Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Review

4.0
July 10, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS is the first ever telephoto zoom lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a focal range of 84-305mm in 35mm terms, 4.5 stops of built-in image stabilisation, a compact and lightweight design, 0.3 second auto-focusing and an aperture ring, is this new 55-200mm lens a worthy addition to the XF family? Read our Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS review to find out...

The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS is the first telephoto zoom lens in Fujifilm’s relatively new XF line-up. The 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 lens boasts an angle-of-view range similar to that of a 84-305mm lens in a 35mm system. Other highlights include an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades, 4.5-stop optical image stabilisation, a 1/3EV step aperture ring, a linear motor-driven focussing system that allows the camera to lock focus on the subject in 0.28 seconds, silent operation for video recording, HT-EBC coating on the entire lens surface to reduce flare and ghosting, and an optical formula that comprises 14 elements in 10 groups, including 2 ED lens elements and one Super ED lens element. The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens is currently available for £599.99 / $699.95 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS is a relatively compact telephoto lens, at least when compared to its DSLR equivalents, but it's still quite a bit bigger than a comparable Micro Four Thirds zoom, for example. As you can see in the pictures below, it complements the Fujifilm X-Pro1 quite well, although it looks a little incongruous when fully zoomed out.

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISThe Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISThe Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISThe Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera, zoomed in

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISThe Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera, zoomed out

The overall build quality is excellent, in keeping with the X-series bodies. The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens boasts a metal mount, high-grade plastic barrel, metal focus and aperture rings, and a non-rotating 62mm filter thread. The zoom ring is generously wide and has a ridged, rubberised grip band. Zooming is not internal, meaning the length of the lens changes while you zoom. Physically the lens is shortest at 55mm and longest at the 200mm setting.

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISTop of the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISBottom of the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISSide of the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISSide of the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens

Both the zoom and the focus rings are smooth in action without being loose. Zoom creep is not an issue. The focus ring is a little narrow and has no “hard stops” at either end of the focus range.

The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens has a traditional aperture ring on the lens barrel, which allows you to set the aperture in 1/3 steps. As the zoom has a variable aperture throughout its range, there are no aperture markings on the lens barrel, so the aperture is shown in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen of the camera body instead. The rather thin aperture ring is nicely damped and makes a distinctive click as you change the setting.

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISThe Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens, zoomed in

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISThe Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens, zoomed out

The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS has a built-in OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser) equivalent to 4.5 stops, which is turned on and off via the dedicated OIS switch on the lens barrel.

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISFront of the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISRear of the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISFront of the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISRear of the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens

The aperture mode switch toggles between auto aperture control (the switch is set to A) or manual aperture control (the switch is set to the aperture blade symbol).

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISThe Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens in-hand

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISThe Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

In terms of accessories, the lens ships with a large plastic circular shaped hood.

Focal Range

At the 55mm end of the zoom range, the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens has a wide angle of view of 29 degrees.

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISField of view at 55mm

At the 200mm end, the angle of view narrows to 8.1 degrees.

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISField of view at 200mm

Distortion

At the wider end, the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS has some very slight barrel distortion, as you can see in the photo below.

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISDistortion at 55mm

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISDistortion at 200mm

Focusing

The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens has an internal focusing (IF) system with a very quiet linear motor. In practice, we found the auto-focus to be fairly fast, pleasingly quiet and without too much hunting 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 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens, so much so that we couldn't find any examples.

Macro

The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS is not a macro lens. The close-focus point is at 1.1m from the sensor plane and the maximum magnification is 0.18x at full telephoto. The following example illustrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash card.

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OISClose-up performance

Bokeh Examples

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 7-segment diaphragm with rounded blades for pleasing bokeh. In our view, their efforts have been largely successful - see the examples below.

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
   
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

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, f3.5, x-e1, xf, x-pro1, 200mm, x-m1, 55mm, x, anti-shake, vibration compensation, 70mm, ois, 100mm, 135mm, Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, f4.8, 84-305mm, 55-200mm, 55-200

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