Good telephoto lens, amazingly light in weight

The build quality of the Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRNICA is good and the lens feels solid. Yet it is amazingly lightweight at less than 1.4kg.
The build quality of the Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRNICA is good and the lens feels solid. Yet it is amazingly lightweight at less than 1.4kg.PHOTO: FUJIFILM

The Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a super telephoto lens ideal for shooting wildlife with your Fujifilm mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

Its focal range translates to 152-608mm in 35mm film equivalent, due to the APS-C image sensor's 1.52x crop factor.

It is made of 21 optical elements in 14 groups, including five extra-low dispersion (ED) lens and one super ED lens. This construction is said to reduce chromatic aberration. Thirteen water-resistant seals and 12 dust-resistant seals make this lens suitable for rugged outdoor use. The front lens element has a water-repellent fluorine coating too.

The build quality is good and the lens felt solid in my hands. Yet it is amazingly lightweight at less than 1.4kg. Coupled with its optical image stabilisation system, it is ideal for handheld shooting.

There are three rotatable rings on the lens barrel. Closest to the lens mount is the aperture ring to change aperture settings, while the middle ring is for zooming. The manual focusing ring lies furthest away.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $3,099

    FOCAL LENGTH: 100mm to 400mm

    FOCUSING RANGE: 1.75m to infinity

    MAXIMUM APERTURE: f/4.5-5.6

    MINIMUM APERTURE: f/22

    WEIGHT: 1.375kg

  • RATING

  • DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Rotating the zoom ring lets you reach the desired focal length easily. There is a lock switch to prevent the zoom ring from rotating. But it is only useable at 100mm. I would prefer that it can be used for locking the lens at any focal length.

For this review, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 was used with the lens, and both updated to the latest firmware.

Autofocusing (AF) performance is great and I was able to track a moving subject pretty quickly.

Overall sharpness is excellent with pictures exhibiting great details. I found pictures to be sharpest edge-to-edge at the 100mm focal length, with the aperture set at f/8.0. Even at 400mm and f/5.6, where images tend to be soft, the resulting images were still sharp in the centre with only a slight softness at the edges.

At aperture settings of f/4.5 and f/5.6, the bokeh effect - sharp subject against out-of-focus background - is quite pleasing. Overall, I found usual nasties like flare, distortion and chromatic aberration to be minimal across all focal lengths and aperture settings.

Trevor Tan

• Verdict: If you have a Fujifilm mirrorless camera and you want to shoot wildlife, the Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is the lens to have.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2016, with the headline 'Good telephoto lens, amazingly light in weight'. Print Edition | Subscribe