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Review: Fuji 60mm f/2.4 Macro XF Lens

Rounding out the telephoto end of the X-Mount system, the Fuji 60mm f/2.4 macro lens also adds more serious close-up capabilities to the Fuji system. At the equivalent 90mm focal length on full-frame, the Fuji 60mm is positioned perfectly to tackles portrait work and macro shooting both.

In this review of the Fuji 35mm f/1.4, we take a look at an analysis of the image quality, optical character and plenty of sample images.

X-Mount Lens Overview

For an overview of the X-Mount system that deals with the overall handling and general performance of Fuji’s XF lenses, see my comprehensive X-Mount lens review. And if you haven’t already, please see my in-depth review of the Fuji X-Pro1 Mirrorless Camera.

The Macro & Portrait Lens –  In The Box

Design

Image Quality

Strengths

The Fuji 60mm f/2.4 is optically excellent. Contrast and sharpness are never lacking at any aperture. Like the Fuji 35mm f/1.4, the 60mm is a lens that will deliver crystalline sharpness across the frame after f/4.

While the 60mm is the slowest lens in the XF lineup in terms of aperture size, it’s also beautifully usable at f/2.4 – the only real reason to stop down with this lens is for added depth of field. You’re safe to shoot wide open with this lens all day long, rest assured.

Weaknesses

The focusing speed of the Fuji 60mm f/2.4 is most likely the slowest out of the group of initial lenses, a problem which is made more prominent at closer distances. For focusing past several meters, performance is more on par with the Fuji 35mm f/1.4.

In addition, an additional weakness of the Fuji 60mm is the poor manual focus experience, though this is due to the fly-by-wire implementation of manual focus across the XF lineup and not truly particular to this lens.

Character

Regarding character, the rendering of the 60mm is generally quite smooth, both in terms of focus gradations and out of focus elements. For close-up work, this is even more true and the Fuji 60mm f/2.4 delivers gorgeous character. Overall, the 60mm f/2.4 generally has the smoothest character out of the three initial X-Mount primes from Fuji.

Sample Images

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/250 sec at f/2.4 and ISO 200

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/500 sec at f/2.8 and ISO 200

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/250 sec at f/2.4 and ISO 200

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/250 sec at f/5.6 and ISO 200

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/200 sec at f/2.4 and ISO 200

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/250 sec at f/3.2 and ISO 200

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/250 sec at f/2.8 and ISO 200

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/125 sec at f/2.4 and ISO 200

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/200 sec at f/2.4 and ISO 400

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/250 sec at f/2.4 and ISO 200

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/500 sec at f/8 and ISO 200

Fuji 60mm f/2.4 – 1/640 sec at f/2.4 and ISO 200

Rating

  • Image Quality: 5/5
  • Rendering Character: 5/5
  • Focusing Speed: 3/5

Conclusion

The Fuji 60mm f/2.6 is optically a fantastic lens, and may well be the sharpest out of the current group. While it’s AF performance is just a hair behind the other lenses, it’s character and optical performance are just so good that it’s a non-issue. In addition, the AF performance at distance is pretty much on-par with the other XF lenses. At closer and macro distances, AF for any lens is going to be weaker and this is where MF takes over anyway, so again, the AF performance is a non-issue.

While all of the current Fuji XF lenses offer very close focusing, if you want a lightweight and optically superior lens for the Fuji X-Pro1, the Fuji 60mm f/2.4 is a stellar lens with beautiful character.

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There are 3 comments

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  1. Spike

    Todd, you sort of touched on the problem with this lens towards the end of your review – the really slow autofocus. Yes, you can get great shots of stationary objects, but once you try to shoot things that are moving, the lens just can’t keep up. It is not a non-issue in my opinion.

    Since I can rarely get media passes to big name concerts, I thought I’d try bringing along my Fuji with the 60mm for the Stone Roses gig in Hong Kong. I shot for two hours and got nothing worthwhile.

    Given my distance from the stage and the ever present security, the focus assist lamp had to be turned off and probably wouldn’t have helped anyway. With autofocus set at S and then at C, the lens just kept hunting and hunting and never settling in. I finally went for manual focus, a real pain on the X-Pro1, and got almost but not quite okay shots. I think I would have done better with the Sony RX100.

    http://spikesphotos.com/2012/07/25/fuji-x-pro1-fuji-60mm-lens-useless-for-concert-photography/

    • Todd

      Hey Spike,

      I think that this is less a specific issue with the Fuji 60mm f/2.4 and more one with the Fuji X-Pro1 in general. The reason there are no live music photos here is that it’s simply not a tool I would use for any of my music photography work if given the choice.

      I think for general shooting, the lens works well. As you clearly articulate, it’s just not a lens – or camera – cut out for action, unfortunately.

      • Spike

        Honestly Todd, it’s really frustrating. I can’t afford more than two cameras (and two sets of lenses is really pushing it already!). I want my second camera to be as versatile as my first (a D800). At the moment I’m sticking it out with the Fuji but carefully reading every OM-D review and also thinking “what if my second camera was just a smaller DX Nikon?” The fact that the Fuji is such an object of beauty and that I love the controls on it is what keeps me sticking with it.


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