As some of you may already know, I recently made a big decision in my photographic life to take the plunge and switch almost entirely to the Fujifilm X Series mirrorless system
The reasons for this decision are numerous and can be seen on this article, but the reason I mention this is because during the course of that process I tested a lot of different lenses for my new camera.
It was a big leap to go from a full-frame resolution beast such as the Nikon D810 to the APS-C, 24MP Fujifilm X-T2, so I wanted to make sure I was getting the best Fuji lenses I could possible get for my money.
And that’s what I’m bringing to you here: In my opinion, the best lenses for Fujifilm X Series cameras.
Best Prime Lenses for Fujifilm X
Fujfilm are famed for their incredible series of prime lenses, with almost all of them offering incredible image quality, beautiful build quality and an elegant aesthetic that fits perfectly with the retro styling of the Fuji X-Series cameras.
Best Everyday Prime for Fuji
Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR
- Weather resistant design with 8 sealing points for weather and dust resistance and operation as low as 14 Degree
- Inner focus system with 0.08 seconds autofocus speed and nearly silent operation. Focal length : 35 millimeter (35 millimeter format equivalent : 53 millimeter)
What better place to start than with the APS-C’s 50mm equivalent. After all, a nifty-fifty is a mainstay in almost all photographer’s kit bag.
Now, some may scream and shout that the Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4 R is the best option here, but I disagree. Not only is the 35mm f/2 cheaper, but it’s also smaller, lighter and has weather sealing.
The image quality is stunning, although not quite as good as the f/1.4 version when it comes to corner-to-corner sharpness at wider apertures. That being said, you’re unlikely to notice any difference in the real world.
Just to add the cherry on the cake, the Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 has quicker autofocus as well.
If you’re a professional environmental portrait photographer, the f/1.4 model might be worth the extra cost. But for all other photographers I’d highly recommend the f/2.
Best Wide Angle Prime for Fuji
Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR
- 24mm in 35mm format equivalentTo adjust focus, rotate the focus ring while viewing the effects in the camera display The focus distance and depth-of-field indicators can be used to assist manual focus
- Angle of view: 83.2°.Minimum working distance of less than 6 inches, Max magnification : 021x
Offering an often-used 24mm full-frame equivalent focal length, the Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR is an old favorite of the Fujifilm community.
Why? Because it’s undeniably one of the best performing wide-angle lenses available. It’s extremely sharp at all apertures andoffers very little in the way of distortion or color fringing.
As you would expect from Fuji, the build quality and ergonomics are excellent and it’s weather sealed for all you landscape photographers out there.
All this does come at a price, though. A pretty steep price as well, so if this is a little out of your budget I can also highly recommend the new Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR and even the manual focus Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 (which I personally use for astrophotography).
Best Portrait Prime Lens for Fuji
Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R
This is another lens that holds something of a legendary status among Fujifilm photographers.
The 56mm f/1.2 R is the fastest lens in Fujifilm’s range, and combined with an 85mm equivalent focal length it makes this the perfect lens for serious portraiture work.
What sets this apart from competitors is the incredible sharpness it offers when used wide open. Nobody shells out for a professional portrait lens to shoot it at f/8, so having this sharpness available all the way down to f/1.2 is a massive benefit.
Almost as good as the sharpness is the creamy smoothness of the out of focus areas (or bokeh). Admittedly the autofocus isn’t the speediest, but the exceptional image quality, build quality and low light performance make it a sacrifice worth making.
Best Discrete Prime Lens for Fuji
Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8
Many photographers make the switch to mirrorless format because of the reduced size and weight of the camera, so it doesn’t make much sense to mount a heavy and cumbersome lens on the front of it.
The Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8 buys into that ethos completely. It’s absolutely tiny at just 23mm long and weighing in at 77g, it’s the smallest and lightest lens in the Fujifilm X lineup.
The discrete nature of this lens, plus the attractive 41mm equivalent focal length, makes this the perfect lens for travelling light. For example, when I have this mounted on my Fujifilm X-T2 I can fit the whole setup into a large pocket.
Admittedly, the relatively narrow maximum aperture and unspectacular image quality mean that this lens doesn’t stand out from the crowd when it comes to pure photography.
