X-T1 and XC 50-230mm

FUJINON XC50-230mm Black Front_05a29d9add

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.

Initially I tried using single shot single frame modes on the X-T1 and was quite pleased,
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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.

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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.

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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.