First Impressions of the Fujinon XF 35 mm F2 R WR
Once in a while i rethink my lens lineup to get sure i have everything i need. On my recent trip to Chicago i learned the importance of weather resistance and therefore decided to get a lightweight alternative to my XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR. I love everything about the zoom, except its bulk and size.
The more or less new XF 35 F2 came out only a few weeks ago and i had a look at it over and over again. My decision was done, once we planned a snowboarding day at the very last day of 2015. What i wanted was a small and light, but weather resistant companion to my X-T1. So i bought this lens from a local dealer, mounted it to my camera and did a few test shots.
Specifications XF 35 F2
- 9 lens elements in 6 groups, including 2 aspherical elements
- focal length 35mm, eqv. FF = 53mm, 44.2° AoV
- aperture 2-16
- close focus distance 35cm
- diameter 60mm, length 45.9 and a weight of 170g
- 43mm filter size
The XF 35 F2 comes in a small box with the typical fuji accessories. lens, front cap, rear cap and a wrapping cloth.
Build and Handling XF 35 F2
The lens is a full metal construction with an aperture ring from f2 to f16 and an auto-position. The ring feels much better than previous lenses (like XF23) because it takes a bit more force to rotate it. I prefer this behavior. Although the older lenses are really good, this aperture ring attracts me a little more. Same goes for the manual focus ring at the front, it feels just right to turn it.
The included small plastic lens hood needs to be screwed into the filter thread. Once done, the front lens cap still fits on it to protect the front lens element. There is an additional metal lens hood available – LH-XF35-2 – which i will maybe order in the future. For the moment the small plastic one does the job.
Attached to the X-T1 the XF 35 F2 looks a bit lost, but once you get used to it, you’ll enjoy some lightweight gear which makes a lot of fun to use. I guess this lens will be the perfect fit for the upcoming X-PRO2.
Image Quality XF 35 F2
While I’m not reviewing every pixel of my images in 100% or more, i’m really impressed by the image quality that this little peace of gear is able to produce.
The shot below was done wide open at f2 with the electronic shutter because of the bright and sunny conditions. The image went through my standard image processing, including Lightroom CC (Classic Chrome Preset) -> Iridient Developer (RAW development and sharpening) -> Lightroom CC (minor adjustments in tone curve and white balance) -> Export
Another shot with f2 that gives you an idea of the out of focus areas produced by the XF 35 F2
stopped down to f2.8
stopped down to f4
and the maximum of f8 i used that day.
Flares XF 35 F2
I did some shots directly against the sun to see what happens to results in that case.
First image includes the sun in the upper left corner. Image quality still perfect for me.
Another image with the sun just outside the frame on the top right. Aperture set to f8. Interesting flare but no degrading in image quality.
So for me the image quality is superb on all aperture settings which is what i expected from this lens. I will be able to shoot it wide open in dim conditions or when i’m in need for some nice bokeh.
I do not have the possibility to compare the results to one of the first x-mount lenses out there – the famous XF35 F1.4 – because i don’t own it. I guess both have there pros and cons, but as i already own the wonderful XF23 F1.4, i think the new XF 35 F2 will serve me well as an addition. The weather resistance was the main reason i went for this lens and i really hope Fuji will built all of the upcoming lenses with that feature.
There is not much to say about the autofocus of the XF 35 F2. It works fast, reliable and silent as most of the newer lenses. I guess it is on par with the 16-55 which is the fastest focusing lens i use.
Conclusion XF 35 F2
This small little gem makes a lot of fun to use and is once again built to serve you for your lifetime. It perfectly fits into my primes lineup (12,23,35) and will be the small and light alternative to the bulky XF16-55 when the conditions ask for some weather sealing.
If you want to see some more images you’ll find the full set here.
Feel free to comment or discuss my results below.