Fujifilm has announced what it's calling the "world's first autofocus lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.0" for its X-series mirrorless cameras. In other words, it's the fastest autofocus-equipped lens we've seen for producing dreamy bokeh on cameras like the Fujifilm X-T4.
As the name suggests, the XF50mm F1.0 R WR has an aperture of f/1.0. If you're not familiar with aperture, this is the size of the hole through which light enters your camera.
The lower the f-number, the larger the lens' aperture. A wide aperture means more light can pass through, allowing faster shutter speeds to be used – which is why you'll hear words like 'fast' or 'bright' being used to describe lenses like the XF50mm F1.0 R WR.
We did recently see a Nikon lens with an even faster f/0.95 aperture called the Nikon Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct. But what's interesting about the Fujifilm XF50mm F1.0 R WR is that, unlike that Nikon lens, it offers autofocus rather than manual focus. And because it's designed for Fujifilm's APS-C cameras (which have smaller sensors than full-frame models), the lens also more affordable and compact than Nikon's hefty beast.
Not that the weather-sealed XF50mm F1.0 R WR is small – it weighs 845g and measures 103.5mm x 87mm, making one of the weightiest primes Fujifilm's collection of 35 X-series lenses. But as you can see in the image below, it's a decent match for a relatively small mirrorless camera like the Fujifilm X-T4.
That 50mm focal length is equivalent to 76mm on a full-frame camera (with an aperture of around f/1.4), making it a mid-telephoto prime lens that's designed for portrait photography. Because an f/1.0 aperture produces a very shallow depth of field (in other words, a very narrow area of focus), it's best used on Fujifilm cameras that have the latest Face and Eye AF.
Video shooters who want to use manual focus can also use the lens' manual focus ring, which gives you 120-degrees of rotation to give you enough leeway to nail the right focus point.
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Who is it for?
Any lens with this focal length and aperture is made for portrait shooting, and that certainly seems to be the case with the XF50mm F1.0 R WR. Wedding shooters, in particular, would certainly be keen to have this lens in their bag, at least when full capacity events return.
But when paired with a camera like the Fujifilm X-T4, which has in-body image stabilization (IBIS), it could also ideal for handheld shooting in low light. This has traditionally been a slight achilles heel with X-Series cameras compared to full-frame models like the Nikon Z6, which combine IBIS with superior performance at high ISOs. But the the combination of this lens with the X-T4 could open up new shooting possibilities for X-Series fans.
While the lens is naturally expensive, it's a lot more affordable than the $8,000 Nikon Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct, too. You'll be able to buy it from late September for $1,499 / £1,499 / AU$2,799. We'll bring you our thoughts when we get our hands on a full production sample.
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