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Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS review

September 2013 | By Andy Westlake
Buy on Amazon.com From $548.95

Review based on a production Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

Over the past few years, the digital camera market has been transformed by the arrival of mirrorless compact system cameras. Freed from film-era design constraints, these can provide image quality to match SLRs in a much more portable form factor. Entry-level models provide compact-camera like handling and simplicity, while high-end cameras such as the Sony NEX-7, Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Fujifilm X-E1 are able to offer a full set of enthusiast-friendly manual controls in smaller, more discreet systems, and with relatively few compromises. However to persuade buyers to forsake their SLRs, the camera companies also need to offer lens lines that will cover their needs.

While most manufacturers have attacked the mirrorless market from the bottom up, Fujifilm's approach has been the opposite, starting with the unashamedly top-end X-Pro1 followed up by the more enthusiast-oriented X-E1. The company's lens line reflects this - instead of starting out with entry-level kit zooms, it took the decidedly unusual step of launching with three fixed-focal length primes. The first zoom appeared with the X-E1, but the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS is no ordinary 'kit' lens, offering premium optics and a faster than usual maximum aperture.

The XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS telephoto zoom follows in the same vein - according to Fujifilm the aim is to provide premium optical quality and construction alongside class-leading image stabilization. Like the 18-55mm it features a relatively fast maximum aperture, gathering half a stop more light than most similar zooms for SLRs, and it uses a pair of linear stepper motors for near-silent autofocus. As with the other XF lenses, it offers all-metal barrel construction and an on-lens aperture control ring. The overall picture is of a decidedly premium lens, that's quite unlike the inexpensive 55-200mm F4-5.6 telezooms for APS-C SLRs.

Headline features

  • 55-200mm focal length (83-300mm equivalent)
  • Relatively fast F3.5-4.8 maximum aperture
  • Optical image stabilization; 4.5 stops claimed benefit
  • Aperture ring on lens
  • X mount for Fujifilm X system mirrorless cameras

Angle of View

The pictures below illustrate the focal length range, taken from our standard position. The 55-200mm offers a similar angle of view to a 80-300mm lens on full frame.

55mm (83mm equivalent) 200mm (300mm equivalent)

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS specifications

Street price (Sept 2013)  • $700 (US)
 • £580 (UK)
 • €750 (EU)
 Maximum format size  APS-C
 Focal length  55-200mm
 35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)  83-300mm
 Diagonal angle of view  29.0° - 8.1°
 Maximum aperture  F3.5-4.8
 Minimum aperture  F22
 Lens Construction  • 14 elements in 10 groups
 • 2 extra low dispersion (ED) glass elements
 • 1 Super ED glass element
 Number of diaphragm blades  7, rounded
 Minimum focus  1.1m / 3.67ft
 Maximum magnification  Approx. 0.19x
 AF motor type  Two linear stepper motors
 Focus method  Internal
 Zoom method  Rotary, extending barrel
 Image stabilization  • Optical IS
 • 4.5 stops
 Filter thread  • 62mm
 • Does not rotate on focus
 Supplied accessories*  • Front and rear caps
 • Lens hood
 Weight  580g (20.5 oz)
 Dimensions  75mm diameter x 118mm length
 (3.3 x 4.7 in)
 Lens Mount  Fujifilm X

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 140
Tom Vernon

I too have been changing from a bulky slr type camera to fuji as the lens quality is first class along with there size, aperture, and weight of their cameras and lenses. Who said that larger format is better than apsc they didn't recon on the fuji x range

0 upvotes
Tom Vernon

If anyone is looking for a small flash but with pro handling the should look at the new Nissin i40. I think its perfect for the fuji x system cameras check it out.

0 upvotes
photo perzon

I do not like rubber on the lens. WOuld rather have it all metal. Many of Ken Rockwell lenses the rubber got sticky in time. $ 2000 lenses. (Nikon and Canon)

0 upvotes
rosinate

I have been making the transition from DSLR to Mirror less this year. I currently have The Fuji's Xpro 1 & Xe1 Everything is amazing so far except the 55-200 lens on the Xpro 1. Any ideas, comments, or... To make this experience better. The lens on the X Pro 1 is workable but not seeing the whole zoom in the view finder making it a challenge to use zoomed out past 100. Love to hear some feedback.
Thanks in advance.
Ken

1 upvote
dual12

Use the EVF.

5 upvotes
phototripper

Hi, Prior to get this lens, I am worrying about the photo #3 @ 95mm F4 ,that shows the London parliament. To me , it's not soft, it's blurred.
Am I going to obtain that kind of picture if the camera automatically applies some correction for pincushion distortion ?? Even the flowers and leaves #4, are under a normal sharpness level. Anyone 's got more clues or samples ?

TY and keep on shooting

0 upvotes
eyedo

I LOVE THIS LENS!
I use this lens with the Fuji X-Pro 1 and it rivals my similar Nikon and Canon lenses I've used.
I've been a pro photog for 25+ years and really praise the Fuji X system and lenses I've used.
Photos are very sharp and it does not hunt as much in low light like my Canon or Nikon long range zooms did.

