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Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR Review

17th June 2020

This was the first of Fuji’s ‘professional’ level zooms to be released way back in 2014 promising a versatile lens with great optical performance, wether resistance, a tough build & five stops of Optical Image Stabilisation, showing the world that Fujifilm were committed to their relative new camera system that now included a new design in the X-T1 with a large centred EVF and more SLR like controls, a departure from the classic rangefinder style of the X-PRO1. Fuji meant business and were aiming this now design squarely at the professional photographer.

In 2014 mirrorless were still something of a curiosity with their slow AF and laggy EVF’s, not the case today with all the manufactures realising the benefits of mirrorless and the consumers also. But back then if you were not shooting a big (probably gripped up) DSLR then you were just not taking this photography thing serious enough. I say that with my tongue in my cheek, well half in anyway. I know I got a bit of stick from other photographers when I took an X-T1 out of my bag, questioning it’s ability, as if the camera takes the photo, and that I should probably leave that thing in the bag and stick to using my full frame (gripped up) Canon 5D3, Meh. That was in early 2015 when I got into shooting with Fuji, I could see the dedication they had as well as these little cameras being great to use. Fun even… Anyway the 50-140…

I was never planning on buying the XF 50-140mm as I already had most of Fuji primes well covering my needs & I preferred shooting with two or three cameras each with a prime attached, these cameras are small and light and not expensive (compared to a full frame DLSR) so no problem in my twisted mind to simple go get a few cameras. I need to work on that. So I didn’t feel that I needed to also add a zoom that gave me more ‘reach’ than the wonderful 90mm F/2 did. I don’t shoot sports or that kind of thing so why would I need a long zoom lens… Well that idea crumbled, much like my will power does when I’m in a camera shop, and Fuji made me an offer on the price I just could not say no to so the credit card found it’s way out of my bag and a shiny new lens found it’s way in. You get the way that happened don’t you? Tell me I’m not alone here.

Initially the lens got unpacked and a quick test later found a home staging up on the shelf in my office where the lenses live, towering over all the other lenses like some new building in a city of low rise dwellings. And there it stayed rarely used but slowly over time it started to make it’s way into my bag and then onto a camera, the more that happened the more I started to see why everyone else was raving about it. The AF was fast, just like the other RedBadged zoom on the shelf, the XF 16-55 F/2.8, the WR was tight and the quality of the images out of the camera were as you’d expect: stunning for a f/2.8 tele zoom. Why didn’t I buy this earlier…

Fujifilm lens roadmap from 2014
Short video with the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR on an X-T3 in the lashings of rain. WR at work, I got soaked the lens was fine

For me living in Ireland, I’m very glad of the build of this XF 501-40mm lens. It rains here a bit & I sometimes need to be out in that rain working so for me having a lens that is sealed well counts for a lot. If you don’t need that weather sealing the XF55-200 is a great option. Sure it’s AF is a little slower and the O.I.S. not quite as good. It extends as you zoom while changing minimum aperture along the way & perhaps it not quite as optically perfected as the 50-140 is. But it is about half the cost and half weight too, you could buy the XF 55-200 and an X-T30 for only €100 euro more that the price of the XF 50-104mm alone. Something to consider perhaps.

Fuji’s really, almost, nearly, offering a complete range for every photographer these days with a stunning. range from an amazingly wide & optically exceptional 8mm in their XF 8-16mm right up to a super tele 800mm with the 2X extender on the XF100-400mm, they continue to design and product more and more optics for their X-Series cameras as well as the GFX and Cine line of lenses too. Hopefully we will see some TSE lenses and perhaps a 500mm prime or maybe a 200-600mm Xoom for the birders and wildlife photographers out there.

Lately I’ve been using this lens a lot as I’m out of a job with the recent pandemic that we are all working through so finding time and inspiration to keep shooting has had to become a defined part of my day. Below are some shots that I have taken recently with the XF 50-140 F/2.8 R LM OIS WR starting with a quick video of the moon as it zooms past. This was shot on the XF 50-140 and X-T3 at 50p and DCI 4K the video was then sped up 5000 times in post and cropped into full HD. Versatile lens it indeed is.

All the following images were shot by kim with a Fujifilm XF 50-104 F/2.8 R LM OIS WR, please ask if you’d like to share any.