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Fuji 55-200mm
OIS Image Stabilizer (80-300mm equiv.)
© 2014 KenRockwell.com. This page best with Corporate S regular and bold activated.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

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Fuji 55-200mm OIS XF

Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 OIS for X-mount cameras (metal 62mm filter thread, 20.0 oz. /567g, 3.6'/1.1m close focus, about $699). I got mine at Adorama and this link to it at Amazon is also a great place to get it. This free website's biggest source of support is when you use that or these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you take the chance of buying elsewhere. Never buy at retail, since unlike milk or DVDs which are sealed, Fuji doesn't seal its boxes so you can't tell if it's a used lens or missing accessories. Thanks for your support! Ken.

 

July 2014    Fuji Reviews   Fuji X-Mount Lenses   LEICA Reviews   All Reviews

SALE: Now $100 off and priced at $599 01 July 2014

 

Sample Image Files (more throughout the review)

NEW: Sample Images from Yosemite 16-18 May 2014

The Half Dome as Seen from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

The Half Dome as Seen from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, 7:59 PM, 17 May 2014. Fuji X-T1, Fuji 55-200mm at 148mm, f/5 at 1/38 hand-held at Auto ISO 200, Athentech Perfectly Clear. bigger.

 

Merced River, Yosemite Valley

Merced River, Yosemite Valley, 7:43 AM, 18 May 2014. Fuji X-T1 at Auto ISO 200 and Auto DR 100, 67mm at f/5.6 at 1/170 handheld, Athentech Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution from camera-original JPG.

 

Water running through rocks at base of Yosemite Falls

Water running through rocks at base of Yosemite Falls, 7:57 AM, 18 May 2014. Fuji X-T1 at manual ISO 100, 115mm at f/16 at 1/8 handheld, Athentech Perfectly Clear, split-toned print, vignetting added deliberately to keep your eyes from wandering off the print. bigger or full-resolution from camera-original JPG.

 

Introduction       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

Compatibility

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This Fuji XF 55-200mm OIS is a fast, precise 80-300mm (equivalent) telephoto zoom that only works on Fuji X-mount cameras. Unlike other telephoto zooms for DX/APS-C cameras, this Fujinon is mostly made out of metal, not plastic.

Not only is it metal, it's significantly faster (better in low light) than all the other brand 55-200mm lenses, it has great image stabilization making it easy to hand-hold at 1/8 of a second at 200mm, and it focuses closely and quickly.

This Fuji telephoto stands out not only for its superior mechanical quality, but also for its complete lack of any visible distortion, lateral color fringes or light falloff as shot on the Fuji X-T1.

The only gotcha with this Fuji lens is that there is no instant manual-focus override. You have to move a switch on your camera to get to or from manual focus mode.

OIS means Optical Image Stabilizer, which eliminates the need for a tripod.

The Fuji X-Mount Lenses are all extraordinary. What most photographers don't realize is that Fuji has for many decades, just like Canon and Nikon, also made far more advanced optics, like binoculars for the military and for use in space, as well as lenses for motion pictures and television with six-figure price tags at discount. Unlike mud brands like Sigma and Tamron (or even LEICA), Fujinon has loads of experience actually supplying optics that cost more than some people's houses, and puts that same know-how into these lenses.

 

Compatibility       intro      top

This is a Fuji X-mount XF lens that works only on Fuji X-mount cameras.

 

Fuji XF 55-200mm OIS

Fuji XF 55-200mm OIS. bigger.

 

Specifications        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

 

Name

Fuji 55-200 4 front

Fuji 55-200 OIS at 200mm at f/4.8.

Fuji calls this the Fujinon Aspherical Lens Super EBC XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, or XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS.

Fujinon is Fuji's brand name for their lenses.

Aspherical means specially shaped lens elements for better sharpness.

Super EBC is Electron Beam Coating, also known as multicoating or HT-EBC coating.

