For street photographers, Fujifilm’s camera system is one of the best possible options available today. In a way, this is where they shine the most.
They’ve got some of the most fantastic prime lenses on the market. We’re talking high quality, small design, fast aperture and affordable prices.
In this guide, we went through all Fujifilm’s lenses to pick out the best street 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 Street Lenses:
We discuss all of these cameras below, but first let’s go through what matters when buying a lens for street photography.
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What’s Important for Street Photography?
Here are the 6 most important factors that make a good street lens.
Focal Length – Street photography is where you want to use lenses between 23mm and 56mm. Not too wide, but not too telephoto. Many photographers use prime lenses, but you can just as well get yourself a zoom (or both) and cover a bigger range without the need to change lenses. It all depends on your style and preference.
Aperture – If you plan on photographing at night, you’ll want a prime lens due to their extremely big apertures (f/2, f/1.4 or even bigger). Having so much light allows you to shoot with a fast shutter speed, as well as keep the ISO low to not introduce much noise to your shots. A big aperture will also make your background appear blurred, but many street photographers prefer to have a small depth of field, meaning everything appears in focus. In that case, every lens will be fine.
Auto Focus – It’s great to have reliable and fast auto focus if you don’t have the time to focus manually. Street photography is quick most of the time, and you won’t usually have a second chance to get that same identical shot.
Lens Size – In many countries, you don’t want to stand out too much when taking shots on the street. Big, bulky lenses, with loud auto focusing and cameras is a big no no. This is why prime lenses win, due to their compactness. A zoom lens can still be fine, especially if you plan on traveling or you know that people don’t care that much in your country.
Image Stabilization – OIS (stabilization) helps if your subject is static. If your shots include people, that’s rarely the case, so don’t worry about not having OIS on any of the prime lenses. If on the other hand, most of your photographers have completely static subjects, then OIS helps tremendously and will make your shots look more crisp when shooting with slow shutter speeds (night time, foggy/rainy days).
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.
Best Fujifilm Lenses for Street Photography
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 outdoor 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 landscapes.
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 27mm f/2.8
The Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8 is a pancake lens which means it has a compacted styling. The designs of these lenses can sometimes result in vignetting and poor image sharpness. However, the 27mm f/2.8 remains tack sharp throughout the frame.
Unlike other lenses, a pancake lens has no room for an adjustable aperture ring due to its smaller design. But at .17 lbs (2.75 oz) and a thickness of only 0.9 in., this lens is incredibly light. It keeps a camera pocket sized even with the lens attached. You definitely won’t attract much attention with this setup.
The multi-layered High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating (HT-EBC) on the surface of the glass helps protect against scratching. It also helps prevent contrast and sharpness loss through scattering of incidental light.
The 27mm field of view is equivalent to 41mm on a full-frame sensor. The field of view is similar to that of a 35mm but gives a bit more intimacy. This makes the 27mm f/2.8 ideal for street photography, whether you want to focus on a single subject, or capture a bigger scene. It’s also great for landscape and traveling.
While the aperture is not as wide as others the generalist focal length, price tag and pancake design make the 27mm f/2.8 a very attractive choice.
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 35mm f/2 R WR
The Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR is suited for photographers who want a versatile focal length prime lens that can be used in all weather conditions.
Being a WR lens the 35mm f/2 is weather resistant, making it a great choice for outdoor photographers. Light rain and dust won’t penetrate any of the eight seals on the lens body. The lens will also operate normally in temperatures as low as 14F (-10C).
35mm is equivalent to a 50mm field of view using the APS-C sensors of the X-series cameras. And 50mm works very well for a wide variety of subjects, including portraits, nature, and event shots. It’s also the most recommended prime for traveling at Fujifilm’s blog.
f/2 is not as fast as f/1.4 but still allows in plenty of light for low light shoots. The depth of field will be shallow at this setting and will create excellent bokeh using nine aperture blades. This lens also has an inner auto focus system combined with a stepping motor for whisper quiet focusing and a response time as fast as 0.08 seconds.
The glass is very high quality and includes a Nano-GI (Gradient Index) coating. This layer changes the refractive index between the glass and surrounding air. In doing so ghosting and flares from incidental lighting are reduced or eliminated entirely.
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.
We also have 2 great zoom options for you.
Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS
The Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS is a zoom lens well suited for travel, architecture and street photographers who want a wide angle field of view. This range is also great for landscape photographers who need the expansive view.
OIS stands for Optical Image Stabilization; the f/4 R has built in elements to help control motion blur due to hand shake. This allows you to shoot handheld without sacrificing sharpness.
The 10-24mm f/4 R also has a High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating (HT-EBC) to moderate lens flare and ghosting. The result is a boost in contrast and a reduction in chromatic aberration. The layer also protects against scratches. Lastly, this lens can pair with Fujifilm cameras that have a Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) setting to ensure exposure and sharpness remain consistent across the entire frame. With a minimum focusing distance of 9.5 in (24 cm) this lens works well as a macro photography lens, although this is probably not what you’re looking for.
As a zoom lens its not directly comparable to the 14mm or 16mm lenses. For photographers who want a shallower depth of field the prime lenses are the obvious choice. But if you prefer scenes that need greater depth of field, then this lens provides a wider range of focal lengths without sacrificing image quality.
Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS
The Fujifilm 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS is very similar in design to the 16-55mm f/2.8 but lacks several key features that help bring the price down. In our opinion, it’s much better for the money.
This lens does not have weather resistance so it needs to be protected in rough environmental conditions. Also the lens stops down to f/4 maximum at the telephoto end. This means you’ll only get bokeh and shallower depths of field at the wide angle end which may not be all that useful.
The focal length range is equivalent to 27-84mm full-frame lens which is an incredibly versatile wide angle-telephoto range. That makes it great for everything from portraits to architecture. Overall this is a great street photography lens. Plus at .68 lbs (10.88 oz) this lens weighs half as much as the 16-55mm f/2.8. Check out this Prime vs Zoom comparison at Fuji’s blog, aimed at street photographers.
The built in OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) helps keep image blur from becoming an issue while shooting handheld. With up to four stops of IS, you can shoot at 1/500 and expect similar results as if you shot at 1/30.
Lastly the Nano GI (Gradient Index) coating of the glass alters the refractive index between the lens glass and the air. The result is less ghosting and flare from incidental lighting.
Fujifilm Lens Terms:
XF – Highest quality Fujifilm lenses for X-mount (X-T2, X-T1 and so on)
WR – Weather Resistant construction
OIS – Optical Image Stabilization
LM – Linear Motor, allows faster and near silent focusing
R – The lens has a dedicated aperture ring
Budget Fujifilm Street Lenses:
If you want to keep the price low, but still get excellent performance, check out any of the lenses above.