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Fujifilm Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Lens Review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Lens Review - Gary Wolstenholme reviews the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens.

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Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Fujifilm Fujinon 55-200mm OIS R LM f/3.5
Price : £570
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Handling and features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Fujinon 55-200mm OIS R LM f/3.5

This telephoto zoom lens for the Fuji X-Pro1 camera provides a field of view equivalent to a 84-305mm lens on a 35mm camera and sports Fujifilm's new linear focusing motor, which promises improved focus speeds and performance. Optical image stabilisation is also included, which promises to allow sharp hand-held images to be taken at shutter speeds up to 4.5 stops slower than without the technology.

Fujinon 55 200mm R Lm Ois Lens (4)

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Handling and features

For its size, this lens is actually reasonably lightweight, tipping the scales at 580g. Even so the lens is very well built with the combination of metal and high quality plastics giving this lens a reassuringly robust feel. Thanks to the reasonable weight, this lens balances well on the Fujifilm X-Pro1 body used for testing.

Focusing is performed internally and a central lens barrel lens extends by around six centimetres at maximum telephoto. Even so, the 62mm filter thread does not rotate, making it perfect for use with polarising and graduated filters. The focusing and zoom rings are well damped, making fine adjustments easy to apply.

As with other X-series lenses, a manual aperture ring is provided, although the implementation of this is different on this lens. No aperture values are marked on the ring and it can be rotated all the way around. A separate switch for selecting automatic aperture control is provided instead of the A setting being on the aperture ring.

Thanks to the new linear focusing motor and improvements to camera firmware, autofocus is reasonably quick in good light, only hunting as the light levels drop at the telephoto end of the zoom range. When the lens was first mounted on the X-Pro1, the camera prompted for a firmware update to be completed. The process for completing this is fairly straightforward, so long as you have a USB card reader to copy the update to a formatted card.

Optical image stabilisation is included on this lens, which promises to allow sharp hand held images to be taken at shutter speeds up to 4.5 stops slower than would be possible without this feature. So long as a pause for the system to catch up is allowed, with care sharp images are possible around half the time at shutter speeds as low as 1/8sec at 200mm that's an incredible five stops slower than the usual rule of thumb for hand-held shooting would dictate possible.

Fujinon 55 200mm R Lm Ois Lens (8)

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Performance

At 55mm, sharpness in the centre of the frame at maximum aperture is already outstanding, with the clarity towards the edges falling just short of excellent. Stopping down to between f/4 and f/8 raises sharpness towards the edges to excellent levels, whilst maintaining outstanding clarity in the centre of the frame.

Zooming to 100mm results in an overall reduction in sharpness across the frame. Still, sharpness is very good in the centre of the frame at maximum aperture and good towards the edges of the frame. Peak sharpness is achieved with the aperture stopped down to f/8 for this focal length. Here clarity is excellent across the frame.

Finally, at 200mm there is a further, slight reduction in clarity. At maximum aperture, sharpness approaches very good in the centre of the frame and is good towards the edges of the frame. Peak sharpness is again achieved at f/8. Here clarity in the centre falls just short of excellent and is very good towards the edges of the frame.

Resolution @ 55mm
Resolution @ 55mm
Resolution @ 100mm
Resolution @ 100mm
Resolution @ 200mm
Resolution @ 200mm

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are very well controlled for a telephoto zoom lens with fringing only just exceeding half a pixel width towards the edges of the frame at 200mm and maximum aperture. This low level of fringing should pose few issues as it will be barely visible, even in large prints, or harsh crops from near the edges of the frame.

Chromatic aberration @ 55mm
Chromatic aberration @ 55mm
Chromatic aberration @ 100mm
Chromatic aberration @ 100mm
Chromatic aberration @ 200mm
Chromatic aberration @ 200mm

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame is pretty well controlled. At 55mm the corners are 1.5 stops darker than the image centre at maximum aperture, and at 200mm the corners are 1.9 stops darker. Visually uniform illumination is achieved by f/5.6 at 55mm and f/8 at 200mm.

A very slight amount of pincushion distortion is present throughout the zoom range. With only 0.2% pincushion distortion, this shouldn't be noticeable in normal picture taking. If absolutely straight lines are necessary, the distortion is quite simple to correct in image editing software afterwards as the distortion pattern is uniform across the frame.

Flare isn't much of an issue with this lens and contrast is retained well when shooting into the light, with or without a hood attached.

Fujifilm Fujinon 55-200mm OIS R LM f/3.5 Sample Photos


Value for money

This lens currently retails for around £570, which seems a little steep for a telephoto zoom with a variable maximum aperture. The price has dropped slightly since launch, and may continue to do so. As there are currently no third party manufacturers producing zoom lenses for Fuji X-series cameras, Fujifilm has a monopoly on lenses for the system.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Verdict

Zoom lenses like this are a welcome addition to the Fujifilm X-series line-up, providing greater flexibility and convenience than the prime lenses released with the X-Pro1 provide.

The performance of this lens is by no means poor, but for the asking price of nearly £600, you'd be forgiven for expecting a little more. Still this lens is more than capable of producing decent quality images and the image stabilisation system works extremely well.

   
  The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens has very effective optical stabilisation and excellent performance at 55mm.  

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Pros

Excellent performance at 55mm
Low distortion
Good build quality
Very effective optical stabilisation
Fast linear focusing motor

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Cons

Drop off in sharpness as lens is zoomed towards telephoto
May be a little pricey when compared to equivalent lenses for other systems

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
OVERALL  

Fujifilm Fujinon 55-200mm OIS R LM f/3.5 Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
General
Lens Mounts
  • Fujifilm X Mount
Lens
Focal Length55mm - 200mm
Angle of ViewNo Data
Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/4.8
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size62mm
35mm equivalent84mm - 305mm
Internal focusingYes
Focusing
Min Focus110cm
StabilisedYes
Construction
Blades7
Elements14
Groups10
Box Contents
Box ContentsLens, Cap, Rear Cap
Dimensions
Weight580g
Height118mm

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