Last week a friend sent me a link with a very good price for the Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 R lens for my X-E1. Since I had already been thinking about buying it I couldn’t resist and I ordered it. I got it on Wednesday and the first impression at unpacking was great. Fuji packages the X system as some luxury items and once out of the box it is clear that they are made to last.
Yesterday I got some time to walk around the city and test it. I took the camera with the new lens only. The day was quite gray and cold and there was little light. So it was the perfect occasion to test the lens wide open. I set the camera to 1/125s or 1/60s, auto f-stop and auto ISO (max 3200) and just shot away.
Since my lovely wife and muse accepted to pose for me even if she was freezing I could not resist to make some portraits in the soft light. The lens is amazingly sharp, even wide open, and the bokeh is delicious. I can confirm all the positive things that have been written about that lens in the forums and reviews.
The combination of the X-E1 and the XF 35 1.4 are a joy to use and great walkaround combination. I am sure I will be using them a lot just wandering around in the city. I find it ideal for street shooting or for casual / environmental portraits. I just had to remind myself several times that it is not a focal length for close-up portraits, 35mm are too wide and the noses are distorted too much. That will be a task of the 56mm that is scheduled for release end of the year.
The only negative aspect is the autofocus, it is SLOW, noisy and rough. It really does not match the rest of the system.
Here are some examples from yesterday: