Why the Fujifilm 110mm f/2 WR is Such a Brilliant Lens

I've used a lot of lenses over the years, some good, some bad, but the vast majority comfortably in between. This lens, however, doesn't fit in any of those three camps.

I have harked on about this piece of glass for about 15 months now, to the point where I sound as if Fuji are asking me to (they aren't.) I've used a handful of lenses in my life that have truly resonated with me and left me wanting to shoot over and over. One is the Canon 135mm f/2 L (Lord of the Red Rings) which I had high hopes for after seeing an abstract photographer (that is, a photographer who shoots abstract imagery!) creating such beautiful prints with one; it exceeded these hopes. The second, however, is the subject of this video by Mattias Burling: the Fujifilm 110mm f/2 WR.

You can watch the video for Burling's thoughts, but here are the reasons why I love it, all of which I've mentioned at some point before: it's tack sharp, it's the perfect focal length for medium format, the out of focus areas look delicious, and it's perfect. Alright, the last one's a stretch, but it is the best lens I've ever used; I couldn't take a bad shot with it. I don't much like the philosophy of putting every lens to its widest and snapping away, but it's hard not to with the 110mm. I can't remember ever enjoying a lens more, which is why it went in my Desert Island Discs photography challenge.

Have you used this lens? What did you think?

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I had it on my radar until Fuji released 45-100mm f/4. I like the bokeh of f/4 better than the f/2. Of course the f/2 has its own use and many would love it.

Between 110 f/2 and 120 f/4, I think I'd go for the 120mm f/4 for it's added macro benefits. However the 110 f/2 portraits are really good. But 45-100 isn't bad, at least for my studio and outdoor portraits purposes.

For gfx beginners, id recommend to start with 45-100 (portraits and landscapers) or 32-64 (for landscapes and portraits). Their primes are specialized and offers better IQ, but between all of these lenses, unless you are consistently shooting at anything less than f/4 (about 20-30%) of your photos, it's better to stick to their amazing zooms and perhaps the 45mm f/2.8.

Of course, this is just my thinking.

I have both 110mm f2 and 120mm f4 along with 32-64mm. 110mm is class of its own. I shoot most of my portraits with it and unless I am in the studio, they are at f2. 120mm f4 is not the same. 45-100 is mainly studio lens, not for outdoors IMHO. I have used 32-64mm a few times, one of the nicest zooms but I just wish it was f2.8. Yes, bigger, more money but then again if I wanted something smaller, lighter, cheaper, I would have kept the Fuji XF.

The 110 is an excellent lens, personally I like the bokeh at f4 than f2 which is why I went for 45-100f4.

My portrait works are studio and then landscapes and so these fits well. It is true that sometimes I wish I had the f2 for specific shots, but those requirements are less for me.

My need for 120 f4 is for it's macro than anything else. Plus I like the f4 bokeh and so I can't complain.

Zooms are not going to be as good as primes. But, the GF zooms are very good (except maybe the 100-200) unless you are very specific about sharpness (I am not, I don't strive to have razor sharp images and when I do, it's usually for the landscapes and I have an option of stacking).

The 32-64 is an odd focal range of choice in it's zoom (overlap). Fuji could have gone 24-45, but maybe they went 32-64 to keep the weight down, not sure. It is another excellent lens that I like.

If I have a specific portraits need, I have my 45mm f2.8. lately I have used it very less.

Paul Sokal's picture

I have both the 110 and the 45-100. The zoom is a good all purpose lens but doesn't have the sharpness or bokeh of the prime in my experience. I agree the 110 f2 is an incredible lens.

Darren Loveland's picture

I agree about your note on the Canon 135mm f/2. I absolutely love that lens for a wide variety of purposes. Distance landscapes, detail shots and portraits. I shoot all of my outdoor portraits with it now over the 85mm f/1.4