I shoot most of my music work with just two Fujinon lenses: The 16mm F1.4 and the 35mm F1.4. These are by far my favourite lenses for my work, but sometimes at the bigger events there is no way to stand next to the artist on stage and I need more reach. I have used the 56mm F1.2 from time to time, which is an amazing lens, but big and heavy in the bag and also very slow autofocus. This past summer, thanks to the very good folks at Fujifilm Nordic, I was able to use the new Fujinon 50mm F2 lens for a few weeks, seen here in my Roskilde Festival setup:
My thoughts on using the Fujinon 50mm F2
This is by no means a review. If they gave out awards, I would be the worst gear reviewer ever. Tech stuff just does not interest me, I slap on the lens and use it and see what it feels like. There are actual reviews out there on all the gear websites, google it, best of all is always my fellow Dane X-Photographer Jonas Rask. What I will say is that I really like this lens. And that is big coming from me, I dislike anything that is more tele than a 35mm (50mm on full frame). There is just something about the compressed view that even a 50mm on a crop sensor gives you that I am not fond of. Give me a 50-140mm zoom and I shall drop the camera and run away in horror. I don’t shoot super closeups, it is not my thing. I am the happiest with the 16mm lens, standing right next to the artist on stage. I would be even happier being the musician and not the photographer but that’s for another reincarnation I think.
For some bizarre reason I am not always allowed to roam around the stage as I please at all events I shoot – something is clearly wrong with the universe! So I do need more range at times, especially at the larger festivals. I found out last year at Roskilde festival that I hardly ever shot or needed anything longer than 55mm (I used the 16-55mm zoom). Even when using the 50-140mm zoom last year I shot it at 50-60mm all the time (except for that one Red Hot Chili Peppers gig, shot from the darn Front of House!). And since I love primes, the 50mm F2 was one of the additions I brought to Roskilde this year instead of the big zooms – more about shooting Roskilde 2017 here.
The lens itself is a Fujinon so of course the image quality is excellent. Almost too clean for me, I like it when they are beat up and flare and light leak like mad! But then I dislike perfect images. The lens itself is very small and light weight but still big enough that the aperture and focus rings are very comfortable to use, and I do not end up accidentally rotating the focus while holding the camera.
The 50mm F2 is so compact, so good, so fast on autofocus, so well suited for when I need more range, that I plan to some day make it a permanent addition to my bag. What follows are a few of the images I made with the 50mm F2. I did bring it on the Bas Under Buen tour also, but I have access to stand right next to the DJs so I never need the range. When I do need it the range, I really want this Funky Fifty!