Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 - Review

One of the benefits of being a Fujifilm X-Photographer is that I get to try out different lenses and accessories.  So about a month ago I received a Fuji 18mm F2 lens, a Fuji 27mm F2.8 and a EF-42 flash.  Unfortunately there seemed to be a problem with the Fuji 27mm and I was unable to get it to work so for this review I'll talk mostly about the 18mm lens which is equivalent to a 27mm lens on a full frame camera.   While I think it is a great lens, the problem I have is that I'm really happy with Fujifilm's 18-55 (kit) lens.  In the past whenever one bought a camera with a kit lens you almost immediately wanted to replace it with a prime lens because they were sharper and faster.  Not so with the 18-55 OIS (Optical Image Stabilization).   The 18-55 lens at 18mm is wide open at F/2.8 whereas the 18mm is wide open at F2.   So for me that is kind of like splitting hairs.  

On that note however, here are some comparison photos of similar scenes (albeit at different times of the year, focal length and shutter speed).  

 

Another thing I noticed was I seemed to be able to get in closer with the 18mm than I could with the 18-55. 

 

In the end though for me it is always about what kind of photographs can one make with this lens.   Here are some of my favourites. 

If you are comfortable with an 18mm fixed focal length (27mm Full frame) and are looking for a lens that is not heavy, then this lens could be a great choice for you.   It is compact and I loved how easily it slipped into my bag and that it wouldn't weigh me down.   Although I must admit that coming from having to carry a Nikon D800 with a 24-70 F2.8 lens the Fujifilm 18-55 lens is not very heavy either.  The lens is selling in Canada currently for $599.99 but you can pick one up in the US for only $499.00.   I don't think I'll be buying this lens because the most attractive feature for me was how small it is and although the 27mm didn't work, I did notice that it was even smaller and with an equivalent focal length of 41mm which I think I would prefer.  But then again, none of these lenses seem heavy compared to the Nikon equipment I was carrying before and so I may decide to go for the Fujifilm 35 1.4. :) 

Taken with the 18mm and cropped.

Taken with the 18mm and cropped.