As these cameras have an APS-C format sensor, the XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR’s effective focal length is 50mm. That makes it a standard lens, often referred to as a ‘nifty fifty’. As such, it’s suitable for a wide range of photography including environmental portraiture, street and documentary.
The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR produces very high-quality images with impressive sharpness that is maintained extremely well throughout the aperture range and into the corners of the frame. It’s a lens that you can use with confidence at any aperture, but the best results are produced between f/2.0 and f/8. Flare can be an issue, but the deep lens hood that’s provided helps keep it in check.
- 'A' lock on the aperture ring
- Excellent sharpness into the corners
- No declick option for the aperture ring
- Flare can be an issue
- Almost twice the weight of the XF 35mm F1.4 R
What is the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR?
- Product type: Wide prime lens (standard on APS-C format)
- Announced: 2nd September 2021
- Mount: Fujifilm X
- Focal length: 33mm
- Effective focal length: 50mm
- Maximum aperture: f/1.4
- Minimum aperture: f/16
- Construction: 15 elements in 10 groups with 2 aspherical and 3 ED (extra low dispersion) elements
- Diaphragm blades: 9
- Minimum focus distance: 30cm
- Maximum magnification: 0.15x
- Filter size: 58mm
- Length: 73.5mm
- Weight: 360g
While it has a different focal length, the Fujifilm XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR is almost identical in design to the XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR and it’s also constructed from 15 elements but they are arranged in 10 groups rather than 9. There are also two aspherical elements and three Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) elements, all designed minimise aberrations and maintain image quality into the corners of the frame.
The letters ‘R’, ‘LM’ and ‘WR’ in the lens’ indicates that it has an aperture ring (R), linear motor focusing and it’s weather-resistant (WR). In fact, Fujifilm has put weatherseals at 11 locations around the XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR, including the mount.
The focusing mechanism is also internal so the lens doesn’t change length during focusing and the front element doesn’t rotate, which is good news if you’re using a polarising or graduated filter. According to Fujifilm, the focusing takes as little as 0.04 seconds.
Build and handling
Fujifilm knows how to make lenses that feel good and the Fujifilm XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR is a great example. It has a solid-feeling metal barrel while its weight of 360g seems appropriate to a high-quality optic.
The broad focusing ring sits towards the front element and it moves with a smooth, satisfying action. It’s perfectly positioned for use as you support the camera.
As the focusing is by wire, there are no physical end points to the focusing movement, and there’s no distance scale on the barrel, but one pops up in the viewfinder and on the screen when the ring is rotated.
Further back, towards the lens mount, there’s the narrower aperture ring which rotates with subtle clicks. It has markings running from f/1.4 to f/16 and can be adjusted in 1/3EV steps. It also features an ‘A’ for auto lock that sets the camera to select the aperture value. There’s a small button on the ring that has to be pressed before it can be rotated away from the A setting. That means you want accidentally set an aperture value when you think the camera is in charge.
I used the XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR on the Fujifilm X-Pro3 and Fujifilm X-T30 II, both of which have Intelligent Hybrid AF and the lens gets subjects in focus very quickly and quietly. It’s not ideally suited to sport or action photography, but it is able to cope with quite fast moving subjects.
As well as being fast, the Fujifilm XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR’s focus mechanism is sent and focus breathing is controlled well.
Even at the widest aperture of f/1.4, there’s a good level of sharp detail at the centre of the frame and it’s maintained extremely well into the corners of the frame. Closing down the aperture to f/2.0 increases the sharpness a little, but the difference isn’t noticeable at normal viewing sizes. The sharpness continues through the rest of the aperture range with only a hint of the effect of diffraction at f/16. Consequently, you can use the XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR with confidence at any aperture.
If the profile that’s applied to the raw files when they’re opened in Adobe Camera Raw is turned off, there’s some vignetting visible in images captured at the widest aperture, and there’s a hint of pin cushion distortion. When the profile is turned on, however, there’s only a suggestion of vignetting and the curvilinear distortion vanishes. The profile is applied by default and while the lens is by no means a bad performer without it, it makes sense to make use of it.
I haven’t seen any problematic chromatic aberrations in the images that I’ve shot with the XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR, but flare is a different matter. Fujifilm supplies the lens with a plastic lens hood that is more than half of the length of the lens. I’d advise keeping this on at all times because if sunlight passes across the front element of the lens there is pronounced flare. This manifests itself as areas of reduce contrast, bright spots and coloured patches within the image. Using the lens hood significantly reduces the risk of flare, but as usual, you can still encounter it when the sun is within the frame. When the sun is more perpendicular to the front element, you see fewer colours and bright spots, and the flare can be used for creative effect.
Shooting at F/1.4 delivers nicely out of focus background with with attractive bokeh. Small highlights are circular and they maintain this shape well into the corners of the frame. They also don’t suffer from obvious artefacts.
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR sample images
The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR is another solid addition to the Fujifilm’s XF lens range. It feels great and delivers excellent-quality images. At 360g, it’s almost twice the weight of the XF 35mm F1.4 R, and it’s 23.1mm longer longer, but it still feels well-matched with the X-T30 II and X-Pro 3. Nevertheless, if you already have the XF 35mm F1.4 R and you want to keep your kit size down, you are btter off sticking with wwat you have.