Fujifilm 18mm f 2.0 - wide and wide open
There are only four lenses I consider to be indispensable for the Fujifilm system (and a blog post on that is on the way), and the 18mm 2.0 is one of them. You need a good wide angle lens and the 18mm is certainly that. At a focal length equivalent to a 28mm on a full frame camera and a maximum aperture of 2.0, the 18mm is an incredibly versatile lens, and, in my opinion, a must buy.
What I Like About The Lens
I love the 28mm focal length. It's wide without being WIIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDDDEEEEEEEE. It is the perfect focal length for environmental portraiture or even landscape. It's my go to lens when I want to show off some of the surrounding scenery in a shot.
Usually, wide angle lenses aren't what you want when you want some subject isolation and smooth bokeh. However, the 18mm isn't your usual lens. This lens has no problem rendering the background perfectly out of focus and while isolating your subject.
Additinally, the 18mm can focus very close to your subject which aids in subject isolation and, because it's so wide, you can still get your subject in frame. As close distances, there is some usual distortion. This is especially true in faces, which can look abnormally thin and long in this wider angle lens.
This lens is also tiny. It's not quite a true pancake lens, but it's close. In my opinion, it's a more usable focal length than the 27mm and it's a full stop faster with better bokeh and closer focusing distance. it's really useful and so small it's hard to find a reason not to pack it in your camera bag. I will say that the 27mm is faster to focus.
Lastly, there is the price of this lens. It's usually on sale grey market or used for around $300, which is pretty inexpensive for a decent wide angle lens.
What I Don't Like
This lens is one of the first three lenses Fujifilm released for their interchangeable lens X-series cameras. As a result, it is a little more crude than the other lenses Fujifilm has released recently. As a result, the autofocus is a little slower and the lens feels a little more rough around the edges than lenses like the 35mm f2 or 23mm f2. Because of the roughness and slowness, I am looking forward to the mark 2 version.
However, this lens is still made of metal. It still focuses quick enough and Fujifilm is constantly improving their hardware via firmware updates. It performs excellently and has earned its spot in my camera bag.
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? So, here’s some samples.
To summarize, I think the Fujifilm 18mm is one of the best lenses out right now. When you factor in the size, weight, price, and performance, I can’t think of a lens that beats it. This lens is one of my favorites for the Fujifilm system and a must have for any Fujifilm shooters.