Fujifilm X-T2 XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens Review:
When the Fuji X Series started, it was mainly aimed at rangefinder enthusiasts. Even the focal lengths were more in line with what rangefinder aficionados traditionally used. But overtime, the X Series expanded, and it started to attract a broader range of users. Of course, this meant that Fuji needed a wider selection of lenses to further entice them. One of these lenses that they created was the XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR lens. With an equivalent range of 76mm to 213mm, and a fixed f2.8 aperture, this lens serves as a traditional zoom that many DSLR users have grown accustomed to, giving them even more of a reason to explore the X Series, and give it a try.
Fujifilm X-T2 XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens Build Quality:
Pro users definitely need dependable gear, and that’s where build quality comes into play. The good news is, the XF 50-140mm is one tough little lens. First off, the exterior of the XF 50-140mm f2.8 along with the aperture and focus rings are all made of metal. The lens mount is made from brass. In terms of feel, the focus ring rotates very smoothly. Like other X Series lenses, the aperture ring clicks in third stops but I did find it took a little too much effort to rotate it. In other words, I found it a little too firm for my taste. But I did find that the zoom ring rotates nicely, and offers just the right amount of resistance. Overall, the materials used and the way that this zoom is assembled makes the XF 50-140mm feel very rigid and solid, which is important considering it is one of the longer Fuji lenses. It also needs to be structurally better because this lens does come with a removable tripod mount that attaches to a rotatable tripod collar, which means, the lens itself is going to be under some stress.
↑ The lens is long for the X Series but still relatively compact, and light when you consider the focal length and fixed aperture speed.
Speaking of the tripod mount, for the most part, I didn’t use it much because it was actually quite easy to shoot with this lens. All of what I just said may make the XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR lens sound very heavy but at 995g, it doesn’t weigh that much when you consider its focal length, and fixed aperture speed. Also, it is large but the size of the lens only makes transporting it difficult, especially since most of my bags are compact, and more designed for street use. In actual use however, I was actually pretty amazed at how easy this lens is to hand hold and shoot with. This, of course, has a lot to do with the XF 50-140mm’s amazing image stabilization system.
↑ The tripod collar is rotatable.
↑ The tripod mount is removable.
In fact, Fuji considers the image stabilization performance to be best in class, and after my experience with it, I don’t doubt this claim. The XF 50-140mm’s five stop image stabilization system works incredibly well. I was testing the XF 23mm f2 (review here) while I was testing this lens, and so I was shooting them back to back. I did some portraits with both, and whenever I switched to this zoom, it didn’t even feel like I was using a much longer lens. The images came out tack sharp, and it felt like I never missed a beat. It’s pretty incredible, and I urge anyone who doubts whether the XF 50-140mm’s image stabilization system is this capable to try it in person for yourself. This lens has one of the best image stabilizers that I’ve used so far. You can shoot hand held in very low shutter speeds, and still get sharp images. With its image stabilization, I believe it opens up a lens like this to completely new areas of photography.
Now the XF 50-140mm f2.8 is obviously great for portrait work but I’m sure many will also use it for other subjects like photographing wildlife or landscape. Either way, if you’re going outdoors, chances are you’ll run into some bad weather sooner or later. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem because like many of Fuji’s other high end lenses, the XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR lens has seals making it weather and dust resistant. It can also operate in temperatures as low as -10ºC.
To top everything off, the XF 50-140mm f2.8 also comes with a lens hood. It has a sliding door, so you can access a polarizer if you’re using one. For the most part, while the lens is pretty compact considering its focal length range, it still is one of Fuji’s longer lenses. Therefore, I didn’t really use the hood all that much although it can be attached in the reverse position for easy storage.
↑ The lens hood is fully reversible.
Fujifilm X-T2 XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens Autofocus:
As for autofocus, the XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR lens employs a Triple Linear Motor for both quiet and fast AF. Overall, the autofocus is actually pretty decent. I found it to be very fast, and accurate. Shooting portraits for instance, is a breeze because it simply locks on instantaneously, and all I have to do is press the shutter button. It even yielded excellent results with fast moving subjects. It quickly locked on to some fast moving boats I was photographing, and it did a great job when I was photographing the 2016 New York City Marathon. The autofocus did slow down some when I was using the XF 50-140mm f2.8 in dim lighting. Plus it can hunt a bit in very dim lighting but for the most part, the autofocus shouldn’t be an issue for most subjects. Now, let’s talk about image quality.
↑ This was taken at f2.8 using the 140mm focal length. As you can see, the XF 50-140mm had no trouble catching this fast moving boat.
↑ This was taken using the 140mm focal length as well at f2.8.
Fujifilm X-T2 XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens Image Quality:
For the most part, the XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR lens performs superbly in the IQ department. You would think that it suffers some because its a zoom but just like many of the other zooms in the X Series, like the XF 100-400mm (review here), and the XF 18-55mm (review here), the XF 50-140mm really delivers the goods. While this zoom may not give you the same level of image quality as the very top end primes, it’s not that far off either.
↑ This was taken using the 140mm focal length at f11.
↑ This was taken at the 59mm focal length with the aperture set at f2.8.
↑ This was taken using the 140mm focal length. I used f11.
