January 10, 2016

More hoods: the case of the XF 35mm f/2 WR

Dressing up the new compact standard lens

Click on any image to see a larger version

XF35WR_unboxedAll in the box…

Not too long ago, Fujifilm added a 35mm f/2 WR (Weather Resistant) model to the line of excellent XF lenses. Already owning the ‘original’ 35mm f/1.4 since early 2012, I was decided to let this one pass. Until I put a trial copy on my X-T1…

The 35/2 is compact, light and more importantly has a very fast AF. Sharpness is very uniform across the frame. And of course it is weather resistant. All that makes it a lens that will almost always find its way into my bag when I venture outdoors.

I will keep my 35/1.4 as well though. It has the extra stop for low light shooting, a pleasing bokeh and sharpness fall-off towards the edges at wide apertures, a shorter minimum focus distance and a more generous manual focus ring. That makes it great for portraits and close-ups.

As shown above, the 35/2 comes standard with a front lens cap and a tiny plastic screw-on lens hood. My copy easily gets loose or – when tightened more – becomes very hard to unscrew. With its short 12mm depth it probably does not catch much stray light, but it does protect the front of the lens from banging against stuff. And, when used with the optical viewfinder (OVF) of the X-Pro1, it does not block the finder view at all, even at the closest focus distance.

XF35WR_XPR1The tiny included lens hood does not obstruct the OVF image 

Fujifilm also announced the LH-XF35-2, an optional metal bayonet hood with a retro-styled vented design. That one comes at a price though: €69 list, €59 retail (in Belgium). I have not yet seen this hood, and do not plan to order a copy (unless it gets a lot cheaper).

LH-XF35-2Fujifilm’s standard and optional lens hoods for the XF 35mm f/2 WR

Note that both Fujifilm hoods allow for mounting the lens cap directly on the lens, inside the hood.

If you read my earlier All about that Hood article, you know that I use alternative lens hoods on virtually all of my other XF lenses. So what are our options for the 35/2?

Three-in-a-row

XF35WR_hoodsFujifilm’s standard lens hood, and two eBay alternatives

As soon as I had decided to get the 35/2, I ordered a couple of alternative hoods from my trusted Hong Kong based eBay vendor gadgetworldexports. There’s a ‘normal’ and a ‘vented’ one, both made of light metal and sharing the same 43mm screw mount with the default hood.

The normal lens hood (above in the middle, US$3.99 incl. international shipment) is about 27.5mm long, and should offer maximum protection against stray light. It makes the 35/2 look a lot longer. It clearly obstructs the view through the X-Pro1’s OVF, but doesn’t make it unusable. The front of the hood should take a 46mm pinch-on cap, but I don’t have one on hand to verify.

The wide lens hood (above at right, US$3.99 incl. international shipment) shares the vented retro design with Fujifilm’s optional hood. Just under 20mm long, it offers a nice balance between bulk and protection. I prefer such a screw-on mount over a bayonet one, as the hood attaches more solidly to the lens; it does of course take longer to mount or remove. Because of the three open ‘vents’ the OVF image is not affected very much. You can mount a 52mm pinch-on cap on the hood for further protection.

XF35WR_with_hoodsThe XF 3mm f/2 WR ‘naked’ and with assorted lens hoods

Which lens hood to use where and when?

With that many choices, picking a lens hood for the 35/2 becomes a matter of personal preference. The small Fujifilm one comes standard in the box, and the pair of eBay alternatives costed me less than US$8, so there’s little reason not to have all three around…

XF35WR_XE2_stdX-E2 with XF 35mm f/2 WR and standard Fujifilm hood

The Fujifilm plastic one is the most compact and discrete. It looks very well on an X-E1 or X-E2 body, and probably with an X-T10 as well.

XF35WR__XT1_normalX-T1 with XF 35mm f/2 WR and standard metal hood

The standard metal one offers maximum protection from stray light, so use that one when you want to avoid flare. I use it when shooting portraits or close-ups.

XF35WR_X-Pro1_ventedThe classics: X-Pro1 with XF 35mm f/2 WR and vented metal hood

The wide vented one fits the style of a retro body, so it becomes my preference on the X-Pro1. Unless you want a completely unobstructed OVF image: that’s where the tiny plastic one shines.

To conclude:

Here’s an update of the overview table from my earlier All about that Hood post on alternative lens hoods:

XF_lens_hoods_012016

Click on any image to see a larger version

16 comments:

JB D said...

Do you know what size cap the 35mm f/2 Fuji vented hood takes. Since it's not a screw in hood, I'm assuming it's slightly bigger than the eBay vented screw-in hood for that lens.

Rene Delbar said...

An mentioned in the text and in the table at the end: the vented (wide) hood takes a 52mm pinch-on cap at its front. If you have an 18/2, 35/1.4 or an older Nikon prime you can check yourself!

JB D said...

That's assuming the Fuji brand vented hood and the eBay vented hood are the same diameter, right?

Rene Delbar said...

I'm sorry, I read too quickly through your initial question and did not realize that you were referring to the optional Fuji lens hood... My bad!

I don't have the information you are looking for, I have not seen the Fuji hood around here.
None of the major retailers or web shops even lists it... Probably not yet available?

JB D said...

Thanks for clarifying. Your work is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

i love a SQUARE hood for this lense

Poul-Werner Dam said...

The vented Fuji hood takes the standard Fuji lens cap (43 mm pinch). I bought i here in Denmark shortly before christmas.

reinhard170757 said...

Many thanks for this interesting information, but I would ask you which system of carrying strap are you using on your Fuji?
Greetings from Vienna

Nic Christie said...

Great article. Could you please tell me what the strap is on the cameras with the round disc bit on? Is it some sort of quick release

thanks
Nic

Rene Delbar said...

@ reinhard170757 @ Nic Christie

I am a great fan of this Peak Design system. The small disc-like connection points called 'anchors' don't sit in the way when no strap is attached. I use the Cuff hand strap (a lot with the X100s), the versatile 'regular' Leash (have 3 of these) and recently also the wider Slide Lite (for heavier combos like X-T1 + battery grip + XF50-140).

More info at https://www.peakdesign.com/

Andrew Wong said...

Great article and I also have "almost" replaced all the standard hoods for all my fuji lens as I find them just too huge.

I recently came across a "slim" version of the screw on vented lens hood for the 34 F2 and it does not extend anymore than the stock hood that came with the lens. I like this since it means that some of the tighter camera bag will be usable by changing to this thinner lens hood and it maintain that old retro look of the vented lens hood.

Mine look somewhat like the photo at the link below and I found it in Hong Kong for HK$45

http://www.yoycart.com/Product/521842711167/

JB D said...

Andrew Wong, Do you get both a silver and black lens hood with the order. I don't see a place on the website to specify silver or black. Is the price for one or two lens hoods?

Andrew Wong said...

Hello JB D,

Just leave them a message after you press the select button telling them you want silver or black. Remember, I did not purchase mine there. I just found similar in a website to show others.

Hope that helps.

Rafal Gawrys said...

Could you please tell me if these hoods allow for filters use?

Rene Delbar said...

Rafal: all the hoods described here are screw-on types, and attach to the lens' filter thread.
So it is perfectly possible to attach a filter first and the hood thereafter.
With wider angle lenses though, there might be a risk for vignetting depending on the filter's thickness.

Rafal Gawrys said...

Ok. Understood. Many thanks Rene.