Review: Fujifilm XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro Lens

Fujifilm 60mm f/2.4 lens

Design and build

The Fujifilm 60mm f/2.4 lens is the largest among the three prime lens released. Construction is solid. It weighs 215g. It has a 39mm filter thread.

It's not internal focus so the small tube-like part of the lens actually protrudes in and out especially during macro mode.

Fujifilm X-Pro1 with 60mm lens and hood
The included lens hood is huge, almost the size of the lens itself.

Fujifilm X-Pro1 with 60mm lens and hood
Good thing you can reverse mount the lens hood. The lens cap is really small and doesn't feel like it can hold itself tightly on the lens.

There's the convenient aperture ring which starts from f/2.4. The manual focus ring is huge and well damp.

Performance


The colours are gorgeous with the lens.


Sharpness is great and details are remarkable. You can click the image above for the original size.


Depth of field is very shallow. Bokeh is creamy, beautiful.


There's chromatic aberration in the form of purple fringing at wide open f/2.4, which comes less from f/4 onwards.

Autofocus

The AF speed depends on whether you're in macro mode or non-macro mode.

In non-macro mode, it's relatively fast compared to the the 18mm lens and 35mm lens. So it's reasonably fast when you're shooting subjects far away.

In macro mode, AF speed is much slower and there's the tendency for focus hunting.

When you're using the OVF, the frameline box on the X-Pro1 is small, about 20% of the viewfinder. The focus box is comparatively big, and you can't change that size in the OVF. There's a high tendency for the lens to background focus. It's made worst because at this focal length, the parallax error is quite large and sometimes you won't know where your focus box will move, or what it will focus on. You have to shoot with EVF do away with the background focus and improve AF accuracy.

In video mode, AF is not smart and fast enough. And manual focus is a challenge. So recording good video is a big challenge.

Manual focus

Manual focus is fly-by-wire, and the implementation on the X-Pro1 isn't perfect. There seems to be a split/quarter second lag between turning the ring and showing up on the EVF. I've tremendous difficulty manual focusing with this lens because of the lag.



Macro mode




The macro mode magnification is only 0.5x. There's a minimal focusing distance of 26cm stated by Fuji. These two points are limitations to the macro mode.

However in actual use, I find that the minimum focus distance for macro mode is actually around 20cm. So if you're shooting a sensor-size butterfly at 20cm away, you can still fill the whole frame with the butterfly.

You have to engage macro mode to give hint to the camera that you're going to be shooting really close up. But even so, macro mode AF speed is still much slower. It is not uncommon for macro lens to be slow at focusing.


This is the biggest I can make of these ants.

Parallax

For shooting close subjects, parallax error and its adjustment is even more significant than the 35mm lens. In OVF mode, sometimes, the frameline box can move more than half the box's length and breath!

It's highly recommended to shoot in EVF for close subjects.

Using this lens also makes me realize that lens longer than 60mm is probably not going to work well in OVF mode on the X-Pro1.

Quirks

One major issue I have with this lens is the AF point selection box. The AF point selection box is much larger than the frameline box. When you select a crosshair, that location is used to map the focus box inside the frameline box. Say you're shooting a portrait with the AF crosshair selection on someone's left eye. When the focus box will map nearer to the nose in the frameline box, and that is before the adjustment for parallax. It's an issue for near and far subjects.

Other lens also use the same AF selection box, but there's no such issue because their frameline box are much bigger. Fuji should make the AF point selection grid the same size as the focus box grid for the 60mm lens.

There's also the clicking aperture blades, but they are much softer than the 35mm lens.

Conclusion



The 90mm equivalent makes this a nice portrait lens. While Fujifilm markets this lens as a macro lens, it's limited by its minimal focus distance and 0.5x magnification mode. It's not bad as a macro lens, but they could have been a true macro by bringing it to 1:1 magnification.

The images produced by the lens is undeniably remarkable.

The only downer is the OVF parallax error which can't be help. Shooting interchangeably between close and far subjects require constantly changing of mindset regarding where to focus with the focus box.

Overall 4.5 out of 5 stars

At a glance
+ Well built
+ Aperture ring on lens
+ Sharp wide open
+ No vignetting
+ Dreamy bokeh
+ Comes with lens hood
- Small lens cap difficult to pinch
- Noisy focusing
- Not internal focus
- Chromatic aberration at wide open
- Focus hunting not uncommon during macro mode
- Manual focus has a split/quarter second lag
- In OVF mode, there's tendency to background focus
- Significant adjustment for parallax error for close subjects

Availability

Fujifilm XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro Lens is available on Amazon (US | JP)

Be sure to check out more reviews on Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for this post, great review, Fujinon XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro is great for macro shots, as i can see the photos are amazing, but do you need to use filters after?i was suggested to use https://macphun.com/focus did you hear about this filter?

    ReplyDelete