Best Fuji Lens for Street Photography – Fuji X Lenses Guide

Are you wanting to enter the world of street photography but aren’t sure what equipment you need or what lenses would be best? Maybe you already have all the Fuji gear and some of the best Fujifilm lenses but are looking to expand your collection.

Fuji 16-55mm 36.5mm f2.8
Fuji 16-55mm 36.5mm f2.8

The world of camera equipment can be a daunting place with so many lens options available. It can be easy to get oversold by the local photography store salesman.

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This is before exploring all the technical aspects of lenses and cameras. My guide to the best camera for beginners 2021 will be a good start on your photographic journey.

When it comes to street photography lenses, the right lens can take an otherwise average image and elevate it to the next level.

But how do you choose which lens to go with to suit your personal style of photography?

Fuji 16-55mm 19mm f3.2
Fuji 16-55mm 19mm f3.2

Well, the good news is that this ultimate guide of Fuji x mount lenses will help you choose the right street photography lens to get you out and document daily life.

Fuji X Mount Lenses – Compared

Investing in quality glass makes the world of difference to the image quality and gives you more control over the composition and lighting of your image.

Here is a quick comparison of my top picks of the best Fujifilm lenses for street photographers.

Fuji Lenses – What to Look For

Fuji is one of the top camera contenders with its superb performance and low light sensitivity. But a camera is only as good as the lens that you use with it. There are a few key things to consider when looking for a street photography lens.

Lens Size

Discretion is the name of the game when it comes to this style – the smaller the better. This means that your setup is not too heavy, so you can easily carry it around for hours.

The smaller lens also makes for more portability, allowing you to keep your camera in your daily pack.

Weather Sealing

Being out in the elements, your equipment is exposed to dust and rain. Fuji weather sealed lenses are the best option to ensure that your lens is protected against the elements.

This allows no dust or water into the lens, ensuring that it won’t break, but last for years to come.

Prime vs Zoom

This is guided by what you think most of your subjects will be. A prime lens offers a faster lens and generally has a lower f -stop than a zoom lens but limits you with a fixed focal length.

A zoom lens provides the versatility of being able to capture your subjects from a range of distances. Zoom lenses, however, are bulkier and generally have a higher f/stop than a prime lens.

Fuji Prime Lenses

Prime lenses cover a single focal distance, 50mm for example. But while you are limited by the distance there are other benefits to using Fuji prime lenses.

Shot on Fujifilm X-T2 35mm 1.4f
Shot on Fujifilm X-T2 35mm 1.4f

They are all available at relatively affordable prices and because of their lack of zoom gears, are more reliable.

The benefit of using a prime lens is the lower f/stop, giving you the option for letting more light into your camera.

These lenses are better suited for low light conditions and have a higher image quality with sharper image results.

A wide-open aperture and lower f/stop allow you to get a shallower depth of field in your images.

If you are wanting to grab those amazing bokeh shots with a super blurred background, prime lenses are the way to go.

Prime lenses are mostly lightweight and compact making them easier to get around town with your camera on you and not take up too much space in your bag.

FUJIFILM 23MM F2
FUJIFILM 23MM F2

If you are wanting something new and stylish to keep your new lenses safe, then it’s best to see what travel gear is available.

FujiFilm’s best prime lenses for street photography are the:

I will review these lenses more in-depth in the following section, so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing.

Best Fuji Zoom Lens

If you are looking for versatility and the comfort of multiple focal distances, zoom lenses are for you.

This also means that you don’t need to change lenses constantly, as a zoom lens can go from a wide-angle view to a telephoto view.

Fuji 16-55mm 16mm f4.0
Fuji 16-55mm 16mm f4.0

Packing light for a day of shooting with a single zoom lens instead of five different prime lenses to cover the same focal distances – sounds good right? If you are wanting to capture a range of focal distances, then just a zoom lens is the lighter option.

