Fujifilm officially launched their much anticipated 200mm f/2 lens a few days ago. It was no great secret having been included on their publically available ‘Lens Roadmap’ for sometime now.
The lens will come with a newly designed 1.4x teleconverter and I am not sure of the details around any complications in using their existing range of teleconverters. Using the lens with the converter will give a focal length of 280mm and a maximum aperture of f/2.8. If we take into account the field of view of APS-C cameras, we’ll get the equivalent of 305mm or 427mm with the converter attached.
I’ve been incredibly interested in the launch of the Fujifilm 200mm f/2 and I’d be keen as mustard to get my hands on one. It’s good to see focus preset / memory functions, this is something I miss with the 100-400mm lens having used it quite a bit on my previous ‘workhorse’ lens, the Nikon 200-400mm. An Arca Swiss compatible tripod mount is also a nice touch too.
Over the last few days I’ve heard and read a fair bit of criticism of this lens, mostly from people who do a lot of wildlife photography. First and foremost is the price, it is expected to be available at £5399 in the UK. I’m not going to debate or discuss the price here though, it’s pretty much pointless.
The other criticism I am hearing repeatedly is that it is just not long enough and furthermore, nothing (natively and without a converter) beneath 300mm can be a wildlife lens (thus having an effective APS-C field of view of around 450mm). Essentially, those who are critical are stating it needs to work out at around 500 to 600mm.
I can sympathise to an extent. In the UK it is very difficult to photograph wildlife without a larger lens. Our main wildlife is birds and in the majority of locaitons they are very timid and difficult to get close too.
However wildlife is an international subject and elsewhere, it comes in vastly different sizes and distances. I regularly use less than 250mm and my new Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8 was used regularly during my last trip I was guiding in South Africa. Also, wildlife photography isn’t just about extreme close-up frame filling portraits. It’s as much about photographing a subject in the context of its habitat or other interesting surroundings, or showing symbiotic relationships and conflict with other species.
So, a 200mm f/2? Yes please! I’d have one tomorrow, if I could afford it.
Update! I’ve since had a loan of a pre-production version of this fantastic lens from Fujifilm UK and you can read my thoughts here.