Just opened my XC 50-230mm
I'm not a pro, just an enthusiast. I was interested in the XF 55-200, tried it on my XE-1 at the LCS and thought it felt pretty heavy and unbalanced, and decided to try the XC 50-230 to see if I could live with losing a stop of light for the big weight and cost savings. I haven't had time to play with it enough yet to decide if I'm keeping it, but here are my initial obervations followed by some images, which are all hand held, in-ddors and out an open window on a rainy day.
• Although it's somewhat larger than my XF 18-55, it's roughly the same weight, so my XE-1 does not feel that out of balance like it did when I tried the the all metal XF 55-200 on my camera at the LCS. The plastic feels heavy duty and the Zoom ring is ruberized, which feels nice.
• From what I can tell, the lens appears to be decenly sharp at the long end, but not quite as sharp as the 55-200, which you would expect with the cheaper lens only having 1 aspherical lens and 1 ED glass element. But I would say it could more than hold it's own against any of the plastic Nikon or Cannon Zooms in the same price range. As expected at a minimum aperture of 6.7 at the long end, you'll be using ISO 6400 quite a bit in dark situations. But that ot somewhat offset by the fact that the OIS is great. I was able to get sharp results down to 1/20th fully extended. AF is fast and dead quiet.
I don't have the time to write a full review, below are some quick images I snapped -- all hand held with sharpening set to 0. but I'd be happy to answer any questions: