It is an exciting week for the Fujifilm fans because the company announced its fastest prime lens for the X mount – the Fuji XF f/1.0 R WR. This is a significant milestone for the company, as it is the world’s first f/1.0 mirrorless lens with autofocus capabilities.
Obviously, a telephoto lens with such a wide maximum aperture is not going to be small, light, or cheap. It weighs a whopping 845 grams – even heavier than the XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR, and only 150 grams lighter than the XF 50-150mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR! Take a look at the size of the lens relative to the Fuji X-T4:
At $1,500, it falls into more of an “exotic” territory as far as XF lenses are concerned. With the excellent XF 56mm f/1.2 R retailing for $500 less, the question you have to ask yourself is whether the extra half a stop and the added bulk plus heft are worth it. The XF 56mm f/1.2 R is not weather sealed like this f/1.0 lens, but who shoots portraits in nasty weather?
In my opinion, very few people actually need such a lens for their photography needs, but if you are a pro or an enthusiast who likes shooting portraits with a very fast telephoto lens, the Fuji XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR looks pretty incredible.
Take a look at its MTF chart:
For a comparison, here is the MTF chart of the XF 56mm f/1.2:
It looks like the new XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR isn’t as sharp as its smaller cousin at its widest aperture. But I think that’s a given, considering how incredibly difficult it would have been to make a sharp f/1.0 lens. As a 75mm f/1.5 full-frame equivalent, I expect the lens to yield beautiful bokeh at its widest aperture, and it will do a nice job at isolating subjects from their backgrounds.
Below is the official press release from Fujifilm:
Heralding a new age of portrait photography: FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR Lens
Introducing the world’s first F1.0 lens with Autofocus (Among interchangeable lenses for mirrorless digital camera systems as of September 3, 2020, according to Fujifilm data
Valhalla, N.Y. – September 3, 2020 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR Lens (hereafter “XF50mmF1.0 R WR”), the world’s first autofocus lens with a maximum aperture of F1.0, designed for mirrorless cameras. The XF50mmF1.0 R WR is the 35th interchangeable lens for the lineup of X Series digital cameras.
“We’re really excited about the XF50mmF1.0 R WR,” said Victor Ha, senior director of marketing and product management for the Electronic Imaging Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “Not only is it the fastest interchangeable lens Fujifilm has ever produced, but it’s also an incredible tool for visual storytellers to use in telling their stories because its autofocus can achieve critical focus at very shallow depth of fields.”
XF50mmF1.0 R WR Features:
Achieves an Incredibly Shallow Depth-of-Field
The XF50mmF1.0 R WR consists of 12 lens elements in nine groups and also contains one aspherical element and two extra-low dispersion (ED) elements to achieve optimum control of spherical aberration. Used at or near to its maximum F1.0 aperture, XF50mmF1.0 R WR can produce an astonishingly narrow depth-of-field. Its precision-engineered, rounded diaphragm produces large, smooth bokeh for a professional look. Use this new power in selective focus to keep only the subject’s eyes in focus and to create captivating, close-up character images. “But it’s not just for portraits,” said Ha. “Take this lens out onto the street or into a lifestyle session and you’ll turn cluttered locations into clean backdrops with unrivaled subject separation.”
More Options in Low-Light Conditions
The very wide, maximum aperture on XF50mmF1.0 R WR means there are more options when it comes to making images in low-light conditions. At night, or in darkened interiors, XF50mmF1.0 R WR offers the widest apertures yet seen on an XF Lens, allowing more light to be drawn in when capturing your image. The FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR lens also easily achieves fast shutter speeds that freeze movement and keep ISO settings lower for detail-rich results. Alternatively, combine high ISO settings with the F1.0 aperture for incredible versatility and use in other low-light applications like astrophotography.
