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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2013
It took me a while to learn how to shoot with the Fuji 27mm lens on the X-M1 camera, especially in low light, after being "spoiled" by the fantastic in-body image stabilization (IBIS) on my Olympus OM-D EM5 camera. With the OM-D and 17mm F2.8 pancake, I can manage a sharp handheld shot at 1/4 second exposure, sometimes even as low as 1/2 second. Due to the lack of optical image stabilization on Fuji prime lenses, I typically need a minimum of 1/30 second exposure on my X-M1 and 27mm lens to get an image of similar sharpness.

Once I got the hang of using the Fuji 27mm lens on my X-M1 (with Auto ISO set at 200-6400 and 1/60 minimum shutter), I have become pretty impressed with the quality of images this lens is able to produce. Given that this is a pancake lens, it is not intended for professional work. Yet it seems to do many things remarkably well, from casual portraiture, to street photography, to landscapes.

The build quality and feel of this lens is good, on par with the Olympus 17mm F2.8 pancake. The fact that the Fuji 27mm lens lacks an aperture dial does not bother me as it apparently does to some Fuji X veterans.

While I generally prefer a slightly wider field of view, ideally 35mm equivalent, the 41mm equivalent field of view of the Fuji 27mm lens is still reasonably wide enough for street photography. It can also double as a "normal" lens, since it is not too far off from the 50mm field of view. And I now am appreciating the usefulness of this lens.

This lens is quite sharp at F2.8 in the center, with only slight corner softness. It is certainly sharp enough for portraits, where corner softness should not matter as much. The sweet spot seems to be between F5.6 and F8, where it is tack sharp in the center and has much improved corner sharpness (although still not on par with my Panasonic-Leica 25mm lens). But this works great for daytime street and landscape photography, because the aperture can be set at F5.6 and you are good to go.

The contrast on the Fuji 27mm lens is slightly better than on my Olympus 17mm pancake, and it also does not suffer from the chromatic aberration of the Olympus. Skin tones and micro contrast is quite good, about as good as that on the Olympus 17mm pancake, but not nearly at the same level of my Panasonic-Leica 25mm lens.

Lens flare on the Fuji 27mm is better controlled than on my Olympus 17mm pancake.

Bokeh (a subjective thing) on this lens is pretty decent, but slightly edged out by both my Olympus 17mm pancake and Panasonic Leica 25mm in terms of "dreaminess", er, "creaminess" that bokeh aficionados rant about. (NOTE: I don't have any other Fuji prime lenses to compare bokeh with).

On the downside, the minimum focus distance is about 14", which makes the lens unusable for macro work.

The lens is also noisier and slightly slower to focus than my Olympus 17mm pancake, especially in low light.

For night street photography, I still prefer taking my Olympus OM-D with either the 17mm F2.8 or the 25mm F1.4, due to the OM-D's IBIS. (And this is no fault of the Fuji 27mm lens itself, which is a good match for the Olympus 17mm F2.8 in terms of image quality). For portraiture, I prefer my PL 25mm. For "one size fits all" solution, though, the Fuji 27mm and the X-M1 seems to be more my preferred choice because I can count on the generally excellent image quality this combination can deliver.

In summary I think this lens achieves what it has been designed to do, to be a sharp, capable, "go anywhere", compact prime lens with excellent image quality. The Fuji 27mm lens with the X-M1 camera is an excellent compact package for family, landscape and street photography.

Please see my comment in this review for a link to my recent pictures taken with this lens, mostly under less than ideal lighting conditions.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2014
Great for my style of street photography. Very discreet. Good picture quality. Probably won't rival the best of Leica, Canon, Nikon, or Zeiss. But in practice, its plenty good enough. I use it with the XM-1 to buld myself a very compact camera that looks like a P&S. Most people do not even notice I was taking their pictures.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 27, 2013
This is an early review of the Fujifilm XF 27mm "pancake" lens. I'll update it in a few months.

I've owned the XE-1 for a year and absolutely love the camera. Images are excellent. I've got the 18-55mm zoom, which is a very nice lens. And, compared to the camera body, it is heavy and bulky, which gives you a heavy camera to carry around and a very conspicuous camera (nothing says "I'm taking pictures of you" like a long lens). I had an idea that the 27mm would give a very different experience.

And, it does. The 27mm is amazingly small and light weight. The entire camera has been transformed into a compact, light, slim, inconspicuous bundle. Autofocus is blazingly fast (not that autofocus speed is the be-all and end-all of camera metrics, but it does stand out). Manual focus, with focus peaking, is a snap. The f2.8 aperture gives shallow depth of field, more than I would have expected at this focal length. Image quality is very good. 27mm makes a very interesting portrait lens, a very compelling and natural focal length for point of view images.

I think Fujifilm has a winner here. It will likely offend pixel peepers, but it's not that kind of lens. Fujifilm has some excellent primes for those who demand outstanding technical images, and they are about double the price of this lens. This lens gives me a second camera, one for walking around and informal shooting. The overall light weight and small size don't shout out "hey, there's a camera over here!" which allows for more candid shots.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This is a great addition to a Fuji X lens set. It's tiny, light, and, when on sale, very reasonably priced. It has no image stabilization, and although it is an "XF" model (the higher-end lenses in the Fuji lineup) it is made in China, not Japan, like the other "XF" lenses are. It's a bit noisy during autofocus, too. But, cutting to the chase, if you are looking for a prime in this range, you'll likely not be disappointed. Images are sharp as can be, color is good, and you'll likely be pointing this thing at everything in sight due to its lightness and diminutive size. When it's on sale, as Fuji does every half-year or so, it's a great bargain, and it's the type of lens that you'll likely be happy about once you start looking over your photos. In spite of its slight shortcomings, its a wonderful addition to the Fuji line.

