Thoughts on Lenses

Fuji lens lost in wilderness for 4 months – found, and still works! – By Steve Boykin

I’ve just found a 23mm f/2 Fuji lens that I lost in the wilderness in June. I just happened to be looking down and it was sitting on the ground a few inches from my foot. I had looked in this area before too… I must be honest, I didn’t expect it to work, but when I got home and mounted it on my X-Pro it came to life like nothing had happened.

The glass is fine too. The front element was protected by the B+W filter on it – it was really hard to get off though. The filter cleaned up nicely but had a bunch of water spots on it. The rear element was protected by the cap so is perfect too. The darn thing is, I must have walked past it 30 or 40 times over the last few months. It wasn’t where there was any grass.

The spot where I found it

I am absolutely astounded it still works. The auto focus is like nothing every happened. The aperture and focus ring turn smoothly. There is a slight discoloration on one side on the barrel. It’s the widest part, so it’s probably the part that was touching the ground. The paint is still on the lens too.

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As far as the weather is concerned, we had a lot of rain in June through say mid July. Then it was like an oven outside from mid July until last week. Seriously, from mid August until last week it rarely got below 95 degrees with most days getting into the lows 100’s. It would be 90 degrees at 9 PM some days. Then suddenly on Wednesday night the temperature dropped. It was actually in the 30’s yesterday when I found it. We had also heavy thunderstorms Thursday night through Friday AM too.

Close up test

Distance focusing test

I have to give them credit. It may look like a relatively inexpensive lens but it’s apparently very well made. I got this one when it was originally released, so it’s maybe 3 years old. I think I got it for $399 with the price being a sale. I paid $449 for the replacement. For that sort of money, this sort of resilience to the elements – especially in a lens filled with electronics – is fantastic.

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19 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Perry Westbrook
    October 16, 2019 at 10:06 am

    What an amazing story, I hope you’ve told Fuji?
    Where in the world were you?

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 16, 2019 at 10:32 am

      I’ve just told them – they definitely needed to know! 👍

  • Avatar
    Reply
    thorsten wulff
    October 16, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Great news Steve, congrats. I’ll get one with the X-Pro 3 for sure now!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Clive Williams
    October 16, 2019 at 10:55 am

    WR = Wilderness Resistant?
    Fuji kit is worth looking after – but it’s nice to know that it survives some mistreatment too. 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Ori
    October 16, 2019 at 11:24 am

    awesome 🙂

  • Reply
    Photographer finds fully-functional Fujifilm lens 4 months after losing it in the desert | Photo Valley
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    Reply
    Peter
    October 16, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    I shoot 60/40 digital to film. I switched to Fuji 5 years ago and so glad I did. While not a full frame, I can attest to the ruggedness of their gear. Your 23/f2 story has convinced me to sell my XP1 and older/excess primes I don’t use as much anymore and get the XP3! Thanks! I’ll still have my X100f to keep me happy in the meantime.

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    Reply
    Roger B.
    October 16, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    Remarkable, considering that 60% relative humidity in a storage cabinet can pollute many the lens with fungus in just one year.

  • Reply
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  • Avatar
    Reply
    Jason Waterhouse
    October 17, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Ask Steve to shine an LED flashlight or iPhone flashlight through the rear element and look into the front of the lens. That’ll tell you if any of the glass hazed or grew fungus, some of which may not be visible without shining a bright light through the elements.

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