This lens doesn’t quite let you see in the dark, but it comes close. There aren’t that many regular consumer lenses with apertures faster than ƒ/1.4—even fewer that are faster than ƒ/1.2. And when you do find them, they’re often manual-focus and/or hideously expensive.
But this lens, with its maximum aperture of ƒ/1.0 is sensibly priced with an MSRP of $1499 (well, at least relatively speaking), has autofocus, and is designed for readily available camera models.
It’s a lens especially well suited to portrait photography, with its ability to blur the background of just about any shot. And on a Fujifilm X-series camera’s APS-C cropped sensor, the 50mm becomes the equivalent view of what a 76mm lens would be on a full-frame camera. So it falls within the traditional portrait telephoto range.
But as nice as ƒ/1.2 is, it’s not every day you get to shoot with an ƒ/1.0 lens—there just aren’t many of them about, especially with autofocus. So I couldn’t resist testing it out as a travel lens, especially for low-light, handheld photography.
For a couple of reasons, that’s not a typical use for this lens. The main issue is that the lens is quite large and heavy. That’s not an issue in a studio environment. But it is an important consideration for travel photography or street photography.
- Unusually fast maximum aperture.
- Surprisingly sharp, even wide open.
- Solidly constructed.
- Quite large and heavy.
- Autofocus could be snappier.
- Premium pricing.
Fujifilm has another X-mount lens that’s somewhat similar: the XF 56mm ƒ/1.2 R WR. That lens is almost as fast, smaller, and cheaper. And that extra 6mm makes a difference when you put it on the APS-C X-mount cameras by bumping it up to an 85mm focal length (in 35mm equivalent), a traditional choice for focal length for a portrait lens. There’s also another 50mm lens that isn’t as fast and is designed more for the budget end of the market: the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR.
Table of Contents
Fujifilm XF 50mm F1.0 R WR Overview
But first, an overview. Its full name is: Fujifilm XF 50mm F1.0 R WR. So let’s unpack what all those lens codes and letters mean.
- The XF refers to Fujifilm’s range of lenses specifically designed for their X-series cameras (aka X-mount). Lenses in this series are designed to complement the X-Trans CMOS sensor used in X-series cameras and eliminate the low-pass filter to maximize sharpness.
- It’s a 50mm prime lens. It’s designed to go on Fujifilm X-series cameras, which have APS-C cropped sensors with a focal length multiplier of about 1.5. So it has the equivalent view of a 76mm lens on a full-frame sensor. 1
- The ƒ/1.0 is the maximum aperture. Not just ƒ/1, mind you, but by adding the decimal point they’re emphasizing the point that this is not your average ƒ/1.2, ƒ/1.4, or ƒ/1.8 fast prime. In other words, this lens is fast.
- The R stands for aperture ring. What that means in practice is that you rotate the ring to change the aperture rather than (only) using a dial on the camera itself. You also have the option to lock the ring in place and use camera controls to change the aperture if you prefer.
- The WR stands for weather resistant. The lens is sealed against dust and splashes of water. It’s not waterproof against submersion or sustained water exposure. I have more details on what this means in practical terms below.
There are also some codes that aren’t there but are nevertheless core characteristics of this lens.
- It’s an autofocus lens. It also has a manual focus override.
- Super EBC. This isn’t part of the name, but it is printed on the lens itself. It stands for Super Electron Beam Coating, and it’s an enhanced kind of coating that Fujifilm applies to some of its higher-end lenses to reduce lens flare and ghosting and to improve color accuracy and contrast.
Build & Handling
This lens is quite heavy and bulky. Surprisingly so. It’s a hefty piece of glass. If you’re used to traditional “nifty-fifty” lenses, which often tend toward relatively small and light, this isn’t it.
It weighs in at 845g or 1.86 pounds. And it’s over 10cm (or 4 inches) long.
Its bulk and weight are especially noticeable on a relatively small mirrorless camera like the Fujifilm X-T5. And that’s a factor when deciding whether to choose this lens for some uses. It makes it a less obvious choice for travel or street photography, for example, when, as appealing as that fast aperture might be, portable and discreet are also important considerations.
But beyond its heft, it’s very well made, as Fujifilm pro-level lenses are. The controls and rings are true, smooth, and don’t have any give in them.
Most lenses this fast are manual focus lenses (and often cine lenses). The autofocus feature of this lens is one of the things that helps it stand out from the (small) pack.
Mounted on a new camera with advanced autofocus features like the X-T5, I found the autofocus to be accurate and true. Especially when you’re using it with a feature like eye detection or tracking on a newer camera like the X-T5, it works nicely.
But I also found it a little sluggish. It probably has a lot to do with the amount of glass it’s moving around. It’s a hard thing to quantify, but in my experience, there was room for improvement in the snappiness of the autofocus. It’s not something that was ever really a deal-breaker for me, mainly because I could rely on the lens (with the X-T5) to lock on reliably, but it might be more of an issue for something like street photography.
As a subjective quality rather than a quantifiable measure, bokeh is a hard thing to convey without seeing it. So the best way to judge is to look at some of the sample photos.
But overall, I found it to be excellent. It’s smooth and pleasant. And bright highlights come out as nicely rounded thanks to the rounded blades.
