Compared to my Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR lens, the Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR is very light. It weighs 430g, just slightly less than two Apple iPhone 11 Pros. The Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR is smaller and less expensive than the Fujinon XF35mmF1.4 R1. The Fujinon XF35mmF2 R lens has a noticeable taper from the camera mount toward the end of the lens barrel, which is, along with the lens mini lens cap, a design that is not to my liking. I wish Fujifilm would make a wether resistant version of the Fujinon XF35F1.4 R.
Like most Fujinon lens, the Made in Japan Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR lens is an all-metal design and feels solid in my hand. The filter threads are metal. The front barrel is metal. The focus ring is metal. The aperture ring is metal. So that you get it; this is an all-metal lens. The R means the lens has an aperture ring while the WR signifies weather resistance. The aperture rings had a noticeable click when moving between the 1⁄3 step f/stops. The focus ring is smooth and continuous.
The Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR has a close focus distance of 35 centimetres, but an iPhone 11 Pro can focus at a closer subject distance. This fact may not matter to the target audience for this lens; street photographers. For my test, I used the lens around Witherspoon Street and Nassau Street in Princeton, New Jersey. The auto-focus felt fast, and the images are sharp.
I didn't include them here, but you can see images captured with the lens wide open on this entry for a craft ale.
If you choose to purchase this lens, please use Ritchie Roesch's affiliate link. I don't have one of my own.
I have rented this lens three times to use for birding photography. I have always admired Ray Hennessey's wildlife photography from afar, but earlier this year, I booked a few of his anytime bird photography workshops. During the spring migration of Warblers, I reserved several dates that worked with my schedule and Ray introduced me to these beautiful birds. I love the colour and behaviour of these delightful little birds.
I have only one lens for my Fujifilm X-T2; the Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR. It's an excellent lens but lacks sufficient focal lens for wildlife photography. For the one-on-one workshops with Ray, I rented a Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, a super-telephoto zoom lens, from Lensrentals.
Fujifilm seems to enjoy using a long and complicated naming convention for their products, and while the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR has the longest name I have seen yet, every part of the name is significant. Similar to Nikkor for Nikon lens, Fujinon is the brand name of Fujifilm lenses. The XF means that the lens is designed for Fujifilm’s X-Mount cameras. The R indicates that the lens has an aperture ring, something that is infrequently found in lenses from the "Big Brands", but something that I consider a requirement for all my lenses. LM stands for Linear Motor, the auto-focus system inside the lens.
The “WR” signifies weather-resistance, which is quite useful if your camera is weather-sealed and you like shooting in damp conditions like in the rain or snow or near waterfalls or the ocean. I once was caught out in a thunder-storm with some friends and none of our Nikon’s was weather sealed. My friends' Nikon was soaked and stopped working. I once went out shooting during a light snowstorm. Melting snow caused my Nikon DSLR to start “throwing errors”. I like WR lenses.
The OIS stands for Optical Image Stabilisation with this lens having five stops of stabilisation. The Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR has a maximum aperture of f/4.5 or f/5.6 depending on the focal length setting.
The focal length of the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is 100-400mm which, when attached to a Fujifilm X-Mount camera with 1.52 (APS-C) crop factor, has an equivalent 35mm format full-frame focal length of 152-609mm, which makes it a super-telephoto lens. With the exception of wildlife, sports, and portrait photography, long and very long telephoto lenses are a lot less useful than a "standard" zoom.
Although the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a 152-609mm 35mm full-frame, to me the lens did not feel as large or as hefty. A Nikon 600mm lens weighs 2.3 kg which is more than the weight of the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR and Fujifilm X-T2 combined. I carried the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR and Fujifilm X-T2 in my hand with a hand strap. I did not get tired from holding this kit in my hand and so saw no need to hang the kit off my shoulder.
My rental unit arrived with a plastic hood which extended this 10 cm long lens to 16.5 cm, however, the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens is mostly made of metal. It feels and operates like a well-made product.
Auto-focus on the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens is very quick and is nearly silent, which is precisely what I wanted while out in the field, huddled behind bushes while photographing birds with Ray. I did not use the manual focus.
As one would expect from Fujifilm, the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a sharp lens.
The Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is an excellent option for wildlife photography, although but may not reach far enough for some scenarios. Fujifilm makes two weather-resistant teleconverters, the Fujifilm XF1.4X TC WR and Fujifilm XF2X TC WR, which extend the zoom range to 213-853mm and 304-1218mm respectively. All I can say to that is “whoa”! I have not used these teleconverters.
To conclude, I think the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is an excellent option for wildlife photography. In fact, it may be the only option for the Fujifilm X-Mount system. If I had the budget for and a regular need for an expensive wildlife lens, the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens would be definitely worth owning.
Many websites keep propagating the “story” that a 50mm focal length on a 35mm full-frame camera is roughly equivalent to the field-of-view (FOV) of the human eye. The statement always seemed odd to me given that when I look straight ahead, keeping my eyes from moving side-to-side, I see “wider” than 50mm FOV. The “50mm is standard” mantra also seemed strange, given what I had learned about FOV in graduate school during my “vision” classes. We were being taught about the human eye because designing displays and image processing algorithms requires an understanding of the human vision.
The focal length of the eye is 17 or 24mm however, only part of the retina processes the main image we see. This part of the retina is called the cone of visual attention which is about 55º wide. On a 35mm full-frame camera, a 43mm focal length provides an angle of view of approximately 55º. The 43mm focal length closely approximates the angle of view of the human eye.
43 is not roughly 50. That’s a round-up of nearly 14%. And then saying 52mm, when using a 35mm focal length on a crop factor camera, is close enough to 50 mm compounds the error.
Maybe it’s the engineer in me, but these sort of “errors” get passed around and become “law”, and then we get stuck with them1.
It was with the 43mm focal length in mind that I purchased an Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5 lens. This 28mm lens, when mounted to a Fujifilm X camera, provides a 42.56mm (28×1.52) full-frame equivalent field of view which is near enough to the actual visible focal length of the human eye.
My purchase came directly from Japan with the lens in a leather pouch along with the lens hood in another leather pouch.
On my Fuji X-T2, this lens has a 42.6mm full-frame equivalent field of view which is near enough to the visible focal length of the human eye, making this an excellent lens for travel and street photography. Between 1962 and 1975, Asahi Optical Co., which eventually become Pentax, manufactured a various version of the Takumar 28mm f/3.5 for its range of Spotmatic cameras. This version of the lens was produced with a multi-coated layer designed to reduce lens flare. The lens was sold from 1971 to 1975 and was given the Super-Multi-Coated label.
The first time I used this lens was during my trips into Philadelphia for daily radiation treatments for my Graves Eye Disease. After each treatment, while I waited for the valet to bring the car around, I would stand on the street and take photos. I have used the lens mostly for street photography ever since. Street photography was something I hadn’t done much with other cameras and lenses, but learning how to use this lens was a big help. Instead of pointing the lens at people, I practised by looking down at the flip screen to use focus-peaking, which I think made me seem less threating as perhaps some people thought I was using a film camera.
Like most Asahi lens from the era, the Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5 is all-metal and glass construction. It feels solid in the hand and compliments the look and feel of the Fujifilm X-T2. The focus ring is silky smooth, and the aperture ring gives noticeable clicks as it moves through the half-stops. The lens has a 49mm filter ring and comes with a plastic lens hood. The lens has a maximum aperture of f/3.5, and the minimum aperture is f/16, with intermediate stops at ½ increments. This lens is not a lens for bokehlicious photography. The Asahi Optical Co. Super-Takumar 55mm f/2 is a better choice for that. Most of my images were shot at f/5.6, which works well for street photography but also seems to be one of the sweet spots for sharpness in this lens. Because the lens is not able to communicate with the electronics in the Fujifilm X-T2, when I attach vintage lenses, I tend to shoot the glass at one aperture setting to make it easier for me to add that metadata to the image later.
I know not everyone will be as into vintage lenses, and losing access to auto-focus is a deal-breaker for some. Still, if you do have an interest in trying out older lense, the Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5 is highly recommended. The lens is inexpensive, and both the build quality and image quality are great. The Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5 is my second Asahi lens and probably won't be my last.