Recommended Fuji Kits
If you’re thinking of building a Fuji system today, here are some recommended kits.
Last major update: January, 2016
The Complete Kit
Here is my new Complete Kit, which I believe is the most efficient way to round out your focal range.
A year has brought a couple of changes to the complete kit, including a new body option, and more weather sealing. This kit is actually the toughest to choose. There are a few different ways it can be done, unless you’re nuts like I am, you’ll e left with holes and/or overlap in the focal range. This is what I think the optimal strategy is.
Body: Fujifilm X-Pro2 → or Fujifilm X-T1 →
The X-Pro2 is my go-to camera and never a bad option, if only because it’s the Fuji body that can get you 24.3 MP with excellent high ISO performance, a Focus Stick, and the most Phase Detect AF points.
At $400 less though, and with more grip options than you can shake a stick at, the X-T1 is easily the next most capable body Fuji makes, and offers a vertical grip option, tilt screen, and an EVF with unsurpassed magnification and eye relief.
Ultra wide to wide angle: Fuji 10-24mm f/4 →
This lens can’t be beat when it comes to going wide. It covers an excellent range, and has excellent image quality to match, with the possible exception of its max reach, 24mm. The only other issue I have with this lens is its lack of weather sealing, which is addressed below.
Nifty 50-ish: Fuji 35mm f/2 WR →
Since writing my XF 35mm f/1.4 vs. XF 35mm f/2 WR article, I’ve come to like the smaller, weather sealed variant even more. At $200 less, this lens will also get you closer to the price of an X-Pro2.
The Fuji 35mm f/1.4 → is still fantastic. Every time I put that lens on I realize my memory has sold it short. I mentioned in my X100 Converters vs. Primes article if you have an interchangeable X-Series camera, you’re nuts if you don’t have the 35mm f/1.4. Well now you’re nuts if you don’t have one or the other. I can’t help but lean towards more weather sealing and faster autofocus to go along with the ISO gains we’ve seen with the X-Pro2.
Telephoto: Fuji 50-140mm f/2.8 →
The XF 50-140mm f/2.8 is is still my workhorse. It’s also the lens I turn to when I’m going to shoot and need some reach.
In my last kit recommendation, I mentioned that this lens had supplanted the XF 56mm f/1.2 → for just about everything. It’s possible that could change with the X-Pro2’s arrival. The XF 56mm f/1.2 works pretty great with the OVF. The zoom does not. For that reason, the 56 could see some more use, but I still can’t recommend it over the zoom for most buyers, which just so much more versatile. If the zoom is out of the budget, the XF 90mm f/2 WR is the next place to turn.
It certainly could be. This covers an excellent range with excellent optics, and if you were to stop now, this would definitely be a sensible kit choice. As mentioned the one area image quality might be hurting is in around the 35mm equivalent mark. I’d add an X100(S/T) → for some 35mm, second-body goodness. The X100 always brings me so much joy to photography. Optical inferiorities be damned, it was my daily carry until the X-Pro2 arrived.
Ultimate Prime Kit
If you’re looking to max out your prime quality with a tri-lens kit, you could do a lot worse than this selection of lenses.
Lots of change in this kit. This is actually my recommended build overall for Fuji shooters. I’ve said before, there’s something about Fuji bodies that just seem to beg for primes. These are cameras for the joy of photography, the sort of camera you want to have with you, and for many of us, the camera we ditched larger DSLRs with chunky, heavy zooms for. Lenses like the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 and XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 have their place. The former is optically great, but they’re just so large, it makes them harder to recommend. If you want to get the most of Fuji, this is the kit you should buy.
Body: Fujifilm X-Pro2 →
No compromises here. You’re buying ultimate primes, you want ultimate image quality, and that means the most megapixels and best ISO. I love this camera.
Wide Angle: Fuji XF 16mm f/1.4 WR →
The previous wide angle king, the XF 14mm f/2.8, has been dethroned! Last year saw the release of the XF 16mm f/1.4 WR, and my Wide Angle Primes comparison, which concluded with the recommendation that if you’re going to have one wide angle prime, the XF 16mm f/1.4 WR is the prime to get. Weather sealing, two more stops of light gathering, sharp as all get-out, and insanely close focus make it the new prime to beat in wide angle territory.
It must be pointed out that you’ll be relagated to the EVF or LCD for compositon with the XF 16mm f/1.4 WR as 18mm is the widest APS-C focal length the Optical Viewfinder can accommodate, so some of the 16mm frame will fall outside of what the OVF can show you. If we restricted ourselves to OVF-only lenses though, we’d end up with the XF 18mm f/2, and, let’s be honest, outside of size and weight, there’s really not much that’s ultimate about that lens.