World’s First F1.0 Autofocus Lens for Mirrorless Cameras
As the world’s first autofocus F1.0 lens made for any mirrorless system, including full-frame, XF50mmF1.0 R WR brings more light to the sensor than any previous XF lens, making it possible for the autofocus to operate on FUJIFILM X-Pro3 and X-T4 cameras at -7EV luminance level. Leaving behind a previous limit of -6EV luminance level with other XF lenses X Series users now have fast and precise low-light autofocus, even in near-darkness. With the added benefits of on-sensor Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), Face/Eye AF and a powerful DC (direct current) motor, precise and fast autofocus at shallow depths of field is now also a possibility.
120° of Precise Focus
To make the most of its super-shallow depth-of-field, focusing must be precise. As a result, XF50mmF1.0 R WR has a focus ring that has been designed to be more accurate than any previous XF Lens. This makes it possible to adjust the focus from the minimum focusing distance to infinity very precisely. For this, XF50mmF1.0 R WR uses 120° of rotation in its focusing ring to let you focus manually with minimal error – and to achieve accurate focus when using your X Series camera’s Focus Peaking and Focus Assist modes. The 120° of rotation also makes autofocus movements notably precise and deliberate, while the lens’ engineering is designed to minimize focus shift effects during image making.
Lightweight, Durable, Weather-Resistant Design
Despite being a fast, F1.0 lens, XF50mmF1.0 R WR is a lens you can use to make amazing pictures almost anywhere. Measuring 4.07in (103.5mm) long and weighing 1.86 pounds (845 grams), the lens is still quite compact and portable. Like all other weather-resistant XF Lenses, it is sealed in 11 locations to protect against moisture and dust, as well as being capable of use in temperatures down to 14°F (-10°C). When allied to a similarly specified, weather-resistant X Series mirrorless digital camera body, XF50mmF1.0 R WR lets you make unique images in the toughest environments.
Pricing and Availability
The XF50mmF1.0 R WR lens is expected to be available in Fall 2020 at manufacturer’s suggested retail prices of $1,499.95 USD ($2,000.00 CAD).
For more information, please visit https://fujifilm-x.com/en-us/products/lenses/xf50mmf1-r-wr/.
Not like anyone who is in the Fuji system has any alternative, but as someone with a Nikon D750 and a 85 f/1.4 lens that cost me less than 400€, this equivalent 75 f/1.5 for 1600+€ makes precious little sense, even more so considering how soft it seems to be wide open (and I don’t see any reason to buy this lens if you’re not going to use it wide open most of the time). Granted, portraiture doesn’t care that much about sharpness but you can always tone sharpness down, can’t put some where there isn’t much of it.
I’m not particularly wowed by Fuji’s “world first AF 1.0 for mirrorless cameras” because, well, technically correct but Canon produced a 50 f/1.0 AF for what, 12 years on its EF mount…and that had the disadvantage of being on a more restrictive DSLR mount and having to cover the FF circle.
Kudos to them for making such a lens but unlike the 33 f/1.0 they had planned and then scrapped, this one just screams “meh” to me.
Tomas, can’t really comment on the sharpness yet, since I haven’t tested it, but the preliminary MTF data suggests that it is not as sharp as the 56mm f/1.2 wide open. Stopping it down to f/1.2 might make it a lot sharper (that’s what some early testers are saying), but you are right – what’s the point of shooting with such a lens if you have to stop down? If it is going to have a very “dreamy” look like the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G, it would be an interesting lens to look at, but still, $1400 is a pretty steep price to pay when the 56mm is already such an excellent lens.
I would not suggest to try to compare this lens on a Fuji X, with something like the Nikon D750 and 85mm f/1.8G (assuming you were talking about the f/1.8 version, because no way the 85mm f/1.4G can be that cheap), as it is APS-C vs full-frame. Any time format sizes aren’t the same, it is not going to be an apples-to-apples comparison. Keep in mind that it is not always about the budget when it comes to camera system choices. There are lots of folks out there who buy M43 cameras and lenses, which APS-C and FF folks would call “expensive” once you lay out all the equivalence numbers. But that doesn’t really matter for those who own these systems. Someone invested in one system isn’t going to compare it to another in terms of budget, because the cost of swapping out the system entirely is very high.
