Fuji Fujicrons vs their larger siblings

Dec 31, 2013
Louisville, Ky
Am I the only one who finds they prefer the Fujicrons over the larger aperture versions? At least with the 23mm and 50/56. The 35s are a wash for me as they both have qualities I love equally. Working with the 23mm f2 and 56mm 1.2 really brought this home for me. I've been going back over older work to confirm my thoughts. And every time I preferred the work with the f2 lenses. Not that the work with the larger aperture lenses was bad. Just that I prefered the work done with the f2s. Also, I like the slightly wider focal length at 50mm.
Dec 31, 2013
Louisville, Ky
I’ve had limited experience with the f/1.4 or wider Fuji lenses. I’ve used the 23/56, and on the 35.

other than the 35mm, I find I’m like you. I other the rendering of the 35mm 1.4 over the f/2, but I’m very happy with the 23/50/90 f/2.
That's where I am on the 35s. The rendering of the 1.4 is magic. The f2 AF's faster and more accurately, and it is weather sealed. So its a draw on those for me.

I'm at a point where the rendering, AF, and the bonus of weather sealing are more important than the extra aperture.
Apr 2, 2018
Physically (size, weight, weather resistance, autofocus, noise), I love the Fujicrons.

Optically I have to say the larger lenses (16/1.4 ; 23/1.4 ; 35/1.4 ; 56/1.2) all render more "filmlike" and have more character (ie. flaws perhaps). But character in a lens just masks the shortcomings of the photographer ... (no wonder then, that I prefer ultracharacterful Leica glass).

The brain says Fujicron, the heart says Fujilux ;)
Apr 2, 2018
I definitely use a 75mm equiv more to shoot landscapes than models so in this case I don't actually mind the perfection of the 50/2, especially given how handy package it is!


Jul 6, 2017
I've got the Fujicrons and the 90, haven't used the larger 23 or 56. Haven't seen anything in my images that makes me think I need to go to the larger lenses.

The smaller lenses are just so darned handy. IMHO, makes for a capable and nicely compact prime kit.


Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
When I used Leica extensively I had the "holy trinity" of 35mm Summicron (the mk. IV "bokeh king") the 50mm f2.8 Elmar-M (the late model collapsible) and a 90mm Elmarit-M.

I found the Summiluxes a bit sterile, preferring first Canon LTM then later Zeiss for speed at 50mm.

I have had the fast Fujis - 23 and 35. I loved the latter and would probably still have it today had it been WR.

Today I have the compact 16, 23, 35 and 50 as my go-to set of primes for travel. I have two fast lenses - the 56 and the 7 Artisans 35mm f1.2. They pair well together for portrait and low light work. I have had the 56 since it first came out and it is the lens you will have to pry from my cold, dead hands...

To my eye, the current crop of Fuji primes are superb. Their relative compactness and light weight together with weather sealing make them superlative travel lenses.

I have never been a fan of lugging around a load of heavy lenses, equating each gram of weight carried to ten paces - the more I carry, the less I walk and the less I see to photograph.
Dec 31, 2013
Louisville, Ky
I'm going to sell off my 56. And run mainly with the 23/50 pair. Then adding in the 16 1.4 and/or the 35 1.4 as needed. The 16 1.4 being the large aperture prime which would have to be pried from my cold, dead hands.

When it gets released next year. I will take a serious look at the 50mm f1. Then decide whether I need/want it, or a X-Pro3 the most. If it happens that I choose the 50 f1. Then I will sit down with my wallet and have a long discussion about getting a GFXr and some lenses.


Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
Never used the 56, but in my experience, the 16 & 35 F1.4s are different class to the f2s. I mean, it depends on how you intend to use them of course but you can make images with them that you just can't with the "Fujicrons" in terms of rendering. Based on the Leica and Zeiss lenses that I have, those Fuji F1.4s are approcaching or are on that same level, perhaps better with the close focusing capabilities, that's how good they are.
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I guess I'm really stupid, but I've been a photographer since 1968 and a full-time working professional since 1973, but I've never been able to see all those subtle differences in lens rendering that others appear to see. I can see that some lenses are sharper than others, and some appear to have lower or higher contrast, but that's so dependent on the subject and the light that I would not draw any inferences from that. Maybe I could if I were just shooting tests under uniform conditions. But when you're photographing different subjects with different lenses under different light, you obviously have some powers that I don't have if you can make judgments about rendering under such conditions.


Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
Hood River, OR
TOTALLY agree on the 23’s. I could never quite get happy with that lens. Too big, too soft wide open. Trading that one stop for some $ back in my pocket, half the size and weight, and weather sealing is a no-brainer for me.

I haven’t used the other ‘crons. But the rendering on the 35 1.4 and the 56 are good enough that it would certainly not be a simple decision. Fuji glass design / execution at its finest, there.
Dec 31, 2013
Louisville, Ky
One of the big things it came down to for me. Is that when looking back over my work including portraits, candids, events, and cemeteries. My favorite work was shot with the fujicrons. I’ll even say that what I’m calling my favorite work may not always also be my best work. Or what other photographers may consider my best. Although I have received a lot more talk/feedback on my work shot with the crons than everything else.

Factor in that I get weather sealing and will make money on the transition. And that there are people like Dave who don’t see, or don’t look at lens subtleties. Just content. Then it becomes a no brainer for me to transition.

The only reason I sold my first set of fujicrons was due to needing a zoom for the work I was doing at the time. When that work was done, I went back to primes. Getting the larger aperture primes reflexively. Then realizing a couple of months later, oh yeah I really love the f2 versions.

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