Fujifilm 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 Lens Review
A real-world review of the Fujifilm 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 - an affordable, robust and fun mid-range telephoto zoom lens for Fuji X-mount cameras.
Fujifilm has a reputation for consistently developing high quality and well-built lenses that delivers exceptional image quality in all conditions.
This was certainly one of the key factors that drew me to the X Series system – Fujifilm lenses are simply unmatched.
The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 falls neatly into that very category, as it provides you with an incredible focal range that delivers exceptional image quality along every step of the way.
This lens really surprised me in every aspect of the review process. From its ergonomic qualities and ease of use to its robust build in a compact body that balanced perfectly to my Fujifilm X-T30 or Fujifilm X-T3.
Outstanding optics and great image stabilisation in an affordable zoom lens.
It also houses clever features like an aperture control ring and Optical Image Stabilisation to support your ability to capture crisp images at long focal lengths.
If you are new to zoom lenses beyond the typical 18-55mm kit lens, then the Fujifilm 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 is a perfect way to get the hang of the extended focal distances whilst still using a superior product.
You will be amazed at what shooting at 200mm is like and equally impressed at the autofocus performance whilst tracking moving objects such as wildlife.
This lens will continue to impress you shot after shot and will open a whole new world of photography to you. It’s also one of my picks as the best Fuji lens for landscape photography.
Let’s take a closer look.
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 Specs
- Exceptional build quality and ease of use
- Optimal Image Stabilisation
- Compact size
- Fantastic value for money
- Unmarked aperture ring
- Questionable durability of the lens hood
- Fujifilm X Mount
- Optical Image Stabilisation
- Focal Length: 55-200mm (82.5-300mm full-frame equivalent)
- Aperture: f/3.5/f/4 – 22
- Filter Size: 62mm
- Size: 75.0mm x 118mm (2.95″ X 4.65″) / 75.0mm x 177mm (2.95″ X 6.9″) full zoom
- Weight: 580gm (20.5 oz)
Build & Ergonomics
The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 is incredibly well built and clearly built to last. This lens weighs in at 580gm (20.5 oz), yet it doesn’t feel overly large for that amount of mass.
In fact, when holding the lens on its own, the body feels solid and hefty thanks to its relatively short barrel length and entire metal build.
When paired with a Fujifilm camera body such as the Fujifilm X-T3 or the Fujifilm X-T30, it doesn’t feel too front heavy – especially given that you are going to have to hold the lens with your left hand to control the zoom ring.
I was really impressed with the overall quality of the features on this lens. The manual focus ring has a nice glide with just the right amount of resistance so you don’t get any sloppy focus issues.
Equally, the zoom ring has a rubberized texture giving you good purchase with thumb and one to two fingers to turn.
It takes a little effort to get the ring to twist from wide, where the lens is at its shortest, to long where the zoom extends to its longest focal distance.
This resistance ensures that the zoom doesn’t extend when you are carrying the camera with the lens pointing down.
As with all Fujifilm lenses, the 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 features an aperture ring. However, this one is unmarked and rotates in full turns in either direction.
Aperture can be set to Auto via the small shift switch located at the base of the lens. It is easy to move from one station to the other but not loose enough to be knocked.
Another key feature of this lens is that it features OIS or Optical Image Stabilisation, that is also turned from off and on via a second small shift switch.
OIS is an incredibly useful feature, especially when wanting to shoot wildlife from afar.
This lens comes boxed with a centre pinch style lens cap that actually grips quite well. The final component is the nice lens hood that whilst is made of plastic is of a good build and is quite deep.
Overall, this lens has an incredible amount of design sensibility and solid build features.
I was able to test the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 in a range of conditions whilst attached to the Fujifilm X-T30 camera. This camera has the latest Fujifilm sensor and processor driving incredibly fast and sharp autofocus.
The lens did not disappoint me and even when tracking moving objects I was able to grab my subject in focus quickly and effortlessly.
I was actually quite surprised at just how well this lens was able to capture focus. There was no sign of hunting or even delay in securing my target regardless of the lighting conditions I was shooting in.
I was able to track an aeroplane cutting across the sky and a number of seagulls flying around a beachside town.
The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 delivers exceptional image quality regardless of focal length or aperture.
This is a true Fujifilm lens in that you can always rely on their lenses to produce fantastic image quality. Regardless of the genre of photography you pursue, this lens will not let you down in the images that you choose to shoot.
No matter what focal distance I was shooting with, I was able to capture images that were crisp with an edge to edge sharpness that was really impressive.
Be it from the widest point at 55m or to the full extent of the zoom lens at 200mm, every image had the same qualities – crisp lines, a high amount of detail and a great level of contrast.
Also, there was absolutely no noticeable distortion in every image I shot.
This lens really made me question my decision to be only a minimal prime shooter, as I had not expected the quality of images a zoom lens such as this could produce.
Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 Sample Images
Check out these sample images taken with the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8:
Value for Money
The Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 retails for around $900, and that is incredible value for money when you consider the superb image quality created by this lens.
The nearest alternative lens in the Fujifilm line-up is the Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8, which retails for around $2000. Granted it is a constant f/2.8 but at over double the price it does not necessarily delivery double the value.
When you consider the focal range that this lens affords you, the build quality and ergonomic handlings and the relative compactness of the lens, you are getting a brilliant lens for the price.
Fujifilm 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 Review | Conclusion
If you are a Fujifilm shooter in the market for a zoom lens, then the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 would be an ideal place to start and finish.
This lens has a brilliant set of features in a superior build that Fujifilm is renowned for.
If you are a zoom shooter (as opposed to a prime shooter), then this lens would be ideally paired with the Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 which is more commonly bundled as a kit lens with most Fujifilm camera bodies.
This combination would provide a complete shooting kit to cover a broad range of focal distances and genres.
Personally, I am a prime shooter and I found that my shooting style had to change when using this lens. However, I found using the zoom a lot of fun and quick to adapt to, and I loved the ability to change my image composition with ease. This lens allowed for a lot of creativity that I was not used to.
Finally, if you are looking for an entry-level Fujifilm zoom before making a leap for a more expensive option, then you cannot go wrong with this brilliant lens.
Chances are you would not feel the need to leap to a higher cost lens at all. At the end of the day, this is a highly capable, well built and incredibly affordable lens.
Outstanding optics and great image stabilisation in an affordable zoom lens.