Fuji 23mm vs 35mm | A Comparison For X Series Lenses (F2 & F1.4)

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 not know which is best for you. This comparison guide should help make everything a lot clearer.

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I get a few comments on my Youtube videos from people asking me what their first prime lens should be? The Fuji 23mm vs 35mm lens?

Then the next question is, should I get this lens is Fuji 23mm f/2 vs 35mm f/1.4?

I remember searching Facebook, Reddit and Youtube videos asking these same questions when I decided to start adding primes to my Fuji lenses line.  

Whether you’re a total newb at photography, or you’re such a pro that your camera is a permanent accessory, new lenses are always fun to get. But there are so many options out there now – with new lenses being launched all the time.

And if you haven’t had a chance to try out each of the lenses, it can be hard to know which one is worth your money. The last thing you want is to spend a good chunk of changes on a brand-new lens, and it ends up not being something that you want.

Since I love my Fuji lenses and have tried out a few (the line-up is ever-growing, and a 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. This will depend on what you’re going to use it for, so take note of that before you make up your mind. 

Here’s a detailed comparison of the Fujifilm 23mm and 35mm camera lenses.

Which of Fuji’s fast primes is better?

Fuji 35mm 1.4 sample imagesFuji 35mm 1.4 sample images

When you’re choosing lenses, primes make a lot of sense. They’re usually lighter and compact than zoom lenses, are better in low light conditions and produce sharper images.

Fuji has a wide range of prime lenses that they have spent years improving on. 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

We’re going to look at the 35mm vs 23 mm lens options, as they’re the most popular. When new Fuji users are deciding on what their first prime lens should be.

Fujifilm 23mm vs 35mm Overview

Fuji 23mm vs 35mm comparison.jpg

Let’s take a quick look at how each of these lenses compares to the other. Here are all of the important points that you’ll want to take note of 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 has an all-metal body and mount plate, as well as 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, 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.

Focus Performance

The Fujifilm 23mm f2 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.

Image Quality

You can expect very similar results when looking at image quality between 23mm and 35mm. 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 with.

But both lenses offer great bokeh, nice and bright colours, and all-round good quality images of any and all styles.

Weather Sealing

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 any worry.


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 23mm f/2 than you will for the 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 £450 and £650+, 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.

Pros and Cons

Fuji 23mm vs 35mm Lens Review.jpg

The 23mm pros are:

●      It has a fast focus and produces good quality images.

●      You get sharp photos with great colours and nice bokeh.

●      It’s a compact size and affordable price.

●      The wide-angle is great for travel or street photography, as you can capture more of your environment.

However, you’ll also have to take into account the cons:

●      The f2 has some softness when shooting up close and isn’t ideal for portrait photography.

●      The f/2 is also great for videos as it has fast auto-focus and doesn’t hunt for focus like the 35.

●      The f/1.4 is better but much more expensive than the others and is not weather-resistant.

The 35mm pros include:

●      The f/2 has weather-sealing and an exceptional build.

●      It’s affordable and compact as well.

●      You’ll get sharp images with great bokeh.

●      The f/2 has fast autofocus.

But then the cons are:

●      The f1.4 focus is quite a bit slower to focus than the other lenses.

●      There isn’t as much weather protection as the 23mm f/2 has.

●      It’s not quite as silent as the 23mm during autofocus.

F1.4 vs F2.0

Fuji 23mm vs 35mm.jpg

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 don’t want to make this purchase without being sure of what you need.  

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 f/2 is often also quicker to focus as they are newer lens. And there’s a big difference in sound as well, with the f/2 being a lot quieter than f/1.4 lenses.

So Why Would You Choose f1.4 Over f2.0?

Where the 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 and this is why it’s such a popular choice for wedding photographers and this also one of the reasons I personally prefer my f/1.4 35mm lens over my 23mm f/2 lens. If you do spend more time shooting in low lighting, then you would likely need to choose an f1.4 lens over an f2.

Fuji 23mm f2 vs 35mm f2: Which Focal Length is Better, When and for Who?

