Fujifilm 50-140 Review

Very crisp, the Fujifilm 50-140 Shot at f/2.8
Very crisp, the Fujifilm 50-140 Shot at f/2.8
Fujifilm 50-140 f/2.8
Fujifilm 50-140 f/2.8

I added the Fujifilm 50-140 f/2.8 lens to my X-T1 arsenal.  Let’s be correct for those that are completely anal: I bought the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 50-140 mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR. It’s a big lens, but not as heavy as you would expect (although Louis Pang thinks differently). At 3.26 x 6.93″ and 2.19 pounds it dwarfs the lithe body of the Fuji X-T1. I’m not an overly techy guy.

From Fuji’s press release back in September 2014 the Fuji 50-140 is touted as:

  • FUJIFILM X-Mount is compatible with all FUJIFILM interchangeable system cameras
  • Weather-resistant design with more than 20 sealing points
  • Triple Linear Motor for high-speed, quiet AF and nearly silent operation
  • Comprised of 23 glass elements in 16 groups with five ED lens elements and one Super ED lens
  • Seven rounded aperture blades for smooth, circular bokeh
  • Uses new Nano-GI (Gradient Index) coating technology, that alters the refractive index between glass and air to reduce ghosting and flare
  • Powerful optical image stabilization minimizes shake and blur in low light

I won’t talk about chromatic aberration, pin cushion distortion or vignetting. I will talk about how this lens has worked for me in the first two weeks I have used it.

Shot with Fujifilm 50-140 f/2.8
Shot with Fujifilm 50-140 f/2.8

Does it work?
Yes, the Fujifilm 50-140 works quite well. It’s crisp, even wide open and has pleasant bokeh. It does as advertised. Colors are vivid and well saturated.

Why do I like it?
I’m not an “in your face” street photographer. I’m more of a sniper – one shot, one kill – before I move silently along. Or as we said back at summer camp – take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints. What do I like: I can observe and shoot without being observed shooting. The Fujifilm 50-140 lens is weather-sealed – which in Hong Kong’s unpredictable climes is extremely useful. I really like the Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4R – but a 50mm equivalent only gets you so close. Until they release the XF 16-55 f/2.8R this giant Fujifilm 50-140 will do.

Great color with the with the Fujifilm 50-140 f/2.8
Great color with the with the Fujifilm 50-140 f/2.8

What I don’t like:
The AF speed, a thorn in Fujifilm’s side. While the lens AF is good it is not the fastest rabbit in the hutch. On more than a few occasions I’ve had to recompose and refocus the lens seems to hunt.  That said, some of my beloved Canon EF lenses (I’m talking to you 85mm f/1.2L) have focus issues. This is more of a Fuji system problem I believe than something with the Fujifilm 50-140 lens hardware. Would this prevent me from buying the lens? Not at all. The incorporate tripod mount is a tad strange. I like the Canon clamping designs much more. Removing the Fuji version involves undoing two screws, removing the mount and replacing the screws. Not ideal.

Great Color with the Fujifilm 50-140 Shot at f/2.8
Great Color with the Fujifilm 50-140 Shot at f/2.8

Wrap-up:
Great lens. Happy to have it. Congrats Fuji on a neat piece of glass. My friend Digital Trekker, an official X Shooter in Malaysia, has a more in-depth review on his site. If you haven’t check our dedpxl for Zack’s overview of Fuji X bodies and lenses.

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