The first of FujiFilm’s new f/2.0 weather resistant prime lenses, the XF 35mm f/2.0 offers an equivalent focal length of 53mm in a compact, well built package including a fully marked aperture ring and stepping motor for fast autofocus.
Being the first lens I picked up for my X-T2, I wanted to see how it performed in a variety of situations, so I spent the day yesterday with Blair and Jason shooting some portraits both on location first with nothing but natural light and then in the studio using strobes.
This is not a technical review, just some real world impressions and examples.
First stop was at the Sacramento Airport’s Terminal B.
The modern architecture and large windows make a great backdrop for some natural light portraits. These were all shot at the maximum aperture of f/2.0 and I intentionally shot some with heavy backlighting to see how the lens performed.
Wide open the lens was still very sharp and it handled heavy backlighting reasonably well with decent retention of contrast. There was some minimal chromatic aberration (purple fringe) along a small portion of Blair’s sleeve in one picture but overall I felt it was controlled very well.
Next up was in the studio.
We used a 3 light setup with 2 strobes and a gridded speed light on the backdrop.
While, 85mm is typically my favorite focal length for portraits, I also like to have a 50mm in the kit as well. Not having to be as far away can be great when working in tighter spaces or smaller studios, especially when shooting full body or to add a little of the environment to the picture.
Conclusion: I really enjoyed my day with the XF 35mm f/2.0, and it will be getting a lot more use in the future. The compact size kept weight down without sacrificing image quality. Build quality felt solid and the aperture ring was a joy to use. I highly recommend adding the XF35mm to your kit.
With the XF23mmF2 already out and the XF50mmF2 on the way, FujiFilm has created a great well rounded set that I look forward to shooting with. Will share my results with those in a future post.
All text and images by Chris Wright