Are you in the market for a new lens to add to your Fuji camera? You’ve probably heard a lot of people comparing the Fuji 23mm vs 35mm lenses but might need to know which is best for you. This comparison guide should make everything a lot clearer.
I get a few comments on my Youtube videos from people asking me what their first prime lens should be? The Fujifilm 23mm vs 35mm lens?
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Then the next question is, should I get this lens is Fuji 23mm f/2 vs 35mm f/1.4?
Or Which focal length is better, 23mm or 35mm focal length? When choosing the right focal length for a photograph, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best focal length will vary depending on the subject matter, the desired effect, and the camera used.
However, a better question is, which focal length gives you more versatility? The short answer is the 23mm lens is a more versatile lens. With this one focal length, you can capture wide-angle shots, making it an essential tool for landscape and architectural photography. This focal length allows for more creative composition and can be used for street photography.
- Best for Street photography
- Onboard image stabilisation
- Light and compact
- Great for low light photography
- Fast and silent autofocus
- Perfect with any Fujifilm X-series camera
The 23mm lenses tend to be smaller and lighter, making them more portable and convenient for travel photography.
Since I love my Fuji lenses and have tried out a few (the line-up is ever-growing, and I just dropped some dollars to pick up the chunky beast of 16-55mm lens, full review to come later), I thought I’d help make your choice a little easier, by giving you a guide on which of these lenses is best.
Read on for a more in-depth over 23mm vs 35mm focal lengths.
Fuji 23mm vs 35mm: Which Focal Length is Better, When and for Who?
Everyday Use/Budget Friendly Version
The Fuji XF 23mm is a wide-angle lens with a 12mm shorter focal length than the Fujifilm XF 35mm. This lets you get more of the scene you’re shooting into the picture. It also has a 0.08m shorter minimum focus distance, which helps you get up close to your subjects. This is particularly handy if you’re doing macro photography, you can use the 23mm focal lens as a macro lens.
When choosing a focal length for your travel or street photography, you can’t go wrong with the 23mm focal length. Here’s why:
✅First, 23mm gives you a wider field of view, which is ideal for capturing landscapes and groups of people.
✅Second, it’s a great all-purpose lens that can be used for both close-up and wide-angle shots.
✅Third, it’s relatively lightweight and easy to carry, making it a good choice for travel photography.
✅And fourth, it’s relatively affordable, so you can save your money for other travel expenses.
So if you’re looking for a versatile and affordable travel photography lens, 23mm is the way to go.
The Fujifilm XF 35mm is a semi-long lens, and because it has a 12mm longer maximum focal length, it allows you to narrow in on a single part of the scene you’re shooting. It provides a narrower field of view and is a favourite amongst portrait photographers for its sharp focus and depth of field.
Each of these Fuji lenses shines in different photography styles. So, the better focal length will depend on what you’re planning to shoot and your photography style.
If you’re new to photography, you’ll want an easy-to-use Fujifilm XF 23 mm F2 lens. The 23mm f2 lens is small, compact, and affordable – which makes it a good investment as your first Fuji prime lens. It gives great image quality, and you can do almost all photography styles with it, so you’ll be able to practice your shots without spending a fortune.
For Portrait Photography
We’ve discussed this a bit above, but in case you missed it, the Fujifilm XF 35mm is definitely the winner for portrait photography. This lens excels at environmental portraits, it captures a lot more facial detail when shooting with the 35mm, and it is more flattering to facial features than a 23mm focal length which elongates and distortions facial features.
For Street Photography
Both of these Fujifilm lenses work well for street photography. You’ll get similar AF (autofocus) from both lenses, so you’ll get stunning results from either. The XF 23mm f2 lens is a bit more inconspicuous and silent – so if you’re looking to shoot without disturbing your subjects, that would be a good choice.
For Shooting Landscapes
Again, both lenses can shoot landscape images well. But with the versatility of the Fuji 23mm wide-angle lens, it wins by a slight margin. Thanks to the wider-angle focal length, the 23mm will also provide a broader picture of the landscape, fitting much more into the frame.
If you need your lens to take videos and photos, you will likely find that the XF 23mm R WR outshines the 35mm. This is due to the XF 23mm F2 being better, having excellent autofocus performance, a fast aperture, and a wide-angle lens that can capture more of the environment. The lens is also quiet and, with the f2 aperture, is great at subject isolation.
