Fuji to ship its 23mm f/1.4 X-mount prime lens next month; pricing revealed


posted Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:00 AM EDT

Back in the summer of 2012, Fujifilm published a roadmap detailing its plans for the nascent X-mount through the end of 2013. The roadmap has since been updated a few times, and all but three of the lenses initially promised are already on the market. Now, the company says that one of the last holdouts -- the FUJINON XF23mm F1.4 R lens -- will hit stores next month.

Originally slated for delivery in early 2013, the 23mm prime was subsequently delayed to the latter half of the year, as we learned in an interview with the company last spring. Its arrival leaves only the 56mm prime and 10-24mm zoom pending among the original batch of planned launches. Those two lenses are still a little way off, with the 10-24mm currently slated for the end of the year, and the 56mm for January of 2014. If you've been holding out for the XF23mm lens, though, your wait is now almost at an end -- and you can start budgeting for the newest entry in your camera bag.

The Fujinon XF23mm F1.4 R is, says its maker, ideal for portraits, landscapes, and low-light photography. Isolating your subject with depth-of-field blur should be a snap, thanks to the bright f/1.4 maximum aperture. The optical formula consists of eleven elements in eight groups, and the internal focusing system incorporates just four elements in order to minimize moving mass. Three of these are cemented elements, and one is an aspheric. All elements feature Fuji's High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating, and a rounded, seven-bladed aperture helps ensure pleasing bokeh. (That's the blur characteristic in out-of-focus areas.) A high-torque DC coreless motor is used to ensure adequate autofocus performance.


In keeping with its retro aesthetic, the new lens stands out in a world where clever maths often sustitute for raw optical performance. Fuji notes that the optical formula of its lens is designed to ensure distortion is tamed in the lens, and not with digital correction. A little dig at rivals using post-capture processing, perhaps?

The Fuji XF23mm F1.4 R lens is compact indeed, with a length of just 2.48 inches. It's light, too, weighing just 10.6 ounces. Yet despite its compact, portable nature, it includes the design touches you'd expect of an X-mount prime, including metal rings for both focus and aperture control.

Available next month, the Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R lens is priced at US$900, or thereabouts.