XF is Fuji's line of lenses for their X-mount cameras.

R means approved by Rockwell.

LM means Lick Me, one of the many ways to clean the front lens surface.

OIS means Optical Image Stabilizer, which eliminates the need for a tripod.

62 means it takes 62mm filters.

 

Optics

Fuji 55-200mm OIS internal diagram

Fuji 55-200/4 internal diagram.

14 elements in 10 groups.

1 aspherical, 2 ED elements and one Super ED element.

Internal focus.

The front extends as zoomed. This will suck air in and out of the lens.

 

Diaphragm

7 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/22 in 1/3-stop clicks.

f/22 is the minimum aperture at all zoom settings; it doesn't stop down further at 200mm.

 

Focal length

55-200mm.

When used on the X-mount cameras with their 1.52x crop factor, it sees the same angle of view as a 80-300mm lens sees when used on a 35mm camera.

When used on the X-mount cameras in their 1:1 square crop mode, it sees the same angle of view as a 200-700mm telephoto zoom sees when used on a 6x6cm (2¼"square) medium-format camera. This is about the same as a 100-375mm lens sees when used on a 35mm camera.

See also Crop Factor.

 

Angle of view

8.1º - 29º

 

Autofocus

Two linear AF motors.

Internal focus.

No external movement as focussed, so little to no air or dust is sucked in.

 

Close Focus

3.6 feet (1.1 meters) in normal or in Macro modes.

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

1:5.6 (0.18x).

 

Filters

Metal 62mm filter thread.

 

Hood

Fuji 55-200mm with hood

Fuji 55-200mm hood (included).

This plastic bayonet-mount hood is included.

 

OIS Image Stabilization

Rated "up to" 4.5 stops improvement.

 

Size

2.95" diameter x 4.65-6.97" long (gets longer at 200mm).

75.0 mm diameter x 118-177 mm long (gets longer at 200mm).

 

Weight

19.995 oz. (566.85g), measured, lens only.

Fuji specifies 20.5 oz. (580g).

 

Announced

17 April 2013.

 

Included

Lens.

Hood.

Front and rear caps.

"Lens wrapping cloth."

Paperwork.

 

Packaging

Fuji XF 55-200mm OIS

Box, Fuji XF 55-200mm OIS.

Inside the micro-corrugated cardboard box are pulp-formed cardboard holders for the plastic-wrapped lens and hood. A small folded tray of microcorrugated cardboard lies on top to hold the manual and lens wrapping cloth.

 

Price

$699, introduction - May 2014.

 

Performance       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

Overall   Auto and Manual Focus    Bokeh    Distortion

Ergonomics  Falloff  Filters   Color Fringes    Macro

Mechanics   OIS Stabilizer   Sharpness   

Spherochromatism   Sunstars

 

Overall      performance      top

The Fuji XF 55-200mm OIS is optically close to perfect, and is also very well built, making it the world's best APS-C telephoto zoom.

 

Auto and Manual Focus      performance      top

Autofocus is silent, almost instantaneous, and always accurate.

You have to move a switch on your camera to go between auto and manual focus.

Manual focus is by-wire, meaning the manual focus. ring is merely an encoder that talks to a computer that moves the lens.

 

Bokeh      performance      top

Fern in Yosemite Valley

Fern in Yosemite Valley, 11:02 AM, 16 May 2014. Fuji X-T1 at Auto ISO 200 and Auto DR 100, 200mm at f/5.6 at 1/400, Athentech Perfectly Clear. bigger or full resolution.

Bokeh, the softness of out-of-focus areas, not how far out of focus they are, is superb. Regardless of aperture setting, backgrounds don't distract.

In the snap above, the background was only about a foot away. This is a crop from a larger image, and I added vignetting to keep your eyes from wandering.

 

Distortion      performance      top

Distortion is completely invisible, at least as shot as JPGs on my Fuji X-T1, which for all I know is correcting it automatically.

