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DPRTV: Which are the Best Fujifilm Prime Lenses: XF F1.4 vs F2 (18mm, 23mm and 35mm)


In their latest episode, DPRTV looks at the best Fujifilm prime lenses, more precisely at the following ones:

So which one is the better pick? And is bigger, more expensive and faster always better?

I want to know your opinion, but so far I personally went for the f/1.4 lenses, plus I sold my XF18mmF2 in favor of the even more compact XF27mmF2.8 and now I am a happy owner of the XF27mmF2.8 R WR.

And while I think I could be perfectly happy also with the XF23mmF2 instead of my XF23mmF1.4 (the lens that took the first image of my son), I think I can simply not trade in my XF35mmF1.4 for the XF35mmF2, as I simply love it. The XF35mmF1.4 is always with me on travels (for example here in the gothic streets of Barcelona) and it has that character that also Chris from DPRTV loves so much.

Gosh, I even had to take an emergency jump into the Mekong river one day with all my gear, XF35mmF1.4 included, to avoid to die in the Mekong waterfalls on the border between Laos and Cambodia (I had the brilliant idea to explore alone with an old cr*p wooden Kayak a point where the Mekong gets at least 5 miles large, commonly called the 4000 island).

The mighty Mekong claimed all my gear in exchange for my life. All my gear, except for the XF35mmF1.4, which was the only gear to survive and still today works like a champ.

But enough of that crazy stuff I do on travels.

Down below you can read a summary of what Chris thinks about these lenses.

18mm Battle

  • XF18mmF2 is one of the oldest Fujinon lenses. Slower AF, no WR, must stop down a bit to get best image quality. But nice compact.
  • XF18mmF1.4 is THAT good. Rugged. Silent and fast AF. Optically great wide open, no need to stop down. Fairly compact.
  • In the 18mm battle, bigger and more expensive is better
  • XF18mmF1.4 gives you a lot more for your money

23mm Battle

  • XF23mmF2 is weather resistant. Very well build and compact. Very fast AF. Lots to like about the little design. Optically decent, and benefit a bit from stopping down. Great for street photography in small package
  • XF23mmF1.4 is an old lens. Clutch focus. Very good wide open. At f/2 it is better than the XF23/2. Old and noisy AF. No WR. Substantially bigger than the F2 version
  • XF23mmF1.4 is superior optically, but he’d go for the XF23mmF2, as optically it is still decent. And smaller, WR, fast AF.

35mm Battle

  • XF35mmF2. Same as 23/2. Compact, fast AF, WR. Optically really nice even shot wide open. He likes the character of the bokeh. One of Chris’ favorite lenses
  • XF35mmF1.4: old lens, slow AF. Well build but no WR. Wide open OK but not so great, and corners tend to be soft even when stopped down
  • But the XF35mmF1.4 has a lot of character. Renders nicely the bokeh. There is just a look to the images which is really nice, but not as sharp as the XF35mmF2
  • on paper the XF35mmF2 makes sense and they recommend to get the f/2, but Chris also likes the character of the XF35mmF1.4 and still has decent image quality


  • complex issue
  • more expensive is not always better, but also not more affordable is always better

I remind you that, according to our sources, Fujifilm is working on a Fujinon XF23mmF1.4 MKII and the Fujinon XF33mmF1.4.

  • read here – Why the Fujinon XF33mmF1.4 R WR is not the XF35mmF1.4 MK II
  • read here – Fujinon XF33mmF1.4 R WR Coming 2021
  • read here – Fujifilm Working on Fujinon XF23mm f/1.4 MKII
  • read here – The Magic of the Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 Explained and Why Fujifilm Should NOT Make an XF 35mm f/1.4 MK II

And which one would be your top pick? The f/1.4 or the f/2 primes?