Fujifilm XC 50-230mm f4.5-6.7 OIS lens: Brief review

This a brief review of the Fujifilm XC 50-230mm lens which arrived on my doorstep yesterday.  In summary this is a little known, under appreciated lens from the 'non-pro' XC range, which will mount on any X mount Fujifilm camera.  For this review I have mounted it on my X-E3.

After briefly trying out this model of lens a few weeks ago I have been looking out for a second hand copy to come up for sale, and last week I found a near-new copy of the lens which I quickly bought for the princely sum of NZ$200 ( it retails new for about NZ$550 ).  As I said before the lens arrived yesterday and I have been using it on my X-E3 ever since.  I have the original version of this lens, there is an OIS II version as well ( the only difference is the image stabilisation I believe ).

The lens is plastic, with a plastic lens mount, except for the zoom ring which is rubber coated.  The lens is lightweight but still feels solid and robust.  The zoom and focus rings are smooth and have good resistance.  The lens does not have an aperture ring ( aperture is controlled from the camera ) but does have OIS stabilisation, but without the ability to turn OIS off on the lens ( again it can be controlled from the camera ).

I will just list the pros and cons of this lens and then show some SOOC images taken with this lens.

PROS

  • the lens is lightweight, relatively small for it's zoom range, and is well built
  • the images are sharp with a nice rendering of out of focus areas ( bokeh )
  • it is cheap for this focal range

CONS

  • the aperture largest is not 'fast' by any means, being f4.5 at 50mm and f6.7 at 230mm
  • the lens will only focus down to 1.1m
  • the focus motor is probably where the money has been saved on this lens, it takes about 1.5 seconds to go from close focus to infinity
  • no OIS override switch
  • no aperture ring 

In conclusion this is a great little walk around lens ( especially if paired with the 18-55mm kit    lens ). It is light, quite small, but produces nice looking images.  Having the OIS is a good feature given that the widest apertures are not that wide.

I tend to rate a lens by how quickly I would replace the lens if it broke; I wouldn't hesitate to grab another copy of this lens.  It is well worth the price to have in the kit bag.

 XC 50-230mm lens mounted on my X-E3

XC 50-230mm lens mounted on my X-E3

 The 50-230mm next to the 18-55mm kit lens

The 50-230mm next to the 18-55mm kit lens

 Sun stars at f22, and a bit of flaring

Sun stars at f22, and a bit of flaring

 At the 50mm end of the zoom... 

At the 50mm end of the zoom... 

 ... and the 230mm end

... and the 230mm end

 The bokeh is nice enough

The bokeh is nice enough

 I was tracking the cyclist at 230mm at f6.7, and it nailed focus well

I was tracking the cyclist at 230mm at f6.7, and it nailed focus well

 Details look nice and sharp, and the background is soft

Details look nice and sharp, and the background is soft

 Even at 230mm and f6.7 there is nice separation to be had

Even at 230mm and f6.7 there is nice separation to be had

 A quick colour test: 50-230mm @ f4.5, 50mm focal length

A quick colour test: 50-230mm @ f4.5, 50mm focal length

 Vs 18-55mm @f4.5, but I needed 55mm focal length to get the same field of view. 

Vs 18-55mm @f4.5, but I needed 55mm focal length to get the same field of view.