As a photographer and videographer using the Fujifilm ecosystem, I understand that photography can be an expensive hobby or profession to pursue. However, there are ways to reduce costs, and one option is to consider buying cheaper third-party lenses. In recent years, the range of third-party lenses for the Fuji X Mount ecosystem has expanded significantly, offering more affordable alternatives to OEM lenses. In this article, I will share my analysis of the most exciting budget third-party lenses available for Fuji X Mount cameras in 2024.
To begin with, I want to clarify that while I have experience with some of these lenses, I haven't personally used all of them. I will rely on the reviews of other photographers and YouTubers to provide recommendations. Keep in mind that this article offers personal opinions and suggestions, and your experience may vary.
To narrow down the extensive list of third-party lenses, I have set specific criteria. Firstly, all the recommended lenses should have autofocus capability, as this is crucial for those considering professional shooting. Secondly, I have chosen to focus on prime lenses since there are already plenty of affordable fast primes, particularly at f/1.4 and f/1.2. Additionally, I aim to keep the recommended retail price as close to $500 or below as possible. Lastly, I will include a lens for each focal length category, covering ultra-wide, wide-angle, mid-range, mid-to-telephoto, and telephoto.
Let's delve into the list of lenses. Please note that I will also mention some honorable mentions—lenses worth considering that didn't make the final cut.
Samyang 12mm f/2
While I haven't personally used this lens, it has received positive reviews within the Fuji community. It is known for its performance in astrophotography and can be suitable for niche uses like real estate and architectural photography.
Honorable Mention: Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 is another ultra-wide option worth exploring, priced just north of $500.
Viltrox 23mm f/1.4
I have been using this lens for several months and find it to be a fantastic option. With a price of approximately $325, it offers autofocus, a wide aperture of f/1.4, and a beautiful 35mm equivalent focal length. While it may exhibit some fringing when shooting wide open in bright daylight, it remains an excellent budget choice.
Sigma 56mm f/1.4
Although I haven't used this specific lens on the Fuji X Mount system, I have extensive experience with it on the Sony E-mount. It is incredibly sharp, even wide open at f/1.4, making it ideal for portraits. At the time of writing, it is priced around $330 on B&H Photo.
Viltrox 85mm f/1.8
This lens has become a personal favorite of mine due to its superb rendering and pleasing bokeh. However, it may not be as quick or responsive as some other lenses, particularly in situations where fast autofocus is essential. It excels in portrait photography and offers excellent compression. While it is a chunkier lens, it delivers impressive results. An alternative in this category is the 7artisans 75mm f/1.2, but it exceeds the $500 budget.
Honorable Mention: 7artisans 75mm f/1.2, priced at $550, is highly regarded by many photographers in the Fuji community.
TTArtisan 35mm f/1.8
TTArtisan, known for its manual focus lenses, has entered the autofocus realm with this lens. At a classic 50mm equivalent focal length and an affordable price of approximately $150, it offers a budget-friendly option for those seeking a versatile lens.
In addition to the lenses mentioned above, manufacturers like Sigma, Viltrox, and Sirui produce lens sets that cover various focal lengths, allowing users to choose the one that suits their preferences.
In conclusion, there is a wide range of affordable yet decent third-party lenses available for the Fuji X Mount ecosystem. These lenses make it easier for photographers, particularly those on a limited budget, to enter the field without compromising on image quality. While this article provides recommendations, remember that personal experiences may differ. I hope this guide assists you in finding budget-friendly lens options for your Fuji X Mount camera.
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