XF50-140: “IQ slightly better than the Nikon 70-200” (Bjorn) + “superb micro-contrast” (Olaf) + “it thinks it’s a Prime” (Derek)

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XF 50-140 IN STOCK CHECK
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MUST READ: Rico’s First Look at the 50-140 f/2.8!

The XF50-140 is optically an outstanding lens, especially when it comes to sharpness and micro-contrast. Here are some more reviews/first looks about this lens.

1) olafphotoblog: ““They’ve done it again!” The XF 50-140 is BITINGLY sharp with a crisp tonal transition and superb micro-contrast! The bokeh (out of focus area) is surprisingly smooth, given the smaller sensor size (in comparison to the FF). The only thing we could whine about is the size of the lens but if this is a trade-off to achieve top quality, I’m glad Fuji went for it.”: For the following article “ 7 Points About the XF 50-140mm” click here.

2) bjornmoerman: XF 50-140 on field review in Myanmar: “Auto-focus speed is very fast in normal lighting conditions. In very low light there is the occasional focus hunting; nothing more pronounced than on the other Fujinon glass however. […] Overall I’m very pleased with the quality of the bokeh. When shooting a very contrasty background, it can at times be a little harsh […] Sharpness: this is really where this lens shines! […] I feel the image quality of the lens is very close if not slightly better than the Nikon 70-200 2.8, while its built quality and smoothness of operation is clearly better.”

3) derekclarkphotography Fuji 50-140mm f2.8 :: It Thinks It’s A Prime: “So in conclusion: The Fujifilm 50-140mm is just outstanding! We’ve waited a while, but the wait was well worth it. I keep thinking that Fuji has peeked with the quality of their lenses, but as soon as I do, they bring out something that just blows me away!”

image courtesy: Olafphotoblog

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image courtesy: bjornmoerman

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  • fafs

    Amazing shock horror Fuji shill says Fuji lens is super duper lol

    • Patrick

      I don’t say anything… I just report. If Olaf & Co would have been disappointed with the lens, then I’d report that. Really, I’m looking hard, but I can’t find a review that says that this lens is crap (or just a normal zoom lens). If I find, I’ll share

  • theone

    Its that bokeh from hell again.

    • Ladimup

      I think that’s from small ‘mirror’ box for lack of MLC term. I had that when I used aps-c cameras.

  • hnriot

    f/4 equivalent, but priced and sized like a f/2.8, the landscape photos are great, the kid shots not so, the fifth one is not even in focus, but the others show what the lens can do pretty well. When better sensors come out I suspect this will be a decent lens, for the moment it’s the same plastic skin tones.

    Why does every blog feel like it needs to explain what bokeh means. It’s not like anyone reading a photo enthusiasts blog post doesn’t know it by now.

    It’s actually more expensive that the Sony 70-200 which is also an f/4 stabilized lens, I would have thought Fuji would want to come in under that price.

    I tend to ignore things like “bitingly sharp” because sharpness is so misunderstood. First off, on a 16mp sensor it’s irrelevant, the resolution would very likely exceed the sensors if it’s any good. “sharpness” though, has little to do with resolution. For those interested in acutance and resolution and how they interoperate take a read at http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/sharpness.htm

  • Bob

    Meh, let me know when we get a more scientific review (slrgear, lenstip, photozone, dxo, etc.) so we can get some hard data on MTF, CA’s, vignetting, coma, astigmatism, etc.
    So tired of these gushing fanboy reviews, full of bias because they got the lens for free (infinite benefit/cost ratio), or they want to mentally justify their purchase and ignore any negatives.
    The Sigma 50-150/2.8, Canon/Nikon/Sony 70-200/2.8 are all ‘great’ lenses but they also have quantifiable pros and cons that come out of scientific testing. We’ll see how it shakes out once the Fuji 50-140/2.8 and the upcoming Samsung 50-150/2.8 are added to the mix.

    • Raz

      Yes less artistry and more shots of brick walls and test charts please. That’s why we all buy cameras anyway right?