Classic Nifty 50-ish: XF 35mm f/2 WR →
I have a two-part confession to make. In previous iterations of this kit, I recommended the XF 23mm f/1.4. It’s a spectacular lens, but 1. I rarely reached for it over the X100T. You might be thinking, “That’s fine for Fuji vs. Fuji, you’ve got both.” That’s true and if you really want 35mm without getting into another body, Fuji has you very well covered. 2. I rediscovered what I had a few times before, I prefer 50mm to 35mm. I think I forced myself to like 35mm because I wanted to use the X100T for it’s small size, and OVF option. Well no more! The X-Pro2 has allowed me to move back to the focal length I’m meant to use as my daily carry, and for 50mm, the XF 35mm f/2 WR is my choice.
Telephoto Portrait: Fuji 90mm f/2 WR →
I haven’t said much about the XF 90mm f/2 WR on Fuji vs. Fuji so far, but I did recently acquire one, and will have lots more to say about it soon. This lens is optically superb, and with more reach than the XF 56mm f/1.2, I feel it rounds the 3-lens kit out better.
If you really like the OVF, you may want to go for the XF 56mm f/1.2 afterall, since the composition frame in the OVF with the XF 90mm f/2 WR is quite small. In general, you’re less likely to need the OVF at this focal length, but should be considered.
You might also have noticed a trend in lens initialisms. “WR” appears in all of them. This kit offers a broad focal length coverage, excellent optics, and is 100% weather sealed. If you want to get it done right the first time, this is the kit to get.
The Compact Prime Kit
A.k.a., The Original 3, a.k.a. The Metal Hood Crew
While the Ultimate Prime Kit above isn’t outrageously priced relative to a comparable DSLR prime kit, you could do very well with less money, and you’d find yourself with a kit that’s smaller and lighter as well.
Body: Fuji X-T10 → or Fuji X-E →
You’d be forgiven if you opted for the X-T1, but for ultimate in compactness, the X-E bodies are where it’s at, and with the X-E2S arriving soon along with Firmware Ver.4.00 for the X-E2, the X-E is that much closer to feature parity.
For the DSLR-style lover out there, those who want to seriously go full auto with Fuji’s “Scene Recognition Auto Mode,” or those who demand a tilt screen, the X-T10 has them covered.
Wide angle: Fuji 18mm f/2 →
This lens doesn’t get a lot of love, but it’s definitely worthy of praise. It sits nicely between the 14 and 23 in focal length at roughly a 28mm equivalent. It’s a stop quicker than the 14, and slower than the 23. It’s also ridiculously small. With that comes the loss of depth of field markings, and the push-pull clutch manual focus ring that its wide angle brother have. For those who want to pack small though, the 18mm f/2 is a great wide-angle choice.
Nifty 50-ish: Fuji 35mm f/1.4 → or XF 35mm f/2 WR →
The original 35 has been called a “gem” many times, and for good reason. It’s small, light, crazy sharp and produces exceptional bokeh. At an equivalent focal length of just over 53mm, it’s an ideal complement to the 18mm f/2.
For those wanting to go a little smaller (and faster) still, and are willing to sacrifice a stop of light gathering, the new XF 35mm f/2 WR makes yet another appearance on this page. Its weather sealing won’t help you much on an X-E body, but it future-proofs you for a possible upgrade at least.
Medium telephoto, portrait, and 2:1 Macro: Fuji 60mm f/2.4 Macro →
Your focal range can be rounded out by the 60/2.4. Called a macro lens, it makes an excellent portrait lens at a medium telephoto equivalent of just over 90mm. It will be the largest and heaviest lens in your kit, but it’s a fair bit smaller, and a lot lighter than the 56mm f/1.2 alternative.
The (Invincible) Landscaper
Landscapers, long exposure nuts, and tripod huggers (of which I am one) have slightly different needs then the casual shooter, and all but the most hardcore of street photogs. Be sure to pick up a 72mm to 77mm filter adapter.→
With the exception of the body addition, this kit has seen no changes since the last update.
Body: Fujifilm X-Pro2 → or Fujifilm X-T1 →
I’d strongly consider either the X-Pro2 or the X-T1 with it’s weather sealing. Honestly, being able to set up my tripod for a long exposure of a waterfall in the rain was the only thing I missed about my Nikon days. With that written, and mega pixels are the be all and end all for you, almost any of the 16MP X-Trans sensor cameras will work for you. EVF refresh rate doesn’t matter a whole lot, nor does having the fastest of fast autofocus. Spend to your budget. As seen here, it can be pretty tough to tell the difference between an X-T1 and an X-E1.
