I’ve seen this topic come up a lot on different Fuji groups for Fuji mirrorless users. I thought I’d do my own Fuji 23 1.4 vs. Fuji 23 2 lens comparison with my findings. There are probably a bunch of them online, but many gear reviews with excessive pixel peeping get my blood boiling. So I will keep it simple and show photo examples using both lenses with the same settings, as I currently own both the 23 1.4 and the new 23 F2.

Why would I own both versions of the Fuji 23mm?-

For wedding photography especially, the 23 is my most used focal length. I keep the 56 1.2 on the second body, it gets used almost as much. I love my mirrorless gear as a documentary wedding photographer, it helps me maintain an understated presence. The 23 1.4 is an amazing lens, no doubt about it. In lower light especially, I was having more focus issues than I had hoped. So, I tried the new 23 2.0 WR. Technically, because of the faster Fstop of the 1.4, it’s referred to as a faster lens than the newer F2 version. But with the added size and weight of the 1.4, and 7 aperture blades instead of 9 on the 2.0 WR version, it doesn’t have as fast Autofocus performance. However,¬† the 1.4 boasts a depth of field difference, even both using f2 settings side by side. Have a look.

Fuji 23 1.4, shot with XT-1, F2.0, 1/180 shutter speed, 200 ISO, large JPG. –

Fuji 1.4 vs. Fuji 2.0

Fuji 23 2.0 WR, shot with XT-1, F2.0, 1/180 shutter speed, 200 ISO, large JPG. –

Fuji 2.0 WR

Here’s another.

Fuji 23 1.4, shot with XT-1, F2.0, 1/180 shutter speed, 200 ISO, large JPG. –

Fuji 23 1.4

Fuji 23 2.0, shot with XT-1, F2.0, 1/180 shutter speed, 200 ISO, large JPG. –

Fuji 23 2.0

Conclusion of the Fuji 23 1.4 vs. Fuji 23 2 lens comparison –

If I were a pixel peeper, I’d have the camera on a tripod and keep it at the same height, I tried my best and used the focusing grid to keep similar composition. But I’m not a pixel peeper and this isn’t an overly technical review. Right off the bat, I will say the depth of field on the 1.4 version is nicer. Both are damned sharp. The 1.4 has a very slight sharpness advantage when shooting wide open close to subject. But the depth of field difference is more noticeable than the sharpness. The difference in the spider web clarity may be because the height wasn’t the exact same. But the frog’s lip and the top of the fence post were the focus points, both run a close race there.

The 23 f2 has a noticeable advantage with AF speed / performance, which thrilled me after the last wedding. It made a noticeable difference for sparkler exit shots and night time reception dancing¬† catching focus. Both deserve a spot in my bag at least for now. But for street shooting or more demanding conditions at weddings, the 23 f2 will be my pick. If you are that concerned with creamy bokeh, you wouldn’t be using a wider lens like this anyway. Pixel peep all you want, for me the AF performance in demanding conditions is what matters most. If I had to choose, for that reason, the F2.0 WR would be my pick in the Fuji 23 1.4 vs. Fuji 23 2 lens comparison.

In a nutshell, the 2.0 is cheaper, smaller and lighter.  AF performance of the 2.0 is superior to the 1.4. The 1.4 has the depth of field advantage over the f2, as well as crisper focus up close, even with both at f2. Color and contrast are about equal. You be the judge.(I kept the 1.4 and sold the F2 once I saw that the focusing speed difference was negligible when upgrading to the XT-3.

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