Fujinon XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR + XF 1.4X TC F2 WR Kit

 
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Update
12/10/2018: Hands-on & Gallery added

 

Hands-on with the Fujifilm XF 200mm f/2

At last, a fast telephoto prime for Fuji shooters

by Dave Pardue | Posted: 12/10/2018

Photographers who crave long lenses, whether for sports, wildlife or even long portraiture, all yearn for bright apertures, but they usually have to settle for "fairly" bright... something between f/2.8 or f/4. Canon and Nikon have offered full frame 200mm f/2 lenses for some time now, and on APS-C bodies they yield a 300mm eq. f/2 lens. Olympus also has their revered (though sadly now-discontinued) 150mm f/2 lens from the Four Thirds world, and now Fujifilm joins this esteemed camp.

Their first offering in the fast telephoto prime segment, the XF 200mm f/2, is a real stunner, and I was thrilled to be the first at IR to take it out into the field. It's a lot of firepower in a package that can be shot handheld, at least for brief periods. We've long been fans of Fujinon glass here at IR, so we were really excited when the lens touched down at our headquarters. At 5lbs (2265g), the lens wouldn't be considered "lightweight," but such is the nature of the amount of glass required to make a capable f/2 lens at this focal length.

So before anyone could beat me to it, I grabbed the lens, the supplied 1.4x teleconverter, the popular X-T3 and some fishing waders, and I headed off for the coast.

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/1500s / f/2.8 / ISO 160

(Images have been resized to fit this page, cropped and/or altered in post-production, primarily to balance shadows and highlights as needed. Clicking any image will take you to a carrier page with access to the original, full-resolution image as delivered by the X-T3. For additional images and EXIF data please see our Fujinon 200mm f/2 Gallery page. A note that some images for this piece were converted from RAW using Fuji's X-Raw Studio software.)

I only had a few days with the lens to shoot for this gallery piece, but I was still able to find a nice variety of subjects to reel in while dodging some passing autumn storms. Fortunately, the coast of the Southeastern U.S. is generally abundant with wildlife, even in non-peak seasons, and I was able to shoot plenty with the supplied 1.4x teleconverter as well. It was actually fairly cold for Southeastern standards, but this made it more akin to what the rest of the world is generally accustomed to in the late fall.

Birding

We'll start with birding as it's a popular shooting segment and one of the more obvious use-cases with this lens, especially when you attach the 1.4x teleconverter (which yields a 420mm eq. f/2.8 lens). I shot everything for this gallery piece handheld -- never even took the tripod out of my car. The Fuji 200mm f/2 is certainly not a lightweight lens, but the ability to crouch low in the surf for shots like this was a big plus. These little sandpipers wouldn't have waited around for me to secure and plant a tripod anyway, nor could I have gotten this low with most tripods even if they did stick around.

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/2000s / f/2.8 / ISO 160

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/500s / f/2 / ISO 160

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/2000s / f/2.8 / ISO 160
Reeling in the catch: I caught this oyster-catcher passing by while I was in the surf hunting for pelicans flying low. This edit is cropped in a good bit to show sharpness from this distance, but I wish I'd had the teleconverter attached for this one. The pelicans generally passed close enough that I often didn't need the extra reach.

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/2000s / f/2.8 / ISO 160
[1.4x teleconverter attached]

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/1000s / f/2.8 / ISO 160
[1.4x teleconverter attached]
Inbound Egret: I had the camera set for the heron in the shot above this one when I noticed this egret coming closer than usual. I didn't have time to change settings, so the original of this shot is a bit over-exposed, but that's not the camera's fault as I was shooting in manual mode. And I made one additional mistake in that I didn't have RAW engaged, having disabled it temporarily while shooting at another locale. As such the processing from the JPEG file isn't stellar, which again is not the camera's fault, but the C-AF of the camera-lens combination did a very good job of quickly tracking the subject in the moment.
(For any of our Photo of the Day regulars reading, this is my attempt at channeling my inner Linn Smith!)

