Fujifilm 200mm f/2

Published On: July 26th, 2018By Categories: Blog, FUJIFILMViews: 999

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.

Fujifilm Fujinon 200mm f/2

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.

Sabi Sands Elephants Alan Hewitt Photography

African Elephants, photographed at 200mm

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.

21 Comments

  1. Mark Davies July 26, 2018 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Well that is all very well, but we don’t get Elephants in Yorkshire!

    • Alan Hewitt July 26, 2018 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      Of course not, but it’s a lens designed for an international market, not specifically for the UK and that is the point I am making. Elsewhere in the world wildlife photography subjects are very different to the UK.

  2. Willem July 27, 2018 at 8:54 am - Reply

    I can see your story, I think a lot of people who photograph are blinkered in what they does and how theyre doing it and criticise anything a lot which is not how they are blinkered.

    • Alan Hewitt July 27, 2018 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks Willem

  3. Briony Meadows July 27, 2018 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Sounds like you’re asking for a free lens!

    • Alan Hewitt July 27, 2018 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      I know it isn’t going to happen so I don’t write with that in mind.

  4. Richie Verdesin July 27, 2018 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Too big, too heavy. Fujis strengths are failing.

    • Alan Hewitt July 27, 2018 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      Optical physics, f/2 at 200mm. I doubt it could be any smaller.

  5. Marcus Davis III July 27, 2018 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    It will be a great lens to have in the kitbag especially in places like Africa if you are a wildlife photographer. Damn it, it’s out of my price range too, by about £5k!! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it though if you did get to use it in Africa.

    • Alan Hewitt July 27, 2018 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      Well, it certainly won’t be this year but maybe I could hire one for next year.

      • Marcus July 27, 2018 at 7:51 pm - Reply

        Will they loan you a lens this year?

        • Alan Hewitt July 27, 2018 at 7:53 pm - Reply

          Hmmm, I wouldn’t ask. Fujifilm are working on a huge favour for me this year so I’m leaving it at that!

  6. Ray the Roar July 27, 2018 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    So on a crop, as f/2.8 300mm it’s still way too short for wildlife.

    • Alan Hewitt July 27, 2018 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      And that is my point, it depends on the wildlife!

  7. Gren Sowerby July 29, 2018 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Good read Alan. we forget that wildlife in other parts of the world can be a lot closer let alone larger! As I use Fuji and Nikon it would be interesting to see how it performs against the Nikon 200mm f2? If it’s anywhere near that lens then it will be a top notch. The Nikon is 1.5 lbs heavier though. Often called a portrait lens but I use mine also for wildlife when not needing the reach, on a crop sensor it’s giving me 420mm f2.8 with a 1.4x tc still blazing fast autofocus and only the slightest loss in IQ. I have used the 1.7x tc too and get good results. So if you get the chance Alan then try that Fujinon out. It certainly sounds interesting!

    • Alan Hewitt September 8, 2018 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      I’d love to get my mits on one Gren!

  8. Steve McEnroe August 16, 2018 at 1:25 am - Reply

    A 200mm f2 is essentially a 300mm f2 lens, which in the photojournalism field is your basic sports lens. Sidelines football and soccer, across court BKB and covering the bases on baseball it would be ideal. It would work for some wildlife but there is another whole market for this lens.

    • Alan Hewitt September 8, 2018 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      Absolutely, it will be a big light hoover too for dimly lit arenas!

  9. John Edgar August 29, 2018 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    It will be interesting to see how the Fuji xt3 fares when its released soon. Alan, can I ask what settings you use for BIF as my success rate with my 100-400 is pretty dire. Do you use any of the AFC presets for example ? TIA.

  10. Malcolm Kirkaldie October 8, 2018 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Looks good for Surfing and Kite surfing photography.

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