I've been trying to figure out just where my comfort level is with portrait focal lengths and APS-C cameras. I think I'm narrowing in on the right mix...

Fadya. Photographed with a Nikon D7100 and the older 85mm f1.8 AF lens.

I bought the 60mm f2.4 macro for the Fuji X system a few weeks ago and used it to very good effect on several shoots. I used it for a marketing assignment at Zach Theatre in support of their production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" where it was both a great portrait lens and also vital for all the close ups I did on the principal actor's face. It's a great lens for casual portraits where you might want some "air" (space) around the subject. I like the way it renders portraits but found myself wanting a lens that's a little longer. A longer lens compresses space a bit more. I also decided I'd like a faster lens; preferably one that's very sharp wide open (ruling out some MF alt-brand offerings in the near range; sorry Samyang). I settled on the Fuji 90mm f2.0 and started reading reviews in earnest. 

How I wish I could get paid for just sitting in my comfortable office chair reading lens and camera reviews...

The folks at www.Lenstip.com and https://www.opticallimits.com both had glowing things to say about the lens. I was starting to get hooked but thought I'd look through my Lightroom library with hundreds and hundreds of thousands of photographs and see if the 135mm equivalent focal length was something I'd actually use in day-to-day work. Turns out I like that focal length a lot and have used it extensively over the years. 

But it was the $250 rebate that clinched the deal. I saw the price drop on Amazon.com and was about to push the "one-click" button until I remembered that we're blessed here in Austin with one of the finest bricks and mortar camera stores in all of north America. I went to their site and found that, of course, they have exactly the same rebate offer, the same price, and that I could drive up there on my way to lunch and walk out the door with my latest heart throb lens. So I did. 

Of course, the benefits of buying local are legion so I won't go into that here; you already know this. Especially so if your access to a local dealer has vanished.

I checked out the lens and kept the boxes and packing material in the bag the store supplied. If something had been wrong, off, jinky, or otherwise with the lens I knew I could call the store and they'd send a replacement over ASAP and pick up the faulty product on their way out my door. But, of course, the lens has tested out to be exactly as it should be. I'm keeping the 90mm and an XH1 with me for the rest of the day, just looking for opportunities to, A: Discover Austin's Next Supermodel and, B: Test out the qualities of my latest lens acquisition. 

I included the image of Fadya, above, because it's an example of one of my consistent uses for a lens in this focal length and, well, because I think Fadya is cool. 

It's now safe and easy to comment. Try it out. No more muss or fuss. Just pure opinion launching at its best. 

And since I like the Fuji 90mm I'm actually going to include a link to the product: 


Fred said...

It would be interesting to compare photos of this lens and 60mm f2.4 to see the difference in compression, depth of field, and possibly "air" in the portraits and other types of photos since in theory I would tend to always opt for the 60. On the other hand, I am neither payed for my theories nor for my photos :-).

Paul Braverman said...


Anonymous said...

Love the portrait. Don't think you've shown it before. You've shown us lots of portraits over the years at 135mm e. Lots of different camera and lens combinations. Different people sitting for the photographs. The one constant is the photographer. You might want to consider having one post to explain how the photographer puts a picture like Fadya together. Not the equipment. how you start, what you want to see and happen in the middle, and the end. Or hold a workshop like JCamp suggested over at TOP.


Travis said...

That price is too good to pass up. I bought mine at full price and consider it worth every penny. Instead, I’m using the current sale to get the 56mm, which is a lovely lens in its own right. (Though I’ve had and loved the 60mm; it’s a gem. It’s almost as if Fuji doesn’t really make any bad lenses...)

John said...

Hi Kirk,
Did you ever try the Olympus 75mm? As long as I’m cropping to a 3x4 or squarer format, the equivalent focal length and DOF is very similar to the Fuji 90mm. I’ve never seen a direct comparison of the two, though, and you’re the only internet person I know of who might have real experience with both. Sometimes I’m tempted by Fuji, but looking at the size and weight differences between the 90 and 75 always makes me reconsider.