I´m a wide angle kind of guy. My favorites are 16 and 23mm (24 and 35mm FF equiv.). I love the 35mm (52mm FF equiv.) for closer framing & the long end of my 16-55mm zoom already feels quite "long". So WTH am I doin´ with a 90mm telephoto? Good question, I'm gonna try find out in this post - please join me if you're interested!
The XF90mm´s got a quite narrow field of view. Like a 135mm on full frame (never liked that focal length on FF btw ...). But I was looking for a lens for portraiture and to focus on details, allowing me to select parts of a scene representing the bigger picture. At the same time it should stay compact enough on my X-T2 to fit in a small bag (eg. Domke´s F-5XB with enough space to also take my X100F along for wide angle reportage photography). Ok, so some time ago I took the plunge & got Fuji´s 90mm F2 WR which consistently was getting rave reviews & fulfills my above requirements. In the following please find a short practical review based on my personal experience (and sorry, no spec sheets, test charts or MTF curves here - enough other sites on the net for that kinda boring tech stuff!)
First the Pro´s:
- Exceptional 3 dimensional image quality, and that independent of aperture used!
- Narrow depth of field & beautiful bokeh in out of focus areas at larger apertures
- No corner light falloff, no distortion, vignetting, nor chromatic aberration
- Excellent flare & ghosting resistance (great for contre-jour shots & don't need lens hood!)
- Close focus: At 0.6m minimum focus distance half the face of a grown up fills the frame!
- Excellent ergonomics (great aperture ring clicks & wide, grippy manual focussing ring)
- Reasonably compact (only 105mm long, 0.5kg), not changing due to internal focussing
- Very well made: Tough, weather resistant all metal design
There are some Con´s too:
- Narrow field of view takes some getting used to, not as flexible as a zoom. For me using this lens needed quite a learning curve, I had too look for appropriate subjects!
- Subject distance can get too long in indoor portrait sessions (esp. with whole body shots)
- No image stabilization (OIS - works only for static subjects, so not a deal breaker for me), needing min. 1/250sec shutter speed to reliably prevent image blur (go slower = gamble!)
- Audible "clunking" when moving lens with camera off (LM motor elements moving)
- At around 950$ / 950€ not really a "bargain" (but then again quality always costs ...)
All in all quite a positive balance - I can really recommend Fuji´s XF90mm (even being a wide angle aficionado), especially if a longer focal length with exceptional image quality is needed w/o significantly expanding the volume of your kit. Fuji does have a viable alternative in its XF50-140mm F2.8 OIS WR zoom but bear in mind it´s 7cm longer & twice the weight! You only gonna take that one with you if you´re OK to get into serious sherpa territory ;-)
I hope y´all enjoyed this short review & you got some additional valuable information which will allow you to take the best possible decision for your photography! Please let me know if you've any questions - leave me a comment below or contact me via my about page! Many thanks for visiting, best regards
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