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A Street Photographer's Best Friend

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 R WR

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

The Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 R WR lens, equivalent to a 35mm lens in full-frame terms, is one of the top choices for street photographers using the Fujifilm X series. Here's my comprehensive review after spending a couple of weeks testing the lens in various street photography scenarios.

Firstly, this lens delivers where it matters most for street photography – image quality. The 23mm f/1.4 R WR captures sharp images, particularly in the center, even at its widest aperture. The image resolution slightly decreases towards the corners, but it's not overly significant, particularly for street and documentary work. It delivers beautiful, rich colors and renders a pleasing bokeh, thanks to its wide f/1.4 aperture, which helps isolate subjects and enables low-light shooting.

Amazon link: Fujifilm XF23mm

The build quality of the Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 R WR is excellent. It feels robust, well-constructed, and has a pleasant weight to it, without being too heavy. The lens includes a weather-resistant (WR) design, making it a reliable option for shooting in various weather conditions – a huge plus for the unpredictable outdoor environment of street photography.

In terms of focus performance, this lens is relatively fast and accurate. While it might not be the quickest in the Fujifilm lineup, it certainly holds its own in most street photography scenarios. Manual focus is a pleasure to use with the push-pull clutch mechanism, a feature particularly appreciated by those who prefer a more hands-on approach.

One of the downsides of the 23mm f/1.4 R WR lens is its size. It's larger than other Fujifilm lenses, which can potentially draw attention in the street – not ideal when discretion is key. Its sibling, the 23mm f/2 WR, is a more compact and less conspicuous alternative, but you trade off the wider aperture and some image quality.

Lastly, while this lens delivers impressive results, it is one of the pricier options in Fujifilm's lineup. But as with any gear investment, if the high-quality build, excellent image results, and weather resistance meet your needs, it's well worth the investment.

In conclusion, the Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 R WR lens is an exceptional tool for street photography with a few minor caveats. Its robust construction, weather resistance, superb image quality, and unique character are indeed captivating, justifying its place as a go-to lens for street photographers. It's certainly a lens to consider for those committed to the genre and looking to invest in their craft.


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