Over the past year, the Fuji 27mm has accompanied me on walks in Scotland and on trips to Canada, Malta and Georgia. It has been attached to my X-T4 come rain or shine. In that time it has proven to be fast enough, wide enough and more than sharp enough for an everyday lens. But most of all it has been so light and so small that I’ve had the camera with me at times I otherwise wouldn’t have.
In photography and cinematography, a normal lens is a lens that reproduces a field of view that appears “natural” to a human observer…For still photography, a lens with a focal length about equal to the diagonal size of the film or sensor format is considered to be a normal lens.
Fuji 27mm sample images #
The small size and weight of the 27mm means it’s often on my X-T4 on days where I might not have had a camera with me. This has lead to me taking more images and not relying on my iPhone for recording daily life as much (unsurprisingly producing much nicer images as well). A small set of Fuji 27mm sample images can be found below. Visit the gallery to see all Fuji 27mm sample images.
Fuji 27mm bokeh #
This may not be a lens you choose for shallow depth-of-field images, but at close distances you can isolate a subject and do so with pleasingly smooth bokeh.
Fuji 27mm in low light #
The Fuji 27mm isn’t a fast lens by prime standards but is usable in low-light with the help of IBIS or artificial lighting.
Image Quality #
This lens punches above its very light weight. The optical formula is the same as the previous Fuji 27mm lens. Images are sharp in the center wide open and across the frame by f/4, peaking at f/5.6. With in-camera corrections disabled, the Fuji 27mm shows slight barrel distortion and some vignetting (wide open). Vignetting is mostly gone by f/4 and no longer visible at f/5.6.
Since the diameter of the image circle needed to cover an APS-C sensor (28.4mm) is so close in dimension to XF27mmF2.8’s focal length, it is possible to design an incredibly compact lens that produces high quality images.
The Fuji 27mm shows slight barrel distortion and noticeable vignetting (wide open) when lens profiles are disabled
Focal length #
Sandwiched between the more familiar 23mm and 35mm focal lengths, the 27mm lens (41mm equivalent and 55.5º angle of view) is a very versatile compromise. I found it suited many travel and documentary situations, providing enough context for an environmental portraits and capturing details.
In fact Spielberg, Scorsese, Orson Wells, Malick, and many other A-list directors have cited the 28mm lens as one of their most frequently used and in some cases a favorite. And while on paper it may not seem or sound like the most exciting lens choice, keep in mind that the 28mm lens has been a gold standard in shooting motion pictures for over a century, being used to capture some of the most recognizable moments in cinematic history.
23mm vs 27mm
Unsurprisingly the 23mm is more flexible in tighter spaces. If you find yourself regularly photographing the person sitting across the table or the food in front of you, you may prefer the wider focal length. It is still possible with the 27mm, images will just show less of the environment. It’s easy to create a cleaner composition with the tighter 27mm.
27mm vs 35mm
The Fuji 27mm is more manageable in smaller spaces than the 35mm (55º vs 44º angle of view). From a subjective standpoint it ‘feels’ more normal with less compression. Subject isolation is easier with the 35mm.
Size, weight and build #
The new Fuji 27mm really is tiny, so small in fact it’s tricky to remove from the camera body. It weighs only 84g and is just 23mm long. It might look like a toy lens but it feels reassuringly well made and features a metal mount.
The XF 27mm f/2.8 mkii now includes an aperture ring. The 1⁄3 stop clicks can be clearly felt and have enough resistance to prevent accidental movement. There is also now an A (auto) position lock. Turning the aperture ring from F16 to A, locks it in position. Holding down the button and rotating the aperture ring in the opposite direction unlocks it.
Dust and weather resistance
The lens is weather-sealed in seven points and can be operated at temperatures down to -10℃. According to Fujifilm this means it can handle “light rain or harsh dusty outdoors”.
I have found the autofocus to be fast enough for general travel and documentary photography. When making large shifts in focus distance the DC motor does make audible noise (similar to the X100V).
What is a 27mm lens good for? #
The 27mm lens is a very compact yet high quality optic with a very useful and natural angle-of-view for day-to-day photography. Because of its tiny size, it’s less conspicuous when out on the street and when travelling but can still compete with larger lenses for image quality. The size and weight of the Fuji 27mm also make it convenient to carry for long periods and slot easily into any camera bag.
Do I regret buying the Fuji 27mm? No. It’s a sharp lens in a tiny package that, combined with the X-T4, creates a small weather-sealed setup with good battery life and IBIS. I think shy of having an X100V, there isn’t a reason to get rid of this lens. Even if you own similar focal lengths the Fuji 27mm can still makes sense.
The asking price for this lens is a little high. Even the used prices are high (probably due to the stock shortages). But if you can get it on a deal, or a good second hand copy then I the Fuji 27mm provides great value.
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