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Fujifilm Fujinon XF50mm f/2 R WR review

Fujifilm's Fujinon XF50mm f/2 R WR is an effective short telephoto prime for X-mount cameras

Fujinon XF50mm f/2 R WR
(Image: © Fujifilm)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Refined handling characteristics and a robust, weather-sealed metal build make this lens an attractive proposition for Fujifilm’s APS-C format X-mount mirrorless cameras. The crop factor results in an ‘effective’ focal length of 76mm, ideal for portraiture and still-life photography in which the f/2 aperture rating enables a fairly tight depth of field. At around half the weight and as little as a third of the cost of Fujifilm’s more upmarket Fujinon XF56mm f/1.2 R APD lens, it’s a cost-effective buy.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent wide-open sharpness

  • +

    Attractive bokeh

  • +

    Tough, weather-sealed build

Cons

  • -

    Fairly modest f/2 aperture rating

  • -

    No optical stabilization

  • -

    Quite pricey for an f/2 lens

The Fujinon XF50mm f/2 R WR doesn’t really add up as a ‘standard’ nifty fifty, due to the APS-C crop factor of Fujifilm’s X-mount cameras, for which it’s designed. Instead, you get the same field of view as using a 76mm lens on a full-frame camera, which puts it into short telephoto territory. It’s therefore more ideal for portraiture and other scenarios where you need a bit of extra reach. It’s naturally not quite as fast as f/1.8 primes but is only a third of an f/stop behind, and a full f/stop slower than an f/1.4 lens.

Specifications

Mount: Fujifilm X
Full frame: No
Image stabilization: No
Autofocus: Yes
Lens construction: 9 elements in 7 groups
Angle of view: 31.7 degrees
Diaphragm blades: 9
Minimum aperture: f/16
Minimum focusing distance: 0.39m
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.15x
Filter size: 46mm
Dimensions: 60x59mm
Weight: 200g

Key features

Available in black or silver, there’s no denying that the Fujifilm XF50mm looks a bit pricey for an f/2 lens. However, it’s compact and lightweight yet impeccably built with comprehensive weather-seals, an aperture control ring for refined aperture-priority and manual mode shooting, and a high-grade optical path that includes an aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element. The nine-blade diaphragm is very well-rounded, helping to maintain the quality of bokeh when stopping down a little.

Autofocus is virtually silent, and it’s quick for stills and smooth for movie capture. As with other ‘stepping motor’ systems, the focus ring is electronically coupled and, in this case, enables particularly precise manual control.

Performance

Bokeh is nice and smooth when shooting wide-open at f/2 and remains so when stopping down a little, while in-focus areas have excellent sharpness and clarity. There’s very good resistance to ghosting and flare and, typical of most Fujifilm ‘XF’ lenses, overall performance is highly impressive.

Lab results

We run a range of lab tests under controlled conditions, using the Imatest Master testing suite. Photos of test charts are taken across the range of apertures and zooms (where available), then analyzed for sharpness, distortion and chromatic aberrations.

We use Imatest SFR (spatial frequency response) charts and analysis software to plot lens resolution at the center of the image frame, corners and mid-point distances, across the range of aperture settings and, with zoom lenses, at four different focal lengths. The tests also measure distortion and color fringing (chromatic aberration).

Sharpness:

(Image credit: Future)
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Wide-open sharpness is excellent across the entire frame, even if the widest aperture is a fairly modest f/2.

Fringing:

(Image credit: Future)
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Color fringing is very well controlled and practically impossible to spot at wide apertures.

Distortion: 0.52

There’s a very slight hint of pincushion distortion but it’ll generally go unnoticed.

Verdict

Refined handling characteristics and a robust, weather-sealed metal build make this lens an attractive proposition for Fujifilm’s APS-C format X-mount mirrorless cameras. The crop factor results in an ‘effective’ focal length of 76mm, ideal for portraiture and still-life photography in which the f/2 aperture rating enables a fairly tight depth of field. At around half the weight and as little as a third of the cost of Fujifilm’s more upmarket Fujinon XF56mm f/1.2 R APD lens, it’s a cost-effective buy.

Read more:

Best Fujifilm lenses (opens in new tab)
Best Fujifilm cameras (opens in new tab)
• Best camera lenses (opens in new tab) to get
• Best Canon lenses (opens in new tab)
• Best Nikon lenses (opens in new tab)
• Best Sony lenses (opens in new tab)

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Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 


His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 


In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.