Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR
Lab Test Results
December 8, 2015
by Andrew Alexander
Announced in September 2014, the long-awaited Fujifilm 50-140mm arrived on store shelves in January 2015 and provides pro Fuji shooters with a lens equivalent of the ubiquitous 70-200mm full frame lens. Mounted on Fuji's X-mount cameras, the lens provides an equivalent field of view of 76-213mm.
The lens features a constant ƒ/2.8 aperture, image stabilization, and weather sealing. It is one of the largest in Fuji's lineup for the X series: it weighs in at just under a kilogram (30 oz) and is packed with all the features Fuji currently has to offer. The lens ships with a tripod mount and a lens hood, accepts 72mm filters, and is available now for between $1,400 and $1,600.
The Fujinon XF 50-140mm ƒ/2.8 R LM OIS WR produces very sharp images, even wide open at ƒ/2.8. We do note some de-centering in our sample copy of this lens: at ƒ/2.8 the top of the image is soft at 70mm, while at 140mm the bottom is soft at ƒ/2.8.
That said, even at ƒ/2.8 the images produced are very sharp, even adding in the slight extra softness introduced by de-centering. There is barely any noticeable effect by going from 50mm to 140mm: a properly centered lens would probably only have some slight corner softness throughout.
Stopping down to ƒ/4 improves sharpness, and by ƒ/5.6 we see the lens' maximum potential: tack-sharp images across the frame. This is true all the way through to ƒ/11, where we see the beginnings of diffraction limiting, but you won't notice any practical impact on sharpness until ƒ/16. At ƒ/22 things are slightly soft throughout the frame.
There's probably some automatic reduction of chromatic aberration going on under the hood of the X-E1, as the results in our testing are decidedly impressive: there is hardly any CA to speak of in our test results.
Results for the test relating to corner shading are similarly excellent: there is a very slight amount of corner shading (1/4 EV) when stopped down below ƒ/5.6.
The Fujinon XF 50-140mm ƒ/2.8 R LM OIS WR produced nearly zero distortion in our testing: again, probably some excellent in-camera adjustment going on here.
Note: It should be noted that the X-E1, our Fuji test camera, does feature in-camera correction of CA, vignetting and distortion, and it's important to note that our results here were taken from RAW files. However, when converted with Adobe Camera Raw, as it our usual procedure, ACR carries over these in-camera corrections. It was only by converting the same RAW images with DCRAW (which does not convert the images with these corrections) that we were able to confirm this.
The Fujinon 50-140mm uses an electrical autofocus system, which is very fast: in this case, it's a triple linear motor, allowing the lens to focus from infinity to closest focus in less than a second. The design is fly-by-wire, so there is no direct connection between the focusing ring and the autofocus system: autofocus results are very quick, and almost totally silent. Also, attached 72mm filters will not rotate.
This is not a lens to go to for macro results: just 0.12x magnification, and a minimum close-focusing distance of 1 meter (3.3 feet).
Build Quality and Handling
The Fujinon XF 50-140mm ƒ/2.8 R LM OIS WR is a well-built lens, with an all-metal barrel construction and textured in a satin black finish. The lens is not subtle: it's almost seven inches long, and weighs 30 ounces, and mounted on the smaller X-mount bodies it does make for a package that's not quite as svelte as you might have envisioned. Adding a battery grip really helps: we shot some sample photos with this lens back in June 2015, and it's worth checking out that article here. The lens features optical image stabilization, which is activated or deactivated with a dedicated ''OIS'' switch. Weather sealing is prominent in more than 20 areas of the lens.
There are three rings for this lens: a zoom ring, a focusing ring, as well as an aperture ring, which is something of a rarity in modern digital camera lenses -- though it's been a standard feature on Fuji's X-mount glass. The aperture ring sits closer to the lens body, around 3/8'' wide. The lens features a selector, which allows the user to choose between auto-aperture mode, or manual aperture selection (you just have to remember that the "A" stands for Automatic, not aperture).
The zoom ring is a generous two inches wide, with deep rubber ribs running parallel to the length of the lens. The zoom action is very smooth, going from 50mm to 140mm in a ninety degree turn, with only a minor amount of force required to transition between focal lengths. It's an internal focusing lens, so it does not extend as it is zoomed out.
The focusing ring is about 7/8'' wide, made of polycarbonate with deep grooves that offer excellent tactile feel. The lens uses a fly-by-wire system in its lens focusing operation, so the focusing ring is not actually directly connected to the lens elements in a mechanical way. Rather, turning the focusing ring moves the elements electronically. In practice this means the focusing ring will turn forever in either direction, and you'll have to rely on the on-screen readouts to know if you have reached minimum or maximum focus.
There are no distance scales or depth-of-field information on the lens, but the X-E1 test camera we use offers a distance scale on its LCD or viewfinder readout.
There is no claimed performance by Fuji with its Optical Image Stabilization, but they do say it is the best in its class. Our testing showed about 2-2.5 stops of improvement at 50mm and around 3.5-4 stops at 140mm. This is still very good performance. Be sure to check our IS Test tab for more detailed information.
The lens comes standard with a beefy tripod mount. The mount's foot can be removed from the lens but the collar is integrated: the foot has a single 1/4-20 mounting point. The petal-shaped lens hood is made of plastic and attaches via standard bayonet mount. The hood is 3 1/4'' long and features a removable (and easily lost, I'd assume) window that allows the user to rotate attached 72mm filters.
