Lens review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35 mm f/1.4 R

10 September 2012
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart compares different lenses which can be deemed a classic standard in their respectable systems, with a field of view around 45-50 degrees. The Fujinon deserves to be praised here because it set the standards really high. Along with the Leica it is the fastest but the Leica is designed for a smaller Micro 4/3 sensor so it is easier to manufacture as it features a larger depth of field. The Samsung is by 1 EV slower but in its case the produced decided to use a “pancake” construction – the Fujinon cannot be counted as such a device. It is small but not as small as a “pancake” should be.

The photo below shows how the tested lens compares with other system “primes”.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35 mm f/1.4 R - Build quality

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The Fujinon XF 35 mm f/1.4 R starts with a metal mount and contacts – it surrounds the rear element of the lens, about 22 mm in diameter and hidden quite deep inside the casing. The inner tube, surrounding it, is black and nicely matted. When you pass to the minimum focus the rear element shifts along with the whole system, hiding even deeper; then, between its edge and the tube, you can notice a small gap through which dirt can get inside the construction. The movement of the whole optical system during focusing makes the front element extend by about 8 mm outside the proper casing of the lens. It is worth emphasizing that the whole body of the lens and the tube, on which the front element extends, are made of metal.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35 mm f/1.4 R - Build quality

The proper casing starts with a smooth, immobile ring with a red alignment mark, a serial number and the inscription „MADE IN JAPAN”. Further on, you can find an aperture ring. It is well-damped, allowing you to change the aperture every 1/3 EV step. It is also 11 mm wide; more than half of its width is taken by ribs. The next element is an immobile, smooth ring which almost begs to put a depth of field scale on it – unfortunately the producer didn’t decide to do so.

Then you find a ribbed manual focus ring. It works with electronic transmission so to move the elements the lens must be attached to a switched on camera. You can move it comfortably as it is appropriately smooth and well-damped. Running through the whole scale needs a turn through a very wide angle of about 550 degrees!

Immediately behind the manual focus ring the proper body of the lens ends, turning into an inner tube on which the front element system extends during focusing. The tube is finished with a bayonet hood mount which surrounds a non-rotating filter thread, 52 mm in diameter. The thread is positioned around a part of the casing with the name and parameters of the lens. Even further there is a front element, slightly hidden, with a diameter of 31 mm.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35 mm f/1.4 R - Build quality

When it comes to the optical construction the tested lens consists of 8 elements positioned in 6 groups. One element is aspherical. Inside there is also a circular aperture with seven diaphragm blades (a pity not nine) which can be closed down to the value of f/16.

Buyers get both caps, a hood and a soft pouch in the box.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35 mm f/1.4 R - Build quality