The Fuji X-T1 is a superb compact DSLR. With its retro looks and high performance, this DSLR clicks fabulous pictures. Moreover, it comes with a Fuji XF 18-55mm kit lens that is quite good, unlike cheap kit lenses sold by other reputed manufacturers. But if you’re bored using it or want to level up your photography, this article shall help you find the best lens for Fuji X-T1.
It would help if you had more prime and wide-angle lenses to take advantage of the 16MP sensor. Nevertheless, the camera is great for capturing any shots, from portraits, product photos to street photography, if fitted with the right lens. That said, let me introduce three important factors that you must know before getting any lens, and they’re:
- Focal length: It is the distance between the lens and the sensor. The shorter the focal length, the wider the angle of view, and vice versa.
- Aperture: The sensor needs light to capture an image. The light passes through a hole called an aperture. For low light, more aperture diameter is need indicated by f numbers.
- Image Stabilization: Many lenses come with an image stabilization gyro motor mechanism that compensates for shaking hands.
Best Fuji X-T1 Lenses in 2021
I have had an opportunity of using this camera for testing purposes, and I must say, I was impressed. I tried a couple of lenses with it to see how they perform for product photography, street photography, and portrait shots. Keeping your needs in mind, I have put together a selection of the top-rated Fuji X-T1 lenses available in the market at different price points.
The Fujinon XF16mm f/1.4 R WR is a lens that brings decades of expertise to Fuji. It is an ultra-fast wide lens to be used in low light. It shows negligible distortion and light falloff. In addition, it displays better sharpness and reduced noise.
Most Fujinon XF lenses have electronic focus. Therefore, you need not adjust AF mechanically. However, for manual override, you have to move the focus ring forward.
The XF line is used in Fuji’s X-mounted cameras. R stands for aperture ring, and WR means weather resistance. It offers nine sealing points to achieve this. In addition, aspherical lenses give better sharpness to the images.
Ergonomically, this lens feels excellent. Anodised aluminum and chromed metal make up the body. You can pick it up and get going.
There is no problem with visible light falloff. Neither is there any issue of vignetting? The metal filter ring gives a nice sensation. Ghosting is much reduced due to the nano-GI coating, which changes the refractive index between glass and air.
It shows a little ‘spherochromatism.’ This means the edges of the out-of-focus blur may have color fringes. The bokeh is typically good. Being mounted on the right camera, there are no distortions visible. The AF is not instantaneous. It takes a second to lock on.
Most lenses of this performance are longer. But, Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 is shorter with more focus.
- Accurate autofocus
- No distortion, vignette, and falloff
- Short and compact
- AF takes time to lock
- Slightly overpriced
The 2nd addition to the XF-series of Fujifilm lenses, Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 R, is a wide-angle prime lens, compatible both with X-Pro1 and X-E1 compact cameras.
With the optical formula of 10 elements and 7 groups and a close focal point of 18cm, you are sure to capture great images. In addition, the manual focus-ring has depth-of-field scales that help in targeting a neat focus.
The iris diaphragm of 7 blades makes this lens stand out from the crowd. In addition, I found the premium wide-angle feature matching the full 21mm field view of the X-Pro1 lens’s wide setting, which is undoubtedly good news.
I have really enjoyed the ‘R’ feature that stands for the separately dedicated focus ring that controls the aperture. It ran from f2.8 to f22 too swiftly and amazed us with the automatic control mode managed from the camera.
I have also liked the metal mount of the lens that comes with a high-quality plastic barrel along with the 58mm filter thread (non-rotating). CA is also too little to be pointed out for this lens. Bokeh is satisfying, does not let you down.
After using it for tests, I would surely call it a ‘must buy’ lens. Starting from Focus range to Sharpness, every aspect of the lens makes you happy on the go.
- Compact and easy to carry
- Wide field of view of 89 degrees
- Minimized vignetting
- Internal IF system
- Smooth zooming
- Amazing sharpness
- A little bit of barrel distortion
- Non-macro lens
An optical formula of 11 elements in 8 groups enables Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 R to capture memories with the detailing that you always desired.