2 upvotes
Jim Evidon

How fast is fast and how slow is slow? To me, the important thing is whether it is fast enough for your needs. I am a careful and deliberate shooter. I remember when AF was a thing of the future and everyone had to manually focus. The first auto focus cameras did a lot of hunting before settling down and we all thought it was wonderful. My internet provider is lightening fast and it's major competitor promises even faster operation. But do I need it? I am only so fast and the older I get, the less fast I am. I guess this is a long winded way of saying that as a Fuji-XPro-1 user with all the latest firmware downloads
AF is lightening fast for me, although my OM-D is somewhat faster. So, how fast do you really need aside from enhancing your bragging rights when comparing cameras?

4 upvotes
D Roberts

Well put. I am waiting for the X-E2 to have a smaller system in my kit as I too am getting older and my 1d MKII is killing my wrist after 8-10 hours of photographing weddings. I think the Fuji will be a great relief pitcher so-to-speak come the reception and I suspect I'll use it too with portraits. I hope they get their game on for a small flash capable of high speed sync.

0 upvotes
Harry S

AF feels fine to me...http://www.flickr.com/photos/harry_s/sets/72157634005095926/

2 upvotes
57even

All these comments about Fuji AF. Really? They pretty much fixed it.

If you still have a problem, perhaps you're just not the sort that's prepared to learn how to use a camera.

Foolproof is for fools.

9 upvotes
Asylum Photo

It's pretty solid for the most part, but it is still CDAF, and it is still a bit slower than the fastest Olympus cameras. So, on the internet, that means it's THE WORST THING EVER, ZOMG.

13 upvotes
57even

@Asylum Photo

Well the opinion of the internet is the opinion of those that have no other opinion, so perhaps you have a point. ;-)

2 upvotes
DDWD10

Maybe the number of featureless white wall photographer enthusiasts is greater than we predicted.

0 upvotes
InTheMist

I carry an X100s every day, and no, you're wrong, Fuji is slow.

But if you're patient, the results can be excellent.

3 upvotes
NewForce

Was super fast AF really that important?
How come 1% top earning professional photograhers are still using MF camera on manual focus mode?

Was it because,
1. Most photographers is still an Amateur after many years of pictures taking, so need newer blazing AF tech to help them to get the job done?
2. Most photographers was simply too lazy?

If the 2nd remark was true, get yourself a Smarter Smartphone then. Stop wasting your time with a DSLM(irrorless) or DSLR.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
white shadow

Whether you consider the AF to be slow or fast depends on what you are shooting. If one is shooting landscape or stationary subjects, it is fast enough but if you are shooting catwalk models or football it is not fast enough.

I use manual focus for a lot of my landscape, low light, macro photography and stationary portraits and it is still fast enough. For fast moving subject like sports or the MotorGP, a DSLR like a Canon 1DX with a fast AF lens is a must to have a high success rate.

So, one should not expect too much from this lens. It is just for casual use.

0 upvotes
Ron Gee

"Was super fast AF really that important?
How come 1% top earning professional photograhers are still using MF camera on manual focus mode?"

What does this even mean? 99% use AF and Auto exposure settings? Or the reverse? Either way...I HIGHLY doubt 99% of any photographers use MF or AF. Why make up stupid stats. AF is a good thing. I am a 27 year pro photographer that started with film and MF. Would I be ok if AF went away...sure..do I want it to...he'll no! My X Pro 1 and X100s are slower at autofocusing than my Nikon DSLRs...duh! They are different cameras. Does that make the Fujis useless...of course not.

0 upvotes
Serenity Now

The samples pages really just prove that good light and decent composition are always more important than the gear. That said - Fuji does manage to achieve a distinct and great look to images that suit it's strengths. Bravo Fuji.

4 upvotes
bluevellet

Good IQ, impressive aperture numbers for a simple consumer telephoto lens.

Pity about AF, but this could be improved with future firmware and/or next camera bodies?

1 upvote
M Jesper

Pick one up some time, i don't think you would still call it a simple consumer telephoto.

2 upvotes
brendon1000

Its an expensive simply consumer telephoto. :P

0 upvotes
Sir Corey of Deane

The Pros in the Conclusion of this lens' test seem to indicate it's something more than 'consumer' - as is commonly understood by the term.

Two old saws come to mind: 'You get what you pay for' and, 'The quality will remain when the price is long forgotten'.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Sam Carriere

Have you ever tried to use Fuji support?
If ever the customer did not matter ...

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Sep 26, 2013)

I've had to use Fuji support for three separate issues with the X-Pro1 and X100, while that seems quite a lot given that I've shot with Nikon & Canon for 15 years and never needed to use support from either the support I've received from Fuji was excellent. the Fuji support alone would keep me as a future customer.

7 upvotes
Raist3d

Actually Fuji USA gave me *for free* an F810 because my F710 imported from Japan and never sold in the USA, had the sensor issue where it would die in a couple of years. They offered me to have to wait and pay a lot to get an F710 replacement from Japan or give me an F810 model for free.

