Fujifilm XF 14mm f2.8 R Review

4.5
February 27, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Fujifilm XF 14mm f2.8 R is a fast wide-angle prime lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a focal range of 21mm in 35mm terms, is the Fujifilm XF 14mm f2.8 R a worthy addition to the XF lens range? Read our Fujifilm XF 14mm f2.8 R review to find out...

The Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R is a new ultra wide-angle lens in Fujifilm’s XF line-up. Compatible with both the X-Pro1 and X-E1 compact system cameras, the 14mm F2.8 lens boasts an angle-of-view range similar to that of a 21mm lens in a 35mm system. Other highlights include a close-focus point of 18cm, an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades, distance and depth of field scales on the lens barrel, and an optical formula that comprises 10 elements in 7 groups, including 2 aspheric and 3 extra low dispersion elements. The Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens is currently available for £769.99 / $899.95 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RThe Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens attached to the Fujifilm X-E1 camera

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RThe Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens alongside the Fujifilm X-E1 camera

The Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R is a relatively compact prime lens, at least when compared to its DSLR equivalents, but it's still quite a bit bigger than a comparable Micro Four Thirds wide-angle lens, for example. As you can see in the picture above, it complements the Fujifilm X-E1 very well, not feeling at all front-heavy and more than matching the body in terms of its build quality.

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RThe Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens attached to the Fujifilm X-E1 camera

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RThe Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens attached to the Fujifilm X-E1 camera

The Fujifilm 14mm lens boasts a metal mount, high-grade plastic barrel and non-rotating 58mm filter thread. The focus ring is generously wide, smooth in action without being loose, and has a ridged, rubberised grip band. There are “hard stops” at either end of the 18cm-infinity focus range.

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RThe Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RThe Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens

The lens features both distance and depth of field scales on the barrel, making it suitable for manually pre-focusing if you find that the autofocus system is slowing you down. The Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R has a manual focus collar. When the focusing ring is pushed forward, the lens is locked into autofocus mode. When the focusing ring is pulled back (as in the above photo), the focusing distance scale with depth-of-field markings is revealed and you can manually focus with the lens - very neat.

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RFront of the Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RRear of the Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens

The Fujifilm 14mm lens has a traditional aperture ring on the lens barrel, which allows you to set the aperture in 1/3 steps, complete with aperture markings on the lens barrel. The aperture is also shown in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. The rather thin aperture ring is nicely damped and makes a distinctive click as you change the setting, although it's too easily moved when stored in a pocket or bag. The aperture ring toggles between auto aperture control (the ring is set to A) or manual aperture control (the switch is set to one of the aperture values).

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RFront of the Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RRear of the Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RThe Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens in-hand

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RThe Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens fitted with the supplied lens hood

In terms of accessories, the lens ships with a rather short plastic petal shaped hood.

Focal Range

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R

The Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens has a wide angle of view of 89 degrees.

Distortion

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R

The Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R exhibits just a little barrel distortion, as you can see in the photo above, but it's a lot better than you would expect from a 21mm lens.

Focusing

The Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens has an internal focusing (IF) system with quite an audible linear motor. In practice, we found the auto-focus to be quite fast and accurate, although certainly not as quick as Fujifilm's 18-55mm zoom. Thanks to the IF mechanism the front of the lens does not rotate on focus, which is very good news for anyone looking to use the lens in conjunction with a polariser or graduated neutral density filter.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not really a problem with the Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R lens, as shown in the examples below.

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R

Macro

The Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R is not a macro lens, but you can focus quite closely. The close-focus point is at 18mm from the sensor plane. The following example illustrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash card.

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 RClose-up performance

Bokeh Examples

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. Fujifilm have paid attention to this aspect of lens use, employing a 7-segment diaphragm with rounded blades for pleasing bokeh. In our view, their efforts have been largely successful for a wide-angle lens - see the examples below.

Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R
Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Entry Tags

review, wide-angle, lens, fujifilm, fuji, f2.8, prime, wide angle, x-e1, xf, x-pro1, x, Fujifilm XF 14mm f2.8 R, 14mm, 14

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