What little distortion there is can be corrected for more critical use by plugging these figures into Photoshop's lens distortion filter. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

 

Correction factor at 10' (3m)
Correction factor at infinity
55 mm
0.0
0.0
100 mm
-0.4
0.0

200 mm

0.0
0.0

© 2014 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Ergonomics      performance      top

Fuji XF 55-200mm OIS

Fuji XF 55-200mm OIS for X-mount cameras.

Ergonomics are easy.

It feels great to have a mostly metal lens in my hands. All the other brands of 55-200mm are all plastic.

The zoom ring is heavily damped. You'll want to use two fingers to zoom.

The aperture ring is only half an aperture ring; it's only an encoder to a computer and works like a generic command dial. It's not actually marked with apertures; you have to move the switch away from A to set an aperture manually.

For the manual focus ring to work, you have to change the setting on your camera. Otherwise the ring is ignored in autofocus. Even in manual focus, the ring is never connected to the lens; it's connected to a computer which in turn moves a motor in the lens to focus.

 

Falloff (darkened corners)      performance      top

Light falloff is completely invisible even wide open, as shot on the X-T1 which is probably correcting it automatically.

Even shooting gray fields wide-open to exaggerate it, it's still insignificant:

Fuji 55-200mm falloff

Fuji 55-200mm at 55mm and f/3.5 on Fuji XT1.

 

Fuji 55-200mm falloff

Fuji 55-200mm at 200mm and f/4.8 on Fuji XT1.

 

Filters, Use with      performance      top

There's no problem with vignetting, even with several stacked filters!

Even with four stacked filters I see no vignetting. It might work with even more; I didn't try.

The filter ring doesn't rotate.

The all-metal filter ring is a pleasant surprise compared to the plastic rubbish from Nikon and Canon.

 

Lateral Color Fringes      performance      top

There are no visible lateral color fringes as shot on the X-T1 as JPGs.

 

Macro      performance      top

It gets reasonably close, much better than pro f/2.8 SLR zooms do.

macro

GPW Watch at close-focus distance at 200mm at f/5.6. Fuji X-T1 at AUTO ISO 200, Auto DR 100, Athentech Perfectly Clear.

 

macro

Crop from above 16MP image at 100%. If this is 6" (15cm) wide on your screen, the entire image printed at this high magnification would be 50 x 35" (1.5 x 1 meter).

Not only does it get close, it's sharp! You can see the texture of the painted GPW mark.

 

Mechanics      performance      top

Fuji XF 55-200mm OIS

Rear, Fuji X-mount XF 55-200mm OIS. bigger.

The Fuji 55-200 3.5-4.8 is built much better than any other telephoto APS-C lens.

It's mostly anodized aluminum, not cheesy plastic.

 

Hood

Plastic bayonet.

 

Filter Threads

Anodized aluminum.

 

Hood Bayonet

Anodized aluminum.

 

Front (extending) Barrel

Plastic.

 

Focus Ring

Anodized aluminum.

 

Focus Scale

None.

 

Infinity Stop

None.

 

Depth-of-Field Scale

None.

 

Zoom Ring

Rubber-covered plastic.

 

Internals

Seem like mostly plastic.

 

Mid Barrel

Anodized aluminum.

 

Aperture Ring

Anodized aluminum.

Third-stop clicks.

 

Rear Barrel

Plastic.

 

Mount

Dull-chromed metal.

 

Barrel Markings

Painted.

 

Identity Ring

Front ring, laser-engraved.

 

Serial Number

Laser engraved on rear of lens barrel near mount.

 

Rain seal at mount

No.

 

Noises When Shaken

Strong clunking from the uncaged OIS system.

 

Made in

Japan.

 

OIS      performance      top

Water running through rocks at base of Yosemite Falls

1/8 second hand-held: Water running through rocks at base of Yosemite Falls, 7:57 AM, 18 May 2014. Fuji X-T1 at manual ISO 100, 115mm at f/16, Athentech Perfectly Clear, split-toned print. bigger or full-resolution from camera-original JPG.

