Fuji XC 50-230mm mini review
  • roryproryp
    Posts: 54
    I saw a great deal on the XC 50-230 at the Photography Show in Birmingham earlier this week, so I decided to take the plunge as I've been missing having a lens with longer reach since ditching my DSLR. CameraWorld were selling it for just £199!

    I know the XF 55-200 has been well received but it's pretty expensive given the only moderate aperture and focal range. The XC 50-230 on the other hand is a bit of an enigma, there's one review for it at the Photography Blog (who I don't hold in terribly high regard) and no one else has touched it. There wasn't so much as a Flickr group for the lens until I created one this evening.

    So is this lens awful, is that why it has so little coverage? Absolutely not - I've been really pleasantly surprised, the 50-230 is definitely a keeper. It's sharp, lightweight and focuses quickly and silently. Unlike its kit lens sibling, the XC 16-50, it doesn't overly rely on software distortion correction and produces little in the way of chromatic aberration. I know some people balk at the thought of a lens with a maximum aperture of f6.7 at the long end, but I find in reality I usually shoot f8 or f11 with this kind of lens as you usually want more depth of field not less. Even f6.7 is enough to safely blur the background to nothingness if you position yourself correctly in relation to your subject. The OIS seems to work really well, the focusing is fast and totally silent. It uses internal focusing so the lens doesn't pump in and out while it finds focus. Sadly the lens does have a plastic mount and Fuji only gives you a crap push on end cap rather than the usual screw on sort, but never mind. It still does the job!

    I've not had a chance to take a great number of pictures with the lens yet, but hopefully after a couple of months I'll have enough to offer a proper review on my blog. For now here's a few:



    X-E1, 8mm fisheye, 18mm f2, 27mm f2.8, 50mm f2 Pentax, 50mm f1.4 Takumar, 60mm f2.4 macro, 135mm f3.5 Takumar, Lens Turbo

    www.lightpriority.net
  • roryproryp
    Posts: 54
    Also here are a couple of 100% crops from the Canada Goose shot above. This was processed in Iridient Developer so I could turn off distortion correction but it looks damn good in Lightroom too. This is at 230mm.

    X-E1, 8mm fisheye, 18mm f2, 27mm f2.8, 50mm f2 Pentax, 50mm f1.4 Takumar, 60mm f2.4 macro, 135mm f3.5 Takumar, Lens Turbo

    www.lightpriority.net
  • zerodichriszerodichris
    Posts: 15
    £200 ... How much more is the 55-200 ?

    I don't normally use long zooms my last one was an old 70-210 f4 from Nikon and before that the uber cheap 70-300 f3.5/5.6.

    How would you say the 50-230 stacks up against those ?

    I've actually got a 200mm f4 Nikkor prime that I use on my Fuji's but without OIS and AF my shutter speeds have to be quite high a cheap (cheaper) zoom and lightweight would be quite nice to own :-)
    I just like to take photos im no pro - http://www.flickr.co...s/98279477@N05/
  • roryproryp
    Posts: 54
    The best price I saw for the XF 55-200 at the show was around £530, street is about £550. So over £300 more expensive for a slightly faster max aperture and moderately better build quality. The XC lens is lighter and has a better overall range too so I'm not quite sure how Fuji justifies such a premium for the XF model.

    I've not shot the 70-210 f4, but I had the 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 in both it's VR and non VR versions. I'd say the quality is as good or better than the VR version. It's much better than Nikons 55-200 f4.5-5.6 as well which I owned briefly.
    X-E1, 8mm fisheye, 18mm f2, 27mm f2.8, 50mm f2 Pentax, 50mm f1.4 Takumar, 60mm f2.4 macro, 135mm f3.5 Takumar, Lens Turbo

    www.lightpriority.net
  • zerodichriszerodichris
    Posts: 15
    Cool thanks , I'm not in the UK until sept so I guess that £200 deal will have gone by then , the 55-200 where I am is £450 brand new here and the 50-230 isn't far behind. But there doing deals with the XA1 with dual lens package (16-50+50-230) for about £470
    I just like to take photos im no pro - http://www.flickr.co...s/98279477@N05/
  • turpisturpis
    Posts: 1
    50-230 is currently on offer at fuji. If you buy x-a1 or m1 you can get it for free. It is enough to send claim form with receipt attached. I have just received one. I must admit lens is performing very well with my x-a1. I din't had time to it for longer walk, but after few shots at home I can tell is good enough for me.
  • milandromilandro
    Posts: 178

    I am happy about it.