Iris diaphragm of 7 blades and the DC coreless motor with built-in high-graded torque allow super-fast AF performance. In addition, the lens prevents itself from rotating while on focus. So, it captures accurate shots.
Comparing it to other Fujifilm lenses, I liked the most: its camera-subject distance pointer and depth-of-field scale presented on the lens barrel itself, making the job a lot more comfortable.
The focus ring of this lens is wide and works smoothly with hard stops at the edge of the 28cm focal range and more. With the focus ring pushed forward, the lens locks itself into AF mode, and when pulled back, manual focus is enabled.
With a wide angle of 63.4 degrees, I took amazing snaps. It was really satisfying to notice zero barrel distortion and negligible vignetting in all our clicks. During our test, I was a bit discontent with the Chromatic Aberrations. But it can surely be ignored after experiencing the other excellent features of the lens.
The blurry background effect is good, and the sharpness of the pictures taken is also exceptionally great. Therefore, I would recommend the lens but not beginners as its handling is subject to expert hands.
- Superb build quality
- Non-jerky focussing
- Reduced reflections
- Manual focus collar
- Excellent clarity
- A bit heavy
- CA is moderately managed, not too great
Belonging to the higher range of lenses, Fujinon XF 23mm F2 R WR will be a good choice only for the weather-resistant cameras, for this lens comes with the tag of WR. And, the performance of the lens justifies its WR tag very well.
Designed with 10 elements and 6 groups, the lens carries two aspheric elements that help the lens work way better than its contemporaries. In addition, the all-metal body of this lens does not make it weigh much, and hence, it is easy to carry.
Though it is most suited with the prime design of X Pro2, it also goes well with other ranges of Fujifilm. For example, when I used it with X-T20, it functioned smoothly.
The aperture ring is marked with its focal range from f/2 to f/16 with the advantage of 1/3rd stops, making your work hassle-free. However, I was a little upset that the audible clicks could not be disabled during video shoots.
I loved that the zooming happens internally, so, when I used filters, I faced no issues, nothing moves externally. But, on the other hand, the absence of hard stops made the job of focus-shifting quite a hard one.
Bokeh and CA are good, and even after being a non-macro lens, it captures good images of specific objects. So I am satisfied with its overall performance. It is available in Black color too, besides the grey one.
- Entirely metal build
- Light and compact
- Smooth aperture ring
- Weather and dust resistant
- Electronic manual focus
- Video does not negate the click sound as moved through stops
Here is a wide-open lens at f/1.4. The Fujinon XF35mm F1.4 R produces a particular image rendition filled with colours and a character that words couldn’t possibly describe. When I first took a shot with this, I was genuinely surprised by the quality even at 2500 ISO.
Initially, the autofocus took some time to find the subjects. It’s not slow, but it would be inconvenient for you if you’re a wedding photographer and such. What I found out was that the focusing issue was resolved once I upgraded the firmware to 3.0. So even the stars can be captured at night with this lens.
The F1.4 produces an impressive bokeh effect. The lens is capable of letting an ample amount of light in with its wide angle. The result is perfect clarity even in extremely low-light settings. Our personal favorites are the pictures I took in black and white mode.
For a lot of the customers, the AF appears to have been a bit noisy. While I didn’t notice a tremendous amount of noise production while clicking a picture, if I was to take the shots in a completely quiet place like during the wedding vows, it could stand to be a problem sometimes.
Amazon offers free product support for 90 days from the date of purchase. During this period, I could call whenever I run into a problem.
- Sharp wide open lens
- Gorgeous colors
- Good low light performance
- Beautiful Bokeh effect
- Slow Focus
- Slight AF noise
The Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR comes with Nano GI coating, which specifically takes care of the ghosting and flare issues. Constructed with metal, it’s also gifted with high-class weather sealing. While no lens can be called waterproof, this is one of the closest I’ve encountered to it.
The autofocus is fast and takes little to no time locking in on the subjects. There’s practically no hunt time, and the few times there is, it’s usually in extreme low light conditions. The noise produced when autofocusing is almost nonexistent. At most, if you place it close to your ears and concentrate, only then can you heart it.