      • Meep

        Don’t forget cats – or did that turn out to be too much work since cats tend to move?

  • Guest

    Cue the concern trolls in 3… 2… oh figures, they beat me to it.

  • Lumen

    The term MICRO-contrast on that 2nd image here above sounds funny !

  • Marc

    Haters gonna hate, as usual :)

    • Alex

      Lovers gonna love, as usual :)

      • Patrick

        It’s not love… it’s not hate… it’s an opinion (of photographers, who paid the full price for their lens)

      • Marc

        People wouldn’t praise the lens if it wasnt good. Even fanboys cannot overlook obvious flaws.

  • gr

    haha, Prime huh images are really bad. C’mon you guys can see.

    • Guest

      Insightful.

  • HULK diagnosis: Classical case of Lens-smash-puny-camera-syndrom!

  • A Concerned Fujiman

    I love Fuji and I have the X-T1, Fujinon 35mm, Fujinon 56mm, and a Samyang 12mm. I got it to replace my Canon 6D, Sigma 35mm Art, Sigma 50mm Art, and Canon 135mm. So I do love Fuji. But these raving reviews are just sickening. The photos aren’t really that amazing and the over-the-top comparisons to other lenses are getting old and frankly, not helpful for the brand. Overhyped and oversold.

    Yes, it might be a very good lens optically and someone can do this lens some justice (not yet with the images these guys presented in their “reviews”). Prime? Super micro-contrast? Seriously? What’s next? Ultra lightning fast autofocus? Right. The current AF in Fuji X bodies can’t provide DSLR-speed AF yet but I love how accurate they are especially using primes.

    I am sure that this will be very good optically just like the other great Fujinon lenses. But nobody can deny that this is expensive and a big and heavy honking lens even compared to a full-frame 2.8 of equivalent zoom range.

    And presenting over-the-top “reviews” isn’t going to help. It’ll just sound pretentious and overhyped.

    • studio1972

      “But nobody can deny that this is expensive and a big and heavy honking lens even compared to a full-frame 2.8 of equivalent zoom range.”

      I would deny that, it is smaller than those, although still quite hefty. This is normal for this type of lens, and Fuji cannot break the laws of physics I’m afraid.

  • sghound

    lovers gonna hate. crappy bokeh example. again. rico’s shots much better.

  • It’s pretty clear that the designers of this lens went for ‘sharp’ vs ‘smooth,’ which is a shame IMO because the 55-200 is already a very sharp lens (stopped down a bit). I’m afraid I’ll cut myself on those out of focus Christmas lights if I look at that shot again.

    A smooth-rendering, fast-focusing zoom would have been ideal. It isn’t really smooth – maybe it’ll be fast-focusing? Here’s hoping.

    • Raz

      Fuji would be utterly panned if they designed a lens that was intentionally soft. There’s plenty of nice fast primes for the bokeh ball obsessives after all. If you’re getting paid to take some nice photos of people’s kids on Santa’s knee, most parents will be more interested in the kids faces being sharp than the christmas lights in the background forming perfect circular blobs ;)

      • theone

        Actually i think if you could show them the two shots side by side, expression being the same, they would go for the one with better bokeh. its not about being obsessed with the bokeh balls, it effects the entire image. Good bokeh makes the image feel warm and smooth and changes the mood. If you are in business and your competition is able to produce such photos with other lenses then that is when this lens begins to not stack up as a choice. Then what do you do if you want a fast zoom.

        • Raz

          Geeks always project their likes and dislikes on other people, believe me, non photo geeks won’t even notice these things, they’ll pick the shot where the smile is warmest and the eyes are brightest and won’t care one bit about the background. People desperate for shallower DOF in their photos either need to shoot fast primes, go full frame or medium format. There’s just a limit to what you can practically achieve on APS-C and smaller formats.

          • theone

            youve just described someone that would be better off with a point and shoot.

          • theone

            seriously when did we get to the point where we just stopped caring about image quality…????