I was mostly shooting with this wide open. And what I was most surprised by is just how sharp it is, even at ƒ/1.0. That’s no mean feat. But I really have no complaints about the sharpness. I always found it to be sharp just where I needed it to be.
It’s not the kind of lens I even care about edge-to-edge sharpness—a big part of using a lens like this is to have a very defined focus point and then have the rest pleasantly blurred. So it never really occurred to me to crank it up to ƒ/16 and test corner sharpness, because it’s just not relevant to the way I’d use a lens like this.
Nevertheless, even on shots with a flatter focus range, I was pleasantly surprised at how sharp it is across the frame.
Real-World Performance Results
Here’s a small sampling of images I’ve shot with this lens. I’ve put together a larger collection of sample images I’ve taken with this lens separately.
As I said above, the first thing that comes to mind for a lens like this is portraiture. But that’s not what I was interested in using it for–I wanted to see how well it worked as a general-purpose travel lens.
These were all shot on an X-T5, and they were all shot hand-held. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about this lens is that, combined with the high-ISO performance of the X-T5, it extends the possibilities of night shooting. Turning the dark into actual scenes isn’t remarkable when you’re using a tripod or other fixed mount, but it’s really nice being able to do that when shooting hand-held. And with a very fast maximum aperture of ƒ/1.0, it gives you notably more room to work.
Obviously, though, maximum aperture isn’t the be-all and end-all it once was for shooting in low light. Higher-end cameras have excellent low-light performance in their sensors. And many, like the X-T5, have excellent in-camera optical stabilization. But all of these tools can combine to open up even more creative possibilities.
The images below were all originally shot in RAW. They’ve been lightly processed in Lightroom, but what I haven’t done is apply any post-processing optical fixes to things like chromatic aberration or vignetting. Those are things I would normally do as part of my usual processing workflow, but the point here is to test the lens, and I didn’t want to distort that with editing fixes.
Most of these are shot towards the wide-open end of apertures. My intent here is not to provide lab tests–there are other places where you can get those. Instead, I wanted to try it out in real-world shooting conditions.
Things Worth Knowing
- If your lens seems to be stuck in manual focus mode, it’s an easy fix. But unlike some other lenses, the switch isn’t on the lens itself—it’s on the camera. Precisely where to find the camera’s focus mode switch will vary by camera model. On the Fujifilm X-T5, for instance, it’s a small switch on the front of the camera that has M (Manual Focus), C (Continuous AF), or S (Single AF).
What’s in the Box?
- lens hood (model BB00048976-100)
- lens caps (front and rear)
- soft wrap
|Type||XF50mmF1.0 R WR|
|Lens configuration||12 elements in 9 groups|
(includes 1 aspherical, 2 ED elements)
|Focal length||f=50mm (76mm)|
|Angle of view||31.7°|
|Number of blades||9 (rounded diaphragm opening)|
|Step size||1/3EV (25 steps)|
|Focus range||70cm – ∞ / 27.6 inches – ∞|
|External dimensions: Diameter x Length (approx.)||87×103.5 millimeters / 3.4 x 4.1 inches|
|Weight (approx.)||845g / 1.9 lbs|
The XF 50mm ƒ/1.0 R WR is quite a specialized lens. While its ƒ/1.0 maximum aperture is unique in Fujifilm’s lens lineup, it’s quite bulky and heavy. And it comes with a premium price tag (MSRP of $1499).
Fujifilm has some other X-mount prime lenses that have similarities.
- Fujifilm XF 56mm ƒ/1.2 R WR. It’s a lens that is almost as fast, smaller, and cheaper. It has an MSRP of $999. And it weighs roughly half of the ƒ/1.0. It doesn’t have an aperture ring, but it does have weather sealing.
- Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 R WR. This is basically a budget model. It’s smaller and lighter and much cheaper (MSRP of $449). But it’s also obviously quite a bit slower in terms of maximum aperture.
- Fujifilm XF 33mm ƒ/1.4 R LM WR. It’s a different focal length, obviously, but this is closer to the type of traditional “nifty-fifty” lens. When you put it on an X-series camera (with APS-C cropped sensor), it’s the equivalent of a 50mm on a full-frame camera. It’s relatively fast (although obviously not as fast as ƒ/1.0), and for general use probably more versatile. It would be the one I’d usually choose as a travel or street photography lens over the ƒ/1.0. It’s also significantly cheaper (MSRP of $799).
Fujifilm XF 50mm ƒ/1.0 R WR Lens Price & Availability
Fujifilm has set an MSRP for this lens at $1499.95.
Check the current price and availability at:
You can also find this lens sometimes on the used market.
- The crop factor (or focal length multiplier) for the X-series APS-C sensors is about 1.5, but it’s not exactly 1.5. For instance, the Fujifilm X-T5 has a sensor that measures 23.5mm by 15.7mm. That gives a more precise crop factor of 1.53. Most X-series cameras use a sensor that is just a tiny amount smaller, at 23.5mm x 15.6mm, but it’s still functionally 1.53. And 50 x 1.53 is 76.5. This is why Fujifilm uses the number 76mm in its specs rather than 75mm when calculating the 35mm equivalent of their 50mm focal length lenses.
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