Fuji XF 55-200mm lens review

Sample image Fuji XF 55-200mm lens

Bugatti with 55-200mm lens

The Fuji XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 zoom lens is a bit of a monster compared to other XF lenses – weighing in at 580gm excluding the hood it is no lightweight and is a bulky addition to your X system body.  It is, however, quite compact when compared to a zoom lens from a DSLR.

In use I have found it to be a remarkable lens capable of producing crisp and clear images across the full zoom range.  It is now one of my essential lenses and if I could only have two lenses for the X-T1 this would probably be one of them.

The performance of the lens depends to a large extent which body you have it attached to.  When used with the X-Pro1 the focus was prone to hunting and was pretty slow and imprecise.  It could still produce good images but was weak when trying to capture movement or action.  However when married with the X-T1 the performance is totally different – it focusses quickly and accurately with minimal hunting and overall is an excellent lens for catching the action.

Fuji XF 55-200mm zoom

Fuji XF 55-200mm zoom

It has a pretty standard Fuji XF set up with very effective optical image stabilization (equivalent to 4.5 stops) and a continuously rotating ring to select the aperture in 1/3 steps – similar in style to the 18-55mm zoom.  The zoom action is smooth and easily controllable via a large rubberised ring which makes the lens quite robust.  The lens hood is long and almost doubles the length of the lens when attached but is essential when shooting in direct sunlight to avoid flare.

The zoom is not internal so the lens extends a great deal when zooming in (think huge).  The range of view is from 29 degrees when zoomed out to around 8 degrees when zoomed in.

You can find many technical reviews of this lens so I won’t replicate those here but some of the sample images are full size so you can judge for yourself.   The lens is sharp, has no discernible chromatic aberration, distortion is minimal and this is very high performing lens for the price.  The specifications are below:

Type XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Lens configuration 14 elements in 10 groups
(includes 1 aspherical and 2 extra low dispersion elements)
Focal length
(35mm format equivalent)
f=55 – 200mm
(84-305mm)
Angle of view 29.0° – 8.1°
Max. aperture F3.5 – F4.8
Min. aperture F22
Aperture control
Number of blades
7(rounded diaphragm opening)
Stop size
1/3EV (17 stops)
Focus range
Normal
1.1m – ∞ (whole zoom position)
Macro
1.1m – 3m (whole zoom position)
Max. magnification 0.18x (Telephoto)
External dimensions : Diameter x Length* (approx.)
*distance from camera lens mount flange
ø75.0mm x 118mm(Wide)/177mm(Telephoto)
Weight* (approx.)
*excluding caps and hoods
580g
Filter size ø62mm

Conclusions

Overall this is an outstanding lens and when paired with the X-T1 it gets a full five stars.  However that is not the full picture and if you are thinking of using this lens with an X-Pro1 for action photography be prepared for a lot of missed shots as it is quirky with that combination.

However that said when used with the X-T1 the lens has been faultless.  Below are some sample images including two to show the zoom range – click to view the full size images.

Fuji 55-200mm zoom test image

St Paul’s from Tate Modern – 55-200mm lens zoomed out

Fuji 55-200mm zoom test image

St Paul’s from Tate Modern 55-200mm lens zoomed in

Bugatti with 55-200mm lens

Pride London 2014 with 55-200mm lens

Fuji 55-200mm zoom lens sample image

Southbank book stalls with 55-200mm lens

Sample image Fuji 55-200mm lens

Pride London 2014 with 55-200mm lens

Sample image Fuji 55-200mm lens

Palace of Westminster with 55-200mm lens

Fuji 55-200mm sample image

Contortionist with 55-200mm zoom

Sample image Fuji 55-200mm lens

Town Crier in Camden – 55-200mm zoom lens

Sample image Fuji 55-200mm lens

Camden Town street art – 55-200mm zoom lens

Sample image Fuji 55-200mm lens

Stonehenge sunset with 55-200mm zoom lens

Fuji 55-200mm zoom test image

A shag by the Thames at Greenwich with 55-200mm zoom lens and X-Pro1

About photoponica

A documentary style photographer - started with film now shooting digital with the Fuji X system.
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One Response to Fuji XF 55-200mm lens review

  1. Pingback: Fuji XF 55-200mm lens review | Mark Richards

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