If you have not yet looked into the Fuji X system (be it the entry X-A1/X-M1 all the way to the X-T1) it's worth your time to investigate. It's one of the most remarkable systems with which I've worked, and the quality of the images are so good that it is almost shocking at times. This really does include the entry camera X-A1, which knocks out superb images even with the plasticky XC 16-50mm kit lens (I use that lens all the time, along with the XF lenses), and when you consider the price reductions that repeatedly occur (the X-A1 with the kit lens has been at $450 for some time now), the system can really be cost competitive. Some of the "XF" lenses get quite pricey, but the reviews on them are almost uniformly excellent, and they can produce images that compete with the best of the biggest brands. These lenses are routinely compared with Zeiss and Leica lenses, and my own experience lets me see why. It's worth looking into, if you have not yet done so.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2014
Bought it when it was on sale for $199. Probably best pancake lens in the market across all mirrorless formats at that price.
At $400, not a bang for the buck but still a good lens to have, given the compact size and optical quality. Image quality comparable to Panasonic's popular 20mm f1.7. This lens is mounted on my X-A1, 90% of the time and since X-A1 is perfectly usable at ISO6400. f2.8 is suitable for most of indoor /dim light use and I am not missing 18mm f2.0 that much..
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2013
This 27mm pancake lens with a 35mm equivalent of 41mm angle of view produces well defined photographs with accurate color representation. It weighs practically nothing. The lens is intended for non-obtrusive photographic moments. The aperture is controlled by the wheel on the back of the camera, not with an aperture ring.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2014
This is a great little lens. As other have stated don't pay MSRP. The autofocus is not what I would call graceful, but it punches out reliably focused sharp/contrasty photos rather quickly. I suspect the people who are complaining about the autofocus have mostly pro gear. Make sure your body has the latest firmware! No it's not up to Ultrasonic Canon EF lens auto focusing specs (or Olym m4/3 I've heard), but it's pretty darn good. It's certainly better than my canon 50mm f1.8 (aka the grinder, non-ultrasonic) Others have said don't take pictures of the kids with this lens, but I don't agree. Coupled with Fuji's low sensor noise the F2.8 aperture is adequate. I loved setting my canon EF primes almost fully open, but frequently I paid the price with out of focus shots (moving subjects, action) due to the narrow depth of field F1.8 gives you. This lens sort of cured me of that problem comparing recent outings with the contrasting set ups. Point being is don't shy away because this is not an f2.0 or 1.8 because for a lot of shooting scenarios you won't shoot that wide open anyway and the fuji lens is sharp fully open. The glass is plenty sharp at this price too. If you are looking for an awesome single focal length walk about camera on a budget I can recommend the X-E1 (fall 2014 price are dropping) and this lens. End up having an amazingly cheap and sharp setup with low sensor noise at higher ISO's and a great jpg engine. I'm taking tons of pictures and enjoying the results without feeling like I have to tweak every photo (canon). I'm new enough to the Xtrans sensor and this lens that I'm still giddy when the camera makes a good photo out of low cruddy light. It's not a miracle worker, but I'm certainly having fun.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2014
It is compact and light, razor sharp -especially at the centre- and practically transformed my X-E1 into a discreet walkabout camera. It is a totally enjoyable lens with an attractive angle of view for almost any type of photography. I would very highly recommend this lens to anyone owning X-mount larger cameras, such as the X-E1 or X-Pro1.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
First off, this lens is sharp, sharper than my copy of the Fujifilm 60mm macro or the 35mm f/1.4 that I borrowed to test. It's sharper than the X-100s. To be fair, you can only tell the difference at a pixel-peeping 100% zoom, but I've looked at dozens of shots of the same subject with each of these and the results are consistent.

The 27 also produces very nice contrast and saturation. It's very light and compact. On my X-E1 it makes a package about the same size and weight as the X100S, which makes a very nice carry around unit.

Is the lens perfect? Of course not. It's slightly slow to focus, however, if I were looking for super fast focus I would have a different camera than the X-E1. The field of focus isn't quite flat. That means if you're shooting a brick wall or poster the edges will be a tiny bit soft. Shooting in a three dimensional world it just means that objects a bit closer than the center will be sharp. I don't find that a problem.F/2.8 is a bit slow for a prime, though not bad for a pancake lens. Images are ever so slightly cooler than my other Fuji lenses. I've made a custom preset in Lightroom to handle that at import.

The other concern is cost. This is a very simple lens at a not inexpensive price. I got the lens during Fujifilm's lens sale at about half the current Amazon price. That was a bargain. At over $400 Fuji may be marking the lens up based on reputation rather than production costs. Still, know the lens as I do now, I'd buy it retail if I had to replace it.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2013
I have used this lens since I get my camera. I have not even shot a picture with the kit lens yet. Ok I probably did, but put it away after this baby showed up. This lens is compact and a great addition to the X-M1 camera. I don't like bulk when I'm around town taking pictures and this thing is probably the most discrete lens out there.
This lens is perfect for taking landscape shots and portraits. I sometimes wish it was just a little wider, I often find that I am close to the subject and don't have the room to backup. Especially in more intimate settings like a restaurant. I have to settle because going wider will add bulk, from the current primes. I uploaded some pictures I took with the XM1 and the lens. (look at the product images.)
review image review image review image review image
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