Having established a solid range of X-mount lenses and zooms for its premium X-series range of cameras Fujifilm has recently turned its attention towards the provision of an alternative range of cheaper, smaller and lighter prime lenses at some of the most popular focal lengths. In order to reduce costs these all come with a slightly reduced maximum aperture of f/2. On the plus side however they all benefit from weather sealing, internal stepping motors (for faster AF performance) and robust, all-metal construction. To date Fujinon has released three lenses in this new f/2 range: the XF 23mm f/2 R WR, the XF 35mm f/2 R WR, and the XF 50mm f/2 R WR we have here.
As with the other two lenses, the XF 50mm f/2 R WR is positioned as a cheaper alternative to an existing Fujinon lens: in this case the XF 56mm f/1.2. Compared side by side, the 50mm f/2 is noticeably smaller than the 56mm f/1.2 and, at 200g, around half the weight. Unlike the more expensive lens, the 50mm f/2 also benefits from weather-resistant construction. Perhaps most importantly of all though, it’s around £350 cheaper. While the loss of 1.5 stops of aperture means the 50mm f/2 can’t quite replicate the ‘dreamy’ bokeh that the 56mm f/1.2 is renowned for, its nine curved aperture blades remain more than capable of creating beautifully blurred backgrounds.
In terms of performance an internal focusing system ensures that the front element doesn’t rotate or shift back and forth, while a 46mm thread can be used to attach filters and adapters. In keeping with Fuji’s other f/2 primes, the 50mm f/2 also inherits an internal stepping motor that improves autofocus lock-on speed while keeping operation near silent. In real-world use we found the 50mm f/2 to be faster at acquiring focus than the more expensive 56mm f/1.2.
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