          • Raz

            People stop caring when the lens is good enough to get the job done for the 99.9% of people who won’t spend their time scrutinising the shape of out of focus highlights in the background of a photograph :P

            When you go to a photography exhibition, do you appreciate the artistic merit of the work on show or spend your time assessing the technical flaws in the photographer’s gear?

          • theone

            I dont think it will get the job done for 99% at all, this is a real issue with this lens, lets see how the sales go though and the reviews later. In answer to your question, of course i look at the artistic merit. My question to you is will the artist choose this lens to fulfill their vision in the first place, my answer to that is that many wont.

          • Guest

            The reality is that almost all lenses made in 2014 by the big manufacturers are sharp enough 99% of the time, if focused correctly. If you’re making 60″ prints and stress out if tree branches aren’t sufficiently isolated from one another, go get a D810.

            If you get paid to take photos of people, as I do, you know that focus errors are a far bigger culprit of sharpness than inherent lens design, and you also probably care less about absolute sharpness than you do about tone, warmth, bokeh, ‘zip,’ and other subjective measures of a lens’ ability to render a pleasing image.

            Most people who care about these subjective qualities seem to agree most of the time, which is why some lenses are revered by them and others panned. Thus far, the consensus from ‘these people,’ — commenters on threads like this — that the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 is not an elite performer when it comes to these subjective qualities. This was NOT the consensus, for example, with the XF 35mm f/1.4 when it came out in 2012. That lens is beloved by these people. The 56 1.2 a bit less (hence the APD version), and the 23mm less still, though all of these are generally regarded as acceptable.

            The XF 50-140mm f/2.8 looks to fall at the bottom of that group, but that’s expected because it’s a zoom. As to weather it will even prove ‘acceptable’ to ‘these people,’ I’d say the jury’s still out since no one has the lens yet, but it’s not looking great.

          • Vlad

            It is impressive the way you are twisting everything to fit your argument. First of all, while scrutinizing sharpness and other different aspects of an image by themselves is certainly obsessive, you can’t simply separate them from the overall look of an image. Certainly, if I have two images on that expo you mentioned, similar, just taken with different lenses and having different rendering, I bet you will be able to tell which one you like more. Second, nobody is “that upset” over a lens, commenters are upset about your nonsense, dismissing what they see, just because somebody else won’t. One would expect a photographer to be more demanding.

          • Raz

            Again you’re veering off into lens nerd land – when have you ever encountered two identical photographs taken with different lenses in the real world to compare the two? A good photographer works with what he has to make a great image.

            If you don’t think people are upset then you’re obviously not seeing the same comments I am on here, it’s full of people bellyaching about the size, cost, sharpness, bokeh and sample quality.

          • Vlad

            Precisely, there aren’t many such tests, which makes it all the more difficult to compare, hence why you see people tending to prefer the “Zeiss look” or “Voigtlander rendering” or “Fuji colours”. These are tangible things and valid concerns. Obviously, I’d agree with you that when people start talking about corner sharpness at 100%, this goes nowhere, but that is a bit different and the OP didn’t strike me as whiny, he just didn’t like the rendering of the lens. And a good photographer would take that rendering into account.
            In the end, if we don’t look at such details (again, globally as a rendering, not separately as geeks, where I’d agree with you), because regular people won’t see it at exhibitions, then this sure sounds professional, but it is hardly artistic.

          • hnriot

            haha, this is a fuji blog. people that care about image quality wouldn’t use these tiny sensor cameras. no matter what lens you put in front of it.

            that said, I own one, and enjoy using it, it’s great for vacations and messing around and since the vast majority of photos never get seen on anything bigger than an iPhone it doesn’t matter anyway.

            for when I do care about image quality I use cameras that have proper sensors, no AA and full frame, for when I really want image quality I still use film, on a Mamiya 6 and Hasselblad. 500 c/m. For color high end digital is still best, for b&w film is still best *for me*

            but let’s not get bent out of shape over a lens that likely out resolves the sensor, if the lens holds up it will be more useful (just like the 35, 23 and 56) when Fuji bring out cameras with better sensors.

