Hands-on: Fujifilm announces compact, standard XF 30mm F2.8 Macro lens
posted Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 9:00 AM EST
Announced alongside the new X-T5, Fujifilm also unveiled the new XF 30mm F2.8 R LM WR Macro lens, the third macro lens for their X-mount mirrorless system. The new XF 30mm F2.8 Macro lens joins the earlier XF 60mm F2.8 and XF 80mm F2.8 lenses as the shortest, lightest macro lens from Fujifilm themselves so far. However, despite the shorter focal length, the XF 30mm Macro is still capable of full 1:1 macro capabilities. The lens can also double as as versatile "standard view" prime lens for general photography or video purposes.
The compact XF 30mm F2.8 Macro lens weighs only 195g, or just 0.43 lbs., and can easily fit in the palm of my hand. Many Fujifilm primes are know for being small and compact, and the XF 30mm Macro is no exception. The tiny lens measures just 69.5mm (2.7in.) in lens and 60mm (2.4in.) in diameter and uses small 43mm screw-on filters. The lens feels almost dwarfed by the larger X-H2 body, and with the included lens hood attached, the XF 30mm F2.8 looks like a small tube attached to my camera. The lens will easily pair with and feel balanced on any Fujifilm X Series camera body you choose to use.
The XF 30mm Macro follows the design language and rugged build quality we've come to expect from Fuji's higher-end XF lens line. The barrel of the lens is constructed mostly, if not entirely, from sturdy and lightweight metal, including the focus ring and lens mount. As the "R" labeling indicates, the XF 30mm lens has a manual locking aperture ring and includes labeled aperture marking from F2.8 to F22 with soft, clicked 1/3-stop increments throughout. There's also locking Auto position for either automatic aperture exposure modes or manual aperture control via the camera body. The lens is also thoroughtly weather sealed, as the WR branding indicates, with sealing in nine locations throughout the lens and at the lens mount. The lens is temperature resistant down to -10-degrees C (14-degrees F).
In terms of optical construction, the XF 30mm F2.8 Macro is comprised of 11 total elements situated into nine groups and includes three aspherical elements and two ED glass elements. The lens features a 9-bladed circular aperture diaphragm; combined with the bright F2.8 apeture, the 30mm Macro lens is capable of pleasing, smooth bokeh and good subject isolation, especially when focusing close up.
Speaking of focusing close up, as mentioned, the XF 30mm Macro lens can shoot full-size 1:1 macro magnification, despite the shorter 46mm-equivalent focal length. The minimum focusing distance is a mere 10cm (3.94in.), and the lens has a working distance of just 1.2cm (0.47in.). In use, the lens focuses so incredibly close up that it can be somewhat tricky to shoot. With the lens hood attached, you can almost bump into your subject, or objects near your subject, and the lens will still be able to focus! (This can also make it tricky in terms of lighting, as the lens and the hood, as well as the camera, can easily introduce shadows onto your subject depending on the situation.)
The lens uses a linear motor for autofocusing, providing very fast and essentially silent focusing performance. The linear motor focusing system offers low vibrations, and for video shooting, the lens is designed for minimum focus breathing. In general shooting situations, the lens's autofocus is incredibly fast; short focus shifts feel nearly instantaneous on the X-H2 I used -- Fujifilm states that autofocus acquisition can be achieved in just 0.02 seconds. However, large focus shifts, for example going from full close-focus (or thereabouts) to more a far-off focusing distance can be a little sluggish at times, depending on the subject's contrast and the light level. Going from close-focus to a distant subject for instance, the scene is then so out of focus that the camera can have trouble re-acquiring focus.
Overall, the new Fujifilm XF 30mm F2.8 Macro lens is a great addition to Fuji's excellent X Series lens line. The standard focal length combined with a bright F2.8 aperture make this lens a versatile optic with uses beyond just macro photography. If you want macro as well as excellent close-up shooting for tabletop or product photography, flowers, landscapes and even portrature, too, the XF 30mm F2.8 looks to be a fantastic option -- and certainly one that will not weigh you down in the slightest.
The Fujifilm XF 30mm F2.8 Macro is expected to go on sale in late November 2022, with a suggested retail price of USD $599.95 (CDN $809.99). Keep an eye out for our full hands-on review in the near future!