Reviews |Fujifilm Fujinon XF50mm f1.0 R WR

Fujifilm Fujinon XF50mm f1.0 R WR Review

Fujifilm X-series photographers may want to check their bank balance

Review

Price when reviewed

£1499

$1499 / €1599

Our Verdict

Fujifilm has made the Fujinon XF50mm f1.0 R WR to sell. It’s not going to be on everyone’s shopping list, but it’s not designed to be just for collectors or the super-rich either. At £1,499/€1599/$1499 (don’t forget that the US price excludes tax), it’s within reach of many enthusiast and professional photographers and I think it’s very unlikely that they will be disappointed with the quality of the results they get from it.

It’s a lovely lens to use and it produces delightful results with plenty of sharp detail at the plane of focus and very attractive bokeh.

For

  • Huge maximum aperture
  • Realistic price
  • Great build quality

Against

  • Large for a 50mm lens (but it has large aperture)
  • Chromatic aberration can be an issue with strongly backlit subjects

What is the Fujifilm Fujinon XF50mm f1.0 R WR?

Fujifilm already has a 50mm f/2.0 lens and two 56mm f/1.2 lenses for its X-series cameras so you might wonder why it has introduced the Fujifilm XF50mm f1.0 R WR. Well, it’s all about the aperture. At f/1.0 the Fujifilm XF50mm f1.0 R WR’s aperture lets in a huge amount of light to enable greater control over depth of field. It’s also about kudos and the technical challenge.

As Fujifilm X Series cameras like the X-T4 and X-T30 have APS-C format sensors, when mounted, the XF50mm f1.0 R WR has an effective focal length of 76mm. That’s ideal for portraiture and wedding photography with the wide aperture enabling the background to be heavily blurred.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF50mm F1.0 WR Price and Release Date

The Fujifilm Fujinon XF50mm F1.0 WR price tag will be £1,499 / $1,499 / €1,599 and it is set to go on sale this month (September 2020).

Fujifilm Fujinon XF50mm f1.0 R WR review

Specification

  • Product type: Lens
  • Announced: 3rd September 2020
  • Mount: Fujifilm X
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Effective focal length: 76mm
  • Angle of view : 31.7 degrees
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.0
  • Minimum aperture: f/16
  • Construction: 12 elements in 9 groups, includes 1 aspherical element and 2 ED elements
  • Diaphragm blades: 9
  • Minimum focus distance (from focal plane): 0.7m
  • Maximum magnification: 0.08x
  • Filter size: 77mm
  • Dimensions (diameter x length): 87 x 103.5mm
  • Weight: 845g
Fujifilm Fujinon XF50mm f1.0 R WR review

Features

A 50mm lens is one of the simpler lenses to build, but creating a 50mm lens with an aperture of f/1.0 and that is suitable for use on a comparatively small camera is a very different matter.

Fujifilm has constructed the XF50mm f1.0 R WR from 12 elements arranged in 9 groups. Amongst those elements, there’s one aspherical element and two ED (extra-low dispersion) elements.

In addition, the lens is sealed against moisture and dust in 11 places.

If you’re going to shoot at f/1.0 you need to be very careful with focusing. Autofocusing is taken care of by the DC motor and the lens functions with Fujifilm X-series cameras’ Face / Eye AF. However, if you should decide to focus manually, the focus ring of the XF50mm F1.0 is said to be eight times more accurate than that of any previous XF lens.

Consequently, it takes a rotation of 120º to move from the minimum focusing distance to infinity.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF50mm f1.0 R WR review

Build and Handling

At 87 x 103.5mm, the Fujifilm Fujinon XF50mm f1.0 R WR is large for a 50mm lens, but it’s actually not too dissimilar in size from the Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR which measures 83.3mm x 106.0mm (wide) / 129.5mm (telephoto) and weighs 655g.

I used the Fuji XF50mm f1.0 R WR on the X-T4 and it felt really good, not too front-heavy or oversized. The wide focus ring is also exactly where you expect it to be and its action is smooth with just the right amount of torque required to rotate it.

Other than the aperture and focus rings, there are no controls on the barrel of XF50mm f1.0 R WR, the focus mode is set using a switch on the camera body.

