Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS - Review / Lens Test Report
Lens Reviews -
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published August 2014
As of today, mirrorless systems aren't exactly strong when it comes to tele lens options. This is also true for the Fujifilm X-system which offers less than a handful of lenses capable of going beyond the 100mm mark. One of them is the "prosumer"-grade Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 LM R OIS. At less than 700US$/EUR, it hits the sweet spot of the market that Fujifilm is primarily targeting. Compared to some of its DSLR counterparts it isn't a terribly fast lens but it offers quite a bit more creative potential than Fujifilm's kit tele zoom lens (XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS) for instance. The field-of-view is equivalent to about "84-305mm" on full format cameras. This is sufficient for a variety of use cases although it remains somewhat too short e.g. for wildlife photography.
Following a bit of a Fujifilm tradition, the build quality is very good thanks to a tightly assembled metal body based on a metal mount. The lens extends when zooming towards the long end of the range but the front element does not rotate. The focus ring operates smoothly whereas the zoom ring is somewhat too stiff for our liking. Typical for all Fujinon XF lenses, there's a dedicated aperture ring with distinctive, albeit unmarked 1/3 steps. There are dedicated mode switches for the aperture control (auto/manual) as well as the image stabilizer (on/off). It is worth to mention that the Fujinon is a comparatively large and heavy lens which has been subject to criticism by some users. While this isn't wrong in the mirrorless scope, DSLR lenses are still bigger though.
The lens has an internal micro-motor which is basically noiseless during AF operations. The AF speed is very good although the performance stays short of the mirrorless leaders here - even on the X-T1. Manual focusing works "by wire" thus by triggering the AF motor. A focus distance guidance is provided in the camera viewfinder/on the LCD - this works quite nicely. Regarding the OIS (optical image stabilizer) Fuji claims an efficiency of up to 4.5 f-stops. This may be valid for lab conditions but better be conservative here - an efficiency of 3 f-stops seems more realistic to us (as usual).
|Equiv. focal length||"84-305mm" (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||"f/5.4-f/7.4" (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||14 elements in 10 groups inc. 1x aspherical, 1xED & 1xSuper ED elements|
|Number of aperture blades||7 (circular)|
|min. focus distance||1.1m (max. magnification 1:5.5)|
|Hood||barrel-shaped, bayonet mount, supplied|
|Other features||Optical Image Stabilizer|