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Fujifilm Fujinon XF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 R LM OIS WR Review

John Riley reviews the new Fujifilm XF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 R LM OIS WR telephoto zoom lens for X-Mount systems. Find out how it performs here.


|  Fujifilm Fujinon XF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 R LM OIS WR in Interchangeable Lenses
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Fujifilm XF 70 300mm Front Oblique View

The range of Fujinon XF lenses for Fuji's APS-C format mirrorless cameras has been steadily and impressively expanding, and now the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 R LM OIS WR joins the ranks. With a “35mm-format equivalent” field of view similar to a 105-450mm full-frame lens, this is a wide and versatile range that encompasses everything from portraits to distant wildlife, much more useful than the existing zoom that ends at 200mm. The deal-breaker or maker will of course be the quality of the end results, especially as many longer zooms fade somewhat at the longer end, so let's see how the new lens performs using the 26.1MP Fujifilm X-S10 mirrorless body.

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Fujifilm Fujinon XF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 R LM OIS WR Handling and Features

Fujifilm XF 70 300mm On X S10 At 70mm

The mirrorless camera may be (sometimes) more compact than the average small DSLR, but lenses such as this still end up more or less a similar size, so weight is not necessarily greatly reduced. Weighing in at 580g though, the new lens is not overly heavy, thanks to the extensive use of polycarbonate. It is however very well made and seems more than capable of taking extended use.

A very generous bayonet-fit round lens hood is provided, which, coupled with Fujifilm's excellent EBC coating techniques, results in virtually no flare at all. There is no release catch on the hood, but it bayonets into place slickly and shows no tendency to come adrift in use. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a standard 67mm filter thread. The lens is weather-resistant, so venturing out into our unpredictable weather should be no problem.

Fujifilm XF 70 300mm On X S10 Top View

There is a reasonably wide manual focus ring that can be activated in the camera menus, although the AF is so good that the lens may not lend itself to much need for MF at all. Behind this is a wide zoom ring, zooming out extending the lens significantly but with little shift in the centre of balance and virtually no wobble to the barrel, even when fully extended. The zoom does not creep, admittedly tested with the lens brand new, but should some security be needed there is a zoom lock to prevent extension during carrying.

Focusing is down to 0.83m, a maximum magnification of 0.33x. This is very close indeed for such a lens, providing a 35mm-equivalent magnification of around half life-size. The lens is compatible with two teleconverters, the Fujinon XF 1.4x TC WR and the Fujinon 2x TC WR. Both of these maintain the weather resistance, and the latter brings that 35mm-equivalent magnification to around life-size, the same as a full-frame macro lens. We did not have these to test alongside the lens, but as a general rule, considering the loss of light involved and any loss of quality, probably the 1.4x converter will result in the highest quality.

There is one additional ring, an electronic aperture ring that is engaged by setting a small switch to the aperture symbol. Setting this same switch to A enables the camera to control the aperture setting. There is also a small switch to limit the AF to between 5m and infinity, useful to speed up AF for, perhaps, bird photography. These switches need watching though as it is easy to move them accidentally when putting the kit into a camera bag, or even when handling the lens.
Fujifilm XF 70 300mm On X S10 At 300mm

The optical construction is 17 elements in 12 groups, including 2 ED (extra low dispersion) and 1 aspherical. The diaphragm comprises 9 blades with the aim of improving bokeh.

Apart from occasionally nudging the AF limiter in error, there are no real pitfalls with this lens. It is just fantastic to handle. One really excellent point is that the AF can discern small details, for example, a strand of reeds in front of a busy background. Some lenses just will not focus on the foreground subject in these situations, but the Fujinon nailed focus every time. This selectivity of the AF system renders MF totally obsolete for this reviewer, although obviously, it is good to have the option just in case something should arise.

The OIS system is equally impressive and it is recommended to leave it switched in even on a tripod as it is sensitive enough to correct any movement caused by the manual shutter mechanism. Fujifilm claims a 5.5 stop advantage and, although this may vary from user to user, I could easily achieve 4.5 – 5 stops. Of course, this will not help moving subjects, where high shutter speeds will still be needed to arrest movement.


Fujifilm XF 70 300mm Rear Oblique View


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Comments


saltireblue Plus
11 11.9k 75 Norway
3 Jun 2021 3:34PM
I have this lens and my own findings are totally in tune with what John describes here.
4 Jun 2021 6:54AM
By looking at the review, John, it should have deserved an essential .... why did you not give it top mark?
4 Jun 2021 9:55AM
It was a close call, but this time just short of the 5 star overall award, mainly because of the lagging edge definition. For myself, that would not be a deal breaker as it also has its advantages, but the ratings are for general use rather than specific ones. It I was a Fuji user there's no doubt I would be very happy with this lens.
saltireblue Plus
11 11.9k 75 Norway
8 Jun 2021 12:23PM
Kilcaff 16 51 England
9 Jun 2021 10:45AM
I grabbed this lens as soon as I could as a replacement for the fantastic 55-200, only because of the extra reach in this easily carried around lens.
I love it, sharp and snappy and light enough to be on the camera during walks. If you need the extra reach and want the benefit of using a teleconverter then I'd recommend you go to this lens.

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