Home » Fujinon XF 55-200 mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS review

Fujinon XF 55-200 mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS review

In early 2018 I bought the Fujinon XF 55-200 mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens.  Since then, I’ve taken many thousands of pictures with it.  And I’ve meant to write a review for it for a very long time.  But, something has always managed to get in the way.  But, finally, here it is.  Without a doubt, this is one of the lenses that X-series owners should consider.  

Fujinon XF 55-200 mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens on Fujifilm X-T2 camera on tripod

This lens gives you bang for your buck.  It isn’t a Red Badge zoom, but don’t let that deceive you.  This 55-200 mm is a solid allrounder.  The image quality and lightweight make it a winner.  

fashion model in Japanese-themed wedding dress

Sure, there are superior products.  But, for those on a budget, there isn’t much better.   I wouldn’t be without it.  If this lens fits your needs, you should get it.

Why is the Fujinon XF 55-200 mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS so good?

  • It’s reasonably light – the 55-200 weighs 75 grams less than my 16-55.  That’s a big difference.
  • It’s not big – this is one zoom you will find space for in your camera bag.
  • It’s an affordable lens that gives quality pictures.  For about US$700, it is excellent value.
  • It has OIS – no more to be said.  The stabilizer is satisfactory.
  • It controls vignetting and chromatic aberrations very well.
  • The bokeh is excellent.
  • Even though plastic makes up a large of this lens, it is all quality.  The 55-200 doesn’t feel cheap.
  • Autofocus is very quiet.
drift race car passing crowd

Weak points of the Fujinon 55-200 mm

  • Variable aperture.
  • It can be a bit slow focusing.
  • Not a first choice for shooting in low-light, it will hunt.  In this case, it is often better to focus manually.
  • Not weather resistant.
  • I don’t believe a native teleconverter for it exists.
  • The minimum focus distance is 1.1 meters, but many lenses in this class have the same limitation.
  • With 200 mm being the longest it can zoom out to, it doesn’t have a long reach.
Pomeranian dog

What have I used the Fujifilm 55-200 mm for?

  • Modeling events
  • Birding (but there are better lenses for this)
  • Airshows
  • City/Landscapes (I often use it to shoot Mount Fuji from Tokyo)
  • Portraits
Shinjuku skyscrapers with Mount Fuji in background at sunset

Fujinon XF 55-200 mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS technical specifications:

  • Mount Type – Fujifilm X
  • Focal Length – 55 to 200 mm
  • Lens construction (elements/groups) – 14 /10
  • Angle of view – 29.0 – 8.1°
  • Number of diaphragm blades – 7 (rounded diaphragm opening)
  • Maximum aperture – f/3.5 – 4.8
  • Minimum aperture – f/22
  • Minimum focus distance – 1.1 meters/3.7 feet
  • Max magnification – 0.19 x (telephoto)
  • Weight – 580 g
  • Dimensions – 75 mm (wide) x 118 mm / 176 mm (telephoto)
  • Filter size – 62 mm
  • Stabilization – Yes

Wrapping up

We could argue that others are better, but this one probably gives the best value for money.  The main thing holding it back is it is a little slow, and it’s a variable aperture.  Some people mightn’t also like the lack of weather resistance.  But if those things were improved, it would cost more.  I’ll keep things as they are.

I wouldn’t recommend this lens if you were into indoor sports photography.  It can do it in a pinch, but the 50-140 mm f/2.8 might be better.  That lens is about US$1600, though.

There is also the 100-400mm Fujifilm, which has far more reach.  But it’s not a superfast lens either.  And it costs about $2000.  

The 55-200 is a great zoom lens, despite its shortcomings.  I’ve shot thousands of pictures with it. It has served me well.  I’ll be using it for a long, long time. Make sure you check it out on the manufacturer’s website.

Tennoji Temple Big Buddha head

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2 thoughts on “Fujinon XF 55-200 mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS review”

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