Big fun for Fuji fans: High-performance, weather-sealed 100-400mm supertelephoto zoom unveiled
posted Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 11:30 PM EST
Fujifilm is launching full-force into the supertelephoto space with the debut of its longest lens yet, the XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR. This high-powered zoom lens offers X-mount owners a 152-609mm-equivalent focal length range, which allows for some serious nature and wildlife photography.
Mirrorless cameras have long had a big advantage over their DSLR counterparts by way of their inherent compactness. Bodies are generally much smaller, as are their lenses, for the most part. While there are numerous offerings for wide-angle lenses, portrait primes and other general-use lenses -- for Fuji cameras and others -- one area that the mirrorless camera category has been lacking -- especially in comparison to DSLRs -- is with supertelephoto lenses.
Following recent announcements from other mirrorless makers, such as Olympus' 300mm f/4 IS Pro and Panasonic's Leica 100-400mm, Fujifilm is stepping into the arena to offer its users a super-long, highly versatile supertelephoto zoom lens. Wildlife-loving Fuji owners now have one less reason to hang onto that DSLR and supertele lens if they want to photograph with longer focal lengths.
Prior to the 100-400mm lens, the X-mount's longest lens offering was the relatively compact and consumer-oriented XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II lens. The new Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens is, on the other hand, not only much longer, but also squarely aimed at the professional and enthusiast X-series owner. Featuring a rugged, weather-sealed construction that protects against dust and moisture, as well as frosty temperatures down to 14-degrees F (-10-degrees C), the 100-400mm is an ideal companion to the equally rugged Fuji X-T1 camera. The lens also features a fluorine coating on the front exterior element that repels dirt and moisture.
In addition to build quality that can withstand a beating, the Fuji 100-400mm offers built-in optical image stabilization that Fuji claims offers an impressive 5-stops of handheld vibration correction. The lens's twin linear motors provide quick, snappy AF performance, which is especially helpful when photographing moving subjects.
The lens comes bundled with a locking lens hood with a nifty sliding window, which lets you adjust polarizing filters without reaching around or removing the hood completely. Also included is a rotatable tripod collar and foot, which, according to Fuji, is compatible with an optional "MLP-75XF" lens plate and ARCA SWISS tripods.
Comprised of a total of 21 lens elements in 14 groupings, the Fuji 100-400mm includes five extra-low dispersion elements and a single super extra low dispersion element, which help combat chromatic aberration. According to Fuji, this lens should offer the best image quality performance in its class. The rounded 9-bladed aperture diaphragm should allow for smooth and pleasing out of focus areas.
If a 100-400mm focal length range simply won't do, fear not, as this lens is also compatible with Fuji's new XF 1.4X TC WR teleconverter that was announced back in October. This 1.4x extender boosts the focal length range to 140-560mm, which translates to a 35mm-equivalent 213mm on the short end and a whopping 853mm at full tele. That's some impressive reach! The teleconverter is also protected against dust and moisture, so the overall weather sealing of your rig is still intact (if you use a weather-sealed camera as well).
As mentioned, the Fuji XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is primarily aimed at advanced enthusiasts and professional photographers, and as such, it carries a price tag to match. Scheduled to be available starting in February 2016, the lens has a suggested retail price of US$1,899.95 and CAD $2,149.99 for Canadian buyers.
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- Fuji XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, $1,899: B&H