Hands-on Review with Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 Lens
This morning I received the much anticipated Fuji 55-200mm zoom lens. Since I found out the delivery to Hong Kong was last night, I updated my firmware to 2.04 version, which is essential to take advantage of the autofocus system with this lens. The purpose of this review is to see what this lens can do in real life situations – no pixel peeping or technical gobly-gook information is here.
Real Life Samples – Fuji XF 55-200mm
The lens was delivered to my place of work and I could not wait until lunch to take photos of street scenes. So I recruited willing staff to test out my new you. Here are some samples shot:
One of the thing that I wanted to test quickly was the image stablization function – something that Fujifilm claims that can achieve the equivalent of 4 1/2 stops. While I cannot verify their claim, I can attest to the fact that the image stabilizer actually does work. Perhaps not 4 1/2 stops but in my brief tests today, I would venture to say that I could achieve 2 1/2 stops with consistent focus. I have a host of Nikon lenses and during my brief encounter, the Fuji actually seemed to work better than the expensive Nikkor lenses.
The lens ranges obviously from 55mm to 200 mm – this is equivalent to 84 to 305mm in 35mm format. I find that a long range lens is ideal for street photography in order not to be too intrusive and enables the photographer to capture more candid moments. The following are some shots to show the lens range:
One thing that I hope that the photos show is the sharpness of this lens. It is very sharp – you would think that you are shooting with a prime lens. It is popular knowledge that Fuji makes lenses for Hasselblad and that their lenses are superb. This lens is no different then other lenses that Fuji makes – it is a dream lens in terms of acuity. It’s the type of lens that can give you goose bumps.
Much has been made of Fuji’s focus speed with the X-series of cameras and I can attest that this has been a sore point in my shooting my X-Pro1. Give credit to Fuji in that they are continually upgrading their firmware to improve on the autofocus speed. They even released a firmware upgrade for both X bodies prior to the release of this lens. But make no mistake, this is not a fast focusing lens. DSLRs are light speeds ahead. At least on a positive note, the accuracy of the autofocus is great.
The lens is relatively light at 580 grams but it does not feel cheap and has the high quality feel that I have come to expect from Fuji.
I can wholeheartedly recommend this lens for anyone with the X bodies that needs a zoom. As long as you are not anticipating shooting sports, this is a superb piece of engineering. And at US$ 699, it is incredible value.
More Sample Photos of Fuji 55-200mm Lens
I would like to leave you with some additional photos of my lunchtime shoot: