Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R Fuji X Pro 1 Super EBC | ERPhotoReview

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This lens has quickly reached cult status, does this standard live up to the hype? This lens is a beautifully built standard, constructed entirely of metal. At least anything you touch, including the filter threads, which is a nice departure from the standard plastic these days. The aperture ring is reminiscent of older lenses with nice metal knurls and nice positive 1/3 stop click stops. The focus ring is similar quality, also with all metal knurled grip. The hood is nice and positive and the lens has two caps. One that goes on the hood since it is not a reversible style, and a second that goes on the filter thread. Thankfully the cap on the threads can still be removed with the hood in place. The hood has a nice positive bayonet mount which makes it easy to take on and off even with the lens cap on.

The lens is a modern design 8 element lens with 1 aspherical element, and a nice 7 curved bladed diaphragm, which remains fairly circular until about f/2.8 or f/4. By f/5.6 it is mostly polygon. The 52 mm filter threads are standard for many large aperture standard lenses, so filters are easy to find. The lens has a typical minimum focus distance of about 0.3 m and a maximum magnification of 0.17x. It is well weighted at about 187 g, feeling not too heavy nor too light. This lens is nearly the same size as a classic 50 mm f/1.4 lens from the film camera era. In use, the AF motor is a stepper motor style, and it does make audible focus noise, on par with a quieter screw drive system. Focus remains quick if the lens doesn’t have to hunt the range, but if it does it takes just over a second to go full range. The lens seems to have a long throw, so it should be very precise, but take a little longer to go end to end. In normal circumstances the lens will focus in just a fraction of a second. The manual focus ring is slightly slippery due to the metal knurls. I think rubber would provide a better grip, but wouldn’t last as long or feel as high quality. If you are used to doing quick back and forth motions to manually focus, and stopping on the sharpest point in an instant, this lens won’t work great for that. You have to slow it down as it takes a fraction of a second for the motor to respond. The best way to manually focus is to prefocus using the AE-L/AF-L button and tweak manually, but turning quickly back and forth will work if you slow it down just a bit to compensate for the “lag”. Now how about the optics in a 35 mm f/1.4? The only other standard class f/1.4 lens designed for APS-C at this time is the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, which is notoriously bad in the corners. Does this slightly longer standard lens do better?


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