Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR Review

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Introduction

Fujifilm announced details of its 50mm f/2 Fujinon lens in January 2017. The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens fits into Fuji’s “XF” range, which denotes it’s a higher quality than the more budget “XC” lenses. The WR in its full name also indicates that it is weather resistant, making it ideal for use with weather resistant Fuji bodies – there are sealing at ten points around the lens barrel. Mounted on a Fujifilm X series body, with the APS-C crop applied, the equivalent focal length of the 50mm lens is 76mm.

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This puts it just below, in terms of focal length at least, the 56mm f/1.2 lens, which has an equivalent focal length of 85mm. The design of the new lens features 9 elements, to include one aspherical ED lens, in 7 groups. The internal focusing system is powered by a fast and quiet stepper motor. The lens has a coating which is designed to reduce ghosting and flare. As well as being dust and weather resistant, the lens can be used in temperatures as low as -10 degrees. It is available in two colours, black and silver. The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens is available for £449 / $499 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

In comparison to Fujifilm’s other similar focal length lens, the 56mm f/1.2, the 50mm f/2 is much smaller and more compact – making it ideal as a travel lens or just to stick in your bag as a “just in case” option. Weighing in at just 200g also means that you’re barely likely to notice the addition to your kit bag by carrying it around.

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

Just because it’s small doesn’t mean that it’s not well constructed. The all metal design of the body gives it a classy look, while it seems most at home on the flatter body of the X-Pro2 – it will of course still work very well on the X-T2 or X-T1.

The only exception to the all-metal design is the plastic lens hood, which is supplied in the box. It’s a shame not to see metal here as well, but the overall look is not too diminished by the plastic addition. The lens hood protrudes quite far from the lens, so it’s worth removing it and turning it around when in storage to save on space.

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

At the base of the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens you’ll see the focal length (50) marked, just above a red dot. You can use this dot to line up the lens with the dot on whichever camera mount you’re using for quickly mounting the lens.

As with most Fujifilm lenses, the 50mm f/2 WR features an aperture ring. This is marked in full stops ranging from f/2 up to f/16. There’s also an “A” marking, which means the camera will select the aperture for you. You can select 1/3rd stops in between, but these aren’t marked in any way. The ring has a satisfying amount of resistance when you twist it, and there is also an audible clicking sound. Videographers may be disappointed to note that there’s no way to disable the clicking sound from the aperture ring.

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

Side of the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

Side of the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens

Just in front of the aperture ring, there’s another thicker ring which is used for manual focusing. This ring, like the aperture ring, is ridged and has a satisfying amount of resistance. There aren’t hard stops at either end of the ring, so setting the focusing to infinity isn’t as quick as it could be.

Focusing is internal, so the front element of the lens doesn’t move – which is good news for filter users. Less good news for filter users is that the thread size is 46mm – which is different from the thread size for the other lenses in this range (the 23mm and 35mm lenses both use a 43mm thread). Therefore you’ll either need an adapter or an extra set of filters if you want to use filters between the different lenses.

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

Rear of the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

Rear of the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens in hand

The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens does not feature optical image stabilisation – which is something to note, especially when you consider that neither the X-Pro2 or the X-T2 have image stabilisation in their camera bodies either.

Focal Range

At the 50mm focal length, the angle of view is 31.7 degrees, with an equivalent focal length (in 35mm terms) of 76mm.

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

Focusing

Autofocusing is extremely fast and quiet, locking onto subjects in good light with almost imperceptible speed. If you are shooting in dimmer conditions, you’re likely to notice the lens hunting a little before locking on – but it’s pretty rare for a false confirmation of focus to be displayed. It’s only in the darkest of conditions that the lens focuses to lock onto the subject at all.

Chromatic Aberrations

The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR Lens performs extremely well when it comes to chromatic aberrations – in fact I was unable to find any examples of it in sample images, even in high contrast situations.

Light Fall-Off and Distortion

When shooting at the widest aperture of f/2, there is some slight light drop-off in the corners of the image. This is particularly obvious when shooting a white wall, but is likely to be fairly unnoticeable with more usual subjects. By f/2.8, the drop off is even less, while it’s completely gone by f/4. There’s virtually no distortion visible in either the RAW of the JPEG files.

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

Vignetting

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

Distortion

Macro

The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR Lens has a minimum focusing distance of 0.39 metres, while the maximum magnification is 0.15x. While it is not a true macro lens, it is well suited to typical macro type subjects, such as flowers.

