Gear Photography

Got a Fujifilm X-T4? Here are the lenses you really need

The X Series’ great allrounder needs lenses to match, so here's our pick of what to buy...

The X-T4 is Fujifilm’s ultimate allrounder – a camera that’s equally well suited for sports and action as it is for landscapes, portraits, street photography and travel. Its 26.1Mp X-Trans 4 sensor gives great image quality, and the 160-12,800 ISO range means great performance in low light; it’s got eye-detection, high-speed tracking AF, In-Body Image Stabilization, 4K 10-bit video and even weather sealing. Yes, you can shoot all sorts with this body – but to do that you really need all sorts of lenses, too. 

This X-T4 is naked. You need to get a lens on it quick!

Fortunately, Fujifilm’s X Series has plenty of lens options. In fact, with a decade of constant additions and innovations, there are now over 30 prime and zoom lenses to choose from. These span 14mm to 200mm in primes, and 8mm to 400mm in zooms, and with those larger telephoto lenses, the X-T4’s handgrip, being larger than some others in the range, makes them much more comfortable to use. 

So, whatever you’re shooting, here’s our pick of the best lenses for the X-T4, as of April 2021.

Sports & Action

Subjects like people playing sport or racing cars demand a fair bit of reach, and you’ll want a fast maximum aperture to freeze the action, too, especially if you’re photographing under floodlights. A zoom makes a lot of sense, too, as it makes you more versatile in framing. So, while the XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR and its included 1.4x teleconverter would be the dream lens of many X Series users, our pick here has to be the XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR. It’s been around for a while, but it’s still an ideal lens for these subjects, and is weather sealed. Add the 1.4x teleconverter and you’re looking at a 75-210mm f/4 lens – or an equivalent 112-315mm in 35mm terms, which is more than enough reach for most subjects.

Street & Documentary

Though there are X Series bodies that are a more natural fit for street than the X-T4, it’s still small and unobtrusive enough to make a great candid body when twinned with the right lens. For general street subjects, our pick would be the new XF27mmF2.8 R WR, which gives an equivalent of 40mm in full-frame terms along with a wonderfully distortion free ‘normal’ view. Ultra-sharp, extremely compact and weather sealed, this lens turns the X-T4 into a pocket friendly, street machine.

Wildlife & Nature

Unless you’re lucky enough to encounter megafauna on your wildlife jaunts, you need magnifying power, and therefore you’ll want the X Series’ longest lens. That’s the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6mm R LM OIS WR. With a 35mm equivalent of 152-609mm, it has more reach than the, admittedly excellent, and brand-new XF70-300mmF4-5.6 R LM OIS WR, meaning that even small subjects like garden birds can come under your spell. Yes, it’s larger and heavier, but if you’re serious about wildlife photos you’ll likely be using a rest anyway. Impressive Optical Image Stabilization combines with the X-T4’s IBIS to keep it shake free at the long end, and you can pump up the ISO to offset the variable aperture. If you need to travel lighter, the XF70-300mm should be considered, but ultimately the XF100-400mm is still king of the wild. 

Portraits

There are loads of great portrait lenses for Fujifilm’s X mount. That’s one of the reasons that so many wedding and people photographers flock to the system. These include the XF56mmF1.2 R and XF90mmF2 R LM WR, but for us, the standout option has to be the new XF50mmF1.0 R WR. With its equivalent view of 76mm it allows a good distance to the subject and a range of head-and-shoulders or wider framing, and all with that desirable f/1.0 maximum aperture which makes for superb subject separation and low-light performance. And while in days past it would have been near impossible to focus accurately on a subject’s eye when using the maximum aperture, the X-T4’s eye-detection AF keeps the focus spot on.

Landscapes

Sure, you can shoot landscape photos with any lens, and there’s a lot to be said for an all-purpose, weather-sealed zoom like the XF16-80mmF4 R OIS WR or XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, which gives you lots of versatility, or even a telephoto zoom like the XF70-300mmF4-5.6 R LM OIS WR, which lets you pick out details in the landscape. But our pick here has to be a classic wide-angle zoom in the shape of the updated XF10-24mmF4 R OIS WR. Now with added weather sealing, the updated model has great sharpness and though it gives away a stop of aperture to the XF8-16mmF2.8 R LM WR, it’s smaller, lighter and has a more versatile zoom range. 

Video 

For shooting movies, you need a range of focal lengths to move from wide establishing shots to close-ups and XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR with its equivalent of 24-82mm provides lots of options for that. The constant f/2.8 aperture is versatile for low-light shooting and for subject separation when you want it, while the linear motor AF system works with the X-T4’s face or eye tracking AF to make focusing easy. 

This is not an OIS lens, but the X-T4 has IBIS and electronic stabilisation to smooth out video when shooting handheld, while arguably any tracking would be done on a gimbal. The only real drawback about this lens is its weight, and the fact that its zoom will upset a gimbal’s balance as you change focal length. If that’s an issue, look to a versatile prime like the XF35mmF2 R WR. 

Travel

When photographers look for a travel lens, they most often want versatility in focal length and the option to frame subjects at both wide angle and telephoto. On that score, you’re looking at the XF16-80mmF4 R OIS WR or XF 18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR. The former has an attractive constant aperture, but overall the 7.5x zoom range of the latter is what makes it our pick. With a 35mm equivalent of 27-206mm, it’s a real ‘shoot anything’ lens, and at 490g, very well balanced with the X-T4, fast focusing and weather sealed, too, making it a great travel companion. There’s even a cheeky 1:4 close up mode for exotic details. 

Macro

With the X-T4’s focus bracketing functions, you can create some brilliant macro images, and though you can fit extension tubes to any lens in the X Series range to make it focus closer, there are two dedicated macro option, the XF60mmF2.4 R Macro and the XF80mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR. Both have their plus points, though it’s worth noting that only the XF80mm is a ‘true’ macro lens with a lifesize 1:1 reproduction ratio. The XF60mm tops out at 1:2, but you can still get some awesome closeups with it. That said, the XF80mm does also have weather sealing, making it more reliable on location, so it gets our vote.