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/2000s / f/2.8 / ISO 160
[1.4x teleconverter attached]
Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
[1:1 crop from above image]
Closing in: This 1:1 crop gives a better representation of the subject detail you can expect from this lens. Your own mileage may vary of course, depending on settings and processing choices. We'll have a full technical report on the lens once the lab results are ready, but my prelimiary findings in the field have been good ones thus far.

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/2000s / f/2.2 / ISO 160
Breakfast: I hung out with these little guys long enough for them to let me get a little closer. In the warmer months I'd have had no problem lying on the sand or in the surf to get a shot like this, but here in November that wasn't as inviting. As such, the tilt-screen on the X-T3 came in very handy for this type shot. I'd grown to trust the autofocus with the combination enough to not feel overly relegated to the EVF, although in bright sunshine the generous eyecup was welcome for blocking the midday glare at times.

At almost 5lbs in weight, or 2265g, the 200mm f/2 is more than three times the weight of the lean-and-mean X-T3, and so the balance is a bit tricky when shooting handheld. And the X-T3 doesn't come equipped with in-body image stabilization like the X-H1 does, so the built-in I.S. of the lens is a needed factor in the ability to shoot handheld. There's an attached tripod bracket of course, which most shooters will rely on much of the time, but as mentioned earlier I really wanted to shoot handheld, and for plenty of obvious reasons.

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
Wading for natural wonders: The ocean along the Southeastern US coastline isn't warm in November, so waders are a must, but without them it would be almost impossible to get the best shots, even with the teleconverter attached. This made a tripod out of the question, so I was glad to at least be able to handhold the lens for periods of time. The weather-sealing of both camera and lens were also welcome as the waves started picking up in the late afternoon. (Of course, my 8-yr-old companion was just fine with this development <> Photo courtesy R. Pardue)

I did have the privilege of shooting another 300mm-equivalent f/2 lens during my time here at IR, and that was with the Olympus 150mm f/2 Zuiko. One of the things that fascinated me was the shallow depth of field potential possible even when you're not very close to your subject! And since the X-T3 has an even larger sensor than the bodies in the MFT world, you have more potential to get a shallower depth of field with this combination, even when positioned a good distance removed from your subject.

And with some subjects at least, keeping your distance is a wise move.

Alligators and butterflies

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/1000s / f/2.8 / ISO 160
[1.4x teleconverter attached]
Lurking in the local lagoon: I do like this shot, and I did have the 1.4x teleconverter attached, but I wish I'd had even more reach at my disposal. I certainly didn't want to venture any nearer the bank of the estuary, as there are countless sad tales of lives lost to alligators in this territory. (Smartphone users beware trying to get shots like this! Where there is one alligator there are often others and you may not see one coming at you when engaged with composing your shot. They are faster than they appear.)

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/1000s / f/2.8 / ISO 160
Color: For my taste, nobody does color like Fujifillm. It's deep and rich and something I can't put a finger on. I used the Velvia film simulation for this shot which does a good job of bringing out the best of the colors without an overwhelming amount of saturation. I also employed the X-T3's Color Chrome effect here, and for the shot below.

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/1000s / f/2.8 / ISO 160

 

People and pets

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/2000s / f/5.6 / ISO 200
[1.4x teleconverter attached]
My side-kick was also reeling in the wildlife with a little 30x compact camera and became a good subject for practice while I was waiting on the avian armada to return.

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/2000s / f/2.8 / ISO 160
[1.4x teleconverter attached]

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/500s / f/2.5 / ISO 640
Salty dog: When the wildlife grows scarce, ball-fetching canines can substitute as a reviewer's best friend. The onboard image stabilization of the lens also helps when shooting handheld when the shutter speeds fall to 1/500s and below, especially on camera bodies not equipped with IBIS.

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/8000s / f/2.8 / ISO 160
[1.4x teleconverter attached]

 

Landscapes & Seascapes

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/1000s / f/2.5 / ISO 160
The morning: I often forget to try telephotos for landscape shooting, but the results can be spectacular. I used the Color Chrome effect on the X-T3 for this image as well.

