In the first of a series of articles looking at the Fujifilm local ambassadors’ favourite glass, Andile Bhala chats about his current favourite – the XF50-140mmF2, plus the GF110mmF2 for the GFX.
How is the Fujinon XF50-140mmF2.8 helping you to create images?
I enjoy making pictures with this lens. The XF50-140mmF2 is a very flexible lens, with the focal length giving you the versatility of a portrait lens and F2.8 sufficient for subject isolation. It has helped me to get super crisp images, with the right amount of contrast and colour control. Sometimes photographing at 140mm can be a bit tight, but it creates a great compression that makes the subject pop.
What are the standout features you like most about the lens?
The lens has an excellent autofocus – it’s super-fast, accurate and silent. Even combined with the older Fujifilm X-T2 the performance was really amazing. Then there is also the constant f2.8 aperture, optical image stabilisation and image quality.
The F2.8 of the lens allows for a decent amount of light in music venues/clubs but perhaps not as much as say F1.8. What do you do to keep your shutter speed at an acceptable level for sharp images?
I always try to get the ISO as low as I can so that I get less grain, but with this lens I love the grain for some reason. Usually, I underexposure a bit because I would rather have a sharp image with a little more grain than a smooth, clean image that’s not sharp because of a slow shutter speed.
Where do you stand in the prime vs zoom lens debate?
I shoot a lot in low light, so maybe that’s why I prefer prime over zoom, because of the lower aperture. It all depends on one’s style or genre and what subject you are photographing.
You’ve also shot on the GFX system and noted your love of the Fujinon GF110mmF2 R LM WR. What do you like about the lens?
When I was using the GF110mm on my trip to Lesotho, the idea was to explore the image quality (because I print most of my work), plus I was interested in the bokeh. The bokeh is indeed king and you will not be disappointed. Furthermore, the autofocus on the lens is fast and accurate; the low light focus is as good as it comes; the level of the colour level contrast is great too.