If you’re on the Fujifilm platform and a 200mm prime lens takes your fancy, then the FUJINON XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR may be just up your alley. On X-mount mirrorless cameras the focal length comes in at an impressive 305mm, which can be further extended with the XF 1.4x TC WR teleconverter to provide a 427mm focal length and a still very usable f/2.8 aperture.
With its superior optics, the XF 200mm f/2 should be a prime candidate for high-quality medium-telephoto images. But it comes with a just as impressive price tag, which means it’s more in the realm of professional use or for those with seriously deep pockets.
As typical of high-end prime lenses, it’s large and unwieldy. So, we are here to see if the lens is not just worth the money, but if it can match the best of the best primes and zooms out there.
High-end optics at the medium telephoto range and beyond will always require lots of optical correction, which is no different in the case of the FUJINON XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR. The lens consists of 19 elements arranged in 14 groups, with three extra-low dispersion and one Super ED element, plus a Super EBC and fluorine coating to reduce the likes of lens flare and ghosting.
A high-quality, Linear autofocus motor has been included with full-time manual override, which locks the motor in place when the lens is turned off and for traveling. The lens incorporates an optical stabilization system with an impressive five stops of compensation, which is a handy asset for these longer focal lengths.
As you can see from the preview images, this isn’t exactly a compact lens, with total dimensions of 122 x 205.5mm and an overall weight of 2265g. Also, the front filter thread is an impressive 105mm, which makes this lens the largest offering in the XF lens lineup. Fuji has clearly taken this into consideration, offering an integrated tripod collar that is Arca-type compatible.
The build quality of the XF 200mm is one of its standout features, with a full magnesium alloy construction and a ridiculous amount of weather-sealing. A total of 17 different weather seals have been added to the lens, which enable it to go into freezing temperatures as low as 14 degrees below.
The FUJINON XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR has a reasonably wide focus ring, without any hard stops and is as smooth as can be to turn. This is accompanied by a traditional aperture ring set in third stop increments and a host of switches for general operation.
It includes a focus limiter switch which can be set to full range, from 1.8m to infinity or 5m to infinity. There’s also a switch for turning on and off the stabilization system, presets for the autofocus system, and a Set button.
The FUJINON XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR in Use
As the lens has such a hefty weight to it, it needs a good deal of hand cradling. Ideally, the lens would be best suited mounted onto a tripod, but like most photography scenarios, handheld is always the most convenient.
The autofocus system is extremely rapid and quiet as it should be for this price of lens, with very little hunting in low-light conditions. The focus presets work in conjunction with the four focus control buttons around the lens, which can lock focus at a designated position. These essentially replicate the workings of the AF-On button but make sense when your hand is already around the lens barrel for convenient workings.
Although a manual aperture ring doesn’t seem like it is needed on a modern lens. In reality, it feels quicker and more convenient than dialling in the settings in camera, especially when you come from a background of using old-style lenses.
When it comes to general lens anomalies, the FUJINON XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR turns in very respectable low levels of vignetting at f/2, with literally no evidence of barrel distortion. With a lens this big and wide, chromatic aberration could easily be a problem with the aperture wide open. But as with other lens anomalies, there was no sign of blue or purple fringing on high contrast areas.
The XF 200mm f/2 displays high-quality bokeh due to the efficient rounded nine blade diaphragm, with the most rounded highlights coming in at f/2.8.
When the lens is attached to the likes of a Fujifilm X-T3, sharpness from this lens is extremely well-defined at f/2, with tack sharpness coming in from f/2.8 and above. This stays the same to f/11, from which diffraction starts to play a part up to f/22.
How Does It Compare?
At this point, we would usually be recommending either a third-party 200mm prime lens or some type of 70-200mm zoom. However, Fuji doesn’t offer native versions of these, so we have gone with the highly versatile FUJIFILM XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR as an alternative.
Comparing prime lenses to zooms is a bit like the apples and pears scenario, but the 100-400mm does cover the 200mm focal length and a lot more to boot. It too has image stabilization and other similarities such as a focus limiter and a zoom lock switch. But, just like the 100-400mm, it has a rather high price tag, but in exchange, it provides wonderful image quality if you need that extra reach and versatility of a zoom lens.
|FUJINON XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR||FUJIFILM XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR|
|Optics||19 elements / 14 groups||21 elements / 14 groups|
The FUJINON XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR is everything you would expect from a professional-level lens, with exceptional sharpness and image definition throughout the aperture range. This would make it an excellent choice for those who regularly shoot wildlife and sports, who need the most accuracy in their final images.
There is no faulting the lens from its quality, with sumptuous amounts of color and contrast in every image. At this focal length the lens makes it all too easy to create lovely smooth bokeh, which would also be ideal for portrait shots.
Lens anomalies such as chromatic aberration are kept remarkably low and the image stabilization system does a remarkable job of not just achieving low shutter speeds, but also keeping everything steady at this long focal length.