Fuji 23mm vs 35mm lens.jpg

The 23mm is a wide-angle lens and has a 12mm shorter focal length than the 35mm. This allows you to 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 any macro photography.

The 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 lenses shines in different photography styles. So, the better focal length will depend on what you’re planning to shot, and what style of photographer you are. 

For Beginners

Fuji 23mm f2 sample images Fuji 23mm f2 sample images

If you’re new to photography, you’ll want an easy-to-use lens. The 23mm f2 lens is small, compact, and affordable – which makes it a good investment as your first 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 Portraits

We’ve discussed this a bit above, but in case you missed it, the 35mm is definitely the winner for portrait photography. There’s a lot more facial detail when shooting with the 35mm, and you won’t have to worry about any distortion.

fuji 35mm 1.4 portraits fuji 35mm 1.4 portraits

For Street Photography

Both of these lenses work well for street photography. You’ll get similar AF (autofocus) from both lenses, so you’ll get stunning results from either. The 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 Landscapes

Again, both lenses can shoot landscape images well. But with the Fuji 23mm lens’ versatility, 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.

Fuji 23mm f2 landscape photography Fuji 23mm f2 landscape photography

For Videography

If you need your lens to take videos as well as photos, you’re most likely to find that the 23mm outshines the 35mm. This is due to the 23mm being better and faster at focusing, is a wide-angle and it’s a quiet lens. 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 23mm is sure to steal the show.

Why Would You Choose a 23mm Over a 35mm Lens?

Fuji 35mm f1.4 sample images Fuji 35mm f1.4 sample images

Even if it’s not just the price that you’re looking at, the 23mm lens from Fuji does seem to make more sense in so many areas. It’s versatile and easy to use, and it doesn’t disappoint in image quality – unless you’re taking portrait photos.

So, if you’re just starting out, on a bit of a tighter budget, or just looking for a simple lens to use for your photography hobby, you would likely choose the 23mm over the 35mm.

More Fujifilm 23mm & 35mm Comparisons

As mentioned above, choosing between the 23mm and the 35mm 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.

Fujinon 23mm f2 vs 35mm f1.4 Fujinon 23mm f2 vs 35mm f1.4

Fuji 23mm f2 vs 35mm f1.4

The 23mm f2 is a good lens for most photography styles and situations. It’s also quite a bit cheaper than the 35mm f1.4. So, the 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 35mm will be a much better choice.

Get the Fuji 23mm f2 here

Get the Fuji 35mm f1.4 here

Fuji 35mm f1.4 vs 23mm f1.4

If you’re planning on shooting in low light spots, then an f1.4 is ideal – but which one? Here you would just 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 and for the 23mm it’s video. If you’re not doing either of these, you should base your decision on price – and perhaps weight and silence.

Get the Fuji 35mm f1.4 here

Get the Fuji 23mm f1.4 here

Fuji 35mm f2 vs 23mm f2

F2 lenses are great choices for anyone not needing to worry about low-light shooting. And as we’ve seen above, the 23mm is a lot more versatile than the 35mm. So, if you’re not doing professional portrait photography, the 23mm is the best choice for affordability, ease of use, and versatility.

Get the Fuji 35mm f2 here

Get the Fuji 23mm f2 here

Fuji 35mm f2 vs 23mm f1.4

In this case, the 35mm may just beat the 23mm. Unless you need the f1.4 for low light shooting, you’re going to pay significantly more for the 23mm, which would make the 35mm 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’re wanting to do videos, go for the 23mm.

Get the Fuji 35mm f2 here

Get the Fuji 23mm f1.4 here

Fuji 35mm f1.4.jpg

Ready to Make Your Choice?

There is a lot to consider when making a big purchase. And since lenses are not the cheapest camera accessory, they should be bought with serious thought behind them. Knowing what photography, you plan on doing, and how much you’re willing to invest is important.

The Fujifilm 23mm lens is great, as is the 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. There is always that option if budget isn’t a concern.

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