posted Monday, June 15, 2015 at 2:37 PM EDT
Offering the basic equivalent of the classic sports and wildlife telephoto zoom lenses in the 70-200mm eq. class, the Fujinon XF50-140mm f/2.8 LM OIS WR lens was recently made available to us for review at SLRGear.com. I was the lucky one who got to sneak it out of the lab for a few days of gallery shooting with the flagship Fujifilm X-T1, along with the portrait battery grip as well. This trio proved to be quite an enjoyable and versatile setup.
The lens feels solid and reassuring from the first time you pick it up, as you'd expect from a higher-end Fuji lens. And while it's certainly not lightweight, it does balance quite nicely on the X-T1, especially with the battery grip attached. Without the grip this combination feels a bit "front-heavy", but once attached it's a really comfortable rig for carrying about.
The Fujinon 50-140mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom lens on the Fujifilm X-T1 with the optional battery grip
The actual equivalent focal length as reported on Fujifilm's website is 76-213mm, so you do get just a touch longer range than a standard 70-200mm equivalent lens (Exif data reports the eq. focal length to be 75-210mm, FYI). And the relatively wide f/2.8 aperture yields a lot of exposure flexibility for capturing action and wildlife. We'll have a full technical review of this lens up on SLRGear.com soon, and in the meantime we've posted 24 images to the Fuji X-T1 gallery page (they're at the top of the current gallery, with "50-140MM" in the filename).
Below are a few examples for your perusal across the entire focal length range, resized to fit this page. Some of them have been cropped and/or slightly altered in post-production (primarily to balance shadows and highlights). Clicking on any image will take you to a carrier page for access to the untouched, original full resolution image as delivered by the X-T1 + 50-140mm lens, as well as associated EXIF data. All images shot with this combination were taken handheld with optical image stabilization enabled.
1/1000s / f/4.5 / ISO 250 / 210mm eq.
Zoomed out to its maximum 210mm eq. range, this image gives a general idea of what to expect
from the bokeh characteristics of fairly close subject matter when stopped down to f/4.5.
1/640s / f/5.0 / ISO 200 / -3.0 EV / 194mm eq.
1/125s / f/2.8 / ISO 200 / 88mm eq.
Portrait work is one of the natural fields this lens is advertised for. This image is shot wide open at f/2.8 and zoomed to what some consider to be the most classic portrait zoom length of 85-90mm.
1/125s / f/2.8 / ISO 200 / 75mm eq.
1/500s / f/3.2 / ISO 1000 / 210mm eq.
For true "wild" wildlife shooting I generally like to be beyond 300mm eq., as anything shorter doesn't usually allow me to get close enough to most subjects without scaring them away (or scaring me for that matter depending on the subject). Fortunately I've been training "Buzzy" for some time now, and he doesn't mind me being closeby and working while he grazes or, in this case, lounges after his lunch. This image shows a taste of the bokeh flavor in the distance, with mild noise being due to a slight ISO boost, and not directly related to the lens itself. Foreground blur characteristics are on display here as well.
1/250s / f/2.8 / ISO 500 / 153mm eq.
Once again shooting Buzzy as he enjoys some sunflower seeds, we get another look at the background blur rendering, this time wide open. Precise focus becomes critical at this shallow depth of field, as I was only about 8 feet away. Using a depth of field calculator for a 102mm (actual) focal length, f/2.8 and a distance to the subject of 8' yields a depth of field of just .2 feet, which is only a few inches (about 63mm for the rest of the civilized world). Below is a 1:1 crop to get a closer look at the detail.
[1:1 crop from above image]
1/125s / f/2.8 / ISO 1250 / 210mm eq.
Our Maine Coone cat was injured for this shot, but the detail in his eye even at ISO 1250 is worth noting. The depth of field here is even less than for the squirrel shot above, at about 1.5 inches (38mm).
(The wound was from a routine battle with his arch rival, but he's on the mend now.)
[1:1 crop from above image]
1/125s / f/2.8 / ISO 250 / 173mm eq.
This image won't win any awards, but it does showcase both the foreground and background blur characteristics when shooting wide open and zoomed to 173mm eq. range.
1/200s / f/10.0 / ISO 400 / -0.3 EV / 75mm eq.
This image was taken at the widest available focal length of 75mm eq. and stopped down to f/10.
Clicking the image will allow you to access a carrier page, and clicking that image will bring up the
full resolution file for a closer look.