Lens review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 23 mm f/1.4 R

19 March 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

Our resolution test of the Fujinon XF 23 mm f/1.4 R was based on RAW files we obtained from the Fujifilm X-E1 camera. The files were developed by the dcraw program (with the 3-pass X-trans filter algorithm) and analyzed using the Imatest package.

It’s good to remind here that the best fixed-focus lenses tested that way can reach results of 70-72 lpmm and the decency level is situated near 40-41 lpmm. Now let’s see how the tested lens compares.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 23 mm f/1.4 R - Image resolution

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It is a huge challenge for an f/1.4 lens to produce a useful image at the maximum relative aperture. Every device which is able to achieve it deserves your praise. The tested Fujinon happens to belong to the narrow group of successful lenses and it is certainly its huge asset. On stopping down the image quality improves, being at its peak by f/5.6 where it exceeds slightly a level of 70 lpmm. If you want to find something to carp about you could mention the fact that the improvement of the image quality is actually too slow - an f/1.4 lens should be able to peak near f/4.0 where it should get rid of almost all optical aberrations. The Fujinon isn’t able to achieve that much – it means that by f/4.0 it still encounters some problems. It is not a serious fault, mind you; rising the MTFs by 2-3 lpmm would solve it for good. Still the lens is those 2-3 lpmm short of being called outstanding.

When it comes to the performance on the edge of the frame the tested lens should be praised again. It is true that, at the maximum relative aperture the official level of usefulness is not reached but it’s enough you stop down to f/2.0 and you get it. It should be emphasized that so far we haven’t met an f/1.4 lens, providing such an angle of view as the Fujinon, which would give you fully useful images on the very edge of the frame. Even the Sigma A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM, so praised by us, wasn’t able to achieve that much.

To sum up the Fujinon XF 23 mm f/1.4 R came up to our expectations. We wanted a good performance and we got that much exactly. It was short of outstanding but only by a slim margin.

At the end of this chapter we show some crops of our testing chart photos taken from JPEG files (with the lowest sharpening level) which were saved along RAW files, used for the analysis presented above.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 23 mm f/1.4 R - Image resolution