The Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8 is a high-quality zoom lens, built specifically for APS-C cameras, which features tasty additions such as weather resistance and image stabilization (OIR). Fuji has been making top-quality glass for many years, not just for still cameras, and the high quality always shines through.
This particular model has the Fuji X-mount, which means the lens only applies to Fuji X-mount cameras. Even if you’re not a Fuji camera owner, the qualities of this zoom lens may be enough to spark your interest in the future camera lens range.
Firstly, being optimized for crop sensors, the focal range of 50-140mm comes out to an equivalent of 75-210mm. This focal length is hovering around the standard of 70-200mm which is commonly used for action, portraits, sports, and event photography. In other words, a good all-rounder as a medium telephoto lens.
As for the optics, there are 23 elements in 16 groups with Nano-GI coatings. The elements are made up of five ED elements and one Super ED element which internally focuses and zooms. Inside are seven rounded diaphragm blades for reasonably shaped highlights.
Autofocus is done with three linear AF motors and can focus down to three feet. Up front is a 72mm filter thread which can fit a substantial petal-shaped hood and has a nice little popout cover for rotating filters. Everything weighs in at 1,093.1g.
The Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8 is clearly built extremely well being made mostly of metal. A chunky zoom ring sits in the middle and is dampened but easy to turn. The aperture ring itself is also quite chunky and turns in thirds of a stop. To set the aperture manually you’ll have to move out of aperture mode.
As for the manual focusing ring, for it to work you have to change settings in the camera which is a bit of a pain and also means it’s ignored when in autofocus mode.
In many ways, the lens looks and feels old school with a very simplistic design. A tripod mount is included, with an image stabilization switch above it and not much else. There is no focus or distance scale, just a straightforward design.
Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8 in Use
The autofocus system is very quiet and accurate on the Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8, but the speed doesn’t match up to what you would expect from an f/2.8 telephoto lens from other makers. When the light gets really low, the autofocus system can have a hard time and simply not lock into focus. This means you have to resort to manual focus, which is by the wire and not the most ideal for low light sports.
Being an f/2.8 lens, nice bokeh is a wanted feature and the lens doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Background blur become smoother at the longer focal lengths, nicely smoothing out colors. The more complicated the background, the longer the focal length is needed, but in general, it’s not the smoothest out there but very acceptable.
Sharpness can’t be faulted, with only the minutest corner softness when wide-open at f/2.8. Sharpness only really starts to suffer in extremely low light, but this is more to do with the autofocus system. If the decision to buy this lens is based on sharpness alone, you couldn’t go wrong here.
As for anomalies like distortion, the lens copes extremely well and provides a great rendition of what you see. The same goes for chromatic aberration. Light falloff is also really good, even when wide open, only becoming slightly obvious at the longest focal length.
As for ghosting and flaring, there is a lot of glass in this lens, which means something as harsh as the midday sun can start to introduce flares at the edge of the frame. It’s just good to be aware that this can happen.
As for the image stabilization system, there are no complaints here. Fuji has a back history of producing stabilization for the finest of optics, which has definitely filtered down to this lens. It’s not uncommon to be able to shoot handheld at a quarter of a second, while at 140mm. As with most lenses, it’s advised to turn off image stabilization, when attached to a tripod.
In general, the lens produces super sharp images, with great contrast and a pleasing background blur.
How Does the Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8 Compare?
As we’re talking about Fuji lenses here, one of the obvious comparisons will be with the Fuji 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8. The focal length of the crop sensor camera works out to be 80-300mm, but the aperture falls down at f/3.5-4.8 compared to the Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8. Sharpness is excellent on the lens, as is the same great image stabilization, probably being one of the best lenses for crop sensor body.
Compared to the 50-140mm, the extra focal length of the 55-200mm could be more useful than the 50-140mm, being also smaller and lighter, but generalizing the 50-140mm is the best of two.
|Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8||Fuji 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8|
|Elements||23 elements, 16 groups||14 elements, 10 groups|
|Blades||7 rounded||7 rounded|
If you’re a Fuji camera owner and you want the best in class for a crop sensor telephoto zoom lens, you can’t do much better. If you want to stray out of the realms of Fuji for the same level of optical quality, you’re really at a deficit with the lack of autofocus and things like EXIF data.
This ultimately means that for the Fuji people, your options are more narrow but luckily the quality is up there with the best of the rest. Clearly, the lens has quite a high price tag, but if you compare this lens to what other brands are charging for equivalent focal lengths, then the price doesn’t seem that bad. If you can get over the stumbling blocks of the low light autofocus and the not so great manual focus, then this lens is definitely a winner in the optical stakes.
But for Fuji camera owners, the 55-200mm is still a great option with near equal optical quality. If you’re thinking of buying into one of these lenses, it’s highly recommended to rent them both and try them out in both ideal and low-light conditions.