Fujifilm XF 27mm

In Praise of the Fujifilm 27mm Pancake Lens

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I have been using the Fujifilm 27mm pancake lens for quite a few years. The Fujifilm 27mm lens has become my much loved ‘off duty’ go-to lens for general days exploring. As one of Fujifilm’s cheapest lenses, the 27mm is deserving of attention by those who want to travel light.

Fujifilm 27mm Versatility

While capturing the Blackford Dolphin at Harland and Wolff I packed the 27mm lens to grab some ‘snap shots’ during the long exposure captures. It obviously isn’t as fast as the f/1.4 lenses Fujifilm has available but f/2.8 is fast enough in most situations. This image of Blackford was captured handheld at f/2.8.

Blackford - Harland and Wolff

Fujifilm Music Photography

The Fujifilm X range of cameras is a constant companion when shooting music. The 27mm is a great little lens for grabbing the action on stage. If it isn’t the 27mm I am generally shooting gigs with the brilliant 56mm f/1.2 lens or Fujifilm X100V.

Mojo Fury, Belfast

This image of Mojo Fury was captured front of house in Belfast’s Limelight venue during the band’s 10th anniversary celebrations.

Michael Mormecha Mojo Fury Fujifilm 27mm

Whereas this image of Rend Collective was shot at the back of the Mandela Hall at Queen’s University. I love this image for the clarity of the audience and how the camera handles the direct light source.  Settings wise I lock the Aperture at f/2.8, the ISO at AUTO3200 and have a tendency to use Spot metering.

Rend Collective

Depending on how long I have to shoot the band I will try to find the lowest working ISO. Credit to the Fujifilm X range, the AUTO 3200 is pretty accurate finding the lowest optimum ISO reliably.

Everyday Documentary Photography

I tend to pack either the Fujifilm X100V or the X-T4 with the 27mm lens when heading out anywhere.
On days out in the Mourne mountains, the X-T4 and 27mm make for a great walk around system. The ultra portable combination is ideal capturing the various landscapes and documenting the adventures on the peaks.


I find the focus on the Fujinon 27mm fast and reliable. Out and about in the mountains I tend to hold the camera out and use the LCD as my viewfinder. The 27mm allows you to get quite close to a subject which results in a rich bokeh background. The 27mm lens is equivalent to 41mm on full frame (explained in Understanding Depth of Field). It isn’t far off shooting with 50mm lens.

Puritans will note that the f/2.8 on a cropped sensor isn’t going to match a f/1.4 50mm on full frame. That said, the X-T4 /27mm combination offers striking sharp images on a soft bokeh background with relative ease and portability. I always loved shooting with the 50mm lens and the Fujifilm 27mm offers the same level of enjoyment.

jumping into the sea Fujifilm 27mm

Controlling Aperture 27mm

Unlike other lenses the 27mm is a pancake lens which transforms X-E2, X-M1 cameras in to almost compact camera proportions.

For some the one slight negative of a compact lens is a lack of aperture control on the lens itself. On the 27mm aperture is controlled on the camera itself. This is made easy using the brilliant Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) allowing you to dial the aperture and seeing a live preview on screen.


The 27mm is a fast f/2.8 lens that offers consistently smooth bokeh. (To learn more about the term bokeh and the concept of Depth of Field check out the Shooting Shallow eBook).

In conclusion

The Fujifilm 27mm Fujifilm is a cost effective lens that offers remarkable image quality. It offers a compact form factor at amazing value for money. If you are need a low cost, compact lens that offers versatility then look no further than the Fujinon 27mm.


Understanding Depth of Field
The Long Exposure Ebook
Fujifilm Lenses Links


David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.

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