It also has onboard image stabilisation, which helps keep your video steady. You can still use the 35mm for videos, but if you’re choosing between the two, the Fujifilm 23mm F2 R WR is sure to steal the show.
Why Would You Choose a 23mm Over a 35mm Focal Length?
Even if it’s not just the price you’re looking at, the 23mm lens from Fuji makes more sense in so many areas when comparing both focal lengths.
It’s a versatile lens that is easy to use and doesn’t disappoint in image quality – unless you’re taking portrait photos.
So, if you’re starting out on a bit of a tighter budget or just looking for a simple lens to use for your photography hobby and can only choose one focal length or one lens. I recommend you choose the 23mm over the 35mm.
Fujifilm 23mm vs 35mm Overview
Let’s take a quick look at how each of these lenses compares to the other. Here are all the important points you’ll want to note before making a purchase of any lens.
Build & Ergonomics
This is Fuji, so we know that almost all of their lenses and cameras are made well. The 23mm a 35mm equivalent focal length has an all-metal body and mount plate and sturdy and robust build quality. It’s made to last, and the f2 version is weather and dust-resistant. This lens is also compact and easy to use – it feels good in your hands, which is important.
When it comes to the 35mm a 53mm equivalent focal length, the build quality is very much the same, although, for the most part, the 35mm lenses are not as weather-resistant as the 23mm. The ergonomics are also very similar, with the 35mm being easy to handle and feeling great in your hands.
The Fujifilm XF 23mm f2 R WR lens is one of the fastest lenses in the Fuji XF range, so it’s likely to beat the 35mm by a bit as it is an older lens. However, both of these lenses offer fast autofocus and great manual focus too.
You can expect very similar results when looking at image quality between 23mm and 35mm Fuji lenses. This is because the 23mm can actually shoot at the equivalent focal length of the 35mm of a full-frame camera. Although when you start looking for sharpness and details – especially in faces – the 35mm is a definite winner. It’s the lens that I love to shoot street portraits and travel with. The Fuji XF 35mm is a very versatile lens.
But both lenses offer great bokeh, nice and bright colours, and all-round good quality images of any and all styles.
Both of these lenses have weather-resistant sealing for the f/2 versions (not for the f/1.4 versions), so you could take either of them out into damp or cold spots and shoot without worry.
F1.4 vs F2.0
The decision between the 23mm and 35mm also includes whether you want an f1.4 or an f2 aperture. And since there is quite a price attached to these lenses, you want to make this purchase with being sure of what you need.
Fuji 23mm f1.4 vs Fuji 23mm f2
- Aperture Range: From f2 to f16, f/2 maximum aperture
- Weight: It weighs just 180g, making it easy to carry around
- Focusing: Inner focusing for fast AF, you can capture fleeting moments in an instant
- Weather Resistance: Yes, Weather & dust resistant, use at temperatures as low as -10 Degree
- 23mm f/1.4 you get sharp photos with great colours and nice bokeh
- 23mm f/2.0 has a fast focus and produces good-quality images
- 23mm f/2.0 version is weather-resistant
- 23mm f/2.0 is a compact size and affordable price
- The wide-angle is great for travel or street photography, as you can capture more of your environment
- The 23mm f2 has some softness when shooting up close and isn’t ideal for portrait photography
- The 23mm f/2 is also great for videos as it has fast auto-focus and doesn’t hunt for focus like the 35mm
- The 23mm f/1.4 is better but much more expensive than the 23mm f/2 and both 35mm lens
- 23mm f/1.4 not weather resistant
One of the bigger differences between the two is the price – f2 lenses are noticeably cheaper than f/1.4’s. The f/2 lens is also lighter, weather-sealed and more compact than the f/1.4.
The Fujifilm 23mm f2 and Fujifilm XF 35mm f2 are often quicker to focus on as they are the newer lens. And there’s a big difference in sound as well, with the f/2 being a lot quieter than the f/1.4 lenses.
Fuji 35mm f1.4 vs Fuji 35mm f2
- With the 35mm f/1.4 you’ll get sharp images with great bokeh
- The 35mm f/2 has weather-sealing and an exceptional build.
- 35mm f/2 is more affordable and compact then the 35mm f/1.4 version
- The 35mm f/2 has fast autofocus
- The f/1.4 focus is quite a bit slower to focus than the other lenses.
- 35mm f/1.4 is non weather resistance
- It’s not quite as silent as the 23mm during autofocus
So Why Would You Choose f1.4 Over f2.0?
