Fuji XF 27mm F/2.8 – First Impressions

A couple of weeks ago, i traded in my 35mm f/1.4 for the 27mm f/2.8 “pancake” lens and i have not looked back.

Now, obviously some people may be wondering why on earth would i sacrifice an f/1.4 lens for an f/2.8 lens.  Well, for one, i very rarely shot at f/1.4, even indoors in low light.  My style of photography really did not have a tremendous amount of use for a lens that “fast”.

I know, i know, for some people it’s cool to be able to say that they have an f/1.4 or f/1.8 lens.  Though, if you are not using that end of the aperture scale, what is the use of having a lens that “fast”?

Well, i did not see much point.  Therefore, i traded in the 35mm f/1.4 for the 27mm f/2.8 and i could not be happier.

I have been able to shoot with the lens a bit and i must say, i am happy with the results.  However, for this post, i will give you my first impressions of the lens and will share some photos later on.

Packaging:

The lens comes in a small, corrugated cardboard box with identifying lettering on it.

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Inside, you will find a molded, cardboard insert where the lens sits.  Along with the lens, you will get a lens cap for the front and back of the lens and a lens wrap cloth.  No lens hood is included.

Build quality:

The lens is very well made and does have a metal lens mount like all other XF lenses in the Fujinon line-up.

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It is very light weight and compact, hence the name “pancake” lens.

Features: 

Well, there really is none, unless you get excited about a focus ring.  Fuji kept this lens very simple and understandably so.  If they did otherwise, it would not be a “pancake” lens.

There is no OIS, no aperture markings, no switches and no aperture ring.  Who needs all of that on a 27mm pancake anyhow.

For those of you who just don’t know what to do with themselves without an aperture ring, then perhaps this lens is not for you.*  For those who have a bit more of a grip on themselves, the aperture is adjusted with the command dial at the back of the camera.  Oh no!!  The horror!

*You can read about real reasons for having an aperture ring here: (https://d7100shooter.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/aperture-rings/)

Having no OIS is no big deal.  At a focal length of 27mm, one does not really need it.  Besides, if Fuji did incorporate OIS into the lens, it would be a larger lens then it is.

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Mounted on the X-Pro1:

It looks great on my X-Pro1.  Very compact and light set-up.

Having no aperture ring, it may take time getting used to reverting to the command dial to change aperture.  Though, it really is not a hard transition.

The auto focus is pretty snappy and locks on to the subject as it should do without any issues.

Image quality: 

I am not a pixel peeper, so don’t look for any 100% crops, side by side comparisons, ISO tests, MTF charts, etc.  Look at your photos as they were meant to be looked at.  If you are worried about being able to see fine detail on a flies ass from 40 yards away, then perhaps photography is not for you.

The 27mm lens is not going to be as sharp as the 35mm.  Though, you would have to press your nose up to your monitor to notice the difference.  If that’s your thing, then knock yourself out.

What i concern myself with, is overall image quality when looking at a photo as it should be looked at and i am very pleased with the results that the 27mm has given me.  I am quite confident that any prints would hold plenty of detail to appreciate.

Protecting the front element:

There is no Fuji lens hood for the XF 27mm.  However, if you do want to protect the front element, you can either screw on a 39mm UV filter or try to find a screw in 39mm lens hood.

Personally, i would go with the UV filter.  A lens hood on the 27mm would just make the lens bigger and that would defeat the purpose of such a compact lens.

Conclusion:

The XF 27mm lens is an awesome little addition to your lens line-up.  Mount it on your X-Pro1, X-T1, X-E1/2, etc. and you will have a very compact and light set-up.  Even better, is that you can fit the lens very nicely in any camera bag or in your jacket pocket.

In a future post, i will put up the photos that i took today with the 27mm.

Thanks for looking.

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