Just how good is the new Fuji 90mm f 2????
FIRST – A SIDE BAR: It is very, very important to me that you know that when I express an opinion about gear or anything, for that matter, that is comes from the heart, and is not influenced by my business relationship with any company or individual! Please believe that!!! If you don’t, nothing I share would be worth a dime! Now let’s settle this for once and for all, I have winced as I’ve seen an occasional harsh comment about Zack Arias being in the tank for Fuji, because I imagine the same is being said of me! I know Zack well and he is a man of real integrity and I believe he would never promote a product, even from a company he does some work for, unless he really believed it! I believe that Zack shares exactly what he thinks! When Jack and I were named X-Photographers, which we both really appreciatied, we asked the official that informed us of the nomination and selection to that group, if accepting the honor would, in any way, affect our being able to express our real feelings about Fuji’s products and we were assured that was exactly what they wanted us to do, positive or negative!!! I say this because I am beginning to do some events for Fuji and being paid to do so. If I thought my doing work for them compromised my ability to be honest with you, I would have not accepted the X-Photogrpaher offer and would refuse to work for hire for Fuji. I’m very proud that I can have the kind of relationship I enjoy with them. Why such a long diatribe????
Because the praise I’m about to heap on the new 90mm f 2 would otherwise test your confidence in my being, unbiased!!!
So the new 90mm f 2 in a word is; the sharpest telephoto lens made by Fuji. Yes I said that, sharper than the 56mm f 1.2, which is extraordinarily sharp? Yep, and the 16-55 Zoom? Yep, sharper, how about the very, very sharp 50-140 f 2.8 zoom? Sorry, but the 90mm is even sharper at 90mm!!!! So should you buy one? That depends. If you need a 135mm focal length equiv. portrait lens or telephoto with a fast f 2 aperture, and want very beautiful bokeh, you bet! If you like to do close-up with some nice working distance? This is the lens. This muddies the water as I wait for the 120mm f 2.8 Macro from Fuji, but then I will love the added focal length and working distance, but make no mistake about it, this 90mm could almost be called a macro lens!!!! Below I’ve shown the closest the lens will focus on a target, my faithful miniature Route 66 license plate with a penny for size perspective
This shot is made at the minimum focus distance, which is 2 feet.
Next I added a Fuji MCEX 11mm Auto Extension tube.
Now I shot the 90mm with the Fuji MCEX 16mm Auto Extension tube.
Finally I added the 11mm and 16mm together an shot one last image at a distance of about 8 inches for the subject.
If you happen to own the Nikon 5T and 6T diopters they work great with this lens as well!!!
What about general performance? Here are few more of my alley images and then my final comments!!!
So the 90mm f 2 is solid, maybe the most solidly built Fuji XF lens so far. The aperture ring has nice firm 1/3 stop detents and the focusing ring is butter smooth for manual focusing! The size and weight have just the right amount of heft for me, and it work wonderfully on the X-T1 with, our without, the battery compartment. It works very well on the X-T10 too, maybe just hair large, but very manageable. Focus acquisition is very fast and no hint of hunting. (tested on a X-T1 with firmware 4.0). One thing I’ve noticed, now that I’ve had time to shoot all the Fuji XF lenses, is that they seem to be optimized to be as sharp wide open in the center as stopped down. I could see no real difference, other than added depth, when I stopped the 90mm f 2 down from f 2 to f 8, but then the more I use the XF glass, I see the same performance with all their lenses.
Color when shot in the Provia film simulation setting (standard) was spot on. The lens seems to be in that wonderful sweet spot of just enough contrast for sharpness, but not so much as to look harsh, especially with skin tones. While I will keep my 56mm f 1.2, this 90mm will be my new go to fast, portrait lens.
So I will make it official, this is my new favorite Fuji lens in the XF line. I expect it to be a constant companion, even when I’m carrying zooms that cover it’s focal length. Swell done Fuji, keep em’ comin’!!!!!
This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 at 7:12 pm
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.