Fujifilm's X-mount system is now ten years old, and to date the XF80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro is the company's best macro lens to date. In fact, it has little internal competition.
There is the Fujifilm XF60mm f/2.4 R Macro (opens in new tab) lens - but this is not a true macro lens offering a maximum 1:2 magnification ratio; moreover was released way back in 2012 when optical and autofocus performance were less exacting than the latest cameras demand.
The XF80mm Macro dates from 2016 and offers proper life-size macro magnification - and has become the preferred close-up lens for the Fujifilm X-shooter.
Mount: Fujifilm X
Full frame: No
Lens construction: 16 elements in 12 groups
Angle of view: 20.1 degrees
Diaphragm blades: 9
Minimum aperture: f/22
Minimum focusing distance: 25cm
Maximum magnification ratio: 1.0x
Filter size: 62mm
Dimensions: 80 x 130mm
The 80mm focal length is a rather unusual one for a macro lens - as due to the 1.5x crop factor, it offers an effective focal length of 120mm. That's long compared to the most popular macro lenses - placing you a bit further away from your subject than you'd like to be on occasion. And the focal length is not quite long enough to offer the 150mm or 200mm effective reach that is preferred by bug hunters photographing skittish dragonflies and butterflies.
But the main obstacle with this focal length is that it makes the lens long and big. As such, it felt rather unbalanced on the X-T1 (opens in new tab) and X-H2 (opens in new tab) that we tried it out with. The lens makes the setup front heavy - which would be particularly noticeable when used with lightweight travel tripods. The XF80mm weighs in at 750g or 1.65lb - so it is also a noticeable addition to your camera bag.
However, this lens does offer autofocus - unlike the manual-focus-only Samyang 100mm f/2.8 ED UMC Macro which is one of this lens's biggest rivals. Furthermore, unlike lots of the best macro lenses (opens in new tab), the lens offers five stops of built-in image stabilization to help compensate for the inevitable camera shake that you get when trying to handhold this lens.
The lens is solidly constructed, with a metal casing and a metal lens mount - and there is - as you'd expect from a Fujifilm lens - a manual aperture dial and a wide manual focus ring. There are two further controls too - a simple switch to turn IS on and off, and a three-position focus limiter. The latter of these allows you to have the full range of focus from 0.25m (9.8in) to infinity - or to restrict this to 0.25-0.5m, or from 0.5m to infinity.
Although the lens is billed as for macro, its combination of short telephoto focal length and wide f/2.8 maximum aperture also make it a great lens for portraits. It is not as fast as some more specialist portrait primes - but its nine-blade iris is still capable of producing great-looking blurred backgrounds, as our sample images below show. And despite its size, the lens is smaller than the Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 OIS zoom which might be a more obvious choice for the people photographer.
Fujinon XF80mm f/2.8 LM OIS WR Macro: Lab results
We run a range of lab tests under controlled conditions, using the Imatest Master testing suite. Photos of test charts are taken across the range of apertures and zooms (where available), then analyzed for sharpness, distortion and chromatic aberrations.
We use Imatest SFR (spatial frequency response) charts and analysis software to plot lens resolution at the center of the image frame, corners and mid-point distances, across the range of aperture settings and, with zoom lenses, at four different focal lengths. The tests also measure distortion and color fringing (chromatic aberration).
Levels of sharpness in the central region of the image frame are impressive, only dropping off once you reach f/11. However, move away from the center of frame and sharpness soon drops off. Images are disappointingly soft in the corners of frame - you'll need to stop right down to f/16 to get decent corner sharpness, but by this point center sharpness is reduced due to diffraction. For portrait work, soft corners are unlikely to be an issue, but it dents the lens's appeal for some macro shots.
Fringing:(opens in new tab)
Color fringing is impressively well controlled and never reaches noticeable levels, regardless of the aperture you shoot at.
Thanks largely to the automatic distortion correction baked in to Fujifilm camera bodies, any optical distortion is completely corrected.
Fujinon XF80mm f/2.8 LM OIS WR Macro: Verdict
If you want a macro lens for a Fujifilm X-mount mirrorless camera, then the XF80mm f/2.8 LM OIS WR Macro has to be the most obvious choice.- and will perform well. Its sharpness is disappointing towards the edge of the frame - but whether shooting extreme close-ups or portraits it is the resolution at the center of the frame that really counts, and in this regard, the lens does not disappoint.
The longer-than-usual focal length makes this a heavyweight lens - but thanks to impressive image stabilization it can be happily handheld. And gratifyingly its WR designation means that it is sealed against water and dust ingress.