When shopping for mirrorless cameras, the price of the lens can be a bit of a shock. Fujifilm, in particular, seems to be priced higher than some of the competition.
But before you write these lenses off as overpriced, take a careful look at what you’re comparing them to.
You just might discover that the Fujifilm lenses are one of the best values in mirrorless photography right now.
Here’s a look at five reasons why I think Fujifilm Lenses are not overpriced at all.
Fuji Has Less Competition Than Other Mounts
Unlike brands like Canon, Nikon, and Sony, Fuji has no major competitors for their X-mount lenses.
There are a handful of inexpensive, fully manual options. And Zeiss makes a few expensive options. But beyond that, if you want a native X-mount lens for your Fujifilm body, you’re going to buy one from Fuji.
That effectively means that Fujifilm has a monopoly on the market, which means they can price the product as they see fit.
Does that mean they’re overpriced?
If Fujifilm stops selling lenses at the price they’ve set, then they’ll lower the prices. Supply and demand, from Economics 101–simple stuff.
But manufacturing companies like Fujifilm look at many factors when they set a product price.
They’re only able to produce a certain number of units to maintain a certain level of quality. They also will need to recuperate the additional cost of designing individual lenses and the mounting system itself.
Fuji is a Premium APS-C Option
If that answer left you unsatisfied, hold in there. Fujifilm lenses are expensive, but you’ve got to look at the bigger picture.
What are you getting for the price?
First off, Fujifilm is one of the only companies that isn’t sharing its lens mount between APS-C and full-frame cameras.
Sony makes “E,” and Canon makes EF-M and EF-S lenses specifically for their APS-C cameras.
But they expect buyers who are looking for premium optics to purchase their full-frame cameras, so high-quality examples of these lenses are rare.
If you dig into the APS-C offerings of the other camera makers, you’ll quickly see why Fujifilm shines.
The competition in this market is nearly all plastic-bodied lenses with less-than-stellar reviews from users.
Chromatic aberrations, lack of sharpness, and poor autofocus performance are just a few of the problems reported with these bargain lenses.
If you want the build quality, apertures, and optics from these makers comparable with Fujinon lenses, you’ll have to step up to a full-frame lens.
And when you start looking at Sony G/GM and Canon L-series lenses, the Fujinon glass is an incredible value.
One reason for choosing an APS-C camera is its compact size. Many APS-C owners don’t need or even want to carry around full-frame-sized lenses. But they also don’t want to sacrifice image and build quality in doing so.
Fuji Offers Outstanding Options in Focal Length/Apertures
Since they’re only selling these lenses for APS-C cameras, Fujifilm has optimized their offerings for that market.
The collection of X-mount lenses the company has put together is really impressive.
For one thing, by making premium lenses, they can start building faster lenses. Here’s a quick example.
When Sony looks at their lens lineup and wants to build a fast 35 mm prime lens, they’re going to put their best offerings towards their full-frame cameras.
And so they have the APS-C E 35 mm f/1.8 OSS, which sells for $474, and the much faster full-frame FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM for $1,399.
For that same market, Fujinon offers the XF 35 mm f/1.4 R, which sells for $499. This lens is a much higher-quality and faster lens than the plastic Sony E 35 mm f/1.8 OSS. And when compared to the GM lens, it’s less than half the price and half the size, too.
Cost of X-Mount Adapters
As with many camera mounts, you can get adapters to mount nearly any type of lens to your Fujifilm X-mount body.
One of the most popular is the Canon EF to Fuji X converter. But this converter, if you want to use it with electronics, costs around $300.
If you are considering buying a cheaper brand of lenses to use on your Fuji, you have to add in the cost of that adapter to your lens purchases. When you do, the Fujifilm lenses will quickly look like a value.
Fuji's Lenses Have Consistent Build Quality and Image Quality
Fujinon’s lenses are nearly universally loved, from their bottom end to their most expensive premium options.
Nearly all of them get phenomenal reviews for clarity, sharpness, and overall image quality. You have to scour the internet pretty thoroughly to find a negative word written about a Fujifilm lens.
Even their value-priced XC plastic-bodied lenses are loved.
You can certainly debate what causes this effect. Perhaps the Fujifilm body does a better job than its counterparts from other brands.
Without using the same lens on different bodies, it’s impossible to come to a scientific conclusion.
What can be said? Only that the other brands lack the same level of consistency. Many APS-C lenses are plagued by unhappy reviewers, who perhaps received “bad copies.”
With the mountain of evidence here, it seems safe to say that Fujifilm is making some excellent lenses and has quality control on their product line better than their competition.
Fujifilm lenses aren’t the right choice for everyone.
But for photographers moving to an APS-C mirrorless system for its portability, Fuji offers something that no one else does. Their lenses are perfectly made for the format, with great focal length options, fast apertures, and excellent quality optics.