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XF50-140 PRIME QUALITY: “Microcontrast exceeding XF56mm. Sharpness on par with the best Canon L series primes”


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When Fujifilm launched the XF 50-140mm F2.8, I remember them saying that this zoom lens would have had the quality of a prime lens! Fuji Guy Billy even said that it would become a “legendary” lens! Just marketing bla bla bla?

It doesn’t seem so, at least according to Bokeh-monster and leighmiller, who had the opportunity to test it. Leightmiller says that the 50-140 is super-sharp (like the best Canon L series primes and better than the EF 70-200 F/2.8 MKII) and it has excellent micro-contrast (“matching or exceeding the XF56mm“), and also bokeh-moster would expect such an optical performance from a prime lens, a not from a zoom. Here are their reviews:

1) There is much to like on the XF50-140, according to leighmiller: Excellent micro-contrast (“matching or exceeding the XF56mm“), smooth bokeh and much more. You can read part one of his review here and see plenty of sample shots. Here just a few of his initial findings:

Sharpness: On par with the best primes I’ve used from Canon L series and better than my old EF 70-200 F/2.8 MKII. Starting right from f/2.8 the center is crisp with detail and makes a good trek towards the corners. By F4 the corner looks nice and there isn’t much improvement beyond that point. F/5.6 would be my limit unless the subject requires a great depth of field.

Chromatic Aberration: It’s there in high contrast shots from 50mm and decreases sharply into the 70mm+ Stopping down towards F4-5.6 helps. Nothing ridiculous and a quick slider in Adobe Lightroom takes care of whatever is left.

Auto Focus: Quick, quiet and accurate. Fuji says it’s due to a new triple linear motor and I can’t argue since I don’t really know what that means. In my experience so far there is very little of the hunting that’s present in the enthusiast model.

2) Tick Tack Sharp – FujiFilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR – Reviewed at bokeh-monster:

Fujifilm have always produced phenomenal lenses and this one is no exception, I am sure you will agree that the colour rendition is spot on, contrast is well managed but most importantly the CA is virtually nonexistent. Usually this sort of optical performance is what you expect from a prime lens and not from a zoom, yet here we are!”

3) Go, look at this sample shot at ISO 6400 (!!!) by ivanjoshualoh, and then feel free to tell me if it’s sharp or not ;). The full article (with more samples) can be checked out at ivanjoshualoh here.

4) Sunset over Bagan, Burma at Bjorn Moerman 500px here.

5) Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f2.8 OIS WR: Unboxing and Quick Thoughts at grittymonkey.

XF 50-140 pre-order options (and a little support)
BHphotoAmazonUS / Adorama / EU: WexUK / WexDE / PCHstore

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There is a slight delay on the shipping of the XF 50-140. BHphoto and AmazonUS now say they will start shipping it on December 4th. It seems that the Japanese factory is busy enough to fulfill pre-orders in Asia first.