Wedding and portrait photographers looking for a lightweight, compact system with exceptional performance need look no further than the FUJIFILM X cameras and lenses. While the size and weight advantage of mirrorless cameras spans from Micro Four Thirds to full frame, the APS-C sensors in the FUJIFILM X system allow the cameras and lenses to be relatively small and light. Full-frame mirrorless is attractive to many, but the portability advantage over DSLRs is somewhat negated by the need for large glass. FUJIFILM X is not hobbled by that handicap.
For those looking to one-up the full-frame shooters out there, the FUJIFILM GFX medium format system gives photographers remarkably large sensor performance with pro full-frame DSLR size and weight.
Regardless of which FUJIFILM system you choose, or if you work with both, here is a breakdown of some great lenses for wedding and portrait work for both systems.
FUJIFILM X: The Zooms
The combination of the venerable 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lenses has been around for years, and the pair’s reputation for versatility and quality for wedding and portrait shooters is well deserved. FUJIFILM shooters can achieve the same field of view and flexibility of these two lenses with the FUJIFILM XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR and the XF 50-140 f/2.8 R LM OIS WR lenses. Both feature constant f/2.8 apertures, weather sealing, and Fujinon’s latest coatings.
As good as those two zoom lenses are, if you are interested in saving weight, you can shoot the XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens that gives up one stop of light to the larger 16-55mm at the tele region of its zoom range, and the FUJIFILM XF 55-200 f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS that extends to the 35mm focal length equivalence of 305mm. Neither of these two lenses has the weather sealing, but both are compact and very sharp. Another intriguing option, especially if you want to maximize versatility and not be caught changing lenses as the day unfolds, is the FUJIFILM XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens.
FUJIFILM X: Prime Time
Again, looking at the traditional 135 format or full-frame digital world, wedding shooters gravitate toward the combination of the 35mm lens for general shooting and the 85mm lens for intimate portraits. FUJIFILM has its wedding shooters more than covered.
First up is the 35mm equivalent beautiful XF 23mm f/1.4 R LM WR lens, with its wide aperture—making it ideal for low-light venues for ceremonies and receptions. And, for ultra-bokeh shallow-depth-of-field portraits, the XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens rocks a double-sided aspherical element with its exotically wide maximum aperture. For those looking for even more bokeh, the 56mm comes in the special APD version—incorporating an apodization filter for greater control of the out-of-focus highlights.
Looking for a low-light monster in a portrait-friendly focal length? The FUJIFILM XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR lens was the world’s first f/1.0 autofocus lens and delivers a razor thin depth of field when opened to its maximum aperture.
FUJIFILM X: Wide Views
Wedding photographers know how important it is to be able to shoot super wide-angle images and there are two favorites in the FUJIFILM stable. The first is the new FUJIFILM XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens with a 12-24mm equivalent field of view and the FUJIFILM XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR, with its 35mm equivalent field of view of 15-36mm. Somewhat rare for such a wide-angle lens, the 10-24mm features optical image stabilization to assist with steady images under challenging lighting conditions.
FUJIFILM X: Macro
Wedding memories are often found in the details and, to capture those details, you are best served with a macro lens. A solid 1:1 macro offering from FUJIFILM, the XF 80mm f/2.8 LM OIS WR Macro lens, gives photographers everything they need to capture super-close-up details. The FUJIFILM XF 30mm f/2.8 R LM WR Macro lens gives you the same 1:1 reproduction in a smaller package.
Another option for close-up work would be to add the FUJIFILM extension tubes (11mm and 16mm) to one of your existing FUJIFILM lenses. Two other manufacturers, Vello and FotodioX, produce kits with 10mm and 16mm tubes for the FUJIFILM X system.
FUJIFILM X: Backups
When shooting a wedding, gear failure may be the single most unwanted event for any photographer. Carrying a small, unobtrusive prime lens in your bag might be just what you need to save the day if you drop one of your workhorse lenses, or someone else knocks it out of your hand on the reception dance floor. The FUJIFILM XF 35mm f/2 R WR and XF 23mm f/2 R WR lenses are super sharp, as well as being small and light. While they don’t let in as much light as their f/1.4 counterparts, they are weather sealed and might become your go-to lens for more than one reason.
The FUJIFILM system, especially when compared to a DSLR system or even full-frame mirrorless, is small and light, if you want to go smaller and lighter for, say, the reception dance floor photos, the 18mm f/2.0 XF R pancake lens will allow you to mix it up with the revelers and keep the beat.
FUJIFILM X: Aftermarket Favorites
The number of aftermarket lenses for the X-mount has been flourishing and some options are very attractive to the wedding and portrait photography market.
The Viltrox 75mm f/1.2 AF lens comes in at a portrait-friendly 112.5mm full-frame equivalent focal length in a weather resistant design. The smaller Viltrox AF 56mm f/1.4 XF lens competes with the FUJIFILM 56mm lenses mentioned above.
A battery of Sigma Contemporary lenses are available for X-mount shooters. There is the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary lens, the 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary, the 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary, and the 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary.
Covering the very convenient 25.5-105mm focal length range (full-frame equivalent) is the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD lens.
If neither the FUJIFILM 14mm or 16mm XF lenses mentioned above are wide enough for you, some wedding shooters carry either the auto focus Samyang 12mm f/2.0 AF lens (or manual focus Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS lens) or the Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 to get a 35mm equivalent view of 18mm.
Another FUJIFILM X aftermarket bokeh monster is the manual focus TTArtisan 50mm f/1.2 lens.
Medium Format GFX system
With a pair of compact medium format cameras, the FUJIFILM GFX 50S II and the GFX 100S, which rival pro DSLRs in size and weight while packing more than 50MP and over 100MP, respectively, onto giant MF sensors, wedding photographers can now give their clients that “medium format look” while staying relatively light and portable.
Versatile focal lengths are covered by the FUJIFILM G-mount zooms including the GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens—a wide-to-normal zoom for various wedding tasks. Smaller and lighter, at the cost of some light, is the GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR lens. The GF 45-100mm f/4 R LM OIS WR delivers a versatile 35mm equivalent zoom range of 36-79mm.
The magic of the FUJIFILM GFX lineup comes when compact primes are mounted on the cameras. The FUJIFILM GF 63mm f/2.8 R WR lens has a 50mm equivalent field of view and is the medium format version of a “Nifty 50.” For portraiture, look no further than the GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR lens, with its 87mm 35mm equivalent field of view. The pancake-like FUJIFILM GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR lens (40mm 35mm equivalent field of view) is as compact as medium format lenses come. And, those looking for the 35mm field of view (full-frame equivalent) can employ the GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR prime.
Aftermarket G-mount lenses that might catch the eye of portrait and wedding photographers are the IRIX 45mm f/1.4 GFX lens, the TTArtisan 90mm f/1.25, and the Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 85mm f/1.2 lens—all featuring enormous maximum medium format apertures.
The portability and incredible image quality of the GFX medium format system is making it very popular in the field.
Fujinon has been making premium cine lenses for videographers for years. Available in the FUJIFILM X-Mount and Sony E-Mount is the MK pair of zoom cine lenses. The Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 and Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 lenses are identically sized and designed for Super 35 Format filmmaking. These lenses are lightweight when compared to similar cine lenses and even feature an adjustment to tweak the flange distance for use on different types of film cameras. For more information on these cine lenses, check out this First Look video.
What do you shoot?
Are you a wedding or portrait photographer shooting with FUJIFILM gear? What camera and lenses are you using? Or, are you a wedding or portrait photographer thinking about switching to FUJIFILM? Post your answers or questions in the Comments section, below!