Review of the Fujifilm Fujion XF23mm F2 R WR lens (Xf23f2)

After the debut of the weather resistant XF35 F2 R WR as an update to the classical XF35 F1.4 R on 20th Oct 2015, Fujifilm is proud to announce another addition to its excellent line of XF lenses today on the 25th of Aug 2016,

the Fujinon XF23mm F2 R WR.

As all X-mount lenses go with a crop factor of 1.5x, the XF23mm F2 R WR (XF23/2 from her onwards) offers a focal length equivalent to 35mm and a maximum aperture of F2.

The ‘R’ and ‘WR’ letters in the name refers to the inclusion of an Aperture ring on the lens and that it is weather resistant (thereby providing another valuable WR option for the current X-Pro2, X-T2, X-T1 bodies)

In the box, the standard accessories included are: the lens, a newly designed lens hood and of course, the standard Fujinon cloth lens pouch and manuals.

To share a little bit of background, the original XF23 F1.4 R was announced in 2013 as an addition to the XF35 F1.4R. This duo became an instant classic hit with the XF23 F1.4R scoring extremely high on the image quality it delivers. In fact, the only single complaint most can give is that of its size and weight.

The XF23 F1.4 R had an optical formula of 7 aperture blades, 11 elements in 8 groups (with 1 aspherical element) and a min focusing distance of 0.6m.

Dimensions-wise, it came in at 300g, a 62mm filter size, a length of 63 mm and a diameter of 72mm and of course an aperture ring running from f1.4 to f16.

Its appeal was its elegant simplicity, the classical 35mm focal length with a maximum aperture of F1.4 coupled with great handling and from then on, the only way to shoot a 35mm focal length on X-mount was either through the XF23/1.4 or through the X100 series of compacts.

Being a lover of the 35mm focal length, I tried the XF23/1.4 back then, only to end up getting poisoned with the X100 series in the end.

yes, though I loved the XF23/1.4’s performance, its sheer size pushed me over to the X100 series

The Fujinon XF23mm F2 R WR now sports 9 aperture blades in a rounded diaphragm opening, 10 elements in 6 groups (including two aspherical elements now).

The lens is equipped with an inner focusing system and stepping motor, achieving an autofocus timing of 0.08s (complying with CIPA guidelines in high performance mode), numbers don’t really make much sense to me with every new camera release screaming its the fastest nowadays but using it wise , my words will be simple:

Its fast, damn fast.

Its sharp, damn sharp.

& yes, its small, damn small. 

Issues with the motor movements from the XF23/1.4 while focusing is no longer felt with the inner focusing system in the XF23/2.

If you were impressed by how much Fujifilm shrunk the lens from XF35/1.4 to the XF35/2, you probably will feel faint by how much they shrunk the lens from XF23/1.4 to the XF23/2, all the while achieving significantly improved performance, adding weather resistance without any loss in image quality.

The XF23/2 is now 45.9mm in length with a diameter of 60mm (vs the 55mm length and 65mm diameter of the XF35/1.4) and at now 170g (vs 187 g of the XF35/1.4).

The setup balances excellently well and its a size I appreciate and love a lot, especially on the X-Pro2 which I did this preview on. There’s basically as expected, zero blockage of the OVF on X-Pro2.

The XF23/2 is equipped with an aperture ring presenting values of F2 to F16 in 1/3 steps (total 19 steps) and a setting denoted by ‘A’ on the ring for Program or Shutter Priority mode.

Despite being smaller than its predecessor, Fujifilm has managed to place a focusing ring in front of the aperture ring. Both rings are very responsive to manage and control with very clear hard clicks on the aperture ring.

The focusing ring is very nicely damped with good tolerances and there are no worries of knocking it off set values accidentally.

Let’s be frank here too, the included hood on the XF35/2 was pretty much much more to be desired and Fujifilm has received enough feedback to provide a much better hood this time.

Fujifilm users deserve good quality construction, the lens exterior uses all metal parts, features a weather and dust resistant structure and working at temperatures as low as -10℃. And yes, to the purists, this piece of glass is Made in Japan.

To provide a further idea of the relative size of the XF23/2,

XF23/2 with the XF16-55/2.8

XF23/2 with the classic XF35/1.4 (note the hood for XF35/1.4 hasn’t been mounted if not the XF35 will be taller 

And Surprise, the XF23/2 is not the smallest XF lens I’ve !

Of course not forgetting an important part, we shall now move into some samples of the images from the XF23/2.

Before that however,

Disclaimer:

1. I’m a casual user and not paid to do this. Hence please do not expect to see photos of professional or worthy-to-buy print standards.

I’m trying my best and if I fall short, I do understand that I have much to learn.

2. A pre-production model of the XF23/2 was used with a Fujifilm X-Pro2 running the latest firmware for the preview. My understanding is that there will be further updates rolling out very soon to fully maximize the XF23/2’s capabilities.

If you’re coming here to just look at what the XF23/2 is capable of, let us just let the photos do the talking.


caught ya!


cat’s journey

the MFD of 0.22m serves its purposes of increasing the versatility of the XF23/2

for the low light fanatics

all so busy…


home

murder

Yellow or Orange
Majulah!

Crab Benedict

All from a setup of this size. 

The XF23 F2 R WR will be available in stores come end Sept / early Oct and more will be shared on availability and prices later.

With this I end my preview.

Thank you for taking your time dropping by here. 

 

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