Choosing between the XF35mm f/1.4 or f/2


So, I’m looking for some primes, and I have already decided to buy the 23mm f/2, since I’m going to be using it almost only for street and documentary and I need it to be stealthy and fast when focusing. But then I want the 35mm, which I’m going to be using for portraiture as well, so I don’t care if it’s bigger or slower when focusing. I’ve heard good things about the 1.4’s quality and bokeh, but also bad things about the focusing noise, so I’m kinda indecisive about which one should I choose.

Any suggestions? If somebody has the luck of having used both, what is your opinion?

Thank you so much!



I haven’t the luck of trying both, but, I’m loving the 1.4 more and more…


I’ve owned both. I sold the F2, more because I needed the money out of it than because it was a bad lens, but equally that was the lens that I decided to sell

I really like the rendering of the 35/1.4

Personally I don’t find the noise that bad, and I use it for street a lot.

But I can see why it could annoy some people, although worth mentioning that no ear is closer to the lens than that of the photographer

The F2 uses more software correction than the 1.4

The aperture ring on the F2 is about a 1000 time’s nicer than the 1.4! (In terms of tactile feedback)

The F2 is softer in the extreme corners (because it’s being corrected for distortion)

The 1.4 is a bit soft away from the centre when used wide, but this is by design - stop it down and it sharpens up

The subject isolation between 35/2 & 35/1.4 isn’t night and day, but the extra stop can be very handy (say 1/60 vs 1/30 or iso 6400 vs 12800)

The F2 has more aperture blades, so “bokeh” is a bit smoother, the 1.4 can offer highly subjective hyperbolic superlatives like 3D pop. Which not everyone sees and agrees with… (I see them :grin:)

To my eye (so YMMV) the F2 has a bit more contrast, a bit more bite straight out of the box, but the 1.4 has a more dreamy look.

I prefer the dreamy look.

Unlike the 23 and 50/56 pairings, the two 35s are relatively comparable on size and price, so you can choose the one you really want, rather than (say) baulk at paying about 70% more for the 23/1.4 than the F2 one costs

I’ve written up a comparison of the two 23s

I’ve just released part one of the 50/56 comparison

And I’ll be writing up the two 35s sooner or later

People get quite evangelical about the 35s. Usually re AF. Which generally speaking is better on the F2

However, worth knowing and not always mentioned, is that the Fujis in single shot AF will always open to the widest aperture during AF acquisition, then stop back down to the working aperture if that’s different

This gives the older 23 and 35 an advantage in low light, even if stopped down to (say) 2.8

Or put another way, the 35/1.4 can hunt and miss focus, but so can the F2!

If your photography lives or dies by AF speed, then the F2 might be the choice, but the 35/1.4 is a lens that basically put the Fujifilm X system on the map, if you fall for the 1.4 rendering then chances are you’ll fall hard :heart:️:blush:


Wow, that review was great! I think I’m going to choose the 1.4 because I don’t care that much about AF speed on the street (I use zone focusing a lot), and I actually prefer to have one extra stop if needed.

Thank you so much mate!



No problem

You followed me on IG today? If so you’ve got some great shots, I even followed you back :joy:


Yes I did! I was curious and I looked for your handle. You also have pretty good shots, congrats!


Most of my portfolio and best images are made with the 35mm F1.4, I’ve used it to death (literally, the aperture ring is now buggy and I might need to repair it). I tried the F2 but I miss something with it. The F1.4 has a soul, a special rendering. I agree 100% with what you said @AdamBonn :ok_hand:


+1 to what @zellersamuel and what @AdamBonn. When I have the time to work with it, the 35mm’s more “dreamy” rendering, as Adam puts it, works so much better for my overall style.

The 35mm f/2 is mostly around just for when I need to do work in crummy weather conditions, though it’s by no means a bad lens.


I’d be curious to read your 23 comparison, and also 50/56 impressions - I checked out your website and your comment history here, but couldn’t track them down. Any chance you could point me in the right direction? :slight_smile:

As far as the 35mm; I currently use the f2, and like it so much I’ve owned 2 copies now. Always tempted by the 1.4, though, and from what I’ve seen and read, I think I would prefer it if I ever got my hands on it; I’m just too paranoid to not use the WR option I think.


Wow that’s a great and complete comparison! @AdamBonn
I agree with you in all the aspects.

The f2 has a faster AF, is really sharp and has a stronger contrast wide open (probably a bit too much for my taste). The 1.4 is a bit slower but at 1.4 it gives a lovely look to the images, the subjects pop out of the photo really well.

As Adam said the corners of the f2 are very soft due to the distorsion digitally corrected, and this is one of the things that made me buy the 1.4 and sell the 2.

X-T2 - 35 1.4 @1.4 in AF-C


take a picture side by side and I’m sure you will notice the much better rendering for portraiture on the 1.4.
Focus is pretty bad on it though.
More or less same goes for the 1.4 vs 2 version as for the 23mm I reviewed here:


Thanks very much!

An indexed (by subject) list of my articles is here

Part one of the 23 v 23 is here

Part one of the 50 v 56 is here


Just had a read through - thanks for sharing! Makes me miss my 23/1.4 and 56/1.2 - starting to regret going with the 23/50 WR this time around… :worried: :relaxed:

Just a heads up, the “Next Page” link from the 50 vs 56 article (part 1) doesn’t seem to be hooked up to part 2; I get a “page not found.”


No thanks for reading!

Link fixed, you’d think that I’d actually proof read it and test the links :blush:

I used to have a reader that every week pointed out all of the to/too mistakes and the terrible syntax and the broken links

Man I miss that guy, I think he gave up, lost the will to live or something


You crack me up haha!


:laughing: :laughing: Well, now that I know you’d rather hear the issues than leave them, I’ll point any others out that I find. Some people get quite grumpy when you point out errors…


It’s all good.

It’s a strange relationship with the world when you “blog” because on the one hand you’re doing it for you, but on the other you kinda want people to read it, and if people read it, then some people are going have things to say about it

You didn’t ask for their comments, but they didn’t ask for your words

(Of course they don’t have to read and you don’t have to respond to their comments)

Most things just crack me up to be honest! In a sort of flat earth theory kinda way, the guy who told me off for using the expression ‘exposure triangle’ another who used my cat photo as a platform to launch a triade against cats

I think that sometimes when people don’t comment on the site, but instead on forums and facebook where a site is mentioned, then they’re a little bit just trying to stick their name into something so that people will see them.

Anyway, I digress

When it comes to fixing bits that I’ve got wrong or don’t work properly, I’m all ears, that helps everybody, so thanks very much


@AdamBonn Agreed, your review here was really interesting as I was looking for one of them 35mm…
I’ll go to check your site and check you on IG .


I haven’t written that one yet!

This month or next I think


I was talking about your point of view here in this feed. :wink:
Though I’ve already read the one about the 56mm. Interesting didn’t know about the APD.