very simple and interesting setup. I must confess I got caught in the gear syndrome. I have the 14mm, 18, 27, 35,60 and 18-135mm. The information pressure is high to upgrade and to have more..and that makes me guilty for no reason. For instance, LOT of bad press about the 18-135 and the 18mm particularly, but I use them often and I like the results. On the other hand LOT of praises of the 35mm 1.4 (but suddenly is very noisy and we have to upgrade to the f2 WR) and of course we should forget the 14mm and go into that 16mm lens… I never felt comfortable with the 35mm.

    Now considering to sell the 18, 27, and 35 and have the 23mm 1.4 (not the f2). Am I crazy? 14, 23, 60, and the zoom..

    1. Author

      Not crazy, just a case of the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But I think cutting the amount of lenses you own has great merit. It all depends on what type of photography you do and what focal lengths you need. If you own a lens you hardly use (that’s happened to me several times over the years) then it makes sense to sell it.

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