Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R lens
This compact, well-built lens is a good choice for landscape photographers, although the absence of weather sealing should be noted.
The very low level of rectilinear distortions make it suitable for architectural photography, including interior shots. It could also be used for street photography.
The XF 14mm f/2.8 R has few competitors, aside from slightly wider the Zeiss Touit X 12mm f/2.8, which carries a similar price tag and the much cheaper manual focus Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens (selling for around AU$399), which requires manual focusing.
Its build quality is up to Fujifilm’s high standards and many photographers will find the hyperfocal scale on the lens barrel to be a useful addition.
Announced on 6 September, 2012, Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R lens is an ultra-wide lens prime with an angle of view equivalent to a 21mm lens on a 35mm camera. Combining a wide angle of view with a relatively wide maximum aperture and minimal distortions, this lens is an attractive choice for landscape and architectural photographers. But the lack of weather sealing will reduce its appeal for some potential purchasers.
Angled view of the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R lens without hood and cap. (Source: Fujifilm.)
The optical design of this lens is moderately complex for a prime lens, with 10 elements in seven groups. Two aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion (ED) elements keep common aberration to a minimum. The lens is supplied with the normal front and end caps plus a petal-shaped hood made from rigid black plastic.
Also in the box are two printed multi-lingual manuals, one an owner’s manual and the other a firmware update manual to guide users through the processes of updating camera and lens firmware. An SD card with the latest camera firmware is also provided.
Who’s it For?
As mentioned, this compact, well-built lens is a good choice for landscape photographers, although the absence of weather sealing would make it vulnerable in adverse weather conditions. The very low level of rectilinear distortions make it suitable for architectural photography, including interior shots. It could also be used for street photography.
Currently there aren’t many alternatives for owners of Fujifilm’s X-mount cameras who need a wide angle lens. Aside from the XF 14mm f/2.8 R only one other lens, the XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS, covers the same angle of view ““ and that lens is a full stop slower.
Build and Ergonomics
It’s a pity Fujifilm didn’t include weatherproof sealing in this lens because, aside from that, its overall build quality is excellent. Most of the lens is made from metal with the addition of high quality plastics to provide relatively light weight (roughly 230 grams) with robust strength. It’s relatively light for such a wide angle of view, although large when compared with slower ‘pancake’ primes.
One of the main features of this lens is the wealth of external controls available. Located roughly 10 mm behind the front of the lens is the focusing ring, which carries a finely ribbed grip band and employs a focus clutch mechanism, similar to that provided on some Olympus lenses. Pushing this ring forwards engages autofocusing, while pulling it back sets focusing to the manual adjustment mode. It also reveals a distance scale marked in metres and feet.
When pulled back, the ring rotates through roughly 180 degrees and there are hard stops at each end of the focusing range; a nice touch. A depth-of-field guidance scale is engraved on the lens barrel in front of the focusing ring. The focus ring turns smoothly and quite freely in manual focus mode.
Immediately behind the focus ring is an aperture ring, its presence designated by the ‘R’ in the lens name. It’s roughly 11 mm wide and has a 7 mm wide grip band with wider ridging around its trailing edge. In front of the grip are aperture settings ranging from f/2.8 to f/22 in full-stop increments, with unmarked 1/3 step click stops between them.
A red ‘A’ beyond the f/22 setting switches the lens and camera into aperture priority mode ““ or manual mode if the shutter speed dial is also set to the ‘A’ position. This ring also moves quite freely; a little too freely in our opinion as it’s easy to change the aperture setting inadvertently.
Fortunately, the f-number is displayed prominently in the EVF on the X-T2 camera we used for this review so it was easy to monitor the setting. A depth-of-field guidance scale is also displayed above the focusing scale in the EVF and on the monitor screen when the camera is in manual focus mode to aid with zone focusing, a technique often used with wide angle lenses.
The supplied lens hood is deep enough to shield the front element from stray light. It attaches via a bayonet mounting and can be reversed for storage. In that position it also provides some protection for the focusing ring.
Surprisingly for such a wide-angle lens, this lens has very low levels of rectilinear distortion, even in raw files where in-camera corrections are not applied. Our tests also showed lateral chromatic aberration to be extremely low.
The vignetting characteristics of the lens were unusual, with slight centre darkening coupled with darkening at the corners of the frame. Our Imatest tests showed resolution to be slightly lower than expectations for JPEG files. The lens we received showed signs of impact damage so this might have affected the results we obtained. The highest figures were recorded one stop down from maximum aperture. Fortunately, differences between centre and edge resolution were minimal, as shown in the graph of our test results below.
Lateral chromatic aberration was extremely low, as shown in the graph of our test results below. The red line marks the boundary between negligible and low CA.
This lens isn’t ideal for close-up photography, partly because it can’t focus closer than 18 cm from the subject. At this distance, the combination of distortion and a slightly choppy bokeh can be a little off-putting.
We found autofocusing to be fast and generally accurate, as expected for such a wide angle lens. It was also almost silent; another positive feature for those who shoot movies.
The supplied lens hood provided good protection for the front element against off-angle light that could cause flare. In use, we found this lens to be remarkably flare resistant.
The XF 14mm f/2.8 R has few competitors, aside from slightly wider the Zeiss Touit X 12mm f/2.8, which carries a similar price tag and the much cheaper manual focus Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens (selling for around AU$399), which requires manual focusing. Its build quality is up to Fujifilm’s high standards and many photographers will find the hyperfocal scale on the lens barrel to be a useful addition.
However, for its price, we feel this lens should have included weather sealing. Having been on the market for around four years, discounting is well underway and you can purchase the XF 14mm f/2.8 R lens for between AU$800 and $850 if you shop around.
Picture angle: 90.8 degrees
Minimum aperture: f/22
Lens construction: 10 elements in 7 groups (including 2 aspherical elements and 3 ED elements)
Lens mounts: Fujifilm X-mount
Diaphragm Blades: 7 (circular aperture)
Focus drive: Micro-motor
Minimum focus: 18 cm
Maximum magnification: 0.12x
Filter size: 58 mm
Dimensions (Diameter x L): 65 x 58.4 mm
Weight: 235 grams
Standard Accessories: Lens front and end caps, petal-shaped lens hood
Distributor: Fujifilm Australia; 1800 226 355; www.fujifilm.com.au
Based on JPEG files captured with the Fujifilm X-T2 camera.
Vignetting at f/1.4.
Close-up at ISO 400, 1/58 second at f/2.8.
ISO 6400, 1/850 second at f/7.1.
ISO 200, 1/27 second at f/14.
ISO 100, 1/80 second at f/14.
Strong contre-jour lighting; ISO 200, 1/60 second at f/13.
Crop from the above image at 100% magnification showing no coloured fringing.
ISO 200, 1/180 second at f/3.2.
ISO 200, 1/200 second at f/3.6.
Additional image samples can be found with our review of the Fujifilm X-T2 camera.
RRP: AU$1099; US$599
- Build: 8.9
- Handling: 8.9
- Image quality: 8.8
- Versatility: 8.7