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR

Close-up Performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is the word used to describe out of focus areas in an image. There are various ways to describe it, such as smooth, creamy or beautiful. The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR Lens design features 9 rounded aperture blades, which results in a round, natural and pleasing looking bokeh. We recognise however that bokeh evaluation can be extremely subjective, so we have included some examples so you can judge for yourself.

Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR
Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR
Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Sharpness at 50mm

For these sharpness tests the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens was attached to a Fujifilm X-Pro2 body, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. Slight tonal changes are due to slight changes in natural light during the session.

The full frame at 27mm

The full frame at 50mm

Centre sharpness is excellent from the widest aperture of f/2, dropping off slightly at the narrowest aperture of f/16, due to diffraction. When viewed at normal printing or web sizes, this slight softening isn’t noticeable, but you can just about see it when viewing at 100%. The edges aren’t as sharp as the centre, particularly at wide apertures. The sharpest results can be seen at f/8-f/11.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/2
f/2.8
f/4
f/5.6
f/8
f/11
f/16

Sample Images

The thumbnails below link to full-sized samples taken with the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens mounted to a Fujifilm X-Pro2 compact system camera.

1/60s · f/2 · ISO 640 – 75mm (35mm)

1/350s · f/8 · ISO 200 – 75mm (35mm)

1/480s · f/9 · ISO 200 – 75mm (35mm)

1/640s · f/2.8 · ISO 200 – 75mm (35mm)

1/480s · f/8 · ISO 200 – 75mm (35mm)

1/4700s · f/2.8 · ISO 200 – 75mm (35mm)

1/60s · f/2.8 · ISO 320 – 75mm (35mm)

1/60s · f/2 · ISO 640 – 75mm (35mm)

1/50s · f/2 · ISO 800 – 75mm (35mm)

Specifications

Type XF50mmF2 R WR
Lens configuration 9 elements 7 groups (includes 1 aspherical ED element)
Focal length f=50mm (76mm)
Angle of view 31.7°
Max. aperture F2
Min. aperture F16
Aperture control
  • Number of blades 9(rounded diaphragm opening)
  • Step size : 1/3EV (19 steps)
Focus range 39cm – ∞
Max. magnification 0.15x
External dimensions : Diameter x Length* (approx.)
* distance from camera lens mount flange
ø60.0mm x 59.4mm
Weight* (approx.)
*excluding caps and hoods
200g
Filter size ø46mm
Accessories included Lens cap FLCP-46
Lens rear cap RLCP-001
Lens hood
Wrapping cloth

Conclusion

When it comes to image quality, the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens is capable of delivering some beautiful images when paired with something like the Fuji X-Pro2. Sharpness is great throughout the aperture range, and you’re likely to be pleased with what it can deliver.

Bokeh is pleasingly rendered at the widest apertures, and while it can’t quite match the shallow depth of field produced by the 56mm f/1.2 lens, for most situations, f/2 is going to suit you well enough.

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One of the best things about this lens is just how small and light it is. That makes it a great pairing with the X-Pro2, and helps you to go unnoticed if you’re using it for something like street photography. You can also slip it neatly into your kit bag as an extra lens, adding only the tiniest bit of weight to your overall package.

The 35mm equivalent focal length of this lens is 76mm – that means it falls somewhere between the classic lengths of 50mm and 85mm. While it may be a little unusual for a focal length, it has a number of applications that it’s well suited for, including portraits and still life. You could conceivably use it as a walk around lens, but it’s a little long – you may find the 23mm or 35mm lens are better suited for that kind of work.

Construction of the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens is great, with an all metal design complementing the design of Fuji’x X series cameras well. The plastic lens hood is a little disappointing, but it’s not out of place with the rest of the design.

As for drawbacks, the biggest here is the fact that the lens offers no optical image stabilisation. Considering that neither the X Pro 2 or the X-T2 bodies have it built in, that can potentially lead to problems. You may find therefore in darker conditions, you’re going to have to use higher ISO speeds to get sharp shots.

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In terms of pricing, for a Fujifilm lens, the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens is not too badly priced. At the time of writing, it retails for around £449/$673. While that puts it quite far above the price of some “nifty fifties” available for other manufacturers, it’s also quite a way below the price Fujifilm asks for its 56mm f/1.2 prime lens.

Overall, the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR is a well performing lens that is a great addition to any Fuji kit bag. You get a small, compact design which delivers pleasingly sharp images, with attractive bokeh.

(photographyblog.com, https://goo.gl/67wTwv)

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