This is a review of Fuji’s FUJINON XF 14mm f/2.8
The FUJINON XF 14mm f/2.8 R is a 21mm equivalent, and Fujifilm’s first and only prime that barely ekes out the “ultra” denotation. It is significantly wider than the tiny FUJINON XF 18mm f/2 R (see 14mm f/2.8 vs. 18mm f/2 for a full comparison), and is made for very different use; the 14mm f/2.8 is built with landscape architectural photography in mind with it’s minimal distortion, f/2.8 maximum aperture, edge to edge sharpness, and engraved depth of field markings.
The 14mm f/2.8 held the wide angle place in my Ultimate Prime Kit—along with the XF 23mm f/1.4 and the 56mm f/1.2 until the release of the XF 16mm f/1.4. You can see a comparison of all 3 of Fuji’s widest primes here.
Lens construction: 10 elements in 7 groups
(2 aspherical, 3 extra low dispersion elements)
Focal length: 14mm
35mm format equivalent: 21mm
Aperture 7 blades (rounded diaphragm opening)
Aperture range: f/2.8 – f/22 in ⅓ stop incriments
Focus Range: Approximately 18cm - ∞ (infinity)
Maximum magnification: 0.12x
External dimensions: 65mm diameter x 58.4mm long
Weight: 235g (measured)
272g with caps and hood (measured)
Filter size: ø58mm
As good as typical FUJINON lenses with the exception of some sample variation on the aperture ring, and focus ring knurls that are so grippy and sharp, they feel like they might cut you. The former is actually a bit of an issue, but if you check the lens in the store, you can easily reject units that have too loose an aperture ring. I rejected one before getting my current copy, which is pretty good.
Size & weight
The 14mm f/2.8 is medium-sized relative to other Fujifilm lenses, but it’s a decent size for a wide angle f/2.8. Out of the box it was quite a bit lighter than I expected.
Engraved depth of field markings
A feature that’s sadly restricted to just a few lenses in Fujifilm’s lineup, the 14mm f/2.8, 16mm f/1.4 WR and 23mm f/1.4. The more I use lenses with a proper depth of field scale, the more I miss them on lenses that don’t have them.
Pull the manual focus ring in towards you and you’re focusing manually. I love this, but unfortunately again there are just two other lenses that offer it.
The hood that ships with the 14mm f/2.8 is marked “14/18-55.” This leaves me wondering just how much the hood has been optimized for the 14mm f/2.8 since the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 has been around quite a bit longer. Perhaps we’ll see a special metal hood released for the XF 14mm f/2.8 one day.
The 14mm f/2.8 leaves nothing to complain about in the sharpness department. It’s fantastically sharp, edge to edge, especially once stopped down to f/5.6 to ƒ/11. Noteworthy diffraction starts to set in by f/16, and gets heavy by f/22. Fujifilm’s Lens Modulation Optimizer can help a lot here.
Remarkably minimal. Horizons and architecture lines are kept mostly straight, and distortion isn’t complex. I haven’t had any issues correcting distortion in RAFs I’ve shot.
Bokeh can actually be achieved with this lens, but as seen in my Wide Angle Primes article, if you want background separation with a wide angle lens, you should really look at either the XF 16mm f/1.4 WR, or XF 18mm f/2.
There is some minor vignetting at f/2.8. It’s mostly gone by f/4. Vignetting on this lens is remarkably light even when I’ve had two neutral density filters stacked on it, and the lens stopped down.
In my experience, you have to work pretty hard to get flare in your images with this lens, even without the hood. That front element is so small it’s simply not prone to flare.
Chromatic aberration is minimal. A photo of a shadowed cliff in front of a bight blue sky could produce a small amount that is largely, if not entirely correctable, but these are fairly extreme circumstances.
Before the 10-24 was available, the 14mm f/2.8 was the best way to go wider than 18mm, and unless size and weight are of no concern, it almost certainly still is the best way to get to 14mm with Fujifilm cameras.
It’s one of the fastest focusing lenses in Fujifilm’s lineup, it’s sharp, and it handles great thanks to its engraved depth of field markings. Excelling in both auto and manual focus makes it perfect for landscapes, and zone-focused street shooting for those who like to go wide. No matter what kind of shooter you are, if wide is your game, this is your lens.