Fuji X-H2S+ 150-600xf first time out

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Maple888 Regular Member • Posts: 198
Fuji X-H2S+ 150-600xf first time out

I took delivery of the 150-600 earlier this week and was keen to pair it up with the H2S and try it along side the Sony A74 200-600 combo which I suppose is a close competitor for this setup, even thought it’s full frame it’s actually a cheaper combo.

Straight out of the box it's a long lens pretty much the same as the 200-600 but not as wide but certainly noticeably lighter. Nice lens foot Arca comp, Lens hood usual Fuji cheap plastic, tap it it just feels cheap and nasty, and the built quality felt a bit cheaper than the Sony as well time will tell if the plastic coating will be prone to chips and scratches, I think its a bit overpriced TBH and I would have liked to see it a similar price to the Sony but its a new lens so you got to pay to play.

Anyway I was keen to see how the new lens performed optically and did a few test in the garden the day after I got it to see how it compared against the Sony A74 with 200-600 and also the H2S+ Nikon 300pf and the fringer adapter. I took a few shots all hand held nothing scientific, just how you would in a real shooting situation. Initial early findings were that
1) sharpness seems pretty uniform throughout the focal range (good result).
2) the 300pf was sharper ( to be expected a very good prime lens v zoom) but it wasn’t streets ahead and running the zoom lens shot through topaz AI clear they ended up looking virtually the same.
3) the shots with the Sony setup looked better and were a bit sharper again to be expected really full frame v apc. But comparing shots both taken at 600mm then cropping the Sony file to give a similar frame fill as the Fuji at 600mm showed a slight advantage to the Fuji seemed to be a tad more detail retained.
4) overall I think sharpness wise it looks pretty good and from memory looked a fair bit better than the 100-400 when I owned that lens a few years ago.

A few days later I took the lens and camera out to give it a proper test photographing some birds of prey. I was only going to use the wide/tracking and subject detection with this being new to the H2S to see how it performed with various frame rates depending on situation and I also used a fast CF express card.

I was hoping to try and get some BIF shots but this proved virtually impossible as there was so many red kites flying around it was crazy you would start to track a bird then others would fly in front of it and you would either loose the bird in the viewfinder or loose the tracking, I ended up getting a couple of shots when a single bird came a little bit closer. But really would need to try again with maybe a different subject kites are very fast and agile and can change direction in an instant, not a easy job to capture with any system I suspect. Overall though from that limited test the tracking seemed to struggle and had a hard time keeping up but as I say it was a tough situation.

After that I just concentrated on the birds when they landed to feed and was switching between the Fuji and Sony setups to get a feel how the Fuji was performing.
as I said I only used the wide tracking/bird eye autofocus. I ended up taking over a few thousand shots over a 4 hour period and my initial findings are as followed
1) eye detection didn’t work that well at all at a range of around 20m plus it rarely found the eye and would switch to head detect and occasionally the whole body (could have been because buzzards eyes are a similar colour to the rest of the head so had difficulty in distinguishing it) , but the Sony setup worked way better picking the eye up most of the time ( seems like Fuji still has some catching up to do here )
2) I had a number of short bursts of shots say 10-20 that would all be pretty much out of focus, not sure why it wasn’t a challenging situation, just seemed to miss focus (I read on another forum that another guy posted a similar experience). I also had miss focused shots sandwiched between sharp ones say out of 10 shots 2 or 3 would be off. Then you would get a sequence where they all were sharp. The Sony setup had a much higher hit rate.
3) overall the setup performed quite well but definitely seems inconsistent, your still able to get good shots with the setup and I’m sure Fuji will have firmware updates which will improve the performance in time.
4) Max aperture F8 at the long end was a worry for some when it was announced, for me the backgrounds didn’t look quite as nice as the Sony files do again to be expected really.

My thoughts after the shoot if I hadn’t got the Sony system I would have been pretty happy with the Fuji’s performance it’s lighter and noticeably even though it’s only 600g, got more reach and a much higher frame rate but the Sony setup just works better, autofocus is very very good, the 200-600 I think is such a good lens for the price and the files just look a bit better to me and considering the Sony setup is around £400 cheaper as well makes it a bit of a bargain really.

I think the lens is probably pretty good but let down by the autofocus of the H2S again that was only using the tracking, maybe could have got better results turning it off but a selling point of the camera will be the subject tracking.

here are a few shots most nearly filled the frame just cropped to the aspect ratio, BIF shots probably around 20-35% crop, minor adjustments in lightroom, little bit of noise reduction done in AI clear then resized and sharpened for 4k monitor.

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