The best Fujifilm X-mount lenses show off all the virtues of APS-C. Angela Nicholson and the AP team select the best ones we’ve tested.
The best Fujifilm X-mount lenses, and the X series in general are one of the best arguments for the virtues of APS-C. Lightweight and fully-featured, these clever optics deliver the perfect complement for a retro-styled X-series camera like the flashy Fujifilm X-T5. And since the range has been building for more than a decade, there are absolutely loads to choose from. It’s just a matter of finding them.
We’ve put together this guide to narrow things down a little and make it a bit easier to find the right Fujifilm X-mount lens for you. The range includes, wide-angles, telephotos, primes, zooms, macros and more, and which one you go for will depend entirely on what you plan to shoot. We’ve split this guide up into three sections: first we select the standard lenses with a mid-range focal length, great for walk-around, general-purpose photography. Next, we choose the best wide-angles for when you want a wider perspective – particular good for architecture, cityscapes and other expansive types of shoot. Lastly, we’ve picked out our favourite Fujifilm telephoto lenses, which excel at sports and action photography.
Don’t miss our guide to the best Fujifilm cameras if you’re building your setup from the ground up. Before we get into the full list, we’ve put together a quick jargon-busting guide in case you’re new to Fujifilm X-mount lenses…
How to choose a Fujifilm X-Mount lens – lens terminology
XF and XC
The majority of Fujifilm’s X-mount lenses are badged ‘XF’, but there are four ‘XC’ lenses, the XC 35mm F2, XC 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ, XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II and the XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS II.
The XC lenses are more affordable than comparable XF optics and have a plastic barrel and mount, but if you pick one up, you’ll realise that they still have high-quality optics inside.
Fujifilm’s XF lenses have an aluminium barrel, external elements and mount, while their rings are machined from a solid block of metal, all of which makes them durable.
What do the letters mean?
Like most lens manufacturers, Fujifilm use letters to denote the technology or special features within an optic. Understanding what they mean is key to ensuring you make the right lens selection, so here’s a short guide:
What are the best Fujifilm X-Mount lenses?
Most photographers start out with one or two lenses and gradually build up a collection that meets all their requirements. Here we look at the best Fujifilm X-Mount lenses, starting with the standard zoom lens, or kit lens.
Best standard zoom for X-Mount: Fujinon XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR
At a glance:
Many beginner Fujifilm cameras come bundled with the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS. This is a great first lens, covering an effective focal length range of 27-82.5mm, but when it comes time to upgrade, we’d recommend jumping to the XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR, offering a wider focal length range (effectively 24-82.5mm) and a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8, which means the exposure doesn’t change as you zoom.
In addition, the 16-55mm lens is weatherproof, making it a better choice for photographers who don’t mind a bit of rain. It has no stabilisation functionality, which is something of a shame, but this does help keep the cost and weight of the lens down.
Best longer standard zoom lens: Fujinon XF 16-80mm F4 R OIS WR
At a glance:
The XF 16-80mm F4 R OIS WR is another appealing alternative zoom lens as it gives greater telephoto reach, with a 24-120mm equivalent, albeit at the expense of a stop off the maximum aperture. It’s a nice halfway house between the two lenses mentioned in the previous entry – the excellent but expensive XF 16-55mm, and the cheap but limited XF 18-55mm.
In our review, we praised the excellent build quality and effective optical stabilisation. We noted a little softness in the corners at wide angle and large aperture settings when reviewing our sample images, but not enough to seriously dent this well-judged, well-priced lens.
Best standard/all-purpose prime lens: Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR
At a glance:
The Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR may sound wide for a standard prime, but remember that 1.5x crop factor on APS-C sensors. It behaves as a 35mm lens on a Fujifilm X camera, which makes it a great all-purpose choice for street and documentary photography.
As we said in our review, the image quality is top-notch throughout the aperture range, and the close-focusing capabilities are first-rate. If you’ve already got the old XF 23mm F1.4 R, it’s probably not quite worth the upgrade, but if you’re shopping for your first Fujifilm 35mm lens, it’s outstanding and would make a fabulous addition to your kitbag.
Best macro prime for X-mount: Fujinon XF 30mm F2.8 R LM WR
At a glance:
There are a few macro lenses in the Fujifilm stable, but we particularly like this recent effort, the Fujinon XF 30mm F2.8 R LM WR. Unless you’re a dedicated macro shooter, it’s useful for a macro lens to be able to double up in another category, and the Fujinon XF 30mm F2.8 does so ably. It pitches in as a credible walk-around lens (its equivalent focal length is about 46mm) while also delivering the 1:1 magnification ratio required to be considered a “true” macro lens.
The focal length is on the short side, meaning you need to get pretty close to your subject. This makes it excellent for still-life and flat lays; less so for capturing insects and other small wildlife. If the latter is your passion, you might be better off with the Fujifilm XF 60mm f2.4 R Macro or the newer Fujifilm XF 80mm f2.8 LM OIS WR Macro (though the latter will set you back a four-figure sum).
