The purpose of any review that I'll ever do is to provide a recap of how it felt to use that piece of equipment and an overview of the results I got. I'm not going to do a bunch of graphs and charts that show distortion at different focal lengths or how much chromatic aberration there is at a certain f-stop. Honestly, I have no desire to do that, so if you want that kind of review, you can stop reading and just look at the shots I took and decide if you hate them or not. I'm going to try and focus on the positives, I'll briefly go over the cons because the point of a review is to highlight what doesn't work about that piece of equipment. My main goal is to really focus on what you can get out of something rather than bash it. If there isn't much good to say about something, the review will probably be a couple of short paragraphs. With that being said, lets go ahead and jump into this review of the Fujifilm XF 60mm.
Just a quick history of the lens before we start. The XF 60mm was one of the original lenses that Fuji introduced when it announced its mirror-less X-System cameras. From the research I've done on the lens, it appears that Fuji wanted this to be more than just a macro lens. It was meant to serve as a kind of portrait-macro hybrid. This probably explains why it's not a "true" macro lens. I say " not true" because the reproduction ratio is 1:2, in contrast to most macro lenses that have a 1:1 ratio. The 60mm's range is the equivalent of 90mm on a full frame, so it provides an adequate distance to hover around and try to catch shots of insects. Of course, something at the 100mm range might be a bit more ideal, but for me, the 60mm provided to be a pretty good range. I thought the perfect place to try this lens out would be at Zilker Botanical Gardens here in Austin. Greenery, flowers and bugs. Sounds like a nice place to shoot macro. Just as a side note, Zilker Botanical Gardens is not the largest botanical garden you will visit, but it is extremely peaceful amidst the densely populated Austin. It's definitely worth a quick little trip if you've never been. Admission is only 3 dollars for non residents of Austin and 2 dollars for residents. Basically, the amount you would donate to a museum that offered free admission.
Anyway, back to the lens. The lens itself feels solid. It's also surprisingly small. If you're attaching this to an X-E1 or an X-E2 like I did, it's very comfortable to walk around with. I imagine it would feel very similar on the X-Pro 1. It's not what I would consider a "do it all" walk-around lens, but if the 60mm focal range is your preference for walking around you certainly won't feel the stress of the this setup on your shoulders or neck. The fastest this lens will go is 2.4, so it's adequate for low light, but not the best choice, especially given the options in Fuji's lineup. A better choice for a do it all walk around has to be be the 35mm. Now, maybe you'll be doing a lot of portrait work with this lens, then in that case, carrying around the 60mm on an X-E2 or X-Pro 1 all day will feel pretty good. The lens does really seem to function like a hybrid of a macro and portrait lens. I was pretty impressed with the macro results I got. The one caveat however: the slow auto focus. That was my biggest issue with this lens. As far as firmware goes, everything was up to date on camera and lens, yet I encountered slow auto focus and not only when I was shooting macro. I guess it doesn't matter if you're primarily shooting macro since you will probably want to use manual focus anyway. Another reminder, I tested this out on an X-E2. I can't speak to how the auto focus would be on Fuji's flagship, the X-T1. To be honest, I'm a little impatient when it comes to getting my shot focused, so the slow auto focus is a big deterring factor for me.
The slow auto focus would have to be my biggest gripe with this lens. Otherwise, it's a fairly sharp lens, it's built sturdy, and serves it's purpose as a macro lens fairly well. If macro work is a serious aspect of your photography, I might hold off until Fuji does an update and comes out with a true 1:1 macro lens, but If you're more the serious enthusiast, I think you'll be more than pleased with the performance of this lens. I also have to say that the bokeh is fairly nice. It's not the best bokeh from a lens I've handled, but I'm not that nit-picky about how creamy bokeh comes out. Overall, I was pleased with the lens, but It's one that I would have a hard time recommending as a purchase. I only say that because as someone on a budget this lens feels more like an indulgence than anything else. It is cheaper than the 56mm, so if you want a pretty good portrait lens, I'd say go for it. If money is no issue and portrait work is a huge component of what you do, just get the 56mm. Let me really drive that point home, it really comes down to your budget. The 60mm is more than capable, yes the 56mm is the optically superior lens, but the 60mm is more than capable of producing awesome images. That would be my final advice. Really look at what you're willing to spend and go from there. It's a great lens, just not one I would put my funds towards. It's about a $300 difference between the 60mm and 56mm, so with that $300, you could put it towards another piece of glass. Another option for portrait work is the Fujifilm XF 35mm 1.4. Yes, the range isn't the perfect "sweet spot" for portrait work, but it's much faster, more versatile and still much cheaper than the 56mm. Some more sample images are below.