I was originally interested in the Fujifilm 27mm lens after seeing it recommended by Eric Kim for street photography. Also my friend and awesome photographer Ryan Tacay swears by it. I managed to get my hands on one for the last few weeks and I thought I'd talk a bit about it here. With this lens I was trying to discover two things. How does it work for street photography and would it make a good all round travel lens.
Size, Weight and Handling
The 27mm F2.8 is Fuji's smallest lens. When I unpacked it I was kind of amazed at just how small it is. On my X-T1 the whole system is pretty close in size to a X100 S/T. So if you're an X-T1 user and you want to go small and light then this lens is it. Of course it would also work on many other bodies like the X-E2 and X-Pro 1.
I was a bit disappointed to see that there is no aperture ring on this lens. You of course can still control the aperture manually with one of the control dials on the camera. This is set via the menu. It's not a big deal but when you're used to an aperture dial on your other lenses it's a bit of an adjustment.
The focus ring is smooth but I found it to be a bit too easy to turn. It also infinitely turns in either direction. Again this isn't a huge deal but it's my personal preference that a focus ring stops at each end of the focus range. Auto focus was quite quick over all. Certainly fast enough for most general shooting siturations.
Yes the image quality on this lens is as good as everyone says it is. Even wide open I found it to be very sharp right the the edges of the frame. There isn't much else to say about it really I don't think anyone is going to have anything to complain about in this department. Well someone will surely but they don't have much reason to.
Every Day Usage
So how does this lens work for street and general travel photography. For the most part it works quite well. The 27mm lens on a cropped sensor camera like the fuji lineup comes out to the same field of view as a 40mm lens in the 35mm equivalent. It's the middle ground between the popular 35mm and 50mm lens choices. This kind of makes it a jack or all trades and master of none in my books. While it's perhaps not ideal for landscapes I think if you're traveling you'd be quite happy with the focal length. It works well for things like portraits, street scenes and food photography. I used it to photograph family gatherings and work events as well.
Over all I think anyone looking for a compact and light lens to put on a Fuji camera body is going to enjoy this lens. Wether it be for travel photography or taking photos of the family. It's small and light, the auto focus is good and it's quite sharp. I don't think there is much to complain about here. My only objection is the price to be honest. Although it's built well I think the asking price of approximately $450 Cdn is a little steep. That's not to say it's poor value. I just think that when it comes between picking the 40mm or 18-55mm zoom when starting your kit it's not an easy choice.
Like a lot of my Toronto Fuji friends I purchase my gear at Aden camera. You should too if you’re able. They are friendly and have great prices. Speak to Matthew and let them know I sent you, thanks.
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Thank you to Fuji Canada for providing a loan of this lens for review.