Been crazy busy but wanted to put a short post about my first real-world experience with the Fuji 35mm f/2 WR. Most of my predictions about use and how it compares to the 18-55 in the same range hold up.
It's a gorgeous lens both physically and in it's imaging characteristics as are all or the Fuji X-system lenses I own so far. Handling the XT-1 with the 35mm f/2 took a bit of adjustment as the camera feels completely different with this tiny lens. Not bad, just like a different camera but hey, that's what I wanted.
I did not have the opportunity or desire last week working with Kami to go out and about on the street to see how I felt about my new found discreteness — even if that's all in my head compared to the 18-55mm XF. I did use it to play around with the same abstract crops I did with Alicia at around 35mm on the 18-55mm last time I played with this sort of thing.
In use it tends to flare a bit less than the 18-55 when your light source hits the front of the lens obliquely. The 35mm f/2 may also have a bit more contrast in all situations. Honestly it's really hard to tell unless you do side by sides under much more controlled conditions. The less flare in certain situations is very noticeable since I work without a hood.
The 35mm f/2 WR is everything I wanted it to be. I didn't expect worlds of difference between it and the 18-55mm in terms of night/day results for real-world shooting. I did expect something super small, discrete, super quiet (like the 18-55, in fact might be just as quiet or even more so). That's exactly what I got.
What I didn't expect was the aperture ring. I've heard rave reviews about how great the feel of it is. How Fuji has finally got the feel right, etc. It may be too early to tell but I really don't like the feel. Sure it's a bit tighter but it lacks the precision feel of all of my other Fuji X glass. It feels mushy and indistinct. Maybe that will change as I use the ring a bit more? We'll see. Does mine feel different than everyone else's. I doubt it but there is a remote chance. I let you know when I seek out another person that owns one so I can see.
More later. Bottom line: Optically great but not worlds better than the 18-55 in most circumstances. It might be if you shoot test charts. Definitely changes the whole vibe and feel of the XT-1. Super quiet unlike a lot of the other Fuji primes without LM. All good.
All images made with the XT-1 and 35 f/2 WR. Processing via Lightroom CC with VSCO FILM05 BW400CN applied on import.