Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS review
We're not able to bring you our usual suite of studio test data for the XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, as DxO Analyser doesn't work with the RAW output from Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor. Instead we're going to analyse the lens's key characteristics by looking at how it behaves in real-world shooting.
In short, we've found the 55-200mm to be an impressive performer, with very good image quality across its entire zoom range and a useful minimum focus distance for close range shooting. Out-of-camera JPEGs are impressively clean and detailed, aided by Fujifilm's thoroughly modern approach of automatically correcting for chromatic aberration, distortion and vignetting. Many RAW converters will apply the same corrections too, although with some (such as Capture One) they can be turned off if desired.
The 55-200mm is undoubtedly an impressively sharp lens. It's perhaps a touch less sharp at the long end, especially wide open, as telephoto zooms are wont to be, but it's not obviously weak at any setting. Overall you're more likely to be impressed by the amount of detail it's captured than worrying about unsharp pictures.
In the examples below, we're looking at a range of real-world shots taken at the extremes and middle of the zoom range, both wide-open and stopped down a bit. The 100% crops are taken from the area of sharpest focus. This isn't supposed to be a scientific investigation into the lens's sharpness, but instead give a flavour of how it performs in normal use.
|55mm F3.5, X-Pro1, RAW + ACR||100% crop|
|55mm F7.1, X-Pro1, RAW + ACR||100% crop|
|95mm F4, X-Pro1, RAW + ACR||100% crop|
|110mm F8, X-Pro1, RAW + ACR||100% crop|
|200mm F4.8, X-Pro1, RAW + ACR||100% crop|
|200mm F8, X-Pro1, RAW + ACR||100% crop|
What's fairly clear here is that the XF55-200mm delivers a decent level of detail at all settings, but equally, the images don't look as strikingly sharp as you can get from Fujifilm's best lenses such as the XF 35mm F1.4 R. There's a reason for this, though: as we'll see later, the camera automatically applies some correction for pincushion distortion at all focal lengths, which effectively 'stretches' the centre of the image slightly. This gives a degree of blurring when examining images at the pixel level, offsetting to some degree any sharpness advantage from Fujifilm's X-Trans CMOS sensor. But it's only really a problem if you're more interested in your pixels than your images.
Minimum Focus / Close-Range Image Quality
The 55-200mm offers a useful close-focus distance of a shade over 1m, translating to a working distance of about 85cm from the front of the lens to the subject. The 0.2x magnification isn't huge, and obviously won't replace a 'true' macro lens, but is pretty much what you'd expect from an APS-C format telezoom.
Close-up image quality is pretty good - the lens is decently sharp wide open at minimum focus, and impressively even across the frame. It gets a bit sharper on stopping down, and the best results in our chart test come at F11 (by a hair). Distortion is extremely low, and there's just a little blue/yellow fringing from lateral chromatic aberration in the extreme corners.
In practical use the 55-200mm will let you shoot fairly small subjects (such as large insects) from sufficient distance that you won't disturb them too much. The example below was shot in low light (the enclosed butterfly house at London Zoo on a heavily overcast day), relying on a combination of high ISO and image stabilization to get a usable shot. You'd get better results from a 'proper' telephoto macro with more light, but the 55-200mm and X-Pro1 have done an impressive job of getting anything at all under these conditions.
|200mm F4.8, 1/90 sec ISO 3200, X-Pro1||100% crop|
In normal use, chromatic aberration is practically nonexistent - none of the real-world images we've shot have shown significant colour fringing around high contrast edges. Two points are at play here - the lens is exceptionally well-corrected for lateral CA in the first place, and Fujifilm's in-camera JPEG processing cleans up any residual fringing. This results in impressively clean and detailed images even in the extreme corners.
If you look really closely at RAW images processed through Capture One, which as far as we can tell doesn't apply CA correction, then you can see a tiny amount of fringing at the long end of the zoom - at most focal lengths there's nothing visible at all. This is shown in the crops below. If you examine closely the Capture One version there's the merest hint of fringing visible, but nothing remotely worth worrying about.
|X-Pro1, 200mm F4.8, camera JPEG||100% crop, lower left corner|
|RAW + Capture One 7.1.1||100% crop|
May 28, 2014
May 28, 2014
Dec 30, 2013
Jun 19, 2015
|Madrid subway by MAGMATCICO62|
from Your City - Public Transport
|Incandescent Bulb by Kukla|
from Illuminate- Macro only
|Curiousity by PERCY2|
from Macro - Your Best Macro Ever
|Hoar Frosted Trees by sabishiT3T|
Designer Vinicius Araújo has imagined what he believes the perfect Adobe software keyboard might look like. From customizable touch pads, to a scroll wheel, to a little display that shows the tool in use, his design is pretty compelling.
Peak Design has teamed up with Leica to release a limited-edition backpack made special for fans of the Red Dot.
A portrait of an android woman has beaten over 5,700 pictures of humans to take third place in this year’s prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. The judges were not told the subject was an 'android' until after the winning images were chosen.
Hauling around C-Stands just got a whole lot less annoying thanks to these new Matthews shoulder and roller bags, which can hold two or three C-stand (respectively) plus accessories.
Neal Preston has shot timeless photos of everyone from Led Zeppelin, to Whitney Houston, to Michael Jackson. In this interview, he offers insights into his craft to up-and-comer Elijah Dominique.
Future prosumer Canon DSLRs might feature light-up buttons, if this newly published patent is any indication of the camera company's plans.
Sony's a7R Mark III shoots 42.4MP files at 10fps and incorporates a robust video feature set, large battery, refined ergonomics and more. It certainly looks impressive, but what is it like to use, and how does it stack up against the rest of the market? Find out in our full review.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017 – the Fujifilm X100F takes the bronze and the #3 spot.
There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.
Shopping for a camera with a set budget? No problem! We've rounded up our favorite cameras, broken them into price brackets and picked the best of the bunch.
Looking for a lightweight compact camera that's easy to bring with you anywhere? Or maybe you're smartphone-shopping and want the one that takes the best picture. And what if you want to shoot from above? In these buyers guides we have recommendations for the best compact cameras, smartphones and drones.
Despite reports to the contrary, analysis of DPReview images by our friend Jim Kasson confirms a disappointing fact: Sony a7R III is still a Star Eater. But there may be some improvements.
As the saying goes: A photo is worth a thousand words. And if you're sending that photo through Facebook Messenger, your thousand words now look twice as nice after today's update to 4K resolution.
Get to know the new Leica CL in short order by giving our 90 second 'First look' video a watch.
Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. Despite sharing a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder.
The Leica CL is a 24MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, which sits alongside the TL2 in the company's APS-C lineup. We've been using one for a few days – check out our gallery of images.
While it shares a name with one of Leica's most popular and affordable cameras of the 1970s, the new CL is separated from its namesake by more than just years. We've been using one for a few days - click through for a detailed first-impressions report.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #4 ranking goes to the Leica M10.
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear isn't cutting it? It's time to treat yourself!
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.