On Tuesday I finally managed to get out of work at lunchtime; whoever came up with lunchtime meeting slots should be shot!
Anyway I wanted to see what the performance of the X-T1 and XC 50-230mm combo would be like. The XC 50-230mm lens provides a 35mm field of equivalent of a 75-345mm and is quite slow at f4.5 to f6.7 but it was a bright day so this wasn’t an issue. The reasons for owning such a lens is that it came free with my X-E1 & 18-55mm combo.
In the past I have owned the faster XF 55-200mm f3.5-f4.8 which is built like a tank and has the aperture ring too. But I remember this lens being quite heavy and the zoom ring felt like there was treacle in there – it was a lens that I never liked. It was also quite heavy (580g compared to the XC’s 375g) and felt unbalanced on the X-Pro1 I had at the time. The XC by comparison has a lot more plastic but optically it was very good. In fact I cannot tell the difference between pictures taken with this lens and the more expensive heavier XF lens.
When you turn the drive mode dial to CH (Continuous High Speed) the camera simply takes picture after picture and this goes on for a few seconds before the buffer is full, and it takes no time to write these files to the SD card as I could take more shots not long afterwards; this reminded me of the D3S. I should note that it did take a while (around 18-20 seconds) to write full buffers worth of images to the card.
I was also only using a UHS-1 speed Sandisk 95MB/s card – I can only imagine what a UHS-2 card could do but at £79 for a 16GB card I’m not sure if it is worth it. The price of these cards is almost 3 times the cost of my Sandisk 16GB 95MB/s cards and I have yet to see a UHS-2 card reader in the UK yet.
So I then turned the focus dial to “C” which in Moose talk is C=”Correct focus mode” and in Fuji talk I think that it is C=”Change me back to S”. To say I wasn’t impressed was an understatement, it would initially lock onto a subject and then decide that it would need to keep changing the focus position so my capture rate went seriously south, it wasn’t long before I went back to S and then just recomposed the shot as the subject moved – this was decidedly more accurate.
When I got home and reviewed the shots there weren’t many keepers (I had left the ISO dial on 1600) and as Lightroom doesn’t understand X-T1 files yet I had to work with the JPGs – these types of files don’t allow the changes that RAW files allow before they dissolve into totally unusable files.
So I was impressed with the lens, the continuous shoot speed of the X-T1 but disappointed with the continuous auto-focus; maybe I need more practice.