Fujifilm XF 80mm f/2.8 Macro: first impressions

Switching from Nikon to Fujifilm has been a great experience so far. The Fuji cameras are small and very pleasant to use, and most of the lenses deliver a fantastic image quality. Add beautiful film simulations, regular firmware updates, a classic …

Fujifilm XF 80mm f/2.8 Macro: first impressions

Switching from Nikon to Fujifilm has been a great experience so far. The Fuji cameras are small and very pleasant to use, and most of the lenses deliver a fantastic image quality. Add beautiful film simulations, regular firmware updates, a classic – and somewhat inconspicuous – look for street work... and you obtain a happy photographer!

The only regret I had was to let go the fantastic Nikkor 105mm lens. Macro photography has always been one of my favourite fields, and having no equivalent lens in the Fuji lineup has been quite frustrating. Of course, there are alternatives, like the excellent XF 60mm, as well as manual focus lenses from Samyang or other adaptable brands. But despite their own qualities, they don't offer the same shooting experience.

And finally, Fujifilm released the beast! Here comes the Fujinon Super EBC XF 80mm 1:2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro. As soon as I got it out of its box, the lens was screwed on my X-T1 and ready to face the cold Bavarian winter for a test shooting.

f/4 1/200 sec 80mm ISO 1250

I will let more talented photographers review the lens properly and in a more detailed fashion – but as far as I'm concerned, I'm very impressed by this lens so far! Here are my first impressions:

  • The image quality is fantastic! I haven't noticed any visible distortion or chromatic aberration. Sharpness is excellent wide open, and unsurprisingly better at f/4 and f/5.6. Contrasts and colours look wonderful too.
  • I'm not a huge fan of the bokeh. It is very smooth, but somewhat swirly and onion-shaped.
  • Focusing wasn't blazing fast when I tested it, but for the record, my X-T1 wasn't running the latest firmware, so I'll need to try again. However, I tested it with an X-T2 in the shop, and it seemed much faster.
  • It's not light (750g)... but not as heavy as I expected. I guess I'm now used to the massive Samyang 135mm f/2, which is slightly bigger and heavier than the XF 80mm.
  • A slightly annoying detail: some lens elements that are part of the OIS, can move freely when the camera is off. The Fuji guy told me it is totally normal. Oh well!
Here are a few shots I took with this little marvel!

f/5.6 1/250 sec 80mm ISO 1600
f/4 1/200 sec 80mm ISO 800
f/2.8 1/200 sec 80mm ISO 640
f/5.6 1/250 sec 80mm ISO 1600
f/2.8 1/200 sec 80mm ISO 1250
f/3.2 1/450 sec 80mm ISO 400
f/5.6 1/200 sec 80mm ISO 500
f/2.8 1/500 sec 80mm ISO 500
f/4 1/200 sec 80mm ISO 500

Categories: Reviews