Fujifilm XF 30mm F2.8 R LM WR Macro Review
Fujifilm already has a number of standard prime lenses in its extensive range - the fast but heavy XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR, which effectively replaced the older XF 35mm F1.4 R from 2014, the small and affordable XF 35mm F2 R WR, and the even cheaper and still cheerful XC 35mm F2 - but none of them can match the new XF 30mm F2.8's outstanding macro capabilities, which help make it the most versatile standard prime that Fujifilm currently offer.
The close-focus point of just 10cm comes in very handy when including foreground interest in the image and the 1:1 life-size magnification sets the XF 30mm apart from most other Fuji lenses, with only the much larger, heavier and longer XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro able to match it in this regard.
If you're really into macro shooting, the XF 80mm is potentially a better choice than XF 30mm as it allows you to leave some working distance between yourself and the subject, which is important for anything that scares easily, like insects. It also allows you to place a light between the lens and subject and also reduces the chance of the camera inadvertently casting a shadow on whatever it is that you're trying to photograph.
The Fujifilm XF 30mm F2.8 R LM WR Macro lens is satisfyingly sharp in the image centre and almost as sharp at the edges, virtually throughout the entire aperture range.
The maximum aperture of f/2.8 makes it easy to creatively throw the background out of focus, with the nine-blade iris diaphragm achieving some lovely bokeh effects.
There is very little optical distortion worth mentioning and hardly any vignetting either, chromatic aberrations are only noticeable in very high-contrast situations, and flare is well controlled even when shooting directly into the sun.
As usual for a Fuji lens, the build quality is excellent. The lens mount and barrel are made of a mixture of plastics and metal and, thanks to an internal focusing (IF) system, the front element and filter thread do not rotate on focus, which is good news for those using polarisers and ND grads on a regular basis.
The linear motor auto-focus system is another strong-point, with hardly any delay before locking focus and a pleasingly quiet mechanism. It also offers a generously wide focusing ring and a very welcome aperture ring which makes it quick, easy and precise to set this key element of exposure.
Ultimately, the Fujifilm XF 30mm F2.8 R LM WR Macro is a rather unique two-in-one lens - a standard focal length and life-size macro prime - that thankfully isn't compromised at all in either regard, making it both a real bargain at this price-point and a superb lens in its own right.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||5|