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 – Image quality
There will be Fujifilm X-series users out there looking at this lens wanting to know how well it fares against the XF 35mm f/1.4 R. I’m glad to report that it’s an optically sound lens that delivers some seriously decent results. Running a series of comparison tests with both 35mm lenses set to the same aperture revealed the XF 35mm f/2 R WR produces fractionally sharper results in the centre of the frame when the aperture value is set to f/2. The excellent level of sharpness that’s resolved at the maximum aperture is welcome news for those who’d like to like to create a super-shallow depth of field. That said, corner sharpness struggles to match the same level of sharpness as the centre, so it’s worth remembering to compose subjects as central to the frame as possible when shooting at f/2. Repeating the comparison process after stopping both lenses down to f/4 and f/5.6, I found my results to be comparable and as sharp as each other across the frame. Diffraction starts to soften the finest detail at f/11 and f/16, so to preserve optimum sharpness from edge-to-edge users will ideally want to shoot between f/4-5.6 on this lens.
The lens vignettes slightly more than the XF 35mm f/1.4 R wide open, with corners appearing approximately 0.9EV darker than the centre at f/2. Even at f/2, the vignetting isn’t overly offensive and is quickly removed by stopping the lens down to f/2.8. Chromatic aberrations are handled reasonably well, with only minor purple and green fringing being traced along some high-contrast edges. Both vignetting and chromatic aberrations should be a quick one-click fix as soon as a lens profile is created for the lens and made available as part of an Adobe update.
Distortion was well controlled on the older XF 35mm f/1.4 R, so how does it compare on this newer lens? Whereas the older 35mm f/1.4 is prone to producing modest barrel distortion, this lens produces a negligible amount of pincushion distortion. This was corrected for in JPEG files thanks to the X-T10’s effective in-camera processing. Though it’s not immediately obvious in real-world raw files, users will want to correct for it by applying the relevant lens profile in the future.