Overall, although a single prime lens is cheaper, to get the same focal range of a single zoom lens you would need to purchase multiple prime lenses. In the long run, zoom lenses are the cheaper option.

Fujifilm’s best zoom lens for street photography is the:

I will review this lens more in-depth in the following section.

Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
  • 18-55mm f:2.8 - 4.0 OIS (27 - 84mm equivalent)
  • 14 Elements in 10 groups (inc. 3 aspherical & 1 extra low dispersion Elements)
  • Angle of View: 76.5 - 29 Degrees
  • Filter Size: 58mm. Focus range-Normal- Approx. 0.6m - ∞ (whole zoom position). Macro- Wide: 30cm - 10m, Telephoto: 40cm - 10m
  • Aperture control : Number of blades 7 (rounded diaphragm opening)

Best Fuji Lenses – Full Reviews

Looking for the best Fuji lens? Then below are my picks of the best Fujinon lenses available for the Fuji X Mount system with a full review of each.

Fuji X Mount Lenses

Let’s dive in by looking at the prime lenses available from Fuji and what they are suited for while out on the street.

Fujinon XF16mm F1.4 WR

A Fuji wide-angle lens with an aperture of only f/1.4, crazy right? This 24mm equivalent gives you all the depth of field and bokeh you could ever want with the sharpness and low light capability to match. This is one of the best lenses for street photography, landscapes in particular.

Fujifilm XF16mmF1.4 R WR
  • 24mm in 35mm format equivalentTo adjust focus, rotate the focus ring while viewing the effects in the camera display The focus distance and depth-of-field indicators can be used to assist manual focus
  • Angle of view: 83.2°.Minimum working distance of less than 6 inches, Max magnification : 021x
  • Weather-resistant design with 9 sealing points in 8 areas
  • Nano-GI coating alters the refractive index between glass and air to reduce ghosting and flare
  • FUJIFILM X-Mount is compatible with all FUJIFILM interchangeable system cameras

Pros

  • Weather and dust resistant
  • High-speed autofocus
  • Low light capability

Cons

  • Large and bulky for its focal length – 375g
  • Expensive

Click here to buy on Amazon

Fujinon XF16mm F2.8 R WR

The f/2.8 version is a good entry into wide angles for those on a budget while still wanting a wide-angle lens for those amazing landscapes. While smaller and lighter than the f/1.4, it does come at a cost with a higher aperture and no autofocus. Make sure you have steady hands for this one.

Fujinon XF16mmF2.8 R WR Lens - Black
  • High resolution performance: edge-to-edge sharpness from the center to the corners of the frame is achieved by the precise arrangement of 10 lens elements in 8 groups. This lens also includes two aspherical elements, which serve to suppress the image degrading effects of chromatic aberration and field curvature imperfection.
  • Compact, lightweight and Stylish design: weighing in at 5. 47oz (155G) and measuring just 1. 79in (45. 4mm) in length, This lens offers up the renowned image quality and refined style associated with the Fujinon XF family of lenses. With its metal exterior, precise click Stops, and smooth dampening, this lens offers incredible image quality in a durable aesthetically pleasing appearance.
  • Fast and quiet autofocus: the inner focusing AF system uses a stepping motor to move focusing elements into place through precise electrical pulses, in order to achieve fast and near-silent autofocus performance.
  • Weather and dust resistant durability: The lens is designed to operate in temperatures as low as 14° Fahrenheit and is Sealed at nine points around the barrel, making it both weather and dust resistant.
  • Lens Type: Wide Angle Mounting Type: Fujifilm X

Pros

  • Smaller and lighter than f/1.4 version – 155g
  • Value for money
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • Corner of images loses some sharpness
  • No image stabilization

Click here to buy on Amazon

Fujinon XF18mm F2

This 27mm equivalent is a compact lens that has a fast aperture of f/2 and a mechanical aperture ring. Also known as the Fuji pancake lens, this lightweight lens provides a wide-angle view ideal for cityscapes.

