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  • Writer's pictureKanishka Sarangi

The Fuji Nifty- Fifty: XC35MM F2

Fujifilm xc 35mm f2 is an apt contender for what we call a nifty fifty. Its elder sibling the XF 35 mm F2 does not fit the criteria for the said term. Well, there are obvious reasons for it, the latter is expensive, built like a tank…so on and so forth but image there a difference? I am happy to say no, the XC is exactly the same as that of the XF. So what is this XC 35MM F2 all about. Well, let's find out.

Hello everyone, my name is Kanishka and welcome to my website I am a street and documentary photographer and a Fujifilm user. I have had a chance to own and use quite a few Fujinon lenses, and I am yet to find out an “Optically bad” fuji lens. Well, this article is not about Fuji lenses in general but the xc 35mm f2, so let me not digress form the topic.

I shall be referring to the XC 35MM F2 as “XC” in the rest of this write up.

In short the XC is an affordable version of the XF. Both the lenses are identical in their optical formula. Hence in terms of image quality, there is absolutely no difference, at least for me, from using this lens for over 5 months now, over diverse shooting conditions. The differences are apparent in the way this lens is built and that’s a deciding factor if you want to buy this lens or not. I have never owned the XF 35mm f2 but have used it countless times and love it, so you may ask, why did I buy the XC version.. The simple answer is the cost factor.

If you are a prospective buyer for this lens, there are three aspects that you should base your buying decision on:

  1. Is aesthetics important for you?

  2. Are you a care free user ?- you are rough enough handling your lenses and cameras.

  3. Cost

Let's talk about the first point. If you are a user who loves the metal build of the fuji lenses. The substantial weight, the clickable aperture ring…you shouldn’t be buying this lens. This lens is plasticky, has little or no weight to it. For many who prefer a light weight lens, this is a perfect fit. I am one of them. Honestly when I couple it with my XPRO3 or XT30, I just love the combo. You should see how small and unobtrusive this lens is. I have been trying to use the 50mm focal length more these days, I mean using a wide angle is easy. The 50mm restricts as to what we can include in the frame, that makes us more selective and strive towards getting that shot. Selectivity is what photography is all about! I don’t agree to the fact that 50mm can only be used for portraiture. Henry Cartier Bresson one of the legends in street photography used this focal length and nothing lens. Let me come back to the topic. This lens is brilliant as a small, lightweight, optically amazing lens. But again, for some this shall not cut the corn.

Are you someone who handles his gear roughly. Then this lens is not for you. The lens is plastic built and does feel flimsy. Also I feel, if you drop the lens, it might not withstand the force. The lens mount is also plastic and has no weather resistance. Also if you are going to use this lens on a daily basis, I mean you prefer this focal length and this is the only lens you have in your bag, then I shall suggest to go with the XF version. For me I don’t use this lens very frequently. I am a 28mm shooter, and this lens stays mounted in my second body for occasional portraits or scenes on the streets. This is primarily the reason I went with the XC. Don’t get me wrong, it's absolutely fine, and working pretty well for me.

The third and the final point is the cost factor. This for many is crucial. If you are on a budget and want that lovely 35mm sharpness from Fuji, this is the lens to go for. This lens is roughly one third the cost of the XF version. I mean, let's think about it this way, we are getting that lovely optical quality of a 35 mm Fujinon in a much cheaper package. So what, if we have to make compromises on the build quality, at the end of the day, the final outcome - the image is what matters.

Now that I have given you my view point on this lens, also by now, I believe you should be in a position to make a decision. Let's see some images that I have clicked with this lens.

Some images of my daughter!

This is an amazing lens for the price. I hope you find this writeup helpful. You can DM me on instagram if you have any queries.

Until next time, stay safe and healthy!

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