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

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30 thoughts on “Fujinon 50mm f/2 first look – Completing compact

  1. I have always had the 35 mm (52 mm f/1.4) and would never part with it. However, I have also now purchased the 23 mm (35 mm f /2) and it is a cracking lens. For me, primarily a street photographer, these two lenses are photographic heaven and over the past 5 years of using Fujinon lenses I would say they are certainly up there with the likes of Leica and Carl Zeiss. Great images by the way.

      1. In what way? Sharpness , micro contrast falloff (Bokeh) and soul is all there. The only thing missing is overpricing and manual only autofocus (see Leica and old zeiss). Don’t be a sheep. Think for your self. Everyone has their own “taste” when it comes to image reproduction and signature left by a lens . If that’s what he feels so be it .

      2. Speaking as someone who has shot Leica R, M and LTM for twenty-odd years as well as zeiss for longer – originally on Contax SLRs then in M mount and now in Touit form for Fuji X – I can honestly say that in my experience the Fujinon lenses more than compare. Remember that Fuji has a long and honourable optical tradition of their own including medium format and cinema.

  2. Hi Jonas,

    Thanks for the review. Could you say something or make in the (near) future a comparison between the XF90mm and the XF50mm?

    Cheers,
    Michael

  3. I never know where to start. I think this might be the first time I’m leaving a comment on your blog, but if so, that’s an absolute mistake to do so this late. This will then count as a comment for the last 6 months since I’ve discovered your blog/pictures.

    Great reviews, but mainly amazing source of inspiration ! Thanks a lot, you’ve opened my eyes to new ways of seeing the world, streets, and given me a new approach to photography.

    Keep going, and enjoy life! I’m looking forward to seeing the following posts on the blog, it’s always a pleasure to read them!

    Emmanuel

  4. Interesting and well illustrated review as always. When you say that the AF speed on the f/2 series is an asset and not a hindrance anymore, would you say that’s it’s true on the X-T1 or just with the X-T2/X-PRO2/XT-20 series. Compared to their “original” equivalent. In other words would the f/2 series give a second lease of life AF-speed wise to the X-T1 (That’s the only real gripe I have with that body)

  5. Hi, Jonas, how is XF50 f2 compare to XF56 f1.2 in term of bokeh rendering in portraiture situation? Which one is sharper between the two?
    Thank you. I always enjoy your excellent reviews

  6. Thanks, Jonas, for another great early review and insight into one fo Fuji’s newest WR F/2 lenses, the 50mm f/2.

    First, although you said you didn’t have as much time to use this lens before writing this review, the examples you have here show off this new lens’s capabilities and that it can be a very handy lens and 75mm field of view indeed.

    Which leads me to question why I think some rather recent comments about this 50mm f/2 are perhaps skewed, if not strange.. being that some say this 50mm f/2 (or generally a 50mm lens on a crop sensor body) is a waste of money, boring and otherwise something to pass on.. I think your pictures begs for a re-examination of these sentiments.

    For some reason, some people have a difficult time accepting the 75mm equivalent field of view.. I specifically say “equivalent field of view” and not “equivalent focal length” because you actually do get the perspective and distortion of a 50mm, if you can really say a 50mm has THAT much distortion in the first place, but the crop, “zoom” and field of view of a 75mm. Well, everybody has their own tastes and ideas of what is practical or useful, but to say anything under a 85mm equiv. field of view is no good for portraits is simply silly, to put mildly.. and I question whether the problem is really in that 75mm is not as “classic” a portrait length or is it more that some people feel they cannot take a great portrait with anything less than an 85mm?… but, I digress..

    Some people compare this to the 56mm f/1.2.. they seem close, but I think that 10mm equiv. field of view difference is quite a bit.. If you want to take a “serious” portrait with better-reduced distortion, improved compression, and better subject/background separation, the without a doubt go with the 56mm f/1.2. I don’t personally feel the 50mm f/2 is meant to be a true replacement or substitute for the 56. To me, the 50mm f/2 seems like enough of a separate range of lens to be called more a short telephoto or short portrait lens. I doubt if sharpness difference between the 50 & 56 is much, if any, but the bokeh rendering is the more perceivable difference besides the somewhat obvious distortion and compression variations between the focal lenghts.

