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Torn between 27mm f/2.8 and 35mm f/2.0 need your opinions please


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Thank you all very much for your help. After careful consideration I have decided to go with the xf35 f/2 lens. Since this would be my first x-system and I have found a very good deal on Adorama for X-E2 as kit I have ordered the 18-55 kit plus the 35mm. Let's see where this takes me in the future. Thank you all very much.

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Thank you all very much for your help. After careful consideration I have decided to go with the xf35 f/2 lens. Since this would be my first x-system and I have found a very good deal on Adorama for X-E2 as kit I have ordered the 18-55 kit plus the 35mm. Let's see where this takes me in the future. Thank you all very much.

Excellent choice. The 35F2 is very sharp wide open.

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Hard to say, your lens choice should reflect the photography you intend to do.  I just got the X-Pro2 + XF35mm f/2 lens, and I'm loving it.  I went for the f/2 over the f/1.4 based on comments in this forum, and video reviews of both lenses.  So far I have not been disappointed.  The 35mm f/2 is light, sharp, and fast.  Like you, I intend to keep this lens on my X-Pro2 for the full year, and into 2017.  I want to learn it well before purchasing another lens.


Unlike you, I also own an X100T (in for repairs at the moment), which gives me a bit of an advantage.  I mostly use the X100T for street photography, and am using the X-Pro2 for most everything else.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hmpf. Let's take a look at that as I can't agree with much of what is in this post.



XF27 f/2.8


It is very sharp across the frame. It used to be my second sharpest lens after the Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8. Mine is about as good across the frame as the XF23 f/1.4, only beaten clearly by the XF90 and the Zeiss. Other lenses might be better at a certain aperture or certain characteristic but as an average of apertures from f/2.8 to f/8 the 27 is one of the best lenses I have tested from the Fuji line up. It does drop of significantly from f/11 on though.


It has a light barrel distortion which is well corrected in software, either in camera or Lightroom and also some coma but both aren't really problematic. 


There seems to be some significant spread between various XF27 lenses, I tested two of them and both were very close together, but there are other results on the net to be found which show weak edge performance which I can't reproduce with the lens I have here. So be aware and test the one you receive.


XF35 f/1.4 and f/2


Between these two lenses there are reviews that show one or the other being stronger optically, I own both and can say that without a doubt the old f/1.4 beats the new f/2 lens easily in optical performance from f/4 on. Contrast, micro-contrast, center resolution, resolution across the frame, distortion are better on my f/1.4 than they are on my f/2. I have seen tests stating otherwise even though when looking closely at their examples, it shows that they actually get same results as myself. 


The f/2 is clearly a newer lens from Fuji, more solid barrel design, faster AF motor, nearly completely silent operation, tight aperture ring and the WR badge show this fairly clearly. Optically, the XF35 f/2 beats the old f/1.4 only at it's own wide open aperture and only in the wide corner area (not really close to the corner where the f/2 falls off pretty badly), which is kind of surprising – at f/2 the new lens shows more contrast in all parts of the except the center. 


The new XF35 f/2 is unfortunately absolutely terrible in terms of optical distortion correction. The barrel distortion is extreme. 


For landscapes between my two copies of the XF35 lenses the f/1.4 is better as it recovers much better over the whole frame from f/2.8 on where the two are comparable but from f/4 on the old lens shows clearly more details and more micro-contrast across the frame.


Regarding AF performance, the new lens IS slightly better, but only slightly. The old lens makes a lot more "fuss" about focussing with a noisy motor and some squeaks here and there though making it "sound" slower. 


You also have to be REALLY careful when looking at reviews of the lenses as all Fuji lenses seem to have variations between individual samples. So, you might get a really good XF35 f/2 or a really bad XF27 and your results can vary.


Also, one more word of caution with regard to reviews: some reviews use dcraw to develop the raw which used to be absolutely terrible in de-mosaicing x-trans files which means the resulting resolution graphs were really bad for the simple reason that the software was crap and not the lens.


Conclusion from above


If you are looking for best optical performance, the surprise here is that if you get a good copy of the XF27 it is optically better on average over the respective full range of apertures of each lens than either of the XF35 lenses. 


Now, that needs to be qualified though because if you take all three lenses and compare them from f/2.8 to f/8 only, the optically best I have here (and have tested personally) is the XF35 f/1.4. 


