Compared: Fujifilm XF 23mm F/2 vs XF 35mm F/2

**Note, my full 23mm F/2 review is now complete!**

Fujifilm’s latest lens is the XF 23mm F/2 R WR, and its closest brother in Fuji’s system is the 35mm F/2 R WR. I have owned the 35mm F/2 R WR since I first purchased my X-Pro2, I got my hands on the 23mm F/2 R WR this past Monday. I am working on my full 23mm F/2 R WR review, but in the mean time I wanted to do a quick comparison between the two weather resistant F/2 Fujifilm prime lenses.

The Fujifilm XF 24mm F/2 R WR and XF 35mm F/2 R WR side by side from the front.

The first thing one would notice about these two lenses is that they look almost identical, in passing, side by side, it would be difficult to say which one you were looking at . That said, the 23mm F/2 R WR is the larger of the two lenses, measuring slightly longer than the 35mm.

In terms of performance, the two lenses also feature fast, accurate, and incredibly quiet AF technology making these some of the fastest focusing lenses in the Fujifilm lens ecosystem. As you might expect, the 23mm lens being the newer of the two lenses, is a tad better in terms of its AF speed and accuracy, not a ton but enough to be noticeable if you are using both lenses interchangeably. It is also quieter – which is funny to say considering the 35mm is/was already one of the quietest lenses in the XF lens series.

It should go without saying, that these thoughts and conclusions are my own. I have tested both lenses on my X-Pro2 , and no other Fujifilm cameras at this time, so performance may differ slightly from body to body, specifically from  the current generation to the older generation Fujifilm cameras. (Though I would honestly be VERY surprised if that was the case)

Another difference that I noticed between these two lenses was in the resistance of the aperture ring. I never really considered the 35mm F2 to have a tough aperture ring to turn, but when compared to the 23mm F/2 that I have, there is a noticeable difference in the resistance needed to turn the ring and change your aperture. The 23mm F/2 does not require quite as much force to move the ring. I never would have said anything about the 35mm R WR’s aperture ring, but now with these two lenses side by side, I definitely prefer the lesser resistance of the 23mm lens. I will say though that this is definitely a subjective thing, as some of you may prefer the added resistance of the 35mm. There is also the chance that my 23mm lens is just odd or maybe my 35mm, and that in reality most samples are fairly similar.

The 23mm F/2 and 35mm F/2 are designed to offer the highest image quality possible in a small yet fast package that also does not interfere with the X-Pro2’s optical viewfinder. Obviously, my time with the 23mm so far has been minimal, but I have had the better part of a year with the 35mm F/2, and if the XF 23mm F/2 holds up as well at the 35mm has, then there is absolutely nothing to worry about for those looking into the 23mm.

I shot both of these lenses during a session the other day, and while I didn’t get super lab-testy (hint, I will very rarely ever do that) here are some sample shots from the shoot with a few images with each lens. I tried to pick a few shots that were at least somewhat comparable to each other.

XF 23mm F/2 R WR & XF 35mm F/2 R WR Sample Shots

Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR shot on the X-Pro2
XF 23mm F2
XF 35mm F2
Fujifilm XF 23mm F2 R WR shot on the X-Pro2

The shots above have been lightly edited, so they are NOT SOOC, but if I was going to be posting a quick comparison of the two lenses I figured I needed to have some sample shots, and these were the quickest for me to grab. But I mean honestly people, the differences between the two lenses in terms of IQ, besides the obvious difference in field fo view due to the different focal lengths, is minimal – both lenses have great IQ when paired with my X-Pro2.

Anyway, I don’t really want to get into it much more that I already have. This was just supposed to be a quick look at these two lenses in Fujifilm’s new F/2 WR prime series, how similar they look stylistically, and how I feel they compare in terms of real world use/performance.

I hope this helps any of you who have been looking into either or both of these lenses, be on the lookout for more content similar to this with both the XF 23mm F/2 and the 35mm f/2 in the future. Have a great Friday!


PS – If you are interested in my initial thoughts on the 23mm F/2 R WR , I wrote it up over on The Phoblographer, here. I will have some more thoughts towards the beginning of next week here on my site.