Fujinon XF 50-140mm F2.8 Review – My Most Used Lens

Fujinon XF 50-140mm
Fujinon XF 50-140mm Review
Fujinon XF 50-140mm Review

There’s a quote by Robert Capa, a famous Hungarian–American war photographer and photojournalist, that says, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” But I’m not sure I agree.

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Fujinon XF 50-140 photographing one of my favourite birds – the underrated pigeon

Since I learned to become a photographer at the Defence School of Photography, I’ve enjoyed longer lenses, especially with wider apertures. My mantra is typically long focal lengths and wide apertures. Longer focal lengths provide a different perspective to shorter ones because the only thing that affects perspective is your proximity to your subject. With longer lenses and their perspective, you get a different view of the world, and one that is often more flattering, which is why I love the Fujinon 50-140.

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Fujinon XF 50-140 at Ouse Valley Viaduct

Interestingly, as I look back through my archive to find pictures for this review, the Fujifilm 50-140 f2.8 is my most used lens by a long way. This year alone, the 50-150mm has been used 34% more than the next most used lens (XF35mmF1.4R), and around 1/3rd of all the pictures I’ve taken have been on the Fuji 50-140. It’s a firm favourite in my travel photography gear line-up and minimalist travel photography gear.

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Fujinon XF 50-140 at Kew Gardens

I will keep this review as brief as possible. Partly because I’m not interested in going into the weeds of things and partly because there are few alternatives to the Fujinon XF 50-140 that meet my needs. The only alternative is the Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, but I’m not keen on the variable aperture. However, I see the appeal – more extended range, smaller and lighter. But not having used it, there is likely to be a compromise somewhere other than just the aperture. And, as they say – a picture paints a thousand words, so I hope the imagery throughout this review will do the talking as well as I can at justifying the prowess of this lens.

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Fujinon XF 50-140 at Kew Gardens

This is a professional-grade lens that I’ve been confident shooting on for several years, and I first used it when I was working as the Official Photographer for the UK Prime Minster at 10 Downing Street. And if it is good enough to use there, it will be good enough to use wherever you want to take it.

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Fujinon XF 50-140

Fujinon XF 50-140mm

If you’re searching for a high-quality zoom lens for your Fujifilm camera, look no further than the Fujinon XF 50-140mm lens! Despite the Fuji 50-140 focal length, it’s surprisingly versatile, especially for travel photography.

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Fujinon XF 50-140

It’s hard to jam a ton of pictures in here. I’ve tried to cram as many in as I can, but if you’d like to see more photos than what’s in this review, take a look at the following posts: Mudchute Farm, Shropshire Sculpture Park, Trentham Monkey Forest, Cleopatra’s Needle, London Zoo, Milan, Kew Gardens.

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Fujinon 50-140mm lens review

And in a nutshell, here are the pros and cons of the Fujinon XF 50-140 lens before we get into the meat of the review:

Pros

  • Solid build quality and weather-resistant construction
  • Fast maximum aperture of f/2.8
  • Excellent optical quality
  • Effective image stabilisation
  • Fast and accurate autofocus

Cons

  • Poor lens hood design
  • Higher price point
  • Slightly weighty for a travel lens
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The Fujinon XF 50-140 lens is designed for Fujifilm’s X-Series mirrorless cameras, such as my beloved Fujifilm X-T5. It’s a zoom lens that covers a focal length range of 50mm to 140mm, equivalent to approximately 76mm to 213mm in 35mm format. This makes it a versatile lens for various shooting situations, from portraits and sports to wildlife photography. However, my primary use is for travel photography, which it’s surprisingly useful for and compliments my travel photography gear very well. As I said, it provides a perspective you might not be able to achieve without a heavy crop on a wider lens because it gives you that bit of extra reach.

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If you’re wondering, these are what the letters mean in the lens name :

R = Ring – the lens has an aperture ring

LM = Linear Motors

OIS = Optical Image Stabiliser

WR = Weather Resistant – the lens has weather-sealing components

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Build and Design

The lens has a solid build quality with durable metal construction, which you’d expect from Fujifilm. It has the classic feel of a Fuji lens and that familiar aperture ring I love, which is lacking on my Sigma 56mm and something I really miss when shooting on it. The Fuji 50-140 is also weather-resistant, with seals at 20 points to protect against dust and moisture – handy when you’re into travel photography, especially in the UK, where we seem to get quite a bit of rain!

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Another benefit is a maximum aperture of f/2.8, which remains constant throughout the zoom range. If you’re looking to use this lens in low light conditions, the constant f2.8 aperture is advantageous. I shoot almost exclusively wide-open because depth of field is an essential consideration for me and my shooting style, so this lens was my only choice for a telephoto lens.

