Today see’s Fujifilm launch the much awaited Fujifilm XF90mm f/2.0 R LM WR Lens which I have been using a pre-production version of for some time
I’m certainly not going to go into a huge technical review here, I’m sure there will be plenty all over the internet by the time you read this.
Briefly, though, its a 62mm filter, dust and splash resistant linear motor lens. Full specifications can be found on the Fujifilm Website.
If you are in the UK you can pre-order the lens from Wex Photographic right now.
Remember, that this lens I have been using a pre-production and as such the final version of the lens structure and image results may well change.
…although I hope they don’t change too much, because what I have been getting from the lens has been superb.
“I really want to change to the Fuji X-Series but I really need a 135mm Full Frame equivalent lens before I can commit to changing to the Fujifilm system.”
– or –
“I really want to change to the Fuji X-Series but I really need a 24mm Full Frame equivalent lens before I can commit to changing to the Fujifilm system.”
So let me tell you this; If you are a wedding photographer, this 90mm f/2 (135mm Full Frame equivalent) may well be the most important lens you are going to need for your bridal portraits.
I typically don’t shoot portraits as such at weddings due to my style as a reportage wedding photographer, but for the majority of wedding photographers out there that do, and on the occasions that I do, this lens is going to be the de-facto lens for that part of your wedding coverage.
I’ve purposefully selected images that are shot very wide as I know (especially my wedding photographer friends) that its the depth of field that f/2 on a 90mm (135mm equivalent) lens that people are generally interested in.
Wedding Photography with the XF90mm f/2.0 R LM WR Lens
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/1600 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 400
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/3,800 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 400
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/4000 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 400
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/4,000 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 400
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/4,000 sec at f – 4.0, ISO 400
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/1,500 sec at f – 5.0, ISO 400
Continuous Shooting (AF-C) with the XF90mm f/2.0 R LM WR Lens
Shooting in continuous mode using the Fujifilm X-T1 can really help nail shots where the subject is moving. Assuming the camera is configured correctly, I think the 90mm f/2 lens is going to be one that works well using AF-C. In my tests, I got the models to walk towards me both slowly and rapidly and my hit ratio was around 8 in 10 shots in focus. As mentioned, this is a pre-production lens and whilst I don’t think it would be expected to have the continuous focus capabilities of say the XF23mm I was certainly pleasantly surprised buy the tracking and the hit rate.
Fujifilm have used a new Quad Liner Autofocus mechanism to ensure very fast AF with the 90mm lens. My settings certainly back up this, and I was pleasantly surprised at the speed of focus acquisition. I think this is one of the elements of the lens people were interested in seeing in action most and I don’t think you will be disappointed.
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/2,900 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 200 AF-C Mode
X-T1, Electronic Shutter and the Fujifilm XF90mm f/2.0 R LM WR Lens
When Fuji first announced the fast prime lenses of the XF56mm and XF23mm I was at first sceptical because of the maximum shutter speed of the X-T1 (4,000). At first, I found myself using ND filters to enable me the luxury of using these lenses up to around f/2.8.
Of course, as we now know, Fujifilm and the famous “Kaizen” philosophy rolled out an amazing firmware update to the X-T1 (and X100T) which allowed for the use of an electronic shutter mechanism along with the mechanical shutter. Personally, I feel this is one of the most important firmware updates to any camera I’ve ever owned and has really opened up the way I can shoot with the camera. Not only does these elevated shutter speeds (upto 1/32,000 second) enable us to shoot in bright light at fast apertures, but it enables us to shoot in total silence. Incredible.
Shooting with the Fujifilm X-T1 using the Electronic Shutter is no different from any of the other lenses and to test it I placed the model with the harsh midday sun ahead of her. The camera exposed the image at 1,8000 of a second in order to achieve the f/2 aperture I had asked of it.
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/8,000 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 400
Using the electronic shutter also allowed me to get this image of my crazy whippet just before dusk one evening. The light was dim, but I still wanted to test the XF90mm at these really elevated shutter speeds, and I wanted to catch a shot of my dog in “full pelt” with a lovely blurred out background (what’s the point of having that gorgeous F2 aperture otherwise right?).
For the shot below, I sent my dog off into the distance, set the camera to 1,3200 at f2 (I had the camera set to Auto ISO and it of course chose 6,400). I pre-focused the lens at a certain spot and whistled. As soon as my dog approached my focus zone, I fired “through the moment” and the following image was one of my favourites. Using that extremely high shutter speed, in combination with the 135mm full frame equavalent lens at f2 has resulted in a really pleasing image for me. Up until the XF90mm came along I was missing the opportunity to get these types of shots with my Fujifilm equipment.
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/32,000 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 6,400
Now, I don’t think anyone who shoots street photography would really consider a 90mm lens as a good choice for patrolling the streets. I certainly don’t think I’ll be using the 90mm on the streets that often, but for isolated “pot shots” its actually quite an elegant lens for shooting.
