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The Best Fujifilm X Lenses for 2021


Fujifilm is one of the first names of photography, with a history that stretches back nearly a century. Photographers who are old enough to have used analog cameras best know the brand’s film stocks—it served as Kodak’s biggest rival prior to the digital revolution, gaining traction by selling good film for fewer dollars.

In the digital era, Fujifilm has transitioned to be a more upmarket brand. It established its place with the X100, a fixed lens compact with a hybrid viewfinder and SLR-sized sensor—absolutely innovative features a decade ago—introducing a design philosophy with a strong emphasis on classic aesthetics and manual handling.

The X System

The same concept carries over to the X system, a camera line with style and handling inspired by the X100, but with swappable glass. It launched in early 2012 with the X-Pro1 with a handful of prime lenses.

Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4 with XF 16-80mm

Since then, the company has built out the system aggressively. Camera options range from entry-level models—the X-T200 is one of favorites on the low end of the spectrum—to the higher end. The X-T4 is the current flagship, and the X-Pro3 is there for fans of optical viewfinders—it’s one of the few mirrorless cameras to include one.

All X system cameras sport the same sensor size, the APS-C format. The sensor format is smaller than full-frame alternatives, but lends itself to generally smaller, lighter lenses, and is a boon for action photographers who strive to get a bit more effective reach without having to reach for an extreme telephoto lens.

Choosing a Lens

If you’re used to thinking about focal lengths in full-frame terms, you might do need to do a bit of quick math to understand equivalencies. Multiplying by 1.5 times will get you there—a 16mm lens on a Fuji X camera nets the same angle of view as a 24mm on a full-frame system.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 with XF 23mm

Fujifilm X-Pro3 with XF 23mm

Most models sport an X-Trans sensor, a type that filters color with a more complex filter array than rivals. Fujifilm couples it with an excellent image processing engine. With these cameras, you have the flexibility to make images that range in look from modern digital to vintage film, without having to spend time in Photoshop.

As you move beyond entry level, you’ll enjoy one of the best autofocus systems in any camera system, along with features like in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and weather protection. If you own a body without IBIS, look for lenses with an OIS designation, which tells you that a lens includes optical image stabilization.

Likewise, not all of the company’s lenses are protected from dust and splashes. If you buy a Fujifilm camera with weather protection, make sure to reach for a lens with the WR designation to ensure that it’s as well protected as your camera body.

Fujifilm GFX100

The GFX100 is a medium format camera that works with Fujinon GF lenses. It isn’t compatible with the XF and XC lenses used by the X system.

For the most part, you’ll stick with Fujifilm Fujinon lenses when shopping for your camera. Make sure to shop for ones billed as XF or XC. Fujifilm also sells GF lenses for its medium format mirrorless system, but glass made for the 100MP GFX100 won’t work with an X series camera.

There is some level of third-party support, but it’s mostly limited to manual focus lenses. We’ve seen a spattering of compatible autofocus lenses from brands like Viltrox and Zeiss, and manual focus entries from 7Artisans and Venus Laowa, but the Fujifilm system doesn’t enjoy support from larger third parties like Sigma and Tamron.

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