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on July 13, 2014
Casual users should consider this a Five-Star review. This is a great lens. Images are sharp throughout the zoom range. Even under difficult lighting and using 400% Dynamic Range (Fuji users will know what that means), I observed no chromatic aberrations. I rarely pixel peep, and I didn't do any "DP Review" style test shots. Zooming is smooth, and "sticky". I've used zoom lenses that creep away from the focal length just from gravity, making tripod shots difficult. This lens stayed zoomed exactly where I left it. Focus speed is pretty good, but I have nothing to compare it too. My 18/f2 focuses faster, but I would always expect a fast prime to focus faster. Throughout its zoom range, the bokeh is very pleasing.

I did shoot some low-light moving subjects with this lens, and the OIS seemed to protect well against motion blur. I found a picture taken at 1/60 while zoomed all the way in (230mm) to still be tack sharp. I've used the Nikon 70-300 VR (not VR-ii) lens and I would say this lens pretty much compared in both image quality and stabilization. Note: I have not done a side-by-side test of this lens with any other lens directly, only comparing photos taken in similar scenes at different locations.

I used this lens on a X-M1 body with excellent results. If you recently acquired an X series body and came from a point-and-shoot, I can tell you this lens will knock your socks off when compared to the long zoom of a point and shoot. For the price of this lens, you can't get closer to your subject with more color and detail.

My only cons is it was a little more "plastic" than I would have preferred. But the build quality is not inconsistent with this price point. Also, there is no dedicated f-stop ring, so you have to use the secondary control dial when shooting in A or M mode.

Ultimately, I decided I wanted Fuji's faster XF 55-200mm instead, as the extra stop means a lot to me.

Hobbyist, vacation shooters, or the budget conscious should put this lens on their short list. Unless you know you really need the 55-200 instead, this will be the perfect solution.

Brown body style X-M1 users should consider the silver version of this lens, as it would match the design of your camera. The black version (this one) looks great on the black or black/silver X-M1.
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on January 3, 2014
Bought this lens to pair with my XE-2 and initial impressions are really good. Its a great lens for its price and pictures are really sharp. I bought this lens instead of 55-200 mainly because of the weight and extra range. While I miss the dedicated Aperture ring, that is the trade off I can live with as this is a great lens for its price and weight is perfect with XE-2.
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on February 16, 2015
I bought the silver version since I have a silver colored X-E2 to go with it. To tell the truth, it looks bit cheap especially the focus adjustment ring. So, Unless you have a silver colored camera, I won't recommend the silver version. Price wise, the silver version $60 cheaper compared to the black one (when I am writing this), for a brand new lens…used ones are even cheaper..I don't know whether the black version has a better built quality or not

it is a plastic lens and not a metal lens and there is no metal mount either but that is what makes this lens light and personally I bought a mirroress camera to avoid bulk and weight. So, I better avoid complaining about the plastic aspect.

No Aperture ring..I miss that..wish this lens had an aperture ring. Maybe avoiding the aperture ring was to cut the cost. Initially, many a time, I accidentally tried to adjust the aperture in the lens by turning the aperture ring that does not exist!! Now I got used to it

What I liked the most

Reasonably priced
Light weight - 15.35 ounce with lens hood and front lens cap
Decent image quality
Good enough OIS
Internal focusing

What I did not like

Slow autofocus and hunts in low light
Cheap looks - silver version
review image
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on November 22, 2014
This is a great telephoto zoom. When I bought my X-T1, I once again realized that I have champagne taste: I immediately fell for all those gorgeous prime lenses that are now available for the X mount: the 56mm, that terrific 23mm... and for a tele, I was happy with the idea of another zoom lens next to the 18-55 kit lens that came with the camera, and I started ogling the expensive 55-200mm... But the truth is, I don't have a champaign budget, and started investigating the shortcomings of this 50-230 in comparison. I didn't find many. Sample photos I saw looked crisp and sharp, with nice shallow depth of field options. The lack of a ring to control aperture on the lens itself has not yet bothered me in the least. Manual focussing seems the one you really want to use here, since autofocus is on the slow side (here's hoping that long awaited firmware update will include all the small and big miracles we're hoping for). My main concern is with the overall feel of this lens. It's amazing how the lower weight, plastic mount and less than perfect zoom smoothness impact your "psychophotographic" mood while shooting. Somehow you find yourself handling the camera differently. I'm hoping it's all in my mind, but it even feels like the lens is sitting on the camera body less reliably. That said, it's hard for me to imagine more exciting results. I'll happily save up for one of those venerated wide angle lenses, enjoy every minute with the 18-55, and hope one day they'll offer a replacement metal mount for this more than satisfying tele.
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on January 20, 2014
I got this lens for my X-E2, which came with the XF 18-55mm f2.8 lens. I also got the XF 35mm f1.4. I found it interesting that the this XC 50-230 set at 35mm produced photos that were very close to the more expensive 35mm f1.4 ($600)! At 100%, they are equal. The difference at 400% enlargement is noticeably falling off on the edges, but I really don't care. My photos are not for wall-size enlargements. It would be rare if I used it for night shots, so daytime use at f6.7 is fine. I do not find the absence of an aperture ring a limitation. I do find that the image stabilization works quite well. I really can't say enough good things about this lens. It is very light and small considering that you get the effect of a 350mm lens. My friends with their Canon/Nikon 300mm lenses are carrying a lot of extra weight for amateur photographers.
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on January 20, 2016
This lens seems to be a screaming deal, especially when bundled with the 16-50mm kit lens and the closeout XA-1 body, heavily discounted. This bundle is so inexpensive at current price levels, you could pay as much for a single comparable item.

