Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 street photography in Harajuku

Fujifilm XF 35mm Harajuku Boss store
The Harajuku Boss store on Omotesando.

In November 2022, I bought a  Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens. I first tested it at the Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum in tandem with the XF 16-55 mm. This time, I would use it for street photography.  Harajuku would be my target. By the end of the day, I had fallen in love with this tiny gem.

I started my walk in Takeshita-Dori, Tokyo’s hub of pop culture. It was crowded. Life has returned to the famous street (read more here). Everyone was enjoying their crepes and shopping. The Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 handled the close ranges easily with its snappy auto-focus. It was there the rain started.

Japanese couple in wedding kimonos
A couple in wedding kimonos at Togo shrine.

Once it came out, the umbrellas appeared. Luckily quite a few were colorful. Over recent years plastic transparent ones have been ubiquitous. Those are incredibly boring. Seeing reds, polka dots, and frills was a pleasant surprise. Anyway, the rain didn’t worry me as the lens was weather-resistant.

Japanese fashionable couple
A young couple in Takeshita Street.

While I was in Takeshita-Dori, I made a detour to Togo Shrine.  Again I was fortunate.  A couple in their kimonos were taking their wedding photos.  That was a good chance to get some pictures of my own.  I actually wished I had a zoom as I couldn’t get too close to them.

The rest of the day was standard street photography fare.  People were on Omotesando.  I took more photos of people and their umbrellas and some architectural shots too.  There was even a chance for a mirror shot.  I was happy.

So, what can I say about the Fujifilm XF 35mm?  It’s awesome.  I never thought I’d enjoy a prime this much.  My photography life has changed track.

Harajuku Omotesando traffic

Why do I like the Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens?

  • It’s small and light.  I can hold the camera in one hand and an umbrella in the other. Shooting like this is no problem. With the heavier XF 16-55 mm it was difficult.
  • The lens is weather-resistant. That doesn’t mean waterproof, but you do have some protection in the rain.
  • I love the images it creates. In the middle, it is amazingly sharp. The extreme corners are a little soft, but it doesn’t bother me.
  • Build quality is great. It is a solid lens.
Takeshita-dori man in black jacket
A barker in Takeshita Street.

I will be shooting with the XF 35 mm a lot more.  Prime lenses never used to attract me. Well, things change is all I can say. They have suddenly become very attractive. I might buy more in the future.

You can expect more street photography articles from now. With it being a fast lens, night shoots will be easier. Yes, I have definitely fallen in love with the Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens.

For more street photography articles, look at:

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