Chances are that if you’ve landed here you are trying to decide if you want to buy a Fuji XF 90mm f2 lens. If you don’t want to read any further and just want to know what I think, just buy it. If you are trying to decide between the 56mm f1.2 and this lens, and this lens it essentially comes down to weight.
I am and have always shot Canon DSLR cameras and Canon Lenses. For paid work, I have always used these cameras and bodies as they are consistent and reliable. I have always preferred Fuji cameras or film cameras to shoot street photography as they are much smaller (therefore lighter) and less likely to make a passerby react negatively.
Since shooting my personal projects with the Fuji and film cameras I decided to see what other lenses were available for the Fuji system and how usable they are as a professional alternative.
- 90mm crop sensor (135m full frame equivalent)
- f2 – 16
- This lens is part of Fuji’s XF line. Equivalent to the canon red rings or the Nikon gold rings. So you know it’s good.
- It has 11 elements in 8 groups (means it’s high quality, but heavy).
- Has a fast internal focusing motor.
- It is weather resistant.
- The filter diameter is 62mm.
This lens cost me £650 used and is around £815 brand new.
Never buy a new lens. I stand by this statement time and time again. My total lens count is now a horrendous double digit number, none of which were new. The number of lenses that I have owned is double that figure.
New lenses (like cars) lose a large percentage of their value as soon as you open the box. As long as you look after them, that is all you’ll lose. But you can avoid this loss, by buying used lenses. The best way to get new lenses is to buy a used lens, use it as long as you want, then sell it and recoup the initial purchase price. Sometimes you can make money!
Fuji XF 90mm f2 Image Quality
All you need to do is roll through the images in this post and you can see that the image quality is on par with any other professional lenses on a professional body. You can get a used Fuji X-T1 for around £300 and this lens for £650. For under £1000 you have something that can capture astounding photos.
As far as I have seen tested, the 90mm f2 is the sharpest Fuji lens on the market. So the images are sharp, the bokeh is the creamiest available in the Fuji lineup and the colours mirror that of the classic Fujifilm look.
You would be hard pressed to say a negative word about the images produced by this lens.
Is that Jim Carrey?
Fuji XF 90mm f2 Pros and Cons
- Amazing image quality
- Built like a small black circular tank
- Bokeh is smooth and creamy
- Edge to edge Sharpness from f2 – f16
- Close minimum focusing distance (0.6m)
- Silent and fast autofocus
- Weather sealed
- Largest prime lens Fuji has
- No image stabilisation
- Expensive when purchased new
Are you building a Fuji kit?
Since purchasing the Fuji X-T1 used over 2 years ago, I have shot it with a number of Fuji lenses. I have purchased and sold a lot of them. Until now, the only lens I have stuck with is the Fuji Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4. This lens (while a different focal length) produces even sharper images and is the absolute perfect pairing to the 23mm.
I still think the 23mm f1.4 should be your first Fuji lens, only because the wider angle lens is more practical for day to day photography. However, the Fuji XF 90mm f2 should be purchased at the same time or soon thereafter.
Both lenses comprise the perfect 2-lens Fuji kit one should aspire to own.
If you are wondering whether or not to buy this lens, just do it. You won’t be disappointed. Initially I was a little taken back by the size of the lens compared to other Fuji Primes, however, since using it for the past 4 months I have very quickly overcome this.
I will walk around street shooting with this lens as my primary lens and the 23mm f1.4 as soon as I am in amongst the action. The image quality, build quality and fit and feel of this lens is among the best you will ever see. Do you have any questions or perhaps another opinion? Let me know in the comments below.
All photos in this article were shot with the Fuji X-T1 (except photos of the Fuji XF 90mm f2). As always we do not do the technical tests as there are so many other amazing reviewers that do this, namely Ken Rockwell.
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Thanks for reading.
Ben – culturedkiwi.com