They were simply great. Now, this was a long time ago so don't know how they are now, but if that's any indication, they are really good.

3 upvotes
itsastickup

Quite likely it depends on the country. In the Uk I've had two issues for which the service wasn't great. A fuji F30 that had a severe soft-on-the-left problem. Unfixed the first time around, kludge fix the second time around that left the whole image slightly soft instead of just the left side. the second was recieving a dubious X-Pro1 battery from Amazon ('fulfilled by amazon') that took them several weeks to reply to an email, and so far, several weeks after sending photos of it, no reply.

But I have also heard that they have excellent support, so I suspect it's geographic. Indeed, I've just setup a poll for that : http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3551698#forum-post-52228259

0 upvotes
57even

Yes, they were excellent. Fixed one of my cameras out of warranty because they agreed a card interface error should not have happened at all.

But I buy my cameras from a reputable dealer and generally let him handle warranty issues. So far 100%. His opinion is that he prefers dealing with Fuji to all the rest.

3 upvotes
DVT80111

"This is helped by the fact that with their latest firmware updates, the X-Pro1 and X-E1 now offer one of the quickest interfaces around for setting the size and position of the AF point with the camera to your eye."

Not sure about this statement by the author. I have an X-E1 and I don't think setting the focus point is that fast. I still have to push the left button, then the right cursor wheel. The Canon 7D is much faster with the joystick.

0 upvotes
Raist3d

You don't- that's what dpreview was exactly talking about- *after* the firmware upgrade you can do all the AF settings on the right side/right hand only. If you have not seen that, upgrade to the latest firmware then press the down button arrow on the right side.

4 upvotes
JDThomas

There is nothing quick about setting the AF point on the Fujis. Even with the update it's still clunky at best. It changes the viewfinder, which eats up some time. Then you move the point and half-press (and hope it focuses right). If the subject moves you go through the whole process again.

One of the main reasons I ditched my XPro-1 was because even with the fix it's still pretty slow.

Fuji should implement an AF priority mode that allows you to change the AF points on the fly like a DSLR. Even if it required using the EVF only it would be a good feature to have to speed up AF with moving subjects.

3 upvotes
Raist3d

Well I am talking specifically about what DVT80111 said, not about your needs. What you mention seems to be a common problem on CDAF/mirrorless cameras in general.

1 upvote
white shadow

Mirrorless camera are good at what they are as a compact camera for travelling and street photography. When one need to have reasonably fast tracking focus, they fail miserably. Even the latest OMD-EM1 is having a tough time proving it can with its on-chip PDAF.

When one want fast tracking focus for sports or bird photography, one still need to use the Canon 1DX or at least the 7D with an L lens. Too bad it has to be this way for the moment.

0 upvotes
DVT80111

Raist3d, I already upgraded my X-E1 to 2.0 firmware and the lens as well. I have tried to activate the focus point selection mode with only the right hand buttons and I have not figured that out yet. Look like the only way to activate the function is to push on the lower left button. I have tried all the right hand buttons without any luck.

0 upvotes
JDThomas

"Mirrorless camera are good at what they are as a compact camera for travelling and street photography. When one need to have reasonably fast tracking focus, they fail miserably. "

I find that street photography needs reasonably quick AF (if you use AF). I think it's funny that people keep touting the Fujis as "street photography" cameras when in fact they're really not excellent for that either.

It seems that looks can influence people to believe many things. Just because it appears to be a rangefinder doesn't make it the perfect camera for street photography.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
calking

JD....there are literally hundreds of online sites showcasing fuji / mirrorless cameras in daily use for street photography. In fact, the most prominent and best of this genre won't use DSLRs due to their scare factor on the general public, so not sure where you draw your conclusion from. These photographers aren't using point-n-shoots.

1 upvote
DVT80111

OK. I have finally gotten the Fn button set.

0 upvotes
peevee1

Where are the objective AF speed/accuracy tests?

3 upvotes
Sosua

Hmmm... image samples look good but not really look much better than what I get out of my 190gram $129 Olympus 40-150mm.

Oh well, I don't shoot much tele anyway. Good to have options.

3 upvotes
qwertyasdf

Fuji zoom lenses are half a stop faster to compensate the fact that they cheat half a stop ISO on their bodies.

It's ok, Fuji, I (we) still love you ;)

1 upvote
dtssounds

If they are serious about attracting pros to ditch their DSLRs and move to mirror less, they need to come out with a fixed maximum aperture of 2.8 lens. Otherwise, forget about it. Even their 18-55mm lens does not have a fixed maximum aperture. And that is the reason why I still stick to Canon system.

1 upvote
sunhorse

Fuji X System is an enthusiast system. By the way, which Canon 18-55 has a fixed max aperture? Is there a Canon 18-55 F2.8-F4 kit zoom? Just curious.

5 upvotes
quiquae

Canon does sell a 17-55mm f/2.8, which should be close enough to 18-55 fixed max aperture for most people.