However, the image quality is still good, and you know what they say: The best camera is the one you have on you. With a lens this small, you’re much more likely to have your camera with you.
Best Macro Lens for Fuji
Fujifilm XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro
- High resolving power and beautiful bokeh - an optical construction of 16 elements in 12 groups, including one aspherical Lens, one Super ED Lens, and three ED lenses has been Adopted.
- New AF System - Adopts a Floating Focus System, which divides focus lens group into “Front Focus Group” and “Rear Focus Group” and drives them depending on the shooting distance with high accuracy.
This section was a bit of a no-contest, since this is one of only two lenses available for X Series that offers true 1:1 magnification. The other is the admittedly excellent Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Macro, but I prefer the longer 80mm focal length for macro shooting.
In any case, the lack of competition hasn’t stopped Fuji producing another excellent lens with the XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro. All those acronyms translate to a weather-sealed, optically stabilized lens with an innovative linear motor autofocus system that offers unrivalled accuracy, which is obviously very important in macro photography.
As with almost all macro lenses, image quality is exceptional. Nothing new there. However, this is both heavy and expensive as far as Fujifilm lenses go, so you could always try one of our budget macro photography hacks instead!
Fujifilm do also offer a 60mm f/2.4 R Macro lens as well which is significantly cheaper, but it only offers 1:2 magnification so is unsuitable for ‘true’ macro.
Best Zoom Lenses for Fujifilm X
Okay, prime lenses may be viewed as a ‘truer’ form of photography, and I’ve shared my love of primes a lot, but I love zoom lenses too.
The versatility and flexibility they offer to everyday shooting scenarios is often worth the increase in price and the possible sacrifices to image quality and maximum aperture.
Fujifilm are known for their prime lenses, but they also have a stunning selection of zoom lenses available:
Best Standard Zoom Lens for Fuji
Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR
- Optically designed to draw out the maximum image quality of a flagship standard zoom lens Angle of view 83 2°- 29°
- Focal length(35mm format equivalent) f=16-55mm (24-84mm) Focus range Normal - 0 6m - ∞(whole zoom position) Macro - 30cm - 10m (Wide) 40cm - 10m (Telephoto)
If you’re looking for an upgrade to the standard 18-55mm kit lens, look no further.
First, let’s get the negatives out of the way: The Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR is bulky, heavy, expensive and lacks optical stabilization.
However, it makes up for that with stunning optical quality across the frame, a constant f/2.8 aperture, an extra 2mm on the wide end of the focal range, and beautiful build quality.
The advantages far outweigh the negatives if you’re a professional event or wedding photographer who prefers the versatility of a zoom lens.
Best Wide Angle Zoom for Fuji
Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS
- Equivalent to 15-36 mm (35mm format) - angle of view: 110° - 61.2°
- Minimum working distance of 0.24 m, Focal Length : 10-24 mm
The wide-angle zoom is a staple of all landscape and architecture photographers’ kit bags, and the Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS is the perfect lens to fill that reserved spot.
It offers the full-frame equivalent of a 15-36mm focal range, and while the constant f/4 aperture is far from wide it’s perfectly usable for landscape and architectural photography.
Optical quality, as you would expect for this price, is superb across the frame and even surpasses the levels of some of the best wide angle primes. It also sports optical stabilization (up to three stops) and typically excellent build quality, which explain the rather hefty price tag.
There is one relatively large downside though – it lacks weather sealing, which can be an important selling point in landscape photography. If this is a deal-breaker, or if you want to go even wider and brighter, you can stump up double the money for the Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.5 R LM WR.
Best Telephoto Zoom Lens for Fuji
Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR
- Equivalent to 76mm to 214mm;Internal focus
- Focal Length : 50-140 mm
It might seem like an odd focal range, but the Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 covers an equivalent 75-210mm focal range, very similar to that of the popular 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses you find on full frame cameras.
And that is exactly the market that this lens is aimed towards. It’s a professional grade telephoto lens offering a fast constant aperture, weather sealing, stunning image quality, lightning fast autofocus and up to five stops of image stabilization.
This feature list goes some way to explaining both the price and the bulk, with the 50-140mm weighing in heavily on both fronts. That being said, it’s still significantly lighter than the pro-grade 70-200mm f2/.8 lenses on DSLRs.