  • PhoTomPhoTom
    Posts: 511
    Thanks for posting your observations Rory. There are some nice images here. IMO, the best way to pick this lens up is through the double lens kit deal where one lens is practically free. Optics may be on par with the XF zooms, the build quality is a question mark though, without knowing what grade of polycarbonate was used. A good grade of PC may be preferable to the heavy metal of the XF lenses for impact resistance. The thin mount is what concerns me a little.
    Fuji X100©
    Fuji X-A1 - XC16-50mm - XC50-230mm
    Fuji F505EXR
  • roryproryp
    Posts: 54
    Well what do you want to break if you drop your camera PhoTom - your cheap lens or your expensive camera body? :) I ultimately decided to part with the XC50-230 because I wasn't super happy about the way it rendered colours and contrast vs my primes.
    X-E1, 8mm fisheye, 18mm f2, 27mm f2.8, 50mm f2 Pentax, 50mm f1.4 Takumar, 60mm f2.4 macro, 135mm f3.5 Takumar, Lens Turbo

    www.lightpriority.net
  • Hi thanks for the review, I am getting this lens for free as part of a promotion Fuji are running at the moment, so glad to see it's not free for a reason, so it might not be going straight on eBay.
  • I have just purchased an x-e1 with one of these Len's which I find excellent ,it took a bit of getting used after my cannon .The problem I'm finding is there is no "A" on the aperture ring so I am unable to use the shutter-priority AE(S) mode! only AE(A) & manual .Any suggestions please ? .
  • veejayceeveejaycee
    Posts: 2,047

    I have just purchased an x-e1 with one of these Len's which I find excellent ,it took a bit of getting used after my cannon .The problem I'm finding is there is no "A" on the aperture ring so I am unable to use the shutter-priority AE(S) mode! only AE(A) & manual .Any suggestions please ? .



    Use the control wheel to change the aperture. You need to read the manual for the lens which is one of 3 Fuji lenses which are operated this way.
    Nikon D700/D300, 17-35mm, 24-70mm, 28-300mm, 50-500mm, 35, 50, 85, 135 and 180mm primes. Fuji XPro 1, Fujinon XF lenses - 14mm f2.8, 35mm f1.4, Fuji XF 60mm f1.4, 18-55mm f2.8-4 OIS, 55-200mm f3.5-f4.8 OIS.
  • £200 ... How much more is the 55-200 ?

    I don't normally use long zooms my last one was an old 70-210 f4 from Nikon and before that the uber cheap 70-300 f3.5/5.6.

    How would you say the 50-230 stacks up against those ?

    I've actually got a 200mm f4 Nikkor prime that I use on my Fuji's but without OIS and AF my shutter speeds have to be quite high a cheap (cheaper) zoom and lightweight would be quite nice to own :-)



    I too owned the 70-300mm Nikon and paid less than $100 for it. It was a great lens as long as you kept your aperture above F/8.0 and your shutter speed to about 1/320". Without Image stabilization your hand holding technique or use of a tripod was necessary for tack sharp shots. The Fuji 50-230mm is so light and it's OIS is really excellent although its discount price is still far about the older Nilon. Plus, remember the 70-300mm Nikon was a full frame lens at a bargain price.

    Bob ungawa.tumblr.com
    Fuji X-E1 18mm, 35mm, 60mm, 18-55mm, 55-200mm
  • roryp said:

    I ultimately decided to part with the XC50-230 because I wasn't super happy about the way it rendered colours and contrast vs my primes.



    So you didn't keep this lens, but you didn't replace it either? It seems like the sweet spot for Fuji long-zooms at this point, do you just not need a long-zoom?

