Honest Camera Review: Long term review of the 60mm f/2.4 Fuji Macro

A wedding shot with the 60mm f/2.4 XF macro from Fuji? Heck yeah. When you know what you’re doing, the camera and lens combo is just an extra. Unless it’s a M43 haha.

This might be the most underrated lens in the whole Fuji line-up

Or maybe in the world of lenses. It’s amazing. It’s so good. It’s the best lens that I bought since the 300mm f/2.8 VR Nikon.

Simply put, this is the best kept secret of the Fuji photographer. I wrote my first quick review here, after a few weeks of ownership. Now, after almost half a year, I can only affirm what I was thinking: This is a secret gem of a lens.

Nobody really knows this lens, which is too bad. It got bad press for having a terribly slow autofocus…but if you know what you’re doing, you can use it for a wedding! That’s right. The autofocus is predictable. It won’t focus without a whole bunch of contrast. This thing loves high contrast and light, so give it plenty when you focus and recompose if needed. Forget about using the AF-C: it isn’t even remotely working. Without further due, here’s some sample review from my around the world trip:

wedding photography with a 60mm f/2.4 macro Wedding photography with a 60mm f/2.4 macro
Macro ability of the 60mm f/2.4: That’s at the closest focusing distance.

Macro ability of the 60mm f/2.4: That’s at the closest focusing distance.

Macro ability

Well, this is a macro lens first and foremost, so maybe I should say something about its close-up ability. It’s good. It isn’t 1 to 1 ratio, so there’s still room to justify the 80mm f/2.8 fuji macro lens. But if you are looking for one of the sharpest lens in the fuji line-up, look no further: that’s it. You can get 1:1 feels by simply cropping with your 24mp sensor (Xt2, X-Pro2, etc).

The lens gives a 90mm perspective on full frame. If you decide to do another 1.5x crop on your computer, you’ll end with a 135mm equivalent at around 10 megapixel. That’s plenty, even to illustrate a photobook. I shot an entire cookbook with my sister just using the 60mm f/2.4: it’s that good. No distortion, sharp as hell and light. It doesn’t weight much on a X-Pro2, it feels rightly balanced.

23mm f/2.0 Fuji Taken wide open. The 60mm f/2.4 macro is actually a most for portrait and weddings. That was conclusion after seeing this picture. Garden by the bay At minimum focusing distance.
fuji 60mm f/2.4 macro long term review sample butterfly 60mm f/2.4 macro fuji sample insect 60mm f/2.4 macro fuji sample insect 60mm f/2.4 macro fuji sample flower 60mm f/2.4 macro fuji sample insect 60mm f/2.4 macro fuji sample insect 60mm f/2.4 macro fuji

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Great image quality

  • Special rendering of image…

  • Great micro-contrast

  • Flare resistance is great

  • Super compact for a f/2.4 90mm portrait lens

  • Price! Bought it for $350CAD! ($250USD) in mint condition

  • All-steel construction

Cons

  • Terribly slow autofocus

  • Kinda of noisy autofocus


Now, many photographer can wonder which one to get between the 56mm f/1.2 and the 60mm f/2.4. Well, both are actually totally different. I had both (sold the 56mm f/1.2, the greatest mistake of my life). I will buy the 56mm f/1.2 soon. Those 4mm of difference makes a huge difference in the real world. The fact that you can get extremely close to your subject with the 60mm f/2.4 gives it an advantage for indoor use. Coupled to a Fuji X-Pro2 where ISO perfomance is no problem until 6400, it is a solid performer. I can shoot a wedding comfortably just by using a 23mm f/2.0, a 35mm f/1.4 and a 60mm f/2.4. That’s it.

The problem I had with the 56mm f/1.2 is that I was tempted way too many times to use it at its widest aperture, only to realize later that the eyes weren’t perfectly in focus. And maybe that’s what so great about the 60mm f/2.4 macro Fuji: It gives you a sort of limitation (slow autofocus, only f/2.4) that will make you even more creative. I have shot a few pictures that made the 60mm f/2.4 a forever-keeper. I am afraid that, in the heat of the moment, I would have shot at f/1.2 with the 56mm and miss the shot, where the 60mm is by default at f/2.4. It gives you some flexibility. Maybe if I’d be a better photographer, I would think about using the 56mm f/1.2 at f/2.2 or something like that, but I’m not there yet.

Thank you,
JP