          • Raz

            Um no. I said that gear nerds obsess over every minor optical characteristic of a lens. Normal people don’t care about these things, less than 100% perfect bokeh doesn’t mean you can’t take amazing photos. People get too fixated on the most minor technical details and forget about the artistry of photography.

          • theone

            no they dont, thats just nonsense. You cant assume that people that care about the quality their images produce are just nerds and everyone that doesnt give a damn are artists. Its just utter nonsense. Of course people care, plenty of people care and it will reflect in the sales and is clearly in the views of many across the internet who are also feeling this lens is not matching up to the performance of even the F4 zooms of other manufacturers. Please dont lump those that care about image quality as being geeks and artists are people that “just get on with producing amazing images” its simply not true but it suits your argument.

          • Raz

            Seriously, only gear nerds get this upset about a lens they’ve never touched based on a handful of sample photos. The only people whining about this lens are people who’ve never used one, unless you’d like to point me to a review from a photographer who has used it and doesn’t like it?

          • theone

            Many people that now arent buying it based on the images in the reviews :P Your questions is not valid as people that dont like the look of something tend not to buy it!

          • Raz

            How exactly do you know people aren’t buying it? Do you work for a camera shop and have a bunch you can’t shift or something? I can’t see how else you’d know otherwise.

        • The reality is that almost all lenses made in 2014 by the big manufacturers are sharp enough 99% of the time, if focused correctly. If you’re making 60″ prints and stress out if tree branches aren’t sufficiently isolated from one another, go get a D810.

          If you get paid to take photos of people, as I do, you know that focus errors are a far bigger culprit of sharpness than inherent lens design, and you also probably care less about absolute sharpness than you do about tone, warmth, bokeh, ‘zip,’ and other subjective measures of a lens’ ability to render a pleasing image.

          Most people who care about these subjective qualities seem to agree most of the time, which is why some lenses are revered by them and others panned. Thus far, the consensus from ‘these people,’ — commenters on threads like this — that the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 is not an elite performer when it comes to these subjective qualities. This was NOT the consensus, for example, with the XF 35mm f/1.4 when it came out in 2012. That lens is beloved by these people. The 56 1.2 a bit less (hence the APD version), and the 23mm less still, though all of these are generally regarded as acceptable.

          The XF 50-140mm f/2.8 looks to fall at the bottom of that group, but that’s expected because it’s a zoom. As to weather it will even prove ‘acceptable’ to ‘these people,’ I’d say the jury’s still out since no one has the lens yet, but it’s not looking great, I think that much is clear.

          • hnriot

            this is absolutely true, and even demonstrated in those photos in the blog post, one of them was out of focus so no amount of sharpness in the lens will fix that. Even the dumb kit lenses on entry level DSLRs are sharp enough in the right hands. It’s bad light and sloppy craft that make photographs not look sharp.

          • Raz

            The daft think is the 35mm isn’t even technically that amazing of a lens if you look at the MTF charts on a site like photozone.de, the 23mm beats it handily. This is why you can’t put that much faith in the likes and dislikes of the commenting hoards, especially those with zero first hand experience of a lens.

  • leri

    prime?? those photogs are blind…. do you ever see a 200 f2? neither is better than a ff 70 200, cmon fanboys!!!

    • Raz

      Lets see who to believe, working professionals who have used the lens or hysterical commenters on a rumour site? I just can’t decide…

  • Raz

    Any talk of the 50-140 really seems to bring the crazies out of the asylum on here. Not every image I’ve seen is to my taste and I’d have processed some differently, but overall the lens looks very good and is ideal for its intended purpose. Won’t be for everybody, especially considering the size and weight, but for working photographers (think weddings, events, photo journalism) this fills an important niche.

  • onha
  • Nooooo!!!!!!