0 upvotes
Raist3d

That doesn't make sense at all. I rather have a more reasonable size and this lens than a constant big heavy F2.8.

5 upvotes
AndreaV

Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 is a APS-C good quality lens, but it's quite expensive and huge... would not match very well the size of xpro1. I would rather use some high quality fast primes like the ones Fuji provide!

1 upvote
peevee1

1. Constant aperture is operationally much easier. With a variable-aperture lens, you set aperture, then zoom in beyond where this aperture was available - what is it now? You have to look instead of just knowing. Now you zoom out back - will it return to where it was? Why, what about if you stop down 1/3 of a stop - will it return to 1/3 of a stop to where it has been? You have to change it every time you zoom - major hassle and loss of time=shots=(for pros) money.
2. Outside of studio/macro, primes are useless. Nobody is going to wait until you change lenses, and try doing it in dusty environment, in a crowd or rain etc. So you end up with wrong composition every time. Just toys. Unless there are simply no zoom covering the range and you will be cropping anyway.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1

They would be better off just providing constant f/4 if size weight is a concern. Sony did a MUCH better job with 16-70/4.
And no, 18-55/2.8 for mirrorless does not have to be as big as 17-55/2.8 for DSLR - no backfocus to design and correct for in a camera with 18mm flange vs a camera with 45mm flange. Not to mention the availability of software corrections right from the start.

0 upvotes
dual12

"If they are serious about attracting pros to ditch their DSLRs and move to mirror less, they need to come out with a fixed maximum aperture of 2.8 lens."

Many pros are buying Fuji X cameras despite their flaws. Fuji is not hurting with pros.

0 upvotes
Beat Traveller

Hey DPR, thanks for the review. I'm still on the fence about getting this lens, but there are some helpful observations in here.

0 upvotes
billybones1918

Nah, bought into this system for the pleasure of using a lightweight camera, quality primes and no zooms or !@#$%^&* 'mode' dials. Choice! Phew!

0 upvotes
Jiri Folta

I was taken by the quality of Fujifilm cameras and lenses. Not only optical quality but also craftsmanship quality. It was major reason why I sold my Nikon D7000 and all those plastic Nikon lenses made in China, Thailand and so on.
Now, I'm reading that new Fuji lenses are plastic and made in China (XC 16-50mm OIS and XF 27mm (as written on fujirumors.com - First Look: X-M1 with New Kit Zoom and Pancake Lens). An idea of photographic company that is going to bring quality materials and some quality spirit is gone. I hope not but it seems like things are going this way.
Reading some day that X-Pro 2 or X-E 2 are made in China I would sell it all away.
I don't want to buy plastic in China made lenses and cameras. I want in Japan made metal quality. For me, buying Fuji was not only buying photographic tool, it was also investment in the future! It was some kind of promise many photographers had accepted.
I hope we can call Go Fuji Go in the future again!

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
arhmatic

Agreed!

Construction quality is important. I am not buyting the concept that metal would double cost, as some say. Weight is fine with me. Fuji, if you turn to plastic, I am out... sorry.

3 upvotes
Rod McD

I suspect that the profits Fuji make on cameras like the XM1 and XA1 are the resource that will enable them to continue to make higher level cameras like the XPro1 and XE1. Plus their lower volume prime lenses that appeal to pros and enthusiasts. Anything they can do to broaden their base is a therefore a good thing. And lets not pretend that the metal shells of the XPro1 and XE1 reflect an entirely metal structure.......there are plastics in their construction too.

3 upvotes
Ernest M Aquilio

Unfortunately in today's world of planned obsolesce with regards to electronics, buying into an "investment" is not as prevalent as it was 20 or 30 years ago.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
DDWD10

Relax. So the very cheapest zooms and primes of the lineup use some plastic. Every other lens is Made in Japan and entirely metal-bodied. Even the filter threads are metal. The upcoming 56/1.2 leaked shots say "Made in Japan", fitting for what will surely be a $999+ lens.

3 upvotes
Michael

curiously to know what is your choice of plastic lens MIJ and Metal lens MIC

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf

@ Jiri Folta
"For me, buying Fuji was not only buying photographic tool, it was also investment in the future!" And there is the problem Jiri. You see Fuji makes PHOTOGRAPHIC TOOLS and not "future investments".
Try real estate or art and precious metals. Seriously man, you need to learn what is important, country of origin of my equipment has nothing to do with my photography.
BTW don't use your lenses to crack nuts and you will see that even plastic ones can deliver in hands of people that actually DO photo instead of moaning about how much metal is in their lens.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JDThomas

" country of origin of my equipment has nothing to do with my photography."

For some people it's not a matter of photography. I prefer not to buy Chinese (if I can help it) from a humanitarian/ecological standpoint. The Chinese do not treat their workers or citizens well and they do not care one iota for the havoc they wreak upon the planet with their chemical waste.

It may not have anything to do with my photography, but I'd like to think that by giving as little as possible of my hard earned money to rich Chinese exploiting the poor I can make a tiny difference.

