Fujinon XF 50-140mm F2.8

Fujinon XF 50-140mm F2.8

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Telephoto Zoom Lens Review

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What We Love. Fuji's XF50-140mm F/2.8 telephoto zoom packs a lot of punch in a relatively compact body. Images we've taken with this glass have been glorious--sharp, creamy, and with beautiful colors--that it was hard to put this thing down and swap it for a smaller lens. Can you expect any less from a lens with 23 glass elements in 16 groups, five of which are ED lens elements and one, a Super ED lens element? Fuji then flourishes the lens surface with a its unique High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating and the camera body with its Lens Modulation Optimizer technology. The combination yields the sharpest and clearest images with very minimal distortion, ghosting, and flare. If that isn't enough--and it isn't--Fuji also gives it a constant aperture for F/2.8 for a gorgeously shallow depth of field at its longest focal lengths, weather and dust resistance so you can take it out on the field without worry, image stabilization for added stability, and true to Fuji fashion, an aperture ring for convenience. It's hard not to fall in love with it.

What We'd Change. Of course, all that doesn't come cheap. The Fujinon XF50-140mm F/2.8 boasts a $1,399 price tag. However, considering that Sony's similar glass, the FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GMaster (the crop factor gives it the 35mm equivalent of 76mm-213mm), will set you back around $2,600, it actually isn't so bad. Especially when you're getting just as good images and creamier, rounder bokeh at the longer end. Considering everything you're getting, that price is more than fair. 

Pick This Up If... you're in need of an excellent glass for your Fuji camera--and who doesn't?! The Fujinon XF50-140mm F/2.8 is not only great for sports photography; it's also great for all-around use--portraiture, street, architecture, travel, and even certain landscape situations. For that reason, this lens is almost an essential addition to your camera bag.

INTRO

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The Fujinon XF50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR isn't exactly new, having arrived in stores in January 2015. However, it continues to be an integral glass in the Fuji mirrorless system, offering a telephoto zoom with a constant aperture, weather resistance, and internal zooming to sports photographers that require it.

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Yet the beauty of this lens is that it's more than just for sports photography. We have tested this lens for portraits as well as to shoot architecture, street, travel, and interiors, and we could hardly put this lens down. The fact that it has internal zooming, which keeps it relatively compact, makes lugging it around to shoot such things not such a bad thing. 

At $1,399, it might be a tad pricey for enthusiasts, beginners, and casual shooters, but to advanced shooters, it's more than a worthy investment. Either way, folks are getting more than their money's worth. Let's dig deeper to find out exactly how.

GEAR USED

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Alongside the Fujinon XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR, we tested this lens in Seoul and Los Angeles using the new Fujifilm X-T3, which we reviewed in full here.

FEATURES

  • Model: 16443060
  • Fits: X-mount cameras
  • Focal Length: 50-140mm (76-213mm)
  • Maximum Aperture: F2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: F22
  • Angle of View (diagonal): 31.7° - 11.6°
  • Lens Construction: 23 elements in 16 groups (including five ED lens elements and one Super ED lens element)
  • Minimum Focus Distance: Normal 1m - ∞ (whole zoom position), Macro 1m - 3m (whole zoom position)
  • Maximum Magnification Ratio: 0.12x (Telephoto)
  • Filter Size: ø72mm
  • Maximum Diameter: ø82.9mm
  • Length: 175.9mm
  • Weight: 995g
  • Diaphragm Blade Number: 7 (rounded)
  • Image Stabilization Performance: yes
  • Standard Accessories: hood, front and rear lens caps
BUILD QUALITY

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The Fujinon XF50-140mm F/2.8 is a well-built beast, with an all-metal barrel as well as a massive petal-shaped lens hood and a tripod collar/foot, which it makes up for with its internal zooming to keep its length fairly compact, albeit definitely not small at seven inches in length. It has three rings--the middle of which is ribbed rubber and about two inches thick--for focus, zoom, and aperture, all of which offer a nice, tactile feel and are very smooth to operate.

It has an optical image stabilization switch near the mount so you have the option to quickly turn it off as well as a tripod collar with foot and an adjustment dial so you can turn the camera while the lens is mounted on a tripod. 

It also has weather and dirt sealing, which is a nifty feature. We tested this lens during a light drizzle in Seoul and it still worked perfectly, though we wondered how it would perform in dusty situations and in downpours. Additionally, it's also meant to operate down to -10°C or 14°F; unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to test it in such conditions.

