Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 R - Lens Review

Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4 R - A review Fuji’s best XF lens

My favourite Fujifilm XF lens

When the first sample images came out from this lens and the X-Pro1, I was sold on the Fujifilm X-series. This was in 2012. It was the only lens I had for the first couple of years until I added the 23mm f/1.4 R. It is a hypothetical question but if I was going back to a one lens kit, this would be my pick coupled with an X-Pro2.

The XF 35mm f/1.4 R is versatile but with character

The XF 35mm f/1.4 R is incredibly versatile. It is equally good for portraits, landscapes, travel, street or even product photography. It is sharp, has great bokeh but more importantly it has a character, which is always so hard to describe. The lens delivers again and again. What you see out there will come back with you in your files and rarely will you be disappointed.

Growing pains

The XF 35mm f/1.4 R has had some growing pains as it was one of the first lenses released at the initial launch of the X-series. AF was somewhat sluggish with a noisy AF motor. Through countless firmware upgrades and the release of new cameras with better AF systems the lens has received a new life and I find it fast and responsive on my two current cameras. The X-Pro2 and X-H1.

My current setup is XF 14mm f/2.8, XF 23mm f/1.4, XF 35mm f/1.4, and XF 90mm f/2. When heading out for a day of shooting I will often take just one or two lenses. The first pick would usually be the XF 35mm f/1.4. We traveled for six weeks through China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand in early 2017 and due to space and weight constraints in my backpack, I only brought two lenses, the XF 35mm f/1.4 and 14mm f/2.8 The two heavier lenses stayed behind.

I use two different lens hoods. I find the vented metal hood ascetically pleasing and it helps in getting a good grip on the lens. I use them both.

 
 

XF 35mm f/1.4 with alternative vented metal hood

 

Any shortcomings from the XF 35 f/1.4 R?

I would not mind a mark 2 version of this lens. Keep the lens formula but update AF to silent/fast and add WR weather sealing.

I know an XF 33mm f/1.0 is on the road map. Having seen the lens mock-up, I doubt that I will be interested. It looks huge and expensive but I could be surprised. I would rather put my money on an XF 35 f/1.4 R WR Mark II. In the meantime, I will happily continue to shoot with the current model.

For more stories and photos check our travel blog

Below are a few of my favourite captures using the XF 35mm f/1.4 R.