UPDATE (18APR2013): Added more llama shots and a new flower shot.
UPDATE: US readers can already preorder the brand new Fuji 55-200mm lens at BHphoto (Click here).
by Rico Pfirstinger
Talk to Rico (questions & feedback) – Rico’s XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Prototype Samples
Fuji’s XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS “kit zoom” was one of last year’s most pleasant surprises, offering very good image quality in a portale package at a quite affordable price. This May, it will be complemented by a telephoto zoom that was officially announced today. The new lens starts off exactly where the kit zoom ends: at 55mm, going all the way to 200mm. According to Fuji, that’s 84-305mm in 35mm (“full-frame”) equivalence terms.
The telephoto zoom’s full name is FUJINON XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, and it’s supposed to sell for USD 699.– (plus sales tax) in the U.S. or EUR 649.– (incl. VAT) here in Germany. I have been able to work with an early prototype of the lens for more than a week, so let’s have a closer look, shall we?
Same, same, but different…
If you already know Fuji’s 18-55mm kit zoom lens, the new telephoto zoom will immediately feel familiar. It’s obvious that Fujifilm wants you to buy this zoom as an extension to your already existing standard zoom. Both lenses offer the same key features: a manual focus ring, an aperture ring without engravings, a zoom ring, an optical image stabilizer (OIS) and fast/silent linear autofocus motors. Everything is located in the same place: There’s one switch to turn the OIS on and off, and there’s another one to toggle the lens between automatic and manual aperture settings. Design, build quality and used materials appear to be quite similar, as well.
Would you like to know more about what all those letters and numbers in XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS actually mean? If that’s the case, you may want to read my article Decoding XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS here on Fujirumors. Pretty much all information on the kit zoom lens is also applicable to the new telephoto lens.