A Review of the Fujifilm XF50-140 f/2.8
When I went to Canada last year, I got to test the Fujifilm 50-140 F/2.8 for free for nearly a week and loved it. So when I saw it go on sale for the Holidays I ordered it and have been really putting it through its paces for the past few weeks.
I am not sponsored or was given compensation by Fujifilm or any other third party in regards to this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Focal length: 50-140mm (35mm equiv: 75-210mm)
Aperture range: F2.8-F22
Optical Image Stabilization
Internal focusing and zoom
Smaller and Lighter
This is Fujifilm's response to the 70-200mm lenses of the other major brands. Being an APS-C lens, it's smaller and lighter than its counterparts. It clocks in roughly about a pound lighter than both Canon and Nikon's offerings.
This doesn't mean the lens is small. It's still a constant aperture telephoto lens. But if you go out shooting for an entire day, you really do start to appreciate the lighter weight and slightly more compact body.
The lens itself is made mostly of metal with very few plastic bits. It definitely feels solid in the hands. The zoom ring is coated in a rubbery material to add a little more friction and grip while the focusing ring is completely metal.
It's also a weather resistant lens. I've shot it on the beach multiple times with no issues (yet!). The resistance really helps in a place where weather can be so unpredictable like here in Hawaii.
I've also used it in the Canadian Rockies (albeit during Spring). I'll be going back to the Rockies in March of 2017, where I expect the weather resistance will really come in handy.
After spending some time with the lens, I can say with confidence that the performance is on par with what you'd expect from a 70-200 lens. The OIS is extremely helpful, especially at the longer focal lengths. And autofocus has been snappy and accurate. Granted, I've been using it mostly with the Fujifilm X-T2 with its upgraded autofocus system, but even when I had it with my older X-T1 last year I don't recall many gripes.
As for image quality, I don't know what to say except that it's great throughout the focal length. Flares are pretty well controlled, color rendition looks great, and I don't notice very much chromatic aberration, except maybe in extreme circumstances.
But What About the Bokeh?
I had heard from an acquaintance that the XF50-140 had really bad, really busy bokeh. At the time, I didn't own the lens and my only experience with it was during those couple of days in Canada. I reviewed my photos and realized that most of them were landscapes, nothing really with a shallow depth of field.
After a quick Google search I found a few other users who were talking about how bad the bokeh looked. But for the most part, they all referenced the same image that came from some forum. From what I could tell, most of them had no real experience with the lens. I was still a bit concerned, but I ordered the lens anyway.
You can judge for yourself, but in my opinion? I think the bokeh looks okeh to me (I'll let myself out.)
I never really considered writing a review for this lens until I started doing more research on it, trying to decide if I should pull the trigger. To my surprise, the number of reviews I could dig up for this lens paled in comparison to Fuji's other offerings.
Bottom line, would I recommend this lens? Yes, 100%. You do lose out on some zoom, when compared to Fuji's 55-200mm, but the benefits vastly outweigh the downfalls. A constant F2.8 aperture, weather sealing, internal focusing and zooming, just to name a few. Of course you'll be paying a premium for these features.
The combination of build quality, image quality, and autofocus speed make this an easy recommendation for anyone in the X system looking for a telephoto. While it's not cheap ($1599 as of this writing), you're still paying much less than you would for a Canon, Nikon, or Sony counterpart.