No matter though, if it is really the only lens used for a while then I would HIGHLY recommend the XF35 f/1.4 for the following reasons:

  • ​It recovers optically better from f/2.8 on than the newer f/2 lens.
  • It delivers one stop more light which results in more creative options shooting wide open as well as more exposure options shooting in dark areas AND it lets in twice (compared to f/2) or even four times (compared to f/2.8) as much light onto an auto focus system so can be more precise.
  • It is optically better corrected than the two other lenses.
  • The XF27 does not have an aperture ring which I personally find a downside but others might disagree here.
  • While f/2.8 is not really slow, it is two stops slower than f/1.4 with all the creative disadvantages and exposure downsides.

The field of few is actually quite a bit different between the 27 and the 35s. 


If the only viable financial option is between XF35 f/2 and the XF27 I'd go with the one that is closer to the preferred focal length. 


Waiting for 23 f/2?


Why on earth would someone wait for a lens that isn't even on the Fujifilm lens roadmap yet? The rumors stem from an interview where a Fuji executive said that "people have asked for more compact slightly slower lenses" and that they'll likely develop some of them. Really, you're going to wait because of a rumor? 


XF27 vs. any of the XF35s


I have not used the XF27 much in the last year since I bought the XF23. I basically pack it in my bag when I take the X-T1 on a longer trip to have an option to remove the ArcaSwiss plate from the camera, mount the XF27 and have a very compact system. But mostly I just take a bag with me and pack the 14, maybe the 23, definitely a 35 and maybe if I'm after portraits the 56 or 90. 


The XF27 is an okay "only lens" for me, but the XF23 and either of the XF35s are better "only lenses". I'm more a 35 than a 23 fan, but that's personal. 


thank you for your good statement.

rather than all issues about 27 f2.8 such as good quality (if not better than 35 f2 but not less), weight, etc. would you let me know bout AF system? i mean is 27 f2.8 is enough safe auto focusing on XT1?


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27 2.8 from all reports is a nice pancake, but the 2.8 max aperture and lack of aperture ring would put me off so... I'd say no, unless you really want something extremely small and light.


23 1.4 would be my personal number one choice for a "do it all" prime. I fine the traditional 35mm field of view to be the best all round focal length and the 23mm is a fast lens too boot. That's why it was one of the first lenses I bought when I was buying back into the fuji system. However, this lens might be beyond your budget...


35 1.4 would be my budget choice for an all round lens. It's fast and sharp. It's quirky though (I owned this lens first when I got my Xpro1. I don't own it anymore as the 23mm is better for me)


35 f2 is my number one choice for a daily lens. It's faster than the 27mm and not much heavier/bigger. That's why I bought it despite having the 23mm.


From reading what OP wants, I'd recommend the 35 1.4 for OP

Edited by Stealthy Ninja
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I had all three - 27/2.8, 35/1.5 and 35/2, now I get 35/2 and the rest are sold.

27/2.8 was nice - very small and better angle of view than 35mm. If to shoot street, 35mm can be a little narrow. 

But I kept 35/2 because it's more artistic. Smooth bokeh and solid isolation of the subject. 

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There is a chance that people coming in from MFT have used the Panasonic 20/1.7. If so, the XC27 seems like the logical Fuji version of the MFT 20. Similar behaviour although AF probably is a bit faster on the Fuji than the Panasonic.


I quite like aperture wheels which puts all XC lenses off the table for me. I decided to go for the 35/2 with the X-Pro2 - mainly because it's the newer design. It's a stop or so slower than the 35/1.4, but AF is significantly faster and quieter, it's a WR design and slightly smaller. It's also cheap enough to make transitioning to a new and faster (f stop) 33/35 lens "less challenging"... and we all seem quite convinced that there will be some kind of a 33/f1.0 or so

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  • 1 year later...

I think the 27mm never will get update.

Smallest lens in the whole line, fast enough, good AF, great sharpness, negligible distortions, - what exactly is subject to update?

The lens design. An internally focussing 27mm f/2.8 would be awesome. And I would give a kidney for a f/2 Lens!

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The 27 would not be my choice because of the slow speed and missing aperture ring. The image quality is more than good enough, but f/2.8 just isn't cutting it for a single lens system.



Speak for yourself. I read so many comments that that are obsessed with fast f/1.4 lenses "for artistic and low light performance" of course. Those people probably never used film with f/3.5 lenses...


I would agree that a f/2.8 is not an optimal choice to do low light/high iso work.

But as a single lens, this definitely works with bravos, giving that some of us shot mostly stepped down at f/4 or "worse" in daylight and do not care about low iso too much... I know, some people love their pro-gear and portraits with only eyelashes of one eye in focus.

I on the other hand love this 27mm lens because I gladly trade portability for two (maximal) stops of bokeh and iso... And I wholeheartedly recommend this lens (it's 200€ used).


Don't forget: Ricoh GR and sigma merrills/ quattro's all have but a f/2.8 lens. And each of them in the right hands is amazing...

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