If you own an X-series camera and you are looking for a suggestion on the best Fujifilm X lenses, you are in the right place. Since the launch of its mirrorless system back in 2012, Fujifilm has been releasing superb lenses that are suitable for many different types of photography. Covering many focal lengths from ultra-wide angle to super-telephoto, Fuji’s APS-C lenses are known to be some of the sharpest and most versatile choices on the market. In this article, I will provide my top recommended lenses for the X system, based on my extensive experience.
This article has been divided into two parts. The first part covers prime lenses, while the second part covers zoom lenses. Both sections are sorted by focal length, from wide to telephoto. Please note that the below list is quite subjective, as it is based on my 8 years of shooting with the Fuji X system. If you disagree with any of the listed choices, I would appreciate your kind feedback in the comments section below.
Table of Contents
Best Fuji X Prime Lenses
Fujifilm put quite a bit of development effort into making top-notch prime lenses from the start, and it has really paid off. Over the years, I have owned a number of X-series cameras (my current camera is the Fuji X-H1) and I have been fortunate to use almost every single X-series lens. I have to say, I am a big fan of Fuji’s prime lenses, and I use them all the time for my photography needs. Let’s take a closer look at the list.
Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8
If you need a prime lens wider than 12mm (18mm full-frame equivalent), you will need to choose a third-party lens. Unfortunately, aside from the XF 14mm f/2.8 R, which is one of Fuji’s oldest lenses for the X mount, there isn’t anything wider that’s available from Fuji. Fortunately, there are plenty of third-party options, some of which are quite decent in build and optical quality. My personal favorite is the Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8, which works really well on Fuji X series cameras and unlike many other third-party options, it has autofocus capability.
It has a wide aperture of f/2.8, great build quality and at 270 grams, it is a pretty lightweight lens. Optically, it is very sharp, especially when you stop it down to the f/4-f/5.6 range. Here is an image of a double rainbow I was able to capture with this lens at sunset:
And here is another image that I captured with the same lens at the Rocky Mountain National Park:
Unfortunately, it is a very pricey lens, so if it doesn’t fit your budget, I would recommend to check out other options like the Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS CS. While there are other wider prime lens options from third-party manufacturers, I personally prefer something like the Fuji XF 10-24mm f/4, which I talk about further down in this review.
Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR
As we move up in focal length, my next favorite is the XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR – a weather-resistant lens that is perfect for landscape, portrait, and travel photography. I have used this lens for many years, and I find it to be absolutely superb, especially when it comes to its low-light capabilities.
If you find this lens to be too big, heavy and pricey for your needs and you don’t care about being able to shoot at f/1.4, my next favorite is the XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR, a more recent lens that is also quite sharp, especially once you stop it down a little.
Personally, I love this focal length for landscape and travel photography. Here are some sample images that I was able to capture with the f/1.4 version:
Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R
My next favorite lens that I have owned and used for many years now, is the Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 R. It has a similar field of view as a 35mm lens on full-frame cameras, and its wide aperture of f/1.4 makes it a truly versatile lens that can be used for many different types of photography. I really love taking it with me when traveling, and I have used it quite a bit to shoot weddings and landscapes as well. Its build quality is superb, and it is a very sharp lens optically as well, even wide open.
Although I have used it in all kinds of weather conditions, its biggest downside is lack of weather sealing, so you have to be careful when using it in rainy weather, or extremely dusty conditions. Here is a sample image that I captured with the lens on a wedding:
To be honest, with the arrival of the smaller, lighter, cheaper, and weather-sealed Fuji XF 23mm f/2 R WR, it is becoming harder to recommend this lens. Unless you absolutely need that wide aperture, I would just go with the f/2 version.
Here is a sample image that I captured with the XF 23mm f/2 R WR:
While the f/1.4 version is obviously more preferred for astrophotography needs, you could get some amazing results with the XF 35mm f/2 as well, especially if you use an astro head. For example, take a look at the below image:
Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR
Although Fuji released its 35mm f/1.4 lens back in 2012, it is a very dated lens and has some issues, such as slow autofocus performance and quite a noisy motor. For this reason, I would recommend going with the XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens instead, which is a wonderful little gem.
I am a big fan of this lens. It is small, light, inexpensive and best of all, quite sharp, especially when stopped down a little. Here is an image I was able to capture with the XF 35mm f/2 R WR through a helicopter window:
And here is another image I captured with the same lens in Morocco:
Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R
Next is the Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens, my personal favorite prime for portrait photography. I bought this lens as soon as it was announced, and it has never disappointed me. It is tack sharp wide open at f/1.2, something most lenses struggle with, and that wide aperture works out really well for really separating subjects from their backgrounds. It has beautiful bokeh, and it is made to last!
Fuji makes two versions of this lens – a regular one, and one with an apodization filter (APD). I have used both, and to be honest, I never found the APD version to be appealing, especially considering that it is $500 more expensive than the regular version. Here are a couple of sample portraits that I captured with the XF 56mm f/1.2 R:
The lens is extremely sharp when stopped down, so it is also perfectly usable for landscape and travel photography. Here is a sample image that I captured with the APD version:
Personally, I heavily rely on the Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens, which I find to be Fuji’s finest lens for portrait photography. If this lens is too pricey for you, the newer Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR is also a great choice. Here are a couple of images I was able to capture with it:
Fujifilm XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR
Another big favorite of mine is the Fujifilm XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR lens, which is also suitable for many types of photography, including portraiture. This lens is a stunner – extremely sharp wide open and built like a tank. The only reason why you would want to stop it down is to get more depth of field – otherwise, shoot at f/2 and don’t look back!