    Right now I'm torn between the 50-230 and just investing a couple hundred in a 135mm f/2.8 prime in Minolta MD mount (which would give me reach and bokeh but lack IS obviously).

    I'm finding the 50-230 a little extra-appealing considering the super-expensive but perfect new 50-140 f/2.8 constant zoom. I definitely don't have 1600$ to buy it now, but if I plan to some day, getting the cheapest interim lens makes sense, and if I'm going to own the 2.8 some day then having the extra 30mm reach on the long zoom will be a lot more useful than a 200m lens with an extra stop of light. Would even make sense to have both so I could use the 2.8 for events etc, while still having something cheap to bring on dangerous outdoor trips.
  • veejayceeveejaycee
    Posts: 2,047
    First thing to ask yourself - do you need a lens with that long a reach? If you hope to shoot wildlife it is not long enough (that's why I'm keeping my D300 and 50-500mm lens). You'll be surprised how often you need only a short prime or standard zoom.When I'm out and about with my wife, say on holiday, 95% of my pictures are taken with the 18-55mm and most of those towards the wide end.
    Had you thought about the 18-135mm. That one lens will cover most of your needs I suspect. If you have the chance to buy an XE2 body and standard zoom with a free zoom or voucher offer then go for it. Find out which way your photography is going to take you before you decide which "special" lenses to buy - not everything requires fast lenses and you may even find you can shoot happily all day with one or two primes. Remember size is not everything!
    Nikon D700/D300, 17-35mm, 24-70mm, 28-300mm, 50-500mm, 35, 50, 85, 135 and 180mm primes. Fuji XPro 1, Fujinon XF lenses - 14mm f2.8, 35mm f1.4, Fuji XF 60mm f1.4, 18-55mm f2.8-4 OIS, 55-200mm f3.5-f4.8 OIS.
  • roryproryp
    Posts: 54
    I found myself often using the lens at 50mm when out walking and as Veejaycee said, it's not really long enough for wildlife. It was always a bit frustrating to see something interesting, zoom in to 230 and still only have it tiny in the frame. When I tried using it for street and event stuff I ran into the pedestrian max aperture at 230mm not providing shallow enough depth of field. All in all it was just a poor fit for my needs.

    I think the 90mm f2 (provided it isn't too stupidly big and expensive) would probably be ideal for me for 90% of my telephoto needs. Something longer for a big of wildlife work would be nice, but in the meantime I've picked up a cheap 200mm f4 manual focus lens so I've still got access to bit more reach when I desire it.
    X-E1, 8mm fisheye, 18mm f2, 27mm f2.8, 50mm f2 Pentax, 50mm f1.4 Takumar, 60mm f2.4 macro, 135mm f3.5 Takumar, Lens Turbo

    www.lightpriority.net
  • MarcoDebiasiMarcoDebiasi
    Posts: 154
    roryp said:

    I think the 90mm f2 (provided it isn't too stupidly big and expensive) would probably be ideal for me for 90% of my telephoto needs.


    @roryp, based on available pictures, I have the impression that indeed the 90mm f/2 is going to be very stupidly big and I guess very expensive too.

  • roryproryp
    Posts: 54
    @MarcoDebiasi yeah it's not looking very promising, crazy for an f2 90mm lens to be that big when you can get smaller 85mm f1.8!. I think I read somewhere that the one shown at Photokina was only an mockup so the size could change. That was the case with 27mm pancake which was originally shown with an aperture ring for example.
    X-E1, 8mm fisheye, 18mm f2, 27mm f2.8, 50mm f2 Pentax, 50mm f1.4 Takumar, 60mm f2.4 macro, 135mm f3.5 Takumar, Lens Turbo

    www.lightpriority.net
  • MarcoDebiasiMarcoDebiasi
    Posts: 154
    @roryp, let us keep our fingers crossed. Personally I would hame much preferred a somewhat slower (e.g. f/2.4) but small lens, better still if with some good close-up capability; in other words, a longer focal length equivalent of the excellent XF 60mm /2.4 macro.

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