    Either way, I’m feeling the 50mm f/2 would be great addition to the WR f/2 lineup as a light, compact and very capable prime lens kit to keep on you.. if you carry a daily or even casual photo bag. I’ve tried 56mm f/1.2 on streets and casual situations because I really like the look WHEN I have the room to use it.. and that’s just it.. the 85mm equiv. field of view I’ve personally found on enough occasions to be just a bit too tight to use.. I’m shooting across more tables or backed up against walls to get the best comp.. and, as you know you can only get back so much and you’re forced to either forfeit the shot or take it and get unwanted cropping. I know if I have had this 50mm f/2 on those occasions, it would allow me to maximize the photo opportunities using a longer focal length than my 35mm f/2.. just long enough, but not too long.. a 75mm equiv. field of view is actually quite a comfortable range to work with, imho.

    And ever who said street photography has to be limited to a “standard” focal lengths? Also, not limited to street photography, but also portraits, practically any genre.. no rules, just imagination & determination.

    I do have a 50mm f/1.4 lens I can adapt to my X-Pro2, but frankly, it takes away from one of the main joys and reasons why I picked up the X-Pro2 which is to use the OVF.. and you cannot really use an adapted lens with the OVF practically.. the framelines are static and do not update as you zoom in or out. Thus, I look forward to this native Fuji X mount 50mm f/2 lens so that this focal length can be utilized with the X-Pro2’s OVF.

    Anyways, thanks again for this early review and the nice examples which show of the nice qualities of this 50mm f/2 lens.

    I look forward to an updated review (I think you wrote you were going to test this out a little more thoroughly) some time in the near future.

  7. This was the review I was waiting for. Thanks! Your style of photography is the kind of use I wanted to see this lens used for. I’ve been a long time fan of your blog, especially the vintage stuff. I really like what you do with your equipment! Gives me a lot of ideas and inspiration for my own photography. 😉

    I just recently sold my XF 56mm since I just found it too big and clunky. And I can get similar looks with certain vintage glass which is also a lot more fun to use. The XF 56mm focusing tends to hunt and feels really sluggish. Lots of glass to push around… But I really love the new XF 23mm & 35mm f/2 lenses. I’ve also owned their earlier bigger aperture counterparts and have sold them too for the exact same reasons. Now this new 50mm should complete my ideal everyday “Fujicron” holy trinity. The 50mm on APS-C is a lot more ideal FOV for everyday use and I’ve always felt 56 a bit too tight.

  8. Hi Jonas!
    First of all, i´d like to thank you for your special Blog which is banning me in front of my computer since i found it.

    I´am impressed by your Product Shots of the Cameras and Lenses. Could you please tell me which kind of Backdrop you are useing? Especially the color of the black/grey is interesting to me.

    Kind Regards from Germany

    Marcell

  9. Hi Jonas
    I would like to think that I could take pictures like these if I just stuck the 50mm on my X-T1. I should be so lucky.
    This is wonderful work, and the pictures would probably be fine even if you shot them on an old Kodak Brownie!
    This collection of photos has me kicking myself for not seeing all the stuff I should be seeing whenever I come back empty-handed from a photo trip to town.
    Keep up the good work!

  10. Excellent images, as always.

    May I ask how you handle RAW-files? Any special converter (like Iridient)? I’ve abandoned Fuji X twice in disappointment over the non-Bayer sensors and raw files troubles, but is considering to get onboard again. Thanks.

  11. Hi Jonas,

    could you share your Lightroom presets for the photo of the Asian couple and the guitar player? I assume that this isn’t an OOC JPEG. Those two photos trigger a feeling in me that I can’t describe and I want to recreate the style on some of my photos.

    Cheers,
    Stefan

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