Fujifilm released a new lens into their affordable XC lineup: the €/$200 Fujinon XC 35mm f/2. Immediately, being the cheap man that I am, I got really excited. Finally, a prime lens with AF within a reasonable budget for my X-E1 (review of this combo coming very soon!). This release did baffle me for a second, though. Why did they release this lens now?
The last few years, Fuji has been pumping out expensive advancements in photographic magic. The X-Pro3, X-100V, X-T3 and X-T4, let alone the medium format goodness. The release of their cheapest lens yet standing in this lineup seemed weird to me. Fair, another expensive 35mm would have also been odd, but why this cheap?
After a while, it made sense. With the releases of all of Fuji’s new cameras, prices of the ‘older’ models will fall. Discounts, clearance, this is not new when a newer model of anything hits the market. People shopping for discounted, older models, however, probably won’t have the big bucks to spend on the wonderful prime Fuji lenses. Sure, Fuji has released some affordable zoom lenses in the XC lineup, and they are wonderful too, but prime lenses complete the analog-like Fuji experience (in my opinion, and probably those of many others).
The release of an affordable 35mm gives the older Fuji cameras a second wind. It stands right next to the Chinese, manual lens brands like 7artisans, Meike, Kamlan, etc., but with autofocus and an electric aperture. It’s a sharp lens, sharper than most cheap manual lenses I’ve tried. IT’s a very demanded focal length, 50mm equivalent, with a bright aperture. With the release of this lens, you can have an affordable, discounted or second hand, Fuji with autofocus. Their brand audience has been expanded. I have never actually owned an electronic lens for my Fuji X-E1 because the price difference seemed to extreme. Until now. And I expect that the availability of an affordable, Fuji brand prime lens will sway many people towards purchasing a cheaper, maybe older Fuji body. And rightly so.
Personally, I think that this decision by Fuji is absolutely wonderful. It shows that they think about the older models that might otherwise become obsolete. To me, it even shows that they care about people like me, with the really old Fuji stuff. Can’t wait to start using it soon.