Here’s a list of our most recommended Fujifilm lenses for portraits.
While you could use just about any lens for portraits, what you’re looking for is great sharpness, good looking bokeh and a focal length between 35 to 140mm that won’t distort your subject’s faces.
In this guide, we went through all Fujifilm’s lenses to pick out the 8 best portrait options, whether you’re a professional or a beginner. We made sure to focus on image quality, versatility and how much you get for the price.
Best Fujifilm Portrait Lenses:
We discuss all of these lenses below, but first let’s go through what matters when buying a lens for portraits.
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What’s Important for Portrait Photography?
Focal Length – For portraits, you want to be in the standard to telephoto range, which is anything between 23mm and 140mm (we’ve already accounted for Fujifilm’s 1.5x crop factor). Buying a Fujifilm lens between these two focal lengths will make your subject’s faces nice and flat, whereas if you shot with something wider, they would appear distorted. Getting a 35mm or 50mm Fuji lens is your best option if you’re looking for something affordable and good.
Aperture – We mostly want lenses with big apertures, which is f/2.8 and bigger (f/2, f/1.4). This is because bigger apertures will make your background appear much more out of focus, thus making your subject pop out the shot. Having an aperture this big also helps if you’re shooting in low light and don’t want to raise the ISO.
Auto Focus – All lenses on our list have good and reliable auto focus, especially the two zooms. However, portrait photography is usually slower paced than let’s say sports, and many photographers focus manually. In a nutshell, try learning how to use both focusing types so your camera can never be an excuse.
Image Quality – It’s all about image quality, sharpness and colors. You want good center and corner sharpness, especially if you print large. Fujifilm’s glass quality is great and we made sure to select lenses that offer a lot for the money.
Bokeh – Good looking bokeh will make your subject stand out more and make the whole shot look more appealing. The more diaphragm blades the aperture has, the rounder it should look (9 is better, but more expensive than a lens with 7). The distance between your subject, your camera, and the background also plays a role; the greater each of these is, the more out of focus the background will be.
Since every Fujifilm camera has an APS-C sensor with 1.5x crop factor, this means that a 23mm (or any other) lens will actually give the same field of view as 35mm on a full frame camera. It’s simple; 23mm x 1.5 = 35mm. You can do this for any lens, and we made sure to have this in mind when selecting the ones below so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R
The Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R lens is perfect for photographers looking for a field of view that will always be useful.
With the Fujifilm’s X-series’s APS-C sized sensor the XF 23mm has a 35mm equivalent field of view. 35mm is incredibly versatile as it’s the field of view closest to that of the human eye. This makes this lens great for nearly any application including portraits, landscapes, architecture, and natural scenery.
Wedding and event photographers will find the f/1.4 maximum aperture especially pleasing. The fast aperture is perfect for low light photography and creates extremely shallow depths of field. The seven rounded aperture blades ensure beautifully artistic bokeh as well.
The glass has a multi-layered High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating (HT-EBC) that protects the surfce of the lens from scratching. The HT-EB coating also keeps light from scattering and ensures image contrast remains rich and vibrant.
The lens can focus as close as 11 inches with the close-up focusing control enabled or two feet when operated normally. It also has a camera to subject distance indicator and a depth of field scale on the barrel of the lens to aid manual prefocusing.
With a length of 2.84 in. and just 0.66 lbs in weight the 23mm f/1.4 R is the smallest and lightest non-pancake lens in this series. While it lacks the weather sealing of the 23mm f/2 R the faster aperture makes it the superior choice if cost is not an issue.
Fujifilm XF 23mm f/2 R WR
The Fujifim XF 23mm f/2 R WR is a rugged version of the 23mm f/1.4 R. At half the price, the f/2 R WR is a strong challenger. Although the aperture is not as wide f/2 is still a great aperture for portrait and event photography. It also allows for good performance in challenging lighting conditions.
The weather sealing of the f/2 R WR helps ensure the elements don’t penetrate, making it an excellent lens for nature and landscape photographers. This added protection allows normal operation down to 14 F (-10 C).