If you read reviews, the X-A1 body is very well liked, and logically should be the standout item in the bundle. After using the body and lenses for a while, one may just conclude that the 50-230mm lens is the star of the outfit.

This lens produces terrific images, even in less than perfect light, handheld -- one could say out of all proportion to it's price. I am constantly surprised by the sharp, lively, images produced by this lens in far less than ideal conditions. Another reviewer had compared this to a comparable Nikon VR zoom, which I also have. The OIS seems to perform better than the VR in this instance. In any event, I just like the images produced by this lens. It's hard to describe, but there's something about shooting with this lens on a Fuji X body, with the camera set to some of the useful film simulation modes.

It's working so well that I am using it on my XE-1 body now, and am no longer looking at the comparable XF zoom lens. The XF version may be marginally better (not actually sure how to define better), but at this level of image production, why pay more for less reach?

Some may say if they had made the barrel out of metal, in Japan and not China, Fuji could easily charge much more than the current price for it. It is probably only because it's so cheap that it is not getting the attention and acclaim of some of the other Fuji XF lenses. This lens is punching way above it's weight in terms of images produced and the inherent value represented.

As for the maximum aperture of F4.5 -- there are plenty of great F4.0 zooms made by each major manufacturer, since not everyone can afford the F2.8 versions. With this lens, defocused fore and background is pretty easy to obtain.

The images won't know it's made by an "economy" lens.
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on April 6, 2016
Amazing for the price. I was deliberating between this lens and the 55-200mm. I looked at the pictures people got from these two lenses on flickr and personally I think the 55-200 looks amazing. I really was set on getting that. But then, I chanced on a 50-230mm for about $200 less than the 55-200mm. What the heck, I bought it.

I didn't find the weight savings to be that much of a big deal. Whenever I use the 50-230, I also use an add-on grip with my X-E2. I find that without the grip, the camera is a little off balanced. So I think the camera would be more off balanced without a grip with the 55-200.

The OIS is pretty good. It's not magic though. You still have to have good technique. The sharpness is very good, but I think not as good as the 55-200 but good enough if you only post pictures on the internet or keep it under 8x10. I find that f11 is the sweet spot in terms of sharpness so it is really an outdoor daytime lens and you'd need to use a tripod indoors in low light. But you wouldn't use a superzoom indoors anyway.

The bokeh is alright, acceptable. The plastic mount doesn't bother me. The zoom is pretty smooth. It's made in china but i'm not worried it's gonna fall apart. Feels well made. I've attached 2 pictures. The robin is handheld. The cow is indoors at 3am in the morning with 1 floor lamp and +1 exposure on tripod.

Added a picture of a female cardinal and a 100% cropped blue swallow.
review image review image review image review image
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on February 7, 2015
I use this on an X-E1. It's virtues are price and weight. If cost less and weights less than Fuji's XF 55-200mm. There is not much advantage bulk-wise, however. It's pretty similar in size to Nikon and Canon 55-200mm offerings. I don't have the facilities to make image quality measurements but anything I see published by those that do indicate that nothing but the more expensive Fuji XF model beats it. There are two possible short comings depending on your needs and preferences: A-there is no aperture ring - you must control aperture using the wheel on the camera back, B-the maximum aperture is only F/4.5 -- F/3.5 would have been nicer but would have probably made it heavier and bulkier.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon November 30, 2015
The XC line is the less expense model of the Fuji lens system, the XF lenses are the high-end segment. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by the results I saw in my first test shots with this lens. very good detail and color, no noticeable defects or aberrations. In short, very good image quality, especially for the low price this lens is selling for. You get a lot of reach with this one, also.

I have some XF lenses, as well, and they are definitely more robust and have stellar quality, but this lens felt fine to me. I'm not shooting under harsh conditions, in any case, so I am happy to have this in my bag and very pleased with the quality for the price. I think most casual photogs will be happy with it. And even enthusiasts (I consider myself one) should be happy, I think.

I bought the cheaper (and uglier, but who cares) silver version. It does feel a bit plasticy, but it seems well made and sturdy enough and it handles very well. Smooth action. No aperture ring, but I knew that going in. Not a big issue for me as I can use the dial on camera. I got this for my older X-A1, but also used it with my new X-T10. I think it's a great lens for the money and I am very happy with it.
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on April 8, 2016
This is a great lens. On my Canon I own the 18-200 EF-S which I find myself comparing this to quite often, it's considerably lighter and I love that it does not creep. It doesn't feel as well built as the EF-S lens but the weight makes up for it. My only complaint? The zoom ring spins the opposite way and it throws me off.

Otherwise, it's a great lens especially if you can snag a $180 or less like-new version like I did!
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