Review of the Fujifilm Fujinon XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

For an APS-C format lens, the Fujinon XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a heavyweight in every way. It tips the scales at almost 1.4kg and measures 95 x 211mm, extending to 270mm at its longest zoom setting, somewhat eclipsing Fujifilm X-mount camera bodies for which it is designed. Even so, the 152-609mm effective zoom range gives you a powerful reach and, if that’s still not enough, the lens is compatible with Fujifilm’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters.

Characteristics

To go up: Fujifilm X
Full frame: No
Image stabilization: Yes
Autofocus: Yes
Lens construction: 21 elements in 14 groups
Angle of view: 16.2-4.1 degrees
Diaphragm blades: 9
Minimum opening: f/22
Minimum focus distance: 1.75m
Maximum magnification ratio: 0.19x
Filter size: 77mm
Dimensions: 95x211mm
Weight: 1.375g

Main characteristics

The lens comes with a string of letters after its name, denoting a dedicated aperture control ring, in addition to zoom and focus rings, a linear stepper motor autofocus system, optical image stabilization and weatherproof construction, ticking just about every box on a Fujifilm photographer’s wish list. Indeed, the autofocus system uses not just one but two linear stepper motors for increased speed.

Build quality is excellent, with a beautifully designed build that incorporates 13 separate gaskets and a high-precision feel to all of its controls. There’s no trace of zoom creep, but a zoom lock switch is featured nonetheless. The high-quality optical path includes no less than five ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements, plus a fluorite-grade Super ED element.

Performance

True to its claims, the autofocus system’s dual linear stepper motors enable lightning-fast performance, capable of tracking fast-moving subjects. Likewise, the optical stabilizer lives up to its 5-stop billing and comes with effective auto pan detection. Sharpness was excellent in our field tests throughout the zoom range, but lab results based on close-range shooting test charts were less impressive.

Laboratory results

We carry out a range of laboratory tests under controlled conditions, using the Imatest Master test suite. Pattern shots are taken over the full range of apertures and zooms (where applicable), then analyzed for sharpness, distortion, and chromatic aberrations.

We use Imatest SFR (Spatial Frequency Response) graphs and analysis software to plot lens resolution at the center of the image frame, corners and mid-distances, over the full range of aperture settings. and, with zooms, at four different focal lengths. The tests also measure distortion and color fringing (chromatic aberration).

Acuity:

(Image credit: future)

(Image credit: future)

Sharpness levels dropped off noticeably at the long end of the zoom range in our lab tests based on close-range shooting charts, but proved very impressive in live shooting at more typical distances for a telephoto lens.

Fringe:

(Image credit: future)

There’s virtually no color fringing to be seen at any combination of focal length and aperture setting, even towards the extreme corners of the image frame.

Distortion:

(Image credit: future)

Thanks to automatic firmware corrections that cannot be turned off, the net result is that images are completely distortion-free at all focal lengths.

Verdict

Thanks to the crop factor of Fujifilm’s X-mount mirrorless cameras, this lens offers a radical reach of up to 609mm at full frame. It really goes the distance in action, sports and wildlife photography, where the super-fast autofocus system and 5-speed optical stabilizer also play in your hands. Indeed, while it’s not light at 1.4kg, it’s perfectly manageable even for long periods of handheld shooting, while performance is excellent in every respect.

Read more:

• Best Fujifilm lenses
• Best Fujifilm cameras
• The best camera lenses to get
• Best Canon Lenses
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• Best Sony lenses

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