Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Preview
Preview based on a pre-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 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.
- 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
Updated lens roadmap
Alongside the announcement of the XF 55-200mm, Fujifilm has also updated its roadmap for upcoming lens launches. The main addition compared to the previous version is the mouth-watering XF 56mm F1.2 R portrait prime, which is half a stop faster than previously projected and slated for arrival at the start of next year (as far as we're concerned it can't come soon enough). Also notable is the appearance of the Carl Zeiss lenses first shown at Photokina 2012, suggesting an unusual - and welcome - degree of cooperation between the two companies.
The upshot is that by January 2014, just two years after the system's launch, Fujifilm is promising to have available image-stabilized wideangle, normal and telephoto zooms providing a total range to 10-200mm (15-300mm equivalent), along with seven primes covering the wideangle to short telephoto range. This looks like a pretty capable lineup that should meet the needs of many photographers. Long telephotos are notably lacking, but this is one area where SLRs generally work much better anyway.
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS specifications
|Maximum format size||APS-C|
|35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)||83-300mm|
|Diagonal angle of view||29.0° - 8.1°|
|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|
|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.
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 Zoom Lens
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 Zoom Lens
Fujifilm Fujinon Lens Xf 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R Lm OIS Zoom Lens
Focus Camera Fujifilm FUJINON XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS Camera Lens (Silver)
+ Tiffen 58mm Photo Essentials Kit + Kit