Like you though, I was really waiting for a 33mm f/1.0 – that would have been a very interesting lens to shoot with. The 50mm f/1.0 seems to be too close in focal length to the 56mm f/1.2…
I see this lens more as a showcase: “We managed to make the world’s first f1.0 autofocus lens!”
To me the focal length is neither here nor there (not a 50mm nor a 85mm in FF terms).
I think releasing this lens to get that f1.0 “look” is silly since the 56mm f1.2 gives you the exact same amount of blur (but better sharpness) as this 50mm at f1.0!
Bokeh seems very smooth. It might have the best bokeh of any Fuji lens, but we need more samples to gauge.
On the other hand, sharpness is not that great. The dpreview samples confirms this as well as the MTF curves on Fuji’s website.
Florent, good points – it surely does seem like a showcase lens more than something truly practical in the field. The 56mm f/1.2 is already excellent, so the 50mm f/1.2 is going to have a hard time landing into photographers’ bags, especially considering how big and heavy it is.
You meant 50/1.0, I think. I’m not sure if Fuji didn’t find themselves in a dead end with their 33/1.0 and could simply not deliver after a long period? So, they went for a slightly easier to design 50 mm just to come up with something. I don’t believe a lot of Fuji shooters wished for it.
And given the insane price of the Nikkor Noct f/0.95 without AF, the Fuji must be considered as rather unexpensive in this exotic aperture range.
58 mm f/0.95 Nikkor on full frame is equivalent to:
38 mm f/0.63 on Fujifilm X.
50 mm f/1.0 on Fujifilm X is equivalent to:
76 mm f/1.5 on full frame, not an “exotic” aperture.
This is an APS format lens. The design challenge is much much less than full frame lens, completely not in the same league.
It’s the opposite. The smaller the sensor format the more critical the lens design gets, at least with lenses that fast.
Very true. Don’t forget that smaller systems pack more pixels, so lens designs have to be done accordingly to accommodate higher sharpness requirements.
I mean the size of the glass element
That might be true for just the centre of the image. However, barrel and pincushion distortions are second-order radial distortions, moustache distortion is a forth-order radial distortion; making them much more difficult to correct for larger sensors than smaller sensors.
The sample pictures at DPREview were rather soft @ f/1.0. Bad focusing or soft lens? Seeing the MTF, I tend to believe the latter.
“who shoots portraits at nasty weather?” Maybe. But who shoots street photography in low light AND nasty weather) ;)
f/1.0 is not only a bout bokeh or DoF, like most of the participants of the “equivalence game” tend to forget. At first it’s a bloody fast lens. Faster focusing than the 56? Well, what is not faster than that one?
It’s a bit disappointing: minimal focusing distance 0.7 m. Usually 50 mm have their limit at 0.5 or 0.45 m, as FF 85 mm have theirs around 0.85 m. 10× or 14× the focal length is quite a difference. Apparently Fuji didn’t manage to cram floating elements in the already huge body.
I don’t know. Size, weight and price are roughly the same like the new Sigma 85/1.4 Art, and a 24 MP FF body is also available for the price of an X-T4. But then, Fuji took long enough to make the f/1.0 real and went also for an extra route on 33 mm. So, most Fuji fans could have saved enough cash for that lens.
You would need a ton more corrective glass in order to make a sharp f/1.0 lens. It would end up much larger and twice heavier. So it is going to be a little soft at f/1.0, I think it should be expected. If it produces dreamy portraits, it might have some “want” by some photographers, but other than that, it will remain as a very niche lens. Personally, I see no reason to get the 50mm f/1.0 when the 56mm f/1.2 is so good – the focal lengths are too close to each other.
According to all the other reports this lens is sharper than the 56mm.
It would be nice to get some accurate data
Mike, not according to the above MTF charts. However, keep in mind that stopping down the lens to the same f/1.2 aperture might make it sharper than the 56mm f/1.2 at the same aperture. Hope this makes sense.