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/8000s / f/9 / ISO 200

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/2000s / f/2.8 / ISO 640

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/1000s / f/11 / ISO 160

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/1000s / f/3.6 / ISO 400
[1.4x teleconverter attached]
Keepers: The light was quite low for this early-morning shoot, and I was able to test C-AF in a slightly more taxing environment. I found the keeper ratio to be quite good, and I've included a series of images from several passes in the gallery, along with a GIF of one pass below. We hope to test this combination for you on our C-AF course once the weather clears soon.

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/1000s / f/3.2 / ISO 160
[1.4x teleconverter attached]

 

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
GIF animation to show C-AF performance
As mentioned above, the light was quite low during this early-morning passing of the pelicans, and I was impressed with the keeper ratio I was able to achieve with the various series I shot. The combination of the X-T3 and 200mm f/2 locked on and maintained focus for the majority of images in each run, and proved a worthy combination in the field even in below-optimal lighting.

We'll have a full technical review of this lens from our lab forthcoming. This piece is primarily meant to get real world images into your hands for inspection as you await our technical review, so stay tuned for more! And in the meantime please see our Fujinon XF 200mm f/2 Gallery for more images from this intriguing combination.

Fuji X-T3 + 200mm f/2 Sample Image
1/1000s / f/3.2 / ISO 500
[1.4x teleconverter attached]

 

Fujinon XF 200mm f/2 Gallery

 

• • •

 

Product Overview

(From Fujifilm lens literature) Fujifilm has announced the new FUJINON XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR Telephoto Lens, the first super-fast telephoto lens in the XF lens lineup, offering a fast maximum aperture of F2.0 and a focal length equivalent to 305mm (35mm format). This lens boasts exceptional image clarity with the ability to produce beautiful bokeh, making it an ideal lens for shooting sports and wildlife.

FUJINON XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR Telephoto Lens with XF1.4X TC F2 WR Teleconverter Product Image
The XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR telephoto lens shown with included
XF1.4X TC F2 WR teleconverter mounted.

The XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR lens will only be available as a kit, paired with the high performance XF1.4X TC F2 WR Teleconverter to extend the focal length by 1.4 times to cover a focal length equivalent to 427mm at F2.8 (35mm format).

The XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR Telephoto Lens is made of 19 elements in 14 groups, including one large-diameter super ED lens element and two large-diameter ED lens elements to minimize chromatic aberration. High-precision polishing technology, developed for broadcast lenses, was applied to the large-diameter lens to achieve outstanding image-resolving performance and beautiful bokeh. The lens also features a new Focus Preset function that instantaneously changes the focus to a preset position, enabling photographers to capture the main subject with ease, and without having to make focal readjustments.

FUJINON XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR Telephoto Lens Product Image

Utilizing linear motors, the XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR achieves fast, silent and high-precision AF performance, and also features a new mechanism that fixes the motor group when the camera is not in use to reduce movement of the focusing group. In addition, the lens offers 5-stop image stabilization performance that recognizes shooting conditions and automatically applies optimum image stabilization control. With magnesium alloy construction, the lens is lightweight yet robust, and is sealed at 17 points and designed to be weather and dust-resistant, and operates in temperatures as low as 14°F/-10°C.

FUJINON XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR Telephoto Lens Product Image

FUJINON XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR Key Features:

  • FUJIFILM X Mount is compatible with all FUJIFILM X Series interchangeable system cameras
  • Weather-sealed at 17 points for weather and dust-resistance; operates in temperatures as low as 14°F/-10°C
  • 19 elements in 14 groups including 2 ED elements, and 1 super ED element
  • Uses linear motors for quiet and ultra-fast AF
  • Focus Preset Function instantly changes focus to a preset position to capture main subject without readjustments
  • Optical Image Stabilization system achieves 5-stop image stabilization
  • Fluorine coating applied to front lens element for improved durability
  • Matte silver color for reduced risk of overheating
  • Arca-Swiss compatible tripod mount

FUJINON XF1.4X TC F2 WR Key Features:

  • 7 elements in 4 groups including 1 aspherical element

Availability and Pricing

The new FUJINON XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR Lens and FUJINON XF1.4X TC F2 WR Teleconverter Kit will be available in late October 2018 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $5,999.95 and CAD $7,799.99.

 

Fujinon XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR + XF 1.4X TC F2 WR Kit

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