This lens is a dinosaur that is refusing to die in favor for a revised model as many dream to see for some years. Introduced in 2013 alongside with the Fujifilm X-M1camera model, its persistence and success among the (compact) Fuji X photographers is a true testimony of its inherent qualities.
The Fujinon XF 27mm F2.8 is one of the two official so-call « Pancake » lenses available from the Fujifilm X-Mount line-up (The other one is the Fujinon XF 18mm F2 R lens). Designed firstly to be paired with smaller APS-C ILC bodies of the X-A or X-M series, it never prevents many Fuji X-mount enthusiasms to match the small optic with larger camera X-series models. Especially pleased by X-E model series users, it is still used extendedly by serious photographers.
Right from the start, we must precise that some basic characteristics of the others Fujinon XF prime lens series are missing on the XF 27mm. No aperture ring is available on the lens and no provision have been made for an optional lens hood. The Fujinon XF 27mm lens construction is noticeably lighter and the autofocus motorization can be heard.
One of the biggest advantages of the XF 27mm is its angle of view (55,5 degrees) which is equivalent to a 40mm focal length for the 24X36mm analog-film or digital format. Although its maximum aperture of F2.8 remains modest, it can be assimilated as an everyday lens.
The Fujinon XF 27mm F2.8 lens is a very small optic and you may be felt a bit uncomfortable at your first use it. It adds almost no weight to the body of the camera, in fact less than 80g (less than 3 ounces). It is also a very contracted design and for people who are used to hold the bottom of the taking lens with the palm of their left hand to get more stability, it can feel a bit odd to do it with your thumb and one finger only.
The biggest advantage of the XF 27mm F2.8, especially for a travel or street photographer, is certainly its inherent discretion. Coupled with a small Fujifilm X-mount camera body (X-A, X-M, X-E or even X-T/two digits), it can assimilate to a compact camera with a fixed lens such as the Fujifilm X100 series models.
|A little winter fresh air with coffee and some literature!|
The color rendition of the Fujinon XF 27mm F2.8 doesn’t differ from the other lens models of the X-Mount Series and the same continuity in term of image results observed with the others Fujinon X-Mount lenses can be expected. For sure, automatic in-board calibration and picture correction are part of the advantages of the modern digital photography. Focus accuracy between left and right side and up and down has been adequate with the different copies that I have owned over time.
The angle of view of the Fujinon XF 27mm F2.8 is similar of the one who can experiment with your own eyes if you are considering only the sharp area. It results that lens rendering can be easily anticipated even without looking into the viewfinder or on the back screen of the camera.
In all, the Fujinon XF 27mm F2.8 is a very predictable and compact lens of the Fujinon X-Mount line-up, ideal for travel, for street and spontaneous photography. One of the endangered optic lens species!
(First published in February 2016, revised in February 2020)