Field Test: Fuji XF 50-140mm f/2.8

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As usual, all shots were taken around Book Street in District 1, Saigon. The build quality of this monster is on par with Zeiss. The focus, zoom and aperture rings are dampened to high hell, which I happen to love. Autofocus is fast and completely, utterly silent. The 16-55mm f/2.8 amazed me, the 35mm f/2 astounded me, and now the 50-140mm f/2.8 just blew my socks off. It really is, without exaggeration, a flawless instrument. The Astia Soft film simulation mode is far too contrasty out of the box, so following Max Yuryev’s recommendation, I raised the shadows by -2 and lowered highlights by -1, resulting in a flatter, more pleasing image: not Panasonic ‘Natural’ flat, but perfect for just shooting, putting on the timeline and uploading to YouTube without a lot of fuss. Because I’m a hobbyist, not a professional, and I do this strictly for my own enjoyment, I can say that, given a camera with IBIS and touchscreen with nice colors, or a device without those features, but which produces spectacular color, I’d choose the latter in a heartbeat.

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