Top positive review
20 people found this helpful
I needed a little "more", but for the price this is five-stars, no question.
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.