About a week ago, Fuji officially announced two new products: It’s X-A1 camera and the XC 50-230mm lens. I have been waiting for this lens to come out and more importantly, I have been waiting for some in-depth reviews about it.
This lens is really targeted at the folks who have bought into the little brothers of the X series, the X-M1 and now the X-A1. Both of those cameras are quite small and light. Therefore, Fuji is expanding its line of XC (“C” for casual) lenses for those two cameras.
This is not to say that you could not use an XF lens on the X-A1 or an XC lens on the X-Pro1. Any lens in the XC/XF line-up will work just fine on all the X mount cameras.
From what I can gather, the new 50-230 is a mostly plastic lens, meaning the barrel and the mount are plastic. This is unlike the XF lenses, which are mostly metal. One other aspect of the XC lenses is, they don’t have aperture rings.
With more plastic comes lighter weight, which is perfect for the X-A1 and X-M1, which are no heavy weights themselves. Don’t get discouraged about the plastic though. If Nikon lenses are any indication, the plastic on lenses these days is very good. The pieces are very well molded and are precise. Hey, if you want an all metal lens, you can fork out an extra $300 and get the 55-200mm XF lens.
At the long end of this lens, you are only going to get a maximum aperture of f6.7, which is not going to help you in low-light situations. Therefore, you are going to have to boost your ISO to get good shutter speed in low light. I am sure the OIS of this lens will come in handy as well.
In ideal situations, this lens will be great for doing nature photography, portraits, moon shots and any other application where you may need a telephoto lens.
Let’s talk about price: the lens is listed just under $400 at $399.95. For a lens of this focal range and build quality, I would say Fuji has priced it quite fairly.
Let’s look at the specs: nothing exciting or sexy here at all. Very plain Jane specifications if you were to compare it to any of Fuji’s prime lenses, like the 35mm. Anyhow, here are the specs.
Lens type: zoom
Format size: APS-C/DX
Focal range: 50-230mm
Max Aperture: f4.5 – f6.7
Minimum aperture: f22
Diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded)
Special glass: 1 aspherical, 1 ED
Minimum focus: 43.31″
Maximum magnification: 0.2x
No distance scale
No DOF scale
Length: 4.37″ (not extended)
Filter thread: 58mm
I am interested in this lens, but I think I will first pick up some wide angle lenses first. Furthermore, as far as I can see, no one has done a full blown review of this lens; therefore, I have no idea how it performs optically.
I will assume that in the next few months, we will see the first reviews of the lens, with all the MTF charts, CA, distortion and sharpness numbers as well.