Review: Fujifilm Fujinon 35mm f2 WR Lens

I recently got my hands on the Fujinon 35mm f2 WR lens for the X series of Mirrorless ILC's. So, on a rather dreary day I took it for a spin at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to test its metal and water resistance.

Some of the attendees being camera shy.

Some of the attendees being camera shy.

In hand the first thing you notice is its odd conical shape of the lens tapering from a small front element to a much wider base, which you do not see in other modern lenses. The build feels far more solid than any of the three lenses originally released with the X-Pro1. Also more solid than the 23mm f1.4 and 56mm f1.2 which I also previously owned.
 

Some of the colourful outfits on display.

Some of the colourful outfits on display.

These Samba dancers are a fan favourite every year... I for the life of me have no idea why... lol

These Samba dancers are a fan favourite every year... I for the life of me have no idea why... lol

Mounted to my X-T1 with face tracking I found the focusing, fast and snappy. Even with subjects moving towards me as I worked my way through the magical people who were part of the floats. Any missed shots were more user error than anything, even in the low available light I was working with. The weather resistance came in handy on the night too as there were intermittent showers towards the later end of the night.

Step aside Beyonce! Even in the low light, focusing was a non issue for the lens.

Step aside Beyonce! Even in the low light, focusing was a non issue for the lens.

"Hmmmmm.... to dance or not to dance?!?!?!"

"Hmmmmm.... to dance or not to dance?!?!?!"

I shot wide open at f2 most of the time with the lens and found the images sharp and provided decent separation between subject and background. Pictures straight out of the camera are decently contrasty in my opinion and adds to the lens' appeal. It's diminutive form on the an already small X-T1 body makes it an unobtrusive setup that allows you to get in there and not alarm your subject.
 

These guys kind of made me think I need to hit the gym a tad bit harder.

These guys kind of made me think I need to hit the gym a tad bit harder.

One of my fav shots from the night. The backlight from one of the floats off to the far right provided a perfect rim light effect and makes the subject just pop!

One of my fav shots from the night. The backlight from one of the floats off to the far right provided a perfect rim light effect and makes the subject just pop!

The hero mardi gras needs!

The hero mardi gras needs!

Maleficent quietly waiting for an opportunity to make mischief.

Maleficent quietly waiting for an opportunity to make mischief.

In using the lens I found that there were many thinks I liked about it but for me I kept being drawn back to the original 35mm. I am willing to forgo the slightly faster AF, smaller size, lighter weight and  weather resistance for the faster aperture on the older one. I know this makes absolutely no sense but purely what I prefer for my shooting style. 

For someone contemplating whether to buy this, I with no hesitation am happy to recommend it. For a relatively cheap lens, you get superior build, great optics and weather resistance. A worthy consideration if you are looking for a step up or addition to the kit lens.