Where the Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 and Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 lens does shine is in low light conditions and with sharper images even when shot wide open.
Here, you’ll get a much better image quality from the f/1.4, which is why it’s such a popular choice for wedding photographers and this is also one of the reasons I prefer my f/1.4 35mm lens over my Fujifilm XF 23mm f/2 lens. If you spend more time shooting in low lighting, you would likely need to choose an f1.4 lens over the Fujifilm XF 23mm f/2 and Fujifilm XF 35mm f2.
More Fujifilm 23mm vs 35mm Comparisons
As mentioned above, choosing between the 23mm and the 35mm focal length includes figuring out whether you want an f1.4 lens or an f2 lens. Here are some cross-comparisons to help you make an informed decision.
Fuji 23mm f2 vs 35mm f1.4
The Fujifilm XF 23mm f2 is a good lens for most photography styles and situations. It’s also quite a bit cheaper than the 35mm f1.4. The Fuji XF 23mm f2 would be good for beginners or hobbyists. If you’re shooting more professional photos, especially ones in low light or with faces, the Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 will be a much better choice.
Fuji 35mm f1.4 vs 23mm f1.4
If you’re planning on shooting in low light spots, then an f1.4 aperture is ideal – but which one? Here you would need to look at what photography you’re planning on doing and how much you’re willing to pay.
Both of these lenses match each other’s quality, but each one has its own unique drawcard. For the 35mm, it’s portrait photography performance, and for the Fujifilm XF 23mm, it’s video. If you’re not doing either of these, you should base your decision on price – and perhaps weight and silence.
Fuji 35mm f2 vs 23mm f2
F2 lenses are excellent choices for anyone not needing to worry about low-light shooting. And as we’ve seen above, the Fujifilm XF 23mm f2 is much more versatile than the Fujifilm XF 35mm f2. So, if you’re not doing professional portrait photography, the 23mm is the best choice for affordability, ease of use, and versatility.
Fuji 35mm f2 vs 23mm f1.4
In this case, the Fujifilm XF 35mm f2 may just beat the Fujifilm XF 23mm f1.4. Unless you need the f1.4 for low-light shooting, you’ll pay significantly more for the 23mm, making the Fujifilm XF 35mm f2 much better for typical photography.
Of course, the 35mm would still be a lot noisier than the 23mm, and it wouldn’t be as quick to focus. If you want to do videos, go for the 23mm.
Both of these lenses are incredibly affordable, which is likely what makes them so popular in the first place. You’ll pay a little more for the XF 23mm f/2 than you will for the XF 35mm f/2, but either of these lenses will cost you less than £450.
If you’re looking at either of these lenses in f/1.4, you’ll pay between £549 and £829, since these have a much higher quality image production.
But for the quality of the lenses and the images you’ll get from either of them, they are both well worth the cost anyway.
Which of Fuji’s fast primes is better?
When you’re choosing lenses, primes make a lot of sense. They’re usually lighter and more compact than zoom lenses, are better in low light conditions and produce sharper images.
Fuji has a wide range of prime lenses on which they have spent years improving. There is no clear ‘better’ prime lens since each one offers something different, depending on your needs as a photographer or your photograph style.
However, if you were to get any of the lenses below, I have no doubt you’d be happy with your purchase.
X Mount Prime Lens (there are just a few of the Fuji primes)
● 23mm f/1.4 or the 23mm f/2
● 35mm f/1.4 or 35mm f/2
● 16mm f/1.4
● 50mm f/2
● 50mm f/1
● 56mm f/1.2
● 60mm f/2.4
Fujifilm 23 mm vs 35mm lens Review: Wrap-Up
There is a lot to consider when making a big purchase. Knowing what photography you plan on doing and how much you’re willing to invest is important. And since lenses are not the cheapest camera accessory, they should be bought with serious thought behind them.
The Fujifilm XF 23mm lens is excellent, as is the XF 35mm option. They both offer a great build, a nice ergonomic feel, and stunning image quality. And where the 23mm lacks in portrait photography, it makes up for in videography – the 35mm being the opposite.
Ultimately, you have to choose the lens that makes the most sense for your individual needs as a photographer. And then enjoy your choice to the fullest.
I couldn’t choose, so I have both. I have paired these two lenses with the Fuji 16-55mm zoom lens. There is always that option if budget isn’t a concern.
There you have it, a detailed comparison of the Fujifilm 23mm and Fujifilm XF 35mm camera lenses.