Saturday, 20 June 2020

Fujinon XC 35mm f2 - Shooting Fuji on the Cheap Lens #1

Golden Fog
X-E2, XC 35mm f2

On a budget and shooting Fuji? Start with this lens.

It's a fastish normal for $199, sharing the optics and AF drive of the very well regarded XF 35mm f2 WR 'Fujicron', but in an inexpensive plastic housing. It also shares the (not included) hood of the XF35/2. Hint: Never buy Fuji hoods, get cheap knockoffs from eBay or Amazon. The Fuji hoods are ridiculously priced for a single piece of plastic. 

Every compromise here is in the barrel. It's plastic with a plastic mount, it's not weather sealed, there's no aperture ring, the cosmetics are 'modern tube' rather than 'classic gem'. The focus ring is large and well damped, the optics are great and the AF is fast. Fuji cut corners in exactly the right places to produce an inexpensive lens that doesn't actual feel cheap when you're actually using it.

And it's literally half the price of its big brother ($199 vs $399)

While there are some neat 35mm options available from 3rd parties on the cheap, this is the way to start. It gets you an AF lens in a classic focal length for very little money with proven outstanding performance and zero hassles to acquire. This frankly is the lens you buy with the body, or the moment you have the body (I bought mine new when I got my used X-T1). 

As to performance, it's sharp, flare is very well controlled (little need for the hood), colour is the usual excellent Fuji colour, and out of focus rendering is delightful. However close focus is adequate but nothing to write home about and the lens does focus breath significantly (the field of view gets wider as you focus closer). Don't expect to do any pseudo-macro work with this lens. 

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