    Ouch!
    “IQ slightly better than the Nikon 70-200” has to be the worst review that any fuji x lens has ever gotten. I really hope they are comparing it to the 70-200/4 that at least doesnt have that horrible oversharpened web-look straight out of the camera that the 2.8 vr1 and 2 has got. Those lenses really has to be the most typical examples of how modern coating and hunt for edge to edge sharpness comes with the price of nervous contrast rendering and lack of separation between subject and bokeh. No wonder nikon still makes a batch of 80-200/2.8:s once in a while.

    I really hope fuji isnt heading down that same road, its exactly why i left nikon. (i still love and use some of their older primes though)

    • Dis

      That’s strangle to read as both canikons 70-200/4 lenses are typical landscape lenses. This means they have to be as sharp as possible. Thus they have fully corrected SA. This leads to totally neutral bokeh. One may appreciate that or not but if you want creamy background, neutral bokeh is unwelcome. On the other hand /2.8 brothers are action lenses. This means that bokeh becomes more impotrant than maximum sharpnes. That’s why these lenses have slight SA unercorrection on the long end. This leads to wide open sharpness lowering in order to get positive bokeh. Thus nikkor 70-200/2.8 is the best portrait lens I’ve ever used. I’m pretty sure canon is the same. Please note that when I talk about bokeh I mean the rendering not dof. /2.8 lenses at /4 still have better bokeh than /4 lenses wide open. Also I talk about bokeh on the longer end where it’s most impotrant. At 70mm nikkor 70-200/2.8 has even negative bokeh and distracting background rendering.
      Here comes fuji. What do I see on the sample photo? Maximum sharpness and neutral bokeh. It’s straightly analogous to 70-200/4. Even the dof becomes the same. And that’s a bad thing. This lens is not compact and lightweight to be a landscape lens, and at the same time it’s not designed to be an action lens. And that’s a pity because having 55-200 lens that’s already a great landscape lens I expected 50-140 to have better bokeh by means of sharpness decreasing. Unfortunately even though on real close-ups (i would be using 55-200 at 200 for this anyway) the bokeh is ok, as soon as you get away from you subject the neutral rendering of the bokeh leads to distractions around contrast lines. The bokeh vignetting is quite strong too. Thus in my opinion if you want to shoot portraits with a tele you better wait for 90/2.

  • George Christofi

    Any one want to have 35-105/ f2.8

    • Marc

      sorry thats bollocks

  • Jim

    anyone here actually shot the lens?

  • Just got my XF50-140. I’ve tested these combos:
    1. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF50-140 F2.8 @90.6mm (136mm eqv), f/2.8
    2. Nikon D750 + 135 F2 DC @135mm, f/2.8

    3. Nikon D750 + 70-200 F2.8 VR II @160mm, f/2.8 (tested using 160mm instead of 135mm because of “lens breathing issue” in 70-200 F2.8. Its reproduction ratio is low but minimum focusing distance is longer than others. In fact, it gives around the same doll size at 200mm)

    The photo below with most DOF is Fuji. The one with most background but smallest doll figure is 70-200 F2.8 VR II. The remaining one is 135 DC.

    See which one you like most :)

    • Here is my Flickr site for lens comparison :)

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/fujimike/sets/72157649626087075/

      • Dis

        That’s great comparison. Could you please do one more for me? I’ve noticed that the most difficult background is trees in sunny weather. Thus it would be great if you could shoot a comparison in front of trees with object-camera distance 3-3.5m. The interesting combinations could be 70-200 @ 4, 135 @ 4 dc 0, 135 @ 4 dc R4, 50-140 @ 2.8, 70-200 @ 2.8, 135 @ 2. Focal length for 70-200 should be chosen in order to match angle of view. I expect at 3-3.5m 160mm should be closer to 135mm lens angle than at close distance you were shooting the doll.

        • Hi, I can give it a try, but I need to wait for next weekend because Hong Kong will stay cloudy for a couple of days till next Saturday, according to weather forecast.

          • Dis

            Ok, thank you. You can probably send the link directly to Patrick. I think he will be glad to put it into the next miXed zone.

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