The Heavyweight Multitasker – XF50-140mm F2.8

· 24.July.2021

If anyone asks me why Fujifilm? My answer to them would be simple. It’s colour science and optics. It is no hidden fact that Fuji incorporates the best colour science in its cameras using its past experiences from the analog era. It is also a known truth that the company manufacturers some world class lenses which outperform every photographers expectations. Today I am going to talk about one such lens that is a mutitasker. It has earned the much respected ‘Red’ badge from Fuji which sets it apart from the rest in the XF line up. It falls in the league of the elite which makes it so much more desirable.

Hello photobuffs. I am Ritesh Ghosh, a street and documentary photographer and I shall be giving you my 2 cents on the XF50-140mm F2.8 lens.

After my introduction, many of you would be wondering why I chose to own this focal length when all I required for street and documentary was a 23mm or 35mm lens. True to your thoughts were mine, when I was recommended this lens by a friend who is a landscape photographer. He was using this lens for his work and was very impressed with the output. Initially I was a bit apprehensive about his choice but once he shared some of his images with me, trust me I got swept away. I reciprocated by ordering one for myself right away. Within a few days I had this beautiful lens in my hand.

Out of the box the 50-140mm weighs a decent 2 pounds or a little under 1 kg – that’s because of its optical design which has 23 elements in 16 groups. The lens comes with a tripod collar which is removable and doubles up as a grip when shooting with both hands. Honestly, it did felt front-heavy when I first mounted it on my X-T1 body, making it totally unadvisable to hold it single handed from the camera body. Although I always carried it from the collar and got used to the weight in a short span of time.

The question which now played across my mind was how to utilise it in my kind of work. Carrying this on the streets would be tiring even if was placed in my camera bag. The barrel length would intimidate my subjects making them cautious which would in turn lead to the much unwanted resistance. Not before long I realized that the focal length of 50-140 could actually be broken down to individual prime lengths of 50mm, 85mm, 100mm and 140mm to be used seperately for various genres. I decided to start using this as my portrait lens on the streets using the 50mm and 85mm focal lengths. Investing in this lens actually saved me from spending on dedicated prime lenses for portrait giving me the exact same output at no extra cost.

Every year there is a Transit Camp in Kolkata for the pilgrims who take the holy dip in the Ganges at Ganga Sagar. I took the 50-140 and shot some interesting faces at the camp. This gave birth to ‘Faces of India’ a personal project which I have been persuing for the last 3 years. The 70-200mm equivalent focal length makes it very easy to capture head shots. The wide 2.8 aperture compresses the background creating perfect subject isolation. The images that I have shared will make it easy for you to understand the output I have been getting year on year. The lens has a solid build and is weather resistant making it usable under extreme outdoor conditions. It comes with in built stabilization too. The enhanced algorithm compliments the stabilization mechanism thus minimising camera shake when working with slower shutter speeds. The front element comes with a Nano GI coating to supress flaring and ghosting. The seven blade diaphragm contributes to the bokeh quality specially when shooting wide open at f 2.8.

I would highly recommend this lens for its superior build quality and stunning optical performance. The only concern about this lens being it’s weight and price tag. But if you can come over them, you can place your bets safely on this heavyweight performer.