I decided my next move in my journey with the Fuji X-E2 was to buy a longer lens for wildlife and other work. It is to be appreciated that the Fujinon 55-200mm is not designed to capture fast moving wildlife or sports, however I am sure that this lens will go a long way to capturing some moving birds etc. The other purpose for buying was flexibility for landscape work. I often use long lenses for landscape photography to isolate a particular feature or terrain. This move to a longer focal length will be matched in time by the need to have wider capabilities. This is where either the Fuji 14mm f2.8 R XF Fujinon prime lens or the newly launched Fuji 10-24mm f4 R OIS Fujinon Lens will be on my wish list. The 55-200mm lens is a natural progression from my Fuji 18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS XF, but has it the same excellent credentials.
All images taken from vantage points near the village of Rhuallt, North Wales.
I decided to undertake some “real world” and more “scientific” shots. Remember, these are my tests, not particularly scientific and containing no MTF charts etc, so I guess the type of testing most amateurs would undertake. For much more in depth testing see this review here http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/fujifilm-55-200-3p5-4p8 and here http://admiringlight.com/blog/review-fujifilm-55-200mm-r-ois/
I took the X-E2 and 55-200mm to some local view points and also some static target shots in my garden. All shots were hand held. For this first review I am only interested in the results at 55mm and 200mm, the lenses focal length extremities. I was reminded of the tests I did with the wonderful Nikon 70-300mm VR and 70-200mm f2.8 VRI. I do not claim to a fair comparison between the Nikon 70-200mm and this lens, that would be just plain silly! One has to remember that this lens, although certainly not a budget lens, has a narrower aperture so comparisons are futile.
I tried to maintain an aperture between f5 and f10 assuming, possibly wrongly, that any sweet spot would be around the f8 setting. So, lets have a look at the results.
Image 1. 1/150@f5 ISO200 focal length 55mm
Image 2. 1/150@f7 ISO200 focal length 200mm
Image 3 – A 100% crop of image 2 taken at 200mm relates to 600mm.
I think this is a credible result. It is hand held with OIS switch on. The first noticeable “like” is the balance of the camera and lens at both 55mm and 200mm. The camera did not feel lens end heavy, this was important as I did wonder if a tripod mount should have been fitted to support the weight of both camera and lens. The balance felt much like that of the Nikon 70-300mm VR fitted to my D7100.
Image 4. 1/110@f8 ISO200 focal length 55mm
Image 5. 1/50@f8 ISO200 focal length 200mm
Image 6. A 100% crop of image 5 taken at 200mm relates to 600mm
I’d take that any day! I intentionally lowered the shutter speed to 1/50 sec to see how stabilization coped at full focal length. The 100% crop is, in my view anyway, very credible.
I now undertook some hand held static target images, this time in my garden. Excuse the mess, but it is January! I decided to use an ISO12233 target image. Once again I use the extreme ends of the focal length.
Image 7. 1/540@f7 ISO200 focal length 55mm.
Image 8. email@example.com ISO200 focal length 200mm.
Image 9. A 100% crop of image 8 taken at 200mm relates to 600mm
I could have and will in time test the lens more thoroughly and across the whole focal range. I am pleased with the results and considering the atmospheric pollution which if present in varying amounts always effects the quality of long lens zoom images. Let me know what you think and if any users have experience of this lens, then please send me your comments.
I will embark on a comparison of the Fuji X-E2, the Nikon D800 and the Nikon D7100 at similar focal lengths from the same location. Watch this space!
Thanks for looking.