None of the third-party manufacturers are (at the time of writing) producing lenses in the X-mount configuration, so if you're looking for a lens in this category, you really don't have many options.
Fujinon XF 18-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR ~$700
It's not really in the same class, but we're including it for the sake of any kind of alternative. It's not as sharp, doesn't have a constant aperture, but offers a versatile range of focal lengths that emcompasses most of the telephoto range of the 50-140mm.
Fujinon XF 55-200mm ƒ/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS ~$700
Offering a more telephoto option, again, it doesn't have the constant aperture, and it isn't as sharp, but if you need the reach, this would be the lens.
Fuji has produced an excellent lens with the XF 50-140mm: if you are a pro shooter looking for the 70-200mm range, you have probably already added this lens to your collection. Like most telephoto zooms, these pay for themselves quickly and become go-to lenses. Fuji hasn't skimped on quality here, and the results speak for themselves.
The VFA target should give you a good idea of sharpness in the center and corners, as well as some idea of the extent of barrel or pincushion distortion and chromatic aberration, while the Still Life subject may help in judging contrast and color. We shoot both images using the default JPEG settings and manual white balance of our test bodies, so the images should be quite consistent from lens to lens.
As appropriate, we shoot these with both full-frame and sub-frame bodies, at a range of focal lengths, and at both maximum aperture and ƒ/8. For the ''VFA'' target (the viewfinder accuracy target from Imaging Resource), we also provide sample crops from the center and upper-left corner of each shot, so you can quickly get a sense of relative sharpness, without having to download and inspect the full-res images. To avoid space limitations with the layout of our review pages, indexes to the test shots launch in separate windows.
Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR
Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR User Reviews
10 out of 10 points and recommended by rdonson (7 reviews)Tack sharp, great OIS, WR, very well built
I'm used to the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L (not version II) and this seems better in every way. I took 10s of thousands of shots with the Canon and it was a workhorse for me but I like this better. Obviously this is a bit lighter and smaller as it's tailored to the APS-C sensor. Obviously this is also newer than my Canon and it may be on par with the newer II version.reviewed May 27th, 2017 (purchased for $1)
The lens is well designed. I like the lens shade with the opening for a finger to rotate a circular polarizer. Fuji put marks on the lens shade so I've really not had an issue putting it on or taking it off.
I don't take the foot off. If I'm hand holding I simply rotate the foot to be out of my way.
Fast focus, tack sharp and excellent OIS are the hallmarks of this lens.
It's a fine complement to my Fuji 100-400 for tele lenses and works marvelously with my X-T2..
9 out of 10 points and recommended by privater (1 reviews)Sharpness, f2.8, OIS, Build quality, Water Resist, Fast Focus,Price, Heavy, Large, Tripod collar hard to remove, OIS Noise, No lens pouch
I have Sony FE70200 G to compare with it which almost has the same category and price tag. Sony I'm using A7rIIreviewed December 10th, 2015 (purchased for $980)
,Fuji with X-T1
For build quality, Fuji is better, all metal construction, Direct Aperture control. But Sony has focus limiter switch and focus hold button which is very convenient. Sony lens consist of plastic and metal. Fuji is heavier than Sony, both because of material and lens elements.
Accessories: Sony has Lens pouch, Fuji only has a lens warp, Sony's Lens hood is well made with high quality plastic with same paint as lens barrel and rubber ring with black cloth inside which is very high quality and professional, Fuji on the other side the hood is very plastic, feels cheap and hard to put on. So sony Wins with accessories.
Sony has better designed tripod collar, Fuji is very difficult to remove
Focus: both very fast, I'd say they're even but Fuji is better in min focus because it stays the same from 50 to 140mm, Sony is variable 1M at 70mm but 1.3m at 200mm sometime it's annoying to step back for the shot.
OIS: Fuji is a lot better (50% better more or less) BUT with drawback: the OIS in fuji lens looks like some magnetic float system, you can hear the noisy when you're at some quiet place like home or church. Sony looks like use traditional OIS without any noisy but not as effective, and whether you enable the OIS or not, the noisy is there and can't turn off, so I suppose the floating element is fundamental in Fuji's lens, it's working all the time.
Sharpness: Fuji is better. especially on the long end(That's why we want a telephoto lens right?) I bought this kind of lens for it's reach and bokeh, I don't really care the wide end, thus Fuji give me the best result: the best focal range is 140mm, which is exactly what I want. The Sony on the other hand is very disappointed: it's best range is from 70-130mm, the 200mm f4 is very soft. I can't use it for critical, I have to use f5.6 or small to get sharp result in center.
Bokeh: Both very good with their largest aperture
Aperture: f2.8 is better than f4.
Overral I prefer Fuji than Sony, but I just wish Fuji has done better job on accessories.
10 out of 10 points and recommended by coma (23 reviews)sharp, incredible OIS, fast
together with the 16-55 the 50-140 forms the duo of "to big for mirrorless but nothing but incredible"reviewed December 7th, 2015 (purchased for $1,400)
As with the 16-55 at first I thought this lens might be too big and heavy for a tiny mirrorless body.
That might be true for an X-A1, but I think this lens was designed with the X-T1 and the battery grip in mind. And on that it performs splendidly.
The optical performance is incredible and it matches the Canon f/2.8L II (of course the Canon is made for full frame, but considering optical design, contrast, sharpness and correction, this is on par)
What I was positively shocked about is the OIS. It's nothing like the one on the 18-55 (with I would deactivate most of the time) but better than anything I have owned (even beating the EM1 IBIS).
Focus is fast too.