If megapixels do matter, and for a landscaper they probably do, the X-Pro2 is the only way to get beyond 16MP in a single shot.
Wide to Medium Telephoto: Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8 WR →
I had a couple primes along with the 10-24mm f/4 in this kit previously, but with the release of a weather sealed option that covers the lion’s share of the focal range, my recommendation has to be that. The 16-55mm f/2.8 is a beast of a lens, but worrying about your gear in even a light drizzle sucks. If I was going on a landscape photography mission and could only take one body and one lens, this would be the lens.
Telephoto: Fuji 50-140mm f/2.8 →
More weather sealed goodness. This and the 16-55mm f/2.8 will cover a huge focal range. The 1.4x teleconverter (assuming it too is weather sealed) will extend that range even further.
This only thing missing from this kit is the ultra-wide end. We can only hope for a weather sealed “Mark II” version of the 10-24mm f/4.
Add a second X-T1 body and two VG-XT1’s → to your kit for a no-lens-changing, all 2.8, all weather sealed, dual-wielding, quad-battery, tilt-screening combo. You might even be forgiven for having one of those crazy dual camera vest/strap things. Probably. Not really.
Of course, if you don’t need weather sealing, you could also do something similar for a lot less money.
Swap out the X-T1’s for a pair of X-E2’s and you’ve just saved yourself a great lens-worth of cash. The zooms can be exchanged for the fantastic XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 → and XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 →, both of which offer excellent image quality, albeit with smaller, and variable apertures.
It’s possible to knock the price down even further by going with Fujifilm’s consumer “XC” line of zoom lenses. I don’t have much experience with these lenses yet beyond handling them, but everything I’ve read suggests they produce sharp images while offering an even greater focal range and lighter weight. Prepare for some serious plastic though.
The Street Shooter
Street photographers are a special breed. Just about any camera can be used for street photography from DSLRs for the paparazzi wannabe, to an iPhone for the covert Instagramer.
Body: Fujifilm X-Pro2 →
Another body recommendation change. For the street photographer, it’s impossible not to recommend a body with a range-finder-style OVF. Being able to see areas outside your frame really helps a lot. And it’s awesome you don’t have to spend $6 Grand → to get it.
For people who need quick focus and a responsive EVF in lowlight, the even more enhanced EVF of the X-Pro2 will help immensely.
Zone Focusing: Fuji 14mm f/2.8 → or Fuji XF 16mm f/1.4 WR → or 23mm f/1.4 →
There really is no bad choice in lens for street shooting, but for the zone focuser, a XF 14mm f/2.8, XF 16mm f/1.4 WR, and XF 23mm f/1.4 are all good choices for their engraved depth of field markings. Yes, the other lenses give you depth of field calculations on the LCD, but there’s something about having a quick glance down to check your focal range without looking at the LCD or into the viewfinder that can’t be beat. Shame we don’t have anything longer with the push-pull clutch focus ring. Maybe one day.
For the auto-focuser, take your pick. The lenses above work great, but you could also go compact and wide with the Fuji 18mm f/2 →. You’ll lose a little image quality compared to the XF 14mm f/2.8 or XF 16mm f/1.4 WR, but it’s negligible, particularly for street shooting where the moment is what matters. The XF 18mm f/2 is also just wide enough that you can have someone in frame without them knowing it. The Fuji 35mm f/1.4 → or XF 35mm f/2 WR → are nice options for shooting from a little further away. The Fuji 56mm f/1.2 → will let you stay even further away, although the size of that lens might get you noticed more, and you’ll lose a little bit of the intimacy you get with going wider and getting closer. Practice those ninja skills.
The Portrait Photographer
Admittedly, portraiture isn’t really my bag—despite having done some paid portraiture work—so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Pick a Fuji body with your preferred number of megapixels, buy a 35mm f/1.4, 56mm f/1.2, and 90mm f/2. The 60mm f/2.4 is also great, but serious studio photographers will likely be frustrated by the 60mm f/2.4 Macro’s tendancy to flare.
Alternatively one could opt for the 50-140mm f/2.8. I’d add either the 18mm f/2 or the 23mm f/1.4 to either option for environmental portraits.