The fast aperture makes it good in low light conditions while providing a good bokeh effect so your subject stands out from its surroundings.

Fujifilm XF 18mm F/2.0 Lens
  • Fujifilm XF 18mm F/2.0 Lens - Front & Rear Lens Caps - Lens Hood - Fujifilm Warranty
  • Compact and lightweight "Pancake" type
  • The final element, positioned as closely to the sensor as possible, makes the incidence angle of light reaching the sensor smaller and reduces vignetting and color shading, while helping to keep the lens's overall size small
  • Using glass-mold aspheric lenses at the 5th and 7th elements, is effective to in increasing the maximum aperture (5th element) and reducing the overall thickness of the lens (7th element)

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Value for money
  • Low light performance

Cons

  • Older technology
  • Not weather sealed
  • No image stabilization

Click here to buy on Amazon

Fujinon XF23mm F1.4 R

This 35mm equivalent lens is seen amongst street photographers as the ideal focal length. This has a low aperture of f/1.4 making it amazing in low light conditions. This lens also features a depth of field scale and is extremely sharp with the added benefit of image stabilization. Perfect for those on the run images.

Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 R
  • 35mm equivalent F1.4 lens, Fully compatible with FUJIFILM X-Mount
  • Focus range : Normal- 0.6m - ∞, Macro : 28cm - ∞, Focal length: f=23mm ,Max. magnification: 0.1x
  • Seven round-edged aperture blades, which offer 22 stops in 1/3 EV steps
  • Lens elements treated with Fujifilm’s multilayer HT-EBC (High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating)
  • 1 lens group consisting of 3 cemented lens elements and 1 aspheric lens element

Pros

  • Brilliant low light performance
  • Image Stabilization
  • Depth of field scale

Cons

  • Expensive compared to the f/2 version
  • Large and bulky
  • Older lens with newer versions on the market

Click here to buy on Amazon

Fujinon XF23mm F2 R WR

This is the newer of the 23mm lenses from Fuji and probably the most useful to street photographers. It’s a faster lens with a smoother autofocus and comes with the added benefit of being weather-sealed for a lower price than the f/1.4 R.

Fujifilm XF23mmF2 R WR - Black
  • Advanced image quality - ten elements in six groups, including two aspherical elements for edge-to-edge sharpness
  • Angle of view: 63.4°.At just 180g, the XF23mmF2 R WR is compact, lightweight, and stylish for great operability
  • Weather and dust resistant, capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10 Degree. Maximum magnification: 0.13x
  • Fast and silent autofocus: when combined with the phase detection AF system of FUJIFILM X-Pro2 or X-T2, the lens can focus in an astonishing 005 seconds

Pros

  • Weather sealed
  • Faster focusing system
  • Smaller and lighter than the f/1.4

Cons.

  • No depth of field scale
  • Mechanical aperture ring could be annoying for some

Click here to buy on Amazon

Fujinon XF27mm F2.8

One of the greats, still a pancake lens but providing super sharp images with a very quick focusing system. At the sacrifice of a larger aperture of f/2.8, it’s one of the cheapest X mount lenses available and the perfect entry-level lens for environmental portraits.

Sale
Fujifilm XF27mmF2.8 - Black
  • 41mm Equivalent.Filter size ø39mm
  • Slim and compact at 2.75oz
  • Super EBC coating (Electron Beam Coating)
  • Lens configuration :7 elements in 5 groups(includes 1 aspherical element)
  • Lens Type: Standard

Pros

  • One of the cheapest X mount lenses
  • High-speed autofocus
  • Sharp image quality

Cons

  • No mechanical aperture ring
  • Higher aperture of f/2.8

Click here to buy on Amazon

Fujinon XF35mm F1.4

Another early XF lens, this f/1.4 53mm equivalent lens works amazingly in low light conditions and gives great bokeh. It also has a marked aperture ring so you can keep track of that depth of field. It is an older lens though so has slower focusing compared to the newer f/2 model and has no weather resistance.

