Why I wish Fuji would release some lower cost lenses
While Fujifilm has a reputation for the quality of its lenses, when it comes to its primes, they may be good, but they are expensive. At the moment, while Fuji cameras are competitive, for those on a modest budget, it’s still pretty expensive to build up a collection of lenses. In some focal lengths the cheapest options are still really expensive.
Before you start with the hate mail, I’m not saying that Fuji lenses aren’t worth the price. It’s just that while there are a range of good lenses for Fuji, there’s not a range of options across different price points, and in some cases, the cost of entry is very high, even compared to full frame. Let me give you a few examples. I’ve taken these prices from my local camera store, and while you can probably get them cheaper elsewhere, the price differences will all still be relative.
First up, take the equivalent of 24mm on full frame. This is a popular focal length, and in APS-C terms, the equivalent lens is a 16mm.
For Canon and Nikon DSLRs you can get a Full Frame Sigma Art Lens, a 24mm f/1.4 for €799, which is an extremely well regarded lens.
Canon make their own full frame 24mm f/2.8 for €599
For Sony APS-C there is a sigma 16mm F/1.4 for €499. Sony has a 16mm f/2.8 for APS-C e-mount which is €239.
The cheapest 16mm prime available for Fuji (excluding some manual focus lenses) that I can find is €999.
If you want a 24mm equivalent, the only other less expensive option for the moment is to go with a manual focus lens or one of Fuji’s entry level zooms.
[Update] I had forgotten about this but there is a 16mm f/2.8 listed in Fuji’s roadmap for next year, so hopefully that will be significantly cheaper than the current option. (Thanks to the comments for reminding me)
Next, lets take the popular 50mm focal length on full frame, or 35mm on APSC.
Here, Fuji do have a less expensive f/2 lens, the 35mm f/2 which comes in at €439 which is reasonable, but again, you can get much cheaper options for other cameras.
A Canon 50mm f/1.8 is only €139
A Nikon 50mm f/1.8 is €159
These are just a small few examples. So while some Fuji fans like to point out that with Fuji you can have “full frame quality” at a lower cost because Fujis cameras are much cheaper, the lenses are not, and in some cases even the cheapest option at a particular focal length is very expensive. I know someone will point out that lenses like the Canon 50mm 1.2 are very expensive too, but that’s not the point. I’m not for a second arguing that Fujis lenses aren’t good, or they’re not worth the price, but there are simply no options for those who don’t have the money to spend on Fuji’s more expensive glass.
There’s no reason they couldn’t launch a range of cheaper lenses, or encourage other manufacturers like Sigma to do so. I’ve nothing against their current lenses, they’re excellent glass, but with the recent release of a number of cheaper Fuji cameras, then there’s a big space in the market for some lower cost primes to match. Don’t get me wrong, Fuji’s not the only manufacturer with this problem, and there are many even higher cost lenses on other platforms, but most other platforms have low cost options too. Again, I’m not arguing that Fuji’s lenses aren’t worth it, and they certainly do make high quality glass, but for people wanting to enter into the Fuji system, you need to be aware that the lens options can often be expensive.
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