What’s in a name. The Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS has :
- a maximal aperture ranging from f/3.5 to f/4.8;
- an optical image stabilization system announced effective on 4.5 EV by Fujifilm;
- an aperture ring on the lens barrel (that is what the “R” stands for in Fujinon references;
- the latest dual linear AF motor (LM) which would allow the X cameras to focus in as little as 0.18 s, with the latest firmware that Fujifilm is going to publish once the 55-200mm will be launch. The autofocus of the X-Pro1 and X-E1 is an area that Fujifilm has worked hard on. When I reviewed the X-Pro1 last year, I pointed out that the autofocus was the Achille heel of this great great camera.
The optical formula of the Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens incorporates two ED glass elements including one Super ED glass, relatively similar to the way too expensive fluorite and will contribute to to correct chromatic aberrations at best and maintain a sky high resolving power on the edges of the image. Also, to reduce the ghosting and flare that affect the contrast, each lens element gets antiglare surface treatment (Fujinon HT-BEX). The minimum focusing distance of the Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 OIS R LM is 1.1 m at all focal lengths.
The lens is made of metal with an assembly that will certainly be at the same level as the other XF lenses of the range. The built and assembly quality of Fuji X lenses are, to me, a feature that participates in the pleasure of photographing with the X-Pro1 and X-E1.
Also, with the announcement of the Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens, Fuji communicates on the future availability of a new firmware for the X-Pro1 and X-E1, which will allow them to use the 55-200mm and embedding a new algorithm to leverage the benefits of this new lens, i.e. benefiting from the velocity of its dual linear motor (LM) autofocus. According to Fujifilm, the cameras would be able to focus in a maximum of 0.7 s, even if the autofocus should swipe from infinity to the closest focusing distance. This firmware update for the X-Pro1 X-E1 also improves the AF speed of both cameras used with other XF lenses already existing, a new progress after the firmware revision of last fall which had been released when Fuji launched the X-E1.
In the meantime, Fujifilm has unveiled a new updated roadmap for its X-serie lenses.