Unlike the manual focus Z-Noct, Fujifilm’s f/1.0 lens has an autofocus system that will make it easier to use. Fujifilm said that it’s “fast and precise… even in near darkness,” and added that manual focus is easier too thanks to a new focus ring design.
Autofocus lenses with extremely low f/stops are notoriously tricky to build because of the razor-thin focal plane, which might explain the XF50mmf1.0’s long and winding development cycle. The only other autofocus f/1.0 lens in recent memory is Canon’s full-frame EF 50mm f/1.0 L SLR lens, which was discontinued in 2000 but is still worth thousands on the used market.
The XF50mmf/1.0 R WR makes a strong statement for Fujifilm’s lens design team, but its not out of reach like the $8,000 Z-Noct. You can get one for $1,500, which is a relative bargain for a product with such unique specs. It’s now up for pre-order with shipping set for the fall.