Most people won't be interested in this post. It contains my first impressions of the new lens I picked up last week. The Fujifilm XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS is the "plastic fantastic," less expensive brother to the XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. But even though this lens is a full stop slower, and the lens mount and barrels are made out of plastic, and it costs just over half as much as it's counterpart, it's certainly not a toy!
The XC 50-230mm has some definite advantages over the XF 55-200, in addition to lower cost: it's smaller and lighter, and it has a greater zoom range. On my X-E1 body, the 55-200 feels too bulky, and it's a little harder to hand-hold steadily, and the extra 30mm at the long end makes a surprising difference.
The lead image here is of a flower called a Jack-in-the-Pulpit, and for this shot, I was hand-holding the camera with one hand about an inch off the ground, so I could look into the flower. I was crouching down on the balls of my feet, and the camera was "hanging" from my hand. So, my "technique" was horrible. This shot is a testament to the image stabilization in the lens -- it's excellent, to say the least!
Our next example is not a great photo. The original was under-exposed, so I had to bring it up about a stop. But it's still a fairly decent illustration of the capabilities of the lens.
I'd say the young lady was about 150 feet away, coming towards me fairly quickly. It was a definite grab-shot, something the X-E1 just isn't known for. Subsequently, the actual point of focus is about four inches behind the girl's stomach. Even so, the result is pretty impressive. Take a look at the 100% "pixel-peep" crop to the right.
I find this fairly impressive. Yes, as I said, I missed the focus because the subject moved towards me after focus was achieved, and I shot anyway. Even so, there's great detail in the stitching in the waistband of the girl's shorts and in her jewelry, and there's no evidence of shooter-induced motion blur.
I initially thought that I would miss the aperture ring, but the position of the command dial on the back of the X-E1 (and also the X-E2) is really perfect, falling exactly under my thumb. So, for aperture-preferred auto exposure or for manual exposure, controlling aperture is just as easy as with the XF lenses with aperture rings.
The bottom line is that he XC 50-230mm a great value lens, not to be shied away from. If you're in need of a tele-zoom for your Fujifilm X-series camera, it's well worth considering over the XF 55-200. At this point, I do not think the XF 55-200 is worth $300 more than the XC 50-230, at least for my use. At the time I bought the lens, the shop also had a used XF 55-200 for about $550.00, which I could have purchased, but did not. I do not regret spending less, and am looking forward to using the XC 50-230mm for a long time.
Update - you can see more images that I've made with the 50-230mm lens here: