Just how good is the new Fuji 90mm f 2????

7 years, 8 months ago 11



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’!!!!!




the pilgrim





11 Responses

  1. Jerry R says:

    Well I order the 90 mm shortly before your posted your article. All of the reviewers seem to agree with you. I am glad I ordered it. Your comments tell me that I made the right choice. What I wanted was a lens for general shooting that would give me nice out of focus backgrounds, be long enough that I don’t have to sit right on top of the subject and be easy for my back to carry. The near macro is a bonus. I do have the two Fuji extention tubes.

    Thanks for the confirmation that I made the right decision. Will see you at Mt Rainier – you can teach me how to accomplish my goals with the 90 mm.

    Jerry R

  2. John Gompf says:


    As well as I know you and your admittance of being an equipment junkie, your level of excitement with each new toy to play with is like a kid at Christmas. I can just see the beaming smile on your face when you shot with the 90mm and saw the results.

    Keep up the good work, I enjoy the blog and look forward to it every day.


  3. Bill Fortney says:

    Just got an email with a good question I meant to address inthe blog entry. The lens I just received was a new PRODUCTION lens! I’ve had a late pre-production lens for over a month, I’m told there were only two in America, I was honored to have one that long! I tried to talk Fuji out of that one it was so sharp, but the new one is equally sharp and hey, It’s new!

  4. […] through Scoop.it from: billfortney.com Fujinon XF 90mm F2 – First Take and Taken Aback | Olaf Sztaba 0 Flares Twitter 0 […]

  5. That looks like such a cool lens but now I am holding off on new Fuji acquisitions, waiting to see if they come up with good, long glass as promised (and at a decent price point). Almost bought the X-T10 last week but then my existing L-brackets won’t quite fit on it. A couple of days later RRS came out with X-T10 brackets — complete with a price increase! So, both the X-T10 and the L-brackets can sit. Sad to say, there will be a knockoff on E-bay relatively soon at a fraction of the price. That’s too bad because I’d rather give my business to an American or Canadian company.

  6. […] with the XF 90mm F2 & MCEX-11 always at olafphotoblog / Just how good is the 90mm? at billfortney […]

  7. Max Young says:

    Just purchased the 90mm. Aye, it is a wonderful lens which renders magnificently. Oh, and it keeps out the Aussie rain.

    God bless Pilgrim.


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