I can certainly see this lens being used a lot for speeches and candid head-shots by wedding photojournalists, but by and large, this lens is going the lend itself to the wedding and social portrait photographers
You’ll notice that most of the shutter speeds I’m shooting at are over 1/100th. There is a reason for this and that is that the 90mm lens does not have image stabilisation built in. The lens itself, whilst bigger than the other primes in the XF range, is not huge and I didn’t have any real problems hand holding and shooting even on blustery days in London like the two images below show.
By the way, you may be interested in my Street Photography Photowalks and Workshops with the X-Series.
Fujifilm XF90mm F2 Overall Impressions
Generally I’ve been thrilled with this lens. It was a lens I had been hoping Fuji would produce for a long time as I know for a fact its a lens that specifically the wedding community would flock to (assuming it stood up to the challenges – which it does).
I know that many photographers out there feel that moving to an APS-C system feels like a “step backward”. Whilst I can understand their sentiment, I couldn’t disagree with them more to be honest and for those that were using the lack of depth of field as a reasoning for that, then just take a look at these images snapped at Bristol Zoo. Check out the depth of field that the XF90mm f/2.0 R LM WR is producing wide open.
I’m an official Fujifilm X-Photographer. I use Fujifilm gear 100% of the time (I don’t own any other brands any more). I evangelise about the X-Series and mirror-less technology in general to anyone who will listen and this is not because I’m paid by Fujifilm to say this stuff. Far from it – my XF16mm that arrived three days ago I’d been on a waiting list from WEX to purchase. I use the gear because its great for me, its great for my clients and its great for my business.
Whilst this lens isn’t going to be the lens I use the most at weddings because of the nature of the way I shoot weddings as a photojournalist, I’m really pleased with the images, especially the bokeh rendering, and I genuinely believe that the 90mm lens will fill the gap in a lot of wedding and portrait photographers kit bags. It will be the go to lens for portraits, details and candid long reach shots – such as shots from the back of the church or reaction shots during speeches’
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/160 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 400
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/420 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 400
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/500 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 400
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/2,000 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 200
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/180 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 400
XF90mmF2 R – Exposure: 1/600 sec at f – 2.0, ISO 400
I used to use the Canon 135 F2 lens a lot and I was always smitten with the shallow depth of field at f2. Now, with the XF90mm F2 on the X-Series I can be even more smitten with this luscious narrow depth of field. I don’t think there can be a wedding or portrait photographer in the X-Land who is not excited by what this lens will bring.
And what about the size?
So, the XF90mm is bigger than the other lenses – of course it is. There is a lot of glass in it. However, I believe Fuji listened to feedback from the early prototype and changed the barrel from the “short and fat” (like me) to the “long and slim” structure that you can see below.
The lens is not overly heavy and doesn’t feel uncomfortable. I certainly didn’t feel any balance constraints when using it on my X-Pro1 or my X-T1. The X-M1 did feel a little out of proportion however. When shooting with these long lenses on the the X-Pro1 I prefer using the Electronic Viewfinder.
XF90mmF2 R LM WR on my Skinned Fuji X-Pro1
So here is the complete set of the prime lenses Fujifilm has created for the X-Series. Let’s just think about this for a moment.
The first XF lenses were created to coincide with the launch of the Fuji X-Pro1. These started hitting the streets in April 2012.
That’s exactly three years ago.
Look at the lens choice below. And these are just the primes.
From left to right we have;
- Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R
- Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR
- Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R
- Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8
- Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R
- Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R
- Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R
- Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro
- Fujinon XF 90mm f/2.0 R
In just three years, Fujifilm have created a set of prime lenses to rival any manufacturer. And then there are the zooms too remember.
Whether you are an X-Series user or not, you can’t be less than impressed by the sheer amount of work and effort that Fujifilm are putting into these line-ups and personally, on behalf of all wedding photographers who have started using the X-Series, want to thank them for continuing to invest and produce incredible optics for this system. I know how hard they are working. And they are only going to work harder for us I’m sure.
The Complete set of XF Prime Lenses for the Fujifilm X-Series as of April 2015
Genuinely I believe this lens has the making of being a very special lens for a lot of people. The step up from the 56mm to the 90mm for the portrait folks is going to make a world of difference. In honesty, I was fairly ambivalent about this lens at first. I wondered whether Fuji could pull of a great sharp lens that was a fixed aperture at this focal length on an APS-C and still have a gorgeous depth of field rendering to it.
Well, I think they have done just that – and I’m not just saying that. People that know me, listen to my interviews etc., know that I will be honest about my gear selection for my business.
In due course I’ll do a more posts about shooting weddings with this lens, and of course you’ll be able to read endless technical reviews about edge-to-edge sharpness etc elsewhere also.
The most important thing for me though, and I really do believe this, is that this lens, coupled with the XF16mm are the gap-filling lenses in the selection, the missing pieces of the jigsaw.