If you’re an avid sports, action or wildlife photographer shooting on Fuji, this is a must-have.
Best Budget Telephoto Zoom for Fuji
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
- 55 200mm focal length, Minimum focus distance 1.10m/43.41 inch
- 83 300mm equivalent focal length on APS C cameras
However, if you’re not in need of the wide f/2.8 maximum aperture, this more budget-friendly telephoto could be just the lens for you.
The 55-200mm focal range and the variable aperture often results in people unfairly judging this excellent lens, simply because of its resemblance to the bargain-basement telephoto lenses on offer in the DSLR market.
Nothing could be further from the truth. This lens offers image quality on a par with most professional grade 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses, a silent and ultra-fast autofocus system and up to 4.5 stops of image stabilization.
Admittedly, you will have to give up the weather sealing and the variable aperture makes shooting fast-moving subjects in low light unfeasible. If that doesn’t bother you, then you’re really not giving up much opting for this instead of the pricier and heavier 50-140mm.
Best Superzoom Lens for Fuji
Fujifilm XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
- Focal Length : 18-135mm (35mm format equivalent: 27-206mm)
- Focus range : Normal - 0.6m - ∞, Macro - 0.45m - ∞
Superzoom lenses such as this often get an understandably bad rap. Usually they’re aimed squarely at beginner photographers who just want a one-lens-fits-all solution on a budget. As such, they suffer in the image quality and build quality departments.
Fuji have knocked this preconception on the head with the XF 18-135mm superzoom though. It does away with the bargain-basement pricetag, instead opting for surprisingly good image quality, up to five stops of image stabilization, weather sealing, and their ultra fast linear motor autofocus system.
The result is, finally, a superzoom lens that is actually useful for photographers who care about image quality. Of course, the price tag has taken a hike, but if you want the versatility of a superzoom when you’re on your travels this could be the perfect fit.
Fujifilm Lenses Explained
Fuji lens terminology
All manufacturers love to cram as many initializations and letters into their lenses as humanly possible, and Fujifilm are no exception.
With that in mind, it’s important to know exactly what each of these refer to when heading out to buy a lens, so we’ve put together this handy guide to help you:
What is a Fujifilm XC lens? XC lenses are the cheap and cheerful range of Fuji lenses, often sacrificing image and build quality for affordability and portability.
What is a Fujifilm XF lens? This is Fuji’s premium line of lenses, offering improved image quality, build quality and performance.
What does the ‘R’ mean? You’ll notice that most of the lenses listed here have the ‘R’ abbreviation included. This simply means that the lens has a manual aperture ring.
What do WR, OIS and LM stand for? The WR abbreviation indicates that the lens is weather resistant. OIS stands for Optical Image Stabilization. LM refers to the Linear Motor autofocus system, which is faster and quieter than the standard autofocus.
What about PZ? This stands for Power Zoom, which means that the lens is zoomed electronically by wire rather than mechanically. I haven’t included any of those lenses in this list.
Are there any third-party Fuji lenses?
Unfortunately, Fujifilm are sorely lacking many of the established third-party lens manufacturers. For example, neither Tamron or Sigma produce lenses for the X-Mount system, but there are some out there worth looking at.
Samyang / Rokinon produce a range of manual focus prime lenses for the Fuji X-Mount system, including the excellent Rokinon 12mm f/2.
Zeiss, a German manufacturer offering some of the best build quality around, also have three excellent lenses for the X-Mount system – the 12mm f/2.8 Touit, the 32mm f/1.8 Touit and the 50mm f/2.8 Touit.
Lensbaby also produce a number of weird and wonderful Fujifilm X-Mount lenses, including a 5.8mm fisheye.
7artisans is a relatively new lens manufacturer from China with some incredibly cheap X-Mount lenses. For example, check out this 25mm f/1.8 prime for under $100! Obviously, both image and build quality are far below Fujifilm’s standards.
There are a bunch of other obscure lens manufacturers too, but none are worth seriously considering.
Alex is the owner and lead writer for Click and Learn Photography. An avid landscape, equine, and pet photographer living and working in the beautiful Lake District, UK, Alex has had his work featured in a number of high profile publications, including the Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year, Outdoor Photographer of the Year, and Amateur Photographer Magazine.