Review: Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR (Fujifilm X Mount)

The Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR is the third lens addition to the f2 weather sealed compact prime offerings from Fujifilm–and in many ways it’s an excellent portrait lens. But it’s also great for much more than that. You see, Fujifilm developed the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR lens to be pretty versatile. It can focus fairly close and it has weather sealing built into the design. Combine this with naturally sharp optics, fast autofocus performance, and the not too large size and you’ve got yourself a pretty powerful, compact longer focal length.

Most photographers picking this lens up may opt for shooting portraits. In all honesty, there are better options for portraiture in the Fujifilm X series system, and also a few fantastic third party options. But if you’re the type of photographer who shoots candids on the streets and like to do street portraits, you may want to give this lens a try. Yes, the street photographer and the street portrait photographer are the ones who will want to go for this lens.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It’s $449
  • Weather sealing
  • Fast autofocus performance on the newer cameras (sorry X Pro 1 users)
  • Sharp optics and image quality
  • Nice bokeh
  • Only gets sharper when you use a flash
  • Pretty compact
  • Nice build quality

Cons

  • Not much, honestly.

Gear Used

We tested the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR with the Fujifilm X Pro 2, Fujifilm X Pro 1, and the Fujifilm X500 flash.

Tech Specs

Specs taken from the Fujifilm listing page.

Type XF50mmF2 R WR
Lens configuration 9 elements 7 groups (includes 1 aspherical ED element)
Focal length f=50mm (76mm)
Angle of view 31.7°
Max. aperture F2
Min. aperture F16
Aperture control
  • Number of blades 9(rounded diaphragm opening)
  • Step size : 1/3EV (19 steps)
Focus range 39cm – ∞
Max. magnification 0.15x
External dimensions : Diameter x Length* (approx.)
* distance from camera lens mount flange
ø60.0mm x 59.4mm
Weight* (approx.)
*excluding caps and hoods
200g
Filter size ø46mm
Accessories included Lens cap FLCP-46
Lens rear cap RLCP-001
Lens hood
Wrapping cloth

Ergonomics

The Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR lens is built pretty standard and in like with what many other Fujifilm lenses are capable of being and doing. With that said, the aperture ring is towards the back with an A setting at the narrower end, and then there is a big manual focus ring that doubles to give the user a bit more grip when working with the camera.

Since this is a telephoto lens, it doesn’t have the snap-back manual focus function that many of the other wider angle lenses do.

There is very little in the way of controls with the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR. In fact, all you’ll need to worry about otherwise is the lens hood–and even then you’re not really worrying about it per se.

Without the lens hood on, the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR becomes a fair bit smaller and more low profile to use. But in rainy day situations, I strongly recommend using it.

Build Quality

When I was testing the Fujifilm 23mm f2 lens, I took it into a super hard rainfall. And so during the 2017 Mermaid day parade, I did pretty much the same thing with the 50 after attaching it to the Fujifilm X Pro 2. This time, it was much more of a torture test. From around 11AM to 1:30PM, it rained. Then it was intermittent throughout the rest of the day until 7pm.

During the parade, I used the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR and it simply kept working reliably. The camera and lens weren’t as soaked as I’ve gotten the 23mm f2, but they were both pretty thoroughly drenched from the NYC coastline shower. In fact, I wouldn’t call it a shower, more like a downpour.

So in all honesty, I need to give Fujifilm some serious credit. The Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR is highly capable when it comes to build quality and it can take quite a beating.

Ease of Use

Essentially, you’re putting the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR on your camera, autofocusing with it, shooting and enjoying the images. It can focus pretty close too. But because there isn’t a dedicated manual focus option with the lens’ focusing ring, then it’s obviously pretty much just point and shoot in nature.

Autofocus

With the Fujifilm X Pro 2, the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR is fast to focus in both low and great light. With Fujifilm’s system, you’ll often want to set the focusing point to be larger in order to facilitate speed but make it smaller for accuracy. In many situations though, I didn’t have a major problem.

When shooting the parade and candid, cool moments found on the streets, the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR didn’t have much of an issue keeping up. This image was shot between two people and I was still able to nail the focus.

Even with the rain downpouring, the camera and lens didn’t fail to get critical autofocus. If something is even slightly off it’s because at times it was easier and faster for me to focus and recompose. Of course, this is all with the Fujifilm X Pro 2. When using the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR with the Fujifilm X Pro 1 (which I still to this day I think has better film simulation) the autofocus is noticeably slower. This goes for both the use of the EVF and the OVF; but time and time again the EVF will be ever so slightly faster with the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR.

Image Quality

The Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR has fantastic image quality that really, truly speaks for itself. There isn’t a single reason for photographers to complain. It’s sharp, has nice bokeh, doesn’t suffer from any sort of issues the 23mm f2 suffers from when it comes to image quality, and most importantly it’s got great colors. When using the Fujifilm system, it’s honestly tough to complain about the colors anyway.

Bokeh

The best bokeh from the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR comes when you’re focusing and composing tighter portraits. Obviously, you’ll get the best bokeh when shooting wide open. But if you’re moving back a bit, the bokeh also still isn’t too bad. I like many of Fujifilm’s other options more like the 56mm f1.2, 90mm f2, and the Rokinon 50mm f1.2. But of course, only the 90mm f2 is weather sealed.

Chromatic Aberration

No fringing and no issues with distortion. We can move on.

Color Rendition

Color rendition with the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR comes primarily when working with the Fujifilm Film simulations. Most of the time, I spent time working with Provia, Classic Chrome and Pro Negative High/Standard contrast. Astia isn’t too bad, but those three are what I prefer for street and even then I don’t typically use Classic Chrome. Skin tones are best with these options which is particularly important for this lens vs the armies of Fujifilm users who simply just reach for Velvia and shoot EVERYTHING with that.

If you’re looking for a genuine film look though, the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR pairs best with the Fujifilm X Pro 1 over the X Pro 2. The Fujifilm X Pro 2 is better with colors when you’re talking about the digital world, but not so much with tones. I’ve done some pretty extensive comparisons after reviewing lots of Fujifilm film emulsions and the only thing the X Pro 2 gets pretty perfect is Acros.

But the image above was shot in the Provia setting and even then I don’t think it totally looks like Provia.

Sharpness

The best sharpness from the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR comes when you use a flash. In this case, I used the X500 flash from Fujifilm and dialed the TTL compensation down. The result: a beautifully sharp photo.

Extra Image Samples

Conclusions

Likes

  • Sharp
  • Fast to focus
  • Versatile
  • Nice colors
  • Weather sealing is absolutely stellar
  • Fun
  • Pretty affordable

Dislikes

  • Personally, I’d want it to be a bit longer to 56mm.

What’s there to say about the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR: well, it’s an interesting choice for sure. I personally would have liked a 56mm option to be a proper portrait lens, but the 50mm option gives a bit more versatility. It’s a great lens for street photography for sure if you’re looking to give a bit more distance to you and your subject. For that reason, I really recommend it for street photographers and street portraiture. Studio shooters have a whole number of other options. The weather sealing and autofocus performance make it well suited to the streets–which is where most Fuji shooters will be going. One of the best things is the reliability of this lens, you’ll be able to surely keep using it in tough weather.

The Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR absolutely deserves our Editor’s Choice Award in addition to our five out of five star rating. Want one? they go for $449.