Fujifilm XF35mmF1.4 R
  • Focal length (35mm format equivalent) f=35mm (53mm)
  • 8 Elements in 6 Groups (Inc. 1 Asph. Element)
  • Angle of view - 44.2 Degrees. Number of blades 7(rounded diaphragm opening)
  • Filter Size 52mm
  • Focus range : Normal 0.8m - ∞, Macro 28cm - 2.0m. Max. magnification 0.17x

Pros

  • Low light performance
  • Great bokeh

Cons

  • Older model
  • Slow focusing
  • No weather sealing

Click here to buy on Amazon

Fujinon XF35mm F2 R WR

The newer of the two 35mm’s, this lens also has a lower price. This is the perfect lens for those on a budget who want performance without breaking their bank account.

It is a discreet lens perfect for shooting on the street and with the focal length to take incredible street portraits. It also features a faster focusing system and weather resistance, perfect for those rainy days.

Fujifilm XF35mmF2 R WR - Black
  • Weather resistant design with 8 sealing points for weather and dust resistance and operation as low as 14 Degree
  • Inner focus system with 0.08 seconds autofocus speed and nearly silent operation. Focal length : 35 millimeter (35 millimeter format equivalent : 53 millimeter)
  • Nano GI coating reduces ghosting and flare
  • 9 blade aperture creates smooth and circular bokeh
  • Minimum working distance of approximately 13 inches.Max. magnification:0.17x.Angle of view:44.2 degree

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Smooth and fast autofocus
  • Weather sealing

Cons

  • Slightly higher aperture of f/2

Click here to buy on Amazon

Fujinon XF50mm F2 R WR

This is the 76mm equivalent standard prime lens for Fuji cameras. A small and lightweight lens that makes an agile combo when paired with your X series camera with amazing depth of field and a fast aperture of f/2.

This is perfect for those who don’t want to intrude on everyone’s personal space while taking portrait photographs.

Fujinon XF50mmF2 R WR Lens - Silver
  • Equivalent to 76mm (in the 35mm film format)
  • Maximum aperture of F2.0 for beautiful bokeh
  • Weather and dust resistant, operates in temperatures as low as -10 DegreeC, making it ideal for shooting in a variety of conditions
  • Fast and silent focusing
  • Angle of view:31.7°

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Weighs only 200g
  • Smooth bokeh


Cons

  • Lens hood can rattle

Click here to buy on Amazon

Fujinon XF56mm F1.2

This 85mm equivalent original version delivers some beautiful bokeh making it the ideal Fuji portrait lens with immensely sharp results at an affordable price. However, this focal length would probably be better suited to more posed street portraits instead of more candid images.

Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R
  • 35mm equivalent - 85mm
  • Max aperture F1.2, Min aperture F16
  • Number of blades - 7(rounded diaphragm opening)
  • Focus Range : Normal 0.7m - ∞; Macro 0.7m-3m
  • Filter Size 62mm. Max. magnification :0.09x

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Brilliant light coverage

Cons

  • Not as fast focusing
  • No weather sealing

Click here to buy on Amazon

Fuji Zoom Lens

Now, onto the last lens, which also happens to be the only zoom lens on this list. You only need one for street photography after all.

Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR

This is the only zoom lens here but don’t let that fool you with the performance of this all-rounder lens.

This is a very capable and fast standard zoom lens that can capture extremely sharp images across a range of focal lengths. This is the perfect carry around lens.

Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR
  • Optically designed to draw out the maximum image quality of a flagship standard zoom lens Angle of view 83 2°- 29°
  • Focal length(35mm format equivalent) f=16-55mm (24-84mm) Focus range Normal - 0 6m - ∞(whole zoom position) Macro - 30cm - 10m (Wide) 40cm - 10m (Telephoto)
  • High-speed, quiet auto focus thanks to the Linear Motor Weight, excluding caps and hoods 1 44 pounds (655g)
  • Weather resistant design with 14 sealing points dust-resistant and -10 Degree low-temperature operation
  • Nano-Gi coating technology 9 rounded blade aperture diaphragm help create smooth and circular bokeh Max Magnification 0 16x (telephoto)

Pros

  • Weather sealed
  • Zoom lens for a range of focal lengths
  • Incredibly sharp

Cons

  • Large and bulky
  • Lens hood is a bit flimsy and hard to mount

Click here to buy on Amazon

Street Photo Questions and Answers

If you’re new to photography or have a few lingering questions about street photography, these FAQs will give you some insight to guide you in the start of your photographic journey.

FUJINON 35MM LENS
FUJINON 35MM LENS

What is Aperture (f/stop) and How does it Matter for Street Photographers?

Aperture is an important part of the exposure triangle (shutter speed, iso and aperture) by determining the amount of light coming through your lens. The aperture is displayed on your lens in f – numbers, or f/stops.

The lower the number the more light your lens will let in. The higher the number, the less light that you are letting in through your lens.

Aperture is more than just exposure control, it plays a role when it comes to your depth of field and what is in focus. The lower your f/stop number, the less of the object will be in focus and the higher your f/stop number the more of your image will be in focus.

So why does this matter to street photographers? Taking photographs in the streets can be challenging with your image generally being filled with various objects, taking attention away from your subject.

You use aperture as a tool to draw attention to your subject by having it in focus and the objects surrounding it being slightly out of focus yet still recognizable.

When and What is the “Golden Hour”?

Golden hour is the perfect time of day to take your photographs. It is the last hour of sunlight before sunset and the first hour of sunlight after sunrise.

It is the period of time that provides a soft, warm and directional light with the sun being in its lowest position in the sky providing that golden characteristic.

Is Image Stabilization (OIS) Important in Street Photography?

This depends on how confident you are in holding your camera steady when taking photographs. Image stabilization is a great tool when shooting on slower shutter speeds to help eliminate any potential unwanted blurring.

When it comes to the street photography style of shooting, sometimes you need to get a shot on the run. Stopping would draw too much attention to yourself and potentially alert the subject or ruin the composition.

This is where the OIS comes in by giving that added help to keep those perfectly framed images in focus, without any blur.

What is the “Rule of Thirds” in Photography?

This is a basic compositional structure that is used when taking any image. Imagine splitting your image into nine different segments with three vertical lines and three horizontal lines.

The rule of thirds indicates that the key aspects or point of interest of your image should coincide with two lines that intersect with each other at one or more points.

For example, if photographing a person, you would typically use a single vertical line and allow the subject to intersect on one or more of the horizontal lines. This provides an area of negative space, two-thirds of the frame, for the subject to look into.

Remember, there are situations that won’t suit this rule entirely. Think of this rule as more of a guideline, an amazing composition tool to quickly improve a photo and make it more visually appealing. But it does not make or break a photo.

Do I Need a Permit to Shoot Photos of People Outside?

This depends on a number of factors but generally, you do not need a permit for street photography, unless it is for a full-scale photoshoot. As a general rule, if you’re photographing in a public space, you will usually have the right to do so without the consent of objects.

However, everyone does have the right to privacy and it is illegal to take a photograph of someone where they should have an expectation of privacy.

A good rule of practice: if you are able to speak to your subject beforehand, ask for their permission to take their photograph.

Wrapping Up on the Best Fuji X Lenses For Street Photography

When it comes to street photography, it is all about capturing moments of people going about their daily lives. It is about unique perspectives with different structures and objects forming a unique and almost perfect symmetry.

But it is also about being subtle and not intruding on your subjects, making them feel uncomfortable and disrupting the world around you for the sake of a photograph.

These lenses provide the perfect balance of performance and subtlety, so why not grab one, get out there and experiment with all the possibilities that await?


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