The Fujinon XF 35mm F2 R WR was my first lens I bought for the Fuji X-Pro 2. Although I used the slightly wider Fuji X100T before, I quickly adapted to the normal focal length (35mm x 1,5 crop factor = 52,5mm).
Fuji XF 35mm F2 R WR – a solid prime lens
The Fujinon XF 35mm F2 R WR is a very solid lens, although it’s not as expensive as other Fuji lenses. It’s completely metal with tight tolerances and offers a premium surface feel. It’s water resistant too, which is a must for me. That’s why I did not decide to buy the predecessor XF 35mm F1,4 R, since this lens has no seals and is therefore prone to environmental influences.
The focus ring moves perfectly smooth and dampens very well. There is no scratching, squieking or rubbing, and there are no changes in resistance the focus ring offers to your fingers. It’s perfectly well balanced all around.
The aperture ring has the same behaviour like at the Fuji XF 90mm F2 R LM WR, which I wrote about earlier. Fuji did a great job here again, since you can feel a subtle difference between full and third stops snapping into place. The distinction is minimal, but it’s there and it helps when you operate the camera in front of your eye, although you can see the aperture value in the viewfinder too. These are the small details, which Fuji takes care of.
A perfect rangefinder stile lens
The lens itself becomes narrower to the front to avoid the lens covering your field of vision when using the optical viewfinder of their rangefinder cameras. That works quite well, and although Fuji did not manage to get the lens entirely out of the way, it’s not interfering me when using the optical viewfinder at all. Even when I am using the lens hood, I don’t bother about the slightly visible lens in the corner. Since you may switch to the electronic viewfinder any time too, that’s nothing I would worry about.
Hell Fuji, just increase the price of the lens if adding the metal lens hood drives you into your grave!
Speaking of the lens hood, there is something I don’t understand:
The standard lens hood which comes with the lens is made of plastic. Fuji is offering an optional Fuji LH-XF35-2 lens hood too. Latter is a bit bigger and made from metal, with a plastic coupling ring to attach it to the lens without scratching it. The metal hood is feeling much more substantial. It adds more protection against bumps and drops, and it gives the lens the premium impression it deserves. The XF35mm and the LH-XF35-2 seem to be meant for each other in the first place!
The standard lens hood compromises the overall look and feel of the XF35mm so badly, that it’s a shame that Fuji encloses it with the lens instead of its metal counterpart. Hell Fuji, just increase the price of the lens if adding the metal lens hood drives you into your grave!
Superb image quality
Optically the XF 35mm F2 is top notch, especially when you take the low price into account. Center quality is outstanding, even at f/2, the outer regions are good at this aperture. Borders are getting better when stopping down, the sweet spot seems to be between f/4 and f/5,6.
I experience no problems with chromatic aberrations at all and lens flare is hardly an issue too!
Autofocus is very fast and virtually silent, it works reliable and leaves nothing to be desired for my taste. The XF 35mm F2 is not a superfast lens in terms of aperture. You have to choose a relatively short focus-distance in order to achieve a shallow depth of field. Nevertheless the out-of-focus blur is calm and smooth, visible highlight discs get a bit edgy from f/2,8 onward. But for me it’s much more important that out-of-focus highlights don’t show a visible outlining. This causes a visible disturbance in the bokeh – thankfully Fuji did take care of that!
The XF 35 mm F2 R WR is a great lens. Considering it’s affordable price you get a very solid piece of glass. It leaves hardly a thing to be desired!
The XF 35mm F2 R WR was my first lens for the X-Pro 2. And it’s my favourite lens for everyday use, street photography, etc. Optical quality is very good, no doubt about that, although it’s not as tack sharp as the Fujinon XF 90mm. It’s weather resistant too, which is a huge bonus for all the things you might do outdoors.
This is a must have lens for a Fuji photographer with an interchangeable lens system. Just add some money to the bill for the optional metal lens hood. It’s worth it!
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