Michael Topham pairs the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR with Fujifilm’s X-T10 to find out how it shapes up against the older XF 35mm f/1.4R
Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR Review – Features
The attraction of the XF 35mm f/2 R WR is its focal length, which presents a natural perspective. With the 1.5x crop factor taken into consideration, the lens is equivalent to 53mm in 35mm film terms, which sees it slot in-between the manufacturer’s superb XF 23mm f/1.4 R and XF 56mm f/1.2 R lenses, which are equivalent to 34.5mm and 84mm respectively. As briefly touched upon, the aperture range doesn’t open as widely as the older XF 35mm f/1.4 R, but the motive behind making the front element smaller and limiting the maximum aperture to f/2 has played its role in making sure it’s compact and lighter, if only by a meager 17g.
The construction of the lens is made up of nine elements in six groups, with two elements being the aspherical type. This is a more complex arrangement than the eight elements in six groups as found within the XF 35mm f/1.4 R. It features a greater number of diaphragm blades, too (nine as opposed to seven), which should see it render rich circular bokeh when the lens is used at wide apertures.
On the underside of the barrel, you’ll find that it’s labelled a weather-resistant lens. This is one of the key attributes of this lens and its weather-resistant design is made up of eight seals to protect it from rain, dust and humid environments that can often force us to stow our kit away to prevent damage. This also allows it to be used in temperatures as low as -10ºC.
Like other Fujinon primes, it doesn’t feature optical image stabilisation. This shouldn’t be frowned upon, as optically stabilised 35mm lenses are fairly uncommon and it’s a feature that’s not always deemed entirely necessary on such a wideangle lens where minor movements of the camera cause fewer disturbances. Compare the minimum focusing distance of this lens to the XF 35mm f/1.4 R and it’s the latter that has the edge. While this lens has a near-focus limit of 35cm, the XF 35mm f/1.4 R can focus slightly closer, to within 30cm.
The internal focusing system prevents the front element from moving and the fact it accepts filters and adapters via a small 43mm thread means that any accessories you do buy for it are likely to be slightly cheaper. The lens comes supplied with a lightweight and compact circular lens hood that screws into the front of the lens, but for those who’d prefer a more robust one there’s also a stylish metal hood (LH-XF35-2) available for around £40. Both hoods are designed in such a way they allow the front lens cap to be used when they’re attached.