"Seriously man, you need to learn what is important, "

Yes, this is true. What is important may not be photography at all.

2 upvotes
white shadow

For those who expect super quality for their camera equipment should just stick to buying the top- of- range Pro cameras like the Canon 1DX, "L" and Zeiss lenses.

When you do so, just don't complain about the prices.

There is always a need for lower quality cameras and lenses.

0 upvotes
Jiri Folta

Sorry for errors. I am not native English speaker.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
forpetessake

SOFT written all over it. Now add to that poor focusing and ... what was Fuji thinking releasing such a $700 flop?

3 upvotes
kai0815

did you look at the full size images? I have the suspicion there's something wrong with the "100%crops"

1 upvote
kai0815

something wrong with the 100%-crops?

looking at both tree-shots (55mm) at full size (in my browse) it seems to me they are a lot sharper than the 100%-crops show. I have the suspicion those 100%-crops might be a bit more than 100%.

Could anybody check this?

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake

Thanks for the feedback. I've double-checked and can confirm that these are a) 100% crops and b) shouldn't be resized by your browser. (Unless you're asking your browser to magnify the page, of course, which will mess everything up - but I can't do anything about that.)

To be honest, I think you're simply restating my main point. The images from this lens look great until you extract 100% crops and view them in isolation, at which point they look oddly soft, as if they've been upsampled slightly after demosaicing. And it turns out that there's a straightforward explanation for this - they have, due to the process of distortion correction.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
kai0815

thanks, Andy, for clarifying this!
I was wondering why they didn't decide to push top and bottom inwards instead, but then you would end up with a smaller image/pixel count.
Well, maybe downsampling by the rigth margin might regain sharpness in the middle - but then again we are only counting pixels...

0 upvotes
samhain

All these lenses for a body that's still on it's 1st generation. That's pretty awesome. It really shows Fuji's commitment to the X system. Kind of makes me feel bad for Sony/NEX shooters.

I can't wait to see the collection of lenses this system will have by the 3rd generation.
Go Fuji go!

7 upvotes
yabokkie

yes, better wait several years for Fujifilm X version 2.0 of whole new line of lenses and cameras which may perform better.

0 upvotes
Petka

Usually new generations do perform better. What is amazing is that even the first generation is awesome.

12 upvotes
samhain

@yabookie Fuji's 1st gen is already better than anything Sony has for it's Nex users. it also has good looks, egronomics, soul & an optical viewfinder/hybrid vf.
And maybe in the next decade or 2 Sony will give you guys a f1.4 lens. (but I wouldn't count on an f1.2 lens or optical viewfinder/hybrid vf- I don't think Sony likes it's users that much.)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
AndreaV

@yabokkie: have you ever used a FujiX or do you work for Sony? Your comments are always pretty clueless and funny!

5 upvotes
reedjecd

Tarting up a system with already a poor speed hunting autofocus will not induce me to spend more on lenses. l'll stick to 18/35/60. Before soliciting me to spend more fix first what's wrong and get rid of those idiotic non reversible hoods.

2 upvotes
JakeB

Would you say you're a glass-half-empty kinda guy?

18 upvotes
GabrielZ

83% score - why only a silver award and not gold? The XF 14mm f2.8 got the same score and was awarded gold!

0 upvotes
Revenant

This seems to be a constant source of confusion to many readers, but the awards aren't connected to the numerical scores. Two different lenses (or cameras) may be equally good in all categories measured by DPR, and get the same score, but still get different awards, because the reviewer likes one more than the other, purely subjectively. It's like the editor's picks in a review magazine, just an opinion.

3 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Sep 25, 2013)

Isn't the award/score based on the type of lens

0 upvotes
SnapHappy32

Dp needs another scale - or start beeing true to the logic of numbers.

100% should mean the perfect camera. 0% should mean no camera. Everything inbetween adheres to the logic of numbers everywhere else in the real world. Higher is more or better. There is no arguing that I'd prefer a raise of 20% more than 3%. Reverse for costs.

Drop the percentages - just stick to the gold, silver, bronze etc.

0 upvotes
Jude McDowell

"everything in between adheres to the logic of numbers everywhere else in the real world". Obviously not familiar with quantum mechanics (or government statistics) then. :-)

0 upvotes
SnapHappy32

In a quantum state there are probabilities. 99% is larger than 1% probability of a cerhtain state.

Government? Nah - the business sector pays more :-)

0 upvotes
Will Gerrits

Nice review.
But where are the reviews of the 4/3 system so we can compare the quality of the lenses in "small" systems : Fuji vs Panasonic/Olympus ???

