I don't really expect a lens such as this to reach the optical quality of standard, fixed optics. After all, it is a compromise made to provide a compact package when mounted on a camera, and I expect something to be sacrificed for that to happen. After putting it through its paces, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find its performance much better than I would typically expect.
One way of achieving such a low profile was to eliminate the aperture ring on the 27mm lens. As a replacement, Fuji added a firmware update that converts the command dial so it can control the aperture. I found this method of changing aperture to be quite convenient and didn't miss the aperture ring at all.
Auto-focus is very quick and totally silent. It may very well be the quickest focusing X-series lens. Apparently, Fuji is paying a lot of attention to this aspect of its X cameras to make them more professionally suitable.
|This images should provide a good example of the overall sharpness of the lens as well as its sharpness ability in the corners. You can download a full res sample by clicking here.|
|At f/8 this lens is at its best performance aperture. Click here to download a full res version of this image.|
|Click on any of the three links below to download full res images of this image taken at f/2.8, f/4, and f/5.6.|
Click here to download a full res version of the f/2.8 photo.
Click here to download a full res version of the f/4 photo.
Click here to download a full res version of the f/5.6 photo.
|A close up shot taken at f/2.8 shows very good detail and quick focus ability of this lens. I didn't have much time to raise the camera and shoot this photo before the squirrel decided to move on. Download a high res version of this image by clicking here.|
|Click here to download a high res version of this image. Photo was taken with a wide open aperture of f/2.8.|
|This is as close as I was able to focus with this lens.|
|New York's Flatiron Building with its highly detailed terra cotta tiling is one of my favorite resolution test. Click here to download a high res version of this image.|
|Click here to download a high res version of this file taken at f/8.|
|Incidentally, the building on the right is where Andy Warhol had his "Factory" when he moved to Union Square. Click here to download a high res version of this file taken at f/5.6.|
|Click here to download high res version of this file.|
I placed the focus point on the mid-section of the model. There was not contrast there at all. The sun was shining directly into the lens, and the model was doing continuous jumping jacks. The X-Pro1 was set for ISO 400, motor drive of 6fps. A lens aperture wide open at f/2.8 meant there was no room for error. The camera/lens had to focus quickly and accurately at 1/1000 sec. The X-Pro1 with 27mm lens not only did it, it did it over and over again as we repeated the shot.
This shot is a major "hats off" to Fuji for improving the auto-focus system of their X-series cameras and lenses to such a high capability.
|Click here to download a high res version of this file.|
I came into this test expecting a descent lens with some serious compromises befitting the type of lens it is. I came away from the tests very pleasantly surprised. The Fuji 27mm f/2.8 lens provides high resolution particularly with edge sharpness that is above the typical performance of its class. It's equivalent focal length of 41mm is very practical, particularly if this is the only lens you plan to have with you, and for most of us that would be the main reason for buying it.
At $449 some may think it a bit pricey for a lens of this type, but you get what you pay for, and in this case it is a miniature package with extremely high optical and mechanical performance that bests most other lenses in its class. The 27mm pancake is another winner for Fuji -- well worth the wait.
To LensRentals.com for helping out with expedient service in supplying the lens used for this test. If you need to rent equipment or try equipment LensRentals.com is a great place to know about. They have an extensive list of equipment available for most of the top brand camera models.