Typical of high-end Fujinon lenses, this one does beautiful subject isolation, and the colors you get out of it are just stunning. Take a look at the below image of aspens in fall color:
And here is a close-up shot of aspen leaves with water droplets, which I also captured with this lens:
If you are wondering whether you can use such a long lens for landscapes, take a look at the below image, which I captured in extremely high resolution with a panorama shooting technique:
Fujifilm XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR
Lastly, if you need a super-telephoto lens, and you have an unlimited budget, the Fujifilm XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR is an absolute beast, in every sense of this word.
I only had one brief moment with this lens, and it was love at first sight! Fuji engineers basically put everything they got into this lens. It is incredibly sharp, built to last a lifetime, and has all the bells and whistles, including weather sealing. I tried it out with the 2x teleconverter, and to my surprise, it was still very sharp! If you attach the 1.4x TC, you won’t even know it is there. At the same time, the XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR is also incredibly heavy and very pricey at $6K. Sadly, it is not a lens many of us can afford, including me.
Best Fuji X Zoom Lenses
Now that we have gone over the best prime lenses, let’s check out Fuji’s top zoom lenses. Once again, I will list these lenses from wide to telephoto.
Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR
If you are looking for an ultra-wide angle lens, the XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is a real monster. Weighing 805 grams and costing $2K, it is obviously a very niche lens that is desired by many landscape and architecture photographers. Once again, Fuji put everything it got into this lens, including all the fancy coatings and weather sealing.
Expect nothing less than stunning image quality and extreme sharpness from this lens. One big downside of this lens is that it cannot take any filters. If that’s important for you, the only solution will be to use a third-party filter holder that can accommodate it. I had a chance to test this lens earlier this year when traveling in Jordan and Dubai. Here is a sample image of Dubai at night:
And here is an image from Jordan’s beautiful Jerash:
Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS
If you don’t need to go wider than 10mm, the older XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS is another superb lens, and this one can be used with filters. I have used this lens for many years, and although its biggest downside is lack of weather sealing, it is still a lens I would not hesitate to buy again! It is my “go-to” lens for landscape photography, and it is small and light enough to fit in any camera bag.
If Fuji released a weather-sealed version of the same lens, it would be a huge success. While I have not managed to destroy my copy (I am always extra-careful with it when shooting in high humidity environments), some photographers certainly did, and they weren’t very happy about it. There is also a bit of sample variation with these lenses, so make sure to copy yours before keeping it. Here are a few sample images of different landscapes and architecture I captured with the XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS:
Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR
Moving to the standard range, you might have heard of the popular Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR. Another beast of a lens, this pro-grade lens is very sharp at all focal lengths, even at maximum aperture. Its focal length range covers most everyday needs, so it is a lens you will probably use a lot.
As a pro-grade lens, it is built extremely well and it is fully weather-sealed, in case you want to be able to use it in adverse conditions. It is a bit heavy on lighter Fuji camera bodies, but if you use it with any of the X-T or X-H series cameras, it will balance quite well. Here are a couple of image samples that I was able to capture with this lens:
Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR
If you want something lighter and cheaper, the XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR is another great standard zoom that I really like. After testing it out earlier this year, I really liked the versatility of this zoom. It is not as big and heavy as the XF 16-55mm f/2.8, costs much less, and performs really well optically.
I had a chance to use this lens for about three months earlier this year, and it performed extremely well. Here is my favorite image of the stunning Sheikh Zayed Mosque that I captured with the XF 16-80mm f/4:
And here are a few more image samples of Wadi Rum, Jordan, as well as Hagia Sophia of Istanbul:
Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR
Once you move to the telephoto range, the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR is something that certainly deserves your attention. This lens is yet another professional-grade lens for the Fuji X system, so it is big, heavy, and expensive. As expected, it is very sharp at all focal lengths and apertures, and its optical image stabilization works really well.
I had bad luck with my first copy of the lens – it was completely broken right out of the box and would not zoom or focus (completely stuck). Unfortunately, I did not test the lens before my trip overseas, so imagine my surprise and disappointment when I found out that I could not use it in New Zealand. I am sure it was just bad luck. When I got back and replaced it with another copy, the lens was perfectly fine…
Here is a sample image I was able to capture of San Francisco downtown with the lens:
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Last, but not least, is the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. Personally, I am not a big fan of the size and weight of the XF 50-140mm f/2.8, so I very much prefer the XF 55-200mm for my needs, especially when traveling. I have used this lens for a number of years, and although it is optically not as good as its f/2.8 brother, it is still a great and versatile little lens.
It is quite sharp from 55mm to around 135mm, but its sharpness certainly deteriorates from there, especially at 200mm. Knowing this, I rarely push it to 200mm, unless I absolutely have to. Still, given how small and lightweight it is, I would not complain much about its performance.
Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
In the super-telephoto range, the XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR deserves very high praises for its versatility, excellent handling, solid optical image stabilization, as well as its optical qualities. If you are interested in doing any kind of action photography (such as sports and wildlife), this lens will not disappoint.
Although the XF 100-400mm is compatible with both 1.4x and 2x teleconverters and autofocus works just fine, there is a considerable drop in sharpness and overall image quality when using the 2x teleconverter. The 1.4x teleconverter, on the other hand, does fairly well and sharpness stays quite high, especially if you stop the lens down a little.
What do you think? Do you agree with my choices, or are there lenses for the Fuji X system that you absolutely love and can highly recommend? Please let me know in the comments section below!