Year in Review 2020: FUJIFILM Lenses


Compared to many other manufacturers, FUJIFILM’s strategy has been to skip the trend of full frame by “sandwiching it” and focusing on APS-C-format and medium format mirrorless systems. This unique decision means that FUJIFILM is pressed to keep two lens mounts active to maintain interest for both systems, and 2020 saw FUJIFILM on its game with a series of releases for X and G lens mounts. Its APS-C-size X System is the more mature system and, as such, the company has been focusing on filling in gaps and even repeating focal lengths with updated or alternative lens offerings. The medium format GFX system, on the other hand, is still relatively new, and FUJIFILM is still laying the foundation for this growing format.

XC 35mm f/2

Beginning with FUJIFILM’s sleeper lens of the year, the XC 35mm f/2 is the first XC-series prime lens to be released. Previously, XC lenses were your standard kit zooms, built to be smaller and lighter than XF-types lenses. This new 35mm f/2 changes this up a bit, because it’s a standard-length prime lens and was released alongside the new entry-level X-T200 camera. Its super-sleek size makes it perfect for these smaller camera bodies, and the bright f/2 design is a welcome change from the typically slower designs of kit zooms. This lens also sports a stepping motor for smooth and quick autofocus performance that suits both photo and video shooting.

FUJIFILM XC 35mm f/2 Lens

XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR

FUJIFILM’s spotlight lens release of 2020 has to be the exciting XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR. This portrait-length prime is clearly distinguished by the unique and ultra-fast f/1.0 maximum aperture, which yields super-fine selective focus control for producing shallow-depth-of-field imagery, as well as excels in low-light conditions. As a 76mm-equivalent lens, too, this lens is perfectly poised for portrait applications since the slightly long focal length is flattering to subjects. Click for more information on the FUJIFILM XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR.

FUJIFILM XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR Lens

More than just speed, this lens is also characterized by an advanced optical layout that includes aspherical and low-dispersion elements, which reduce various aberrations for high sharpness and clarity. A DC motor is featured, too, and is up to the task of moving the larger, heavier elements quickly for responsive autofocus performance. Additionally, should your portrait sessions take place in the rain, the 50mm f/1.0 is also dust and moisture sealed.

XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR

The third and final X-mount lens in 2020 from FUJIFILM is the XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR. This 10-24mm f/4 might sound a bit like a lens FUJIFILM X shooters already know and love, and that’s because it essentially is… but this new version features a few key upgrades and revisions from the old, beloved XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS.

FUJIFILM XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR Lens

For starters, this new lens has a weather-resistant build that makes it suitable for use in inclement weather. Considering it’s a wide-angle zoom—perfect for landscape shooting—this is a very useful upgrade. Beyond the added WR, the new lens also sports a locking “A” position on the aperture ring, and its image-stabilization performance has been improved by a stop, for 3.5 stops of stabilization. Aside from these upgrades, the 10-24mm lens has the same optical design and focusing performance as its predecessor, which isn’t a bad thing considering those were the cherished aspects of the former wide zoom.

GF 45-100mm f/4 R LM OIS WR

Moving up to medium format, FUJIFILM added a bit of mature versatility to the system with the GF 45-100mm f/4 R LM OIS WR zoom, which is equivalent to a 36-79mm standard zoom on full-frame. Covering wide angle to short telephoto, this lens fits the system well in terms of it being a one-lens solution to many photographers’ needs. Aside from its focal length flexibility and constant f/4 maximum aperture, it’s also characterized by optical image stabilization that controls up to 5 stops of camera shake to make it an apt choice for handheld shooting. Optically, this 45-100mm features aspherical elements and low-dispersion glass to correct various aberrations throughout the zoom range, and it has a linear motor for smooth and quiet autofocus performance. Click for more information on the FUJIFILM GF 45-100mm f/4 LM OIS WR.

FUJIFILM GF 45-100mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Lens

GF 30mm f/3.5 R WR

Closing out FUJIFILM’s optics announcements for the year is the GF 30mm f/3.5 R WR lens, which is a relatively compact and lightweight ultra-wide prime, offering a 24mm equivalent focal length. This lens complements the other sleek GF primes for the system, including the 63mm, 50mm, and 45mm options, and serves as a go-to wide-angle option. Two ED elements and two aspherical elements correct color fringing and spherical aberrations, and a dedicated compact focusing group helps to retain a smaller form factor while also promoting responsive focusing. Additionally, like the 45-100mm, this lens is dust, freeze, and moisture resistant, making it perfect for outdoors shooting applications. Click for more information on the FUJIFILM GF 30mm f/3.5 R WR.

FUJIFILM GF 30mm f/3.5 R WR Lens

What are your thoughts on Canon’s lens releases from 2020? What’s your pick for its lens of the year? What are you hoping to see from the company in 2021? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below.