More often than not, lens makers create a “halo” project lens that delivers a maximum of everything photographers can ask for. Like car makers, these halo projects are limited editions and not in everyone’s budget but get the much-needed hype to sell less than perfect cars. Canon did that several years ago with its EF 50mm lens, and now Fuji has stepped up to the plate with its own Halo project – The Fujifilm 50mm f/1 lens – the near-perfect lens.
We got a chance to use this “collectors lens” for our review, and we didn’t hold back on anything. After mounting this lens on Fuji’s APS-C X model, we took several pictures and determined its pros and cons. Moreover, we researched over the internet about customer experience using this lens and came up with this review. However, most of what you will read is based on personal experiences.
Table of Contents
- What So Good About the Fujifilm 50mm f/1 Lens?
- The Pros and Cons
- What Do the Reviews Say?
- How Does the Fujifilm 50mm f/1 Lens Compare?
- Fujifilm 50mm f/1 vs Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 Lens
- Conclusion: Is the Fujifilm 50mm f/1 Worth It?
Building an F/1 aperture lens is no easy feat. Although it comes with a few drawbacks, such as large size, heavyweight, and aberrations that aren’t easy to correct, you get killer bokeh and blur effects on portrait shots. With that said, let’s jump into this review of the Fujifilm 50mm f/1 lens.
What So Good About the Fujifilm 50mm f/1 Lens?
It’s not an average optic that would fit every photographer’s arsenal. Instead, it’s a niche lens that works well for professional portrait photographers, given its groundbreaking f/1 aperture. This expert lens will help professionals take their portrait game to a new level in many ways. Without a doubt, its prime feature is the f/1 aperture.
Apart from that, this lens has several other features to offer, but we have listed only 3 key aspects to narrow down this magnificent optic’s compliments. Before diving into the key features, let’s look at a breakdown of the Fujifilm 50mm f/1 lens specifications.
|Focal Length||50mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 76mm)|
|Lens Mount||FUJIFILM X|
|Lens Format Coverage||APS-C|
|Angle of View||31.7°|
|Minimum Focus Distance||2.3′ / 70 cm|
|Optical Design||12 Elements in 9 Groups|
|Diaphragm Blades||9, Rounded|
|Filter Size||77 mm (Front)|
|Dimensions (ø x L)||3.43 x 4.07″ / 87 x 103.5 mm|
Important Feature #1: Aperture
We’d like to start this section by complimenting Fuji for achieving the impossible – adding autofocus to a lens with such a large aperture. This is because this lens has heavy elements (12 in 9 groups). Moreover, a large aperture means shallow depth of field, which puts more stress on the lens to achieve autofocus.
In addition, moving the 12 elements is no easy feat because you need a lot of torque. We expected the autofocus to be dead slow but surprised to see its lightning-fast speed. Fuji has put all the R&D budget and probably paid high wages to its engineer to achieve this power level from a lens.
Another marvelous feature of the Fujifilm 50mm f/1 lens is the eye focus. After taking a couple of portrait shots, we were sure that this lens was something out of this world because it could recognize our subject’s eye and separate it from the rest of the scene. You can expect your photography experience to hit new highs with this lens because it’s a masterpiece.
Important Feature #2: Bokeh
It’s no surprise that the Fuji 50mm f/1 lens is the best lens for bokeh. The blurry background and the creamy smooth transition to the subject are courtesy of the f/1 aperture, and we don’t have enough words to define it.
The pictures we took were free from onion rings and soap effects. The subject popped out in every picture, and the background was creamy smooth. It’s the perfect lens for modeling photoshoots for magazines because it completely vanishes the background putting the subject under the limelight.
Important Feature #3: Flare and Ghosting
It broke all the records from our review of other lenses in eliminating ghosting. Your pictures will be smooth and free from flare and other disturbing effects. Even with the sun directly facing the lens elements, there were little to no contrast changes.
The lens performed better than the human eye, and there was no blinding light even in full daylight. The Sunstar effect in evening shots was simply gorgeous, and the 9 blades aperture gave us 18–pointed Sunstar. However, there was a slight distortion in the sun rays – but nothing too serious to ruin your picture.
The Pros and Cons
As with all of our product reviews, we list the pros and cons to paint a clear picture for our readers, and the f/1 lens is no exception.