1 upvote
ryan2007

The APC Fuji System Lenses are better comparing both the 12-35 2.8 & 35-100 2.8 while great lenses the larger sensor of the Fuji X makes a difference even though the F-Stop is not equal. What ever the lens formula for Fuji X is, it is noticeable better than Panasonic or Olympus based on what exists and your are able to actually buy today.
Judge a review by the cons or negatives to decide if it is your deal breaker.
I have owned the MFT's lenses I mentioned plus others so it is from 1st hand knowledge and use I see the difference in output.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
cameron2

Yeah, that less-than-2mm difference in an APS sensor is HUGE!!! ;-)

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer

I long for the days when lens designers had no choice but to correct lens flaws in the lens itself. Old fashioned, I know. For a lot of subjects, the pincushion won't be noticeable but now that we're complacent about software fixing things it's worth noting that correcting pincushion correction seems to damage image quality more than correcting barrel distortion.

1 upvote
JEROME NOLAS

Why not 50-150mm f2.8 like Sigma lens?

0 upvotes
M Jesper

Sorry, but Mr. Fuji is not available at the moment.

5 upvotes
comet suisei

EXPENSIVE??(!!!)

0 upvotes
Tandua

soft, no good

1 upvote
Henrik Herranen

Um, erm...
Have you ridden your lens reviews of resolution/vignetting/distortion charts? Or is it just for this lens? Or is my browser misbehaving?

2 upvotes
Andy Westlake

Um, erm... it's explained at the top of [page three of the review](http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/fujifilm-55-200-3p5-4p8/3)

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
forpetessake

Maybe DXO software cannot be made to work with Fuji files, there is still a need for formal measurements. What's wrong with shooting standard resolution targets for example?

1 upvote
Henrik Herranen

Andy: Um, erm...
I thought I had read the all the text thoroughly and with thought. Well, obviously not. Thanks for pointing out where my error was!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 45 seconds after posting
1 upvote
DDWD10

Would like to see a 200/2.4 pop up on the XF roadmap. I always find myself shooting at the long end wide open with telezooms so I guess primes are for me.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
CFynn

200 f/2.4 would be a pretty large lens

0 upvotes
DDWD10

It would, but given it's designed for a 1.5x crop sensor with a very short flange distance, it would be compact for what it is.

0 upvotes
Raist3d

As a prime it may not be as big. As a Zoom it would.

0 upvotes
Graham Hill

Wow, this lens is soft. What is the point??

3 upvotes
Red5TX

Read it again.

6 upvotes
yabokkie

about 0.5 stops larger aperture at 200m than some other cheap zooms.

0 upvotes
chlamchowder

Given that you can get a used, autofocusing 80-200/2.8 for $600 (or less if you're willing to compromise on AF speed), this lens is a stop and a half slower than what you could get for that price.

0 upvotes
CFynn

@chlamchowder
Comparing the price of a several years old used lens for a different mount to that of a brand new lens is pretty irrelevant

14 upvotes
uniball

@CFynn, that's being quite polite.

+1

3 upvotes
Mike99999

Based on the sample images this lens is incredibly soft between 100 and 200mm. This really doesn't look any better than a cheap Nikkon 55-200mm.

5 upvotes
AndreaV

Incredibly soft? Which images have you looked at? I checked some of the sample images in that range and they look pretty sharp...

3 upvotes
Artistico

Well. I think they look soft too on a pixel level, which also means you lose fine texture. The uncorrected ones don't look as bad, but I'm not impressed. For architectural scenes, the pincushion distortion will be visible in the uncorrected photos, which - again - could be a dealbreaker.

It all depends what you are used to seeing, of course. If you're used to very sharp pro zooms or macro lenses, this does seem soft in comparison. I've also seen photos from cheap lenses quite a bit sharper than this, no matter what some people might think.

Surely the slight haloing affect you see in most of the photos isn't due to the sensor, is it? Reminds me of pictures from the Sony RX100 for some reason.

Will any of this matter? That's another question altogether, and it depends on how big your prints are, and whether you're cropping like crazy because this focal range really is too short for what you want to take pictures of.

4 upvotes
InTheMist

I have to agree. It's a disappointing performance.

While I own a Fuji X100s that I'm carrying right now, it stays in the bag when things actually, you know, move. I also shoot a lot of telephoto and wildlife.

3 upvotes
Al Valentino

As an owner of this lens I can say the IQ is fantastic. I did a few quick tripod tests stopped down against my old Nikon 70-200 VR I and they tied. Shortly after sold the Nikon lens and began selling off the rest of my Nikon gear. I use Capture One 7 Express when I shoot RAW but jpegs are often good enough.

10 upvotes
Tandua

DP test..say different words, very very poor lens (it's like 70-300 AF-S Nikon a cheap telephoto lens)

please, post a link with full size photo, thks

0 upvotes
Alan Wolf

Where do you read "very very poor lens" in the review?

11 upvotes
SnapHappy32

Tandua. I wouldn't discount the 70-300 so easily. Its AF performance seems to be miles ahead of this one. But you are right about the IQ. Just.... Ok.

I'll reserve judgement for when I've seen other samples. This seems off. Fuji are great at making lenses. This is just plain weird...

