Fujifilm 80mm macro lens review with samples

Street photography with 80mm telephoto lens

The words from this post come from my YouTube video
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Most of my previous reviews have featured photographs I've taken over many months and sometimes even years with a particular lens. But all of these pictures with the Fuji 80mm macro lens were shot in just a few days around Cambridge and St Ives.

Really these reviews are all about the pictures, with just a few personal thoughts about using the lens.

I'm not one for describing the image quality - the pictures should do that adequately by themselves. I kind of think that in photography, if you're looking for something you can't see, it's really not worth looking for.

So I'll start by explaining why I own this lens in the first place. I bought it hoping that it could be my main video lens on my XT3 camera because of its stabilisation, especially for weddings. After all it's the only stabilised Fuji prime lens I know of.

I made a little test film with the 80mm and the XT3 that you can see here.

For video I enjoyed it, but as I expected the fixed telephoto focal length is too long and restricting for everyday use.

So it wasn't meant to be a photography lens for me at all. But I'll say right away that it's one of the most impressive and fun Fuji lenses I've ever used.

For street photography I got to snipe people from a distance which I'm quite unused to doing. I think I'll say more about street photography with a telephoto lens another time. But I believe it's around the focal length that Saul Leiter often used.

Street photography with long lenses doesn't have to mean soullessly isolating subjects from a distance. I'm not saying I've been entirely successful here. But if you consider your background and foreground you can build an interesting picture.

And of course with the macro ability of the lens, it opens up a whole new type of photography. If I'm honest I'd say macro has never been of any interest to me at all. However I respect it enough to say that me pointing my new lens at a few flowers isn't enough to really put this lens through its paces in that respect. I hope some of these close ups give you an indication of the look though.

From a first time, casual experience I enjoyed the macro world very much and was kind of wowed by the possibilities. I admit I even got quite excited when I saw a ladybird relaxing on a leaf in the sunshine at Trinity College. I think this one was even posing for me a bit.

As you’d expect, it’s superb for capturing dog noses, but in my book the 16mm f1.4 is the champion of that esteemed genre. With the 16 you get a bit more of the dog in the frame - a kind of environmental portrait of the nose. But the 80mm is still pretty awesome.

The most recent photographs I've taken with this lens were at an event in Cambridge. Author/poet Jackie Kay and author/activist Angela Davis were in conversation at the Corn Exchange. I found the lens hunted a little in the dark on my XH1 but was otherwise great to use when there was a sensible amount of light. Perhaps the 90mm lens would have been a better option, but I was pleased with these pictures.