XF23mmF2 into the stardom
The FUJINON XF23mmF2 is in stores now.
It is already in hands of the eager users, pairing perfectly with their X-Pro2 or X-T2 body. Images taken with the lens are starting to float around the web, too.
Let’s look back where this new lens stands in the XF Lens lineup.
It’s the product planner’s primary focus to create the future of our product line. When we plan a future XF lens, we often look at similar lenses from our competitors and listen to the feedback of users to learn the good and the bad. With this feedback in mind, we brainstorm ways to make our new lenses a perfect amalgamation of aesthetics, character and flavor.
The XF23mmF2 R WR was a special case, however. We had to look beyond just analyzing our competitor’s lenses and had to focus internally.
Yes, there already exists the XF23mmF1.4 R. There also exists the ever-popular X100 Series of digital cameras that has the same focal length. Until the announcement of XF23mmF2, many X-Photographers referred the X100 lens as the “XF23mmF2”.
Each lens has its own unique character, and as product planners and designers, we had to seriously consider what differentiates this new XF23mmF2.
Firstly, and perhaps obviously, the XF23mmF2 R WR is a superb lens. It is sharp to the corner and has excellent depth of field. It renders an image with lots of information. If you shoot with the X-Pro2’s OVF, you will discover that the optical view and the actual image is quite similar, making it perfect for street photography and snapshots.
Let’s compare it with the image quality of XF23mmF1.4.
The XF23mmF1.4 renders images quite differently on the peripherals in front and back of the depth of field for the same F value. XF23mmF2 renders images with lots of information, which is a plus for snapshooters. XF23mmF1.4 renders dynamic image with added depth, which is a characteristic of large diameter lens.
The lens is also quite different from the X100. When you compare it, you will learn that X100 is quite a character. It renders a very soft image with the aperture wide open or when shot in close distance. But with the aperture closed, it renders very sharp image. The XF23mmF2 renders images that is very constant. X100 renders images that is very varying.
There are advantages to having the soft image with the aperture wide open and in close-up. The viewing is very pleasing in print, for example. You forget it when you only look at pixel levels.
The well behaved XF23mmF2 and the distinctive X100, both are very important element for photography. You cannot just pick one. Luckily both are very compact in size.
One is focal plane shutter and another is lens shutter. Carrying both lens with the same focal length may not be so much of a bad idea either.
It is no suprise that the XF23mmF1.4 R has richer bokeh with greater depth of field, and that the characteristics of the X100 Series creates soft images at open aperture. Both options provide excellent results, and the newest member of the family is no exception: the XF23mmF2 R WR delivers sharp images with fast autofocus for all F values. Boasting a weather-resistance that sets it apart, the XF23mmF2 fits perfectly into the FUJINON XF Lens family, offering operability and aesthetic similar to its XF35mmF2 brother.