XF 55-200 R LM OIS - a stunning performer

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Rightsaidfred Contributing Member • Posts: 726
XF 55-200 R LM OIS - a stunning performer

Dear all

I had reported on a decentration problem with my copy of this lens that affected 'real photos'. Based upon the discussion and the advice I got here in the forum - many thanks again! - and supported with real sample photos and a precise problem description, I had sent it to Fuji Repair a second time. In fact, Fuji exchanged my copy for a new one; warranty remains with my original purchase date. I find this a very honest practice and I would like to thank Fujifilm.

From my posts you can see that I have concerned myself with lens testing and the application of a test chart. The result is that I do a quick decentering test immediately after every purchase and sometimes also test chart images. But I strongly recommend to not overemphasize testing under artificial conditions. It is clear that no lens is perfect, least of all a zoom lens. Expectation must be reasonable, and it is not obvious at all what is 'reasonable'. Upon testing a lot of lenses, one may develop kind of a feeling for what is 'reasonable'. In the end, only real photos are relevant.

So, of course, I immediately subjected my replacement copy of the XF 55-200 mm to testing. But I took a little time before making my statement on the new copy because I wanted to collect a number of 'real life' photos.

WIth my test chart experiments (at home - no lab conditions), I found the resolution in the center at ca 3000 lph until 100 mm, ca 2800-3000 lph at 135 mm, and ca 2800 lph at 200 mm, all at f/5.6. There is good corner sharpness and virtually no decentration at 55, 70, and 100 mm, and there is a certain decentration and a bit reduced corner sharpness at 135 and 200 mm. This is more or less the common view, that this lens performs a bit weaker towards the longer end.

Most importantly, my replacement copy produces decently sharp images at all focal lengths, and I am very happy with it.

If an image with this lens is not sharp, it is very likely due to a limitation of the person behind the lens (= me). I have learned about the importance of short ss, the good old 'ss <= 1/fl' rule may not be sufficient any more with today's resolutions. When using the XF 55-200 with a tripod, I use a telephoto lens support.

I could now attach a number of test chart and 'quick decentering test' samples - but I will not do so. Instead, please find a few real photos below.

X-T20, XF 55-200 mm, 181 mm, 1/4000 s, ISO 320, f/4.8. Raw edited with darktable. Chalk cliffs on Rügen, Germany, taken from an excursion boat. See how sharp the people are.

X-T20, XF 55-200 mm, 90 mm, 1/1000 s, ISO 250, f/5.6. Raw edited with darktable. Altes Rathaus, Stralsund, Germany. See how sharp the spires are.

X-T20, XF 55-200 mm, 100 mm, 1/1000 s, f/4, ISO 1250. Jpeg OOC. Used AF-C. Steam locomotive 'Rasender Roland', Rügen, Germany. Both my camera and the lens did an excellent job.

Comments welcome.



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 Rightsaidfred's gear list:Rightsaidfred's gear list
Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Venus Laowa 15mm F4 Macro +5 more
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Telephoto zoom lens • Fujifilm X • 16384941
Announced: Apr 17, 2013
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