The stabilizer works extraordinarily well. Fujinon knows stabilizers better than anyone; they make the stabilized binoculars used by NASA, as well as the Techno Stabi 10x40 binoculars I use. My 14 power binoculars give me a stable image, even from small fixed-wing aircraft! I think Fuji's been making stabilized binoculars longer than anyone's made stabilized camera lenses.

Anyway, the 55-200mm stabilizer works so well that all my hand-held shots are sharp at 1/8 second at 200mm, and most are usable at 1/4 second. I'm unsure if everyone will do this well, it helps if you know how hold and shoot a rifle, and if you can, I can get sharp flowing water shots at long shutter speeds.

Bravo!

 

Sharpness      performance      top

Warning 1: Image sharpness depends more on you than your lens.

Warning 2: Lens sharpness doesn't mean much to good photographers.

The Fuji XF 55-200 is super-sharp at all settings.

Have a look at the full-resolution file if you've got any doubts. It usually takes LEICA lenses shot on LEICA cameras to look this good. This Fuji lens on the X-T1 is at least as sharp as my LEICA lenses shot on my M9 or M 240. (Using LEICA lenses on adapters rarely works as well as the native Fuji lenses on Fuji cameras.)

Merced River, Yosemite Valley

Merced River, Yosemite Valley, 7:43 AM, 18 May 2014. Fuji X-T1 at Auto ISO 200 and Auto DR 100, 67mm at f/5.6 at 1/170 handheld, Athentech Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution from camera-original JPG.

 

Rated MTF:

MTF at 15 cycles
MTF at 45 cycles
55mm MTF at 15 cyc/mm
(10 cyc/mm equiv.)
55mm MTF at 45 cyc/mm
(30 cyc/mm equiv.)
MTF at 15 cycles
MTF at 45 cycles
200mm MTF at 15 cyc/mm
(10 cyc/mm equiv.)
20mm MTF at 45 cyc/mm
(30 cyc/mm equiv.)

 

Spherochromatism       performance     top

I see no spherochromatism (called color bokeh by hobbyists). This means that out-of-focus highlights remain neutral and don't take on any slight color fringes.

 

Sunstars      performance      top

The rounded 7-blade diaphragm makes sharper sunstars as stopped down towards f/22.

The rounded blades soften the points as opened up.

 

Usage         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

Fuji 55-200mm switches

Fujinon 55-200mm switches.

OIS is the image stabilizer. Leave it on as shown here, except if you're on a tripod for long exposures.

Leave the Diaphragm/A switch at the A setting as shown here. Move it to the diaphragm position to set an aperture manually.

 

Recommendations       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

The Fuji XF 55-200mm OIS is the best APS-C telephoto zoom of any brand. It's optically superb, has fantastic image stabilization and is faster and better made.

This is the very best telephoto zoom for the Fuji X-mount cameras. You could adapt LEICA or other lenses to the Fujis, but none will perform as well as this native lens optically, and none will offer autofocus, EXIF data or diaphragm automation.

If you've found my research here helpful, my support to run this free website comes from when you use these links to approved sources, especially this link to it at Adorama and this link to it at Amazon, when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Please always use these links when getting any of your gear so I can continue to share what I know; it's what supports me. If you take the chance of buying elsewhere (or especially at retail), remember that Fuji doesn't seal its boxes. Unlike a bottle of milk which is sealed, buy your 55-200mm lens elsewhere or at retail and you'll not only cheat me out of the work I've done here to help you, you run the risk of getting a lens that's a customer return or been used for store demos.

Thanks!

Ken.

 

More Information        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

Fuji's 55-200mm page.

Fuji's 55-200/4 press release.

 

Help me help you         top

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The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.

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Thanks for reading!

 

 

Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

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22 May 2014