The Akimbo X100 Kit
Camera and Lens: The X100 →
Last, but most certainly not least is the X100. It has been conspicuously absent throughout these kit recommendations for this reason. If weather resistance isn’t something you are concerned about, an X100 or two could be the only camera(s) you need for any of these kits. It’s that versatile.
A dual X100T or combination there of would make a fantastic kit. Leave an L-plate attached to one for tripod shooting and keep the other as a street shooter and daily carry.
It’s compact, disarming size, and quick focusing (S and T variants) make it a phenomenal street photography camera.
With it’s built-in 3-stop ND filter, and the addition of a 10-stop ND filter (which is relatively cheap due to its size, and adorable) you can cut the light reaching your sensor by 13 stops with a single piece of glass. This puts the X100 high on the list for long exposure photographers who can’t get enough of silky water.
That built-in ND filter along with it’s leaf shutter allows some incredible flexibility with flash photography.
Then there are the converters. While they are not as strong optically as their prime counterparts, they’re strong enough and simply a joy to shoot with.
The romantic notion of having a single camera with a fixed focal length is also compelling. In time, you’ll be able to “see” your images before you bring the camera to your eye or put your tripod down.
The Fuji X70 →
There is the small matter of the X70 that was just announced. Some of my readers have a keen eye on this camera with street photography in mind. It will definitely be interesting to see how this camera stacks up against it’s X100 brethren, but it could be the ultimate compact camera wonder for those who don’t mind being without a viewfinder, and really like the focal length of the iPhone, but find its camera capabilities as lacking as I do.
The Optical Excellence Kit
For those who wants the ultimate in optic fidelity at any focal length, look no further.
Body: Take your pick.
This kits is about optics, the sharpest of the sharp. It’s not an entire kit I’d recommend, it’s simply the best Fuji has to offer.
Wide Angle: Fuji 14mm f/2.8 →
You simply can’t go wrong with the 14mm f/2.8 (review). It’s sharp, focuses quick, and has engraved depth of field markings.
Wide Angle: Fuji XF 16mm f/1.4 WR →
Fuji have given us a lot of choice on the wide angle front so far, but despite what you may have read elsewhere, 2mm can make a big difference on the wide end. You want wide, sharp, and fast? You want the XF 16mm f/1.4 WR.
Classic 35mm/Environmental Portrait: Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 →
This lens is incredible. It’s sharp, it’s fast, it produces great bokeh, and the handling is outstanding. The X100 covers the same 35mm equivalent, but it’s optical inferior.
Zone focusers will appreciate the 23mm f/1.4 for its engraved depth of field markings, something it shares in common with the other two wide angle options.
Nifty 50-ish: Fuji 35mm f/1.4 →
The original’s time to shine. Overall, it does have slightly superior optics in my testing, and that extra stop of light gathering gets you an extra stop more bokeh. It’s not the lens I’d chose, but for the pixel peepers, and I don’t use that phrase as a pejorative, this is the way to 50mm optical excellence.
Medium Telephoto/Portrait: Fuji 56mm f/1.2 APD →
The non-APD variant of this lens quickly supplanted the 60mm f/2.4 Macro for my studio-type photography that doesn’t need to be real close. Its added sharpness, subtracted lens flare, and vastly superior background separation thanks to that fast f/1.2 aperture, relegates the XF 60mm f/2.4 Macro for those who want to get closer or travel lighter. Not this kit though, this is such a no holds barred, take no prisoners sort of kit, I’m even going APD on you. I compared the original to the APD last year, and while I wouldn’t recommend it for most, it’s optical as superiors, and renders bokeh that much more creamy. If you love your bokeh, go for the APD gusto.
Telephoto Portrait: Fuji 90mm f/2 WR →
Fuji’s latest release not only deserves to be in this kit, it’s the impetus for the kit’s existence. Indeed, the XF 90mm f/2 WR just might be Fuji’s most optically perfect lens yet. I just might have something up my sleeve to determine that one way or the other. Let’s see if I get around to it before this kit gets its next annual update.
What? No zooms?
The Red Badge zooms might have a place here, but honestly, the odds aren’t good for the XF 16-55mm f/2.8. Preliminary testing is showing that without Fuji’s in-camera magic, it can’t keep pace with the primes. The XF 50-140mm f/2.8 would have been in here in a second before the XF 90mm f/2 WR arrived, but we’ll have to see how it holds up against one of Fuji’s best.
After extensive testing and even more real-world shooting, those are Fuji vs. Fuji’s kit recommendations for 2016. There’s a good chance we’ll see another update whenever that XF 120mm f/2.8 Macro is released, but until then, we’ve already got lots of options.
For the curious: