Fuji have announced their widely anticipated XF23mm f/1.4 lens, and they had a little surprise in store in that it has the same push/pull manual focus selector as the 14mm wide angle.  It also has the depth-of-field scale, which I use surprisingly often on the 14mm.

The only downside…. the last line of the press release…. the price – at £849 it makes it a very expensive XF lens to buy.  Perhaps I’m being paranoid, but I wonder if the pricing is a deliberate attempt to stop sales of the X100S dropping off as a result of this lens becoming available for the X-Pro1 and X-E1.  With the 35mm f/1.4 now at £429 – even the launch price of £549 … it makes you question why a 23mm version at the same f-stop should be twice the price.  I know a lot of people have been questioning the need for an X100S with this lens due out.  I think the price answers that one, and makes the X100S look positively cheap!  I know the X100S is ‘only’ f/2, but you’ve got to really want that extra stop to get this lens and an X-Pro1/X-E1.  No doubt it will be an optically superb lens, but personally I’d still choose and X100S over any of the other X-Series cameras with this lens if what you’re after is a camera with a 35mm equivalent lens.  In fairness to the price, even if the lens was £549 I’d still choose an X100S, but for those people who don’t want another camera I know this lens has been long awaited and I’m sure it will be welcome by a lot of people.

Full press release below.

Fujifilm launches the FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R premium wide-angle lens

The FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R is a premium wide-angle lens designed to maximize the performance of the Fujifilm X-Trans CMOS sensor for the highest picture quality

FUJINON_XF23mm_Lens_Black_Front_3e4b0d1dc9

05.09.2013

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) is proud to announce the launch of the FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R lens for Fujifilm compact system cameras.

FUJINON XF lenses represent the pinnacle of Fujifilm’s optical design technology, with top quality all-glass construction which includes an aspherical lens element. Their fast maximum apertures increase versatility for low-light photography and create scenes with a beautiful bokeh effect, while Fujifilm’s HT-EBC coating reduces reflections over a wider range of wavelengths, thereby controlling flare and ghosting. These advanced optical engineering techniques combine to deliver   full-frame sensor resolution and noise level performance in the highly detailed APS-C sized X-Trans CMOS sensor in FUJIFILM X-mount cameras.

With a focal length equivalent to 35mm in the 35mm format, the FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R is suitable for a wide range of applications including portraits and landscapes as well as more general photography. The fast maximum aperture of f/1.4 allows you to shoot hand-held in low light conditions, where zoom lenses would introduce camera shake, plus it creates beautiful bokeh for artistic images.

Dedicated lens design for use with Fujifilm X-Trans CMOS sensors

  • The new lens design provides enhanced resolving power with high contrast to draw the maximum performance out of the highly descriptive X-Trans CMOS sensor.
  • The fast f/1.4 aperture allows the user to create images with beautiful bokeh and helps reduce blurring in low light conditions.
  • Lens distortion has been reduced to the absolute minimum using only optical rather than digital correction, thereby delivering the highest possible picture quality.
  • The rounded seven-blade diaphragm ensures smooth bokeh even when shooting portraits or product shots at a medium aperture to maintain reasonable depth-of-field.
  • All lens elements are treated with Fujifilm’s multilayer HT-EBC (High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating) which delivers enhanced durability and ensures an even spread of light across the sensor.

Ideal focal length for day to day shooting

  • The versatile focal length equivalent to 35mm in the 35mm format means you can enjoy both a wide-angle and telephoto approach by using your own feet to adjust the distance or angle with the subject matter.

Distance indicator suitable for quick shots

  • The FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R features a camera-to-subject distance indicator and a depth-of-field scale on the barrel. Both are useful when manually pre-focusing to capture a fast moving subject, or minimize the shutter lag to capture a fleeting moment.
  • The minimum working distance of around 28cm also makes this lens ideal for close-up shots

High speed autofocus

  • The lens uses an internal focusing system for high speed autofocus. The focusing lens group consists of three cemented lens elements and one aspheric lens element to keep weight down while the built-in high-torque DC coreless motor delivers ultra-fast AF performance.

Compact size and premium design

  • The FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R weighs 300g and measures just 63mm in length making it the most compact and lightweight lens of its class.
  • Metal parts are used for the focus and aperture rings, which are designed to give just the right amount of torque and feel in use.
  • The large front element gives the premium look of a fast lens, reminiscent of classic lenses from the past.

FUJINON XF23mm Lens Specification Chart

Type XF23mmF1.4 R
Lens configuration 11 elements in 8 groups
(includes 1 aspherical element)
Focal length f=23mm
(35mm format equivalent) (35mm)
Angle of view 63.4°
Max. aperture F1.4
Min. aperture F16
Aperture control
      Number of of blades 7 (rounded diaphragm opening)
      Stop size 1/3EV (22 stops)
Focus range Normal  : 0.6m~∞
Macro  : 28cm ~∞
Max. magnification 0.1 x
External dimensions : Diameter x Length* (approx.)
* distance from camera lens mount flange
φ72mm x  63mm
Weight  (approx. ) (excluding caps and hoods) 300g
Filter size φ62mm

© 2013 Fujifilm UK Ltd. Specifications are subject to change.

UK AVAILABILITY AND PRICING:

The FUJIFILM XF23mm lens will be on sale from October 2013 for around £849.

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