Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Review

March 24, 2016 | Mark Goldstein | |

Introduction

The Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a new professional weather-resistant super-telephoto zoom lens for Fujifilm’s X-series interchangeable lens cameras. The 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 lens boasts an angle-of-view range similar to that of a 152-609mm lens in a 35mm system, which can be extended to 213-853mm using the optional XF 1.4x TC WR teleconverter. Other highlights include a Twin Linear Motor which enables quiet and high-speed auto focusing, an optical construction with 21 elements arranged in 14 groups including 5 ED lens elements and 1 Super ED lens element with low dispersion characteristics, a flourine coating to help prevent smudging, moisture, and dust, nine rounded aperture blades for a smooth circular bokeh, a 1/3EV step aperture ring, a minimum working distance of 1.75m for the entire zoom range, and 5-stop optical image stabilsation. The Fujinon XF 50-400mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR has a suggested retail price of £1399 / $1899.

Ease of Use

The Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is an undeniably large and heavy telephoto lens, weighing 1.375kg and dwarfing the X-Pro2 camera that we tested it with. It's the largest, longest and heaviest XF lens currently available, although if you compare the 100-400mm / X-Pro2 combination to the Canon or Nikon equivalent, it's significantly lighter and smaller overall. So, depending on your viewpoint, the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is either too big for the X-series bodies, or it's a lighter alternative to the Canon/Nikon offerings. Also note that the length of the lens changes as you zoom out, reaching 27cm at the 400mm focal length.

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRThe Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRThe Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRThe Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRThe Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRThe Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

The overall build quality is excellent, in keeping with an X-series body like the X-T1, although we were a little disappointed to see that the lens barrel is mainly made of high-grade plastics, rather than being metal - still, it does at least help to keep the weight down. The Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens does boast a brass mount, focus/zoom rings and lens exterior, and a non-rotating 77mm filter thread.

The zoom ring is generously wide and has a ridged, rubberised grip band. Both the zoom and the focus rings are smooth in action without being loose. Zoom creep is not an issue, but there is a Zoom Lock switch available if you do experience it. The focus ring is wide enough but doesn't have any “hard stops” at either end of the focus range.

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRThe Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens alongside the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRSide of the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRSide of the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

The Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens has a traditional aperture ring on the lens barrel, which allows you to set the aperture in 1/3 steps, although unlike the 50-140mm variable-aperture zoom lens, this one is unmarked. The aperture ring is nicely damped and makes a distinctive click as you change the setting.

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRSide of the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRSide of the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRSide of the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

The Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR has a built-in OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser) equivalent to 5 stops, which can be handily turned on and off via the dedicated OIS switch on the lens barrel.

The focus limiter switch on the side of the lens barrel enables you to set the focusing range to either the full range of 1.75m to infinity, or from 5m to infinity.

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRSide of the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

A metal tripod mount is supplied with the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, which is attached to the lens via a circular ring that can be rotated from landscape to portrait orientation using a single thumbscrew on the side of the barrel. The tripod mount is rather awkwardly attached to the lens via two smaller captive thumsbcrews - we say awkwardly, because while removing the mount was easy, it was incredibly difficult to re-attach it again - it's definitely something that you wouldn't want to do in a hurry. Note that the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR also lacks a threaded hole on the bottom to allow more direct mounting of a tripod or lens strap system.

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRFront of the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRRear of the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRThe Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens in-hand

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRThe Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

In terms of accessories, the lens ships with a very large plastic petal-shaped hood and the usual cloth bag - we'd have liked a proper padded case for such a premium lens. Usefully the lens hood has a small removable square on the bottom which makes it easier to use a circular polariser.

Focal Range

At the 100mm end of the zoom range, the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens has an angle of view of 16.2 degrees.

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRField of view at 100mm

At the 400mm end, the angle of view narrows to 4.1 degrees.

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRField of view at 400mm

Distortion

The Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR exhibits virtually no barrel or pincushion distortion, as you can see in the photos below.

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRDistortion at 100mm

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRDistortion at 400mm

Focusing

The Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens has an internal focusing (IF) system with a very quiet twin linear AF motor. In practice, we found the auto-focus to be fast, almost silent and with very little hunting even in low-light. Thanks to the IF mechanism the front of the lens does not rotate on focus, which is very good news for anyone looking to use the lens in conjunction with a polariser or graduated neutral density filter.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not a problem with the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens, so much so that we couldn't find any examples in our test shots.

Macro

The Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is not a macro lens. The close-focus point is at 1.75m from the sensor plane and the maximum magnification is 0.19x at full telephoto. The following example illustrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash card.

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WRClose-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. Fujifilm have paid attention to this aspect of lens use, employing a 9-segment diaphragm with rounded blades for pleasing bokeh. In our view, their efforts have been very successful - see the examples below.

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR
   
Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.

Entry Tags

review, lens, fujifilm, fuji, telephoto, image stabilisation, xf, anti-shake, vibration compensation, 100mm, x-series, ois, x-t1, 400mm, 100-400mm, x-pro2, fujifilm 100-400mm, XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, XF 100-400mm, 100-400