Performance

As soon as I started using the Fujifilm XF50mm f1.0 R WR, I could tell that it’s a very good lens. And even in November in the UK, shooting at f/1.0 means you can use fast shutter speeds. Under an overcast sky about an hour before sunset, at ISO 160, for example, I could shoot at 1/400sec. Of course, you’ll need an ND filter if you want to use such a wide aperture in sunny conditions.

Read our guide to the best ND filters

The bokeh (the quality of the out of focus areas) in images shot with the aperture wide open is wonderfully smooth while small out of focus highlights are round.

It’s also interesting to see how much difference it makes to open up from f/1.8 or f/1.4 to f/1.0. Depending upon the distance between the subject and the background, you can smooth-out hard lines behind your subject.

When you’re shooting with a very wide aperture, you need to target the focusing very precisely so it’s helpful that the Fuji X-T4 allows you to set a tiny AF point. Also, the X-T4’s AF system gets the subject sharp the vast majority of the time when the XF50mm f1.0 R WR is mounted. It even copes well with quite low contrast targets.

Switching the camera to video mode proves that the XF50mm f1.0 R WR can also keep a moving subject sharp with smooth focusing transitions, however, the AF motors are audible. They’re not loud, but they are noticeable in the video so it would be best to record any ambient sound with a remote mic.

Fujifilm XF50mm f1.0 R WR Image Quality

Naturally, the first images I checked out from the Fuji 50mm f/1.0 were those shot at the widest aperture and it captures a very impressive level of detail. Looking at images at 100% on a computer screen, you may just spot very slight softening in the far corners of the frame, but it really is very slight.

As you close down the aperture 1/3stop at a time, you’ll see the sharpness increase up to about f/5.6 when you’re hard-pressed to see a difference between the level of detail at the corners and in the centre.

Similarly, if you may just about spot a slight drop in sharpness at f/11 and f/16 as the unavoidable impact of diffraction comes into play. But it’s hard to imagine that anyone would have any problem with the level of detail and sharpness captured at anyone point across the image frame or at any aperture.

In most real-world photography, vignetting is not an issue with the Fujifilm XF50mm f1.0 R WR. However, if you compare identical shots of an even-toned subject captured at different aperture settings, you will see some corner shading at f/1.0. This improves at f/1.4 and is gone by f/5.6.

I shot a lot of images in a woodland with the lens pointed towards the sun glinting through the trees and it’s clear that flare is very well controlled. You may get some if the sun is in the image frame and towards the edge, you’d expect that, but it’s not a major drama by any means.

Shooting the backlit trees and branches also indicates that chromatic aberration is very well controlled, although it can become apparent in some quite extreme situations – for example with over-exposed backlit subjects shot with the aperture wide-open. It’s possible to tone-down the worst of the fringing in Adobe Camera Raw.

Sample Images

Follow the link to browse and download full-resolution images from the Fuji XF50mm f1.0 R WR

 

Verdict

Fujifilm has made the Fujinon XF50mm f1.0 R WR to sell. It’s not going to be on everyone’s shopping list, but it’s not designed to be just for collectors or the super-rich either. At £1,499/€1599/$1499 (don’t forget that the US price excludes tax), it’s within reach of many enthusiast and professional photographers and I think it’s very unlikely that they will be disappointed with the quality of the results they get from it.

It’s a lovely lens to use and it produces delightful results with plenty of sharp detail at the plane of focus and very attractive bokeh.

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Kevin Gilligan
1 year ago

Thank you for the detailed review and thoughts. Clear and useful. I like your style of explaining some things might be a minor issue, but not in the real world for most people. As photographers we *sometimes* obsess over obscure details we see but our clients will never notice. Side note, the area where you live is beautiful! Those grassy fields are incredible. Adorable dog too. 🙂 I see what you did there with the SDOF focusing one shot on his eyes, nose blurry, and one shot on his nose, eyes blurry. Very nice.

Theo
Theo
1 year ago

Thanks for the nice review and the revealing photos. The unique character only of this one lens could atract us to convert to Fuji’s system. If only Fuji had more primes of the same character, quality, weight, and cost. Apertures of exactly f1 are not so critical, as its unique depicting character does. For example, more prime lenses of the same unique depicting character around 24mm (36mm equivalent) and 10mm (15mm) and around the same weight (not more than 1 kilo) and cost, would be absolutely desirable.