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Despite loving this lens and having it fixed to my camera most of the time, there is one thing I really don’t like about it: the lens hood. It looks great on the end of the barrel – sleek, I’d say, but it’s terrible to remove and refit. It doesn’t have a button release. It simply screws on, which often isn’t simple at all. Ha. I prefer something with a bit more slack and a button release, but beggars can’t be choosers, as they say. However, it’s still the worst part of the lens, in my opinion.

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Performance

The sharpness of this lens is impressive, even at the maximum aperture of f/2.8, which is the aperture I shoot on 99.99% of the time. Another interesting fact is that when looking through the archive for pictures taken on this lens, I can only find three that weren’t taken on f2.8, which was probably a mistake. I suspect I knocked the aperture ring by accident. Ha. It can’t be locked off, you see.

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Except for the following two shots, every other picture throughout this review has been shot at f/2.8. So, here are a couple of pictures at f8 and f5.6, respectively.

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Anyway, back to the optics. The centre of the image is sharp and detailed, and that’s all there is to say about that Ha. You will be satisfied with the optical performance of this lens. I don’t shoot on other apertures enough to provide a comprehensive review at higher apertures.

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For the other elements of performance, such as distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting – you won’t notice any problems with it. The Fujinon 50-140 is a high-quality lens and will perform well enough for what you could want it for.

So, let’s talk about the other vital bits – autofocus and image stabilisation.

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Autofocus

The autofocus of this lens is virtually silent, fast and almost always totally accurate, thanks to its linear motor. The autofocus never skipped a beat when I coupled it to the Fujifilm X-T2, but since using it on my X-T5, I’ve noted it misfocus once or twice, but only in certain circumstances – when I have been photographing ivy on a wall.

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It’s pretty strange, and the number of times it’s not nailed focus is so few and far between. This begs whether it’s a camera or lens focus issue. But despite where the fault lies, the autofocus is generally excellent and something I can trust.

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Stabilisation

The lens features optical image stabilisation, which is highly effective at reducing camera shake in normal shooting conditions. The stabilisation works in conjunction with in-body stabilisation and equates to around five-stop image stabilisation inside the lens alone and up to six stops when mounted on a camera with in-body image stabilisation, such as the Fujifilm X-T5. The image stabilisation in this lens is impressive and very useful to help reduce your ISO rating if you’re shooting in low light or with slow shutter speeds.

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There’s a strange noise emitted from the Fuji 50-140 when you turn the camera on, which I thought was the image stabilisation or autofocus, but it’s neither – I have tested with image stabilisation off and all AF modes off, and nothing made a difference. Despite an online search, I can’t find a reason for this happening – the noise appears normal on this lens. Under normal circumstances, you won’t hear it, but if you’re in a quiet space, you will.

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Specifications

For those of you who are interested, here are the lens specs. 

Lens configuration23 elements in 16 groups
Focal length50-140mm (76-213mm in 35mm format equivalent)
Angle of view31.7° – 11.6°
Max. apertureF2.8
Min. apertureF22
Aperture blades7
Focus range1m – ∞
Max. magnification0.12x
Dimensions82.9mm x 175.9mm (diameter x length)
Weight995g
Filter size72mm

Overall, the Fujinon XF 50-140mm is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a high-quality zoom lens for your Fujifilm camera, and I can’t recommend it enough. The amount I use this lens is a testament to its quality and ability, and I hope the imagery you see reflects that. Its solid build quality, weather-resistant construction, and versatile focal length range make it suitable for various shooting situations, and while it may be a pricey lens, the performance and image quality make it a worthwhile investment.
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Fujinon XF 50-140mm FAQs

Is the Fujinon 50-140 worth buying?

If you are considering buying it, the answer is yes. It’s a great lens with a surprisingly wide range of uses, whether for street photography, travel, or portraiture. The optics are excellent, as are the built quality, autofocus and optical image stabilisation. Despite being made for Fujifilm APS-C cameras, you are getting a professional-grade lens that will deliver quality results.

What is the full frame equivalent of Fujinon 50 140?

76-213mm is the equivalent focal length in 35mm format.

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Fujinon 50-140mm lens review
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Fujinon 50-140mm lens review
Fujinon XF 50-140mm Review

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2 thoughts on “Fujinon XF 50-140mm F2.8 Review – My Most Used Lens

  1. Paul Rohde

    The sound from the lens would have to be the OIS mechanism. It’s floating. So even when OIS is “off”, the mechanism needs to be activated to float the related glass group, so it is actually “on”, although it’s not actively trying to correct for movement trying to keep a scene in place, it’s actively trying to hold itself statically in place despite movement. That’s my guess. There appears to be two sounds. Maybe a constant spinning, and maybe linear motors discernable with movement?? (All with ear on my 80mmXF, as my 50-140 is elsewhere at the moment.)

    Reply

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