One thing to note is the smooth focus and aperture ring. While this is the norm for most Fuji lenses, people who aren’t used to it will be pleasantly surprised. Also, even though the focal length is 35mm, the lens produced beautiful bokeh, a feat possible thanks to the f/2 aperture.
This aperture quality makes it good enough for low-light photography, though it could certainly be better if Fuji’s 1.4 is anything to go by. Nevertheless, the colors and contrasts are so vivid and sharp that you won’t need to edit the pictures afterward. Sharp foreground with considerable depth in the background is its signature.
Compared to F 1.4, this is a bit cheaper. However, most people who are into Fuji don’t particularly care about the price.
- Well balanced body
- Fast Focus
- Immediate focus lock
- Low light performance while good, isn’t fantastic
- A bit soft wide open compared to others of this range
Packaged with quick Autofocus and shallow depth-of-field, Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R is made mainly for the X series cameras of Fujifilm. Moreover, the 7-blade diaphragm and 11/8 combination of elements and groups, respectively, make the lens a fantastic performer.
Lens flare and ghosting are very well managed with EBC coating on the lens. I absolutely loved the reduced Chromatic Aberration and increased sharpness in the images clicked through this lens.
Though Auto Focus happens quite fast with this lens, sometimes in low-light, you’ll find it hunting the subject. But when the focus is finally set, it’s accurate. Sadly, no switch to move between AF and manual focus is given on the lens.
Compared to its younger competitor, Fujinon XF50mmF2 R, I found this one to be at a little lower position in terms of featuring weather and dust resistance. In addition, image stabilization is also a missing feature in this lens.
I loved this lens’s overall performance; especially it is well-controlled vignetting and zero barrel distortion. But, unfortunately, even in low light, I experienced none of these two. And, as much as Chromatic Aberration is concerned, I experienced a little bit of it only at high-contrast conditions.
The lens is mainly suited for portraits. Great sharpness and slight light fall-off is what I experienced in both bright and low light situations. I would recommend buying this one but would advise using it with Fuji X-T2 for the finest results.
- Excellent image quality
- Great Autofocus timing
- Smooth aperture ring
- Easy handling
- Amazing bokeh
- Not weather and dust resistant
- Image stabilization is missing
Frequently Asked Questions
Your camera needs Fuji X mount type lenses. Options other than Fujinon include Zeiss, Samyang, and Viltrox. Using an X mount adapter, you can use lenses made for Canon, Nikon, and Pentax.
First of all, consider buying a UV filter that is attached to your lens at all times. It prevents your lens from getting scratched and can even absorb drops in some instances. Camera stores sell an alcohol-based lens cleaning fluid. Use a lint-free cloth, the same as used with eyeglasses, and clean with long strokes. You can also use a camel hairbrush.
IS may be inside the body or in the lens. Unfortunately, X-T1 does not have in-body stabilization. So it has to depend on OIS lenses (lenses with stabilization), or you may have to use a tripod. This is particularly needed when shooting objects at a distance. Even if you have really steady hands, the slight twitch caused by your heartbeat is enough to blur an image slightly.
Lens speed indicates the aperture of a lens. A fast lens has an aperture of f/1.4. The lower the f-number, the bigger the aperture, and this are useful for taking photos in places that are dimly lit, like the inside of a cathedral. All lenses are at least capable of about f/4 and f/5. It is below f/2 that lenses are best suitable for perfect low light photography. Of course, if you are exclusively going to perform sunlight shots, a fast lens is not needed.
I hope this article served your purpose of finding the best lens for your Fuji X-T1. However, if you’re still confused and need expert advice, here are my top picks:
- I really liked the way the Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 R worked. It is a beautiful lens that is suitable for different types of photography. It is slightly expensive but is also remarkably fast at f/1.4. A prime lens that is sturdy and takes beautiful stills. However, it lacks image stabilization.
- The runner-up pick would be the similarly priced Fujinon XF16mm f/1.4 R WR. A wide-angle lens with a weather-resistant design. The images were sharp and clear. A nifty lens that is a perfect buy for anyone owning a Fuji X-T1.