Today, August 25 2016 the new XF 23mm f2 R WR lens is reality! The announcement didn't come as a complete surprise as it already showed up on the latest X-mount Lens roadmap, a few months ago.
Fujifilm Middle East, was kind enough to lend me a pre-production copy of the 23mm f2 a bit more than a week ago. Although a bit shorter than normal, I was still able to shoot the lens during a Street Photography walk in Paris and Dubai. All images shown here were shot on a pre-production X-T2 body. Although pretty close to final production, it is still a pre-production copy of the lens and small changes might occur between now and the release date. A new lens firmware is likely to be released over the coming month(s).
Just like the 35mm f2, it does not have a depth of field scale on the lens barrel; likely in an effort to keep the lens as compact as possible. Beside the standard black, the lens is also available in silver.
- It has a standard bayonet fitting that clicks into place and not a "screw in the filter thread" solution like the standard one that came with the XF35 f2. Happy with that!
- Its shape is odd; I've given it some time to get used to it, but I really don't like it. I guess it might just be a personal thing.
Can be summarised in two words; "Very Fast and Silent". Its 3 year old predecessor, the 23mm f1.4, isn't the fastest lens when it comes to autofocus; so it is probably better to compare it to the newer 35mm f2 lens again.
Fujifilm states the following about the lens construction: "The lens consists of ten elements in six groups, including two aspherical elements. The optimum positioning of the aspherical elements, ensures flatness of the image plane, for edge-tot edge sharpness". A bit of a sales pitch, but it pretty much seems to be right on!
For the bokeh fans; the circular aperture blades consists of 9 sheets.
|XT-2, ISO 500, 1/250, f2.0|
A great advantage will also be for the ones using the lens on an X-Pro1 or X-Pro2 body with the Optical Viewfinder (OVF). The shape of this lens obstructs the OVF far less than the "classic" 23mm lens; which again is good news for Street shooters.
|XT-2, ISO 640, 1/250, f5.6|
|XT-2, ISO 200, 1/50, f5.6|
|XT-2, ISO 2000, 1/250, f10|
XT-2, ISO 200, 1/420, f5.6
|XT-2, ISO 200, 1/250, f11|
|XT-2, ISO 3200, 1/40, f4|
|XT-2, ISO 320, 1/250, f5.6|
|XT-2, ISO 500, 1/250, f8|