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Fujifilm 50mm f2 review | A budget portrait lens that excels

Updated: Feb 29

The Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 lens is a popular choice among photographers, especially those who specialize in portrait photography. With its compact size, excellent image quality, and wide maximum aperture, this lens offers a range of features that make it a versatile option for capturing stunning portraits.


Portrait of African-American woman with the Fujifilm XF 50mm f2 and Xpro2

At 50mm, it falls into the "normal" range, which closely mimics the perspective of the human eye but on APS-C this becomes a 75mm. This makes it a great choice for portrait photography, as it allows for natural-looking proportions and a flattering perspective on the subject's features.


The f/2 maximum aperture is another key feature that portrait photographers appreciate. This wide aperture not only allows for beautiful background blur (bokeh) but also enables shooting in low light conditions. The lens performs admirably in dimly lit environments, reducing the need to use a flash and maintaining the mood and ambience of the setting.


Image quality is where the XF 50mm f/2 truly shines. The lens is built with high-quality glass elements that minimize chromatic aberration and distortion. This results in sharp, detailed images with accurate color reproduction. Even when shooting wide open at f/2, the lens maintains impressive sharpness at the center of the frame, with a gradual softening towards the edges that can actually add a pleasing artistic touch to portraits.


The autofocus performance of the XF 50mm f/2 is quick and accurate, thanks in part to its internal focusing system. It locks onto subjects swiftly, making it easier to capture candid moments and ensure sharp focus on the subject's eyes. Additionally, the lens operates almost silently, which is crucial for portrait sessions where noise could be distracting or disruptive.


Portrait Photography with the Fuji 50mm f2 lens

The build quality of the lens is another area that Fujifilm excels in. The XF 50mm f/2 features a metal construction that feels solid and durable in hand. The focus and aperture rings have a smooth and precise feel when turned, giving photographers a tactile sense of control over their settings. The lens is also weather-sealed, providing some level of protection against dust and moisture, which is valuable for outdoor portrait shoots.


In terms of potential drawbacks, some photographers might find the 50mm focal length limiting in certain situations. While it's fantastic for headshots and upper-body portraits, it might not be as versatile for capturing wider scenes. Additionally, the f/2 aperture, while wide, might not provide the same level of background separation and bokeh as a faster prime lens, such as an f/1.4 or f/1.2.


In my experience I have not felt that f/2 has held me back at all. I think we live in a world where high ISO performance is really good, especially on Fuji X cameras. And when did f/2 become a slow aperture? Its quit fast and manufacturers are doing a great job marketing to us. If you're shooting portraits or even street photography sometimes completely eliminating the background is not exactly what you want.


Conclusion


In conclusion, the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 lens is a solid option for portrait photographers who value image quality, compactness, and ease of use. Its combination of a versatile focal length, wide maximum aperture, and excellent build quality make it a reliable choice for capturing stunning portraits. Whether you're shooting in natural light or low light, the lens delivers impressive results with sharpness and pleasing bokeh. While it may not be the most versatile lens in all situations, it excels at what it's designed for – producing beautiful and captivating portrait images.



 

My name is Jason Logan. I'm a photographer and content creator from Jersey City, NJ


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