Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 LM OIS WR Lens

If you’re reading this on Facebook, be sure to click through to see the photos!

I’ve been waiting for this beast to appear for a long time now. Pretty much since I got the X-E1 two and a half years ago. At the time, the one thing I really wanted was a longer telephoto, and soon enough one appeared on the Fuji roadmap. At first it was vaguely described as a “super telephoto”, but eventually it was announced that it would have a very useful 100-400mm range. Now you might recall that I had a rather large and heavy 150-500mm lens when I had the Canon 5D Mk III, which was quite nice, but really a bit too heavy to carry around much. But on the Fujifilm system, things are a wee bit smaller. And because of the crop factor[1], 400mm on my X-T1 gives a field of view equivalent to around 600mm on the full-frame 5D, so this was looking like it would be seriously useful. Add in compatibility with the 1.4x teleconverter, and we have the potential to get up close and very personal. So, when it was finally announced as being available for order, I didn’t hesitate for more than a microsecond or two. I pre-ordered from Wex Photographic (as you do – and I should point out that their price is a lot better than Amazon’s). I then took the semi-drastic step of selling the lenses I don’t use to MPB, which raised most of the substantial cost of the new lens).

Anyway, as I might have mentioned, it arrived yesterday. It is indeed quite large, though it’s actually about 400g lighter than the 70-200mm lens I had on the Canon, and I had no trouble carrying that around. Unlike the 50-140mm lens, this one doesn’t have a fixed maximum aperture through the zoom range – that would have made it a lot bigger, heavier and even more expensive. It also gets longer when you zoom in. It comes with a tripod foot which I’ve left on for now. There’s a lens hood which I haven’t looked at so far. Other than that, the box contains the usual pouch and manual.

Today was my first proper chance to take it out. I’ve got a sort of tradition[2] when it comes to long lenses. I like to see just how close a view I can get of Grey’s Monument. So for this first impressions review, let’s start with a view from the 100mm end, taken from a moderate distance along Grey Street:

Grey's Monument

Grey’s Monument

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/500s
Focal length: 100mm
ISO: 500
Taken: 24 February, 2016

As it happened, today must have been an open day, or something, because some people had climbed the steps, which is handy, as it gives a nice idea of the scale of the monument:

Earl Grey and Friends

Earl Grey and Friends

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/500s
Focal length: 400mm
ISO: 500
Taken: 24 February, 2016

As you can see, that’s quite a large statue.

So, I walked around the corner, added the teleconverter, zoomed right in and….

Earl Grey in detail

Earl Grey in detail

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/14
Shutter speed: 1/500s
Focal length: 540.4mm
ISO: 640
Taken: 24 February, 2016

It’s worth clicking to see the bigger version of that – there’s a load of texture in the stone.

And just for extreme detail, this is a tight crop of the above image, just showing the Earl’s head:

Earl Grey 100% crop

Earl Grey 100% crop

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/14
Shutter speed: 1/500s
Focal length: 540.4mm
ISO: 640
Taken: 24 February, 2016

I’ll need to go some more places with this one….

[1] Not explaining that. Anyone who cares knows already
[2] Or an old charter, or something