Playing with the Fujifilm 50mm f1.0

Morgan - Austin, Texas

Morgan – Austin, Texas

During the Fujifilm Studio Event that I attended in November, there was a real treat. I got to use the recently introduced Fujifilm 50mm f1.0 lens. Luckily I brought my X-E3, in addition to the GFX system.

As you may know, Fujifilm has two camera systems. The GFX is a medium format camera line that has a larger sensor than full-frame. I’ve been shooting all kinds of stuff with mine, the GFX 50R, all throughout the year. Fuji’s X system has a smaller APS-C sensor with a big collection of bodies and lenses. The 50mm f1.0 is their newest and largest aperture lens for the X.

Of course, I had to shoot the lens wide open at f1.0. And, since there aren’t many f1 lenses — especially that autofocus — there is a certain amount of sexiness and bragging rights to this newest piece of glass. However, at a full-frame equivalent, this cool glass is equivalent to a 75mm f1.5. Still impressive but slightly diminished in terms of pure spec-based porn.

We decided to use window light instead since the strobe setup was at f8. This was perfect since I prefer — and I am more comfortable with — natural light. I set the X-E3 to focus track on the eyes and was surprised by how well it worked, even at this shallow depth of field. It wasn’t perfect, but I was able to get a majority of images in proper focus, locking into the eyes. The focus speed was quite good, and even if the X-E3 is not using Fuji’s newest and best focusing system, it was more than adequate. Using the 50mm f1.0 on the X-T4 would really be enticing.

The 50mm f1.0 was comically large on the small X-E3. Certainly, a two-handed affair where I carried the bulk of the weight in my left hand, holding the lens. I aimed with my right, changed settings, and clicked the shutter. While Morgan’s eyes are in focus, much of the frame falls into a gentle blur. When combined with my preferred black and white style for portraits, there is a dreamy look that I like. Very different from my two other portraits of Morgan (here and here) shot with the GFX 50R.

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