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Fuji 90mm f2 Field Test

Fuji 90mm f2 Field Test

The Fuji 90mm f2 is a surprisingly versatile lens. I found myself using it for everything from small details to large landscapes – and even the occasional wildlife photo. Despite its relatively short minimum focus distance, the lens does require a fairly large working area for most subjects, and in tight spaces can feel claustrophobic. But put some distance between you and your subject and the 90mm really shines.

Specifications #

  • Focal length: 90mm (137mm equivalent)
  • Aperture range: f/2.0–16
  • Stabilisation: No
  • Weather-sealed: Yes
  • Filter thread: 62mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 60cm
  • Magnification: 0.3x
  • Diaphragm blades: 7 rounded
  • Weight: 540g
  • Optical construction: 11 elements 8 groups (includes 3 extra low dispersion elements)

Image quality #

The Fuji 90mm f2 is optically one of the best performing native lenses in the X-mount system. I'd heard this anecdotally and seen many positive reviews but it was very obvious when I reviewed the first images taken with it.

Sharpness and contrast

At f2 the lens shows excellent sharpness and contrast in the center and very good sharpness in the corners. The Fuji 90mm f/2 appears to reach peak sharpness and contrast across the frame by f/4, achieving very sharp, contrasty images with lots of detail.

Bokeh

It's very easy to create shallow depth-of-field images with this lens and thankfully the Fuji 90mm f2 produces very pleasant bokeh. Bokeh is very smooth is almost all conditions as is the transition from in-focus to out-of-focus areas.

Flare

Because of the large front element, the Fuji 90mm f/2 does flare despite the applied lens coatings. The large supplied hood definitely keeps flare at bay and improves contrast, but pointing the lens directly at a light source will unsurprisingly cause some flare.

Aberrations, distortion and vignetting

Aberrations are very well controlled, as is distortion and vignetting. Vignetting is subtle when the lens is wide open. Distortion is, unsurprisingly for this focal length, very minor. Any optical defects are cleaned up nicely with software corrections.

Fuji 90mm sample images #

A 135mm equivalent lens is a favourite of portrait photographers because of the ease of subject separation and pleasing subject rendering. However, a sharp, weather-sealed, fast-focusing telephoto in a small package is also a great option for travel. That was the excuse I gave myself at least, for renting the lens for a week long Scottish road trip.

Build quality and handling #

The Fuji 90mm f2 is very solidly built, weather-sealed and features (quad) linear motors for very fast focusing. This combination of features are only present in three other Fujinon primes. It's also a very compact lens measuring only ø75.0mm x 105mm and weighing only 540g. Paired with an X-T or X-Pro series camera it balances very well. In short, it's what we've come to expect from Fujifilm from their lenses at this price point. One notable omission is optical image stabilisation (OIS). If you don't have in-body image stabilisation you may need to stay in the range of 1/250s to get repeatably sharp images.

Conclusion #

Quality and value don't enter the equation when deciding if you should get this lens (as the Fuji 90mm is great on both accounts). It will likely come down to whether will get use out of this focal length. If you work in tighter spaces you might prefer the 56mm f/1.2, if you need more flexibility you might prefer the 50-140mm f/2.8 (at the cost of size, weight and a stop of light). But, if you have need for a 135mm eqv lens, the Fuji 90mm f/2 does not disappoint.

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