Although the field of view of the XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR is perfect for landscape lovers, the 23mm view of this lens is a 35mm equivalent on a full-frame sensor. 35mm is closest to the view of the human eye, making the XF 23mm f/2 a more versatile outdoor lens for scenes beyond nature.
The glass of this lens does not have the layered High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating (HT-EBC) of the 23mm f/1.4 R. Nor does it have the Nano-GI layer of the 16mm f/1.4 WR. Overall the 23mm f/2 R WR is a weather sealed middle ground lens but has slightly less image sharpness and clarity compared to its higher priced siblings.
Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4 R
The Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4 R is a fantastic prime lens for portrait photographers. The bokeh created with the seven rounded aperture blades are incredibly attractive. And the wide open aperture of f/1.4 is well suited for creating good looking bokeh as well.
The focal length of this lens paired with the APS-C sized sensor of Fujifilm’s X-series is equivalent to 50mm on a 35mm sensor or film. 50mm is a very versatile field of view to work with. Being very close to the field of view of the human eye, 50mm works well for portraits, nature, and event photographers, but you can easily use it as your travel/walk-around lens. It’s also useful for close, indoor sports where you very close to your subject.
The 11-layer Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating) eliminates light flares off of lens surfaces by allowing 99.8% of incoming light to enter the camera. It also improves sharpness and color corrects the transmission spectrum of the glass so that all color wavelengths are transmitted equally.
The 35mm f/1.4 R also has an aperture ring with 1/3 of a stop adjustments for precision aperture control. Weighing in at 6.6 oz (0.41 lbs) the lens is incredibly light.
It competes fairly well with the XF 23mm f/1.4 R, but it’s newer and uses a High Transmittance EBC coating that also provides scratch resistance to the surface of the glass. Being a 35mm equivalent, the field of view is even better suited for the generalist photographer. But the 23mm f/1.4 R costs nearly twice as much, ensuring the 35mm f/1.4 R remains a good choice for the budget minded.
Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR
The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR is a great lens if you want to photograph portraits and don’t want to be concerned with water or dust affecting your lens.
Using the APS-C sized sensors of the X-series cameras, the Fujifilm 50mm is equivalent to a 76mm prime lens using a full-frame field of view. 76mm is squarely in portrait territory. The features of subjects won’t suffer from distortion and enough of the scene shows up without taking away from the main subject.
This lens also has enough reach to be useful for candid street photographers who want to capture a subject without being too obtrusive. Nature photographers will also find this focal length fairly useful, though shy subjects may require a bit more reach.
f/2 is a fast aperture but if you want an even shallower depth of field, you should look at the bigger and heavier XF f/1.2 R, which has a 56mm focal length.
The 50mm f/2 R WR is almost identical to the 35mm f/2 R WR, but is slightly more expensive as it’s 2 years newer. Instead of a Nano-GI layer, the 50mm f/2 uses a Super Electron Beam coating. Both approaches have the same effect: control over ghosting and flare for improved image quality.
Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R
The Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R is our most recommended portrait lens, well suited for bokeh-rich photos from a slight distance.
The focal length of this lens combined with the fast aperture makes it one of the best portrait lenses available. With the APS-C sized sensors of the X-series cameras the focal length is equivalent to 85mm on a full-frame sensor. 85mm creates a great separation between the subject and background of an image. It does also mean that some room to move is needed since this is telephoto territory.
The 56mm f/1.2 R has an 11-layer High Transmission Electron Beam Coating (HT-EBC) applied to both the front surface and a single layer on the opposite side. The HT-EBC helps stop chromatic aberrations and flare from incidental lighting. It also provides strong scratch resistance to the lens.
f/1.2 is very wide and allows for beautiful images and fast auto focus responses even in low light settings. The depth of field will be incredibly shallow as needed for maximum composition options. As an R lens, it also has an aperture ring on the barrel to control the aperture at will. Aperture and bokeh are further enhanced with the seven rounded aperture blades.
Fujifilm cameras with a Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) feature can partner with this lens to ensure sharpness and exposure are properly consistent throughout the aperture range. Th XF 56mm /1.2 is one of the more expensive ones on this list, yet is truly incomparably good. The focal length, features, and aperture are all top-notch. The only omission is no weather sealing, but that would make it even more expensive.
