Fujifilm XF 150-600mm F5.6-8 R LM OIS WR Hands-on Review: A dream lens for wildlife photographers
posted Friday, September 23, 2022 at 1:45 PM EDT
Click here to read our Fujifilm XF 150-600mm F5.6-8 R LM OIS WR Hands-on Review
For wildlife photographers, few new lenses are as exciting or highly anticipated as Fujifilm's XF 150-600mm F5.6-8 R LM OIS WR. It checks nearly every box you could think of. Extremely long focal length? Check. Fast autofocus? Check. Optical image stabilization and a lightweight design? Check and check. We've been looking forward to getting our hands on the new super-telephoto zoom lens since it was announced at the end of May, and we've had the chance to put the lens through its paces alongside the equally exciting X-H2S flagship camera. Not to bury the lede, but the XF 150-600mm was well worth the wait.
Let's start with the lens's design. The internally-zooming lens weighs just over 1,600 grams (about 3.5 pounds) and is just over 314 millimeters (12.4 inches) long. It's not a small lens, but it is surprisingly lightweight. It also balances very well, which makes it feel lighter in use. With the inclusion of OIS, it's an easy lens to shoot handheld. It's also weather-sealed, which is a must-have feature for outdoor photographers.
Inside the lens are 24 elements organized across 17 groups. It has many elements, including 4 Super ED and 3 ED elements. The resulting image quality ranges from good to excellent. Sharpness is generally great throughout the zoom range, even when shooting wide open. The lens is slightly softer at 600mm, but it's only noticeable if you're pixel-peeping. There's some minor vignette, but it's easy to correct. I had no issues with chromatic aberrations. You can check out my full selection of sharpness test shots in the Gallery.
In real-world situations, the image quality impresses. Images look detailed and deliver nice color and contrast. If I had to ding the lens for anything, it'd be the aperture, which is relatively slow, especially at 600mm. F8 is okay, but it's not fast enough to deliver a shallow depth of field and soft, blurred backgrounds in many situations. The lack of brightness can also limit shutter speed and ISO selection, particularly in early morning or evening light.
Ultimately, that's the tradeoff you must make to achieve a 150-600mm focal length (229-914mm equivalent) in a handholdable design. There's no doubt Fujifilm has achieved something special with the new XF 150-600mm lens. No, it's not perfect for every situation, but it works extremely well in most cases and delivers great images. Further, it offers something new within Fujifilm's X Series lineup, something that has been sorely needed for a long time.