1 upvote
MGW55

I own and use this lens as well in a maritime environment, on rolling ships, etc. The optics are first rate, the OIS is impressive, as good as anything Canon or Nikon makes. On occassion, it is difficult to capture focus on a hazy day, but simple to use manual with focus peaking/magnification, which is not available on DSLR's. It is an expensive lens in some respects, compared to kit 55-200mm lenses from Canikon, but it is interesting to note DP review didn't compare this lens to the cheap kit ones, it compared it to the Nikon, Canon, Sony 70-200mm 2.8 lenses, all in the 2500.00 price category. This alone speaks volumes, if you are listening...

0 upvotes
CFynn

Fuji have brought out an impressive number of good lenses in the relatively short time X mount cameras have been available.

21 upvotes
arhmatic

Thanks Fuji.
Keep it up and never go plastic!

2 upvotes
iudex

At a first glance the speed of this lens really looks better/faster than normal DSLR telezooms. However important is also the course of the lens speed. My former Pentax DA 55-300mm had f4-5,8, what looks considerably worse. However at 100mm it still had f4 and at 200mm it had f4,5 (jumped to f5,6 at 210mm). So basically the same speed as this Fujinon, but for fraction of the price (cca. 280 EUR).

3 upvotes
Uwe Steinmueller

> And we can't totally ignore the fact that at around $700 / £580, this is one of the most expensive 'small' telephoto zooms on the market.

What would be a small zoom at the same price point that could match it in quality? I find the good Panasonic 35-100mm expensive. This zoom seems fair priced for the quality it delivers (I own and love it).

And yes, AF sucks . Not that big deal for me as I like to use tele on more static objects.

By the way the lens hood is not that great for mounting. Feels like these older Canon lens hoods.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie

for good lenses, there is a similar learning curve for them to climb for several years, just like Oly did (and actually Nikon, too) before 2007.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
CFynn

Learning curve? Fuji have been making good lenses for a long time.

13 upvotes
gefrorenezeit

Haha, yabokkie - always a fun thing to read you.... I guess you have never touched a recent Fuji lens, have you? ;)
Fuji is building the Hassy lenses for the H System - this system ist not to be confused with the Lunar and the like (just to make sure...;)).

4 upvotes
Cane

I don't think any Fuji shooter shoots anything that moves.

3 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf

@yabokkie
Fuji has been making some of THE most expensive and advanced lenses that exist. They have been making lenses as OEM for Hasselblad for many, many years. Google "hasselblad" since you apparently have never heard of them and see what quality lenses are.
Then we have Fuji manufactoring of Pro film/movie/broadcasting lenses. Some of these lenses (if not all) cost or start at the cost of a good mid sized saloon car.
Fuji has been doing that for many years now.
You really need to take a brake from commenting on this site kiddo. I have seen another couple of your comments and everywhere you go you seem to pour out ignorance.

10 upvotes
yabokkie

very different lenses that require very different technologies and know-hows. just have a look at lenses made by Nikon and Olympus before and after 2007 and think for a while how you will explain what you observed.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Raist3d

@yabokkie - the know how in making the high end lenses translates. BTW, Olympus had great OM lenses (that's before 2007) so their knowledge did transfer to 4/3rds.

Finally the Fuji primes are superb, so you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Oh, and this lens is good. It's amazing the amount of ignorant inexperienced commentary you can spout.

1 upvote
yabokkie

> the know how in making the high end lenses translates.

it doesn't.

Japanese have some best technologies but still are defeated by Americans, Koreans, and Taiwanese in many fields. same for Germans who just cannot compete whatever high end products they have.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie

also Nikon is one of the best lithography stepper makers for 20-30 years (super large aperture, super precision large format camera?) but their mass market photographic lenses before 2007 were quite rubbish.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Raist3d

@yabokie
"> the know how in making the high end lenses translates.

it doesn't.
"
You just clearly showed you have NO IDEA, like ZERO, of what you are talking about. There is definitively *at least some know how* that translates. From lens coatings, to materials, etc.

The primes in the Fuji X trans system are pretty much all superb, sans the 18mm. Have you actually *used them?*

And this? "Japanese have some best technologies but still are defeated by Americans, Koreans, and Taiwanese in many fields. same for Germans who just cannot compete whatever high end products they have."

Complete non sequitor.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Asylum Photo

Using ACR instead of Iridient or Capture One makes the images look softer than they actually are. YMMV depending on raw converter, and I think it's important to talk about that when reviewing Fuji X lenses.

1 upvote
Andy Westlake

You can, of course, make images look as sharp or as soft as you like in any RAW converter, just by changing the sharpening settings. The ACR conversions shown in this review don't look radically different from the camera's JPEGs.

6 upvotes
yabokkie

thanks Fujifilm we have X-A1 now (not in Japan yet).

1 upvote
SylvainBdg

Totally Agree with Asylum..many have complained about that issue before..Fuji using a different sensor, iridient is the best software to develop your raws and results are different. I'd recommend mr Andy to browse on the net to try to understand what Asylum means..

