Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 OIS - Review and user experience - Part 3 - Working in a pair with the 18-55mm

Yesterday I went out with the X-E2 + 18-55mm and 55-200mm zooms to see how that worked and what it was like to carry. I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually quite manageable. A fair amount of lens changing going on, but nonetheless it did work for me. Apart from the fact the lens cap and hood on the 55-200mm are very 'snug fitting'. That is to say that they are a bit tight. I suppose that this is better than being loose and there should be some wear over time. Just a small point but I had to be quite firm with both to get them to engage / disengage. 

One thing I'm discovering about the 55-200mm is that it's very consistent across the zoom range. There is none of that fall off in quality at the long end that's often very noticeable with other zooms of this type. Plus it is very nice to use as I've written before. The zoom and aperture rings have a lovely positive feel about them and you do get the impression that the lens is very robust and well put together. 

It's also consistent in terms of aperture also. I'm noticing no particular fall-off at either end of the aperture scale, consequently I used it yesterday mostly on auto mode at ISO 320. It gave me a nice full focal lens range with the 18-55mm and again a very consistent range of results. This telephoto option has been missing from my Fuji X excursions and I'm glad it's back. No matter how good the manual focus adapted lenses I use, there's really no substitute for crisp and accurate AF. It does in fact work so well that I haven't got around to upgrading the lens firmware yet, so you can imagine just how positive the AF is already on the X-E2. This has removed one of the negatives of the Fuji X system and is further testament to Fuji's ability to move things forward, though it can be argued that they should have got this right at release! 

However, as far as I'm concerned, there is at the moment only one real major problem left with the Fuji X's, which is the poor battery life. Unlike my previous post when I was extolling the virtues of the GH3 and it's excellent power source, I have to say that Fuji really do need to address this. I can understand, to a certain extent, the idea of putting small low powered batteries in compact point and shoots, but the Fuji X cameras, at least the X-Pro 1 and X-E1/2, are aimed at a different audience. I can't see Fuji X shooters moaning about a few extra grams of weight if they get a battery that enables shooting for the whole day. And while it's nice to have one battery for the whole system, a longer lasting power source would be very welcome. 

I've also been writing about how big the lens is, so I've shot a few comparisons with the Panasonic 14-140mm. Those are below together with some shots of the twin lens outfit and some more pictures from the days shooting.

Incidentally neither of these lenses has the slightest suggestion of 'zoom creep' something other lens manufacturers should take note of.

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