Fujinon 50mm f/2 first look – Completing compact

A compact 50mm, to complete the Fujinon f/2 nifty lens trilogy has finally arrived. And it’s fantastic.

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Back in the fall of 2015 I reviewed the newly released 35mm f/2. It is an awesome lens, that I to this day still use on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Then a year later, in fall 2016, Fujifilm released yet another small compact weather resistant prime. The 23mm f/2. – And now january 2017, they’re releasing a third in the series of small and fast lenses for the X series.

I first laid my eyes and hands on a working prototype of this lens back at Photokina. Even though nowhere final, the couple of images I took showed definite promise.
Fastforward to christmas 2016, and I got to test it out for a couple of weeks. The only problem was that I already had my hands more than full with the X100F and the GFX. So I didn’t really get much shooting done.

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Just a couple of days prior to leaving for London earlier this week, I got a chance to bring one with me. I had an idea to do a “portraits of London” type thing. But that kind of amounted to a big fat nothing. – Instead I used it as a general purpose short tele lens on the streets.

Build

The lens itself lends from the XF23 f/2 and XF35 f/2 with build and feel. All metal construction. Firm aperture clicks. Nicely dampened focus ring and a nice compact construction. This lens fits right into the trilogy.
The focusing mechanism is internal, and it has weather sealing.

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Sizewise it is like its wider siblings, but it does have a slightly wider filter diameter of 46mm. That does mean that you can’t use the lens hoods from the other two lenses in the trilogy. The hood that is supplied, is however, quite splendid. It is by far the best of the plastic lens hoods, and it just finishes the look of the lens in a very satisfying way when coupled with the X-Pro2 . The lens coating has a purple/blueish tint.

The lens weighs in at a mere 200g and is approximately 6 cm long. It has 9 rounded aperture blades. It’s made up of 9 elements in 7 groups.

Speed

This is the 3/3 in the series for me to try out, and I have to say, yet again, the AF speed is no longer a hindrance of the X system. It’s an asset! – The XF50mm f/2 focuses deadly accurate and really quick. Fujifilm tested this in a lab and got some values, but I can just stress that once more, it was not the gear that was a hindrance in getting the shot!

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Image Quality

Disclaimer. The lens used is a pre-production model, and image quality might be subject to change.
I’m an official ambassador, my views are hence biassed. Take that for what you want. 

For the 3rd time in a row, I can say that the Fujinon lenses deliver stellar quality no matter what focal length they seem to get involved in making. I really love how this lens treats the transitions between in focus and out of focus. It reminds me of my old Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4. It has a softness, yet sharpness that brings a very organic look to the images.

The close range focus for the lens is another great feature. You can really get in there with a close focus distance of only 39cm. You can easily fill the entire frame with a headshot if you wish.

From my very limited testing of this lens, I found it to be exactly as great as the rest of the compact f/2 lenses for the X-system. If you want to travel light with an X-series camera just pack the 23-, 35-, and 50mm f/2 and you have a truly amazing kit of high quality prime lenses for almost any situation you will find yourself in.

I think this lens is a no-brainer for any fujifilm photographer out there.

Samples

Samples are processed RAW files. They have been taken using my X-Pro2. If you want the metadata, you can view it in the file when downloading. They’re mostly from my London trip, but I will do a follow up to this first look in a couple of months time, when the lens has had a chance to settle on me.

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Conclusion

The Xf50mm f/2 R WR is a fantastic lens. And it completes the Fujinon compact f/2 lens lineup. It has the exact same trades as its wider angle brethren. Great build, great feel and great image quality.

I will leave you with a proper video review from my good friend and fellow danish X-Photographer Palle Schultz! – Go check out his channel right away.  www.palleschultz.dk