ERGONOMICS

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The XF 50-140mm F/2.8's internal zooming is a beautiful thing because it makes it easier to handle and lug around when you're walking about or traveling. Because it is a big lens at 82.9mm in diameter and 175.9mm in length, it's on the heavy side. Additionally, the sizeable petal hood is big enough to be a bit of an inconvenience, adding considerable length to the lens, so we didn't utilize it as much. However, it is lighter than its Sony and Tamron counterparts at 995g (35oz), making it even more convenient for travel and street photography. 

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Its focus, zoom, and aperture rings are smooth to turn and ribbed (the focus and aperture are metal, the zoom is rubberized) for a good tactile feel, though not overly smooth that they're susceptible to accidental turns. 

SPEED & FOCUS

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Speed and autofocus are two of the XF50-140mm F/2.8's many strengths. First of all, thanks to its constant F/2.8 aperture, this lens is fast even at the long end. This makes it ideal not only for sports photography, but also for indoor shots, low light situations, and night photography. It is, in fact, a glorious thing to shoot city scenes at nighttime; and thanks to its optical image stabilization, there's hardly a need for a tripod even when shooting in slower shutter speeds.

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Combine those two with its impressive autofocus system that uses a triple linear motor, and you've got yourself a triple threat. The XF 50-140mm F/2.8's AF finds and locks on to your subjects accurately and very quickly, even in low light situations, that it's actually harder to not get your subjects in focus, even when they're a ways away and moving, making this truly an ideal sports lens.

BOKEH

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If you're a bokeh enthusiast, then you'll worship this glass.

The XF50-140mm F/2.8 has seven rounded aperture blades, which allows it to produce creamy bokeh that is beautifully rounded at its wide end of 50mm and decently smooth at its long end. 

This means that when you're shooting at 140mm at the widest aperture, you'll get super sharp subjects with gorgeously soft and creamy foregrounds/backgrounds. 

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IMAGE QUALITY

When you've got a good lens in your hands, you know it at first blush. With Fujinon XF50-140mm F/2.8, you'll know it as soon as you take those first few images. This excellent glass produces stunning images with edge-to-edge sharpness, beautiful color reproduction, and great quality that's consistent whether you're shooting at 50mm or at 140mm. There may be very slight softness at F/2.8, but it's nothing that is terribly obvious or could ruin the image. 

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We absolutely love the fact that this lens has zero to very minimal distortion, even at 50mm, making it perfect for architecture and interior shots. We also could not discern signs of chromatic aberration in any of our test shots, which means that this lens does a great job in keeping that issue limited. 

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Ghosting and flare are also minimal, thanks to the High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating and Nano-GI coating that Fuji applied to the lens surface. Though we haven't had enough chance to really test those in very bright situations, as the weather wasn't super bright and sunny during our time in Seoul.

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To wrap it all up nicely, the XF 50-140mm F/2.8's image stabilization prevents camera shake and just contributes to the images' overall sharpness, even at slower shutter speeds.

Overall, you will be impressed by the image quality this glass produces, from its sharpness and color reproduction to its ability to minimize typical lens issues that come with cheaper glass, which explains its slightly more expensive price tag.

PROS & CONS

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Pros
  • Super sharp image
  • Internal zooming
  • Constant aperture
  • Image stabilization
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Very minimal distortion
  • Weather sealing
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Aperture ring
  • Minimal ghosting and flare
Cons
  • $1,399 price
FINAL THOUGHTS

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It's hard not to want the Fujinon XF50-140mm F/2.8 in your camera bag once you get a hold of it. It not only has great handling with its relatively compact size and fairly light-weight, but also produces super sharp and exceptionally clear images with beautiful colors and very minimal issues like distortion and color fringing. 

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That's not all. This lens also comes with all the features you need in a sports photography glass--weather sealing, constant aperture, internal zooming, and optical image stabilization, which is why you'll be paying a slightly premium price of $1,399 if you want to add it to your arsenal.

Mind you, this lens isn't just for sports photographers. It's also excellent for other types photography, from portrait to street to travel. If you have the funds, it's a great buy, giving you a variety of focal lengths, all with the same maximum aperture of F/2.8. If you don't, better start saving now as it is definitely a worthy investment.

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