The best lens ever for the Fuji system.
The 35mm f/1.4 XF by Fujifilm
That is it. That’s the one that I would bring with me on an around the world trip. This lens coupled to a X-Pro2 would be able to answer to most people need. It is everything one ever wanted, and then some. I originally bought the 35mm f/2.0 WR, for the internet seemed to rave about it. I stopped in a photo store in Singapore to try the 35mm f/1.4, just for fun. What my surprise when I discovered how much better the f/1.4 is! It’s like, what happened here!? How can the internet photo community praise the f/2.0 WR so much? The f/1.4 obliterates the f/2.0 WR, no doubt. This is crystal clear, a no brainer.
I’m talking about the rendering here. The f/2.0 WR is super sharp, nothing to wrong against it. But when it comes to make photography therefore art, the f/2.0 is no match to the f/1.4. There’s way more than a stop of light difference: There’s a world of rendering and emotions between the two.
The f/1.4 XF version got attacked for being “noisy”. This is an absolute non-issue in real life, such as wedding photography or church-related event. I never had an issue. Heck, the 50mm f/1.8 AF-D or 85mm AF-D Nikon’s lens could be accused of being “noisy”, but nobody ever cared. Why the hell do people care about the absurdly low sound level of the autofocus engine on the 35mm f/1.4 XF Fuji !? It makes no sense. But I can only assume that some reviewers have to write a whole bunch of words to hope to get rank on Google, so they fed their article with nonsense.
It is IMPOSSIBLE that you will ever be distorbed by the AF noise of the 35mm. Sure, the 35mm f/2.0 WR Fuji is silent, but…so is the f/1.4, almost. You won’t ever notice the sound and nobody care even if you’d hear a subtle AF engine noise. Get over it.
Another complain on the web is the size of the 35mm f/1.4 versus the 35mm f/2.0 WR…See the picture below. Left to right: 60mm f/2.4 macro, 23mm f/2.0 WR in the middle and 35mm f/1.4. That’s right, the f/1.4 is smaller than all of these!
A famous complaint about the 35mm f/1.4 is the lack of weatherproofing. Well, after having gone to the African Savannah and the South American beaches and jungles, let me tell you that you won’t ever have to worry about the 35mm f/1.4 getting all screwed up. The construction is phenomenal (compared to the 50mm f/1.8 and f/1.4 Canon and Nikon).
Just keep in mind: I gain absolutely nothing wether if you get the 35mm f/1.4 or the f/2.0 version. I just wished someone on the web would have been truly honest about it and wrote the truth about these two versions. I lost over $300 in trading: just because I thought reviewers were honest about the f/1.4 vs f/2.0 debate.
Pick whatever you want. I cannot say enough good about the 35mm f/1.4 XF Fuji: That comes from a guy that shot with so many good lenses over the last decade, such the 85mm f/1.4 AF-S G Nikon, the 56mm f/1.2 Fuji, the 300mm f/2.8 VR Nikon and many epic lenses. The 35mm f/1.4 has a magic sauce to its glass elements. And that’s why it will always have a very special place in my bag.
I added a few pictures taken with the 35mm f/1.4, wide-open. You be the judge.
Some more pictures, also all taken wide-open or almost.
Thank you and stay tuned for more honest camera reviews…a rarity these days it seems.