Callum McInerney-Riley tries out a medium telephoto prime for Fujifilm’s X system.
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR – Features
The Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR houses 11 elements in eight groups. Three of these are extra-low dispersion (ED) glass elements, designed to reduce lateral and axial chromatic aberrations, while Fujifilm’s Nano-GI coating is used to minimise flare and ghosting. The 90mm also boasts an internal focus system, and because the front element doesn’t rotate, the lens can be easily used with polarising or ND grad filters. The lens uses the same 62mm filter thread as the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 and XF 23mm f/1.4.
However, the real star feature of the Fujinon 90mm f/2 is its focal length, which offers the 35mm equivalent of 135mm. This compresses perspective, and quashes much of the distortion of faces that can occur with wider focal lengths. It also has the benefit of giving your subject room to act naturally and, since you’re able to put distance between yourself and the subject, it is not quite as intimidating for timid models.
The lens boasts an aperture range of f/2-f/16. If we keep in mind that the longer the focal length of the lens, the shallower the depth of field, it’s easy to see that the 90mm’s f/2 enables photographers to achieve incredibly shallow depth of field, while rendering backgrounds smoothly out of focus. Portrait photographers especially will love its ability to create distinct separation between subjects and background.
Like the Fujinon 56mm, the 90mm f/2 has seven aperture blades. However, this was criticised on the 56mm, as it gave heptagonal out-of-focus highlights when the lens was stopped down. We suspect many photographers would have preferred a nine-blade aperture and the ability to create more circular bokeh at apertures around f/4.
As with other Fujinon prime lenses, the 90mm doesn’t include optical image stabilisation. At this focal length it could have been a useful addition, although when used for portraits it’s unlikely that the photographer would see much benefit from shooting at slower shutter speeds due to blur from the subject’s movement.
The lens comes included with a cylindrical plastic lens hood, which helps improve contrast as well as cutting out some flare. When reversed, the lens hood sits very close to the lens barrel, giving some decent protection when stored away inside a camera bag, as well as a keeping the packed size down.