Best Fujifilm wide-angle lenses:
If you want to capture wide vistas, or stunning landscapes and architecture, or need to shoot in cramped interiors, then a wide-angle lens will help greatly. Here we highlight some of the best options you can find for the Fujifilm X-mount system..
Best wide-angle zoom for X-Mount: Fujinon XF 10-24mm F4 OIS WR
At a glance:
Covering an effective focal length of 15-36mm, the XF 10-24mm F4 OIS WR is a great choice for landscape photography, plus it has a constant aperture of f/4 and is weather-resistant. And we should stress that weather resistance doesn’t just mean it can handle a light rain – the Fujinon XF 10-24mm can be used in temperatures as low as -10°C. Weighing just 385g, it feels well-balanced on most Fujifilm X cameras.
When we reviewed the lens, we were especially impressed with its improved stabilisation, which is reliable and effective at dealing with blur caused by camera shake.
Best wide-angle prime lens for X-Mount: XF 18mm f/1.4 R LM WR
At a glance:
A seriously good lens that costs a serious chunk of change, the Fujinon XF 18mm f/1.4 R LM WR is a premium wide-angle prime that perfectly complements high-end Fujifilm X cameras. In our review, we were seriously impressed with this lens. Every one of its aperture settings delivers superior sharpness and imaging performance, and the circular bokeh you can create is divine.
We said, quite simply, ‘In terms of the optics and autofocus… there is absolutely nothing to complain about with the 18mm f/1.4.’
Best value wide-angle prime lens for X-Mount: XF 16mm F2.8 R
At a glance:
Another wide-angle option, and something a bit more affordable is the XF 16mm F2.8 R WR. It has an effective focal length of 24mm, weighs 155g and retails for around £339. In our review, we praised this lens as providing excellent value for money, with solid performance and excellent build quality.
In our review we concluded by saying ‘if you add this lens and the excellent XF50mm F2 R WR to your shopping basket you’ll find you spend less than if you were to buy the XF16mm F1.4 R WR on its own.’
Best portrait lens for X-Mount: Fujinon XF 50mm F1.0 WR
At a glance:
Fujifilm offers several lenses to suit portrait photographers. The cream of the crop is the Fujinon XF 50mm F1.0 WR, a fabulous lens with an equivalent focal length of 75mm and the ability to deliver wonderfully blurred backgrounds so your subject stands out. However, it retails for almost £1,500, and it’s a big boy too – look at it standing next to a 56mm f/1.2 up there.
For these reasons many photographers are likely to prefer the smaller and more affordable XF 56mm F1.2 R or XF 56mm F1.2 R APD. Nevertheless, if you can afford the asking price the Fujinon XF 50mm F1.0 WR delivers silky bokeh like no other lens.
Best Fujifilm telephoto lenses:
For getting up close and personal with distant subjects like wildlife, nothing beats a good telephoto lens. Fujifilm X-mount has some X-cellent (sorry) examples of the genre – and remember that the APS-C crop factor of Fujifilm X cameras means you can multiply the focal length on the box by 1.5x. This means you get even more reach for your money.
Best telephoto zoom for X-mount: XF 150-600mm F5.6-8 R LM OIS WR
At a glance:
A relatively recent lens for X-mount, the XF 150-600mm F5.6-8 R LM OIS WR passed through our testing bench at the end of August 2022. Spoiler for our review: we loved it. This lens demonstrates just how well Fujifilm understands the needs and wants of APS-C users. Delivering an equivalent focal range of 225-900mm, it’s great for bringing distant subjects into sharp focus. Optical quality is excellent, and the price ain’t bad either.
Anything to criticise? Well, the maximum aperture drops sharply to a rather restrictive f/8 at the tele end of the focal range, and (somewhat inevitably) it’s quite a heavy lens. That’s pretty much it!
Best 100-400mm lens for X-mount: XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS
At a glance:
The Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS is another lens that plays cleverly into the virtues of APS-C systems. For one, it uses a plastic build rather than metal, which some users may consider to be sacrilege, but it makes the lens much lighter. This means you’re much more agile than you would be lugging about a full-frame system with a metal lens. Granted it doesn’t feel as robust, but the weatherproofing is still present and correct (just don’t drop it).
Image quality is also excellent, as we discovered when we tested the lens under the demanding conditions of a motorsport event in extremely wet weather.
Text by Angela Nicholson, with contributions from Jon Stapley and Michael Topham
Read more of our Fujifilm Fujinon Lens Reviews:
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18mm f/1.4 R LM WR Review
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-120mm F.4 LM PZ WR Review
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Review
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 23mm f/2.8 R WR Review
Fujifilm Fujinon XC 35mm f/2 Review
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR Review
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 50mm f/2.0 R WR Review
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R Review
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR Review
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS Review
If you’re looking for more guides, have a look at our buying guides, and our latest lens reviews.
Further reading – Nobody does it better:
Best image stabilisation system
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