For instance, the XF 50-140mm is a very sharp lens. Even at maximum aperture, the corners and edges did really well in my book. The center at f2.8 is tack sharp, of course. You might not get quite the same level of sharpness at maximum aperture as say the XF 90mm but then again, that is a top end prime lens. Still there is absolutely nothing to complain about here. Once you stop down to even just f4, the center sharpens even further and of course, so do the edges. From my experience with this lens, I would say that if you want the absolute best out of it, shoot around f8 but truthfully, the XF 50-140mm is plenty sharp throughout the aperture range. In other words, don’t feel the need to pick an aperture you don’t actually want to use for the sake of optimal image quality when this lens performs so well throughout the entire range.
↑ Here’s a photo taken with the 50mm focal length at f11.
↑ Here is a 100% crop of the photo above.
↑ This was taken at the 66mm focal length wide open.
↑ Here’s a 100% crop. As you can see, the eye is sharp at f2.8.
↑ This was taken at f5.6 using the 50mm focal length.
↑ Here’s a 100% crop of the photo above. Look how sharp the letters are, and keep in mind that the ferry was moving pretty fast.
Other than sharpness, there are plenty of other characteristics that make the XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR lens great. For one, I quite enjoy the color rendering of this lens, and it also produces images with decent contrast. As for vignetting, while there is some at maximum aperture, it’s very minimal. Once you stop down to just f4, it clears up. In terms of flare, I found it to be very resistant to it. I only had one issue but it was minor. I was in an alley way taking portraits, and the sun hit me in a just the right angle causing a slight loss in contrast but surprisingly, it didn’t cause any flare. Other than that, there really isn’t much to complain about. I can’t even say this lens doesn’t shoot at a close distance because you can even shoot as close as 1m for the entire zoom range. In terms of image quality, it’s really hard to ask for me from a zoom.
↑ I used the 56mm focal length in this photo. It was taken at f2.8.
↑ This was taken at f11 using the 129mm focal length.
↑ This was taken at 50mm using f2.8.
Fujifilm X-T2 XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens Bokeh:
As for the bokeh, I found it to be very decent. With its seven aperture blades, the lens produces images that are very smooth. The background really does fade away nicely, and I don’t see anything that really stands out in a bad way. But in this category, I think I still prefer the bokeh from my XF 56mm f1.2 APD and the XF 90mm f2. To me at least, I feel that the bokeh from those two primes have that extra bit of magic to them. But then again, both those lenses don’t have the same flexibility as the XF 50-140mm because they are not zooms. So the bottom line is if you prefer getting the zoom over those two primes, know that you’ll still get very decent bokeh.
↑ I shot this with the 140mm focal length using f2.8.
↑ I used the 74mm focal length in this photo, and had the lens set at f2.8.
Fujifilm X-T2 XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR vs. XF 90mm f2 R LM WR Lens:
Now, I thought I’d compare this zoom with the XF 90mm f2 a bit because from time to time, I’ve spoken to people who couldn’t decide on which lens would be the best fit for them. This isn’t a complete comparison because I didn’t have the XF 90mm f2 while I was reviewing the XF 50-140mm. However, I did review the XF 90mm f2 when it was first released, so I have some experience with it.
Overall, I prefer the XF 90mm f2 R LM WR lens over this zoom because of several reasons. First off, I love using primes. It’s also smaller, and the image quality is better. In fact, I think the XF 90mm probably produces the best image quality out of the X Series lenses or at the very least, is one of the best image quality producers. Lastly, the bokeh is some of the best that I’ve ever seen come from any Fuji lens. With all that said, keep in mind that I don’t need the zoom’s range. If I did, it would be a different story.
The huge plus that the XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR lens has over the XF 90mm is its zoom range, which makes it more versatile. Furthermore, while the zoom may be larger than the XF 90mm, the XF 50-140mm’s image stabilization actually makes it easier for me to hand hold it than it is for me to hand hold the XF 90mm. To me, the image stabilization is really that good. Plus, while the XF 90mm produces better image quality, it’s not like the XF 50-140mm produces terrible images. You’re still going to get superb images and pro level quality. Lastly, the XF 50-140mm f2.8’s bokeh is still smooth enough to get the job done, and impress.
So, I guess this is what I’m trying to say to all of you: when deciding between these two lenses, I wouldn’t worry about which one really produces the best image quality because both are so good that I think what’s more important is what you expect to cover with these lenses. If you find yourself needing more flexibility, the zoom is probably the better choice. If you can live with just one focal length, the XF 90mm will give you the extra edge in image quality and bokeh.
Fujifilm X-T2 XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens Pros And Cons:
Fujifilm X-T2 XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens Pros:
- Well built.
- Removable tripod mount.
- Size and weight are very decent considering the focal length range and fixed aperture speed.
- One of the best image stabilizers that I’ve used.
- Weather and dust resistant.
- Fast autofocus.
- Excellent well-rounded image quality.
Fujifilm X-T2 XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens Cons:
- Aperture ring a little too tight for my taste.
- Autofocus slows down a bit in dim lighting.
Fujifilm X-T2 XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens Verdict:
Overall, the XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR lens is an extremely capable lens. It’s clearly aimed at the pro market, and that’s perfectly fine because it definitely delivers pro quality in every aspect. It’s well built, so it can handle the abuse that comes with professional work. Even though this is a long lens, it’s very useable because of the excellent image stabilization. Furthermore, the autofocus is fast, and best of all, it really delivers in terms of image quality. The truth is, I can’t think of any major negative with this lens. It can be considered by some as a jack of all trades. It may not deliver quite the same level of performance as some of Fuji’s best prime lenses but it gets pretty darn close. At the same time, it also gives you the versatility of a zoom . This is a seriously impressive lens, and it will also most definitely get the job done.
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