Before all else, I would like to thank Mr. Keitaro So, Divisional Head of Fujifilm for providing the loan for X-E4 and XF33mm F1.4. The units were loaned from Fujifilm Asia Pacific and had returned back to them.
1. All the shots taken here are shot by me.
2. Some of the shots are straight out of the camera while others are edited via In-Camera Raw Processing and Adobe Lightroom Classic.
3. I reserve ownership of these images, if you wish to use my images, please notify me.
XF35mm F1.4 is one of the “epic” lenses that Fujifilm ever created. On paper, it is not the perfect lens but to many photographers, it is much more than just perfect. I am one of them. XF33mm F1.4 is by no means to replace the magical characteristic of XF35mm F1.4. But I believe it will be the magical lens for the next decade.
In this review, I will discuss less technical and more on my personal experience with the lens itself. At the same time, as much as possible, I will try not to compare the XF33mm F1.4 with the XF35mm F1.4. It is not a fair comparison by any means. So I hope I can achieve a more independent review of this new lens.
One last thing before I start my review, here is my suggestion to all the X-E4 users. If you are interested to buy this lens after reading this review, I will recommend you to use an additional grip to have better overall balance when you equip this lens with your X-E4.
For a start, it is made in Philippines. But we should dismiss that the product is poorly produce if the product is made in other countries other than Japan. To be honest, this metal- built lens is fantastic and I can feel it is a great quality lens when I hold it in my hand. The manual focus ring has a gentle smooth rotation. The aperture ring has that same nice and gentle clicky feedback when you are rotating it. Like the newer lenses, it has also come with the “A” (Auto) position lock which locks the aperture ring and prevents any accidental movement. Also, it comes with a plastic hood instead of the metal square hood that XF35mm F1.4 has.
It comes with a 58mm filter size. The weight distribution throughout the lens is good and I can’t really tell it actually weighs 360 grams when I am holding it. There are some 3rd party lenses that are slightly lighter than this lens feel heavier.
Like all the new XF lenses, the XF33mm F1.4 also equips itself with the weather-resistant. This is a good direction from Fujifilm because it does help the photographer to have one thing to less worry about.
Fast, accurate, and silent are the 3 keywords that best describe this gem. It is probably one of the lenses that nail the subject so fast that I sometimes wonder if I have half-press the shutter. Even under dim light conditions, I did not notice the focusing speed slowing down at all.
I even test this lens with an X-E3 which has the previous generation X-Trans sensor. The lens performs is exactly the same as the one with X-E4. At least, I am not able to notice the difference in terms of speed.
The image quality coming out from this lens is absolutely stunning! The results coming out of this lens is incredibly crisp and sharp. Basically, I did not notice any flaw with these mind-blowing images.
The foreground and background blur fall off very smoothly, creamy, and gently. This is one of the nicest bokeh that I can recommend photographers to use this lens to shoot wide open. Besides that, I also hardly notice any distortion, vignetting, and obvious chromatic aberration.
Minimum Focus Distance & Magnification
This is one of my favorite parts because this is one of the features when I am looking for a lens. Its minimum focus distance (MFD) is 30 cm which is pretty impressive. I love to shoot close up for certain subjects and understanding the MFD of this lens will allow me to visualize what result I can achieve.
Side By Side
On photos, the XF 33mm F1.4 may look bigger than XF 35mm F1.4 but please do not deceive by its size. It is actually relatively small and compact when you look at it on its own. Nevertheless, the lens hood indeed makes the lens looks much taller than it is.
Apart from that, XF35mm F1.4 is noisier, slower (depends on which camera body you are mounting with), and more retro style to me.
Who is this for?
XF35mm F1.4 is here to stay and will continue selling side by side with the XF33mm F1.4. Both lenses are fantastic and have their pro and con. As a wise photographer, you know what works best for you and your budget.
From my standpoint, if you do not own the XF35mm F1.4 and you are into street, documentary, and/or portrait photography, then the XF33mm F1.4 is a wiser choice to have. Its accuracy, fast focusing speed, and fantastic image quality are something that I think you will love it. Yes. it is more expensive but I think it is worth to be part of your arsenal.
If you own the XF35mm F1.4, it is really up to you if you want to sell it away and purchase this lens. Personally, I will keep my XF35mm F1.4 a little longer with me.
XF33mm F1.4 is really excellent and I am undoubtedly impressed by its optical and focusing performance. This lens also show how much effort are the engineers in Fujifilm had put in and raises the bar of what flagship APS-C lenses can be. If I have to point out the disadvantage of this lens, it will be the price of this lens. Like Mr Shinichiro Udono said in the X Summit, the XF33mm F1.4 should become Fujifilm new “epic” lens.
Thank you for reading.
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