Fujinon XF 90mm F2 – First Take and Taken Aback

Each time we have an encounter with a new Fujinon XF lens, our expectations are high but we hold ourselves back, just in case – don’t want to get too excited. When we got our first Fujinon – the XF 35mm F1.4 – we were really impressed. Then, we added the XF 14mm F2.8 – they really know how to make lenses, we thought! Then the XF 56mm F1.2 arrived and… well, we immediately added it to our bag.

So when the letter carrier knocked on the door with a package from Fuji Canada we thought: It’s going to be a really good lens but given our lofty demands there is no way that this new arrival is in the same class as the XF 56mm F1.2. After all, camera companies eventually misfire and produce a substandard glass – we all know that.

Boy, was I WRONG! After shooting a few pics around the house I looked at the screen and I couldn’t believe it. Then I uploaded a few JPEGs on my computer and practised all the profanities I knew. How am I going to write a review of such a brilliant lens? Given that in our previous write-ups we showed so much affection for the Fujinon glass, this time the Internet is going to go berserk – I will be called Fuji funboy once again!

Then, I went outside and took more shots. This can’t be right! After a few hours of shooting the most difficult things I could think of, I gave up. I couldn’t take it any more. I passed the lens to Kasia and asked her to find a problem with it. It’s not that she hadn’t tried. Quite the opposite! Eventually she came up with: “Shouldn’t the hood be all metal?” We burst out laughing and at this point we knew we were adding this lens to our bag. Come on, bashers, bring it on! The Fuji funboys await you!

All right, enough of this introduction. I guess you’ve got my point. We will present a lot of imagery on the blog over the next few posts – portraits, landscape and documentary – all taken with the XF 90mm F2. Most importantly, we are taking it with us for an exciting cross-border trip over several states and provinces, which will lead us as far east as Winnipeg, Canada – for a VERY special project about a VERY special person! No, it’s not Miriam Toews – you’ll just have to wait and see.

For now, here are a few first shots (Fuji X-T1, mostly JPEGs). They didn’t come cheap – I had to buy ice cream for all these fellows! The haze visible on some of the images is the result of the unprecedented dry spell and 180 wildfires in the province of British Columbia. Stay tuned for much, much more.

Classic Chrome





Provia (STD) and Astia film simulations




Click for a larger image.





2015 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.

16 thoughts on “Fujinon XF 90mm F2 – First Take and Taken Aback

  1. It’s a big gap but I often find myself shooting with my two favourite lenses, 14mm on my X-Pro1 and the new 90mm on X-T1 and with 18-55mm in my bag there not much I can’t cover. The 90mm f2 is simply sublime. I’ve not found anyone who doesn’t like it. I was forewarned about the clunk of the elements moving around – it’s because the magnets which assist the linear AF motor are not powered on until the camera is switched on and then everything firms up.

    1. Well, gee, Vick, you must be an experienced photographer. Joke – I just bought the 90 and am two-thirds of the way to completing the set that will make me feel smug and self-satisfied: 90, 14, 18-35.

  2. My lens just arrived, and I have a question about the build. Do the internal elements shift around when you tip the lens up and down a bit? The performance is fine (stellar, even!), but I’m worried that mine may be defective. Both of the other XF prime lenses I have feel completely solid: 23mm, 56mm. Should I be panicked? I am leaving for a trip with this lens next week.

      1. Thanks for replying. I think mine is defective. I spoke to someone at B&H in NYC this morning, and they are going to exchange it. Lovely photos, by the way! I’m glad to have found your blog.

  3. Haze? I f… don’t see any haze at all 🙂 images look GREAT! Sharp, crisp as hack, 3D kinda look … wow!

  4. 90mm, f/2 sounds good but no image stabilization on a lens this long that I’d want to use hand-held in low light situations? Doesn’t tally somehow.

    1. IS isn’t needed. My all-time favourite lens, and greatest money earner is the Canon 135. No IS there. If you need IS, then change the way you hold the camera!!!

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