Fujifilm XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR
The Fujifilm XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR is a telephoto prime lens well suited for portraits and action oriented scenes.
It’s weather sealed in seven places to be resistant to dust and water splashes. The sealing also allows the camera to operate at temperatures as low as 14F (-10C).
Paired with the APS-C sensor of the Fujifilm X-series, the XF 90mm has a 137mm equivalent focal length compared to a full-frame camera. This focal length works nicely at compressing a subject and scene slightly. However, this comes at the cost of needing some room away from the subject for maneuvering and possibly even a tripod as hand shake can create significant amounts of motion blur.
For auto focusing, the XF 90mm uses LM (Linear Motor) to make focusing silent and quick. The linear motor also provides extra stabilization when used with video recording. The auto focus response time is as quick as 0.14 sec.
The 90mm f/2 R LM WR has a Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating) on the front surface to improve image clarity by reducing ghosting and flare in the final photo. This lens is perfect for photographers who want or need a bit of distance between their subject, such as sports, portrait and nature photographers.
Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR
The Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR is a rugged, versatile lens that also comes with a fairly high price tag for these features.
The focal length of this lens covers a wide range. The full-frame equivalent is 24-84mm, giving us a near wide angle view at one end and a telephoto on the other. One of the downsides of this range is an increase in weight. At 1.44 lbs (23 oz) this lens is much heavier than the prime lenses from above.
It has LM (Linear Motor) for fast and reliable auto focusing, although as we mentioned above this is not super important for just portraits. From the wide angle/macro end the focusing distance is 11.8 in (30 cm) which allows you get close to the subject and still show parts of the background. f/2.8 is wide enough to create good looking bokeh as well, and thankfully the aperture size stays constant throughout the whole range.
This lens has both a Nano-GI and HT-EBC layer, giving it incredible optical properties. The coatings make glass is scratch-resistant and can suppress ghosting, lens flare, and chromatic aberrations from incidental lighting.
The XF 16-55mm also has an aperture control ring on the barrel for precision aperture control by hand. It has fourteen weather seals to prevent dust and rain from entering and ruining the camera. With a minimum operating temperature of 14F (-10C) this camera is a prime choice for nature photographers.
Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR
The Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR is quite pricey but well worth the expense. The barrel is weatherized in 20 places to provide constant protection from dust and water splashes. The lens will operate normally even in conditions as cold as 14F (-10C).
Due to its big f/2.8 aperture across the entire focal range, it’s a perfect choice for portraits, outdoors and indoors sports. f/2.8 allows you to get nice sharp subjects and blurred backgrounds for excellent shots of people even at a distance. The seven rounded aperture blades help create beautiful bokeh when using the maximum aperture.
At long focal lengths shooting without a tripod can cause loss of sharpness. Fortunately, the 50-140mm f/2.8 is stabilized via an Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) system that negates motion blur in images. The body also has a tripod mount on the barrel for even more image stabilization as needed as well as an aperture ring for precision aperture control.
Using the APS-C sized sensor of Fujifilm’s X-series cameras, the lens has a full-frame equivalent focal length of 76-214mm. This makes it a solid zoom lens meant to bring far-off subjects into crisp focus and isolate them from the background. Portrait, street, and wildlife lovers will get a lot of use out of this focal range.
Notably the cheaper Fujifilm 55-200 f/3.5-4.8 has an even better focal range for half the cost. However, you do lose out on the constant f/2.8 aperture across the range and the barrel tripod mount. The Fuji 50-140mm is weather sealed as well, making it more appropriate for photographing in difficult weather conditions. If range is all you want the f/3.5-4.8 will serve just as well, but the f/2.8 puts the 55-140mm light years ahead.
Fujifilm Lens Terms:
XF – Highest quality Fujifilm lenses for X-mount (X-T2, X-T1 and so on)
WR – Weather Resistant construction
R – The lens has a dedicated aperture ring
OIS – Optical Image Stabilization
LM – Linear Motor, allows faster and near silent focusing
Our Most Recommended Portrait Lenses:
If we had to pick out just 4 lenses on this list, we’d go with these ones. Other choices are still good, but this is just if we had to focus strictly on portraits.