- Excellent handling for its size
- Weather sealed
- All-natural color rendering
- The focus is lightning fast considering its size and elements
- Little to no flare or distortion
- Large maximum aperture create more creative opportunities
- Too heavy
- Fewer uncorrected aberrations
- Poor Magnification
What Do the Reviews Say?
The customer reviews about this lens were all positive – what can you expect? Fuji stepped up its game. Most customers complimented its f/1 aperture, which takes breath-taking pictures in low light. In addition, the lens has perfect compression levels and a focal length equivalent to 70mm, which is hard to find.
It has been deemed the best lens for portrait shots because it brings out the subject from the background. Plus, the transition from background blur to foreground sharpness is smooth as butter. Finally, you can also use the lens for nighttime street photography to carry the weight as per the customer reviews online.
How Does the Fujifilm 50mm f/1 Lens Compare?
Now that you know the pros and cons of this lens, it’s time to put it to the test with other lenses in its league. We took a shot at all the lenses we are comparing the f/1 with, and most of them weren’t even close to the f/1. However, it’s up to our readers to decide which lens takes the win.
Fujifilm 50mm f/1 vs Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 Lens
The 50mm stands out with its imposing size compared to the 56mm, but all of that is because of the 12 elements that create the f/1 aperture. In terms of autofocus, the f/1 took the lead because of its silent movement despite having multiple lenses.
The handling of both lenses wasn’t a big deal when mounted on the XT-4’s body. Both lenses weren’t tough to handle, and they didn’t wobble. We would compliment the 50mm for maintaining its posture, given its overwhelming size.
Pictures from both cameras have little to no difference for the untrained eye. But experts know the difference in results the f/1 puts on the table. Plus, the 76mm focal length is much better to use than the 85mm focal length of the 56mm f/2 lens for portrait shots. The background is creamy smooth with the f/1, but there are slightly sharp edges on the 56mm.
As mentioned above, the f/1 is a niche lens, not for everyone. Hence if the price tag is too heavy for your pocket, the 56mm would also do a fantastic job. However, if you can wait and save up, going for the f/1 lens will be the best decision you make. Not just in terms of high aperture, but the overall image quality of the f/1 is much better than any lens on the market.
Finally, the weather resistance of Fuji lenses is top-quality. Both lenses have an excellent build that can withstand snow and rain. Taking outdoor pictures is a breeze, and you don’t have to worry about losing your gear.
However, we’ll say that the f/1 has better images under the direct sun. Plus, low-light pictures are pure bliss with the Fujifilm 50mm f/1. So if you are into nighttime photography or covering concerts, you’ll love the f/1 because it captures the natural light, and you won’t need to use the flash.
We also review the Fujifilm 16mm f/1.4 lens which is one of Fujifilms most popular wide-angle prime lenses.
Conclusion: Is the Fujifilm 50mm f/1 Worth It?
This lens is pure bliss if you minus the hefty price tag. It clicks gorgeous bokeh with the background completely blurred and the foreground shining like a gem. The lens also has eye-tracking, which means it’ll focus more on the subject’s eyes. The Fujifilm 50mm f/1 is a marvelous piece of engineering. The autofocus mechanism isn’t noisy, and it was shocking to us because the lens had to move 12 elements.
The autofocus was also very fast compared to other lenses in the category, which means the f/1 has some serious torque. Moreover, there’s the weather-sealed body of the Fuji cameras we all love! Apart from the aperture and image blur, the f/1 lens sits comfortably on all X-mounted cameras – but the XT-4 is the best choice. You won’t feel the extra weight (not much, at least), and the lens won’t wobble.
All in all, the Fujifilm 50mm f/1 lens is perfect for niche photographers who want nothing but the best. It isn’t something you’d buy just for fun. This lens is a choice for professionals and experts. So if you want to add more depth to your portraits, you need this in your bag.
The purpose of this review was to educate our readers about the Fujifilm 50mm f/1 lens. All the information shared above is based on our personal experience and might differ from other perspectives. We took this camera on our photography project and loved everything about it. It had a wonderful feel and solid grip.
The manual focus ring was smooth and didn’t lag. The aperture ring was also pretty sturdy with a solid grip. We took pictures in the snow and rain. The lens didn’t die on us and had our back under all weather conditions, so Kudos to its ultra weather-resistant body.