Tuesday, January 20, 2015

REVIEW: Fujifilm XF 50-140mm (Part II) – Why Serious Shooters Need This Lens [Wildlife Shots]

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens
Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens

If you are just starting to read this, please be sure to check out the first part of my review here. In that review I basically pointed out how this lens might not be for those seeking the Fujifilm X-Series for its compact size, but it’s definitely for those who are retiring their DSLR’s in favor of this system.

For this short update, I just wanted to share some photos I took of captive animals at a local zoo in cold and rainy conditions. The purpose of these shots were to put the autofocus to the test, and thanks to the rain and in one case dirty Plexiglas, I was able to accomplish that goal.

While no respectable wildlife shooter would consider this focal range suitable for real wildlife shooting in the wilderness and moving animals certainly present more AF challenges, I thought these beautiful animals fur would make for nice pixel peeping.

A Day at the Zoo with the 50-140mm

Now there are a million things you can photograph with this lens, but I was already out testing the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens at the Zoo so I decided to take this one along too. Sadly it was a miserable day at the zoo, so I didn’t get a chance to exercise the AF on moving animals, but I did shoot in difficult rainy conditions. The AF performed admirably, and this gives you an idea of both the sharpness and excellent optical image stabilization (OIS) of this lens. Click on the photo for a full size in-camera original JPEG with no edits, or visit the gallery for more images.

Please note that the camera noise reduction setting was set to –2 and that most shots were taken with camera defaults in Aperture priority mode. All shots, except the wallaby, were also taken with Auto White Balance and Standard (Provia) Film Simulation Mode.

X-E2, f/2.8 @ 140 mm, 1/60, ISO 2000, No Flash

X-E2, f/2.8 @ 140 mm, 1/60, ISO 2000, No Flash

This was one of the rare cases where I had an impossible time acquiring autofocus on something. This case it was the antlers, but when this big guy showed me an eye (below) I got him

X-E2, f/2.8 @ 140 mm, 1/60, ISO 2000, No Flash

I thought it was odd that I could focus on a peek of an eye but not an antler, but I’m not sure if it is the camera or the lens to blame for that one. The bad framing in both cases is my fault!

X-E2, f/2.8 @ 140 mm, 1/60, ISO 3200, No Flash

Even through a super dirty Plexiglas window, I was able to get a fast focus about 95% of the time.

X-E2, f/2.8 @ 140 mm, 1/60, ISO 640, No Flash

The image quality of this lens pleased me repeatedly during my testing

X-E2, f/2.8 @ 140 mm, 1/60, ISO 640, No Flash

I focused on the eyes and quickly got this shot, yet my Canon 1D X couldn’t get a focus lock under this scenario no matter how hard I tried. Call me impressed!

X-E2, f/2.8 @ 140 mm, 1/60, ISO 1250, No Flash
, Shade White Balance
What’s interesting about this shot is the level of detail on the eyelashes and whiskers, despite being in the rain at a high ISO. This is a testament to the sharpness of the lens more than anything, as the X-E2 is not a great high ISO camera

X-E2, f/2.8 @ 140 mm, 1/60, ISO 640, No Flash

The 213mm effective reach is admirable, but it’s certainly no wildlife lens. However, it is plenty capable of getting some fun shots for a day out at the zoo with the family

X-E2, f/2.8 @ 140 mm, 1/60, ISO 640, No Flash

Even in heavy rain, the AF did an excellent job of staying locked on the target

X-E2, f/2.8 @ 134.4 mm, 1/60, ISO 1250, No Flash

The fast AF was very handy when obstacles get in the way of your subject

These images are all copyright ® Ron Martinsen – All Rights Reserved.


If you are just starting to read this, please be sure to check out the first part of my review here first.

The only thing I want to add to that review is that the OIS and focus performance were excellent in my testing under very cold and rainy conditions.  The lens noise you hear indoors isn’t audible outdoors, and I didn’t observe that it had a major impact on the battery life.

In short, I love this lens and HIGHLY recommend it for those who need a big zoom lens for their Fujifilm X-Series bodies.

Where to order

Click here to learn more or order at B&H.

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Need a camera bag?

Perception Backpacks
Perception Backpacks

Upgrading lenses to this size often means a new camera bag. I’d strongly recommend you consider the Perception Backpacks or Mirrorless Mover by ThinkTankPhoto.

Think Tank Photo Mirrorless Mover 30i
Inside the Think Tank Photo Mirrorless Mover 30i


If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this. B&H loaned the zoom lens in this article this review, but the X-E2 and 56mm used in this article were my personal property that I paid for at full price.

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The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

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