In love with Fujifilm, but glass prices have not been encouraging lately? Looks like you have good news! And we’re not talking about the “Chinese”.
Fujifilm and third parties
Alternative lenses for Fujifilm X are not a very common story. Mainly because the company itself already has an extensive collection of glasses for every taste and budget, and it is difficult to squeeze into this niche. By the way, you can read about the best Fuji lenses here.
Of course, there are exceptions, such as ZEISS, which we often remember about lately. About ten years ago, the Germans released a line of Touit fixes. A few more autofocus glasses are available from Chinese manufacturers, for example, Viltrox.
But recently, such giants have decided to enter this territory, which you usually remember when talking about “third-party lenses”: Tamron and Sigma. And if Tamron has just announced the development of its first zoom for Fujifilm cameras — Tamron 18–300mm f / 3.5–6.3 Di III‑A VC VXD Fujifilm X, then Sigma has already made the first move.
The company has released a trio of prime lenses: Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN and Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN. These are well-known optical designs that have been on the market for quite some time — such lenses were available for Sony E (16mm, 30mm, 56mm) and Canon M (16mm, 30mm, 56mm), and now they are adapted for Fujifilm.
Analogues of the new Sigma in the line of Fujifilm lenses
For the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN, the direct competitor is the Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR, a lens with the same focal length and aperture.
As for the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN, there is no 30mm lens in the Fujifilm line, but there is a brand new 33mm lens — Fujifilm XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR.
And of course Fujifilm has the famous XF 56mm F1.2 R — it’s not exactly the same glass as the Sigma, but very similar.
Case and design
All three Sigma lenses are part of the well-known Contemporary line — all three have a cool metal body and a nice design.
Fujifilm lenses also have an all-metal body and an equally interesting design, but in a retro style that is characteristic of the company.
Sigma models have basic dust and moisture protection in the form of a rubber ring around the bayonet. All three Fujifilm “glasses” also have protection against dust and moisture, as indicated by the letters WR (weather resistеnt — “weather protection”) in the title.
The lenses of the Sigma Contemporary line are quite compact for their focal lengths and apertures. Let’s compare them with Fujikami in terms of weight.
- Fujifilm 16mm f/1.4 — 375 grams.
- Sigma 16mm f/1.4 — 405 grams.
Here Sigma loses slightly, and in practice you are unlikely to notice a difference in weight.
- Fujifilm 33mm f/1.4 — 360 grams.
- Sigma 30mm f/1.4 — 275 grams.
Fujifilm is already “thicker” here, a more complex optical design affects: 15 elements in 10 groups for Fujifilm versus 9 elements in 5 groups for Sigma. How this affects the quality of the picture, we’ll talk below.
- Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 — 405 grams.
- Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN — 280 grams.
Here the difference is even more noticeable, but this is completely logical — Fujifilm is more aperture, which inevitably leads to an increase in weight.
And now an important general point that applies to all presented Sigma and Fujifilm lenses. Sigma glasses have no controls on the body except for the manual focus ring: there is no autofocus / manual focus selection button, there are no custom buttons, but the main problem is there is no aperture setting ring. And this is one of the big problems: it is always difficult to get used to when you switch from a lens that has a manual aperture setting to a model that does not.
Fujifilm, as you might have guessed, has a manual aperture ring on all models. But there are no additional custom buttons either.
Although the X‑mount Sigma glasses have not hit the market yet, we are familiar with their optics from lenses for Sony E and Canon M, so we can easily compare these counterparts without any problems.
Sigma 16mm f/1.4 vs Fujifilm 16mm f/1.4
Both lenses are very sharp, but still the Sigma has a slight advantage in the center and corners.
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 vs Fujifilm 33mm f/1.4
Fujifilm looks a bit sharper here, especially around the edges. Keep in mind that Fujifilm 33mm is a new model with the latest optics and a large number of optical elements.
Sigma 56mm f/1.4 vs Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2
At f / 1.4 (recall that the maximum aperture of the Fujifilm 56mm is f / 1.2, and sharpness usually increases with closing the aperture) the difference in sharpness is almost not noticeable.
In short, the lenses don’t differ too much in terms of optics, so you need to look at other factors.
Price for Sigma lenses for Fujifilm
The price has always been an important advantage of Sigma compared to native glasses. While we don’t have the final price of these lenses specifically for Fujifilm X, we can compare them with counterparts for Sony E and Canon M, the price of which is unlikely to be significantly different.
- Fujifilm 16mm f/1.4 — $999
- Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN $449
Considering that the Sigma optics look sharper, we have no arguments why Fujifilm should be chosen. Except, of course, for the same aperture ring, but does this justify the twofold difference in price? The question, as you know, is rhetorical.
- Fujifilm 33mm f/1.4 — $799
- Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN $339
Yes, Fujifilm is a bit sharper here, but again the price is more than double.
- Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 — $999
- Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN $479
Fujifilm is more aperture and here the difference in price is more justified.
Lenses for Fujifilm X by Viltrox
Alternative lenses from the Chinese company Viltrox can hardly be called direct competitors for native Fujifilm glasses — their optics are noticeably weaker (unlike Sigma), they do not have dust and moisture protection, but if the price is a decisive factor for you, then you can look at such options:
- Viltrox XF 33mm f/1.4 XF.
- Viltrox AF 56mm f/1.4 XF.
Both lenses are full metal, autofocus and have a manual aperture ring. There is no direct analogue for the 16mm Fuji, and among the wide-angle models there is only the longer telephoto Viltrox 23mm f/1.4 STM.