Fujifilm 35mm f1.4
Fujifilm 35mm f1.4
There is one truly indispensable lens for the Fujifilm system, in my opinion. It is my favorite lens of all time and I think it is high in the running for the best lens of all time. It's the Fujifilm 35mm 1.4. This lens is THE reason to get into the Fujifilm system. This lens makes everything look better and this is a review of the lens. It won't be a technical type review because, well, honestly I don't know how to do one of those. This is more of a, “what is this thing like to live with” type review.
Size and weight
First off, the size and weight of this thing is perfect. It balances well on any Fujifilm camera and isn't as front heavy as other big aperture lenses like the 56mm 1.2.
It just feels right.
The x100 series cameras doesn't feel this well balanced, in my opinion. Sure, they have less hanging off the front of them, but I like to have something to grab onto on the front of my camera. The x100 series is much better one handed than two handed, but I prefer the two handed grip. This lens has a much easier to use focus ring and aperture ring. It also makes it easier to stabilize when holding it two handed for slower shutter speeds.
Also, the weight of this lens is wonderful. It doesn't weigh you down when you're carrying it around all day. Everyone goes on and on about the lack of size and weight of mirrorless system cameras. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, I mean, how much can a lens weigh?
I will tell you, the weight adds up over time. When you're walking around all day with a camera and a lens, every little bit helps. Any hiker can tell you that an ounce here and an ounce there can feel like pounds the longer you hike around with it on your back.
I used to carry the 56mm around and the difference in weight is enough to make a difference when you carry it around all day. You put a heavy bit of glass in your bag and by the end of the day, you will feel it. The 35mm is a godsend, in that regard. It's fast and sharp, just like the 56mm, but much less weight and size.
I can't say enough good things about this lens. Superlatives literally don't do it justice. Image quality is where this lens truly shines. Modern optics are truly amazing at rendering a clean image with little aberration, distortion, and glare. They make a pristine, sterile image.
But that's the problem, isn't it?
I've realized, through my experiments with vintage lenses on modern cameras, that sterile pure image quality isn't really what I want in my glass. I want character. I want a signature.
All of Fujifilm’s lenses have more signature than those of the other big camera companies, but the 35mm 1.4 is the best example. It is absolute magic. This lens can take the most mundane scene and turn it into something interesting.
I had a copy of this lens that was stolen from me quite a while ago and I tried to replace it with the Fujifilm 35 f2. It just didn't work. It doesn't have the same magic. It's a good lens, it might even be a great lens, but it's not the same. It doesn't have that signature. I never fell in love with it.
The price of this lens is not bad for what you get. You can usually find this lens used or grey market for around $400. I bought mine for about $350 with the Fujifilm macro adapter, which was a bargain. If you only buy one lens for the Fujifilm system, it should be this one.
Closing and samples
In conclusion, I adore this lens. I've taken some of my favorite images with it. Obviously, the lens doesn't take the picture, but a great lens certainly helps when it comes to making images. Where that's concerned, I'll take all the help I can get. Take a look at the following samples, and, if you're going to buy this lens, please buy it from my affiliate link. It helps me continue to put out the content on this website. Thanks so much and let me know what you think of the review and the lens and if you have any questions!