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake

I'm sure Iridient Raw developer is great, but I don't use a Mac. Meanwhile, if you actually read the review, you'll see I used Capture One as well as ACR. It applies more sharpening by default, but even so the images with distortion correction applied inevitably look a little soft on the pixel level. And, as I pointed out in the review, this is mainly of academic interest - it doesn't really matter much in practice.

6 upvotes
siggo

"You can, of course, make images look as sharp or as soft as you like in any RAW converter, just by changing the sharpening settings. "
Not sure of the context here, but...
Can a soft image from poor optics be brought into sharp focus by changing the sharpening settings??? Surely enhancing edge contrast by software is not the same as a sharp image (from great lens optics) presented to the sensor. just saying. maybe that's not what you meant.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Andy Westlake

@siggo: No, that's not what I meant. The context here is about the visual differences in output offered by various RAW converters from any given file. In general, Capture One will apply more sharpening to files from any camera, and therefore make images look sharper. This doesn't mean ACR is wrong - more that it starts from a different aesthetic decision.

1 upvote
Artistico

Well... you cannot make an image as sharp or blurry as you want - however much all photographers wishes that were true. Blurry, yes. Sharp: well, that depends on how sharp it is to start with, unfortunately.

1 upvote
Raist3d

@Andy - Sorry but I have to strongly disagree with you here. It's not a matter of increasing the sharpness- the ACR current raw converter simply does not handle Xtrans well doing smearing of the color. Capture One simply decodes the data better, pretty much realizing the potential for Xtrans.

While dpreview wants to keep a level field by using the same raw converter the truth is current Adobe raw is just not a good idea for Xtrans, and while you guys keep sticking to that line all you are doing is completely going over the potential of the sensor.

2 upvotes
Raist3d

@ Andy - "Capture One will apply more sharpening to files from any camera, and therefore make images look sharper. This doesn't mean ACR is wrong - more that it starts from a different aesthetic decision."

No, no, no. Sorry, check out several images for yourself with ACR and Capture One on for example forbidden traffic signs where the red text leaves about 1 pixel wide white to the end of the metallic sign. Adobe's stuff simply smears the color, Capture one will correctly decode the data to one pixel in that situation.

This is NOT just a different "aesthetic decision" by Adobe and Capture one - this is that the algorithm they are using is different, it shows and Capture One simply does overall much better.

This has been examined and discussed to great extent- look at the first Adobe Pass at Xtrnas- it was downright horrible. It's not the best still and even the updated Silky Pix does overall better (note how Silky Pix got updated for improved Xtrans decoding).

2 upvotes
Raist3d

And by the way, yes Iridient will indeed vastly more detail than Adobe's raw on Xtrans and no amount of sharpening on the Adobe setting will bring you the same detail. That said Iridient does have its own artifacts to deal with but in a lot of cases they don't matter compared to the extra detail you get, and they have a lot of tweak ability.
I still find Capture One 7 latest the best balance for Xtrans.

2 upvotes
CFynn

@Raist3d
Are there any examples of XTrans RAW files converted with different RAW converters so we can see what you are talking about?

0 upvotes
rfsIII

There's much more to a lens than just sharpness (which in my experience depends mostly on ensuring the camera is tightly attached to a heavy tripod). To create beauty, a lens has to be able to capture the shape, weight, and tonality of objects; and it has to convey distance in a convincing way. In Leica circles they call it "drawing," as in "the drawing quality of this Leica Summarit is simply exquisite." So Andy, you just keep shooting photos of the real world and remember: Honi soit qui mal y pense.

1 upvote
dengx

@CFynn
there are plenty:
http://vkphotoblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/lightroom-44-acr74-vs-capture-one.html

http://vkphotoblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/dcraw-919.html

http://vkphotoblog.blogspot.com/2013/08/iridient-developer-22-quick-comparison.html

and the site that can't be posted on dpr because it's moderated. there was a comparision of 7 RAW converters for X-Trans + OOC.

DPR:
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/1550547764/adobes-fujifilm-x-trans-sensor-processing-tested

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/1550547764/adobes-fujifilm-x-trans-sensor-processing-tested/2

Same goes for Bayer of course, ACR is just a middle of the pack fro me when it comes to demosaicing.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Asylum Photo

@ Andy - Didn't catch the Capture One reference, my apologies there. The original comment was simply due to the fact that users will be comparing the files to lenses of other systems, and Adobe doesn't treat X-Trans files as well as standard bayer files. Not a big deal, just would have been a nice addition. Keep up the solid work.

I own the 55-200, and find the sharpness pretty incredible for a lens of this sort. It's AF gets pretty doggish in low light though, due to being on a CDAF system that isn't the best to start with. Looking forward to the 2nd generation of XF Mount cameras.

0 upvotes
Raist3d

@CFynn - check out the links dengx gave you- or better yet- download the trial for capture one and for light room (if you don't have either), then check some raws for yourself.

With Capture one you need to play carefully with sharpness and the structure setting to maximize sharpness.

0 upvotes
Mary629

Well, reading this http://usemyreviews.in/nikon-55-200mm-lens/ can be helpful here.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 140