Bright lenses with a fixed focal length usually have initial apertures of F1.4. A single brand offer a lens with F1.2, but a brightness of F1.0 is really rare. If such a model also has autofocus, you can safely call it unique. Does the resulting extremely short depth of field still produce an informative image?
We take a closer look at the Fujifilm XF 50mm F1.0 R WR.
Click on the lens for specifications, prices and test results.
TEST RESULTS Fujifilm XF 50mm F1.0 R WR
This exotic lens has been developed for full-frame M cameras.
There is one fixed focal length that is even brighter: the renowned Leica Noctilux-M 50mm F0.95 ASPH, a piece of glassware over eleven thousand euros with a weight of 700 grams. This exotic lens has been developed for full-frame M cameras. If we look at the APS-C format, then Fujifilm already has a 56mm F1.2 type in two versions. The Fujifilm XF 50mm F1.0 R WR reviewed here works converted to full-frame as a 76mm short telephoto, with a similarly largest aperture (in terms of depth of field) of F1.5. This brings the initial excitement about that enormously high brightness into a more normal perspective: we have known F1.4 models as 85mm portrait lenses for a while now.
The Fujifilm XF 50mm F1.0 R WR is a tough, fairly fat lens with a length of 104 mm and a weight of 845 grams. It is equipped with a focus ring more than 3 cm wide and an aperture ring with third stops. The red A-automatic position is of course also present. Sliders are missing; the version is weather resistant.
The super EBC coating on the front lens prevents flare and the formation of ghosts. The design has twelve elements in nine groups, with an aspherical element and two ED glass lenses. Necessary lens corrections are included in the electronics, and you must give the camera in question a firmware update for effective operation. Fujifilm goes back a long way: there is even such an update available for the X-T1! Despite the high brightness, the filter size is the usual 77 mm.
The lens was tested on an X-H1 (with the firmware update), due to the larger size and the IBIS image stabilization. That is a very nice combination. The X-T4 has better autofocus, but it is smaller; a Vertical Battery Grip improves grip and proportions. All – recent – functions are available and work as expected. This also applies to the face and eye detection. The lens has a quiet autofocus with a normal speed. I would not use it for sports photography, but poor light does not hinder the AF: a lot of light reaches the sensor. In the dark woods, I got combinations like ISO 200 with 1/180s at F1.0. That low ISO value adds a lot of quality in the form of detailing in the shadows. Surprisingly nice is the accurate operation in the close-focus area with manual focus. Supported by the focus peaking, you can place the focal plane exactly where you want it.
Fans of portraits with a short depth of field will get their money’s worth with this lens. At full aperture, the center sharpness is already very good and therefore usable; the corners are only minimally less good. The blur is very nice: soft and round with a mild gradient. Nicer than with the 56mm F1.2 lens, which is much lighter and cheaper (€ 879) but not weatherproof. Documentaries, detail shots, evening and night photography… The beautiful sharp-blur quality is an absolute trump card of this lens. If you shoot at somewhat greater distances, the foreground and background blur continue to play a role in the full aperture. Aperture F4 through F8 show a beautiful quality that we know from many other Fujinon X lenses. In some circumstances, you will see some chromatic aberration.
ATMOSPHERE VERSUS INFORMATION?
If you photograph in sunlight with full aperture, the shortest (mechanical) shutter speed of 1/8,000s is quickly exceeded, resulting in overexposure. So put the camera on E + M (mechanical plus electronic shutter to 1/32,000s). Please note: you cannot use the flash with the electronic shutter. I would also drop a 3-stop ND filter in my camera bag. The shots with a very short depth of field are sometimes reminiscent of images from a telephoto or a macro lens.
With both, the background is erased, sometimes to unrecognizable areas of color. If it contains relevant information (wedding photography!), you will miss it; then use a smaller aperture. The who/what/where is an essential element in reports and photojournalism. At F11 and F16, sharpness is compromised, but while retaining beautiful sun stars.
|Fujifilm XF 50mm F1.0 R WR|
|field of view (diag)||32°|
|min. setting distance||70 cm|
|filter diameter||77 cm|
|particulars||MF focus arc of 120°|
|list price||€ 1,599.00|
Conclusion: Review Fujifilm XF 50mm F1.0 R WR on camera
Optically and mechanically, this short telephoto lens is a jewel.
Fans of sharp-against-blur photography (and film shots) will get their money’s worth with this Fujifilm XF 50mm F1.0 R WR. The balance with the smaller, light X-bodies is somewhat less and tiring for the right hand; a battery grip provides more grip and better balance. Optically and mechanically, this short telephoto lens is a jewel. Especially the combination with the X-T4 is sublime, because of the better autofocus and the IBIS it brings.