Fuji XF 55-200mm | Michael Reichmann on Luminous Landscape

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Fuji always dances to a different drummer. While any of the major camera makers would introduce one or more zoom lenses along with a new camera system, in Fuji’s case, when they launched the X-Pro 1 they did so along with three primes. Not a zoom in sight. If I knew the Japanese translation for chutzpah, that’s the word that I’d use for such an unconventional marketing strategy. And you know what? I worked. Instead of playing the me-too game that the other companies systematically follow, Fuji turned it on its head, introducing several fast primes before their first zoom, the excellent 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R OIS last fall. Now, in the Spring of 2013 they have started shipping a 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 OIS, equivalent to an 80-300mm in terms of angle of coverage. Incidentally, their lens road map shows a third zoom coming, a 10-14mm f/4 OIS. If you already own the Fuji 18-55mm you’ll be familiar with the feel of the 55-200mm. These lenses share the same design aesthetic, and that’s a pretty good one, especially given the lens’ reasonable US $700 price. Fit and finish are first rate, and the lens is relatively light weight without feeling flimsy. As with the 18-55mm there is an aperture ring, but it is displayed on-screen rather than have apertures marks on the lens barrel, the way they do with Fuji primes. There is an “A” position as well as one for manual aperture control. Also, as with the shorter zoom, there is a OIS On-Off (stabilization) switch on the lens barrel. Zoom control is firm and smooth. Almost perfect. Manual focusing (when enabled) is fly-by-wire, but also has a very smooth feel. The lens is shipped with a lens cap and a metal lens hood.

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