The XF 50mm F/2 

The third lens in Fujifilm's compact F/2 prime series, the 50mm F/2 R WR offers an ideal portrait perspective in a light, compact form-factor. 

My Full XF 50mm F/2 R WR Review

I have long been waiting for a native Fujifilm 50mm lens, and so I was very excited when this 50mm F/2 R WR was announced last year. I have both the 23mm F2 and 35mm F2 in my kit currently and enjoy using both (though my preference is the 35mm unless constrained by space), so going into this review I was exited to see if I would enjoy this lens as much as the previous two F/2 primes. The 56mm F/1.2, the most directly comparable lens to the 50mm is a legendary portrait prime in the Fuji X-Series, but it is also quite expensive. The 50mm F/2 R WR looks to offer that classic portrait field of view, with weather sealing and fast AF performance. Let's get into the review...
I am not sponsored by, nor have I received any direction or compensation from Fujifilm in regards to this review. The thoughts, opinions, and conclusions shared are my own.
Funinon XF 50mm F2 Box
Front Filter Size
46mm
Focal Length 
50mm (~76mm Full Frame)
Aperture Range
Minimum: F/2
Maximum: F/16 
Other Key Features
Weather Resistant, 9 Aperture Blades, Internal Focusing
Design

More Of The Same

We are well acquainted with the goals and design aesthetic of these Fujinon F2 prime lenses by now thanks to the two other lenses in the series. the XF 50mm F2 R WR is no exception here, utilizing that same tapered design (albeit longer that the other two lenses) with a compact form factor that pairs it perfectly with the X-Pro2. This lens looks and feels great. 
Function

Comfortable Usability 

Unlike the 35mm F2 and 23mm F2, the Fujifilm XF 50mm F2 features a comparatively large focusing ring. This makes the process of manually focusing with this lens a much more enjoyable experience. It is smooth and offers a good amount of resistance. 

The aperture ring looks and acts just like the other two F2 prime lenses, and that is to say it works as expected. It is clicky, and maybe a tad easy to bump/move without meaning too, but nothing that had me too worried. 
Experience

Solid Portrait Performance

Now on it's third try with these F2 primes, even with the first two being good lenses by all accounts, Fujifilm has really done great work here with the 50mm F2 R WR.

In all of my testing I only ran into issues with the lens when utilizing face detection with my X-Pro2 in very low light. When utilizing the usual AF system the lens was quick and snappy wide open and through out the range even in the lower light conditions in which I tend to work. 

Tracking on this lens, when paired with the X-Pro2 (latest firmware version 3) was superb. This lens is a solid portrait lens, that is now the go-to alternative to those who can't afford to give the 56mm a place in their bag. 

XF 35mm F2 R WR Sample Gallery

XF 50mm F2 R WR

Paired with X-Pro2

The gallery you see here is made up of images shot entirely with the XF 50mm F/2 R WR when paired with the Fujifilm X-Pro2. Owners of the X-T2 and X-T20 can except similar if not identical image quality, while older generation X-Series owners could see slightly different results.

Clearly these images have been processed. Since this is not a sensor review I found little need to share un-processed samples.

RAW File Sample

For the sake of those who want to see a RAW sample, I have included this one to download. It features the 50mm F2 R WR at F4 paired with my X-Pro2.
**This file is for lens evaluations purposes only. It may not be used for any other purpose**

Bokeh Comparison

Below you can see a quick comparison of how this lens renders out of focus areas comparing F2 (left) to F5.6 (right).

Overall Thoughts and Conclusions

Heading into this review I was honestly not sure how I was going to fell about the XF 50mm F2 R WR. The thing is, 50mm is not a focal length that I had been using much of late, that said I loved the 35mm F2 and 23mm F2, so I had no reason to think that I wouldn't like the 50mm. In my studio, I have enough room to use the 50mm no problem, but for my in-home sessions, it can tend to be too tight for anything other than detail shots.

Despite my reservations about how much I would actually make use of the 50mm in my regular shooting (not for shoots specifically set up to test the 50mm), I found that I genuinely really enjoyed using the XF 50mm F2. In my studio, it was great to get a little extra compression than I could with the 35mm F2, while still having plenty of working distance for full body images if I wanted. But more surprisingly, even at the in-home shoots, the ability to utilize the 50mm F2 to get closer to my subjects without actually having to get into their personal space was something that I had underestimated how much I would enjoy.

It reminded me how much I really enjoy shooting the 50mm focal length. Even with the APS-C crop factor giving it the field of view of a full frame 75mm or whatever. I just really enjoy 50mm.

In terms of the lens itself. As I have said in my previous posts about the lens, it is built very well. If you are happy with the construction of the 23mm and 35mm F2 lenses then you will not have any issues with the build quality of the 50mm F2. I will say that I do also really enjoy the larger focusing ring, the AF is so good with this lens I can't say I have wanted/needed to use the manual focus a lot, but the few times that I did decide to go manual it was the best experience out the F2 primes that I have had yet.

I can't say that I ran into many issues with this lens when paired with my X-Pro2. Just about the only hiccup that comes to mind is some focusing issues with face detection in low light, but really this is more of a face detection and X-Pro2 issue than one with this lens specifically. The 23mm and 35mm also struggled in that scenario (though maybe not quite as much). If I am being picky I am also not a huge fan of the included lens hood either, but the simple solution there is to just not use it.

Overall, Fujifilm's XF 50mm 2 R WR is a solid choice for those looking to get a more standard short-tele portrait lens but who can't quite make the budget stretch enough for the 56mm F/1.2. The 50mm F2 will be compared a lot to the 56mm, but despite their similar focal lengths, I really don't consider these lenses to be targeting the same market segment. Some have also knocked on the 50mm for its price of $449, and while I agree that it seems like a lot from a traditional nifty-50mm point of view, but if you look at it from a fast 85mm F/1.8 point of view the lens is actually right around where it needs to be. So depending on your perspective, its either a little expensive or just right, either way, the lens itself is a quality one.

I have to send my review unit back soon, but I plan to be adding this to my kit for sure in the near future. If the 56mm isn't your jam, and you need a fast, compact alternative, this is a much better one than the 60mm macro, that is for sure! 

My XF 50mm F2 R WR Ratings

Build Quality
90%
Image Quality
90%
Low Light AF Performance
75%
Good Light AF Performance
95%
Value
70%
Overall
85%

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Fujifilm XF 50mm F/2 R WR
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Fujifilm XF 50mm F/2 R WR
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